I should never have let it come to this.
The night burned. The sky, pitch black, moonless and starless, echoed a hundred thousand screams. Great red eyes loomed in the night. The eyes of the Kyuubi no Kitsune, the Nine-tailed Demon Fox. Death had come to Konoha in a guise not seen since Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju's final battle.
I-I'm sorry, Minato. I thought I could stop this, save Kushina...
I stood at the edge of the Hokage Monument, right over my own stone forehead. My head pulsed fiercely, every heartbeat sending flashes of agonising pain through my skull. I'd turned my back on Obito and paid the price. But Obito should be been safe, on our side. Madara had never gotten his hands on him. Tobi didn't exist. But all the same things happened nonetheless.
I drew in my chakra, sending it flowing my arms in a river tightly spiralling into the tip of the arrows and over the staves of Houyi'yan, Bow of the Ten Suns, my bow. It thrummed with chakra. I swallowed the last of the rice.
My bow was beautiful. It was unique in the elemental nations. Where other Ninja used ninjutsu from their hands or mouth, I channelled ninjutsu through my arrows.
Long ranged, and very expensive chakra-wise.
Houyi's Flame: Six Suns of Hell, Blaze!
I loosed. The sky burned. Six arrows shot forth in a fan pattern, each a flaming orb the size of my torso, twisting and rippling through the air, their flames glowing as red and hot as the Kyuubi's rage.
Kushina… I thought I asked you to be nicer to him. You know, talk to him once in a while or something, maybe ask him his name…
The six arrows slammed into Kurama's flank, exploding in a shower of blinding light that had me squinting from kilometers away. The Kyuubi's head whipped around to me as it staggered, two great legs lifting off the ground momentarily before coming down again with an earth shattering sound and a long line of jagged cracks rippling outwards.
There were tiny specks in the distance. Shinobi of Konoha. Chunin and Jonin and ANBU, cannon-fodder all. I would tell them to retreat, but they couldn't, yet. If they didn't hold Kurama at bay, the Kyuubi would be free to rampage all over Konoha itself. Fortunately, there were others, greater ninja, standing with them.
The Six Suns was one of my more powerful techniques. The Kyuubi didn't even take anything more than superficial damage from it. The equivalent of bruises, perhaps. But even bruises count, when they stack up. I knew that because the Kyuubi wasn't my first Bijuu.
I took seven arrows in hand this time. I nocked them onto the bow, one after another, all in a long, neat file. My fingers held down four of them. The other three I held together in place by phantom limbs of chakra. I drew the bow back, and filled it with chakra. More, more. Fire chakra swirled into each of the arrows, flowing through them, coalescing and condensing at their tips.
Hoyui's Flame: Seven Suns of Fortune, Fall!
My fingers began to blister from the heat. I loosed. The sky screamed. Seven arrows shot forth, a wave of fire glowing as hot as the technique's namesake. They impacted and the night died for a brief instant. Kurama howled and screeched and staggered back on his four legs, his tails waving wildly, his face twisted in pain.
Blue and yellow flashed in the distance even as the explosions of the Seven Suns died out. Minato Namikaze had entered the field. Kushina was safe, then? Tsunade was looking after her, to my knowledge.
The Yellow Flash struck at the Kyuubi brutally from every side, turning the battlefield bright with a multitude of Rasengan blows from different angles. He stuck the Kyuubi's neck, flank, front left leg, rear right knee, two of the tails and stomach. I winced a little even as I drew and nocked three more arrows.
I saw Hiruzen Sarutobi slam the Kyuubi back with a single blow of Enma, his Monkey-King summon turned staff. Sakumo Hatake, the White Fang, danced amidst the Kyuubi's feet, lightning flashing at regular intervals from his white saber that was visible even at this distance as a pinprick of light. Konan swept gracefully across its face on her paper wings, bombarding it with her paper explosives. The ground shook as she dove and threw a thousand paper bombs at once, driving the Nine-Tails back in the face of the relentless bombardment that smashed in a trench a mile wide.
The Nine-Tails had picked the wrong village to fuck with. Konohagakure had more S-Class Ninja at this point in history than any two other villages combined.
Still, I needed more. I shot a single arrow, that gave off intermittent chakra pulses. Those who knew to read the chakra pulses knew what it indicated:
"I'm going to bomb the fuck out of this general vicinity. Best get back."
They did exactly that. Kurama took advantage of the sudden space to take a step back and take in the situation around him. Big mistake. I fired two more arrows in unison.
Hoyui's Breath: Taker of the Skies!
Hoyui's Bone: Kingdom of Gravel!
The first arrow flew lazily, curving a high crescent. It reached a spot directly above the Kyuubi, and then exploded. A physically visible ripple of force and air lanced out in all directions, falling earthwards, encasing the Kyuubi within a dome of woven wind that spun so tightly it was nigh solid. It was equally to hem him in as it was to protect the others.
The second arrow moved like the hand of god reaching down to hammer the ground with the strongest punch it could muster, at the very edge of the dome. The earth within the dome twisted and buckled and cracked in an instant, breaking apart into a billion tiny pieces, each one the size of my fist, hardened and jagged with teeths of stone to rip into flesh and bone. They rose as one, swirled into a hurricane by the dome. The maelstrom of rock tore through the Kyuubi ruthlessly. Normal humans would've been turned to mulch in seconds.
Kingdom of Gravel lasted fifteen seconds. When it ended, the Kyuubi lay bleeding and whimpering, one leg limping, but it lived. The ground around it was ravaged, the earth scoured away for a dozen meters down, even part of the bedrock gouged away. But it slowly stood up.
The Kyuubi finally looked up at me, it's bloody eyes piercing through the gloom to meet mine. I defiantly stared back.
Then it roared. It bunched up its muscles and leapt, right over the assembled fighters, making a beeline straight for me.
It didn't get far, though. I saw Minato put his hands together then to the ground, and then a toad sat on top of Kurama. Toad and Fox landed into the ground with a mighty crash, digging a furrow the size of a small mountain, downwards. Gamabunta looked unruffled, though he kept one hand on his Katana.
Kurama would not yet submit. I saw the Kyuubi open his mouth wide, an orb of ebony annihilation forming: a Bijuu-bomb. Not that I wasn't expecting it. My hands were already drawing back the next arrow. A single shot.
Hoyui's Shadow: Demon-Shocking Bolt, Bioshock!
The arrow flew, black and true. It pierced the Bijuu-bomb, popping it like a balloon, and lodged into the back of Kurama's throat. He gave a mighty spasm, and collapsed. The chakra seals on the arrow were alternatively grabbing and releasing his chakra, pushing and pulling it apart and preventing him from using it for anything. It played hell on his body, like someone was short-circuiting it every few moments.
Just like that, the battle was over. It hadn't lasted an hour. The kyuubi had broken free of its seal and I'd been clubbed in the back of my head by my personal ANBU guard, Swallow. Also known as Obito.
When I came to, less than twenty minutes afterwards, my other bodyguard, Tiger, stood over me bandaging the back of my head, while Hiruzen, Sakumo and Konan had already engaged the Bijuu with support from other ninjas of Konoha. From then, it was a simple matter for me to retrieve Houyi'yan and find a vantage point.
And I… I now had a choice: kill Kurama or let him live.
...I never thought I would need to make this choice.
I could kill Kurama, either by sealing him within a dying person or simply tearing his body apart to shreds. He would disperse, not to pull himself back together for centuries. And without the Nine-Tails, the Ten-Tails could never be and Madara and Zetsu's plans would be foiled. But did Kurama deserve it? Deserve the fear and hatred and imprisonment and possibly being controlled, and in the end annihilation? And though Madara would be dead, Zetsu would live, to plan and plot and conspire once again in the future.
This had been no desperate fight like in canon. Kushina hadn't been dying, Naruto hadn't been kidnapped by Tobi. The Kyuubi hadn't even reached the outskirts of the village. It had been stopped dead by me, Sakumo, Konan, Jiraiya, Hiruzen, and now Minato.
Things suddenly grew… quiet. Minato glanced towards the direction of the Hokage Mountain, then teleported to beside me.
"How's Kushina?" I asked quietly, lowering Houyi'yan. The markings along the staves faded, as the chakra dispersed.
"Tsunade-sama says she will live. Naruto's fine too. But…" Minato replied softly. His body was quavered.
I guessed. "She can't seal Kurama back in yet. She's too weak."
"Yes, I- I don't know what to do!" Minato looked exhausted, his eyes were bloodshot. His flak jacket was torn in pieces and there was blood on his face and arms. His chakra must've been flagging too.
Noting Kurama twitching and squirming out of the corners of my eyes, I nodded to Minato, "Bring her back here. We need her chains on the Kyuubi before we talk further."
Whatever indecision that might've been plaguing Minato, they melted away under my orders. He trusted me explicitly. I trusted him explicitly. We gave each other good advice. He teleported away with the next blink.
I spun my bow in my hand and with a quick twist slung it over my head diagonally across my body. It took me only a few minutes to cross Kohona and land near the outer fields where Kurama lay. Kushina stood there, pale and clammy, hanging onto Minato and Tsunade. I put my hands on her shoulder, grabbing my Uzumaki chakra and pushing it onto Kushina's. I felt Kushina's depleted chakra resist for a moment, then slowly meld with my own, and then Kushina wove her hands in a dizzying array of seals and markings, faster than I could even though she was weakened and exhausted.
Golden chains erupted out, whipping into the sky to wrap around Kurama. The Kyuubi snarled and gnashed his teeth, but Gamabunta and the newly arrived Katsuyu held him fast, pinning him down. The chains tore through his flesh in eruptions of gore and chakra and wrapped around every limb and tail, pinning them against his torso. More chains wrapped around his neck and his muzzle, tussling him up securely. He squirmed and struggled, but the chains had no give.
I took a step back from Kushina, who gratefully collapsed back into Minato's arms. I knelt down beside her, murmuring, "Shh, Kushina, it'll be alright. We're here. I'll hold the chains. You rest."
She mumbled something back. "N-Nar-"
Without a word, Konan stepped forwards, holding the baby Naruto in her arms. This was my first time looking at my newest relative. He was small and flabby, ugly and cute at the same time in the way only babies could be. His eyes were scrunched shut and the birthmarks were visible. They were very cute whiskers.
Kushina handed me one end of the Adamantine Sealing Chains. I wrapped it around my hand and held it fast, feeling it siphon chakra bit by bit in the same way advanced chakra string techniques did. But nothing I couldn't handle for a few hours. She cradled the baby Naruto tightly in her arms, as if afraid he would disappear right out of his swaddling clothes. Minato held his arm under hers, bracing his child and wife.
"Take them home, Minato." I said wearily. The rice was wearing off. Giving Kushina the chakra to materialize the chains took a lot out of me. "And you lot, clear out too! The Kyuubi is still dangerous!" I barked behind me. A crowd of people had gathered there, come out of shelters when the fighting had ended, shinobi and civilians both. Instantly the shinobi sprang into action, herding the latter away.
Couldn't relax yet. I was the Yondaime Hokage. They needed me. I directed a squad of ANBU to watch over Minato and Kushina. Tsunade hurried off to the Hospital, or perhaps after Kushina. Jiraiya exchanged a fierce grin and a thumbs up with me before disappearing. Others stood by me still, however.
"Sarutobi-sama, can you take over my duties as Hokage for the next few hours? I will be indisposed." I asked the aged former Hokage standing nearby, holding up the chains I held.
"Certainly. Do be careful now, would you." The third turned, then added, "That was a very impressive display of ninjutsu. I don't think I taught you all that." With that, he disappeared in a burst of speed in the direction of the Hokage Tower.
"You didn't make me Hokage just so I could do your paperwork!" I called after him. I smiled for a second, then sobered as I turned to the next person.
"Did you find Kakashi yet, Sakumo-san?" I said to the decorated veteran of two wars. Kakashi had gone missing two days ago, and though I had dozens of people looking for him, we couldn't find him. I couldn't imagine what it felt like to Sakumo, with his fourteen-year old ANBU son disappearing so abruptly.
And just before the Kyuubi attack too.
He replied with a curt "No." Any more would show too much emotion. I said, "I'm sorry, but I'll have to pull manpower back to the village. The search-"
The White Fang gave a nod, looking more tired and defeated than ever. He was aging, I knew. He had been searching just before the attack, but he hadn't had time to report to me when I called all available ninja back to the village.
"I care about Kakashi too. We'll find him. We don't let one of ours vanish so easily." I reassured the man. He said nothing, instead glancing at the Kyuubi one last time before sheathing his lightsaber.
I gave a quiet sigh and sat down in front of Kurama, unslinging my bow and placing it beside me. His baleful red eyes glared at me. They weren't possessed by the Sharingan, which gave me both good and bad news.
With my legs crossed and arms relaxed with one hand still holding onto the chains, I looked unperturbed by the events of the night or by the fact that I currently held onto the bindings of one of the the most powerful superweapons on the continent.
Konan came up to me, "Hey," she said as she sat down beside me.
"Hey." I replied.
She ran her hands over my head and back, examining the bandages, "Are you alright? I was worried when you didn't show up at first."
I snarled uncharacteristically, "I was betrayed." She knew betrayal. Her face went taut, "Who?" She asked in a clipped voice.
"Swallow. Obito Uchiha." She took a sharp intake of breath. I continued: "I am getting to the bottom of this. He could've killed me if Tiger hadn't arrived on time and fought him off."
"Why would he do it? I thought, you knew…?" She asked, moving her arms and gesturing vaguely.
Oh, certainly, I wouldn't keep the secrets of my knowledge from the woman I loved, but neither would I tell her everything. A man from another world I might be, who had seen all this unfold on television screens and paper manga, but nonetheless I was an inhabitant of this world.
Renaro Uzumaki had never been to Earth. He had lived in the Elemental Nations for almost half again as long as he had memories of Earth. Without the Rabbits, he wouldn't have remembered anything at all.
So Konan knew that I knew things, but she didn't know the exact specifics of how or why, only that it was related to the Rabbits of the Moon.
"I've had food bought." She said suddenly, receiving a bento box from an ANBU. I looked around, realising we were all surrounded by them in a half circle, keeping a respectful distance from me and a wary eye on the Nine-Tails. "Here," she said, raising a bite to my mouth.
"Um," I said, looking around at the ANBU around me and not blushing a little. Then I caught her stormy eyes and argued no more.
In between bites, I asked, "You aren't hurt at all?"
She shook her head. "Please. I know better than to let that thing hit me."
'That thing' grunted. We tensed for a moment, but Kurama made no move. With one eye open, he simply stared at us.
"What're you going to do with it?" Konan asked.
"Not it." I said absently. "Him. He has a name and a personality."
Kurama's eyes flickered to me and stayed on.
"As for what to do? I don't know." I said simply. Konan raised an eyebrow. "It… depends on Kushina." I added.
Konan nodded, swiping a stray strand of lavender hair out of her eyes. We continued eating.
An hour passed. Others came by to visit. Jiraiya dropped by and watched the Kyuubi with me for a while, before summoning a Toad, Gerotora, I think, to give him warning if anything happened. Gerotora kept her distance from me, eyeing me distastefully. Summons didn't like me. Tsunade checked up on me, proclaimed I was perfectly healthy and went on her way, Rin following on her heels. One of the squads of ANBU rotated out.
Konan eventually leaned against my side and closed her eyes. Then she took a nap while babysitting the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox.
I closed my eyes too, leaning against her, and slipped away.
Did you foresee this too? You Rabbits, flittering and hopping around, all warm and soft on the surface and steel and ivory on the inside? You would have me break this world beneath my heels, if it meant there would be peace. A peace so deep… that it would be like the dark.
You can't have peace in daylight, when all the flaws and follies of men are laid out on the open for others to see and jeer at. Only silence and solitude brings peace. Would you have me thrust every human into darkness and loneliness, then?
The Infinite Tsukuyomi was a plan doomed to failure, you all knew, and yet you let Kaguya Otsutsuki carry it out, to its demise and her own.
And now you hand me that same burden.
I am the Son of Ten Suns. The Last Son of Uzushiogakure. One day, I will cease to act to your whims.
From the top of the world, the only road left leads downwards.
If you have concerns that the MC is too powerful, understand that I'm not a shitty enough writer to make a mary sue SI fic. It's noonday for the Son of Ten Suns. But, eventually, the sun must set. The next few chapters should show that.
I'm not certain if starting an SI story in media res is the best idea, but I hope it's followable. My knowledge of Naruto is almost entirely secondhand, so correct me on any errors I might make.
This isn't my first story, but this is the first time I'm posting on here. Feel free to review, comment or criticize. Constructive is appreciated and I'll try to work with any suggestions I deem relevant, destructive and flames make me go "lol" and move on.
Thanks for reading.