Salutations and good morrow, ladies and gentlemen! We've been here before, y'know! This is another one of those times where I say "I have a new story for you" and then you guys either: a) groan at yet another story, or b) get excited and/or interested!
Well, after this first chapter, I hope to have you all under the "b" category! This is my second crossover between Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood! For this one though, Naruto will unknowingly change history for the Elric brothers…as well as their mother, Trisha Elric.
As always, I own nothing!
Chapter One: A Flap of the Wings
"Let's see," muttered the voice of a man as he carefully walked through the wreckage of his village. Only hours ago, the Village Hidden in the Leaves had been attacked by the combined efforts of two of the most powerful members that belonged to a criminal organization by the name of Akatsuki.
The Akatsuki was made up of Missing Ninja who were nothing short of S-Rank in both skill and threat level. The leader, at least the one everyone believed to be the leader, was a man known to the Hidden Rain as their god; Pein. His partner had been known as "God's Angel"; Konan.
Pein, using six human corpses as puppet bodies, attacked the Leaf alongside Konan. The village had put up a valiant effort in defending their home, but the effort was lost when Pein unleashed a massive shockwave that had turned almost the entire village into a massive crater. It was at this moment that the Leaf's ninja forces felt despair and a sense of dying hope; all of them begging for some miracle to save them.
Answering that plea was Naruto Uzumaki, the Nine Tails Jinchuriki and newest Toad Sage after being trained by the Elder Toads of Mount Myoboku. He had been summoned, along with the two Elders, three Boss Toads, and the eldest son of the Chief Toad. After making sure that no one was in the way, Naruto had engaged the Six Paths of Pein with the power of the Toad's legendary Senjutsu (Sage Arts).
The battle was awing; a true clash of titans as a man with a Sage's eyes fought another with a Sage's body. However, in the end it was Naruto who left captured by Pein. The Toad Sage was about to be taken away when a young woman named Hinata Hyuuga leapt to his aid. After a shocking profession of her love for Naruto, she engaged Pein; but she was no match for his power and wound up being critically wounded by the Akatsuki member.
Horrified and enraged at the sight, Naruto gave into his anger and was consumed by the power of the Nine Tails. The man claiming to be a god fought off the transformed Jinchuriki, and Naruto went to eight tails worth of power from the fox before he was stopped by the most unlikely of people.
The Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze who was not only the one to seal the fox into Naruto as an infant, but was also his father. Minato and his son took a moment to talk, with Naruto venting out years of frustration to the man. After that, Minato had told Naruto who was really behind the night of the fox's attack on the village, along with one other thing, before he restored the seal holding back the Nine Tails and placed his faith in his son.
Boosted by the confidence his father had in him, Naruto finally succeeded in finishing off the last puppet body of Pein before he used the man's own Chakra Rods to find his true location. Once he had arrived, he spoke to Nagato, a fellow Uzumaki who had been withered away by the very power he had been gifted with.
They finally spoke face to face, clashing the ideals they had picked up from their shared master, Jiraiya. It took some time, but eventually Nagato saw the part of himself that he had lost years ago within Naruto. Placing his faith in Naruto, he used the last of his chakra to revive all the people he had killed during his attack.
Konan then recovered the two bodies of her closest friends and then gave Naruto a bouquet of paper flowers, imparting words of hope that they would never die before taking her leave. Naruto stopped her just before, apologizing for his actions and hoping to meet her again on better terms. It surprised her, but she returned the sentiment.
After returning back to the village gates, Naruto had walked up to a crowd of Leaf villagers who cheered for his actions. The sight had left him speechless, for it was the one thing he had always dreamed for, but never truly believed would happen; acceptance from his own home. He was then swept up in the celebration, enjoying the praise that he had long sought for. After the cheers for him ended, the villagers then dispersed and began to repair their broken village. Ninja and civilian alike pitched in, showing once again the strength of the Will of Fire.
This brings us back to the beginning of this tale, with Naruto walking through a specific section of the destroyed village. "It's around here somewhere," he muttered before he perked up at the sight of a cracked archway. "Here we go… I can't believe this would've been my house if they had lived…"
Before him was the damaged house that once belonged to Naruto's parents, exactly where his father said it would be. It was rather plain, but Naruto wouldn't have asked for it to be any different. It was their home, and he was proud that it was able to stay standing after such an attack on the Leaf.
Stepping through the archway, he walked up to the door and grabbed the handle, not surprised when his hand was held in place and a sealing matrix appeared on the door. After a moment, the sound of a lock clicking open was heard and he stepped inside, taking in his would-be home for the first time.
It was dusty, but it still looked comfortable for a family of two going on three. The floor was a nice dark wood with white walls that had pictures decorating them. Various frozen moments from the lives of his parents were seen, from their time in the Academy, to Graduation, and even a few pictures of them as a couple.
He smiled softly at the sight of his parents, eyes growing misty as he pulled down a picture he had hoped to see; a family photo. Standing atop the Hokage Mountain, with a small breeze sweeping their hair, were his parents. His father stood proudly with a smile on his face as he held a redheaded woman with beautiful violet eyes that matched Naruto's own. She herself was leaning into the man, hands resting gently on her enlarged stomach while she grinned in such a way that he laughed softly, knowing now who he got his own from.
A tear fell as he smiled, gingerly brushing a hand over the picture to wipe away the dust. "Dad… Mom…" he whispered softly. He then turned the picture around, releasing the photo from the frame. "I've always wanted something to remember you two," he said to himself as he gently folded the picture and then pocketed it. Taking a moment to recompose himself, he then clapped his hands together and declared, "Alright, let's find those notes dad told us about!"
He then began to walk around the house, checking wherever he could for hidden compartments or seals. He found none in the kitchen or the living room, so he moved to the bedrooms. Starting with his parent's room, he didn't find any; but he did find his mother's journal, so he pocketed it. Resuming, he ended up finding nothing else. This left one last room in the house…
He had to take a second to breathe, feeling extremely nervous about entering what would've been his room. Shakily, he grabbed the handle and opened the door, entering a nursery that had dark red walls with an orange colored Uzumaki Swirl on the ceiling. There was a black dresser, a bed (no doubt for one of the parents to sleep with him), and an orange crib.
The crib made him chuckle since it was in his favorite color. The chuckle became a snort of laughter as he realized the irony of his favorite color being the mix of the hair colors of his parents.
Carefully, he walked through the room as if the floor was made of fragile glass. He checked the dresser and the bed, finding nothing before he turned to the crib. Once he removed the small mattress, he smiled at the sight of a small seal, no bigger than a fingernail, resting in the center. He bit his thumb before he wiped the blood over the seal, making it flash white before a scroll appeared.
"There they are; dad's notes on the Flying Raijin (1)," he said with a grin. He then used his still bleeding thumb to make a storage seal on his arm, sealing the scroll there and drying the blood in the process. "Nice and safe. Now, I should go help the others in repairs."
His search over, he left the house and headed back to the village center with a smile on his face.
A few days had gone by since Naruto's victory against Pein. The newly named Hero of the Leaf was sitting next to an unconscious Tsunade Senju, the Fifth Hokage and someone he had come to view as a mother he never had; even though he always called her "Grandma".
She had pushed herself beyond her limits during the attack, supplying chakra to her slug summon, Katsuya, so that she could heal as many Leaf villagers as she could. Guilt tore at him as he watched her unmoving form. If he had been a few minutes faster, would things had been different? Would the outcome be the same?
"I'm so sorry, Tsunade," he muttered softly, grabbing her hand. "I never wanted this to happen to you."
Shizune and Sakura, the two students of Tsunade, watched on sadly as the blonde Uzumaki spoke to his fellow blonde. Shizune had been with the Senju ever since she had lost consciousness, and she had been working tirelessly to make sure that her teacher was healthy. Turning to her fellow medic, she said, "We should give him a moment. C'mon, Sakura."
Nodding, the pinkette gave her teammate a reassuring pat on his shoulder before she followed Shizune to attend other patients. Left alone, Naruto began to think over what he could do to help Tsunade. His mind worked into overdrive, trying desperately to come up with a way.
And then, it hit him; like Fukasaku did with that staff of his whenever Naruto was messing up his meditation. There were a couple of times during training that Naruto had taken some hits that were more than he was used to. During those times, Shima had taken it upon herself to heal his wound with a mix of her medical chakra and Senjutsu.
It was a gamble, but he couldn't just sit by and do nothing while Tsunade was left comatose. So, he took a moment to gather the nature chakra needed for his Sage Mode, sitting absolutely still like he was taught. Once he felt like he had enough, he held his hands over the woman, resting his palms gently on the sides of her head.
"I hope this works," he mumbled to himself as he eased in the nature chakra, mixing it with his own in the form of a crude healing agent. Naruto didn't have much experience in healing, but he was taught the concept of it by Jiraiya during his three year trip.
The merging energies came out a yellowish-green, seeping into the woman's head at a slow and steady pace. The pressure of the situation, along with the control he needed to keep the flow steady, made Naruto start to sweat. He had never done anything like this before, but something told him he was doing well.
That hunch proved fruitful when Tsunade coughed in her sleep a few times before waking up with a gasp. She rose to a sitting position, taking deep breaths as she held her chest. "Where…" she was interrupted by a small coughing fit before she continued, "Where am I?"
"Oh, thank the kami!" she heard a familiar voice exclaim with a relieved sigh. Turning, she saw that it was Naruto who looked like he had exerted himself a great deal; though he was grinning at her. "Welcome back, Tsunade!"
"Welcome…back?" she asked in confusion. "What are you-?"
"You were in a coma after you used up so much chakra to heal the villagers. You've been out for a few days, but I woke you up!"
She blinked at that. "You did?" He nodded with his grin still in place. "How on earth did you do that?"
Naruto then explained his gambled attempt to heal her, making sure to apologize for doing something risky when he saw her frown. After he was done, his gaze was locked to the ground and his voice had become low. "I just…wanted you to wake up," he finished softly, showing how worried he was for her.
Tsunade couldn't help the small smile that came to her face at that, gratitude welling up in her for his actions. "Naruto," she said, making him look up to see her arms open. "Come here…"
He walked over to her and she embraced him in a gentle hug, conveying everything she felt towards him. Slowly, he hugged her back and she rubbed his back softly.
"You've got to be the luckiest idiot I know," she commented with a chuckle. "And I'm grateful for that. Thank you, Naruto."
He nodded as he kept embracing her, enjoying every moment of it. He had never been hugged like that before, and it once again supported how much he viewed the woman as a surrogate mother.
Once they pulled away, Naruto asked, "Are you feeling alright?"
"I'm still a bit sore and tired from my actions, but I'll be up and about after some rest. In the meantime, I think I'll have Shizune help you out."
"With what?" he asked with a tilt of his head.
"What else?" she asked back with a smirk. "With healing lessons. If you could demonstrate enough control over your own chakra and something as complex as Senjutsu to wake me up from a coma, then I have little doubts that you can take up some basic healing lessons. Think of it this way: better to have and not need than need and not have."
He rolled that last comment off his tongue, letting it sink in before he nodded in agreement. "Alright then. You want me to get Shizune for you?"
"Sure," she replied with a smile, watching him leave. Once alone, she called out, "Go inform the Council that I'm up please, Cat."
An ANBU with a cat mask and long purple hair dropped her invisibility illusion and responded, "At once, Lady Hokage," before leaving without a trace.
The next morning had Tsunade recovered enough to speak to the Leaf Village Council comprised of the Clan Heads, Elders, the ANBU Commander Dragon, and an appointed representative of the Civilians. "Thank you all for coming here this early in the morning. I've called this meeting so that I could get a status report on the village, our forces, and our options."
Shikaku Nara, both the Nara Clan Head and the Jonin Commander, stood up from his seat to speak. "At the moment, most of our Chunin and Genin are taking charge of the repairs while the Jonin are taking missions to bring in much needed funds for our repairs."
The Hokage nodded before she turned to the ANBU Commander, who stood up from her seat. "My subordinates have been focusing their efforts on village security, with patrols and guards spread throughout the Leaf evenly. So far, no suspicious activity has been seen; but we will stay alert, Lady Hokage."
"I'm glad to hear it. What about our options for restoration?" asked the Senju.
It was the Civilian Representative that stood up at this. He was an average looking man who was reaching his fifties, but still had a sharp mind. "I believe that the answer has come in the form of our allies that our resident hero attained for us over the years. Wave has offered to send in carpenters to help rebuild homes, Spring has offered us some supplies to spread throughout the populace, and the Crescent Islands have supplied us with some extra funds; all of them under the pretenses of 'paying back their hero'."
Tsunade couldn't help the smile on her face when she saw the amused expressions of the other Council members, save the Elders. "And yet again, Naruto pulls our asses out of the fire," she commented with a chuckle. "In light of his continued success in regards to providing for our beloved home, I hereby nominate Naruto Uzumaki for the rank of Jonin. All in favor?" she asked with a raised hand, which was shared with all members save for the Elders. "Against?" Again, they didn't vote, which suited Tsunade just fine. "Then from this point forward, Naruto will be promoted to Jonin status. I'll be sure to send Shizune to him with the news since she'll be giving him some lessons."
"If I may," began Danzo Shimura, one of the Elders and a rumored warmonger of the village, "what exactly is it that your student is teaching our Jinchuriki?"
Tsunade frowned at Naruto being called by his status instead of his name. "I'm having her teach Naruto," she stressed the name, "about healing techniques. It was Naruto using his Senjutsu in conjunction with a crude healing jutsu that woke me from my coma. I'm going to refine his control over it so that he could bring more versatility when out in the field."
"Shouldn't the boy be more focused on studies that could be used against our enemies?" pressed the crippled man. "Our village has taken a heavy blow and has been left vulnerable for the other nations to attack. You must all realize the threat at hand, correct?" The other members looked a bit tense at his words. "If our Jinchuriki could defeat someone such as Pein, then why not increase his combat abilities? Why waste his time on unnecessary skills that we could train others in?"
"Because we Naruto to be prepared for all situations. What if he runs across a situation where he has an injured teammate and no medic? He could prevent those situations from happening if he had the proper training under his belt. This matter is closed and I'm not changing my mind, Danzo."
The man frowned in disapproval, but he remained silent as the meeting was adjourned. Once it was, he went to his own private bunker where his personal ROOT forces were waiting for him. "I need at least two ROOT observing Uzumaki at all times. These lessons that our esteemed Hokage are giving him must be proven to be a waste of time. And once they are, we'll start the Jinchuriki on some actual training."
"Yes sir," replied two of them as they disappeared.
"N-No way," stuttered Naruto in shock as Shizune offered him the Jonin flak jacket with a bright smile.
"Take it, Naruto! You've earned this, and the Council was almost all in agreement, according to Lady Tsunade!" replied the woman as she held the jacket out to him.
Shakily, the blonde took the flak jacket and put it on before putting his Sage cloak on over it. Once everything was put on, he stood nervously in front of Shizune. "So…how do I look?"
Her smile softened and she answered, "You look the same as always; a true shinobi, just with an extra flak jacket."
He was surprised at her comment, but he smiled bashfully and rubbed his head like he always did when he was embarrassed. "Thanks… So, what's first for our lessons?"
"Well, the first thing we taught Sakura was how to keep a fish outside of water alive. The point of this is to control the direction a medic's chakra flows; in this case, the fish's lungs. Now, go ahead and gather the nature chakra needed for your Sage Mode." He nodded and took a few minutes to gather the energy needed before he nodded to her. She then pulled out a scroll and unsealed a fish that immediately began to flop in place. "Go ahead, Naruto. Gather some healing chakra and carefully distribute it to the fish's lungs."
Nodding, the Uzumaki took a breath to calm himself before he held his hands over the fish. Narrowing his eyes, he focused solely on controlling his chakra, his hands giving off a yellow-green glow. "This is…harder than I thought," he groaned out.
"You're doing great," she assured him as the fish was still breathing under his treatment. "Just maintain that control for a bit longer."
He didn't respond since he feared it would ruin his concentration. The jutsu was held up for a few more minutes before the strain of the chakra control took hold and Naruto fell back, his legs giving out while he breathed heavily. While he tried to regain his breath, Shizune resealed the fish and smiled approvingly.
"That was excellent, Naruto!" she praised. "You did so much better than I had thought. That Senjutsu of yours is great for healing."
"It still surprises me, to be honest. I'm so used to Senjutsu being used for combat…and getting whacked on the head when I gathered too much," he added with a sheepish chuckle, remembering all the bumps he had received.
Shizune chuckled too as she helped him stand up. "We'll continue this tomorrow. For now, I need to help make sure Tsunade recuperates fully."
"Alright, I'll see you then, Shizune." He waved her goodbye as he was left alone in the training field. Rolling back his sleeve, he revealed his blood seal and unsealed the notes his father left. The scroll was then opened and he looked over the first part of the jutsu. "The Flying Raijin is a space/time jutsu that is made with a seal matrix," he read.
Before anyone knew it, a week had come to pass. So far, the restoration of the village had been going well; especially with the assistance of the other nations that Naruto had helped in the past. The Hidden Sand had also helped, sending mission requests to the Leaf so that they could get some extra funds.
Another thing that had happened was an envoy from the Hidden Cloud that was comprised of a Jonin named Samui and her two Chunin teammates, Karui and Omoi. They had come to tell the Leaf that the Akatsuki was moving again and that they had taken their sensei, Killer Bee, who was also the Eight Tails Jinchuriki.
However, the one who had apparently caught Bee was none other than Sasuke Uchiha, the runaway member of Team 7 and the last Uchiha. Last they had heard from him was that he had finally killed Itachi and "avenged" his fallen clan. It was a shock to many of the Uchiha's old classmates that he had fallen so far.
However, Naruto seemed to take this the worst, and not in the way many expected. While many assumed that he would be saddened by this, the Uzumaki was instead furious. Everything that he had done was to help bring Sasuke home. After hearing that his efforts had been wasted – and practically spit on with the Uchiha joining the very group his brother was a part of – Naruto had surprisingly declared that he was done trying to save Sasuke. He would still bring the traitor back, out of respect to his promise to Sakura, but it would not be on friendly terms.
To Naruto, Sasuke was now a criminal who would answer for his crimes; not an ex-teammate or a fellow Leaf ninja.
Team Bee had asked the Leaf for anything regarding Sasuke such as techniques and fighting styles. However, the Leaf didn't have much since the last encounter with Sasuke was made by Team Kakashi; and Sasuke hadn't shown much at that time. Still, the Cloud envoy took whatever info they could before informing Tsunade that she was requested to come to a meeting of the Five Kage in the Land of Iron, along with two escorts.
Tsunade accepted the request, and had appointed Kakashi and Neji to be her escorts. She would've brought Naruto, but she knew he was still needed in the village for both restoration with his clone technique and for morale.
Meanwhile, Naruto was about to take his first real attempt with the Flying Raijin jutsu. Shizune was observing, having just finished the day's lesson with him. Naruto had asked her to since she was the more experienced Jonin of the two and he wanted her opinion.
"Okay, so the process seems simple enough," began the blonde. "I just throw the kunai and home in on it with my chakra, making it act like a beacon for me to 'flash' to."
"That's what the notes say. And you made the appropriate changes to the matrices according to your father's notes. The kunai are now linked to your specific chakra signature."
Naruto nodded at that before he stared down at the tri-pronged kunai in his hand. "Here goes," he whispered before he threw the kunai, having it stab itself into a tree twenty yards away. "Now, to home in on it…"
As he began to mold the chakra needed, he was unaware of the entity within him smirking cruelly. The fox was incredibly bitter about being stopped once again by Minato, and it finally found its chance to get back at both him and his son. So, while Naruto sent forth his chakra, the fox sent out its own, intertwining it with Naruto's and disrupting the jutsu.
The result outside was beyond shocking. The seal on Naruto's abdomen lit up in a furious red while Naruto groaned in pain and fell to his knees. Shizune quickly got up to help him, but the sudden pulse of chakra kept her at bay. The scariest thing though was that a black line began to form, separating the seal like a border.
The line then began to expand and open, revealing a large eyeball that had a gray iris and black tendrils with hands on the ends wriggling out of its tear ducts. The tendrils latched onto Naruto, who was at this point crying out in shock and pain as he body began to break away wherever the tendrils touched him.
Desperate, he turned to Shizune and reached a hand out to her, and she did the same while being held back by the continuous expulsion of chakra. "NARUTO!" she cried out as she saw him finally disappear completely. Her sudden change in momentum, due to the chakra vanishing with Naruto, caused her to stumble and fall.
She immediately stood up and rushed back to the main village, pushing her body beyond its limits so that she could reach Tsunade as quick as possible. Meanwhile, one of the ROOT members turned to their partner and the two nodded. Danzo would have to hear about this.
Violet eyes shot wide open as Naruto sat up in shock, still feeling the phantom pains of being broken apart. "Shizune!" he cried out as soon as he sat up, before his surroundings caught his focus.
That was the only word to describe the endless void he found himself in. Nothing but white as far as he could see. Standing up, he called out hesitantly, "Hello…?"
"Hello there," came a voice that sound like a mix of a man's, a woman's, and a child's all in one. Naruto turned to see a humanoid shape with a black outline and no features whatsoever sitting before him. The figure grinned, showing many teeth that were outlined in black just like it was. "Well now, this is interesting. I've never had a visitor from somewhere I've never known about before. You're definitely not an Alchemist either, so we can rule out you trying Human Transmutation."
"Human what now?" asked Naruto in confusion before shaking his head. "No, forget that! Where am I and who the hell are you?!"
"Who am I, you ask. I'm honestly glad you did," replied the entity with its grin still in place. "I go by many titles. I am what you call the World. Or perhaps maybe the Universe, or perhaps God, or perhaps Truth, or perhaps All, or perhaps One. However, I am also," it then pointed at Naruto, and spoke again with his own voice mixed in with the three others, "you."
"Me? But you just said I'm from somewhere you never knew about," argued the blonde. "How could you be me when you never knew about me?"
"A good question!" praised Truth, speaking more in just Naruto's own voice. "But the answer is really unimportant at the moment, isn't it? After all, you're more concerned with how you got here, and if you could return home…right?" Naruto nodded with a serious look on his face, which made Truth's grin drop. "I'll cut to the chase, then. You arrived here because of the actions of a sore loser, and there is no way back to your home with the knowledge you have now."
His eyes widened in shock as he took an involuntary step back. "N-No way back…?" he gasped out.
"Sorry, but those are the breaks. You arrived here with the use of something that tampers with space and time; two very important regions that should never really be messed with. However, it was not your fault that you arrived here." Truth then pointed at Naruto's shadow. "The real culprit is there."
Looking down, Naruto saw that his shadow had taken the form of the Nine Tail's silhouette. Red eyes glared back at him from the shadow, making him growl in anger. "You… You did this to me?!"
"Of course I did!" the fox roared back. "I was so close to finally being free of your wretched body, but then that bastard father of yours shows up and ruins everything for me! Then, you have the gall to try and learn the very technique that he used against me to bring me to you for sealing!"
His fists were clenched and his teeth gnashing together hard enough to draw blood. Truth remained expressionless at the scene, waiting for a moment to cut in. "You wanted freedom from this young man before me," it commented, getting the attention of the two outsiders. "And to do so, you risked the life of the one thing tying you down in the world." Its grin suddenly came back full force and it laughed loudly. "What a foolish and arrogant being you are!"
"You dare call me a fool?! You're the arrogant one, calling yourself God of all things!"
This didn't do anything to stop Truth's laughter. "I'll give you what you want, fox," it offered. "But what would you give up for it?"
"This brat before you! He's the only thing holding me back!" immediately answered the Nine Tails.
"You would so willingly forsake a life for something as trivial as freedom?" Truth then hummed in thought before perking up. "I see now… Fine then! I'll set you free…"
Naruto looked on in horror at that while the shadowy form the fox took grinned maliciously.
"…but I'll take the one thing you pride in as payment," finished Truth as a tremendous gate slowly came into view from nothingness right behind it. As the gate opened up to darkness, Naruto shivered at the sight of the same eye from before opening up inside the gate, only much larger than the one that had opened over his seal. "Come and taste your freedom, spawn of malevolency…but leave your power behind; the very power you held on to with such misgiven pride."
The same dark tendrils from before shot out from the gate, latching onto Naruto's seal. With a forceful tug, they began to pull out a patch of orange fur while the shadowy Nine Tails returned back into Naruto's own shadow. More and more fur began to come out of the seal, taking shape before Naruto and Truth. After what felt like a lifetime of pain from Naruto, the Nine Tails was fully pulled out of him, sitting tall in front of the human.
The fox grinned down at Naruto maliciously before a pulse was heard, sounding much like an echoing heartbeat. While the Uzumaki was gasping for air, the fox suddenly grabbed its stomach in agony, roaring at the pain while its tails lashed out. However, what horrified the fox the most was that its tails began to recede, going from the nine it was so proud of to just a single tail.
That wasn't all. It began to shrink and lose its gargantuan size, already becoming the size of a house. Following this were the snapping of bones that made Naruto cringe and the fox go from roaring to howling in pain. Where once humanoid forelegs presided, now stood two naturally looking fox legs as the once great beast was now the size of an average fox with a single tail.
Still grinning, Truth proclaimed, "There! I have given you what you have truly desired, little fox! You are now free from this human before you, while the power you once prided in remains inside of his very core!"
Naruto was speechless at this, and his jaw then dropped as the fox turned and growled at Truth, giving off a series of angry barks before stopping with a stupefied expression on its face. This made Truth laugh once more.
"You didn't honestly think you were able to even speak without your power, did you? Your freedom has been attained, and you will now live out your days as a normal fox. You should be grateful, for I kept my end of the bargain and gave you your deepest desire."
The fox began to bark angrily again and even made to lunge at Truth, but it was pointless as it was then sent away to an unknown location. Finally finding his voice, though it was still very weak, Naruto asked, "You… You turned him into an ordinary fox?"
"You don't pay attention much, do you?" Truth asked teasingly. "The fox is gone, sent away to live in the wild with its own kind while the power it had rests in you. In time though, the power will fade since it is not truly yours. Though, that odd mark on your body seems to have an interesting purifying effect on the energy. I can already sense it mixing into your natural core after being purified." Truth then chuckled as the thought of this human's future came to mind. He would certainly be an interesting variable to observe. "Give it maybe a year or so to fully integrate into you, and then you will finally be a regular human; except with this energy you call 'chakra' inside of you."
"But wait!" interrupted Naruto. "What happens now? If I can't go back with what I know now, how do I get back then?!"
"Those questions are ones you will have to answer for yourself. I may see and know everything, but that doesn't mean I can just give you all the answers. That's the main point in life; to set off on a journey for the Truth. But even then, it isn't the Truth that is important…"
Naruto then felt some more of those tendrils grabbing him from behind and pulling him into a different gate. With a scream of shock and fear, he was taken inside.
But, just as the gate's doors were closing, he heard Truth finish, "…it is the journey that really matters."
The first thing Naruto experienced when he came to was how incredibly cold it was. His eyes opened and he saw that wherever he arrived at was experiencing a light snowfall. He himself was laying on his back on top of some snowy ground. He sat up and shook his head, getting snow out of his wild locks before standing up fully and patting away the snow on his clothes.
"Geez," he muttered, taking in his surroundings and noticing that he was near a snowy mountain range. "Where the hell am I?"
A breeze passed him, making him shiver and bring his red cloak closer to his body. Deciding that staying in one place would be stupid in this weather, he began to walk toward the mountain's base. He used chakra to keep his feet above the snow, using the same method as the water walking exercise that he had learned during his Chunin Exams years ago.
For nearly an hour, he walked across the snowy plains of whatever land he was in, getting closer to the mountain. His eyes squinted, due to the wind picking up more snow, as he saw something coming up in the distance. As he kept getting closer, the object became clearer before he saw that it was in fact a huge wall made of metal that looked to be a fortress.
"Whoa… That's a big wall," he said to himself in awe before a voice called out to him.
"Hold it! Don't move!"
He paused when he saw two people rise up from seemingly nowhere, dressed in white so that they could stay hidden. The blonde mentally cursed himself for not being more aware of his surroundings while also commending the two men for their great use of camouflage.
"Hands in the air, now!" ordered the second man, holding up a strange device that had a metal tube pointed at him. Naruto frowned slightly before complying, not wanting any trouble. "No sudden moves," the man ordered again as the first one came up behind the Uzumaki and cuffed his hands behind his back.
"You'll be coming with us for questioning," the one who cuffed him explained. "Major Armstrong will want a word with you."
"I didn't mean to trespass," Naruto tried to explain as he was led towards the wall. "I don't even know where I am."
"Save your words for the interrogation, kid. We won't be able to do anything for you," the second soldier stated.
"And a word of advice," the first added, "don't do anything to piss off the Major."
The way the two men tensed up at that made Naruto nervous. 'Just where the hell am I?' he mentally asked as he was led inside the wall.
1~ I'm going to be using the VIZ Media translations for jutsu in this story
And here we are with the first chapter of this new story! I'm honestly very excited to see how you guys will react to this!
Now, for those who are curious, a Butterfly Effect is a theory concerning how a small act can make big changes down the line. In this case, the "wing beats" that started the changes was when Minato told Naruto about his notes concerning the Flying Raijin jutsu. This led to more changes (Tsunade waking up early, Naruto taking up medical lessons, and Naruto becoming a Jonin) before leading to the biggest change; Naruto being forced to leave his home world.
Now, Naruto will start a new chain of "wing beats", starting with his arrival at Fort Briggs. I'll tell you right now that he will be paired with someone that I've wanted to see him with for a while now; Trisha Elric.
*grins* I'll let you guys try and figure out what else will change because of Naruto's butterfly effect! Until next time, everyone!