Title: A Brother
By: The Right Stop
Jutsu in Use
AN: This is it, the last chapter.
Honestly, I'm completely worried that this chapter is complete and utter trash, and that posting it would be worse than not posting it. But considering that many of you have been waiting too long for this, I may as well.
Enjoy the final chapter of A Brother.
Time restarted for Naruto when the form of his mother spoke.
"Naruto-kun," she greeted kindly. She even sounded like remembered, before her madness ripped the loving nature and replaced it with a hunger for dominance. Before she ceased being the woman who raised him through his childhood.
But like a giant warning bell, her altered central eye told Naruto that the person before him wasn't his mother, merely wearing the appearance of the woman he remembered.
The woman descended through the air, coming to halt hovering above the ground by a few centimetres, within arms-reach of Naruto. The form of his mother raised a hand towards his cheek but Naruto took a few steps backward. He knew not how this was happening and wasn't willing to let someone wearing the face of Kaguya Ōtsutsuki touch him, he doubted he'd let the actual person do it.
A flash of annoyance passed across the face of his mother as she dropped her hand, then her expression became one of amusement.
"You don't still think we're fighting, do you, Naruto-kun?" She questioned.
"What are you?" Naruto responded, not bothering to answer the woman's question, instead deciding to focus his senses on the person before him. The being with his mother's face shook her head, her amused expression still showing.
"Naruto-kun, its Kaa-san," she told him freely.
Naruto's expression didn't changed, and he was about to demand an answer before the woman, having seen his unchanging expression, continued.
"The day you supposedly 'killed' me, I was in the middle of restoring our family back to what it was. I was going to end the fight that split us apart and return us to what we were before. A family that loved each other." Naruto was now far more wary than he was before.
Initially, Naruto had seen this as some sort of trick by the Jūbi to fool him, make him lower his guard. Naruto's own senses told him that the person before him was made up entirely of chakra. No soul, no flesh, just pure chakra.
The knowledge, however, threw that theory off. The Ten-Tails couldn't know what this woman was spouting, it required information that it couldn't have obtained anywhere.
"You told me to leave when I first got there," Naruto said warily, attempting to fish for information that the being before him seemed to freely give out. "When I questioned what you were doing, you became aggressive then attacked."
The amused expression on the face of the person dipped, showing guilt.
"I was unstable at that point, Naruto," she said, attempting to explain Naruto's mother's actions. "It was an incredibly risky thing that I was doing and your interference could have ruined it."
"And what were you doing?" Naruto prodded, keeping his eyes firmly on the person opposite him, his body tense.
"I was…" The face of his mother gained an annoyed expression on her face as the person paused. "Get rid of that mask, Naruto, I want to talk to my son." Naruto did so, wanting to keep this person talking, removing the illusions that covered his face to show his white hair, eyes and youthful face. When the expression on the being's face didn't change, Naruto revealed his horns. "Good," the chakra entity said before continuing, "As I was saying, I was in the middle of transferring my chakra into the husk of the Jūbi."
Naruto frowned at that, the pieces were beginning to come together but that still didn't explain what he was talking too.
"What did that accomplish?" He asked, "What good did that do?"
The being in front of him sighed, "Naruto, you are still so impatient when you can't see the answer." Naruto said nothing in response. "Because my chakra was so similar to that of the Jūbi's, with some effort, I was able to subjugate it and make it my own. It was a near thing," the woman continued, seemingly unaware of the way Naruto's eyes narrowed, "when you destroyed my physical body, I hadn't yet taken complete control, but I managed it in the end. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough chakra to reform my body until now. I truly am thankful that someone was willing to join with me long enough to be able to manifest my will once more, but it was a pity their chakra wasn't enough to properly utilise."
"Your 'will'?" Naruto found himself saying.
"Zetsu," the woman called, gesturing with her hand. From around them, a black substance began to leak from the rocky crater and float upward, collecting into a being covered in shadow. The image tugged at a memory Naruto had, this was the thing that he had killed after having done the same to his mother.
He was beginning to see the entire picture now. This was his mother, or rather an incredibly detailed copy. It had her memories, it had her personality, but it didn't have her soul. His mother's soul had already moved on to the Pure Lands, and what he was currently looking at was a possibility that his mother could have become. In that moment, Naruto was incredibly grateful that he ended his mother before she could have become this.
The chakra of his mother, combined with the remnants of the Jūbi. A horrible echo of the woman that had raised him.
"Zetsu was instrumental in my return, weren't you my son?" The chakra of Naruto's mother continued on, ignorant of his thoughts, but managing to make his focus return to her.
"Kaa-san," Zetsu said warily, keeping his eyes on the white-haired, horned man staring at them. "He does not follow your vision, he would stop us."
"He doesn't matter, Zetsu," Kaguya, for this was a form of the woman, said uncaringly, "Naruto-kun couldn't do anything even if he wanted to, not now. It's far too late for that."
"And why would you say that?" Naruto questioned, blatant hostility now entering his tone. This echo of his mother wasn't willing to merely exist. She wanted what she hadn't managed to obtain in life, control. "I defeated the Jūbi once, I can do it again."
Kaguya regained her amused smile, turning back to face her biological son. "You truly don't know what I've become do you, Naruto-kun. The thing that you faced with Hagoromo was infantile god, powerful but with little experience using that power. It was the remnants of an entire pantheon of deities that realised their end was near and fought against it, combining all of their power into one. Now, I am that god." Here, Kaguya spread her arms dramatically, "Now, I am The God."
"Now," she continued, "I begin to take back what is mine."
Naruto felt a massive wave of chakra wash over him, but nothing else happened, even as the wave extended into the distance, his mother was merely standing still with her arms stretched to either side. Then he felt a burning sensation spread across the back of his hand.
Eyes snapping to where the feeling was located, Naruto saw a seal, styled to look like the kanji for eight, turn bright red before going black. His eyes widened.
That was Gyūki, his host was dead. Eyes turning back to his mother, Naruto suddenly realised what she was doing.
She wasn't anywhere near powerful enough to leach the chakra from everyone on earth, the individual wills of the human population more than enough to trump her own without enough chakra to reinforce her, though she was gaining chakra rapidly. In order to shorten the time till she could do this, his mother was trying to attempting to absorb the chakra that was the most similar to her own, the bijū. It was will against will, something that his mother could win with her chakra already greater than Kurama's.
As if to corroborate with this, Naruto could already spot a large, red mist moving towards them from the north-west.
While he didn't move, Naruto pushed out his own chakra. A massive dome, with Naruto as its epicentre, came into existence, expanding outward and stretching over kilometres. That would stop the bijū from being forced into one again.
Kaguya gave her son a sad smile, lowering her hands from their outstretched positions. She had sensed his actions to stop her absorbing the bijū.
"And here I was foolishly hoping that you would have realised that our fighting was over," she told him.
"I still remember how you ranted and raved about how you would take back what 'belonged' to you." The white haired male shook his head, "What would have made you think that my feelings about your plans for the world would have changed?" Naruto questioned sarcastically.
Kaguya smiled, but this time Naruto was able to see a glint of ruthlessness within her eyes. "You always were stubborn."
Neither of the two was the first to move, it was Zetsu who signalled the beginning of the battle, turning into a slime and moving up Kaguya's sleeve.
The shadow-being only just made it into the relative safety of his creator before Naruto struck without moving an inch.
Kaguya only managed to sense the sudden compaction of the air to her side before, with a sudden spark of fire, the highly concentrated oxygen exploded into flame, the pressure of which knocked her to the side. She only managed to right herself for the moment, unmarked by the explosion, before another one rocked her position, forcing her into the other direction.
This time, she what met her was the foot of Naruto, aimed on level with her face. Kaguya, however, displayed one of the benefits of being most made of chakra, it took more than simple explosions to disorient her.
She met the attack with a small lance of bone that erupted from her palm, piercing through the ball of Naruto's foot and coming out through the roof. Kaguya showed her inexperience in true combat in that moment, leaving herself connected to the lance for a second longer than she need to, and Naruto capitalised on it ruthlessly.
Still balancing on a single foot, Naruto swung his body around and flung his extended foot behind him, taking Kaguya's body with it, sending her nearly tumbling through the air when the bone lance snapped from her body. She righted herself before she hit the earth and took to hovering.
Casually, Naruto reached down to pull the shard of bone from his body, removing it out without issue and tossing it carelessly to the ground. Looking up to his opponent, he found her with a smile on her face.
"Now it's over, Naruto-kun," she told him, near gently if it hadn't been for the dangerous shimmer in her eyes.
Looking back down at the injury that he had sustained to his foot, Naruto found himself marvelling at the fact that it wasn't closing immediately, instead it stayed open, leaking blood on the ground. Turning to his fingers on the hand that had pull the bone shard, feeling a vague tingling on the tips, Naruto was able to see an unnatural redness on the tips.
That bone shard was obviously not normal, containing some corrosive element that was powerful enough to counteract his natural healing abilities. The corrosiveness wasn't powerful enough, however, as focusing some chakra to actively heal the affective areas before ejecting the invading chakra erased the effects completely.
Raising his eyes to meet Kaguya's, Naruto didn't blink as a barrage of enlarged fists, made of chakra, raced towards his face. He stepped towards them in fact.
The first of the punches slammed into an iron-like wall of air that Naruto erected, blocking them from impacting their target. The force of the hit surprised Naruto however, making him slide backwards as some of the kinetic energy, not entirely negated by his shield of air, made it into contact with him. Evidentially, bonding the Jūbi gave Kaguya more power than he'd first thought.
The shockwave alone, from the hit, shattered the earth to either side, creating small chasms that split Naruto's position from Kaguya's.
Steadying his ground, the white-haired male called forth a shield of pure chakra, which took the place of the wall of air, pulling if from nothing. When the next of the fists came a millisecond later, Naruto was ready and was able to hold his ground under the assault, Naruto's chakra being several magnitudes harder than the strongest that he could make air.
The earth around the two was torn apart, each punch that collided with Naruto's shield sent dirt spraying away from the point of impact. The only reason that Naruto was able to remain standing, purely due to a lack of footing, was because he was also holding the ground together with his control over earth, giving him a platform.
Kaguya proved she wasn't a brute, however, and that she had some flexibility in her attacks, steering some of her barrages to strike Naruto from the sides and above.
Her opponent was fast to react, bending and extending his shield so that it covered, not only the new angles that Kaguya was attacking from, but also his rear. By the time his other sides were pressed, Naruto had completely encased himself within a barrier of chakra.
"Can't you feel it, Naruto?" Kaguya questioned from her position outside of the shield. "My chakra wishes to join with me once more.
Naruto could feel it, the chakra of all the bijū gathering outside of the massive dome that he had erected to contain both himself and his mother's chakra. Where it had first been one, all of them were now here, pulled through the sealing arrays that he had placed around his island, though they weren't designed to withstand this kind of assault. The bijū were constantly pressing on his chakra barricade.
Naruto was confident that he could hold them out, so long as he managed to finish this before Kaguya began to focus his dome. It wouldn't be able to withstand the kind of punishment that she could deal out for long if his attention was split.
Naruto's eyes then caught an opening, and he seized it. A lance of chakra burst forth from his shield, extending further and further through the barrage of chakra fists that Kaguya was sending in the opposite direction. It kept growing, lengthening, until it buried itself in the throat of the chakra being standing in its path.
The tip of the lance suddenly widened into a large axe-head that sliced straight through the neck of Kaguya, lopping off her head.
What Naruto was hoping for happened, the fists of chakra that had been continuously pounding in his defences faltered for a moment. It was a moment that Naruto used to escape from his pinned position, his encompassing shield expanding outward and crushing through the unfocused fist-like constructs.
That was the extent of Naruto's break as Kaguya's dismembered head dissolved into a dark blue, near purple, cloud. The cloud of chakra then flowed back up to Kaguya's neck before reforming back to her head, complete with an enraged expression and bulging veins around her active Byakugan.
Black flames spewed forth in a large wall from her central eye, controlled and precise, it moved with incredible accuracy toward Naruto, barely deviating from its target. Naruto was able to easily recognise them as the same fire used with the Sharingan's Amaterasu technique. So Kaguya's central eye did have, at least some of, the abilities of the Sharingan.
Despite this, Naruto knew a counter.
"Amaterasu," Naruto called, swiping his hand in front of him, and creating a wall of white flames. Quickly, it became apparent that the brighter of the two fires was the stronger, as the flames of Star Release should be, Naruto knew.
However, as Kaguya's flames were swallowed by Naruto's own, he quickly realised that the woman was no longer in front of him, nor was she anywhere around him. Panicking, Naruto pushed his senses out further, fearing that his mother's chakra had somehow managed to slip outside the barrier without him noticing, but she still wasn't there. Naruto couldn't find her chakra signature anywhere.
The bijū's chakra was at the edge of his large shield, all nine of them, as mists of heavily concentrated chakra. None of them were pushing against Naruto's dome at Kaguya's will, however. In fact, they seemed to be settling, and the white haired man could feel them reconstructing back into their chosen forms.
That was good. When this was over, he'd be able to take them all back to the island and not have to worry about anyone using them again.
The feeling of cold air on the back of his neck had Naruto ducking down just in time to feel a pair of hands swipe through where his head had just been. Twisting in his crouched position, the white haired man turned quickly enough to witness Kaguya, her upper body leaning out of a black portal, breathe out a stream of white fire directly into his face.
At this close range, it was impossible to dodge, so Naruto wrapped himself in a protective cocoon of his own chakra, warding off the lethal heat of the fire.
'That fire seemed incredibly similar to my own Amaterasu flames,' Naruto thought to himself while encased in his chakra. He hadn't known that his mother had ever been able to produce such flames when she was alive. It must have been something her chakra picked up when it combined with the Jūbi.
Gathering his chakra at his centre, charging it with Lightning, Wind and Yang chakra, Naruto held it for only a moment before releasing it in a pulse that blew through his own shield. The pulse was strong enough, however, to also push back the flames, and send Kaguya back several meters, knocking her out of her mode of transportation.
The ground below Naruto, and around for hundreds of metres, was molten, the heat of Kaguya's fire intense to melt the earth. It forced Naruto to also hover above the earth, while also keeping the heat away from his feet, lest they be burned
Moving with the momentum he had gathered by interrupting Kaguya's attack, Naruto lifted a hand, gesturing as a wave of lava rose from behind the form of his mother's chakra, eager to engulf her. With her byakugan activated, Kaguya saw this immediately, swiping a hand behind her, shrouded in a large glove of chakra, to dispel the wave of lava as it was created.
She did the same thing when Naruto called another wave to attack her from the front, her other hand covered in the same construct. Said constructs grew and expanded as Naruto manipulated the lava to envelope Kaguya, trapping her in a sphere of melted earth.
Acting with speed, knowing that he didn't have long before his mother's chakra broke free, Naruto sucked the heat from the sphere, causing the lava to harden into a volcanic rock. In contrast to the environment, Naruto forced ice, of unnatural strength and durability, to grow quickly around the prison, surrounding it.
Creating a large lance of chakra into his hand again, Naruto thrust it forward into the shell he had formed around his mother's chakra, puncturing the hard exterior and pushing through until it was well within the interior.
There were two definite ways to defeat a being of chakra.
The first, while not truly destroying chakra, made it so that it wouldn't bother you again, and that was to do what Naruto's mother had done and attempt to subdue the controlling will. This path had a flaw in that you could never truly destroy the original will, it would always be lurking within that consumed chakra, ready to take control once more. It was part of the reason that Kaguya was able to call the bijū to her, they knew that their 'progenitor', now being apart of Kaguya, was calling them. Naruto wasn't willing to allow any sort of chance that this would happen, and so wasn't will to dominate his mother's chakra.
The second was to simple make the chakra run out. As a being of chakra, there would always be a risk of using too much of yourself to the point that you couldn't regenerate fast enough to make up what you lost. It was that simple, and Naruto had always been a fan of simple.
The easiest way make a chakra being lose all of itself was to have it attack relentlessly, it would eventually run out of chakra and dissipate. That was only if the being was stupid, which Kaguya was decisively not. The next best option was to constantly make it reform itself over and over again, scattering some of it with each destruction of its form.
They were the two definite ways that Naruto knew of, a far less reliable way was to use a force multiple times stronger than the chakra that was being destroyed. Naturally, with Kaguya as one of the strongest beings in the Elemental Nations, the kind of power needed for something like that would most likely also destroy the world.
In this serious of a situation, Naruto wasn't willing to bet his chances of victory on a theory, especially not such a destructive one, not unless there was no other option. So he went with the second option.
With a mental command, the tip of Naruto's lance changed into incredibly potent Explosion Chakra, which ignited into light and heat at another command a moment later. The force of the explosion smashed through both layers of the prison over Kaguya, sending shrapnel flying in all directions for kilometres, a few reaching the dome that Naruto still had erected over the battlefield.
The dust and smoke cleared quickly, revealing a landscape, cratered once more and missing Kaguya. Naruto wasn't willing to trust his eyes on this matter, however, even if his mother's chakra hadn't managed to discover a way to teleport through strange doorways.
His senses told Naruto what his eyes didn't, but they quickly caught up as a body shimmered into existence some metres away from him, his mother's chakra reforming a physical body.
Kaguya didn't focus on Naruto immediately, instead choosing to study a small ball of orange chakra that sat in the palm of her hand. The white haired narrowed his eyes at the orb before frowning, a sense of unease rippling through him. That was Explosion Release chakra, how was his mother keeping it contained when she couldn't produce it?
As if she could read his mind, Kaguya turned her head to face Naruto with a menacing smile. The small of orb of Explosion Release suddenly expanded multiple times to the size of a large cart, a second it was sudden flying in Naruto's direction.
Despite the growing feeling of dread in Naruto's stomach, the large ball of Explosion Release wasn't the cause. He dealt with that simply, a combination of Lightning, Wind and Yin chakra, all combining into Implosion Release, the direct counter to Explosion Release.
In between Kaguya's attack and its target, a large sphere, pale orange in colour, sprung into existence, mirroring the size of the other attack. The second sphere had barely materialised before it collided with the first.
As the name suggested, Implosion Release generate implosions, and was perfect for cancelling out the effects of Explosion Release, though that also worked vice versa. The deciding factor when these two forces met was the amount of chakra pushed into either, the one with the most always winning, but the force of the winning attack was always diminished by the strength of the other.
In this case, Naruto's attack was stronger, an implosion occurring when the two spheres met that kicked up some lava, but didn't do much more despite his attack's size.
Kaguya didn't move from her position on the other side of the lava field, a seemingly content smile on her features that only encouraged the feeling that was settling in Naruto's gut.
"You're copying me, aren't you," Naruto said suddenly, what was occurring suddenly clicking in his mind. His mother had never had the ability to copy entire types of chakras with a mere look, so it then fell to the most recent change to be the culprit, which was her joining to the Jūbi and her most recent addition. "With that new eye of yours."
Kaguya didn't answer, but the slight widening of the smile on her face told Naruto what he needed to know.
A quick thought to the barrier that he was still maintaining around himself and Kaguya told Naruto that the time for holding back was over.
With the chakra of the bijū constantly wishing to join back with their progenitor, unwillingly, it made Naruto's fight against his mother's chakra difficult due to wishing to avoid taking the fight anywhere near the walls of the dome. It was better to be safe then have a lapse in concentration to allow the bijū to reform into one.
By keeping the fight localised to the centre of his containment dome, it gave Naruto some buffer room to reapply his shield should it break.
With her ability to copy his chakra natures, however, it meant that he could no longer take part in a drawn out battle. Kaguya would only grow stronger as she gained access to different natures. He needed to step, and he couldn't do that if he had to worry about his positioning.
A swiping motion in front of him, and a thought, saw that barrier fold outward while enlarging and curling around. Kaguya only had time to narrow her eyes before Naruto's move was complete, and the chakra of all of the bijū was suddenly contained within a large sphere of his own chakra. The container then shifted itself until it was safely away from Kaguya and behind the white haired man.
Moving his nervousness about his mother's newest ability to one side, Naruto gave her a cold look.
"I hope you learn quickly," He told the chakra being.
From Kaguya's side, a wall of lava rose from beneath her, faster than even the quickest of shinobi could have reacted, and collided directly into her form, launching her sideways.
Her senses only managed to register Naruto suddenly in her flight path a moment before he was within arms-reach. Arm outstretched, finger pointed towards her body in mid-flight, to the ordinary eye, it seemed harmless, but Kaguya could see the chakra gathered beneath that pointing finger.
Naruto's finger touched the hardened exterior of Kaguya's body, with Naruto releasing the build-up of chakra in that same finger, causing an explosive shockwave that rippled outward, ruffling the man's clothes but applying such extreme force to Kaguya's body that it shattered.
In the direction of Naruto's finger, the terrain was flattened in a wide arc. Trees destroyed, hills smoothed over and earth upturned.
Kaguya's form recollected quickly, appearing before Naruto with a sword of ice and in the middle of swinging it at his head. Naruto paid Kaguya's use of Ice Release only the barest of his attention, halting the sword centimetres from his neck by condensing the air between it and its target.
Kaguya heard the sound of rock crumbling in the distance, while her senses showed a stream of Naruto's chakra leading off into the distance behind him, towards a small mountain, but she had no more time to ponder what he was up to, as gale-force winds suddenly began to batter her position.
She let her ice weapon dematerialise as the force of the wind pushed her backwards, allowing Naruto to think he had the upper-hand while she made sure that what he was using was merely Wind Chakra and not another advance nature. The moment Kaguya was certain, she began to push her own influence into Naruto's attack, attempting to manipulate the winds against him.
A sudden movement from beneath her had Kaguya quickly shifting her position to the side as a large shard of crystal burst through from the still molten earth. Another crystal sprouted beneath her new position and rapidly grew, forcing her to move again, upward this time. Several more followed the lead of the first two, each one larger in order to reach her new height, until Kaguya began to flying simply to out manoeuvre the attacks.
An abrupt pause in the creation of the crystals allowed her to refocus on Naruto, who hadn't moved from his position hovering above the field of lava. Her gaze only stayed on Naruto for a moment as Kaguya's attention was captured by a large mountain, floating above the earth, several kilometres behind him.
No sooner had she seen it than a thunderous boom, not dissimilar to an earthquake, sounded but unlike an earthquake, there was no shaking of the earth. The source of the noise made itself known a moment later, the floating mountain behind Naruto suddenly splitting itself into hundreds, possibly thousands, of pieces, each one no bigger than a pea on the horizon.
Kaguya was astute enough to know that the fragments of that mountain, up close, were most likely the size of houses. With a gesture towards her, Naruto sent the shattered mountain at her, each piece speeding through the air with her as its target.
Knowing that she couldn't dodge, Naruto would be able to redirect each projectile instantly, Kaguya instead tried to subvert his control of the attack. She sent out her own chakra and tried to wrest control of the earth from him. She made a few pieces wobble, one even shifted a metre of course, all before Naruto's control clamped down and what little influence she had gained was ripped away.
That avenue of counteracting out, Kaguya tried simply destroying the incoming projectiles by utilizing her control over the forces that governed the earth. Hand out, she released a wave of force at the pieces of the mountain, slowing all of them to some degree, but only for a second as Naruto, who remained stationary, despite being in her attack's path, forced his projectiles to fly faster.
Unwilling to be forced to reconstruct herself again, Kaguya increased the power in her own attack, slowing the chunks of rock and dirt and causing some sections to break off, flying backwards towards Naruto. Eyes narrowing and smelling a potential victory against him, Kaguya pushed more of her chakra into the gravitational wave, reducing the speed of the earthen projectiles further and causing more of them to fragment.
That was when Naruto countered her counter. Just as it looked like she might have stopped his attack, the shattered pieces of mountain began pulling themselves together. Despite her actions doing the opposite, chunks of earth began floating unnaturally towards each other despite gravity's influence.
Pushing even more power against Naruto's, Kaguya gritted her teeth when, despite seeming to work initially, pushing the pieces of Naruto's attack apart, the mountain's fragments began to pull themselves together and began moving in her direction again.
A part of her wanted to merely push more of her being into the attack, to keep pushing her ungrateful child and not concede that he had bested her again. Another, more logical, part whispered that it was because Naruto was moving the earth itself that he won, while she was trying to influence it. A losing battle if ever there was one for her side, but only because he had the earth. If she had the earth then it would be different, then she would be victorious and this would be over. Yes, that's what would happen.
As she released her attack, reluctantly allowing Naruto's to crush her physical form, Kaguya's dark thoughts were stopped by the whispers of her still faithful son. If she'd had a mouth, Kaguya would have smiled, but as it was, she merely sent him feelings of thankfulness.
The quick way with which his mother reformed herself, after pulling her chakra from the highly cratered earth, the results of his attack, worried Naruto. There was no angry words or cold looks, she merely built her body back up once more before disappearing into one of her portals, transporting herself away.
The silence of the battlefield began to put Naruto on edge, the waiting sending tingles up his arms as he kept his senses alert, waiting for his mother to show herself.
As the seconds ticked by into minutes, Naruto realised that he faced the very real possibility that his mother's chakra may have simply decided to remain wherever she had transported herself, which meant that he would have to go after her if he wished to stop her.
It was a worst case scenario because he couldn't wait for Kaguya to show herself, not when she had unknown abilities at her disposal. He would be going in without knowledge of his surroundings or full knowledge of his mother's capabilities, and that was even if he could reach her. Naruto had no idea where she was and it would take time, even with the powers at his disposal, to check every square-inch of the planet, above and below ground.
The appearance of a growing source of chakra off to his side had Naruto swivelling his head to face it. A distortion of the air began before space seemed to come apart, revealing a dark void, Kaguya's form of transporting herself.
But what came out of it first didn't have white hair.
Instead, Naruto found himself looking to the terrified face of his grandson. Kōji looked like he had only just woken up, but his body was frozen in fear, arms stuck to his sides. As he completely came through the portal, that expression on the boy's face didn't change, even when he saw his grandfather, unable to recognise Naruto's face without the illusions.
Kōji then seemed to stop breathing as Kaguya, walking out of her portal behind him, one hand on his shoulder, brushed his forehead with the other. The portal closed as she exited, space flexing back into place.
"Naruto," Kaguya cooed, as she continued to stroke Kōji's hair. "You didn't tell me that I had a great-grandchild, or a grandchild for that matter." Despite being the boy being the subject of the words, Kaguya kept her eyes locked with Naruto. Her hand on Kōji's shoulder suddenly travelled to wrap around his throat. "He looks so fragile, does-"
Kaguya only blinked once as she spoke, but it was in that split-moment that Naruto moved. When she opened her eyes, her hostage was gone, and her corporal form was suddenly split into hundreds' of thousands' of individual particles of chakra.
So fast was his movement that her Rinne-Sharingan wasn't even able to copy the chakra nature that he was using. But as annoying as that was, it didn't matter anymore. Focusing herself, Kaguya focused on the floating sphere hovering behind her traitorous son.
Naruto's chakra quickly enveloped his grandchild in a protective cocoon the moment he was away from Kaguya's clutches, a barrier that would defend but also diagnose the boy for any injuries that the boy's great-grandmother may have inflicted.
Thankfully, nothing was wrong physically besides a seal placed on the boy's back. It was a locator seal, and something that Naruto passed off as something that Minato placed. It hadn't been there when Naruto had last looked over his grandson, which meant it wasn't done by Orochimaru from when Kōji had been in the man's clutches, and being placed by Kaguya, if she knew how, didn't make any feasible sense. Naruto then focused on his grandchild's reaction to what was happening.
His eyes were wide, twitching in their sockets as Kōji tried to take in all that was happening around him. Pupils were also slightly dilated, along with his heartbeat slowly increasing meant that his grandchild wasn't taking his sudden relocation well.
As it became apparent that grandson wasn't in any immediate danger, Naruto allowed his attention to turn back to Kaguya, only to curse viciously as he became aware of what she had done.
Eyes moving over to the sphere that had contained the bijū, keyword being had,Naruto was able to witness the last of their chakra drain into one of Kaguya's portals, which had appeared inside of the protective sphere, to the sound of said person's laughter.
"It's been so long, Naruto-kun, but you still haven't truly changed," the chakra being called as she backed into a tear in space that sprung up behind her. "So easily focused on one task that you forget about the other." The end of the taunt signalled Kaguya turning around and walking into her portal, going to who knows where.
Time, as Kaguya's body began to cross the threshold of the portal, started to slow, and Naruto's mind ran through the multiple actions he could take.
He could follow her, chase her through the portal, and fight Kaguya on her terms, something that was highly undesirable. Doing so would leave Kōji unprotected, by himself and alone, when he was already afraid, that was unacceptable.
The alternative was to let Kaguya go and allow her to absorb the bijū's chakra uncontested and unopposed. This was also unacceptable, as it meant he was essentially giving up on the bijū, something that he wouldn't do.
Seeing the amused gleam in her eyes, Naruto knew that Kaguya also knew this. Perhaps it wasn't intentional, perhaps it was planned, but she knew that he was forced to choose and that it played perfectly into her plans.
Starring into those pale eyes, incredibly similar to his own, Naruto felt the formation of a third option start. A glance back at his grandchild, his frightened face and the poor way in which he was attempting to hide it, Naruto mentally apologised to Minato and Kushina. The two would tear him apart after this, and he would deserve every bit of it.
Dropping down to wrap one arm around Kōji's lower back, and clamping down when the boy tried to struggle out of his grip.
"I'm sorry, Kōji," he told the boy, making him freeze at the sound of his name. He must have also recognised his voice, as Kōji turned with wide eyes rather than narrowed ones.
"Jiji?" He questioned, confirming that he had recognised his grandfather's voice. Naruto smiled softly.
"But I'm going to need to take you with me for a bit," he continued. Done talking, Naruto stood back up and, with eyes glowing orange, charged for Kaguya's closing portal. The poor boy didn't get the chance to protest.
His grip on Kōji allowed Naruto to pull his grandchild with him instead of dragging him, and keep a tight hold. He had no idea what would be waiting for them on the other side of this tear in space, and getting separated from Kōji for even a second could mean the difference between life and death.
With Swift chakra powering his movements, and Kaguya having already fully moved through, Naruto leapt into the distortion just as it began to close, hoping that he wasn't making a mistake.
He felt a brief moment of weightlessness, something that he would have only just felt becoming undeniably real through his use of Swift Release to increase his perception of his surroundings. Still, it was over quickly, and Naruto found himself and his grandson deposited onto a world frozen over in ice.
The difference in temperature was noticeable immediately, something that was made worse by the cold winds that began to batter them, and while the small shroud of chakra that he was producing made Naruto immune, Kōji had no such protection. The boy's arms quickly covered his body, wrapping around their opposite shoulder to attempt to trap some heat close to his body.
Realising the real danger of his grandson suffering hypothermia, Naruto used his ability to manipulate the air to form a protective shell around himself and Kōji, heating it slightly to ward of the chill of the environment. This garnered a sigh of relief from the blond boy as he was placed on the ground.
"Are you alright, Kōji?" Naruto questioned. He didn't turn to look at his grandson, too busy taking in his surroundings, searching for his mother's chakra. She could be anywhere, and Naruto knew no place in Elemental Nations that had this kind of terrain, giving him no sense of reference as to where they were.
"Jiji? Is that you?" Kōji questioned again as his body revelled in the heated air, now sure that the person that he was speaking to was his grandfather. "Why do you look so weird?"
"I'll explain another time Kōji," Naruto told his grandson before repeating his own question. "Are you alright? You aren't feeling anything strange?" Personally, Naruto felt fine, but his body was far more resistant and resilient than that of Kōji's. What didn't affect him could have major repercussions for his grandson.
"Yeah, I'm okay," Kōji finally answered as he began to take in the landscape. Naruto could hear the boy swallow thickly as he realised the situation he was in. "Jiji, what's going on?"
Naruto didn't answer, as he wasn't entirely sure. He thought that by following Kaguya through the portal that he'd appear right behind her, but obviously, what he saw as a method of transportation obviously had some other uses.
They weren't behind her, which meant that Kaguya had the ability to decide where her portals opened and closed as well as detect who entered them, even if she wasn't using them at the time. That meant that they could be anywhere.
Naruto could feel Kaguya's presence all around them. It wasn't as if she was standing right beside them, but like it was he could hear her whispering in a crowded marketplace. She was background noise. That was disturbing as it meant that she knew they were here, yet she was doing nothing to them.
Naruto frowned. They had to get back. Kaguya wasn't here and they had no path to her directly. He also wanted to get Kōji back to Minato, the boy was a weakness for Kaguya to exploit in a fight, and one that she would have no qualms about taking advantage of if her earlier actions were any indication.
The question now was how did they get home? Simply exploring would taking far too long.
They need a link, some way to get back to somewhere that Naruto knew as a point of reference to then get to Konoha.
Almost by themselves, Naruto's eyes travelled to the back of his hand.
The seal he had placed on Gyūki's host, it was still active. It hadn't been made to only monitor but also to track the man, a smaller version of the seal that Kōji had on yet many times more powerful. It was possible for him to use Kōji's seal instead, but it would take a bit longer to use it than his own one due to Minato's chakra powering the former and his, Naruto's, doing the same to latter.
Tracing one's own chakra was far easier than doing the same to someone else's, especially when in the current situation. Locator seals were tricky things to set up, and the connection between two points was hard to hijack, which was what Naruto was trying to do.
He didn't have time to waste doing so to Kōji's seal.
Naruto had made the one on Gyūki's host to track the man wherever he went; high into the atmosphere, deep into the crust of the earth, nothing would stop the seal from relaying the man's position.
Channelling chakra through his hand and to the seal, Naruto found himself frowning as nothing happened. There should have been the sensation of an extension of his body appearing from nothing, similar to another arm that would pull him in the direction the seal was located in.
But there was no sort of feeling, which meant that the seal on his hand couldn't connect to the seal he had placed on Gyūki's host. This was because either the seal had been destroyed, unlikely considering how the host hadn't been dead for two hours, or that a barrier was surrounding the host.
Naruto didn't bother considering distance as a factor, as his seal would have been able to track the body of Gyūki's host from one side of the world to another.
Eying the space around him, Naruto was leaning towards the latter of the two possibilities being correct. Kōji and he were both surrounded by chakra, Kaguya's chakra, which could be interfering with his seal and stopping it from connecting.
Stretching his chakra out to find where Kaguya's barrier ended, Naruto motioned for his grandson to stand close to him, which Kōji did without a word, pulling away from the edge of the cliff the two were perched on.
"What are you doing, Jiji?" Kōji asked hesitantly, noticing the fact that his grandfather's eyes were closed yet they had been standing still for over a minute.
"Getting us out of here, Kōji," Naruto replied, not allowing his irritation to show. Already it had far exceeded the time that he had thought it would take to find the edges of Kaguya's barrier. He could sense her chakra all around him, infesting the air, so there must be a source, either Kaguya herself or some kind of seals keeping the barrier up.
Almost another two minutes later, Naruto finally found an edge of the barrier, directly above him. Having found the edge, Naruto pulled his chakra back from the other directions it had been extending and began to focus it directly upwards, slamming it into the barrier.
Naruto could feel the barrier bend and flex under his assault, but he could also feel it strengthening, reinforcing itself. Realising he needed to get out quickly if he wanted to stop Kaguya, Naruto gathered Kōji into his arms, garnering a yell of surprise from the boy, before bending at the knees and launching himself straight into the air.
The light bubble of chakra that Naruto had created earlier hardened as the pressure under the pressure of the winds that raced by them. They were barely airborne for a second when Naruto's shield smashed into the barrier and burst through it.
It was important to note that, while Kaguya did travel to different dimensions that were created and controlled by her through her use of Amenominaka (Heavenly Governing Inside), they were not whole dimensions. They were planets trapped inside bubbles of existence, pressing firmly against each other on the outer edges of their parent dimension, the dimension that housed the Elemental Nations.
The dimensional walls, the barrier that Naruto had detected surrounding himself and Kōji, was what allowed Kaguya control of each of her dimensions but also protected them from the crushing forces of entire existences pressing against one another.
When Naruto broke through said barrier, exiting the dimension he was just in, he immediately came under assault from those forces and quickly poured more chakra into the shield around himself and his grandson. His reactions and reflexes, along with the strength of his chakra, were the only think that saved himself and Kōji from being atomised between existences.
But even so, Naruto instantaneously realised that he was in trouble. The pressure he could feel was all encompassing and like nothing he had ever felt before. With gritted teeth, enough chakra to drain kages by the second was poured into his shield to keep it reinforced, more chakra than Naruto had used in a long time.
A quick burst of chakra, enough for two kage, made its way to the back of his palm as he attempted to establish a connection from the seal on his person, to the one planted on Gyūki's dead host. Much like before, nothing happened. Naruto refrained from cursing, if only because it would scare Kōji, who was currently unable to see his hand waving in front of his face and was beginning to realise that something wasn't right.
Naruto sent another burst of chakra to the seal, roughly the size of half a dozen kage, only for the same thing to happen. Releasing a low growl of frustration, he shunted an even larger portion of his chakra to the seal, a quantity enough to match Kurama's own power three times over. A slight flicking on the back of his hand gave Naruto hope and pushing the same amount of chakra as Kurama four times over elicited the seal lighting up on the back of his palm.
With the connection established, Naruto could feel a connection to the area that Gyūki's former host was currently in. Now working on getting himself and Kōji there, Naruto focused his attention onto the area just in front of him, his eyes turned black with an ember at the centre, as a flame sparked into existence.
Using his shadow, cast by the light of the flame, Naruto fell back, pulling Kōji with him, and vanished into the shadow on his back. Instantaneously, the remnants of his shield, and all that remained inside, was obliterated between dimensions
Stumbling into a room from a shadowed corner, Naruto breathed a sigh of relief at being out of wherever he had managed to transport himself and Kōji, something that was echoed by his grandson's slight relaxation in his arms. Naruto didn't know where he had just been, but he was in no hurry to get back there, it had pushed him further than anything had in a long time.
Focusing back on the present, Naruto registered a new pressure that pushed against him from all sides, like thousands of needles pushing against the surface of his skin.
It was an illusion, Naruto quickly realised, but a passive one. Despite that fact, it was incredibly powerful, especially if Naruto could feel it trying to affect him. Creating another bubble around him, realising that Kōji would be affected by the illusion, Naruto turned his attention to his grandson only to nearly recoil at the sight of the Rinnegan in the boy's eyesockets.
They were there for only a moment before Kōji blinked and they were gone, replaced by eyes the same colour as Kushina's.
"Jiji?" The boy asked blearily, as he was waking up from a deep sleep.
"Yes, Kōji," Naruto answered absentmindedly, still dwelling on what he saw. "We'll be back in Konoha soon."
Realising that something had happened, and that it most likely had to do with that powerful genjutsu he could feel pressing against the bubble around himself and his grandson, Naruto turned his attention to the empty room around them.
Well, that wasn't entirely true. There was someone here, but they were dead.
On a gurney in the middle of the room lay a body that Naruto recognised as Gyūki's former host, the dark-skinned man with the unsual sword-style. His chakra coils had ruptured when Gyūki had been pulled from them. That meant they were either in a hospital or a morgue, though judging by the many monitors and screens in the room, along with the vague smell of disinfectant, it was the former.
Turning back to room itself, Naruto blurred to the door, using Swift Release to augment his movements. He need to get Kōji back to Konoha and his parents, Kaguya could have done many things during the time that he had been transported by her technique. Naruto needed to assess the damage.
Moving through deserted hallways faster than the human eye could track, Naruto found himself freezing as he exited the hospital. As he had raced through the corridors, the horned man had wondered where the staff, visitors or patients had been. He no longer needed to wonder.
Growing around Kumogakure, bursting from the ground and crawling over walls, tree roots spanned the village. Hanging from those tree roots were thousands of coccoons, each one easily the size of a person. From that observation alone, it didn't take long to guess where the citizens of Kumo were.
"Are there people in there?" Kōji questioned with wide eyes, managing to put the pieces before him together. Naruto didn't answer, his eyes were locked on what was shining behind them, casting the light of a second sun on the Elemental Nations.
A massive Jūbi-eye hung in the air.
Kōji needed to be put somewhere safe, that was the first thing on Naruto's mind as the situation sunk in. He wouldn't be able to face Kaguya if he had to worry about his grandson, it was inviting trouble that he couldn't deal with.
Discerning that the illusion was traveling on the light reflected off the moon, Naruto was quick to realise that one could be safe from it if they were able to move far enough underground. Of course, there was then the massive tree roots to contend with but they seemed fairly passive, moving to snag those already under the illusion's thrall rather than seek out those who weren't.
It had only take moments to travel to Konoha, the only place that Kōji would have felt remotely safe. The fate of hidden village of the Land of Fire was just as bad as Kumo, and most likely the rest of the world, with vines climbing up buildings and stringing up the population in cocoons.
Creating a large earthen dome around Minato's house, with only the smallest of openings to allow for fresh air, and covering each of the windows was easy, along with grabbing some things of food for Kōji. Convincing the boy that he had to leave wasn't as quickly accomplished, not because Kōji was scared, he was in too much shock for that to happen yet, but because he wanted to help his grandfather.
Eventually, Naruto managed to convince the boy that he needed to say at the shelter, protected from the illusion that was covering the world.
With that done, Naruto turned his mind to searching for his mother's chakra, which must be in the Elemental Nations somewhere for such things to happen to the world. His first destination was the area where she had been released into the world.
Now gazing at what appeared to be a massive plant, though Naruto hesitated to call it that, still some kilometres from the borders of the Land of Rain, he realised that he had managed to get lucky. If Kaguya wasn't here, she wouldn't be anywhere. But even if she wasn't, Naruto guessed that this thing had some purpose, and destroying it may draw out his target.
As it turned out, Naruto had no need to do anything to lure Kaguya out, she was waiting at the very base of the massive tree-like thing. Immediately, Naruto noticed a certain unnatural glow around his collection of his mother's chakra, a subtle aura that covered its entire body.
"Naruto," Kaguya greeted, a calm smile on her face. "It's over." Her voice was different as well, it carried a deep undertone, something pickled against Naruto's eardrums, though he didn't let it show.
Naruto said nothing. She'd obviously absorbed the bijū into herself. There was no hope for them now, as anything that could have resembled the consciousness that they had all possessed, Kaguya would have destroyed as she took their chakra. Even if she hadn't, the minds of the bijū would have then withered away into nothingness without their chakra.
Naruto spared a moment to mentally apologise to the bijū, for failing them completely, especially to Kokuō and Chōmei, both of whom he hadn't managed to find until their final moments.
Around them, what was once a field of lava had cooled and hardened, leaving only a hard rock that protected the kind of rich soil that farmers would murder for. Perhaps that was a reason why Kaguya chose to grow her plant-thing in the area.
"Don't despair, Naruto," the chakra being told him, a serene voice being used despite the fact that they had both been fighting to the death no more than two hours ago. "I knew you'd appear eventual when you broke from one of my realms."
"What is this, what have you done?" Naruto questioned, his tone demanding. Kaguya merely smiled at him, like Naruto was a child demanding answers to problems that he didn't truly comprehend.
"I'm taking what is rightfully mine," she told him, as if it was obvious. "Even now, all the pathetic people who use my chakra for their own selfish desires are having it drained from their bodies."
Millions of people would die, Naruto quickly realised. Millions could already be dead depending their reserves of chakra, the civilians being the most vulnerable.
Unbidden, his eyes fell on the massive plant-like thing behind Kaguya. It had to be related to this somehow, if he destroyed it then perhaps the illusion that covered the world would fall. It was the source of the chakra that was bouncing off of the moon.
"You think that destroying my God Tree will free the world from my control?" Kaguya questioned amusedly. "I could create another in moments, and even if that did fail I merely have to aim my Rinne-Sharingan towards the sky and the world is in my grip once more." A small chuckle broke through Kaguya's lips. "It truly is over, Naruto. Why don't you accept that?" Naruto's eyes hardened.
"I never did like to listen," he told her coldly, but Kaguya's amused expression didn't falter.
Naruto closed his eyes and evened out his breathing, something that Kaguya allowed. She didn't see anything that he could do that could stop her, the world was in her palm, as it should be. Chakra flowed through the roots of the God Tree and into her, making her stronger than she had ever been before, stronger than even the Jūbi had been before it had been split. How could one person fight against the entire world and more?
Naruto answered that without speaking. Chakra that seemed to appear from nowhere began to flow into her traitorous son, a never ending stream flowing into a bottomless pit. Naruto's eyes opened to show, not the pure white of the Byakugan but, a pure gold colour. Around him, a palpable aura appeared as his strength grew with each passing second.
This all happened in moments.
"But at least," Naruto spoke, continuing his words from earlier, "I don't have your arrogance." With that, Naruto brought his hands together in an almost prayer-like motion. "Senpō: Chiton: Kakou no Mayakashi Kami (Sage Art: Land Release: Fall of the Fake God)."
In a smooth movement, Naruto pulled his hands apart. The landscape around him remained the same, as did the earth around Kaguya, but as self-proclaimed god turned its gaze towards the sky, the feeling of something interfering with her jutsu alerting her to a change. With that movement, the outcome of Naruto's actions became immediately apparent.
Mirroring Naruto's hands, the moon had split itself in two halves, and thereby cancelling the effect of the Infinite Tsukuyomi. There had been no sound to accompany such a thing, the moon had separated soundlessly and, even now, was drifting apart without a groan of protest.
When Kaguya finally shook herself from the stupor she found herself in, and raised her jaw from its unconsciously lowered position, it was to the sound of Naruto speaking.
"You may have influence over the earth," Naruto spoke, "But only I have control of it, and despite being many thousands of years since it had been a part of the whole, the moon is still earth."
Kaguya didn't respond, merely stared at Naruto with a blank expression. That had lasted for a moment before the conscious mass of his mother's chakra lashed out with fury, a wordless scream that was accompanied by the world around Naruto suddenly turning against him.
The ground beneath his feet became upturned as it shifted dramatically, breaking into chunks as it did so. The wind howled with Kaguya as it picked up speed rapidly, accompanied by clashes of lightning, and Naruto suddenly found ice crawling up his ankles.
This wasn't just limited to the area around Naruto, the entire landscape, for kilometres in any direction suddenly became violent to anything even remotely considered alive. An ordinary person may have found themself frozen in awe and fear at the destruction around them, but Naruto wasn't ordinary by any stretch of the word.
Thanks to the enhancement to his chakra, provided by his use of Nature chakra, it took less than a though to shattered the ice that attempt to trap him. From there, he quickly reminded Kaguya that she wasn't facing someone intimidated by sheer power.
Breaking through a wall of wind strong enough to pull rock off of cliff faces, which had formed between himself and Kaguya, Naruto held out a hand and allowed a transparent cube, with a small light at the centre, to grow outward from his palm.
It quickly expanded to an enormous size, even as it swallowed Kaguya, who came out of her rage enough to realise what happening.
Acting with her anger, the white haired woman called a burst of lightning from above. It came down in a massive pillar and struck the clear cube surrounding Kaguya before breaking through, connecting with one of her hands for only a moment as it was then redirected straight at Naruto.
Dropping his destroyed technique, Naruto barely moved as he made a large sheet of metal up from the earth to act as a shield and conduit for the lightning to route it into the ground. It held up for only a moment before the sheet of dull grey steel sudden became a bright red, right before the column of lightning tore through it.
But that second was all Naruto needed.
Appearing behind Kaguya through a quick use of Swift Release, Naruto planted a hand, the skin of it a rustic-brown, on her shoulder, even as she turned around.
From the point of contact, the rustic brown quickly began to spread from the point of contact between the two, crawling down Kaguya's shoulder and across her chest. But just as quickly as it began to spread, it began to recede, crawling back up the shoulder to where Naruto's hand touched Kaguya.
"Everything that you show me will only make me stronger," Kaguya hissed, bringing her own hands, covered in the same rustic glow as his own, up to place on his shoulders. Naruto felt her chakra attempt to invade his body. "And I will use every bit of it to extend your suffering to the end of time and beyond."
At the end of her words, a sudden large pressure began to push against Naruto's skin, not unlike the illusion he had just cancelled. It took shunting a significant portion of his chakra to fight off the new angle of intrusion. The source, Naruto was quick to deduce, was Kaguya's third eye, which seemed to slowly glow the longer he could feel the pressure on his skin, the tomoe in it spinning ominously.
Naruto gritted his teeth behind sealed lips, not allowing his opponent to see the effect it was having on him. The power behind it was staggering, to the point where Naruto knew that he would fall if something didn't change. He could feel Kaguya's chakra slowly begin to work its way into him as he found himself forced to fight on two different fronts, this was marked by a spreading of the rustic colour on her hands onto his body.
Kaguya's mouth split open into a grin.
"You can feel it, can't you?" She said, her grip on his shoulders becoming crushing. "You can feel my eye boring into yours, forcing you under my sway. My unlimited power against whatever feeble scraps that you've managed to pull together." Kaguya took a step forward, now pushing against Naruto on the physical level. "Your strength will fail soon, Naruto, surely even you can see that."
The only response Kaguya received was a grunt from Naruto before a sudden Pulse of force collided with her, Lightning, Wind and Yang chakra rolled together and expelled. Instead of merely knocking her back, however, it carried her on a wave of energy. Kaguya wasn't the only thing to be caught in the force, loose rock and dirt, lone trees that managed to survive the destruction of the area, anything that wasn't solidly connected to the earth beneath it.
Not even Kaguya's God Tree was safe, as the wave of power slammed into it with the might of multiple avalanches. It was pulled from its rooted position and began to list to one side under the kinetic energy passed onto it before, under gravity, it fell over completely, a cloud of dust erupting from its impact with the ground.
Naruto rubbed his shoulders as the degrading properties from Rust Release were purged from his body, the skin affected turning back to a healthy pink colour. His clothes were a different story, as the affected areas of his robes crumbled under his touch, turning to dust.
Kaguya's ability to use the Infinite Tsukuyomi was a problem. When projected via the moon, the focus was wider, which meant less pressure against Naruto himself, but when it came straight from Kaguya's eye, it was a different problem. It was, by far, the most powerful illusion that Naruto had ever faced, to the point where he wasn't sure he would have been able to resist at all had he not been utilizing Nature chakra.
While he didn't know its range, Naruto was will to bet that it was limited only to Kaguya's field of vision with her third eye. That meant that it was nearly impossible to fight against her using most methods.
Naruto did have an idea about how to circumvent it but he was loath to use, as the consequences for him, while not long lasting physically, would leave their mark mentally.
A massive amount of chakra suddenly pressing itself against his body alerted Naruto to Kaguya's approach. Turning to face the source, he found his enemy flying through the air on a collision course with him.
Keeping a portion of his chakra to defend his body from intrusion, Naruto gather the remainder, moulding it into Wind, Lightning and Earth chakras before combining it, using it to form a thin pane of glass in front of him, the edge angled towards Kaguya.
A thrust of hand sent it forward at speeds that would make any shinobi alter their route if they were in its path. Kaguya was no shinobi, however. Holding out her own hand in front of her, directly in the way of the pane, she met it head on.
Moments before impact, a black orb appeared in her palm that wasn't severed by the glass, nor did the dark sphere crack the glass attack. Instead, Naruto's Haton (Glass Release) technique was stalled appearing to stop in mid-air on contact. Kaguya didn't however, and twisted at the last moment moving around the sides of Naruto's glass blade, continuing moving towards him, leaving her orb to halt Naruto's glass attack.
Naruto grimaced at Kaguya's use of the shadowy orb. In his time alive, he'd attempted to combine all of the base chakra natures together, and had succeeded in creating the sphere that Kaguya had just used against him. Its uses were many, but most useful function was that it was able to disintegrate anything it touched, with only techniques powered with Nature charka being able to hold against it.
With a swipe of Kaguya's hand, Naruto felt a shift in the air beside him, quickly calling up a shield of wind to push against the approaching force, he braced himself. His impromptu barrier held up for a moment, but Naruto wasn't able to reinforce as quickly, nor as much, as he would have normally wanted, a part of his concentration dealing with the illusion that Kaguya was pushing to affect him.
As such, for the first time since Nagato caught him off guard, Naruto found himself flying under someone else's power. Tumbling head over heels for a few moments, it was suddenly stopped when Kaguya buried one of her dark orbs into his stomach. Thankfully, due having Nature chakra coursing through his system, the sphere didn't plough through his stomach, instead destroying the clothing he had in the area.
Recovering quickly as Kaguya paused, seemingly grew angry that the attack hadn't carved a hole in his gut, Naruto brought both of his hands up, charged with Explosion Release chakra to the point that they glowed orange, and clapped his hands together, with Kaguya's head in the middle.
The explosion of fire and smoke that occurred knocked Naruto away, and but he managed to bring himself to a stop, hovering in mid-air.
Moving quickly, hoping to keep Kaguya on the back foot, he summoned small particles of dirt and rock and rose them into the air with him. Applying force to these objects, and keeping them locked in a large orbit around the area, Naruto created a localized sandstorm that was far more vicious than anything nature could have created.
The small specks of sand reached the speeds seen in devastating hurricanes, making them able to wear away at the strongest of structures given enough time.
Kaguya didn't care about that however, as she expelled the sandstorm that had surrounded her with a pulse of force, using her ability to manipulate gravity to push everything around her. Naruto held his position in the air as he resisted gravity's influence.
That ended a moment later when a sudden, much more focused, pressure forced him downwards, signalled by Kaguya swiping one of her hands towards the ground. Naruto met trees before he did earth, his body snapping branches thick and thin but none of them leaving marks on his body. His impact with the ground was a different story, his body cratering the earth around him from the force of his landing. Naruto was able to feel multiple fractures and even a broken bone before they were healed.
Despite this collision, Naruto maintained enough awareness to realise that Kaguya was moving towards his position, charging through the air to his position. Around her fists, he spied massive constructs of chakra, similar to ones he'd seen her form earlier but far more powerful.
Moving the earth around him, Naruto sunk into the ground, allowing it to hide him from Kaguya's sight. In a rather predictable move, she kept up her charge towards his last known position, still able to sense Naruto beneath the earth and knowing that her attack would reach him. She expected it to.
What she didn't expect was the earth to open just as got within arm's reach of the ground, splitting into a large chasm that stretched for kilometres. Stopping at the mouth to new geological formation, Kaguya was able to see a warm light at the very bottom, one that lined the length of the chasm.
"Jiton: Sekiryoku (Magnet Release: Repulsion)."
Kaguya only had a moment to question how Naruto managed to get behind her before a sudden unseen force propelled her downward, sending her deep into the massive canyon. It was as she regained her equilibrium that she felt an increase in the heat around her.
"Yōton: Yomi Kangei (Lava Release: Hell's Welcome)."
The words of Naruto only just reached Kaguya as a massive hand, made of lava, rose from the chasm and gripped her before suddenly dropping back down into the depths of the earth. That was when the walls of the canyon slammed together, crushing Kaguya's form.
Naruto knew that Kaguya would eventually break free from his trap, it wasn't meant to hold anyway, merely delay her. He needed to think of a plan, some way to permanently defeat her. Simply throwing around chakra and hoping for the best would get him nowhere, especially considering that he was the one that was disadvantaged.
It was Kaguya's Rinne-Sharingan was that was the main problem, being able to not only copy his advanced chakra natures but also pressure him with that Infinite Tsukuyomi. He couldn't simply take out the eye considering that Kaguya was made up of chakra, the eye was merely a representation of the power. He'd be willing to use Shōton (Erase Release) if Kaguya wasn't able to copy it, her knowing it would mean she would be able to counter his own use of Shōton, and Naruto wasn't confident enough to be able to defeat her in one motion.
That was also the reason that he was trying to use Jinton (Swift Release) as sparingly as possible. If Kaguya copied how to use to its proper extend then it would be that much harder to defeat her. Konton (Soul Release) would have been an option if Kaguya had a soul but she didn't meaning it was useless and he'd just be giving her something incredibly deadly to use against him if he did bring it out.
The earth rumbled, and Naruto knew that Kaguya had escaped from binding technique. Preparing himself for her response, he tried to centre himself as well as he could.
When the area in front of him exploded in a shower of rock, dirt and bits of bark, Naruto responded by raising massive, slanting spires of crystal from the earth, forcefully ramming them into each other to pelt Kaguya with the fast moving shards.
Judging by the pressure that resumed its constant push against his entire body, she hadn't been fazed by the attack.
The earth directly around Naruto was pierced by massive tree roots that quickly wrapped themselves around him, beginning to squeeze him with a force that was strong enough to crush boulders. Quickly reinforcing his body with chakra, Naruto was able to withstand the force pressing against his body.
There was no time to free himself as more and more roots burst from the ground, each one wrapping around Naruto, settling to cover their fellows if they couldn't. Only Naruto's head was left uncovered by the time the roots stopped encasing him within them.
Hands placed themselves on the side of his face as the push of the Infinite Tsukuyomi intensified, and Naruto found himself staring at the, hole-riddled, source.
There were multiple missing segments of Kaguya's face and body, wounds that would have killed even the sturdiest of mortals, the results of Naruto's crystal attack moments earlier. Already they were disappearing, each absent piece of the chakra being was slowly regenerated.
"I spent three thousand years," Kaguya hissed at him, angry eyes boring into his own, "trapped because of your actions, Naruto. I forgave you for that and offered you the chance to make amends, yet instead you continue to fight me. Now, you have no chances, there is no more forgiveness, and there will be no mercy."
"I am a god now." Kaguya continued to speak her words while tightening her grip on Naruto's face. Naruto also felt the push of her Infinite Tsukuyomi intensify. "What must I do to prove that your actions are fruitless, that I will undo everything that you will do to me, and every action that you take to interfere?"
Kaguya's hovering figure leaned in closer, to the point where Naruto knew that he would have been able to feel her breath had she been alive.
"I will raise my God Tree once more," she told him resolutely, with eyes that refused to leave his own. "I will make the moon whole again, make my own if I must, but I will have it in the sky once more and my Light will spread across the world as it should. You have accomplished nothing."
"And so far, so have you," Naruto responded, to which, Kaguya chuckled lightly darkly. Naruto could tell immediately that he must have struck her pride.
"Not for long."
From Kaguya's palms, twin spikes of bone were launched, yet instead of striking Naruto, they passed through smoke, impaling themselves in their user's opposite hand. Their target had dissolved into a cloud of smoke that quickly expanded to block Kaguya's view and obscure her senses.
As a being made of chakra, Kaguya had no eyes to truly see from. Her form's eyes were merely a representation of her sight, much like her third eye was a manifestation of her power and not the true source. She saw with her chakra, it felt everything she saw, sensing everything for kilometres in any direction in the same detail as, near greater than, the human eye.
A downside of the ability to see via chakra was that it could be tricked easily if one knew how. Naruto's gaseous form allowed his chakra to permeate everything in the area around him, acting as a large cloud of smoke would for the human eye.
Despite being the equivalent of blind, Kaguya realised that the cloud that surrounded her wasn't mere smoke. It may have been at one point, but it no longer was. Now it was a cloud, one heavy with precipitation, and tingling with electricity.
Had an outside observer been present at that moment, they would have seen a cloud of dark smoke, hovering just above a few feet above the ground. A second later, they would watched as it exploded into a lightning cloud, with thousands of singular bolts of electricity arching off of it to strike at the world around it, out shining the sun in the process.
A sudden wind, with the force of a tornado, gathered and slammed into the electrified cloud, forcefully moving it off of its target. It collated quickly to form Naruto, who created a shield against the strong wind currents.
Naruto had to admit that he was beginning to get worried as he stared at Kaguya's undamaged form. Nothing he was doing seemed to be working, everything that he threw at her, she seemed to shrug off a moment later. He would have to start taking risks if he wanted to end this, and quickly. While he'd been lucky so far, the fight being contained to an uninhabited stretch of land, the Land of Rain's hidden village was close by and could easily become caught in the cross fire.
The fight had already moved over a hundred and fifty kilometres from its start point.
Acting, Naruto darkened the world a considerable degree, the colours of the surroundings blackening as the light in the area was collected, gathering into shards of sun-light. Holding them in place as the light finished collecting, taking the time to aim them at Kaguya, Naruto released the condensed energy from each shard in short bursts.
The chakra being wasn't idle while Naruto prepared, Kaguya formed another black orb in her hand, with an ease that Naruto hadn't managed even after all of his years alive. Manipulating it to her will, she formed a dark shield that covered her front and held up against the barrage of light-based bolts. They dispersed on contact with the barrier.
Seeing that his attack had no effect, even though errant shards of light packed enough power to shred through trees as if they didn't exist, Naruto stepped up his game.
It only took a moment of letting up his barrage of fire, but he quickly merged all of the shards of light into one, far larger and packing a greater power. Instead of attacking with small bursts to whittle down his opponent's shield, Naruto went for pure overwhelming force, sending the entire bolt of light towards Kaguya's shield.
The attack crossed the distance to its target near instantaneously, but instead of crashing into the shield like Naruto had thought it would, Kaguya dropped her shield at the last possible moment and used her hand to catch the bolt from the air.
Even with the space between them, Naruto could see her third eye glint, knowing that it had memorised the chakra composition of Light Release as it collided with Kaguya's shield.
Pulling her arm back in a rapid movement, Kaguya then let it fly forward, launching the captured bolt of Light back towards its creator. Twisting his body out of the way, Naruto only managed to avoid taking the full power of the attack by mere inches.
As his body came full circle to face his opponent once again, Naruto found her directly in his face, the black orb that had been her shield now in the form of a large sword.
Sticking out a hand, Naruto caught the sword in his palms which caused the earth beneath his feet to crater in response. A trickle of blood escaped from the point of contact where the sword and flesh met, though whether it was a testament to his slowly weakening form, or the strength that Kaguya had infused into the attack, Naruto didn't know. His opponent, however took it as a sign of him weakening and began pressing down harder with her blade.
It was for naught though, as Naruto managed to hold the sword at bay.
With their bodies deadlocked, Kaguya sent black fire from her central eye straight at Naruto. The move was completely unexpected on Naruto's part, which allowed Kaguya to spread the flames all over his face and upper body before he managed to wrestle it from her control and extinguish it.
The mass of burned flesh was healed quickly, but Kaguya had made her point by having managed to push her sword closer to Naruto's chest while he was controlling the fire burning his facial features.
"You tire," she pointed out, Naruto able to hear the tone of anticipation in her voice. Leaving no chance for any kind of remark, Kaguya continued. "You fight for selfish reasons while do so for the betterment of all, so it is no surprise that your body gives up. Is that not what happens to the villain at the end of all stories?"
In spite of situation, Naruto managed to chuckle. "You think you're the hero?" She had said she would kill every sentient being on the face of the planet by taking away their chakra. It was absurd.
"You think the people of the world will like you for stopping me?" She questioned, even as she suddenly manipulated her long hair to strike at Naruto's body, only for it to be interrupted by her target's own hair, which pinned Kaguya's hair in placed.
Unfazed by Naruto's sudden reaction to her hair, Kaguya went on speaking as if nothing happened. "My illusion shows those trapped their every desires, their perfect world, as I take back what is mine. All of their loved ones alive, their enemies vanquished and their goals achieved. Is it not a far better way to die than in the agony that they would feel if they were awake?"
"You have no right to interfere in their lives, your time on the mortal plane ended long ago," Naruto responded, well aware of how hypocritical that was of him to say.
"I am a god," Kaguya said, nearly spitting the words at Naruto, "my time is over when I say it is. You may be against me but my power is undeniable, unfathomable, and beyond anything can comprehend. Its extent knows no bounds and even death folds before my might."
"I could have swept across this land like a plague," she began to rant, "raising armies that felt no pain, tortured people by having them fight against their loved ones, slaughtered villages and set the world ablaze, stealing back my chakra inch by bloody inch, but instead I chose this. Finally, I'll do what you and Hagoromo couldn't do in thousands of years," Kaguya told him, snarling as she pressed even harder against the deadlock, inching her black blade closer to Naruto. "I'll bring peace to this world, and when the last of my chakra is returned to me, only then will I kill you, Naruto."
Anger flashed into Naruto's eyes before it was smothered by a sudden resigned, yet determined, glint. The expression confused Kaguya momentarily before she suddenly felt the absence of resistance against her blade. Pushing forward, her sword rocketed forward, slicing through Naruto's clothes yet not touching any flesh before it was biting into the earth. Shredded clothes fell to the ground without their wearer.
Kaguya looked around in confusion at what exactly had just happened. Naruto wasn't dead, there was no body for one, but in addition to that, there was still the presence of his chakra in the air, even more of a presence than before if anything.
Movement caught Kaguya's attention, turning her towards the source, only to take a step back a moment later. It was Naruto, clad in the same outfit he had just been wearing, despite it lying not a few meters away, near unwearable, on the ground, and with his eyes now their original white. He was different from before though, that was immediately noticeable, having an unnatural glow around his body. It was Kaguya's senses that told her exactly what the difference was.
He was not made of flesh and bone any more but chakra, with a single mind, no longer limited by the physical capabilities of the human brain. His controlled usage of Nature chakra, once restricted by the danger of his body turning to stone, was now unlimited.
"When I first gained the ability to shift my body to align it with chakra natures, to become those natures, I always knew that this would be the result if I did so with my pure chakra," Naruto mused aloud as looked at his hand, turning it over in his vision. He wasn't technically seeing anymore, but it simply easier to call how he saw the world as such. "I also knew that there would be no going back from this." Naruto hardened his expression, turning his attention back to Kaguya, who still seemed stunned by his sudden ascension to a chakra being. "Know that you brought this upon yourself. World peace was always too perfect for an imperfect world such as this, because of that it will never be achievable."
"Kōton: Zenchi (Light Release: Omniscience)." Naruto's eyes didn't change from their white colour even as what he 'saw' changed. The Byakguan was an incredibly useful tool, but in his current form, it held no benefit to Naruto. The chakra that he needed to see was thinly laced throughout the air, it something he could feel easily but being able to feel chakra wasn't useful for what he intending to do.
Manipulating light itself, Naruto saw all it touched. Everything around him that the sun looked down, he could see it, moving or not, alive or inanimate. He could see the chakra that flowed through the world, watch as it interacted with the environment.
Naruto observed a bird, twenty kilometres away flying in between trees as it flew towards a nest of chicks, while simultaneously looking at the corporal form that he had created for himself and the clouds that drifted across the sky.
Before his change, Naruto couldn't use this technique to the extent that he was now, and as such wasn't able to try what he was attempting, limited by the amount of information that his brain could process. Now there were no such restrictions and he was able to begin to end this.
He could see all of Kaguya now, all of her chakra hovering around her like an agitated animal ready to strike at any time. It spread for kilometres in any direction, at testament to the power at her disposal.
Now directing his chakra, Naruto made it move through the air, make it surround his target. "Junton: Kanmon (Purification Release: Barrier)." Fire, Water and Lightning chakra combined to create a nature capable of separating and segregating, and the chakra that Naruto had surround Kaguya's immense aura suddenly flared into the visible spectrum. A clear bubble surrounded the two, trapping both of them together.
With the creation of the barrier, Kaguya found herself feeling boxed in, with walls pressing on all sides. Flaring her chakra against the sudden prison that contained her, she found it holding with ease. Pushing with true might, to the point the earth beneath her feet began to fracture and buckle under the force, she found it to be another waste of time, the barrier remaining strong, unwilling to allow her chakra to mingle with the outside world.
Turning her attention to the only person who could possibly be the creator, Kaguya reasoned that his death or weakening would mean her freedom. Materialising her chakra fists, she launched herself forward with the intent to finally kill him and continuing reclaiming her chakra.
She crossed the distance within seconds, and was within touching distance of her opponent when he suddenly closed the last metre between them by raising his hand.
For a moment, they touched with no repercussions, physical contact between two chakras, and that was all Naruto needed.
"Gassaku: Ien Hikari Hayasa (Collaboration: Beyond Light Speed)."
While her focus was on Naruto, Kaguya was well aware of her surroundings, and was instantly conscious of when the world around her seemed to disappearing into blur of darkness. She didn't stop however, and proceeded to blow straight into Naruto's form, dispersing it.
It was only then, when she gave the equivalent of a glance at her surroundings, that Kaguya realised something was incredibly wrong. There was no ground underneath her feet, just more darkness and the twinkles of stars in the distance. Everywhere she looked, all Kaguya could see were stars.
"What have you done?" Kaguya snarled as she turned to the cause of this, who had already reformed himself. "Where have you taken me?"
"I brought us into the vastness of space," Naruto responded simply. Through a combination of Swift Release and Light Release, he had attached his being to a single particle of light and followed it as it bounced off of the planet and into space, while simultaneously speeding up its movement. Thus, he was able to travel hundreds of light-years in a few moments. By touching Kaguya, he had brought her along. By boxing her in beforehand, Naruto made sure that he brought all of her and left nothing behind.
"And you think to trap me here?" She questioned amusedly, it was not much of trap after all. Open space was all around them and she could merely transport herself away at a moment's notice.
"No," Naruto denied, a grim smile on his face, "I plan to finally end this."
A sudden source of light between Naruto's two hands caught Kaguya's attention, a small sphere of pure energy, incredibly similar to the sun. It was a tiny thing though, barely bigger than a ball that children used to play together. Despite its size, the light source was illuminating Naruto's form the same as a light-bulb that was three or four times bigger would have. Kaguya could also see that it was doing the same to her.
"I read in a book once about the consequences of a collapsing star," Naruto mused aloud, looking down at his creation. "I can't believe that I ever thought that it might be difficult. Seiton: Choushinsei (Star Release: Supernova)."
When the light was extinguished as Naruto's hands slapped shut, expelling a force that rolled over her, Kaguya's initial reaction was that Naruto's technique had failed. Then it exploded in a primal display of strength that let both beings no time to react.
Irrespective of its size, the force released by the collapsing sun decimated Kaguya upon exploding, sending wave upon wave of unrelenting power that scattered her form and power to the ends of the universe. So thinly spread, Kaguya's mind disappeared without the power to sustain it, vanishing under the might of the exploding star.
Naruto too was affected by this, sharing a similar fate as Kaguya. His mind fading away moments after the majority of his chakra was blasted to the corners of the universe. The supernova then continued to expand, pushing outward in a display of colour that would have left observes breathless.
Though while Naruto did share a similar fate to Kaguya, their fates were not the same.
Back in the Elemental Nations, at the sight of where Naruto transported himself and Kaguya into deep space, chakra came together.
The memories left to it told it that it wasn't technically alive, and it accepted this. It also knew that it wasn't a person, yet it also knew that soon, there would be so little discrepancies between it and a real person that one would be hard pressed to tell the difference. It also knew it was being selfish, and of the irony of the situation, yet didn't care.
Moulding and manipulating itself, combing Earth, Yin and Yang chakras, it began to create. Flesh and bone appeared out of nowhere and started growing, spreading. Ligaments formed in precise positions, with blood vessels, along with was a chakra network and muscles hugging bone. This continued as the chakra worked, making organs as it continued, connecting them to the cardio vascular system, and the lungs to the oesophagus. The brain was last, forming far slower than the rest of the body, but eventually is was done.
Water, Yin and Yang came together to fill the body with blood, the red liquid appearing in the veins. By swapping the Water chakra for Lightning, the chakra kick-start the lower functionality of the brain, making the body begin to breathe, before it was then able to transfer its mind into the brain of its creation, then slotting its chakra into the body's chakra system.
With a startled gasp, a body containing the looks of Naruto Ōtsutsuki suddenly opened its eyes. With a low groan, the body picked itself up slowly, feeling each imperfection in the body as never used muscles stretched for the first time.
When it finally did pull itself to its feet, the head turned itself to the sky, where it knew a magnificent light show would appear in a hundred or so years.
Naruto had been many things, but blind to irony was not one of them. Many years ago, he would have relished the opportunity to end his life protecting the world against a legitimate threat, but upon the realisation that he would have to do so to defeat Kaguya, Naruto found no enthusiasm for such a thing.
He had found a reason to live, a point to his life, and in doing so he had found peace. Despite that simple reasoning, it had taken him three millennia and having children once more to come to that conclusion.
But his death had still been necessary, a blast of the magnitude needed to scatter Kaguya would have been more powerful than anything he could have shielded against, especially not contain. Naruto would not have been able to control his chakra from a safe distance so far away, he would have to have been within the blast radius, something that would have secured his death.
Even rationalising his actions, knowing that if he didn't that his family would perish, the idea of leaving Minato and his family alone, of leaving Konan alone, tore at Naruto. So he took a page out of Kaguya's book, and left part of his chakra, a copy of his personality and memories, to look after his loved ones for him.
The hypocrisy, that where he had once hunted down people for living longer than was naturally allowed, he was now doing that exact thing, was not lost on Naruto. It was selfish to continue living after ones time was done, but he had always done whatever it took for his family.
The chakra that Naruto left behind when he sent Kaguya and himself to the stars, controlled by a mind that formed the chakra became isolated from the main collection, turned its head away from the sky. It looked towards the direction of Amegakure, knowing Konan was waiting for her father's return.
It knew it wasn't real, that it had no soul and was just an amalgamation of the real Naruto's memories and personality. It knew all that, and knew it would be the only one to know that.
Naruto Ōtsutsuki then walked away from the battlegrounds and towards his daughter. The moon could wait a day or two.
AN: Well, that's it. That's all this story has.
Three years I've been writing this and now it's over.
Thank you to everyone who's made it this far, through rare updates, shitty spelling and an even shitter plot, thanks for making this possible. I never would have been able to continue writing this without your support.
If you've got any questions regarding the ending, don't be afraid to PM me. I'll still answer them.
I'm not entirely sure what I'll right next, may take a break though. Writing almost 500k words is a fucking trek and a half.
The Right Stop