What makes a legend a legend?
A smirk made it onto Naruto's lips as Kaguya was finally defeated. Sealed away so securely that escape was impossible.
They had won.
But at a price.
"Naruto, damnit, stay with us! Sakura, do something!"
Oh, look, the teme showed emotion for once. Naruto honestly hadn't thought he would ever see Sasuke display any outward emotion again. It's nice, in a way, to see that he still cared.
He's a little too late though.
Sakura's hand glowed green as sweat trickled down her forehead. "I don't know! None of my techniques are responding!"
Kaguya's final attack, all of her hatred and rage condensed into one devastating strike, had hit Naruto square in the chest. Her last revenge. A goddess's wrath.
A normal man must first have a dream.
Naruto. You're going to live. I don't know how, but something will happen. You hear me? You're going to live. I command you to.
Sorry, Kurama, but I think that's it for me.
Kurama growled. An angry sound that couldn't cover up the worry in his voice. You're not going to leave me. I refuse to let you leave me.
Always so demanding, Naruto smiled internally.
"What's wrong with Naruto?" His dear sensei. Kakashi-sensei. Naruto could hear the desperation in his voice, and he could feel the agony Kakashi-sensei must be going through.
Kakashi was going to lose one of his precious people again.
That's right. If you die, that brat is probably going to sink into a depression and be angsty and edgy for the next decade. So you better not die.
By taking action to accomplish that dream, a man becomes a hero.
Sakura despairingly gazed up at Kakashi. "Nothing. There's nothing wrong with Naruto that I can detect. Cell degeneration, organ failure, necrosis, psychosis, haemorrhaging, psychological breakdown. . . there's nothing I can find. Naruto is healthy, both physically and mentally. He should be fine."
"But he's dying."
"He's not allowed to die," and suddenly, Kakashi was in Naruto's face. It was so odd, seeing both of Kakashi's grey eyes filled with concern. "Naruto. Can you hear me? Can you respond?"
Naruto tried to open his mouth. He tried to do something, anything. But nothing worked.
Naruto, I'm telling you, I can't heal you if there's nothing to heal.
Naruto could feel Kurama's chakra coursing through his system, looking for any wounds, anything that could be fixed, and finding nothing.
When a hero achieves greatness and becomes known throughout the entire world, he becomes a legend. Someone written down in eternity. Someone who has bled to reach greatness.
"Not again not again not again!" Kakashi was wild now. He jerked away from Naruto, hands flying to grab his head, eyes scrunching shut. "Think, you failure, think!"
"Kakashi-sensei. . ." Sakura reached out and touched Kakashi's shoulder. He ignored her, eyes still closed as he tried to think of some way, some technique to save Naruto.
"Hn. I guess once dobe, always a dobe." Sasuke's goad once might have enraged Naruto, forcing Naruto to push past his limits to punch the teme one more time.
But now, Naruto couldn't do anything.
Don't worry, Kurama. We've won. That's all I care about.
But that's not what I care about.
I know. I'm sorry.
"His life force is almost gone now," Sakura had given up, her hands fluttering down helplessly to her side. "I can't do anything."
"Dobe, if you die now, then I'll become Hokage."
That was enough to give Naruto the power to open his mouth. "Teme. . ."
Naruto Uzumaki was a hero. Naruto Uzumaki was a legend. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that the Elemental Nations would never, ever forget the name "Naruto Uzumaki."
The three were on him in an instant. "Naruto! What's wrong? How do you feel?"
Naruto smiled. He didn't have much time left. He didn't have any hope that he'll be saved either. Kaguya's strike was almighty and all-powerful. The attack almost felt. . . alien, in a way. Naruto knew he wouldn't survive. "I'm not going to. . . make it."
Tears welled up in Sakura's eyes. "Naruto, don't leave us. Konoha needs you - we need you."
"Don't be like Rin don't be like Obito don't be like Minato Naruto please please please just live just live JUST LIVE!" Kakashi's hands twitched madly, as if trying to form hand seals but not knowing which hand seals to form to save Naruto.
"Hn. If you die now, then I will be the unilateral winner of our rivalry." Sasuke grabbed Naruto's hand, gripping it tightly. "Dying now is the same as giving up. Are you going to give up?"
Naruto tried to laugh, but could only manage a feeble chuckle instead. "Up. . . to you now. Protect Konoha."
Sasuke hesitated only for a moment before nodding. "I will. I promise."
Naruto smiled, his blue eyes bright and accepting of his fate. "Love. . . you guys."
And his eyes closed and his heart inexplicably and unexplainably stopped and he didn't hear Sakura finally letting out her sobs and Sasuke shutting his eyes in pain and Kakashi making an inhuman noise filled with suffering and anguish.
And one funny thing about legends? One funny, peculiar, miraculous thing?
Naruto. Hey. You dead? Puny humans. Such fragile lives. Forcing me to use that jutsu to save you.
Legends never die.
The moon shone brightly in the sky. Her chariot was on autopilot, swiftly moving across the sky and providing her with enough light to track her prey.
A hellhound. 38 meters. Currently underneath a tree.
Artemis nocked an arrow, a practiced motion that she has done countless times over the centuries.
She was alone that night. Her Hunters were back at the camp, preparing dinner. She had left them behind.
The Goddess of the Hunt enjoyed a solo hunt now and then. Only her and her prey.
Artemis's eyes scanned the forest and calculated all of the angles in a split second. Then she let the silver arrow fly - but not in the direction of the hellhound..
She watched in satisfaction as the arrow streaked across the forest, ricocheting off the trees until it entered the hellhound with a sickening sound. It crashed down, howling at the moon in the sky, before disintegrating into dust and returning to the Pit.
Magical arrows were quite fun to use.
Her feet not making a single sound, she calmly strode over to the pile of dust and a hellhound tooth - the spoils of war.
She didn't have much use for a hellhound tooth, but she can find one. If she killed something, she refused to let it go to waste. A hellhound tooth can be made into an arrow, or sold, or given to some nature spirit to make a necklace.
Then, for the first time in centuries, Artemis did something that made her literally gasp in shock.
A tiny gasp left her small form as she immediately stood still, looking down at her body.
Had she just. . . stumbled? In a forest under the moon?! Impossible.
A shudder suddenly tore through her body, causing her to spasm somewhat and almost losing control of her mortal form. Silver light began being emitted from her left side, near her midriff. The glow lit up the entire forest, scaring away all of the wildlife.
Artemis wasn't in pain. She knew pain, and this wasn't it. It was a foreign feeling, one that she didn't really have the words to describe.
It was almost as if there was something ripping away at her very essence itself.
And then it was over. The silver light died down and the feeling faded away. Artemis scanned her being. No harm was done.
Then she directed her gaze towards the ground and froze. There, lying innocently on the forest floor, was a clump of silver light with bits of orange and red intermixed in.
As she watched, the light coalesced into a boy around three or four years old.
Artemis cautiously bent down, examining him. His hair was the exact same shade of auburn as hers. His skin tone was the exact same as hers. He had whisker marks on his cheeks.
The boy opened his eyes, and Artemis was met with the same silver-grey eyes she herself saw whenever she stared into her reflection.
"Who are you?" she asked in wonder, reaching out to cup the boy's cheek. He flinched away like a wounded animal. Artemis quickly withdrew her hand, instead observing him in fascination from a distance.
Who was - no, what was he?
The child simply looked at her with wide silver eyes before fainting.
Artemis stared down at him. Then she looked down at herself, touching her stomach at where the silver light had originally come from.
There's no way. . .
Artemis laid her hand on the child's forehead and sent forth a pulse of her divine power.
Artemis drew back in shock. Her mouth fell open, another thing that hasn't happened in centuries. Although there's a very, very good reason for that.
Her divine power had just resonated with the divinity within the boy. The only way for this to happen is if the two divinities are exactly the same, which is possible in only one scenario: a parent and their child.
Was. . . was she the mother of this boy?!
Artemis shook her head in denial, but the facts were clear.
He had her hair. He had her eyes. He had her divine power.
He was her child.
But how was that even possible - Artemis grasped her stomach. She had felt her essence being ripped away. Theoretically, that essence could become a child, similar to how Athena can have children by combining her brain essence with the father's.
Artemis narrowed her eyes. In the silver light - her essence - she had seen bits of orange and red. She didn't know what it was or where it came from, but it must've been the thing her essence had combined with to create this child.
Which meant, no matter how much she hated the idea, this child was hers. She didn't know how, she didn't know why, but she is now a mother.
She stared contemplatively down at the boy still sleeping on the forest floor. What should she do now?
"Yo yo yo Kurama! What have you done?!"
For once, Naruto wasn't in the dark damp sewer of his mind. Instead, he was in a forest. It was dark out, and the moon was shining brightly. He ignored the change of scenery. There were more important matters at hand.
In front of him, Kurama was curled into a tight ball. Go away.
Naruto shook his head. "Not until you explain! I thought that I had died! I was ready to see Mom and Dad and Jiraiya and Neji and Jiji and everyone else again! So why did I wake up in a forest with a young girl looking down at me?"
Jutsu gone wrong. Kurama yawned before curling even tighter into himself. Meant to reincarnate us two into our younger selves.
Naruto blinked. "So. . . basically you were trying to time travel?"
I thought I could. I was wrong. I. . . messed up.
"Kurama. . . where the hell are we?"
. . . would you believe me when I say we might be in a different dimension? Kurama ventured.
"Oh dear Kami what have you done?" Naruto paced around.
I saved your life. Kurama glared. Be grateful, brat.
"Yeah, thanks, but how? And why does my body feel different?"
Kurama refused to meet Naruto's eyes. I meant to send us into the past and meld our souls with our past in the space-time transit, the jutsu. . . failed, I guess. And in this dimension, we don't exist, so my jutsu automatically tried to create a new body, since our souls can't take over another person's body. The jutsu doesn't work like that.
"Please, stop saying 'take over body,' it makes us sound like Orochimaru," Naruto muttered.
Kurama ignored him. However, my chakra alone wasn't enough to create a body for us. So that power was borrowed from somebody. Presumably from the girl you met in the forest.
Naruto narrowed his eyes. "What do you mean?"
If Bijuu could create human bodies whenever they want, then Orochimaru would've been a lot more interested in us. But we can't; my chakra wasn't enough, so the jutsu automatically reached out to the nearest being. Naruto, I'm saying that I combined essences with her to save your life. At Naruto's confused look, Kurama sighed heavily. I know I'm asking for a lot here, but I need you to think for once.
Naruto opened his mouth to protest but Kurama interrupted before he could. Think of it like this. Bijuus are essentially beings of chakra. If two Bijuus, say, Matatabi and Isobu, combined chakra, then that would form another Bijuu.
"Wait, seriously? It works like that?"
No, it doesn't, but you get the idea. The same thing happened to you. Parts of my essence combined with parts of hers was enough to create a body for us to settle in and sustain your life.
"Sooooooo am I still human, or what?" Naruto looked down at his hands, half expecting to see orange fur growing.
You're no longer a human. To tell you the truth, I don't know what you are. The girl next to you had no chakra. But I still sensed something in her. Which is why I said our essences combined and not our chakra. Kurama growled frustratedly. I've never seen anything like her before. She's not human.
"Well, we are in a different dimension, so it makes sense," Naruto shrugged. "Why am I younger though?"
Because you were reborn. Although you're right, you should be a baby. I haven't the faintest idea why you're 4 years old. But Naruto, do you understand what that means?
Naruto nodded. "Yeah, I have a new body in a new dimension."
Foolish brat. Technically. . . that girl is your mother.
Naruto didn't respond. His brain had ceased all functions.
. . . Naruto, you okay there? I just saved your life. Please don't make me save it again.
Naruto broke out of the trance. "What do you mean she's my mother?!"
You died, Naruto, and then you were reborn. You were conceived from her essence. That makes you her child. It's not a very difficult concept to understand. Kurama's tails flicked around in annoyance before they suddenly became deathly still. And you know something, Naruto?
"What?" Naruto's eyes grew wide. "No. . . you don't mean. . ."
Kurama smirked. Indeed. You were also created using my chakra. Which means that. . .
"Don't say it," Naruto whispered.
Naruto, I am your father.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO YOU'RE MY PARTNER DON'T MAKE THIS WEIRD! STOP IT!"
Kurama chuckled. In all seriousness though, she is, within all rights and purposes, your mother. Just look at yourself. I don't know what she is, but she must be strong if her essence can overcome my Bijuu chakra.
Naruto tilted his head. "What do you mean?"
Just look at yourself.
There was a small stream nearby. Naruto suspiciously regarded Kurama before ambling over to the stream and looked down. His reflection stared back up at him.
"What in the Sage's name am I looking at here?"
Naruto was looking at himself in the stream. But it was not the same "himself" the day before. His hair was now auburn. His eyes were silver. His skin tone has changed.
The only thing that he had kept was his whisker birthmarks and his facial structure.
Her essence's. . . influence, I would assume. You inherited her physical traits. Do not, however, for a second think that she may be more powerful than me. Her essence is more dominant than mine, which is why it manifested in your body, but that does not mean that she can beat me in a fight. Kurama sniffed imperiously. It's like your human genetics. A dominant gene doesn't make it more powerful than a recessive one.
Naruto sighed. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Do I still have chakra?"
Of course you do. Who do you take me for? Kurama scoffed. A Naruto without chakra wouldn't be Naruto at all. It would be like Kakashi without his porn.
"Right, right," Naruto smacked his forehead suddenly. "Damnit!"
Kurama's eyes flashed in alarm. What is it? Do you feel pain? Is Kaguya's attack still affecting you?
Naruto groaned in despair. "No, it's not that. I forgot to ask Kakashi-sensei to take off his mask. And now I guess I'll never know what he's hiding."
Idiot! I thought that you were actually in trouble for a second! Kurama tucked his head back inside his ball of fur. I think that's it for me. That jutsu took a lot of energy. I need sleep. See you in a few years. Stay safe, Naruto.
"Good night, Kurama - hold up, what did you just say? A few years?!"
But Kurama's eyes had already closed and his breathing had evened out.
No response. Kurama was fast asleep.
Naruto sat down, suddenly feeling very tired. He had just fought a goddess and had literally died and been reborn in a new dimension.
But more importantly, all of his bonds, all of his precious people, they were lost to him. Only Kurama remained. He'd never see Sakura, Sasuke, Kakashi-sensei, Tenzo, Sai, and everyone else ever again.
Shinobi Rule #25 states that a shinobi must never show his tears during a mission. Naruto has always broken that rule, both during and outside of missions.
And now, in his own mind with nobody else around, all alone, surrounded by loneliness once more, Naruto broke that rule again.
Artemis was shook out of her thoughts by the sight before her. Was the child crying? Artemis leaned closer even though she didn't really need to. Her eyesight was enough to see the individual specks of dust miles away.
He was crying. He made no noise, but tears silently flowed out from under his eyelids.
Artemis bit her lip. Then she placed her hand over his. A silver glow suddenly lit up over his body, the warmth comforting him. Slowly, the tears stopped.
This boy - no. He wasn't just a boy.
Artemis may not like it, but he was her child. He was conceived out of her essence, her being.
She can't let information of any of this leak out to the other gods and goddesses. That would be a disaster. All of Olympus would be in an uproar, perhaps even a bigger one than when they had found out Aphrodite was cheating with Ares. A male child of Artemis would be regarded as an abomination.
Even worse, there would be numerous dangers and threats against her child. He would probably attract more monsters than even a child of the Big Three. After all, Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades have had children before. Their children, while strong, are nothing new. But a child of Artemis? New, unique, and never seen before. He would attract an unprecedented amount of trouble.
Artemis didn't really know what she was going to do yet, but one thing she knows she doesn't want to do is to bury her child.
Where can he be safe though? Not with the Hunters, definitely not. Artemis trusted them, but not with something as important and paramount as this. He was her child.
Camp Half-Blood - Artemis chuckled at her joke. Sending him to Camp Half-Blood was just asking for him to be discovered and killed.
There was only one option left. It wasn't much of an option at all, but at this point, she'll take what she can get.
Still cradling the child in her arms, Artemis stood up and summoned her moon chariot. Making sure to mask the boy's presence, Artemis took the reins and commanded the chariot to take off. She went fast, faster than she had ever gone before.
Poseidon would be irritated, since her moon chariot affected the ocean's tides, but he'll just have to deal with it. Artemis didn't care about that right now. Instead, she was mentally preparing herself for the encounter to come.
She glanced down at the sleeping child. He looked so much like her.
Artemis knocked on the door once, bracing herself.
She stood in front of a luxurious mansion out in the middle of nowhere. There were numerous cars, all rare and expensive, parked on the marble driveway. Water steadily flowed in the crystal fountain.
The door opened to reveal a guy around 17 or 18 years old. Blonde hair tied back in a man bun, blue eyes, a stunning smile. He was wearing a sleeveless T-shirt, jeans, and loafers.
This man was called handsome by many, although Artemis didn't see how. He was also very, very annoying.
Apollo grinned at Artemis. "What's up, sis? Do you want to hear my latest haiku about you?"
Typically, Artemis would've just shot him a cold glare to shut him up. But this was not a typical situation.
Apollo took her silence as a confirmation. "A moon without sun - "
"I need your help."
" - is air without - wait, what?!" Apollo blinked. "Did you just say you needed my help?"
For good measure, his hand lit up, a bright golden color, and he placed it against his ears, presumably to clean out the nonexistent earwax.
Artemis sighed. "Why do you always have to be so dramatic about things?"
Apollo stared at her. "Because you've never asked me for help before. Favors, yes, but never outright help." His gaze traveled down and finally noticed the child that was being carried by a wolf besides her. "Sis, did you kidnap a kid?"
Artemis hesitated. "Can we take this inside?"
"Yeah, come on in," Apollo held the door open for Artemis. She stepped through, beckoning the wolf to follow her. The wolf was a temporary creation. The boy was still fast asleep on the wolf's back, face pressed into the soft fur.
Artemis stopped in her tracks, in awe of the mansion's interior.
It was normal. There wasn't a grand hall, there weren't chandeliers hanging down from the ceiling, there weren't solid gold statues of Apollo scattered all throughout. Not even one statue.
Instead, they were in a normal sized living room. Couches with white leather, a violin stand in the middle, a television floating in midair that Artemis recognized as the latest Hephaestus TV model. It was. . . homely.
Artemis turned to Apollo in confusion. "What is this?"
Apollo shrugged. "This is my man cave. It's my place to relax and chill. I don't need statues of myself in every corner of the room for that."
Artemis was at a rare loss of words. "I didn't think you would enjoy a place as. . . modest as this. I never knew."
"A man never reveals all his secrets," Apollo winked. "I really like this place."
Artemis picked up the child and set him down faceup on the couch. The wolf, its duty finished, faded away in a burst of silver light. "It's nice."
"Of course it is. Feel free to drop by whenever you want. So what help do you need oh holy Zeus almighty who in the Pits of Tartarus is that?!" Apollo's grinning face had transformed into one of absolute horror when he finally saw the features of the sleeping boy on the couch.
In a literal flash, Apollo was kneeling down, closely examining the sleeping child.
"Artemis," he breathed, "What have you done? Have you lost your mind?"
Artemis rolled her eyes and smacked him in the back of the head.
"OW! What was that for?" Apollo rubbed his head but his attention was still solely focused on the child.
"It's not what you're thinking," Artemis scowled.
Apollo pointed down at the boy's sleeping form. "Is he your child?"
Artemis hesitated, refusing to meet Apollo's eyes. ". . . yes, he is."
Apollo stood up and whirled around to face her. His face was deathly pale. "Artemis, what - "
"I don't know where he came from," Artemis interrupted, crossing her arms. "Will you listen to me?"
"Speak," the serious expression was back on Apollo's face, and this time, it wasn't an act. "Tell me everything."
"I was out hunting alone tonight. A hellhound. Easy enough to kill. When I was walking over to pick up the spoils of war, my stomach began emitting silver light. It felt as if my essence was being ripped from me."
Apollo's eyes glowed, an intense golden color. "So you're saying. . ."
Artemis nodded. "There was a reddish orange essence intermixed with my silver one. The result is this child."
"Whose?" Apollo demanded. Rage was written on his face. "Who did it?"
Artemis was taken aback, but only for a moment. "I don't know. I didn't sense anyone around."
And then a cold fury flashed across her face. "And when I find out who it was, I will carve them into pieces."
Her gaze traveled down to the child and she softened. "He's an innocent, though."
"Oh man," Apollo ran his hand through his hair. "Well, it's reassuring to know that you're still a maiden - "
"I am, and I always will be," Artemis affirmed.
"Good, at least we don't have to worry about the troubles that would come with that. Artemis, you know that this child, if found out, will be targeted, right? A child of Artemis - no, not only that. A male child of Artemis. He'll be in danger if he's ever discovered." Apollo tilted his head. "But then again, I suppose that's why you're here."
"As much as it pains me to admit it, brother, I need your help," Artemis was uncharacteristically vulnerable. "I can't keep him with me, and I don't have anywhere else to put him that I know is safe other than with you. Can you help me?"
"You realize," Apollo began, "I'll be breaking numerous Ancient Laws to do this. I wouldn't do this even for my own children. It's going to take up a lot of my time, patience, and energy. So, my answer to your request is. . ."
Artemis turned away. Of course. Such an outrageous request surely could not be granted -
Apollo spread his arms and smiled. "For you, my dear little sister, I'll do anything. I'll keep him safe."
Artemis turned back around, startled, before a grateful smile spread across her face. "Thank you, Apollo."
"You're welcome. That explains why you came here out of all places," Apollo rubbed his chin. "It's because this is one of the few places I keep shielded from view. A man needs his privacy, you see."
"Indeed. I doubt even Athena knows about what happens inside of here, and she makes it a habit to try to know everything."
Apollo knelt down once more and laid his hand on the boy's forehead. His hand glowed a golden color. "Yup, he's your kid alright. I could recognize my twin sister's power anywhere. Although this other thing in him. . ."
Artemis nodded. "Do you know what it is?"
Apollo shook his head. "No, I don't. My prophecy powers aren't telling me anything either. I'm in the dark with you, sis."
Artemis sighed. "I suppose I'll have to track him down myself."
Apollo slowly edged away from Artemis, who was leaking out a murderous intent. "You do that. I'll just take care of your kid - hey, what's his name? Have you even named him yet?"
The kid in question chose this time to wake up. He exhaled deeply, his eyes slowly opening up to reveal silver-grey eyes the same color as the moon..
"His eyes are the exact same color as yours as well," Apollo said in fascination. "If anyone else saw this kid, then they'll immediately know he's yours. It's obvious."
"Which is why I chose you to go to. As paradoxical as it seems, I know that you're the best to go to when keeping a secret. You can shield his presence from the other immortals," Artemis walked over to the boy who was sitting up, watching them both with wide eyes.
"Hey, kid, how are you doing?" Apollo grinned down.
The boy didn't respond.
"Idiot," Artemis muttered. "He was born not even hours ago. He doesn't know how to speak yet."
Apollo narrowed his eyes. "Are you sure about that? Remember, he's not a normal demigod. Just like how you and I were born with the knowledge of language, it's entirely plausible that this child could speak too."
Artemis frowned. "We're also gods. The red and orange essence, whoever it was from, was not from a god. That much I can tell."
Apollo shrugged. "Well, it can't hurt to try." He turned back to the boy, who seemed a little terrified. "So do you understand us?"
The boy's gaze remained uncomprehending and clueless.
"Hmm, you may be correct," Apollo sighed. "That's unfortunate. So, have you decided on a name for him yet?"
"No, I have not. What do you suggest?"
"How about 'Ap' - "
"Never mind. On second thought, I don't think I'll ever forgive myself if I let you name my child. I'll decide," Artemis tapped her fingers on her thigh. "Hmm. . ."
They both whirled on the boy, who drew back in fear. "N-n-naruto?"
"So he did understand us! He probably just couldn't speak yet," Apollo crowed triumphantly.
As usual, Artemis ignored him. "Your name is Naruto?"
The boy, Naruto, nodded enthusiastically. "Naruto!"
Artemis looked Apollo who just shrugged. "Naruto it is then."
Apollo rubbed his chin. "That name sounds Japanese. It reminds me of the time I spent in Japan. Here, let me compose a haiku - "
"Perhaps at a later time, brother. For now, my Hunters will be wondering where I am. And. . . thank you." Artemis turned to leave.
"Mama?" Naruto called out.
Artemis froze in place. Then, unable to deal with her conflicting, turbulent feelings, she continued to walk away, leaving the boy behind.
Just because she was outwardly calm didn't mean she was tranquil on the inside. She was still reeling from the events of the night.
She needed time.
"Sis. . . I'll take care of him," Apollo watched her shut the door behind her sadly.
"Mama?" Naruto called again, this time a lot more desperately.
Apollo took a deep breath before brightly smiling down at Naruto. "She has to leave for now. She'll be back soon. How ya doing? My name's Apollo. I'm your uncle."
Naruto squinted up at him. "Unca?"
Apollo nodded. "Artemis, the beautiful girl who just left, was my sister. She's also your mother."
Naruto knew a new language. Sometime between waking up in the forest and waking up in this room, a new language seems to have settled down in his brain. In fact, he knew two new languages: Greek and English.
It was almost as if it was hardwired into his brain. He didn't know how it worked, but he was thankful for it. He didn't want to have to learn a new language from scratch.
He was also very, very freaked out. Naruto had woken up in the chariot when flying in the sky. He had hidden it, of course, because people let all sorts of information slip when they think he's asleep. And there was definitely a lot of information.
These two people, Artemis and Apollo, his mother and uncle, were apparently gods. Like Kaguya.
Naruto shivered. Does this mean he was part god now?
And apparently, him being the son of Artemis was a big deal. Probably even a bigger deal than him being the son of the Yellow Flash. Naruto needed to be careful from now on. If these two truly were gods, and there were other gods out there, then. . . well, immortals live forever, so they have a very long time to collect enemies.
He was going to continue to feign sleep, but. . . well, his name mattered to him. He was Naruto Uzumaki, and there was no way he'll ever accept anything else.
They didn't question him on how he got that name, thankfully. Probably because they were gods and they were used to stuff like this happening. Whatever. It worked out for him.
Artemis was pissed at Kurama. Naruto sincerely hoped she never found out that it was him who had ripped away at her divine essence. Technically, it was Kurama's jutsu, but he doubted she would care. Although Naruto doesn't know how she would exact her revenge, given how Kurama lived in his seal -
Hold on. Naruto didn't have a seal anymore for Kurama to reside in. He was reborn into a new body that didn't have the Shinigami's Seal or his own custom seal. So where was Kurama?
. . . ehh Naruto will worry about that later.
Another question was exactly where Kurama found this reincarnation jutsu. It sucked, for one, since it didn't actually work the way it was intended to.
Naruto had been reborn with all of his memories, yes. The only problem is that they were in a brand new dimension, and Naruto wasn't human anymore.
Was he half-Bijuu half-god? This was on the same level of confusingness as Obito!
But then again, it didn't matter what Naruto was. After all, it's not the face or the body that makes someone who they are, it's the choices they make with their lives.
Naruto could be in Orochimaru's body for all he cares, because he'll never stop being Naruto Uzumaki, believe it!
It had stung Naruto a bit when his mother had left. He didn't even know her, but he was all alone in this new world, and with Kurama asleep, she was all he had.
But he didn't blame her. He would be shocked too if Kurama's chakra was suddenly stolen and used to make a mini-Bijuu.
(It still hurt, though.)
"So, Naruto, anything else you wanna tell me? You know, when I was born, I immediately sang a song about my awesomeness and how I would be the god of archery, prophecy, and all that jazz. How about you? Any dreams of what you're going to do?" Apollo grinned down at Naruto. His teeth were blindingly white.
A dream. . .
Before, Naruto had a dream to become Hokage. He had a dream to be accepted by everyone. He had a dream to protect his precious people, and to bring back Sasuke.
But there's no Konoha anymore. There's no villagers that hate him, there's no Sasuke, there's no precious people to protect. Besides Kurama, of course, but Kurama would probably swallow Naruto whole if he ever implied that Kurama needed any protecting.
So now, Naruto's dream is to just. . . find someone precious again.
Naruto gazed contemplatively at the man still grinning down at him. Apollo. His new uncle. He can start from there.
And so Naruto returned Apollo's grin with a shining smile of his own. "I wanna be friends with you!"
Apollo's smile widened. "Oh, you have a good dream. A very good dream indeed."
Fortunately, Apollo didn't question Naruto's sudden jump in speaking skills.
Either gods were super clueless, or they saw so much weird stuff every day, small things like this didn't even faze them. Naruto hoped it was the former, but with his track record, it was definitely the latter.
1 month after.
"Damn it! You're cheating!" Naruto howled in outrage, slamming down the Xbox controller on the soft white cushions.
Apollo smirked. "You're just too bad, that's all. Don't worry, losing is normal."
Naruto had adapted to life living with a god fairly well. There were some minor glitches here and there, like how there weren't any bathrooms in the mansion (that had almost been a disaster), but overall it was going pretty well.
He wasn't allowed past the boundary line. Apollo's domain was the mansion, and as long as Naruto stayed within the domain, then he would be shielded from view. But if he stepped past the boundary, all sorts of deities and creatures can sense him.
It was aggravating, not being able to go outside. It was almost as if there was something inside of him urging, compelling, demanding him to leave the confines of the building and enjoy the wilderness. Naruto yearned to be in a forest again, to be among trees and enjoy the crisp fresh air.
But he wasn't stupid or rash or reckless anymore. He knew that if he went out and was discovered, there would be trouble not only for him but also for Apollo and Artemis. And so, even though it pained him, he did the smart thing and stayed inside.
Apollo wasn't bad company. He was really good, actually.
He still had his annoying moments, though. Such as right now.
"We're having a 1v1 match on Super Smash Bros," Naruto glared.
"You killed me."
"Your eyes were closed."
"I'm just that good."
"You aren't even touching the controller!"
Apollo shrugged. "I'm a god. I'm not limited by mortal - "
"THAT'S CHEATING! CONTROLLING IT WITH YOUR MIND COMPLETELY DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF THE GAME!" Naruto shouted, jumping to his feet. His eyes blazed with determination and a fire roared to life in his heart.
"You know what? If you're going to cheat like that, fine! But know this: even with your cheats, I, Naruto, will defeat you so badly, you will rue the day you introduced me to this game! Believe it!"
Apollo chuckled. "Good luck with that, Naruto."
2 months after.
"Wait wait wait, let me get this straight," Naruto leaned forward, squinting suspiciously at Apollo. "So you're saying that you are the son of Zeus, the King of Gods."
"Artemis is your sister."
"Is pointing out the obvious a hobby of yours?"
"Shut up. Zeus is married to Hera, and had Ares together."
"Tell me to 'shut up' again, and I'll show you what we used to do to ungrateful brats in Sparta. Here's a hint: it involved blood."
"Ooh, I'm so scared," And he would have been, if Apollo didn't make these threats every other hour. He never carried out on them though, mostly because Artemis would have slaughtered him if he did.
"But Hera is, like, you know, Zeus's sister."
Naruto stared at Apollo. "They're siblings."
Apollo shrugged. "Gods don't have DNA."
"Not having DNA doesn't make it any less weird!"
Apollo shook his head. "You're looking at this from a mortal perspective. From a godly perspective, it's not weird at all. The only thing that's frowned upon is if a god dates their children, or demigods with the same parents getting together."
"Right. . ."
"Besides, we're all related in some way, so if you're going to be like that, your dating pool will be limited to only mortals and nature spirits," Apollo shrugged.
". . . okay."
Surprisingly, Naruto doesn't feel that strongly about the opposite gender anymore. He's not sure if it's because he's back in a child's body, but for some reason, whenever he thought about Hinata, his heart didn't pound and his face didn't flush anymore.
Perhaps it was Artemis's influence on him.
3 months after.
Naruto forlornly stared out the window of the mansion. His fingers tapped a disjointed pattern on the marble ledge.
He sensed Apollo come up behind him. "When?"
Somehow, Apollo understood what Naruto meant from that one word question. "I don't know," he answered truthfully.
Naruto turned around to face Apollo, and Apollo could see the pain in Naruto's eyes. "Why won't she come see me?"
"I don't know," Apollo repeated.
"It's because she hates me," Naruto whispered, looking down at his tiny feet.
"No, it's not - " Apollo began, but Naruto cut him off with a bitter chuckle.
"Oh please. Don't give me that. Artemis never wanted a child, much less a male child. I'm nothing but a painful reminder to her," Naruto looked away. "Otherwise, why else hasn't she come seen me even once?"
Apollo hesitated. "Because she doesn't want to hurt you."
"Hurt me?!" Naruto whirled around to face him. Apollo's eyes narrowed, angered at Naruto's tone, but all of his anger dissipated when he saw the tears on Naruto's face. "Are you out of your mind? Why would she think she would hurt me?!"
"We're gods," Apollo said simply. "Most gods, even the nice ones, aren't exactly great parent material - except for me, of course. And my little sister has never had a child before. She's seen what the other gods do, the tragedies they cause, and she's terrified she'll do the same to you. She doesn't want you to be hurt."
Naruto looked at Apollo despairingly. "I don't care if she insults me. I don't care if she glares at me. I just don't want to be left alone by her. Why does she have to ignore me?!"
Loneliness is a hell Naruto thought he had been rescued from years ago, but for some reason, he was right back.
Although that wasn't entirely true. He wasn't truly alone. Apollo was here. But just like how it was back then, when he had Jiji, Teuchi, and Ayame, Apollo wasn't enough.
Naruto couldn't leave the mansion. Nobody could come in except Artemis, his own mother. And she never did.
Apollo opened his mouth to speak, but then closed it. "I'm sorry, Naruto," he finally said.
4 months after.
Naruto leaned back, dodging Apollo's sword swing by a hair's length. He then rushed forward, fist already ready to deliver a devastating blow.
Apollo tried to bring back his sword to attack Naruto once more, but Naruto jumped up and borrowed one of Lee's techniques, kicking Apollo's sword arm away with the Konoha Senpuu. The sword clattered out of Apollo's hands, and Apollo was forced to block all of Naruto's punches barehanded.
Apollo cocked his fist back for a hook punch. Naruto smirked. Apollo was broadcasting his attacks like an Academy student. Naruto could see right through it.
Naruto sidestepped, deflecting the hook harmlessly past him with his hand, kicked out with his leg to take out Apollo's knees, and used his other fist to punch Apollo square in the face.
Just as his fist was about to make contact, Apollo exploded into action. His hand blurred as he effortlessly blocked Naruto's fist with his palm - and then Naruto's kick hit Apollo in the knees. Naruto quickly disengaged afterwards, jumping back to put some distance between them.
"OW! For a little guy, you kick hard," Apollo rubbed his knee, wincing. "When I proposed combat training today, I did not imagine it to be like this."
"What, you losing badly?" Naruto taunted.
Apollo narrowed his eyes. "I would like to remind you that I am fighting at less than 1% of my full power. Don't be like the other demigods before you. Arrogance will only lead to your downfall."
Apollo may be fighting at less than 1% of his full power, but so was Naruto.
Naruto shrugged. "Less than 1% or not, I, a small child, still landed an attack on you. That cannot possibly be good for your reputation if it got out, hmm?"
"My main weapon is the bow. If I wanted to, I could spam you down with arrows from a mile away, and you would be powerless to stop it." Apollo's golden bow materialized in his hand with a flash. "Care to try it?"
Naruto held up his hands. "Hold up we can talk about this."
"The time for talk," Apollo smirked, "is over. So is combat training, for that matter. We're moving on to dodge training now."
"Don't point that thing at me! Why are you nocking 8 arrows at once?! You can't possibly fire 8 arrows at once with any accuracy - HOLY SAGE!"
5 months after.
"Why am I so good at archery?" Naruto asked quizzically.
"Your mother is Artemis, who I freely admit is almost as skilled as me."
"In other words, she's better than you."
"I never said that."
"Uh huh. So her skills transferred down to me?"
"Yeah. Just like how my own children are great at bows, singing, basketball, and healing, you get some powers from Artemis."
"That's a scary thought."
"What? You getting special demigod powers because you're the child of Artemis?"
"No, the fact that you have children."
". . . I'll have you know that of all the gods, I am in the top 5 in terms of the most demigod childr - "
"SHUT UP I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THAT!"
6 months after.
Apollo wasn't with Naruto for most of the day. He had his duties to attend to. As a result, Naruto was often left all alone in the mansion.
He used this time to train his chakra. He didn't want Apollo finding out about his chakra yet. Naruto is well aware that he can't keep this a secret forever, but he wanted to wait some time before he revealed it.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu."
The entire mansion was suddenly filled with clones. "You all know what to do. Come on, let's get to it."
"Right!" a chorus of voices responded. The clones scattered, forming groups to work on getting Naruto his skills back.
Ever since he was reborn, Naruto's skill level has decreased drastically. Understandable, since he's a small child. His chakra control was nonexistent, his reflexes diminished, his speed slow, his strength low. . . all in all, it wasn't so great.
Naruto was at around low Jonin level right now. He needs to get back to Kage level. And that means training.
Because in this new world full of gods and monsters, Naruto needs to be strong to protect his precious people.
Well, okay. Precious person, so far.
Apollo was Naruto's only friend. Kurama was still fast asleep.
Naruto really wanted Kurama to wake up, partly to have another being to talk to, partly to ask Kurama exactly where he had gotten that jutsu. Why, out of all the gods and goddesses, was Naruto a child of Artemis?
Lots of unanswered questions with no way of answering them.
In any case, if Naruto wanted to be able to protect Apollo, who was a literal god, then Naruto had to be strong. Really damn strong.
A loud combination of voices suddenly screamed out the same thing.
7 months after.
"You're aging at a rapid pace," Apollo said in a white lab coat.
Naruto was biologically only 7 months old, but he already had the appearance of a 6 year old. Naruto was kinda freaked out about it.
Apollo tilted his head. "I still can't pinpoint exactly what you are. You're half-goddess from Artemis, but the other half. . . I don't know what it is."
Naruto instantly felt very, very nervous.
"It's not another god or Titan. You don't have golden ichor. It's not a dryad, or a naiad, or a wind spirit or an earth spirit. It's not a monster either," Apollo frowned. "What are you?"
Naruto shrugged nonchalantly. "No idea." Technically, that was the truth. Naruto had no idea what to classify himself as.
"Huh. Whatever. As long as you don't get the urge to consume human flesh, we should be good."
9 months after.
"There are 7 billion people in the world?!" Naruto exclaimed in shock.
Apollo nodded. "Approximately. Is that really that shocking to you?"
"Yeah! There's so many people!"
7 billion. That's more than 10 times the population of the Elemental Nations. The number was insane.
"So you're saying that, in order to win this game, we have to kill 7 billion people?!" Naruto gestured at the television, where they were playing Plague Arrows Inc.
"It's not a game," Apollo corrected. "It's a simulation of what would happen if I ever decided to unleash my plague arrows. I'm known as the god of healing, but many people also forget I have control over diseases."
". . . a real simulation would also account for other gods interfering and stopping the diseases. This isn't a simulation, it's a game."
Apollo sighed. "If you insist on being stubborn, well. I know better than to start arguments with idiots."
"Yeah, because you know you'll lose. And what does that make you? Worse than an idiot."
"Careful, Naruto, unless you want me to infect you with something nasty."
Naruto called his bluff. "You won't."
Apollo paused and stared intently at Naruto, a dangerous gleam entering his eyes. "You really think I won't?"
Naruto stood his ground. His body was half Bijuu chakra. Getting sick when he was a Jinchuuriki was already hard before. Now, with the Bijuu chakra literally forming his body? Naruto doubted there was a virus out there that could withstand the power. "Do it, I dare you."
There was a staredown for a moment, with neither side backing down.
Apollo snapped his fingers.
Naruto immediately scooted away on the white couch. "WHOA! You weren't actually supposed to do it! What did you do?!"
Apollo frowned. "That's odd. You were supposed to have developed itchy spots all over your body and, no matter how hard you scratched at it, the itch would never go away."
"That's evil," Naruto whispered in horror. "That's pure evil."
Apollo shrugged. "Hey, I just borrowed the idea from the mosquitoes. They're the ones who came up with it. Although now I'm interested. Are you immune to diseases?"
"Why don't you test it out?" Naruto was curious as well.
39 different assorted viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoans later, Apollo finally let out a sigh. "You're completely immune."
Naruto pumped his fist in the air. "Ha! Sucks, doesn't it, god of diseases?"
"I'm just confused as to where you got this immunity from," Apollo scratched his head. "It's not from Artemis; she can only grant immunity from diseases if you receive her blessings to become a Hunter of Artemis. It must be from your other half, then."
"Probably," Naruto casually tried to change the subject. "Alright, so now that we've established my new awesome power, let's play."
Apollo grinned. "Very well. Let's make the human race extinct."
Naruto and Apollo both readied their bows and aimed at the television. A map of the entire world appeared.
"Where first?" Naruto asked.
"India, of course. They have both sea and air travel, not to mention they border several countries," Apollo shifted his aim slightly to the right.
"India it is."
Apollo fired, the magical arrow sinking harmlessly into the television, and a red bubble appearing on top of India. Naruto let loose his own arrow at the red bubble, popping it.
"So how do we win?"
"Our disease cannot have any symptoms at first, because we don't want my children - the doctors and researchers - to develop a cure. Then, when everyone is infected, we strike with Total Organ Failure."
"Sounds nasty. Let's do it!"
"Oh, but the hardest part is infecting Greenland. Gods, I hate Greenland."
11 months after.
Apollo was gone again, off to perform his duties.
Naruto grunted as the force of the impact knocked him back. He quickly redirected the momentum, bending backward into a backhandspring and kicking up viciously. His foot met something hard - then it passed harmlessly through the chakra smoke when the clone dispelled.
"Nice one, boss!"
Naruto grinned smugly. "Thank you, thank you."
He was busy sparring with his Kage Bunshins. He needed to get used to Taijutsu in a younger body. Naruto didn't have as much reach and power, but his small size meant he could pull off a lot of things he couldn't do before.
"Come at me! I'll take you all on!"
His clones grinned at him menacingly. "All of us?"
Naruto gulped, looking at the veritable sea of orange in the hall. "Wait, not all of you. I only meant like maybe 30 or so."
"That's not what we heard, boss."
And they charged, their roars drowning out Naruto's shout of "You're my clones! You're supposed to listen to me! You know what, fine! RASENGAN!"
1 year after
Naruto stared out the window. The full moon in all its glory stared down at him.
"Naruto?" Apollo walked up to stand next to Naruto.
"The moon is beautiful tonight," Naruto whispered, the moonshine illuminating his face.
"It is," Apollo agreed. There was a silence between them for a moment.
"She loves you, you know?"
"She does, huh?" Naruto scoffed. "It's been a year," Naruto turned to face Apollo. "Why hasn't she come yet?"
Apollo gazed at him with an unrecognizable look on his face. "I have never met most of my children before."
Naruto's eyes widened in shock. "What?"
Apollo chuckled self-deprecatingly. "I have a Cabin full of my children, and I haven't met most of them yet. And the ones that I have met, our exchanges were limited to a few minutes. I'm forbidden to interact with them by the Ancient Laws. In fact, I'm breaking several right now, even as we speak."
Naruto frowned. "Then why are you taking care of me?"
"Why? Because, on the night you were born, my little sister. . . she. . ." Apollo turned away, his face obscured by the darkness.
Naruto leaned forward. "She what?"
"She. . ." And suddenly, Apollo was right in front of Naruto's face, tears of joy welled up in his eyes and a bright smile on his face. "My adorable little sister finally asked me for help!"
Apollo stepped back and did a little dance. "She has never asked for my help before. Every time I see her, she's always like 'I need a favor' or 'Do this for me' or 'This is a command.' But that night, she asked for my help! How could I refuse my sis's request for help?"
"That's your reason?" Naruto asked in disbelief.
"Hey, I gotta help out my little sister!" Apollo grinned. "Because that's what older brothers do."
His expression turned serious. "And that's how I know she loves you. Because she wouldn't ask me to do this if she didn't."
Naruto silently gazed at Apollo for a moment. "Thank you," he finally said.
Apollo grinned. "No problem."
It still hurt though. Before, Naruto had thought the worst pain in the world was not having a mother. But now, he knew the worst pain is having one that doesn't want to see your face.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Percy Jackson
Naruto Uzumaki in the PJO world as the son of Artemis. The possibilities are endless with this.
I'm only going to go off the first 5 books, from Lightning Thief to Last Olympian. There might be elements from Hero of Olympus, but I am disregarding everything in the Oracle series.
Needless to say, this is an AU.
The plot should emerge in a few chapters.
Thank you all for reading, and please review :)