Standard Disclaimer: Disclaimer no jutsu! I don't own Naruto!
Author's Notes: Wow. Lots of reviews. Well-received, neh?
To the reviews!
Blood-Fangs: Ooh. Shouldn't you brush your teeth? O.o;
Night-Owl123: Hoot hoot-sure!
hells-fox: (blinks) You're saying this story has a bad butt? O.o;
Fallen Dragon: …'plz'? It could just as easily be mistaken for 'pills'.
reighost: Sorry. Can't use E-mail no jutsu. You must look for this story on your own whenever I update.
Thalian: You've done a good job of waiting so far.
Hunter Hatake: 'So soon'? I hardly call 6000+ words 'so soon'.
crazy-antman: Actually, Gaara DOES use chakra. The only sand that he doesn't need to use chakra to manipulate is the sand inside his gourd that forms the Shield of Sand. He needs to use chakra otherwise. Besides, it's reasonable to say that Gaara uses chakra to harden sand.
Magy: Roger that.
RuByMoOn17: Your name's hard to spell. x.x;
Liliath: The last half of that made no sense. X.X
Alana Quinn: Well keep in mind that as more chapters of the manga are released and translated, my story will deviate further from Kishimoto's storyline. So if I happen to deviate from the canon (this goes for everyone), do me a favor…don't bother talking about it.
shina-lim: (hands her a bottle) Here's your sap.
M(At)G8: …eww. Don't take this personally…but I DESPISE yaoi/yuri pairings. If you're coming here expecting that, you're going to be disappointed.
200 IQ: Don't be too quick to judge. The battle will be a work in progress…it won't just be like 'here comes Kyuubi, all of Akatsuki attacks'! After all, Naruto's not the only one participating in this battle… ;)
R e c R a p t o r: Don't swear.
Loon Luu: LOONEY TUNES!
Starjacker: (smiles) You'll see…
KunochiDreamer: Interest rates shall rise!
kd8gun: I wasn't aware my story sprouted feet. O.o;
The prologue has concluded…
Now we shall move into the main phase…
Prepare for a grand tale that will change your perceptions of the world of Naruto…
Come…and I'll show you what legacies are truly made of…
Return to Konoha! Tale of the Great Battle's Beginning!
/Desert, Outside Sunagakure, Wind Country/
The Akatsuki corpses had been lined up. Hatake Kakashi, Maito Gai, and Hyuga Neji were quietly looking at the bodies. Soon, dispatches from other ninja villages would arrive to pick up the corpse that belonged to them. After careful examination, they knew who the corpses once were.
"So…Fujiwara Akira of the Hidden Waterfall Village…" droned Kakashi as he moved onto the next group. Deidara and the one who had transformed his body into solid rock was lying there. "Deidara and Yagami Hiroto of the Hidden Stone Village…" Then he glanced at the body of Kisame. "Hoshigaki Kisame of the Hidden Mist Village…" Then the body of the bat woman. "Koumorimaru of the Hidden Cloud Village…" Then the body of the puppet user. "Akasuna no Sasori of the Hidden Sand Village…" Then he glanced at the body of the plant user. "Toya Shuu of the Hidden Grass Village." Finally, the last of the bodies…bodies that belonged to the Hidden Leaf. "Uchiha Itachi…Yakushi Kabuto…and Orochimaru. All former members of the Leaf."
A bitter chuckle escaped Gai's mouth. "Heh. I guess we finally know where Shuu disappeared to." Over twelve years ago – when Kyuubi had struck the Leaf and the surrounding lands – a member of the Grass' Toya clan had disappeared. It had been Shuu, the newly elected leader of the clan. The Toya clan was a plant-using clan; they even had contracts with plant creatures. Shuu had been talented enough to summon Ogi-Daimyou, the Plant Lord…and then merge him with his body. The only way Shuu could have done that was if Ogi-Daimyou had agreed to such a thing…the Toya clan will not be happy to hear that the Plant Lord went astray. Although the Leaf had suffered the most from Kyuubi, the Grass had suffered some damage as well…and when the news of Shuu's disappearance reached the Leaf, it had caused so much of a stir that they had offered some ninja to help search. After all, the Hidden Grass Village was a close ally of the Leaf's.
"The plant creatures are going to need a new Daimyou," commented Neji. The white-eyed Jonin asked, "Why did Shuu leave?"
Kakashi shrugged. "All I know is that he became increasingly despondent after a mission to the Lightning Country. That had been about several months before Kyuubi struck." I wonder what happened to make Shuu leave the Grass…?
However, there was also the fact that three infamous traitors had been finally dealt with.
Itachi. Murderer of the entire Uchiha clan.
Kabuto. Spy for the Hidden Sound Village.
Orochimaru. Infamous traitor and murderer of Sarutobi, the Third Hokage.
It's over…the pain they caused will never strike Konoha again, thought Kakashi, his mind lost in thought.
Meanwhile, over near the obsidian slab, Lee, Hinata, Sakura, Ino, and Kiba were analyzing the massive circular seal. Lee looked on in curiosity. "I've never seen such a massive seal…it's over two hundred feet in diameter!""
"This seal was used for restraining someone," commented Sakura, her eyes fixated on the two rectangles in the very center. "The way the lines are drawn…and the subtle curves in the corners…they represent a 'bend, but don't break' kind of seal. A 'break, but don't bend' seal doesn't require any help as long as the seal is whole…but if the imprisoned person manages to summon enough chakra, they can break out on their own."
Kiba scratched his hair confusedly. "And what's the difference with this one?"
"This one requires a constant supply of chakra to be maintained…otherwise, the seal is useless. However, this kind of seal can't be broken from within…not one this large and complex anyway," finished Sakura.
"W-Wow…you know a lot Sakura," replied Hinata.
Ino snickered. "She doesn't have that big forehead for nothing."
Sakura glared back at Ino. (Inner Sakura: Just you wait, you porker; I'll roast you alive!) However, part of her was troubled; as a student of Tsunade the Godaime Hokage, she knew a lot about seals, as they were often used for medical purposes. However…something about this seal bothered her. This was used for more than just imprisoning people…but what…?
Her mind drifted to Sasuke. And Naruto. She feebly folded her hands together. Please…please be okay…
Meanwhile, near the entrance of Sunagakure, Shikamaru was standing in front of Gaara and his siblings Kankuro and Temari. In the vicinity behind the Kazekage were the people of the Sand Village. Their faces telegraphed relief; they were glad that their Kazekage was unharmed.
"Are you sure you want to handle it?" asked Shikamaru, his green Chuunin vest fluttering in the wind. "The Leaf would be more than glad to deal with the return of the corpses to their respective nations."
Gaara nodded. "The other villages would get suspicious if you willingly delivered the corpses of the missing-nin. They might suspect that the Leaf examined the bodies to harvest the secrets within…and that would bring unwanted trouble. When it comes to corpses, the other villages would like to set the terms of their retrieval. If they come for the corpses, it would be less of a hassle…besides, it is a way for the Sand to prove its trustworthiness to the other villages."
Shikamaru nodded. There was an angle to Gaara's approach; Konohagakure possessed many allies. On the other hand, Sunagakure had relatively little after what had happened at the Chuunin Selection Exam over three years ago. This would be a chance for the Sand to gain allies…and that would make the village stronger. Sunagakure would become more widely known...and that meant more clients for the Sand's shinobi. Sharp, Gaara. Real sharp.
"Besides, one of the bodies belongs to us," said Temari. This statement caused Kankuro to snort; the fact that Akasuna no Sasori had been discovered to be an Akatsuki member was bad enough. It was especially bad for him…because Sasori – the greatest puppet maker in the land – had made Kankuro's puppets for him several years ago.
"So," said Kankuro out of the blue, trying to mask his disgust. "You gonna be departing? It's going to be dark soon, and it gets cold at night in the desert."
"We really have to get back," muttered Shikamaru. "Don't get me wrong; I'd LOVE to spend the night in a nice hotel. But we've got to get back to Konoha to help repair the village." He sighed ruefully. "Man…I'm not even good with woodwork…and I'll probably have to do stuff. It's such a bother…"
This caused Temari to smirk. "Well then, you'd better get going. Just don't get a cramp on the way back." With that said, she turned around and walked towards the village.
A small smile emerged on Shikamaru's mouth. Heh…girls are so troublesome…
A sudden shadow began to fall over the land. The Kazekage, Kankuro, and the denizens of the Sand stared with shock. Temari and Shikamaru turned around to see what it was that shocked them so.
The ninja from the Leaf also stared, stunned and in disbelief over what was happening.
On the horizon, where the sun was about to set, a black disc suddenly sprouted up, slowly covering the glowing orb of fire in the sky. It was if it was trying to quell the light of the sun.
It was the moon.
"OOH! AN ECLIPSE!" enthusiastically yelled Lee. "I've never seen one before! What a grandiose way to cap off a historical day!"
"Just don't look directly at it. You might blind yourself," commented Ino.
Lee silenced himself.
The minutes passed. The moon continued to block the sun, darkening the desert as if it were some dark god blighting the land with a blanket of shadows.
Then, the sun was completely covered. The moon was now a black dot in the sky with a fiery white outline. In a way, it was both terrifying and magnificent to gaze at.
The Obsidian Seal suddenly glowed red; its lines and curves all glowed in unison, shocking those who stood upon it. "EVERYONE! GET OFF!" roared Gai.
The Chuunins that stood upon the seal did so. The lines and symbols glowed a red far bloodier in color than any human could muster. However, there seemed to be no adverse affect.
Minutes passed. The eclipse ended. The sun sank, and the moon rose. The Obsidian Seal ceased its glow.
"Mrrr…" whimpered Akamaru from within Kiba's jacket. Kiba nodded out of concurrence, understanding what the little dog said. "I hear ya…what the heck just happened? Why weren't we affected?"
"Because apparently," said Kakashi as he slowly walked over to the Chuunins. "This seal only reacts to the light of an eclipse…and if you look closely, part of the seal was damaged during the battle, so it couldn't achieve its desired effect. Besides…the two people necessary for the seal to carry out its effect aren't here."
The ninja could tell who Kakashi was referring to. Gaara, the Kazekage of the Sand…and Uzumaki Naruto, the show-stopping ninja of Konoha. Hinata felt a pang of sadness grip her heart as she thought about Naruto's horrible condition. Naruto-kun…
Meanwhile, on one of the tallest buildings in Sunagakure, Jiraiya stared down quietly. From here, he could see the Obsidian Seal and the horizon. The glow was not at all lost on him. So…the information about the sun and the moon was correct…
During the many times Jiraiya had gone info-hunting, he had come up with one phrase that was quite common.
'We must obtain them before the moon becomes the sun.'
During an eclipse, the moon takes the place of the sun…and when the eclipse ends, the moon is no longer one with the sun. Jiraiya sighed out of frustration. Today was the deadline for their plan…but the problem is…what were they planning?
/Hospital, Konohagakure, Fire Country/
Inside a large hospital room, two beds sat several yards apart. In the left one sat Naruto, and in the right one sat Sasuke. A window embedded in the wall revealed the starry night sky of Konoha.
Hovering over Naruto was Tsunade. He had been cleaned of blood, but his wounds needed healing. Her hands glowed with green chakra as she used her medical ninjutsu to heal the boy. Standing behind her were two medical ninja, their hands on her back. They were supplying her with extra chakra; this way, she wouldn't run low. If they ran low, then two more medical ninja would replace them.
Tsunade grunted, "Shizune…how is Sasuke…?"
Tsunade's dark-haired assistant Shizune grumbled as her hands glowed green with chakra. Although Sasuke's wounds were not as great as Naruto's, his body had been put under a great strain by the Level 3 Curse Seal. Like Tsunade, she had two medical ninja supplying her with extra chakra. "He is…getting better…Hokage-sama…"
The two boys were unconscious. They would not wake up for awhile…
However, their minds were active…
And in Naruto's mind, he was remembering…
/Earlier that Morning/
/Desert, 30 Miles Away from Sunagakure, Wind Country/
The blonde-haired teen stood, his feet leaving imprints in the desert sand. His orange and black ninja uniform stood out against the yellow sands. The sun was a thin edge against the eastern horizon. His Leaf hitai-ate reflected the light of the rising sun. Two pouches sat on his right thigh; they held kunai knives and shuriken. His blue eyes stared westward…toward his destination.
Where Akatsuki awaited him.
His teeth clenched together out of anger. Those monsters…Akatsuki…!
Three days ago, upon returning to home late at night, he had found a note waiting for him. From Akatsuki.
It told him that they had the Kazekage…and that they wanted him to come to Sunagakure.
Naruto snarled. Such ignorance…such arrogance…such idiocy! "Those stupids…stupid stupid stupid…"
AH. FINALLY ACKNOWELDGING YOUR OWN STUPIDITY?
Shut up you damn fox!
YOU'VE YET TO FIND A MUTE BUTTON FOR ME.
Ignore the fox Naruto, ignore the fox…
"RAAAAGH!" roared Naruto. Of all the times for the fox to talk, it was now. Whenever Naruto was moody or in an angry mood, the fox would talk. And he would make Naruto even angrier. Kyuubi had an uncanny knack for doing that.
Now where was I…?
CONTEMPLATING RELEASING ME.
Nice try, retorted Naruto.
He had been thinking about Akatsuki.
"Those stupid idiots…those arrogant jackasses!" They didn't care…they only saw him and Gaara for what they had in them.
They wanted the demons sealed within them…and they disregarded him as nothing more than worthless refuse. It sickened him…he had dealt with such hateful people for a large portion of his life. They only saw him as a demon…and Gaara too had only been seen as a demon…
Naruto growled. He would end it today. Today he would prove his strength. He would prove that he wasn't just some vessel for a demon. He was a human. He was a ninja! He was a proud warrior for Konoha, the Village Hidden in the Leaves!
He would defeat Akatsuki.
No matter what.
I BET YOU'LL DIE WITHIN THE FIRST TEN MINUTES.
Ignore the fox ignore the fox ignore the fox ignore the fox ignore ignore ignore…
/Desert, Outside Sunagakure, Wind Country/
A slab of obsidian sat upon the desert sands like a floor mat in a house. Nearby sat the Hidden Sand Village…but a gigantic barrier of steam covered it, preventing access from the outside.
Upon the obsidian slab was a complex, circular seal written on in red dye. Positioned across the seal's circumference were eight nodes. Within those nodes sat the members of Akatsuki. They were using their chakra to keep the seal intact…because within a rectangle at the center of the seal was Gaara of the Desert.
The Kazekage was staring quietly at the eight Akatsuki members around him. He would love nothing more than to strike at them. To crush them with his Desert Graveyard technique. He would…if he could move.
As things were, Gaara couldn't manipulate his chakra. He couldn't even move an inch. All he could do was breathe, blink, and move his eyes. He was restrained…thanks to the Obsidian Seal.
Gaara sat upright, his arms and legs crossed. The red lines glowed a dull color; it was a sign that the eight Akatsuki members were using their chakra to keep the seal active.
From Gaara's perspective, they looked like wraiths with straw hats. Their black-and-red cloud cloaks fluttered in the wind of the desert. Their hands were placed on the obsidian slab, transmitting their chakra into the seal.
"Hmm hmm hmm…"
Koumorimaru glared at Fujiwara Akira. He had been the one to chuckle. "Akira," growled the red-haired woman. "I told you to stop reading those crappy books and focus on the task at hand!"
Akira smiled as he glanced back with his blue eyes. One hand was on the Obsidian Seal…and the other held a small book titled 'Icha Icha Paradise'. "Come on Koumorimaru…you know as well as I do that once the eclipse occurs, there's a possibility this book's writer won't survive the chaos that follows. I'm just getting my kicks in while I can." As he said this, his face was red. "Just be glad my Yukemuriseki doesn't require my focus to hold together." The Yukemuriseki was the gigantic barrier of steam he had erected over the Hidden Sand Village; this way, no one would interfere. He flipped a page with his thumb and chuckled again. "Hmm hmm hmm…"
Toya Shuu chuckled slightly. Ogi-Daimyou, the Plant Lord, sneered. The Plant Lord appeared to be nothing more than a giant Venus Flytrap…but he was so much more. "Ignorant human. Even as we advance toward our goal, he still partakes in pleasures of the flesh." Shuu was quick to speak. "Don't forget that he is merely human like all of us. Once the plan is complete, you'll see his strength firsthand…because only the strongest shall survive." His voice was hoarse and whispery, as if he had been a smoker all of his life. On the contrary; his voice was only like that because of the fact plants grew throughout his body. Some of the roots of the Ogi-Daimyou were right next to his vocal cords.
Yagami Hiroto of the Stone was silent. His gigantic frame seemed much smaller under his Akatsuki cloak; however, his face seemed to be nothing more than muscle and bone with facial features on top. He was completely bald…but wrapped around his forehead was a Stone hitai-ate that was split in the middle. He quietly glanced at Deidara, a former Stone ninja as well. "Deidara." His voice was deep and low, like a growling tiger.
The female clay user glanced back at the tremendous Hiroto. "Don't be so worried…yeah. It's all coming together…yeah."
Hiroto was silent. Insightful. She knew what I was going to say.
"Are you sure the vessel will come here?" asked Sasori. His wooden scorpion tail suddenly slipped out from under his cloak, twitching with anxiousness. "As you can see, I'm feeling a bit restless…"
Kisame chuckled, his light blue skin glistening in the morning sun. "Aren't we all? But don't worry…the fox boy will come." He glanced at Itachi, a wicked smile on his face. "Right Itachi?"
Uchiha Itachi was silent beneath his straw hat. He was busy thinking. For one, he was wondering about the other four that they already had. Our Leader Mantarou possesses the Three Tails, the Five Tails, and the No Tail…and we have the One Tail with us. Now we just have to wait for the Nine Tails. Itachi frowned; he had an oddly foreboding feeling about the coming of the Nine Tails…and that was something that was out of character for him. No matter. The moment he arrives, the Yondaime's Inheritance will be ours.
Ogi-Daimyou suddenly twitched. Toya Shuu smiled, his oddly empty eyes narrowing. "He's coming…"
The eight Akatsuki members glanced eastward. A small silhouette stood out against the horizon.
Kisame grinned. "He came…" He suddenly stood up, clutching Samehada tightly. "I'll get him over here." As Kisame walked away, Hiroto pumped a bit more chakra to compensate for Kisame…but it really didn't matter. Only one Akatsuki member was needed to keep the Obsidian Seal powered. Even so, the amount of chakra needed to hold the seal was massive, so it would take at least four or five Akatsuki members if they wanted to have enough chakra for a fight.
Sasori grumbled. "No fair…I wanted to face the last demon vessel."
"You have more chakra than Kisame…yeah. You'll be able to supply the seal longer…yeah," replied Deidara, her odd style of speaking showing through. Sasori grumbled anyway.
Kisame walked casually towards the rapidly approaching silhouette, which began to form human features as it came closer. In time, it formed into a familiar-looking boy…and that boy skidded to a stop fifteen yards away from Kisame.
It was Uzumaki Naruto.
Kisame snickered as he held Samehada over his shoulder. "So…I take it our messenger bird managed to get the note to you."
Naruto snorted. He glanced beyond Kisame to see the Obsidian Seal…the other seven Akatsuki members…and in the center was Gaara. "Release Gaara."
Kisame chuckled. "That wouldn't quite be fair to you…because you're going to be sitting where he is as well. Like a good little vessel."
Naruto's fists clenched.
OOH. STRUCK A NERVE, DID HE?
Naruto ignored Kyuubi. He angrily pointed a finger at Kisame. "There's more to me than just being a vessel for a demon…and I'm going to prove it to you by beating all of you!"
"How cute." Kisame prepared to swing Samehada. "Prepare to die."
The wind blew. The morning sun shined down upon them, casting a reddish glow on the desert.
Soon, the desert would be colored red for a different reason.
Naruto immediately performed katas with his hands. "Kage bunshin no jutsu!" He split into five different copies that took out one kunai knife each. They all threw them.
Kisame calmly swung his blade, deflecting the kunai knives. "Come now…don't think you can defeat me with such a rudimentary technique."
Growling, four Narutos leapt at the former Mist ninja.
The exploded in puffs of smoke as Samehada ripped through them. Without hesitation, he leapt for the last Naruto. "We need you alive…but that doesn't mean I can't RIP OFF A LEG!"
He was suddenly twenty yards behind Kisame. The Mist ninja blinked as he tilted his head backward. Quick little devil…how'd he move so fast?
Naruto smiled; Hiraishin no jutsu had been a success! He quickly performed a different set of katas before slamming his hands into the ground. "Hibashira no jutsu! BLAZING FIRE TOWER!"
Kisame felt a rumbling feeling underneath him. Hmm?
A column of fire suddenly erupted from below, consuming him. Fire that flared with red, orange, and yellow color. The flames roared with rage as they overwhelmed Hoshigaki Kisame.
From a distance. The other Akatsuki members watched on with interest. Akira smiled. "Heh…looks like the runt's got some spunk."
"Just watch…yeah," replied Deidara. "Kisame's barely even started…yeah."
When the flames ceased…Kisame could be seen.
Naruto blanched. "NO WAY!"
Kisame chuckled…but it sounded garbled due to the sphere of water around him. As the water dropped away, the Mist ninja said, "Impressive…if I hadn't used my Junsai, that would've toasted me quite a bit. Even with my Junsai - the Art of the Water Shield - you still nearly overwhelmed me. Impressive…you've become stronger."
Uzumaki Naruto chuckled as he clenched both fists, flashing a devil-may-care grin at the Akatsuki ninja. "Thanks for the vote of confidence…but it won't make me go easy on you."
Hoshigaki Kisame grinned a feral smile at the Nine Tails. A blue chakra aura flared around him. His yellow eyes glared predatorily at Naruto, his sharp teeth glistening in the light. "Then…I won't hold back either."
To be continued…
Ferocity of the Shark! Can Naruto make a Comeback?
Author's Notes: Sorry for the wait. Next time, I show the battle between Naruto and Kisame…and also the beginning of the battle in Konoha!
See you soon, and please review!