(What you can expect from this story) This story will have a slow start but will gradually pick up pace. I already have pairings in mind, but feel free to leave your suggestions in the reviews (no slash, sorry). As for comedy it's not the focus but once all the characters finally meet up there'll definitely be some cool opportunities for laughs. This story is plot focused, first and foremost. If you're looking for something a little less serious, make sure to check out my other story, "Seduce that God!"

For those worried about Sasuke, his personality will be almost completely changed. So hopefully all the annoying parts of him which don't add anything to the story are gone here.

Naruto will also go through some changes himself, but I personally think they're logical and interesting enough to justify them.

Itachi is best big brother, and Gaara will always be a badass and reliable friend.

I hope you enjoy the story and if you do please leave a review. Thank you!

Edit: Fixed a lot of spacing issues and hopefully made it easier to read.


IGNS-Isolation

When he stared into the pool of water, he knew something had changed. He was obviously younger, much younger in fact. His current clothes were much too large for his skinny and prepubescent body. The most surprising aspect of his appearance was that he could actually see it, and properly too, not just fuzzy outlines or general shapes. His eyesight was perfect, and even his constant aching was also gone. Although all these things were to be supposed if his theory were true. Of course his body would reflect that of his younger self before he was diagnosed with his illness and before he started losing his eyesight, since he guessed that he was somehow resurrected again but this time as younger.

But that only presented more questions such as who and why. He doubted that even with his mangekyou sharingan and full health he'd be little use as a child. If he recalled correctly, his current age reflected that of his 10 year old self, shortly after he had become a chunin. Despite being at that level formally, it still took months of harsh training before he was able to truly call himself an elite to join the anbu and 3 years before he became anbu captain. And even then, his most recent self was still more powerful even with all its ailments.

In fact, if Kabuto was able to change Itachi's age, he would've turned back the clock only a few years, not an entire decade. If he was truly resurrected as a child intentionally, it was likely not for fighting. He could only think of one person who would bring him back as a child.

"Foolish little brother, what have you done this time?" Of course, other possibilities existed, but in Itachi's mind the chances approached zero and were not worth it to even consider them. Among these was time travel, which he had extensively researched himself and found would take more energy and chakra then actually existed on the entire planet to turn back the clock even a little.

Easier would be interdimensional travel, which was supported by the strange feeling he got from the surrounding, but all logic and sense said otherwise. If he was transported to another dimension, how would that even be possible in the first place, and what are the chances of being transported into a forest on a planet rather than empty space?

Additionally, why as a child? Seriously, while he enjoyed having his eyesight and healthy body back, it was discomforting being confined to such a small body again. Not to mention that if this was truly his old body back, the problems would just reappear again. It was most likely his foolish younger brother just wanted his older brother back, although he would be younger this time assuming Sasuke stayed unchanged. If Sasuke shrunk himself as well and tried to roleplay their childhood, that would be just creepy.

As he gathered his thoughts, he felt a presence rapidly approaching his location and turned his head. The presence was strange, and even though he wasn't a sensor, Itachi could tell that the creature was filled with darkness. Its entire being screamed out emotions that Itachi had spent his entire life around; envy, sadness, loneliness, hatred, and other negative feelings.

Yet it seemed to hold no soul, no tangible proof of being. It simply existed, and it felt unnatural. Its appearance was strangely humanoid, although bulkier and quadrupedal. It had black fur and white spikes adorned along its body, including its head which seemed covered by a white skull of the same spiky material. Its appearance only added to the unnatural feeling which Itachi got from the beast which was rapidly approaching him. He gathered some chakra and began to prepare to defend himself.

He never got the chance, as a white blur appeared and stood in front of the beast. It looked startled, and once it peered into the figure's eyes it let out an uncharacteristic yelp and seemed to retreat. Despite knowing next to nothing about the strange beast, Itachi found it weird that the creature would show such a behavior. It didn't seem like it would retreat so readily, yet here it was backing off like some common injured fox.

"That's strange, a lone beowulf?" The figure spoke more to herself and even with his perceptive hearing, Itachi wasn't able to make out what she had said.

The cloaked figure turned around and let down her hood. Itachi got a full view of the woman in front of him, and her appearance was surprising to say the least. The first thing he noticed were her distinct silver eyes, which seemed to be glowing but Itachi brushed it off as not being used to his new eyesight since the glow disappeared quickly. Her hair was black with red highlights near the end, an uncommon sight by itself but not completely new to him. She had a fair complexion and sharp features, but what caught Itachi off guard the most were her clothes.

Itachi was never one to pay too much attention to the clothing others wore, for most of his life he just wore darker shades with simple coloring, and the latter half of his life was almost entirely within a cloak. But even despite his inattention to clothing, he knew that what the woman was wearing was extremely uncommon for most to wear, and looked uncomfortably tight and something more like what a maid would wear.

She was obviously a fighter, that much Itachi could tell just from her posture and the hidden weapon she wielded covered by her cloak which was red on the inside.

"Hello there, I hope you're alright. Are you hurt anywhere? It's really strange for a grimm to be out here in this forest, although I guess that explains why it might've been alone. I probably killed the rest already, you know? Kinda makes me feel bad for those grimm, but- ah, sorry if I'm talking too fast. You look pretty young, you know. What are you doing out here by yourself in the first place?" The woman who looked battle ready a moment ago seemed to completely change in a moment and was on Itachi in a moment. Unfortunately he couldn't understand a single word that she spoke, and it wasn't just because of her obvious speed with which she spoke her language.

"I'm sorry, but I don't understand." While it was technically pointless to say that sentence to her since she wouldn't understand in the first place, it would do the job.

"Oh, you don't speak the same language, huh? Well that certainly makes this difficult." The woman sheepishly scratched her head and laughed. Itachi just stared.

"Right, sorry. Uhh, follow me?" She gave a gesture which Itachi was able to understand and he started following her, even though now his mind was even more full of ideas and theories. He began to shift through his thoughts while they were walking as he took in the surrounding. Based on the humidity and air, Itachi could guess that they were on an island, but the climate and vegetation didn't match up with anywhere he could think of in the 5 elemental nations. Not to mention that there was this woman in front of him wearing strange clothing and speaking a totally unknown language. Perhaps his craziest theory yet may actually be true.

It wasn't long before they reached a large clearing, where a large log house resided in the center with a dirt path leading to its entrance.

"Well, here we are. Home sweet home." The woman turned around at him and smiled. Despite the language barrier, he could understand her feelings and guessed roughly what she had said.

The woman gestured to him again, "Come in."

She opened the front door and walked inside, stepping to the side to let the young boy walk in. He took a step inside and was further surprised at the home. Everything looked extremely furnished and modern, and there were many things he didn't recognize or understand. The woman seemed to notice this and mistook it as something else, although she didn't voice her thoughts yet since he wouldn't understand anyways.

"Taiyang, I'm back." She called out.

"Summer? Is that you?" A distinctly male voice called out from one of the other rooms as a man walked out. His appearance was also strange, but less so than the woman's. He had dusty blond hair and blue eyes, bearing a rugged look. He wore brown cargo shorts and a tan dress shirt which was open at the top. His left arm had a red bandana tied to it while his right had an ornate tattoo in the vague shape of a heart with metal spaulder covering his shoulder.

"Who's the kid? Don't tell me you just picked up from the forest." Taiyang laughed but seeing Summer nervously shuffle and force a laugh of her own, he stopped and stared down at the kid. "You really did just find him in the forest, didn't you." It was less of a question and more of a statement. Summer nodded to confirm his suspicions.

"What happened?" Taiyang liked to get to the point rather than asking various questions which would all take individual answers.

"I saved him from a stray beowulf while out on a walk, but we can't understand each other. At least, I don't think he can understand me. I sure can't understand him."

Taiyang just put a hand to his chin and rubbed it thoughtfully, "Hmm, do you think Qrow will be able to get anything out of him?"

Summer smacked his non guarded shoulder, "Don't say it like that, you sound like he's gonna interrogate the poor kid. I think he's an orphan."

Taiyang laughed then nodded, "Yeah, for now we'll let him stay here. Once Qrow's back with the girls we'll put them to bed then figure everything out."

He walked up to Itachi who had been observing their conversation with guarded eyes. Something about the boy made Taiyang wary, but he brushed it off as he took in his appearance.

The boy was probably only a couple years older than his oldest daughter, but one look into his eyes told Taiyang that he had seen far more than anyone that age should have. They were pitch dark, holding something that he had only ever seen in veteran huntsmen, and added to his sense of caution when approaching the boy. He noticed that the clothes he had on were far too large for his age and torn in a few places, and would take another few years to fill out. On top of that, the boy had what looked like stress lines on his face already, and was clearly watching everything closely with those dark eyes of his. It honestly saddened Taiyang to see how the child reacted when approached and understood why Summer might've assumed that the boy was an orphan.

Itachi noticed that the man was looking at him with combined caution and concern, mixed in with some pity. He seemed outgoing and also battle trained, although far more relaxed than the woman was, even now, out of the forest. He slightly tensed himself as the man approached and when he gestured to follow him, he complied but still took a ready stance.

The man led to him to a bathroom, which was filled with bottles he didn't recognize and technology which seemed far more advanced than anything he had ever seen, much like the rest of the house. The man disappeared for a few moments before coming back with a pair of sewing scissors. Before the man could cut the cloak, Itachi put up his hand to stop him. He tried to ask for the scissors but was met with some resistance although the man handed them over in the end. It seemed the man was also worried he would hurt himself.

Once inside the locked bathroom with the scissors, Itachi began to channel wind chakra to his hands and cut the longer parts of his clothes off. He noticed that his clothes were the same ones he had died with, the first time that is.

Thoughts of his death reminded him of Sasuke, and the possibility of his younger brother resurrecting him was growing slimmer and slimmer with each passing moment. The strange appearances and language, the advanced technology, the unnatural monster that he had come across. They all pointed to a theory which he didn't want to rationalize, but was forced to.

He supposed he could wait for answers, learning the language in the meantime would likely help, and he was honestly lucky with the people he had come across being so nice. Perhaps it wasn't luck and everyone in this strange land was as hospitable and welcoming, but Itachi sincerely doubted that. If that were true, it wouldn't just be luck at that point but a miracle.

He exited the bathroom and handed the scissors back over to the man who he assumed was named 'Taiyang' based on how the woman referred to him, while the woman was referred to as 'Summer'. Of course these names could be nicknames or a way of acknowledgment in their language, but Itachi was fairly confident in his appraisal. He sat at the couch while Summer went upstairs and Taiyang went back to the kitchen to do their own tasks, although he could tell the man was keeping an eye on him. Out of fear or concern Itachi was unsure of, he doubted there was much of a difference between the two emotions anyways.

The woman came down shortly after, no longer wearing her white cloak and looking far more relaxed. She sat down on the couch and Taiyang joined her shortly after. They discussed some things which Itachi listened in on, absorbing as much as he could. It wasn't long before Taiyang pulled out a rectangular device which was mostly glass with metal on either side holding it in place. Itachi had sworn that he would no longer become surprised by what he saw in this strange land, but when the glass lit up and began to show images, he couldn't contain his curiosity. Perhaps being in a child's body affected his mentality as well.

Taiyang pulled up an image of an apple, then showed it to Itachi.

"Apple." It seemed like they were trying to teach him words in their language. Itachi nodded and repeated the word. It came out clumsily at first, but Itachi wasn't a genius for nothing. They started quickly going through words and the two adults seemed impressed with the rate at which he learned them. It wasn't long before they ran out of words for him to memorize and they started teaching him conjunctions, pronouns, and simple sentences. These were slightly harder for him, as they seemed unnatural in their flow and contrary to what he knew.

It was starting to turn dark outside when the door burst open and two figures burst through the door.

"We're back!" Summer and Taiyang got up and both got tackled by the said figures as another, larger one walked through the door. Itachi was quick to get up to his feet as soon as the door burst open, and while the others may have not noticed, Qrow certainly did. He walked in with his signature hunch, eyeing the mysterious kid as the two other kids hugged their parents.

"Qrow, everything went well I'm guessing?" Taiyang asked Qrow with a smile on his face with his older daughter hanging off his leg.

Qrow sighed and looked down, but Taiyang could still see the smile on his face, "Yeah, yeah. Kids were little devils as always."

"Aww, you don't really mean that do you uncle Qrow?" Yang had finally detached herself from Taiyang and was now looking up at Qrow with sadness in her eyes. Ruby saw her older sister and mimicked the action, subjecting their uncle to not one, but two puppy eyed girls.

"Shi-" Qrow immediately clasped both hands over his mouth before he could finish. He looked up at the two parents and was immediately glad he did. If he didn't die to the kids' sneak attack, Taiyang and Summer would have finished him off.

"I mean, you two aren't so bad. Devils can be pretty cool, you know? Heh." Qrow nervously chuckled, observing everyone's reactions. Summer smiled while Taiyang looked miffed at the devil comment. Yang smirked, knowing the full extent of her actions while Ruby was too young to understand what she had just done.

"Whoa, I'm a devil! That means I'm cool, right dad?" Ruby ran over to her father. He looked torn between telling her the truth and lying to make her happy. There was really no debate in the first place.

"Ahh, yeah you're super cool ruby. You're even red like a devil." Taiyang felt like he had made a mistake there.

"Mom, you wear red too! That must mean you're a devil as well, right?"

Summer just smirked and looked at Taiyang who was sweating nervously, "Too some people I am."

Ruby just tilted her head in confusion and was about to ask what that meant, but Qrow decided to cut the man some slack and stepped in.

"Alright, alright. Anyone want to explain what's going on with the…" Qrow took a pause to count on his fingers before looking back up to finish his sentence and gestured toward Itachi, "Sixth-wheeler here?"

Itachi took notice of the man's attitude. He acted drunk and slurred his words, but Itachi couldn't smell any alcohol from his breath. Likely from being around the kids, Itachi doubted Summer or Taiyang would appreciate very much their daughters being exposed to alcohol at such a young age. And while the man was hunched over with his hands in his pockets as he walked in, the giant sword on the man's back was a clear indication that he was a fighter. It seemed all the adults here were.

The two kids who until now seemed oblivious to his presence suddenly looked up at him. The older of the two was blonde while the younger one resembled Summer in almost every way. The hair, outfit, even the silver eyes. They seemed extremely curious at his presence but also knew to contain their interest when the adults were talking.

"How about I take the kids upstairs while you and Summer talk to him?" Taiyang suggested, ignoring the looks on Yang and Ruby's faces.

Once the two children and one adult were out of sight, Qrow took a seat and adopted a serious look on his face. The man reminded Itachi of another silver haired individual. A carefree attitude on the surface, but entirely serious when the situation called for it. Clearly this man had been through many experiences himself.

"I found this kid in the forest and scared off a beowulf that was trying to prey on him. He didn't speak the common language so Taiyang and I were teaching him some basic vocabulary until you got here. He learns extraordinarily fast." Summer explained.

Qrow raised a brow, "Well this is certainly interesting. So I'm guessing you haven't been able to get anything out of him yet?"

Summer shook her head, "No, we were hoping you would be able to talk to him. I know you travel a lot and know a lot of languages, even the more obscure ones."

"I can't promise anything, but I'll try my best. Alright kid, talk." He said the last part slowly, and when Itachi nodded his head in confirmation and was about to speak, Qrow seemed surprised at the normally insignificant action. The kid had actually understood him, no matter how simply he had spoken. For someone who didn't speak the language until a few hours ago it was no small feat.

Of course, it could be partially attributed to prior exposure, but somehow the look in the boy's eyes convinced Qrow that this had all happened only recently.

Itachi opened his mouth and began to speak in his mother tongue, "My name is Itachi Uchiha, and I do not know where I am at currently."

He spoke slowly deliberately, and with each word Qrow's face grew more and more surprised.

"Huh, I thought that was a dead language."

"What is?" Summer didn't stop herself from asking out of curiosity.

"It's an old, old language from Eastern Mistral but no one even speaks it anymore. I can only recognize it cause I took a mission from that region and happened across a very… enthusiastic linguist with a particular fascination in ancient languages. I can't think of anyone else who would even be able to tell it apart much less understand it other than maybe Ozpin." Qrow finished his explanation and Summer just looked at Itachi in further surprise. What kind of kid suddenly appears on the opposite side of the continent from where his native, dead language originated from?

"I'll contact Ozpin, he'll probably be able to talk to the kid." Qrow began pulling out his scroll but was stopped almost as quickly by Summer.

"I-I'm sure Ozpin is busy right now, I don't think it'd be wise to contact him for something so frivolous." Summer stammered out.

"Frivolous?" Qrow asked in disbelief.

"Y-Yeah. Like I said earlier, the kid is really smart. I'm sure he'll learn the language in no time, then he can explain it to us then. We wouldn't want to rush it onto him, right?"

Qrow's disbelief only grew at Summer's poor excuse, but decided not to push into why she was acting this way.

"Yeah, okay."

Summer swore he intentionally slurred the words that time.

It was silent until Qrow finally spoke up, "So, what's the kid's name?"

"Oh… Uh…"

Qrow just stared at her, "You're kidding."

Summer scratched the side of her head nervously and laughed, "Oops?"

In the following month, Itachi completely blew away everyone's expectations. It wasn't just impressive with the rate at which he learned, it was downright suspicious in Qrow's eyes. But Summer and Taiyang didn't seem to share his concerns and simply brushed it off as 'child genius' things.

It took a mere week for Itachi to completely master speaking the common language, and another two before he was reading literature which Taiyang couldn't even understand. Although he denied the kid was smarter than him, just more of a bookworm, that's all.

Itachi was reading everything he could about the strange new world he was in. He had come to the conclusion that he was in a completely different world if not altogether dimension the moment he picked up a map of the world. There was no knowledge of chakra in this world, but rather humans used aura to fight off the grimm, another mystery in Itachi's eyes. It seemed that to fight off these creatures which were so attracted to negative emotions, which explained the feeling Itachi got when he met one, humanity was forced to quickly develop its technology and weapons, using a combination of aura, technology, and dust to defend themselves. By definition, dust was a naturally occurring energy propellant triggered by the aura of humans and faunus.

When Itachi read that part, he had to reread it just to make sure he hadn't misread it. It seemed there was an entirely other race that more or less co-existed alongside humans on Remnant. More or less because humans discriminated against the faunus for their animal-like traits, reminding him of his old partner, Kisame. It seemed that despite a common enemy found in the grimm, humanity was still unable to put aside their differences, as shown by the existence of the Great War.

He quietly contemplated as he read what he should do next, and possible next steps for returning to his original world. He was disrupted by two blurs rocketing out from the kitchen into him on the couch. Yang and Ruby seemed to want to play again.

Ruby smiled up at him, cookie crumbs still on her face, "Itachi, let's go outside!"

Itachi gave her a smile, using his free hand not holding onto the book to wipe the crumbs off, "Sure, let's go."


Professor Theodore was having a terrible day in his office, at least as awful as any of his others. Sometimes he really wished that he didn't hold so much power, considering all the paperwork attached to the job. But par was the course for a military ruled kingdom, and he was technically at the top of the chain of command. When he complained to his head secretary, she had simply told him, "with great power comes great responsibility." And then promptly gave him another stack of paperwork.

That was this morning, and so throughout the entire day Theodore had a terrible mood. This was made clear by his secretary to the rest of his underlings. So it was great trepidation that the door to his office was opened.

Theodore looked up at who had come to annoy him this time, and realized it was just another of his secretaries. What was it this time, he wondered. If his secretaries had so much time to bother him, they probably had time to deal with some of his damn paperwork. Theodore continued to grumble in his mind, but his outward stoic face remained calm.

"Uh, sir?" The man who opened the door seemed to be a young adult, a mouse faunus which in Theodore's opinion suited his current appearance and behavior. The boy was absolutely terrified, but he supposed it was partly justified. He was always told that he could be rather scary at times, especially when angry.

"What do you want?" He snapped a little harsher than he intended. Perhaps he really needed that vacation.

"Our patrol has observed an unnatural sandstorm about 32 klicks from the border of the city. They are worried that it might approach some of the outer settlements and disturb the residents."

That was indeed troubling, but was it a matter that really required his personal hand? Wasn't Vacuo supposed to be a land of the survival of the fittest? But perhaps this was an opportunity.

The boy cleared his throat and finished, "And uhm, one of the sensor faunus on the patrol said she detected traces of aura from its outer radius."

Now this was interesting. Theodore smiled, making the mouse faunus even more scared.

"Thank you. You can tell them I'll be there in a flash. Tell the rest of the secretaries that they can handle the paperwork in the meantime." The true reason he was happy was revealed, hoping that he could take a short break from the monotony. He honestly didn't care if this sandstorm was simply nothing more than a small abnormality. Anything would be better than the hell he had been sitting through a couple minutes prior.

The young man scurried out of the room before he could even finish his sentence. Theodore really hoped he caught that last part, it'd be troublesome if none of his secretaries were doing work when he came back.

He got up out of his chair, stretching his back and grabbing his cloak. He swung it over his shoulders, letting it flutter and rest on his back, reminded of why he took this job. Sure, he was essentially a dictator and arguably the single most powerful person in the world, but nothing beat being a leader with a dramatic flair.


Ghira Belladonna woke up to a knocking on his door, late at night. He groaned and tried his best not to wake up his wife sleeping next to him, but the knocking had done its job and she was already awake.

She yawned and groggily asked, "What is it?"

Ghira groaned, "I don't know, but it better be important."

He walked to the door and was met with a nervous faunus guard with dog ears, "Sir, we've been informed to escort you out of the premises."

"For what?"

"There's been a dangerous spike of aura and we don't know what's happening, but it could be an assassination attempt on you. As such, the chieftain has concluded that you should be safely extracted along with your family." The younger faunus clearly was afraid of him, probably due to the difference in stature and Ghira's dominating presence.

"Hmph, lead me to the chieftain. Send another one of your men to extract my wife and daughter."

"Sir, if something were to happen to you, it'd be terrible!" The faunus seemed to lose his fear of the larger one, but also seemed to gain a sense of urgency.

"What kind of example would I be setting for my fellow faunus if I ran at the slightest sign of trouble? Besides, I think you'll worry more about the assassin than me once I'm finished with him" At this, Ghira finally understood why the faunus held so much fear for the man. It was borne out of respect.

The dog faunus seemed moved by his confidence and leadership and took on an entirely different attitude of determination, "Sir… Very well, our men will immediately move your family to a safe location. Follow me."

Ghira almost laughed at the sudden reversal but he was used to it enough. He would be lying if he said he didn't enjoy seeing his fellow brothers and sisters regaining their confidence to deal with problems head on. All they needed was someone to show them how.

Once he was sure that Kali and Blake were safe, he headed out towards the location opposite to where everyone was evacuating. He had no doubts as to his wife's fighting ability, it was part of why he had married her in the first place, but someone had to stay with Blake during this to ensure their child's safety. Some faunus were more receptive than others to aura, and Ghira was one of them. His ability was enhanced in Menagerie due to the deep brush that inhabited most of the island.

While he would never admit it, some faunus did become more in sync with their wild side when in their natural habitat. For him as a panther faunus, there really was no better place other than some rainforests in mistrals to enhance his faunus abilities.

It was due to this ability that as he got closer and closer to their location, he started to feel it. The malicious aura which overwhelmed every one of his senses. It got to the point that he noticed even the less receptive faunus escorting him were beginning to get affected as well. He had no doubt that many of the faunus living closest to the brush had felt it, perceptive or not. When it seemed like some of them would be unable to continue, they reached the edge of the bush where the current chieftain was waiting.

The current chieftain was an old wolf faunus who had been born over 60 years ago and while she had gained the respect of the older generation, many younger faunus were hoping for another chieftain. Ghira knew that the invitation and treatment he had received in Menagerie were an attempt to persuade him into the leadership role. He admitted that he started thinking seriously about the unspoken offer after his marriage and even more so after Blake's birth, wanting to settle down. But as it stood, there was still too much work to be done as the leader of the White Fang.

The chieftain looked curiously at Ghira, then at the guards who were supposed to evacuate him. To their credit, they didn't outwardly flinch whatsoever, a testament to their determination. They had all been filled in along the way and thought that Ghira had the right to directly confront whatever was exuding this terrible aura. They respected the man and found newfound courage in him. The chieftain saw the light in their eyes, obviously directed towards the man now standing in front of her.

"Ghira, I was under the impression that you would be farther away by now." She smiled softly, obviously teasing the much younger faunus.

"My apologies Akela, don't blame your guards too much, I wanted to appear here personally. I hope you will sympathize with my concerns as a fellow leader." Ghira bowed respectfully to the much older faunus.

She waved her hand dismissively, "Oh come now Ghira, no need to be so formal. I understand perfectly, in fact it seems I've underestimated you."

"My thanks." If Akela was displeased by his continued strict tone, she didn't vocalize it.

"Anyways, by the way my faunus are looking at you, it looks like I'll be passing down my mantle sooner than I thought."

"Please stop your teasing Akela, I'm not fit to be chieftain just yet." Ghira frowned, despite his true opinions.

"Maybe not yet, but like I said. I underestimated you, perhaps you are doing the same to yourself." Akela gave him that smile that only those wise beyond their years could ever hope to give. When he gave no further response, she continued, "I suppose we should confront this evil aura, then."

Ghira nodded his head, and Akela led him deeper into the brush. The aura only seemed to thicken with each step, growing viler and viler to the point many of the faunus were unable to continue any further. A few brave but foolish guards tried to continue forward despite the overwhelming presence, and collapsed midway through their trek.

Only two of the group seemed unaffected, the two at the front: Ghira and Akela. But if Ghira were to be honest, he couldn't help but want to retch at the aura. He imagined if grimm bled this is what suffocating in their blood would feel like. He glanced at the chieftain and wondered if she was inwardly as affected as he was.

They reached a clearing, allowing those remaining to truly feel the aura without anything obstructing it. Ghira lifted his eyes to the source, and only saw a bubbling red plasma which seemed to branch out in every direction. To his horror, it seemed like the mass was moving towards them. The full force of the, unbeknownst to them, chakra came pouring down onto them like a torrential flood.

Any who were struggling before were unable to take even a single step, stuck in place. Ghira wondered if he made the wrong decision, and the moment he let a single negative thought enter into his mind, more followed, seemingly fueled by the aura.

Akela was in a similar state, and seemed to see her entire life flash before her eyes. Except, only the most horrible and traumatic memories surfaced to her mind. All the atrocities humans had inflicted upon her kind, all the periods of loss and grief, mostly memories from before she had become chieftain. A feeling she hadn't felt in over decades came rushing back to the forefront.

But before she could get a handle on the sudden rage which filled her entire being, her system was completely shocked with another sense of sorrow. Her body seemed to switch between every negative emotion possible so fast she wondered if she had gone to hell.

This continued, and no one seemed to be able to even move. They all began to fall to their knees, one by one, unguarded. Defenseless as the day they were born. Akela was the last to fall, not a moment after Ghira himself. They managed to turn their heads just enough to look into each other's eyes, wondering if they were going to be the last things they ever saw. Ghira closed his eyes, silently apologizing to Kali and Blake for his pride, coming here when he should've been with them. He never could have expected something like this, no one could.

They were all saying their last words, when the force bearing down upon them abruptly lifted. It was like the aura was never there, leaving no trace other than the shaking bodies which it had so greatly impacted. Akela could still feel her body trembling from the effects of such sudden shifts in emotion, and while she was relieved that it had now stopped, the last shift was just as hard on her old body.

Ghira was the first to recover, and barely managed to get to his feet. He looked around him and was made completely speechless. Everyone was on the ground in various states of disarray, all unable to even muster neither the strength nor will to stand. Akela looked in need of medical help. Before he could rush to her side, he realized he was not alone. He turned slowly, wondering what kind of demon could possibly have let out such a malicious aura, not to mention so powerful that it was visible to the extent he had seen.

What he was not expecting was a blonde boy faunus looking up at him with a scared look, wearing pieces of clothing that seemed far too large for him. Ghira looked at the boy's face and realized why he had automatically assumed he was a faunus, who wouldn't with such feral red eyes and fangs, not to mention the thick whisker marks on his face. If it weren't for the scared look on his face, Ghira had no doubt the very image would be intimidating to most.

The boy tilted forwards causing Ghira to involuntarily flinch. It wasn't until he realized that the boy was fainting forwards that he reacted, again involuntarily but this time to catch him. Ghira caught him by the shoulder and felt how frail and small the boy was. He was again shocked by how young the boy was, looking no older than his own daughter, perhaps the reason he had acted to save him from collapsing on the ground. Perhaps it was the irony, that this boy who could so easily force them onto the ground was saved from that very fate.

He saw how young the boy looked and contemplated his next action. What was he supposed to do in such a situation? He had so many questions swirling through his brain he felt like he was going to collapse again. He heard Akela cough violently on the ground and realized his questions could wait. People needed his help.


Jacques Schnee woke up to a knocking on his door, late at night. He groaned and tried his best not to wake up his wife sleeping next to him, but the knocking had done its job and she was already awake.

She yawned and groggily asked, "What is it?"

Jacques groaned, "I don't know, but it better be important."

He walked to the door and was met with a nervous Klein. "Sir, Ironwood is calling for you."

"What? Ironwood, at this time of hour? What sort of ungodly event has occurred for him to request my presence? Who does he think he is?" Jacques flew into a rage while cursing Ironwood.

"He says something happened at one of the Schnee Dust Company mines and would like your authorization to move in." That shut Jacques up for a moment.

Unfortunately for Klein, Jacques was still cranky from being awakened, "Was it another grimm attack? Damn those pitiable faunus with their weak emotions. Tell him he can move in and to wipe them out."

"No sir, he wouldn't give me details but it didn't sound very much like an attack," Klein continued to shuffle on his feet nervously, not wanting to make his master even angrier than he already was.

Jacques sighed in resignation, "The things I do for this company. Go get me my jacket and ready the transportation."

"Right away, sir."

As Klein scurried off, Jacques got dressed. Willow noticed this and asked, "How long are you going to be out for?"

"I don't know, Ironwood needs to talk to me about some issue at one of our mines."

Willow frowned, "Do try to come back soon, Winter has her first day of Academy tomorrow."

Jacques just grunted, not truly acknowledging that he had heard what she had said. As he left the room, Willow laid back down and sighed, putting her arm to her head and looking up at the ceiling.

'Father, is this truly what you thought was best?'

"Alright Ironwood, tell me what you want." Jacques tried to use his best business voice and not to show that he was shivering from the cold.

"Something appeared in the area under your company's jurisdiction." Ironwood frowned, and seemed troubled. He didn't seem very pleased that he was here either, which only slightly improved Jacques' mood.

"Well hurry up and tell me what it is and why it was so important you needed to tell me."

"You know the research Atlas Institute has been doing on aura." Jacques nodded, not truly listening but rather focusing on the cold weather. If Ironwood noticed, he didn't seem to care as he continued.

"Well, we built a large aura detector which covers a relatively large area of land surrounding Atlas in hopes of learning more about it. This mine is right on the outskirts of its radius. Normally, there are spikes in our aura detection system when exceptionally strong hunters are in combat fighting grimm or each other." Ironwood took a pause to let Jacques talk.

"Let me guess, you detected one here? Well, then what are you doing? Go arrest that hunter already and be done with it!" Was this seriously all that the General had to talk to him about? If so, this was a massive waste of time.

"We already have the subject in custody. Only problem is, the level detected in this area surpassed anything we've ever seen outside of our own tests. We were honestly worried that with all the aura being concentrated here, the entire surrounding area would be completely leveled."

Jacques widened his eyes at that news, "Who could possess such power? And if they're here, why?"

"Well, I have your first answer, but you're not going to like it. Or maybe you will." Ironwood gained a look that Jacques immediately recognized. After all, he had adorned the same face every day since he took on the mantle of CEO for Schnee Dust Company. He decided to humour the General.

"So who is it then? Someone from Vale? Mistral? God forbid if Vacuo is sending hunters here."

"It's a child, no older than your second daughter."

Jacques laughed at the news, "Surely this is a joke? A malfunction in your precious system? Why would there even be a child here in the first place, it's not faunus is it?"

Ironwood grimaced at the last part, Schnee had been taking further steps recently with cheap labor in the form of faunus, and he wouldn't put it past the man to employ children either.

"No, it's not one of your employees." Ironwood was treading dangerous ground here, but both he and Jacques knew neither of them could do anything to one another. They both held too much power. "And it's not a malfunction. Although the initial burst disappeared, that child is the source of an extremely large aura reserve. Quite possibly the largest in recorded history. And since he was found in an area under the jurisdiction of Schnee Dust Comp-"

And there it was, the source of that face that Jacques so easily recognized. The face of someone who wants something from another. Jacques cut him off, "So you want him for your little experiments, is that it? And you need my permission for it."

An irritated look flashed across Ironwood's face, knowing he was caught. "Don't try to lecture me about ethics."

Inwardly, the head of the Schnee family was smiling, "Oh, of course not! I was simply saying what was on both of our minds, you see. I'm extremely pleased that you would inform me of this event."

As the General's grew more and more agitated, Jacques became giddy. This was why he became a businessman, not for the money or prestige, although those were all a plus. No, it was the enjoyment you got when both you and your opponent knew who had triumphed. Ironwood may be renowned for his combat skills and victories on the ground, but Jacques had yet to lose a single battle in the business world.

"Lead me to the child, please."

Soon the two entered a warm military tent and Jacques let himself a small breath of relief. He was able to see a small child laying down on a portable bed and concluded that Ironwood hadn't been lying about the child's age, he looked about the same age as Weiss. But that wasn't what interested Jacques. Jacques was never a huntsmen, and while he had unlocked his aura a long time ago, he wasn't very adept at utilizing it. He had only opened it for his own personal gain and safety. But he could basically feel the aura dripping off the boy's body, permeating everything in the confines of the tent. In addition to the boy's aristocratic features, even sleeping the child exuded power and authority.

"I can see why you want him so badly."

Ironwood shuddered at the way Jacques worded that, "Erm, I suppose. His aura will be invaluable to our research and progress Atlas further than ever before once trained properly."

Jacques' voice took a sudden shift in emotion, "What a waste."

Ironwood took a step back at his words, "What are you talking about?"

Jacques was high off the scent of victory, and didn't slow down to consider his next actions. After all, if one sees a checkmate, do they not take it immediately? "You always were too much of a goody two shoes, James, despite your actions. Under the jurisdiction given to Schnee Dust Company by the Atlas council, I hereby lay claim on any and all discoveries found within this area. Even if that concerns human life. I will be raising this child."

Clearly whatever James had been expecting, this was clearly not it. The General looked shocked for a moment before anger filled his face.

"You would set back research that could save thousands of lives down the line? And for what, personal gain? A petty need to get one over me? This is going too far Jacques, even for you."

Jacques seemed legitimately offended, "Oh, so now I'm the villain? Don't act like you've ever had the moral high ground on me James, even now. I know I'm not exactly the role model when it comes to ethics but even I recognize that there's something inherently wrong with sacrificing a single individual for the sake of the majority."

Ironwood regained some of his composure but lost none of his fury, "This isn't some game Jacques, not something for you to manipulate to your liking. I have to ask since you seem so displeased with my methods: would you rather sacrifice the majority for a single individual? When it comes down to it, are you willing to make that choice, to carry that burden?" He stepped out into the open, not even shivering at the cold breeze which hit his face.

He looked over the mining outpost, regarding the various workers who were even now under labor. Some were nocturnal, most weren't. They were all faunus. Many seemed close to exhaustion, and the legality of the situation was entirely questionable. Any other company would have been torn apart by the council for such immoral actions, but the hard conditions and low pay of the faunus lined the pockets of richer men, so nothing was done.

The general put his military cap back on and turned around to face one of the richest men in the world, "You don't have to say anything. After all, actions speak louder than words."

Jacques was unfazed, "I will protect the interests of those precious to me. It has always been that way."

"And what about the child? Is he now precious to you as well, as some asset?" Ironwood spat out the last word mockingly.

"At least he won't be treated like some lab rat."

"You're terrible."

"I know that already."

Ironwood's reaction was much stronger than Jacques had anticipated. Where had things gone so wrong? He thought it was a checkmate, but it turned out to be a stalemate. He had the child, but at what cost? Connections, severed. Probably permanently at some levels. Would the child even be worth the trouble? The aura may be too dangerous to handle. There were too many uncertainties. Perhaps it may have been safer to just leave the child with Ironwood, let professional scientists handle the boy like some piece of technology to reverse engineer.

No, he couldn't do that. Because as much as he admits that he's a terrible person to most, he couldn't do that. As the head of the Schnee family looked back at the boy, he realized why he had acted so impulsively. He couldn't do that to a child of this age, one so close to his own children's.

Besides, when had the Schnee family ever taken the safe route? Nicholas Schnee certainly hadn't, and Jacques would be damned if he let that legacy die only a generation later.


This chapter was in the works for almost an entire week. I wrote about three fourths of it within two days then procrastinated on the last bit for the rest of the time. To be fair, I had exams, which is also why I haven't updated my other story. Don't worry, my next update will be to Sage Paths. Probably.

This story really has come alive in my mind, and I know that because I can vividly imagine almost every important scene that will happen in the next ten chapters at the very least. Don't expect every chapter to be this long by the way, this was most definitely a fluke. Probably.

I actually wrote Itachi's part first, then Sasuke then Naruto and finally added Gaara's little part at the end, but changed up the order so it spells out IGNS. I know, I know, I'm a genius. Okay not really, but anyways the next chapter will be titled 'Gratitude' and will include a timeskip. Probably.