Chapter 15: Difference In Power.
For a moment, a single moment, the world stood still. Han's declaration along with the ease of him killing Honda had shocked the remaining chuunin to their cores. Han, seeing the lowered guard of the chuunin, moved at a blistering speed to the nearest enemy. Appearing in front of a shocked Kensei, Han twirled his kunai and jammed it through Kensei's throat, with a sharp twist the kunai was ripped out as nearby chuunins were splattered with blood. The soft thud of Kensei's body hitting the ground stirred the shocked Leaf ninjas into action. Twin cries of rage rang out as two ninjas tried to stab Han from either side. Naruto watched on as Han once again moved almost too fast to track, with lightning reflexes he grabbed the wrists of the two ninjas and with a mighty heave he pulled the two closer and made them stab each other in the chest. The two dropped dead as a black-headed kunoichi rushed Han from behind, she took a deep breath and unleashed a torrent of fire at point-blank range. The flames completely enveloped Han and for a split second the remaining Leaf forces were given hope that their enemy was defeated, that hope was broken as Han's hand shot out of the fire covering the Kunoichi's mouth as terror shone in her eyes. Han lifted the woman and slammed her into the ground with such strength the ground cratered.
"He's a monster." Naruto heard Aijin whisper in horror next to him.
"No. He's just an S-class ninja." Naruto couldn't help but reply, he had encountered many S-class ninjas but they all had one thing in common. They either needed him alive or were playing with him and his team, the red monster was the first S-class ninja who the blond had met aside from the crippled Orochimaru who was simply there to kill them. A sense of dread overcame Naruto as he saw how utterly outclassed they all were compared to Han.
Han, who was standing over the dead kunoichi, spun around as earth spikes sprang from behind him. With a wide swing of his arm, the spikes were broken and rendered useless as the three chuunin from the escort team sped towards the red giant with their weapons drawn. As they got closer Han closed his eyes and his chakra spiked before Naruto could shout out to warn his comrades Han opened his eyes and spoke.
"Boil Style: Scorching Mist." Just before the three Leaf ninjas could land their attacks, thick steam erupted from Han's armor surrounding him and the escort team, cries of pain echoed across the clearing before they were cut off one by one. Han exploded out of the mist and landed a crushing kick to another ninja, a resounding crack could be heard as his chest caved inward and the ninja was sent flying away from the remaining Leaf forces.
"Oh my god." Josei said as she fell to her knee's in shock as her insets began to buzz around her in agitation. Han hearing the teen raced over to the downed Kunoichi and raised his fist in preparation for a strike. Naruto bit the inside of his cheek so hard he tasted blood and buried his feelings of dread and despair deep inside himself. He began to gather chakra into his right arm and moved faster than any previous time of his life. Han, who was mid-swing suddenly stopped and shifted his arm to cover his face as a black fist impacted into his armor. The stone ninja's eyes widened when the force of the blow made him take a step back, using the opening Naruto sent a kick that sent Han skidding back a few feet. Naruto used quickly created a clone that picked up Josie and took her away from battle, the blonde's instinct flared like never before as he channeled tremendous amounts of chakra to reinforce his body as his arms came up too just barely in time to block a lighting fast strike from Han that sent the younger man through the caravan they were tasked with escorting. Naruto hissed in pain, his arm feeling like it had a mountain dropped on it.
'Fox, I need your help, anything you can offer would be great.' Naruto thought as once again his instincts flared, his eyes snapped to the sky where Han was. Steam exploded from the back of his armor as the red giant propelled himself down.
"Boil Style: Erupting Strong Foot!" With a quick body flicker, Naruto got out of the way as Han dropped down from the sky obliterating the Caravan and all of the supplies. Naruto took a glance around to see how the rest of his comrades were holding up, most were shaken, some were angry but everyone was ready to fight. Out of the original 18 Ninja, 7 were dead and Josei was too disturbed to continue, he saw another pair of chuunin rush the wreckage.
"Wait! Don't get close!" Naruto tried to warn his comrades but it was futile, they were too overcome with rage to listen to him. Han blasted out of the wreckage and clotheslined the two ninjas sending them crashing into the ground clutching their throats as they desperately trying to inhale air. Without hesitation, Han brought down his hands in a double chop to the necks of the downed ninja ending their suffering. Gritting his teeth in anger Naruto felt an outpour of the nine-tails chakra, his injuries healed and the chakra began to form a shroud around him with three tails forming behind him. Han's head snapped straight to the now red-eyed blond as he burst forward and hit Han away from his remaining allies. Naruto felt the fear of his comrades as they stared at him but the blond didn't care right now the biggest threat was the armored giant who was staring at the blond in an almost melancholy manor.
"To think, I would end up fighting kin." Han let out a sigh before he was slowly enveloped in a shroud of crimson chakra and an aura of death was felt as Han's killing intent skyrocketed.
Naruto felt his heart stop. Another Jinchuriki, but one who was already leagues above the blond even without the use of his tenant's chakra. Han disappeared from Naruto's sight, and the next moment the only thing Naruto could feel was pain. It took a moment for the blond to reorient himself. He was laying in a trench and he felt the damage to his injured chest being healed rapidly by fox's chakra. Naruto saw Han walking forward slowly a single tail swaying behind him. Naruto looked around and saw that the remaining chuunin were all on their knee's from Han's killing intent. The blond poured all the chakra he could as he shouted his signature jutsu.
"Multi Shadow Clone Jutsu!" The clearing was filled with thousands of copies of the blond, each clone lacked the chakra shroud but had a feral look indicating that they had the nine-tails chakra coursing through them. Dozens of clones charged Han who began to effortlessly dispel them at an alarming rate. Naruto took deep breaths, he had used up the majority of chakra the nine-tails had given him along with a good portion of his reserves to summon the clones and his shroud of chakra went from three tails down to one The blond made his way quickly over to Aijin and Josei who had grouped up with the remaining chuunin during the blonds scuffle with the Stone ninja. The group looked at the blond warily but Naruto didn't have time to waste over any petty feelings of unease. Naruto looked to Aijin who was the most composed of the group
"You need to head back to base now and warn them about Han." Aijin looked at the blond as if he was crazy.
"You can't expect us to leave you here to fight him alone!"
Naruto let out a grimace at the thought of facing Han alone. "None of you stand a chance against him, I at least can distract him long enough for you guys to escape." Aijin opened his mouth to argue before another older chuunin placed his hand on his shoulder and spoke to him.
"Naruto is right, this has become a battle between jinchuriki. We would only get in the way, our top priority right now is letting the base know about Han." Naruto turned around to when a clone notified him of Han heading towards the group, the blond grit his teeth as he once again began to gather chakra. His clones had made a circle around the older jinchuriki but Han had just broken through. Naruto began to channel wind chakra into his kunai before launching it at the charging Stone ninja and blazing through hand seals.
"Kunai Shadow clone Jutsu!" The single kunai was soon joined by dozens of identical copies, Han sensing the danger spun in place as a wave of steam and chakra went forward and knocked the incoming kunai out of the way. Aijin, Josei and the rest of the chuunin took the opportunity to leave. Han once again resumed his charge, Naruto seeing this formed a Rasengan in and began to pump more and more chakra into it as he met Han's charge with his own. It began to increase in size until it was three times larger than a regular Rasengan, though unlike a normal Rasengan, this one was unstable and Naruto struggled to maintain its form. The red-clad warrior brought up his arm and steam began to pour out of it, as the two neared they locked eyes before bringing their attacks forward.
"Boil Style: Erupting Propulsion Fist!" The two attacks met and the two stood even for a fraction of a second. Naruto's Rasengan collapsed and exploded as Han's fist tore through the condensed chakra striking the young blond in the face as he was sent flying. Han was also sent tumbling back once the explosion caught up with him. Naruto shakily stood up as his vision began to blur. The remaining clones began charging Han once they saw their creator being sent flying. Each clone formed an unstable Rasengan as they began throwing themselves at the older jinchuriki who was quickly swallowed by a tide of exploding Rasengans.
'Damn it! This fucking hurts!' Naruto raged as he looked at his bleeding right arm, there were deep gashes all over it from the exploding Rasengan, even with the nine-tails regeneration it was healing very slowly. Naruto took the moment to catch his breath while his clones distracted Han who was looking slightly worse for wear as a big crack could be seen on the chest plate of his armor. Han then let out a roar as he spun and three tails extended destroying any nearby clones, in the same fluid motion Han pierced the ground and water surrounded the kneeling man. Naruto acted without thinking once he felt his instincts flare.
"Earth Style: Mud Wall!" A small but thick wall of earth rose in front of the blond when he heard Han shout his technique.
"Boil Style: Steam Explosion!" Naruto felt the ground shake as superheated steam flew across the clearing destroying all of his clones. The wall of earth that protected the young blond crumbled as a hand broke through and latched on to Naruto's throat. Han's grip was as strong as steel, the blond could see he was back to one tail. Naruto saw his vision darkening as Han's slammed him into the ground, Just before the blond could lose consciousness he felt the all too familiar tug in his navel.
The damp ground of his seal was a welcome break from the confrontation with Han, Naruto looked at the seal and saw the nine-tails observing him with a calculating look.
"You're Losing." Naruto looked at the giant fox with a stoic face
"Really? I hadn't noticed." The blond tried to keep the sarcasm out of his voice but the stress of the situation got to him.
"The five-tails container is strong, far stronger than you."
"Did you drag me in here just to mock me? Cause I kinda have a giant angry red man to deal with that is in the middle of strangling me to death." The Nine-tails narrowed his eyes and let out a huff of annoyance.
"Oh? And what exactly were you planning to do to escape?" The blond grit his teeth knowing that he couldn't have done anything. "I brought you here to let you know I'm going to be giving you more chakra." Naruto looked at the fox in curiosity.
"Then why bring me here at all." A small almost sinister smile formed on the ancient fox.
"I'll be giving you four tails worth of my chakra." A sense of weariness erupted from the blond.
"And why is that any more special than the other times you've given me chakra."
"You have noticed that you become more aggravated when you use my chakra yes?" Naruto nodded it was impossible to miss how his emotions especially his anger would spike. "The effects of my chakra grow exponentially from the third to fourth tail. Not only that but your sensory range for my ability also increases dramatically. The worst part is that now you'll unlock more of my ability." Naruto's eyes widened. "Before it hasn't been an issue but once you enter the fourth tailed stage it will be active until you stop using my chakra." The blond felt his heart hammer, what kind of monstrous ability did the fourth tail unlock?
"What's the ability?" Asked Naruto with trepidation. The Great fox lowered himself so he was eye to eye with the young blond.
"Empathy." The blond stood in silence for a while trying to process what the fox had said.
"Empathy?" Repeated the blond, his tone conveying doubt. The nine-tails looked at Naruto with annoyance.
"Yes, Empathy." The nine-tails said his tone taking a hard edge."Once you use my fourth tail you will be able to constantly sense negative emotion, not just the spikes of malcontent the enemy has when they attack. So now imagine, feeling every negative emotion from miles around. Their anger, their sadness, their fear, their greed, their guilt, their hate."The nine-tails paused giving Naruto time to digest the information. "You'll experience everything as if you were experiencing it yourself, tell me Naruto." The red eyes of the nine-tails seemed to intensify as they gazed into the blue-eyed human."Do you think that my ability is something that can be easily brushed aside?" The tension in the air was palpable and Naruto was tempted to look away but a steely determination manifested in the blond and he held the fox's gaze.
"I can do it" The fox didn't say anything and the two stood in silence for what felt like an eternity, then the silence was broken as the nine-tails shifted his many tails.
"We'll see." That was the final thing Naruto heard before he was swallowed by a tidal wave of red chakra.
The chuunin's eyes snapped open as he sent a kick to Han's torso sending the older jinchuriki flying back. The blond landed on all fours and he was about to rush Han when he suddenly stopped.
Pain. He felt the pain of hundreds of people all around as they struggled to survive
Anxiety. He felt the anxiety of those who worried about getting caught up in this war, of soldiers .wishing they wouldn't have to go to the front lines.
Envy. He felt the envy of the populace who wished they lived in the walled settlements of the hidden villages.
Anger. He felt the anger of those who wished that the war never started to ruin their peaceful lives.
Fear. He felt the fear of the soldiers who wanted to go home and of the civilians who hoped their loved ones wouldn't get caught in an attack by an enemy army.
Hate. So much hate. Naruto felt the hate the leaf had for the invading Stone ninja. He felt the Hate and resentment of the Stone ninja who still suffered from the last war. He felt the hate of the adults who cursed both villages for fighting a war that had nothing to do with them on their land. The blond clutched his head as tears started to fall from his eyes as he tried to comprehend all the new emotions he was experiencing. The blond vaguely heard Han in the background let loose a roar of rage, without thinking the blond jumped back as he felt a spike of anger, sorrow, and hate directed at him. The action snapped the blond out of his anguish as he now had a target for all of his emotions. Han landed in the spot the blond occupied moments before five tails swaying behind him.
"I've had enough of this, you're far too much trouble." Naruto felt another rush of chakra as a fifth tail grew, his he felt a rise in aggression and for a moment his he could only see red. Letting out a war cry the younger jinchuriki rushed his older counterpart. Naruto could see Han dodge and duck under his furious flurry of clawed swipes and kicks, this only caused his anger to rise and he redoubled his efforts. Han ducked under another swipe from an extended chakra hand and launched his own chakra fist that sent the savage blond tumbling away.
"Enough!" Han shouted as Naruto got back up. "You have no control, you can't win against me. But seeing how stubborn you are let me show you just how outclassed you truly are." Han's tone became darker as he finished his sentence. Naruto was about to rush the Stone ninja again when an explosion of chakra tore the clearing all around them, the blond shifted his stance as he braced himself and he watched as Han enveloped himself in a sphere of pure chakra. There was a pulse from the sphere which created a creator and Naruto was snapped out of his anger induced haze as every single survival instinct he had made him want to run away. Slowly the sphere broke apart to reveal a miniature five-tails. Han now looked vaguely like a horse with an elongated head, his entire body was a crimson red and his eyes looked like pools of glowing ivory.
"This, is what is called a version 2 cloak. It's something only jinchuriki with a mastery over their beasts chakra can achieve." Naruto shivered, Han's voice didn't sound human anymore. Naruto took half a second to think about his options knowing running away was impossible so he did what felt most natural.
"Multi-Shadow Clone Jutsu!'' The clearing, which was torn up from the clashing Jinchuriki, was for a second time that hour filled to the brim with clones.
"That won't work!" Han said as he raised himself to stand on his hind legs before bringing his hoofs down sending a shockwave across the clearing dispelling many of the newly created clones. Naruto started to panic as the remaining clones began to throw every jutsu they had in their arsenal at Han in the hopes of doing damage. Han was bombarded by a rainstorm of fireballs, windblasts, kunai and Lighting bolts. The older jinchuriki did not even acknowledge the jutsus being thrown at him as he ran through every attack as if it didn't exist, ramming clone after clone as he rampaged. Han was approaching the real Naruto who felt the frustration getting to him at being unable to even hurt the older jinchuriki, so he began to form a Rasengan. The blond began to pour unholy amounts of chakra into it as it grew steadily in his hand, he had a clone stand next to him to help stabilize the growing sphere as Naruto continued to pump the Rasengan with more and more chakra. The Rasengan was taller than the blond and just as wide when the blond had finished fueling it with chakra. Naruto jumped in the air as several of his clones rushed and latched themselves to Han to hold him in place.
"Rasengan!" The giant Rasengan slammed into Han and the clones retraining him instantly dispelled. Naruto felt the Rasengan begin to dig into the earth taking Han along with it but the progress stopped abruptly and then Naruto felt himself being pushed back as the Rasengan was being lifted into the air by big white horns. Naruto was then flung through the surrounding trees as his Rasengan fell apart as his concentration faltering. The blond slowly threw a log off himself as he stared at the fully transformed Han.
'Fuck.' Naruto thought as he stared at the fully transformed jinchuriki taking the form of his prisoner, the five-tailed dolphin horse. Naruto brought his thumb up to his mouth where his elongated fang sank into his flesh, going through the necessary hand seals to be able to summon some help.
"Summoning Jutsu." There was a giant cloud of smoke which soon revealed the toad boss. Before Gamabunta could question his appearance he had to dodge a head butt by jumping high in the air to avoid the charging Han.
"What the Hell! Is that the fucking Five-tails!?" Naruto who was clinging to the top of Gamabunta's head shouted at the toad boss to get his attention.
"I'm sorry Bunta, I didn't know what else to do to try and deal with him." The toad let out a gruff tsk as he had to dodge the charging Han once more.
"Well there isn't much I can do but I'll help where I can. You owe me some barrels of Saki brat."
"Thanks, Bunta." Naruto watched as Han continued to run forward before turning around and dashing back trampling large areas of the forest. Gamabunta once again jumped up to avoid the transformed jinchuriki only for Han to jump as well. In the air, Han spun swinging his tails at the boss toad. Gamabunta grunted in pain as he was sent flying away by the impact of the tails.
"Damn, he's fast." Naruto couldn't disagree, Han was on them the second they landed and so far Gamabunta was lucky to escape so un-harm. Then Han did something that took the blond by surprise, he jumped straight back and away from the duo. He then brought his five tails above his head where little orbs of chakra began to gather into a black orb. Naruto felt his instincts flare again, whatever that orb was it wasn't good. "Shit! He's too far to stop, hold on kid, it's about to get bumpy!" Naruto looked back and forth between the toad boss and Han.
"What is that!" The chief toad didn't have time to reply, Han decided it was an appropriate time to unleash his attack and he brought his head forward. Naruto's vision went white for a moment as felt the intense movement of the chief toad as he dodged whatever the attack was. There was a deafening blast and the earth shook from the impact. Naruto saw his vision return and looked back and saw the utter devastation the attack had left behind. There was a long trench formed from the trail of the attack leading to a mountain. Naruto felt his legs almost buckle.
The mountain was missing it's upper half, the blond finally fell to his knees when an influx of emotions reached him. Terror, fear, and panic filled his being as he felt hundreds of people reacting to the aftermath of Han's attack.
Naruto was brought back by the voice of Gamabunta. "That, was the tailed beast bomb. It's the Tailed-beast's strongest attack." Naruto looked back at Han and his heart stopped for the second time that day. Han was about to fire another blast, the ball expanded without warning into a beam, Gamabunta let out a curse as he desperately jumped to the side to try and avoid the attack. Naruto heard the boss toad scream in pain as the beam managed to catch the toads left arm incinerating it along with a good portion of the surrounding forest. Gamabunta fell to the ground clutching his stump arm before he was dispelled from the damage he sustained. Naruto tumbled to the ground at the sudden loss of his living platform before having to body-flicker away to avoid a giant hoof of Han. Steam enveloped Han as his body began to shrink back into his five tailed version one form. There was total silence that was only broken by Han's heavy footsteps that echoed across the remains of the forest. Han looked completely unharmed aside from a single crack in his chest plate. Naruto grit his teeth in an attempt to curve his anger which was amplified by the emotions of others inside his sensory range.
Han dashed forward and brought his fist in a downward strike and the blond couldn't move fast enough to block. His body was sent crashing into the ground and before he could get up Han kicked the blond in the chest sending him rolling away. Naruto felt the nine-tails chakra heal his injuries and his vision went black for a moment as his chakra levels dipped. All the raging emotions of the villagers and ninjas suddenly went quiet and the Naruto could think clearly again. The blond looked back and saw he only had two chakra tails. 'That's not good' Naruto thought as he moved his arms in an attempt to pick himself up only to stop as searing hot pain erupted from his muscles. Holding back a shout of pain the blond forced himself to his feet despite the protest of his body.
"Looks like you've reached your limit." Han's voice was back to normal and Naruto glared at the approaching figure as he continued to talk. "Our bodies weren't made to use the beast's chakra. It takes years of dedication and practice before the negative side effects no longer affect you." Han was about 20 paces from the blond at this point. "The beasts chakra has incredible healing properties but did you know it's also incredibly corrosive to humans. The more chakra we channel the bigger the effect. I knew that I couldn't defeat you if you started using more of your prisoner's chakra than what you were already using. Out of the nine, the one you contain is on a level of its own, luckily I just had to wear you out to the point your body could no longer handle channeling its chakra." Han was ten paces away when he was hit by a searing blast of fire that knocked him away and the blond felt a sense of relief overcome him.
"Look at this Kakuzu. Lord Jashin has blessed us, looks like we've got a two for one deal on the demon containers!" Naruto's head snapped back to where the attack had come from and standing there where two people with black cloaks and red clouds. Naruto couldn't believe it. the Akatsuki had shown up.