On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Chapter 01 - Awake
Darkness. The feeling of cold, soft isolation from the world around you. The ink that has blinded your eyes from all the majestic sights in the vast world. The dark chains that bound your body in this never ending abyss.
There were no reflections on one's self. No deep philosophical ideas were ever formed. No semblance of conscious thoughts. There was only drowning darkness.
Until one tiny silver drop fell into the void, causing a set of luminous ripples to form around it. The darkness wrenched away from the divine light. Fearing it, no matter how small it may be.
Soon another drop came, bringing down the same effect as the one before it. The Darkness jerked violently, as if it was being purged with fire.
It didn't take long before the those tiny drops turned into a downpour. Bilions upon bilions of them crashing into the murky abyss, each sending off it's own ripple.
However that was only the begging of the cataclysm. Inside the very depts of the oily shadows giant tidal waves formed. Violently colliding with the Darkness, forcing their way towards the light.
A hollow screech could be heard as pillar of pure power blew it's way to the surface. Tearing through everything in its path, like bullet ripping through flesh, until it reached the other side.
Until it reached the light.
It was with a light grunt that signaled his awakening. Twin electric blue eyes began opening ever so slowly. The man's face scrunched lightly in discomfort as rays of clear light assaulted his eyes. It took a moment before they adapted to it and softly flickered open.
"Ah." He spoke as if for the first time in eons, like one of those fabled creatures waking up after its milenia long rest.
His hands sluggishly clenched into fists before uncleaching. He repeated that same motion a few more times trying to wake his body up. His first conscious thought was that of a pink haired girl-Sakura! Explaining to him which were fastest way of waking the human body after a prolonged period of rest. The first step was wiggling one's toes, but he also remembered her saying something about his body being special.
After that one stray thought there a came flood of memories answering that questions of: Who was he? What was he doing here? Where was his home?
He grinned. He was soldier, ah yes, a soldier. And one of the best of them! A frown grazed the young man's face as more vivid memories entered his mind. His name was Uzumaki Naruto, Rokudaime Hokage of Konohagakure no Sato, and he was fighting a war, one that he was losing very badly. His adversary was a man with long raven hair and crimson eyes. The Sharingan, he noted, eyes with the power to warp the very fabric of space and time.
He forcefully pushed down the horrific memories of the war into the far reaches of his mind. He couldn't allow himself to be distracted in a foreign and possibly hostile area.
It took him a few moments before he could properly stand on his feet , like the trained shinobi he was. He was a mere moment away from opening the door, but someone beat him to it. A woman with long silvery hair which was flowing all the way down to her back, featuring a long braid on each side with small blue bows at the ends, while the rest is let down, ending in twin braids. She was wearing what Naruto could only assume was some sort of servant's outfit, but he did not let her choice of clothing fool him for a moment.
The grace she held herself with gave her away the moment she stepped in. And the little bow she gave him proved his hypothesis to be true. It was silly more than anything else.
"Welcome back into the land of the living." She said with a small smile on her lips, but he ignored her beautiful face-which also confirmed his theory-and instead focused on her gray eyes.
'The eyes never lie.' he recited one of his favorite quotes in his mind. Ever since he was a young boy he had the talent to see through the windows of other people's souls. Looking past the first layer, or more non-formally set the act she trying to pull on him, and directly into her true intentions. While he couldn't find anything sinister or malicious in them, he also didn't find any real kindness or hospitality either.
"Where am I?" Naruto asked seriously, the visage of trained professional replacing that of the emotional man he was a moment ago.
The woman's lips contorted into a serene smile, placing her hand gently on his shoulder. "You're in safe location after your battle, Okage-sama." She said pleasantly .
Not a moment later she felt a sudden pain in her abdomen. Gray managed to gaze at a cerulean sphere made out of pure energy drilling through her body.
The false servant was sent flying through the air, breaking through the now revealed fake wall.
Naruto immediately dashed through the now open hole, but not before muttering a quick. "It's Hokage."
From the moment he left through the hole he realized he was surrounded by at least 20 enemies and that his "hospital room" was only a tenth of the actual space.
Some of them were marching towards the false servant while others were patiently awaiting her commands. The entire scene reminded him too much of Root, for his liking.
Examining the room, his blue eyes caught sight of a strange Fūinjutsu circle. It was strange because he prided himself in being the best Seal Master alive, but it seemed like there were more. And he couldn't even understand some the seals!
The "circle" even though it looked more like a five pointed star more than anything else was pulsating with power.
Deciding on taking his chances with the art he knew best Naruto dived towards it, dismantling anyone in his path either courtesy of a Rasengan or a well placed kick.
Flaring his chakra into the seals he could feel himself being engulfed in some weird kind of chakra, akin to that of a Tailed Beast, but diluted into a way weaker form.
The air in the room grew colder as the gray eyed woman stood up and lauched a lance made of pure ice at Naruto. He disappeared practically a second before it would've torn him apart.
Her persona of a servant was gone. In its place stood the icy features of an angered aristocrat, complete with a sneer.
"Notify my husband at once."
Reverse summoning. A technique he had employed countless times during his many bouts with the ancient Uchiha. A rather crafty and simple technique that allowed him to teleport from place to place in relatively short time. However it wasn't really fit for battle, due to the fact that it in order to work the subject needed to be perfectly still for up to two seconds, considering that most Chūnin could slit his throat in less than one second proved that the Reverse Summoning jutsu was best used for quick, safe, non-combat transportations.
The circle he had just was simple an advance version of the said jutsu. It's improvement was that it cut down the time needed before the transportation began.
He extended his index finger towards the sealing array, within less than a moment his finger was engulfed in a pale blue light as it smudged the sealing array, nullifying it.
"Too easy," Naruto muttered quietly. The long hours of mastering the lucrative art saved his life once again.
His eyes to the size of dinner plates when he examined the room: everything from its paintings, walls and overall style was completely different from anything he had seen before. There were even some form of stone paintings of people, like mini statues. But the value and the detail of it all was impressive to say the least. What kind of a stupid noble would buy this stuff?
'But some things never change,' He thought with a bemused look on his whiskered face after noticing the large clan crest in other end of the corridor. A crimson rose encased within a crimson circle…Why couldn't nobles be more original? At least the Uzumaki had a simple whirlpool, not something so cliché.
Getting back on track he knew he needed to find out exactly in which remote corner of the Elemental Nations he had awakened in. And there was only one jutsu to get the job done!
A determined grin found itself on Naruto's lips as his hands did the classical cross shaped hand seal, for the first time in what seemed like an eternity as he called out his favorite jutsu.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu."
With a silent poof five identical copies of the blond appeared beside him. Each and every one of them having the same determined grin as the original. Sparing him only a nod of recognition before dashing in different directions, on the hunt for the strongest weapon in the world-information.
Rias Gremory was not having a good day…make that a week. It has been over a week since Akeno had left the Gremory mansion in order to start attending a human school in Japan! And all the 15 year old redhead had to do all day was just practice, rest, study, practice, rest, study and so on 'till eternity! All she had to do in her free time was re-re-read all the different manga she was able to buy on her last trip to the human world. And the fact that Akeno was in Japan of all places only served to rub sault in the wound.
Rias' family weren't helping the situation either: Sirzechs was busy doing duties as Lucifer, Mom and Dad were playing with Millicas, again. As much as she hated to admit she was a bit jealous of her nephew, constantly hugging all the attention when she wanted some too. Everyone was always talking about how she is a big girl now, and how she should start taking her responsibility as the heir of the clan more seriously.
"Ugh!" She huffed in annoyance, a grimace on her face. She honestly didn't care about how they did things years ago, in fact tradition was one of the few things she disliked the most about her family. All the way from her grandmother to her brother everyone was constantly nagging her about all sorts of useless stuff all day, every day.
"Stupid grandfather. Stupid grandmother. Stupid mother. Stupid father. Stupid BROTHER!" She screamed the last part. Out of everyone she at least expected brother to be on her side, but no, he had to give her the 'Tradition let us survive throughout the ages' speech.
"What did they do this time?" an amused voice questioned from behind her.
Yelping in surprise Rias fell from her bed and landed on her butt. She rubbed her sore bum with a distasteful frown. Whoever it was he had picked the wrong place and the wrong time to disturb her. Rias quickly turned around with the full intent of giving the intruder a piece of her mind.
"Have you been taught any sort of manners?"
Then she saw him.
Two vibrant electric blue eyes staring at her with playful amusement. Oh, how she could get lost in those eyes. They held a sense energy and passion that would make her follow him to the ends of the world.
Hair the color of gold was streaming down his head in a river of spikes. It perfectly framed his face with two jaw length bangs that served to give his already messy hair a more rugged look.
The rest of his body looked as if it was cut out from one the magazines she hid under her bed. Still, more than a couple of details could be made out, and that was more than enough for her 15 year old mind.
"On the topic of manners. I consider it impolite to be ignored for two minutes."
A dark blush appeared on her oval face, as she scrambled to regain her wits.
"Who are you?" She said after regaining her wits.
The blond man looked thoughtful for a moment, then a mischievous smirk appeared on his face.
"Uchiha Sasuke, m'lady."
Uchiha Sasuke? That was new. She shrugged, probably a new servant.
"Uhm, are you new here?" Rias asked gently, some of the noble mannerisms driven into her mind finally kicking in.
"Nah, I've here for the better part of the last 10 years." The spiky haired servant answered cheerfully.
Rias raised a delicate eyebrow. "That would mean you were a child when you started?" She noted suspiciously. She would've noticed if such a hunk was nearby, and on the off chance she didn't Akeno would've sniffed him out the same way a shark sniffs out blood.
The fact that her brother would never exploit child labor never crossed her mind.
"How come I have never seen you before?" She questioned, crossing her arms under her chest.
The blond haired man imitated, or more like mocked, her gesture. "Dunno maybe you just never looked?" He replied coolly.
Now if this was a member of any other Devil Clan the servant would've been executed on the spot. No questions asked. But the Gremory family was unique in that aspect. Instead of beating their servants, they cherished them. In a recent poll from The Weekly Diabolus the Gremory servants were shown to be the happiest, followed closely by Sitri servants. Only because of weather, she thought briskly. Finding herself reminiscent of beautiful Sitri lands. Filled with lush greenery, lakes of all sizes and clear blue sky.
"Are you lying to me, Sasuke-san?" She questioned. Her blue-green eyes showed nothing but absolute focus, as a bit of magical energy was building up inside her, if things go awry.
The blond broke out in a fit of laughter, stopping her dead in her tracks. Weren't people supposed to be scared when caught lying?
"Ah, you've caught me!" He chuckled, his laughter dying out. "What gave me away."
Rias smiled, a victorious smirk finding its way onto her lips. "I'm not the heiress for nothing."
His body froze in place, as if it had been struck with a freezing spell from The Leviathan. He bent down to her level, with a look of pure disbelief plastered on his whiskered face.
"The heiress you say?"
Rias gave a proud nod.
The servant, finally understanding his place, kneeled before his mistress, his eyes respectfully glued to the floor.
And yet it her heart ached. Was she really doing this? Taking out her frustrations on an innocent servant just because he had a big mouth? It was time like these that really hurt her to know that in some instances-her family totally right. Maybe she was the spoiled, foolish heiress they all make her out to be.
Her eyes stung, her mouth quivered. She could feel warm crystal tears going down her now puffy cheeks.
Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Why was she so weak? If her parents could see her weakness then they'll surely just pick Milicas to be heir! Crying in front of a man who probably was not really her servant. She could feel her shoulders slumping down in defeat. Unable to stop the tears, unable to be strong…it hurt her more than a thousand whips to the back.
Then she felt a thumb on her cheek, gently brushing off her tears. She half opened her now glassy blue-green eyes to see her servant, whoever he was, smiling kindly at her. His smile was no longer that of a con man succesful out witting his victim, and more like a warm sunshine.
"C'mon now," He said warmly, his hand still on her cheek. "I know I'm awesome, but there's no need to cry about it."
That actually brought out a half strangled chuckle out of her, until it transformed into a joyful laughter. How could anyone be so stupid, unmannerly and uneducated in the most basic forms human contact? But it was also something that surprised her, one of the few bright surprises in the last few months.
Maybe today wasn't such a bad day, after all.
Ah, the sweet scent of lavender was rich in the air.
He hated it.
It had been a couple of minutes since he had created his shadows clones and still non of them had reported anything of interest. So that left him here. Prowling through the corridors with unmatched silence. Ero-sennin would've been proud.
Then he felt the familiar sensation of a clone dispelling. It's memories flinging themselves from one end of the mansion to the other.
What?, he thought in confusion. The memories were shown a lot of documents and yet each one of them was written in some foreign tongue that he couldn't decipher.
He placed his chin on his knuckles, assuming the thoughtful position he had been known for since his Sage training. From all the information he had gathered thus far he concluded that two paths had opened up.
The first of which was the safer route. Collect as much money and information as possible, detonate the clones, and escape.
The second was a bit more tricky. Again, collect as much money and info as possible, then go to whoever was top dog around here, kick said top dog's teeth in, get even more money and info, then leave.
When he was crowned as the Rokudaime Hokage under the rising sun, it was honestly the happiest moment in his life. He remembered it with picture perfect accuracy; all the civilians chanting his name as if he was a god, all his comrades staring at him with admiration in their eyes and of course the proud smile on Granny Tsunade's face when she handed him the prized hat.
The reign of The Rokudaime Hokage was supposed to be that of the rebirth of a nation, of a world. Tragically it turned out to be the opposite. More blood had spilled during his reign than all the other Hokages combined.
By the end of the first year as Hokage Konoha was nothing more than a crater filled with the toxic chakra of the Ten Tails.
By the end of his second year as Hokage only ten percent of Konoha's population was still alive, barely surving the ancient Uchiha's hunts.
By the end of his third year as Hokage around fifty percent of the world's population had been slaughtered like lambs.
The butcher known as Uchiha Madara had ascended into a state of being "beyond his feeble comprehension " as he liked to put it.
And all of that could have been avoided if Naruto had done just one thing right. Just one fucking thing! If he had followed the one thing that had been drilled into his mind and heart for over 4 years.
Never trust an Uchiha.
He had trusted Sasuke with the responsibility of helping him stop Madara when he had first ascended…And for a while it seemed as if that was the case. They were fighting shoulder to shoulder against that force of nature with unparalleled efficiency. It seemed as if the fabled brothers had been reborn just in time to stop the great evil which was foretold by the Elder Toad.
Madara had launched something akin of a Bijūdama at them. It tore the earth and most of the shinobi around them, leaving not even a trace behind.
Naruto had clawed out of the dirt battered and bruised, but more importantly still alive. He could feel Sasuke's presence behind him.
"We need a new plan." Naruto said through ragged breaths. A piece of shrapnel firmly stuck in his lung.
There was no answer.
Naruto looked over his shoulder, seeing the fabled Rinnegan that Sasuke now possed. It stared back at him with cold indifference, before he reverse summoned himself and Orochimaru to only Kami knows where.
Naruto Uzumaki had been left alone to fight-no survive against the howling behemoth in front of him. For three days and three nights Naruto had done his best to survive against Madara, who had in the end cornered him somewhere in Wind Country. The cold grains of sand were his only companions back then as he waited for his executor.
He could feel it in the air, dark chakra was gathering itself in front of Madara. Slowly forming the bastardized Bijūdama in front of him.
"Rest in peace, boy." Madara spat mockingly.
Naruto wasn't even conscious to see the purple sphere coming his way.
When he had awoken a startling five days later in Mount Myōboku .
"Calm down there ol' sport!" an excited voice rang through the air.
Turning around his eye landed on a…spitting image of an Uzumaki. With long red hair, fair skin and rare eyes. Something which was certainly not uncommon for Uzumaki clan considering his mother had iliac eyes, while Karin's eyes matched her hair perfectly.
"And why should I?" The blonde challenged, a smirk firmly placed on his lips.
"Because I fear that your body might collapse on itself," The red haired man replied with a smirk of his own, ignoring the strong hands firmly wrapped around his neck, ready to snap it if need be. "If you could just let me go for a moment so we can talk like civilised people."
"Never really was much into civilised," Naruto clicked is tongue, straightening the chokehold. "But if you could tell where and who your master is I might have a change of heart."
And so he led him through the large corridors of the estate towards his boss's office. The man had tried to strike up a conversation multiple times, but to no avail. The shinobi knew he had kept his focus because in his mind a civilian could kill a shinobi with a well timed rock to the skull. However, that wasn't the only reason Naruto had remained oddly quiet. There was just something about this man letting himself get manhandled like this that irked him the wrong way.
Naruto looked at the beautiful oak door in front of him. It's edges were fine and it held some of the most beautiful carving he had seen in his life. Truly a work of a master carpenter.
The shinobi carefully creaked the door open, finding no one. He roughly pushed the red-haired man inside and the all too familiar sound of a door locking itself soon followed.
"Why must you humiliate yourself, Sirzechs." The silver haired woman from before chided. Her outfit now torn from the Rasengan.
There weren't many people he could name that could just walk off a Rasengan. Hell, aside from himself and possibly Sasuke there wasn't anyone alive who match this feat.
Sirzechs stood up proudly and the air around him changed entirely. The man who rose to his feet carried himself with the pride and power only a Kage could match. He turned to her with a sly smile on his face.
"You will have to forgive me, Grayfia." He explained as he calmly walked towards her and gave her a chaste kiss on the cheek. "It's not every day we get to have such an ancient guest in our home."
Grayfia merely huffed in annoyance as she turned back her attention to Naruto with a deep frown adorning her noble face.
"I do not know what kind of beast raised you, but it did pretty poor job doing." Grayfia said curtly.
The shinobi's muscles tensed and a focused etched itself on his face. He had wanted to avoid a fight in order to now allow any sights of his whereabouts to reach Uchiha ears, but his heart wanted something else entirely. It craved a fight.
"My manners may be piss poor," Naruto admitted with a shrug of his shoulders. "But I can assure you that they've thought me how to fight." He finished with a determined grin.
Cold winds howled beside Grayfia as spears made of pure crystal ice appeared around her.
Kekkei Genkai, eh?, Naruto thoughts went back years in the past during his fight with Haku, the person who unknowingly who had set the path he had walked ever since.
However before any attack could be unleashed Sirzechs stood between with a stern look on his face.
A look mostly directed at Grayfia.
"Must you humiliate yourself ?" He recited back at her.
His words rung true with her as ice disappeared into thin air, but the room had gone a few degrees colder.
Sirzechs gave her look. She just nodded and took a step back.
"Allow me to clue you in," Sirzechs began, turning back all of his attention and excitement towards the shinobi."You're in the Gremory estate, but I doubt that speaks anything to you, does it?." It was clear that he wasn't asking, he was merely stating the obvious.
Naruto remained silent and unmoving.
"Look, I'm sorry for that little show back there," He apologized gracefully. "We just thought it would be best to break it you slowly."
"Break what?" Naruto beckoned, clenching his fists.
For the first time since their meeting Sirzechs actually looked conflicted for a moment. Something he most certainly would've missed if it hadn't been for his long years as the Shinobi Alliance's lie detector.
"You've been asleep, Hokage," He found his voice again, a sympathetic look on his face. "For the better part of at least two eras."
His breath hitched. The feeling of being stabbed by a phantom sword in the gut prevailing over all other emotions.
It all made sense now: the odd handwriting, the architecture, the weir clothes.
He could feel it, the slow inkling feeling of despair going through his body. The mist of uncertainty clouding his thoughts.
However, the worst part of it all was the feeling of being…alone.
And so it begins.
I'm probably in the minority here, but I feel the need to say it. I don't believe that The Fourth Shinobi Great War would destroy Naruto as a character. Did it change him a bit? Sure, but it only served to make him rough around the edges and a bit more cautious . He is still the headstrong, short-tempered hero we love!
Rias is pretty much cannon at this point. The only difference being that she's one year younger and that she has to face the tough consequences of being a Heiress of one of the strongest clans in the Underworld. She is in that moment of her life where the changes from daughter to heiress are being made so it's understandable that she would frustrated and Naruto's mocking behavior only fueled her outburst.
I have purposefully left some of the events of The Fourth Great Shinobi War shrouded in mystery(e.g. Sasuke's betrayal), because they will be revealed later in the story.
Thanks for reading and please a review.