Well, the end has come. The final chapter of Encyclopedia Ninja is here. I'm rather saddened that this fic must come toan end. But I guess it's okay since I still have several moreideas to put into writing. I want to thank all of my reviewers, whether you left something good or bad. Anyway, let's get to the good stuff.
RLnaruhina: I too am saddened by the ending of this fic. But I'm also happy, since I now have more time to work on other fics.
Jays Arravan: I almost didn't make an entry because I forgot, but thanks for reminding me.
Arsenel: Well... in a way, Naruto DID die...
The White Dwarf: Sorry, but there was no link. Email it to me. And if I took that from someone, then I'm sorry, because I did not know it was out there.
loyal reader: No. Sorry, but that's not what I'm aiming for to end this fic with.
Firehedgehog: Kind of.
Angelic Warrior: When you read this chapter, you'll realize that... well... just read.
Dairokkan: NORMALLY. Keyword.
animewatcher: I kind of felt that too. But some reviewers said that it was a great fight scene. I really don't know. Maybe it was great in another manner?
DotDotDotMan: Sorry, but I don't think there will be a sequel for this. From what I see in movies and videogames, sequels are almost never as good as the first, and I feel that I would make a crappy sequel, whether I try my best or not.
madnarutofan: No, that did not happen... kind of.
Coco Cow: Here is your explanation.
Kira-Reen:Yeah, from the fics that I've read, other than "The Lazy Uchiha," there aren't many fics where Itachi is portrayed as a human. Maybe it's because the fics I read usually have him as the bad guy...
raven guy: I'm going to guess that you got confused at the part where they were talking about seeing the other smile. I purposely made it so that it could be seen as one or the other saying each line. I suppose I was experimenting back there.
DiamondBlade64: Yes, they did what you think they did.
Archangel: Wow, is it really that good?
Quick question: Where can you check hits for your story?
I do not own Naruto or King of Fighters.
An out-of-body experience (defined by Encyclopedia Nina, of course) is a medical occurrence so rare that many doctors will not have to face the problem in their lifetime. The reasons why it is doctors that may go through this is because, usually, the people who go through this had almost died.
It is reported that when a person goes through an out-of-body experience, their body becomes medically dead. They see the surroundings of where they are. They can clearly see doctors working feverishly on their body, IV tubes going in and out of them. Eventually, the body comes back to life, leaving a barely alive person who has no idea what just happened.
This rare occurrence has given rise to debates about whether or not there is a soul in the human body. It has also created the debate of Heaven and Hell, though on a smaller scale.
Whether or not scientific officials declare that there is a soul, Naruto would know the answer.
"In the… well, you can't really say flesh…" Kyuubi trailed off. It looked almost like Naruto. However, his hair was entirely red, instead of being yellow at the base and red at the ends.
"I thought you died," Naruto said.
"I did. Or at least my body died. Unlike you humans, we don't just die and disappear. Our physical bodies die, but our souls stay in this plane of existence," Kyuubi answered.
"Am I dead?" Naruto asked.
"No, but you're rather close. Either way, you weren't really paying attention when you heard my will, no?"
"Your will?" Naruto was confused. After a year of thinking that Kyuubi had died and gone away, here he was, in the recesses of… somewhere.
"God, you really are stupid. When I gave up my soul, you became trapped in your own body. And then you found my will," Kyuubi reminded him.
"Anyway, you missed the most important part about the body I left you with. Humans have eight chakra Gates. My body has gifted with nine. In fact, all of the Legendary Beings have nine Gates. That explains why your body didn't explode like Rugal's body."
There was silence for a moment.
"So why are you here?" Naruto asked. "Orochi has been defeated and the Eight Great Souls have been scattered."
"Well, I decided to pay a visit before I go off and make a body for myself. It won't take that long, a year or so, maybe a bit longer."
Naruto gave Kyuubi a hard stare.
"Don't give me that look. I'll be good," Kyuubi told Naruto. "I promise."
Naruto lessened the glare.
"So do you have any questions, concerns, anything you want to know before I have to leave?" Kyuubi asked.
"How can I trust you to be good?"
"I helped you, didn't I? I gave you my body to defeat Orochi with. Plus I taught you some fancy stuff. You trusted me with those, can't you trust me with this?"
Naruto was silent.
"Well, if that's all you want to know, then I guess I'll be off." Kyuubi turned around and began to leave.
"Wait," Naruto called. Kyuubi turned around. "Why did you attack Konoha?"
"To inform you, I have also left you with my previous memories. However, I will spare you the work of digging and simply tell you." Kyuubi took in a breath. "The truth is, Konoha had become too powerful under the Yondaime Hokage. Not just strength-wise, but also politically. Being one of the Eight Legendary beings, my job is to help regulate power to make sure that one village doesn't become too powerful.
Kyuubi took a deep breath. "The other reason is because your father was a boastful man."
To say the least, Naruto was stunned. "Y-You knew my father?"
"Yes. Very well, in fact. He had proclaimed that Konoha had the power to stop the Kami. Naturally, I was asked to take care of him, seeing how he was in my relative area."
"Who was he?"
"Your father was the Yondaime Hokage," Kyuubi said.
"What? He was my father?"
"Yeah. Although he was boastful, he didn't ignore his people. He knew that asking the people for a newborn to undertake the task of holding me was too great of a request. So he used his own, you."
"So… in a way… you killed my father?" Naruto asked.
"If it helps you in any manner, he kind of killed me too."
"Anyway, I'm out of he-"
"What made you want to help me? You were only doing your job as a Being, and yet after being sealed, you choose to help me. Why?"
"…" Kyuubi stayed silent.
"…If you don't want to talk about it, that's oka-"
"I guess you could say that it's to atone for something I haven't been able to forgive myself for," Kyuubi said, taking in a deep breath. Naruto simply looked incredulously at Kyuubi. "Hey, I have feelings too."
"I'll take your word for it."
"Do you want to know or not?"
Naruto remained silent.
"Fifteen hundred years ago, I was wandering around in my human form in a forest, kind of just waiting for something to happen. That was when brigands jumped me. A lot of them. And they weren't regular brigands either. Apparently, they used to be shinobis, but turned to thievery. I was almost ashamed that I couldn't detect them.
"I managed to defeat them without much effort. However, before they fled, one of them threw some poison gas at my feet. I don't know how powerful it was, but was obviously more than fatal to humans. After inhaling just a tiny bit, I was already suffering from it. My healing abilities kept me from death, but not from going unconscious.
"That's when she found me."
Rushing through the trees, Hinata paid no attention to her bruises as she leapt through the branches.
She had seen the gigantic eight-headed snake.
She had felt the inhumane amounts of chakra leak out of his body.
She had witnessed the gigantic pillar of fire that lit the sky in a calm gray, making everything else simply appear as a dark shadow. She remembered how it was white and had black fibers running through it. It was a shadow of fire, still hot and burning but lacking the bright flare.
She believed that he would be dead after such a maneuver. But she still had to take a look. Being a medic nin means that she knew much about the human body. Being a Hyuuga meant that she knew more than any other how the chakra coil system works.
She knew that the only way for Naruto to have gained that much chakra was by opening the Eight Gates. And that would lead to his death.
But she had to make sure.
Naruto and Kyuubi
Kyuubi ignored Naruto, entrenched within his memory. "She told me her name was Hiroko after I woke up in her house. She was rather young and rather pretty at the age of eighteen. Apparently, she was walking home after having picked some herbs in the forest. That's when she found me unconscious on the path and took me to her house. I told her a bit about myself, how I was just a traveling warrior and how the brigand's knocked me out by their poison gas." Kyuubi paused for a moment.
"She never really told me how she got me to her house."
Naruto noted how Kyuubi was lost within his memories.
"She told me a bit about herself. She lived alone. No parents, no relatives, not even friends. She was simply a girl raised in an orphanage. After she left, she made a living picking and selling herbs, although the money she made was rather meager. The house she lived in was simply an old rundown hut that no one knew existed that was next to a nameless stream.
"I wanted to pay her back for her hospitality. Even though she kindly refused, I didn't care. The next day, I went out with her to pick herbs. Then, while she was out selling them, I began to work on building her a proper house. When she got back to make dinner, I went and caught some game for us to eat.
"We repeated this process for almost a year. We became close to each other. I loved her and, even though she tried to hide it from me, she loved me too. After I finished building the house, we confessed to each other. She told me that she loved me, even though I wasn't human. She knew that as soon as I told her I was knocked out by the poison gas. Any human would have died from it. I told her that I was indeed not human and was instead the Kyuubi. I told her that I loved her, even though she was human. We made plans to marry within a month.
"I told her I had some business to attend to and that I would come back within two weeks. The truth was that I had gone to form the Orochi, as it was time. It just so happened that the village chosen was where Hiroko was considered a citizen. They drew lots and she just so happened to be one of the unfortunate eight.
"I recognized her as soon as the eight were in sight. I was stunned to see her there. That tiny lapse gave the other heads the chance to make their kill. After they did so, the heads detached and disappeared, the soul gone in a direction away from there. It was just Hiroko and I now. I don't know how she made the connection between the Orochi and me, but she made it.
"She walked up to me and told me to do what I had to do. At first, I refused, claiming that we could get change the sacrifice. I almost rushed off to the village, but she called me back. She told me that it wouldn't be fair for the other. And then she told me to kill her.
"And I did." By now, Naruto was staring into Kyuubi's eyes that were lost deep within his own memories. Slowly, he watched as a tear made its way down his cheek before he wiped it away and continued.
"I made it as quick and painless as possible. Using one of my fangs, I pierced through her left shoulder and into her heart. As my body changed back, I began to cry. When I returned to my original form, I gently picked her up and buried her at the house. After that, I burned the house down and watched it fall apart. Still crying, I walked away from the house and never looked back.
"After that, I secluded myself. I didn't kill unless it was for food or I was ordered to. I simply couldn't forgive myself of what I did."
"I guess I wanted to help you in her memory."
"So, can you find it in yourself to forgive a demon like me? I know I caused you a lot of trouble," Kyuubi said to Naruto.
Naruto gave a small smile, "Yeah. Just remember: it wasn't your fault."
Kyuubi returned his smile. "Well, if you're out of questions, then I guess I'll be off now. I'll keep an eye over you and Hinata."
"Thanks but I do have one more question. How can I help prevent Orochi being released again?"
"Well, since you've destroyed his body, the ability to form the Orochi has been bound once more. It would take centuries for the bindings to become weak enough for the power to be released again."
"However, what you can do is take the three jewels and hide them throughout the world, like maybe throw one into the ocean or something."
"But… these objects are heirlooms. I can't just throw them away. Is there another way we can deal with them?" Naruto asked.
"Well… Put them in separate secure storage places. That's the only other way to deal with the problem. Now if that's you're last question, then I'm out of here. You'll probably be very tired once I leave." A small pause was present "Well, see you around." And like that, Kyuubi disappeared.
Naruto tried to say goodbye, but…
He was really tired.
Hinata had arrived at the scene of the battle. A huge circle stood in the place of the trees that were destroyed. It looked to be about several kilometer wide, though she could not be sure.
Almost tangent to the circle, she spotted Naruto, lying on his back. Hinata ran over and knelt by his side. His body was motionless.
It was as she thought. He had died. Gently, she placed her hand on his cheek and stroked it. It was still warm. He had died recently. And judging by the smile on his face, he died happy or at least knowing that he accomplished his goal.
As she caressed his cheek, his body seemed to slowly return to the land of the living. His head tilted towards her before he mumbled something that vaguely resembled her name.
Instantly, Hinata retracted her hand. She watched as Naruto's chest rose and fell according to his breath. So he was still alive. She smiled as the fact slowly registered in her mind. Gathering chakra to her limbs, she lifted him up onto her back. His body almost towered over her, but she had carried heavier things than him.
Slowly, she walked back to Konoha, leaving the destruction and ruin behind her.
Statistics as of October 17th, 2005
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Reviews per chapter...
26: 49 at Archangel
27: To be determined
Average review per chapter: 36.3461538461538461538...
Chapter with Most Reviews: Chapter 18
Chapter with Least Reviews: Chapter 10
Time spent: 364 days. Heh. One day before a year.
Total pages of Reviews: 63