After the aftermath of Kyuubi, there were 1500 shinobis injured. 1100 of them were maimed, and unable to continue their occupation as a ninja. The other 400 were healing nicely, waiting for the day that they would once again start their missions. They are the lucky people. Even when seriously injured, they have not yet tasted death.
500 souls were released from their mortal bodies… they were killed. Defending their home. Defending their honor as a ninja. One of them… the leader of the village… my brother.
My job is take souls of unredeemable people. Monsters who commit the most atrocious crimes…for to stop a monster… one must get another monster. My job is also to bless the souls of the noble souls who have departed from this world… so they may rest in peace.
I am the Undertaker. I work for The Order. And this… is the story of my only student.
The Sin Eater.
The air was chilling… the cold was sharp and cutting. The sounds of the shovel hitting the dirt repeatedly were nothing but the most rational thing he has heard in a while. Its been years… years since he last dug up a grave for people.
His job most of the time was to take and kill evil men and take their souls. And then leave without a trace. The family of the person he'd purify would bury the body themselves… and swear revenge… blinded by rage. They are the pitiful people. They either know the sins of that soul, yet done nothing, or are ignorant that they don't know the whole story.
People seek revenge… and when they finally meet him… they meet their doom. Pitiful souls. May they Rest In Peace.
"… Oros…" an old voice called.
"Undertaker," the taller man corrected softly, unemotionally, and didn't stop digging the graves. "Hokage. Don't call me by my birth name."
"Undertaker… it's been a while," the Third Hokage greeted. He had just come from the office, and retook his position as Hokage, after Arashi had died. The council has been arguing of the fate of Arashi's son, Naruto, who inside him is the soul of Kyuubi, and so far, the Third has been in a losing battle. If Naruto doesn't leave the village soon, he would be executed soon.
"You didn't visit my grave digging for a social chat, have you?" the Undertaker softly replied. "Get to the point. Don't waste my time."
"It's about Naruto…" the Third said. "He might be executed…"
"The problems of this village, nor their foolish decisions have anything to do with me."
"He's your brother's son!" the Third stated.
The taller man's eyes suddenly went towards the Third's… it was chilling… his eyes were white… paler than even the Hyuga's eyes. And yet, they radiated with so much power that the wind suddenly chilled, and blew. The Third backed a step.
The old man didn't want to make the Undertaker angry. He might be the Hokage… he might have been called the "Proffessor" but this Undertaker… this man was a whole different story. Hailing from The Order, this man called the Dead Man and the Phenom had been the most feared name in the ninja world. Corrupt lords, evil hearts, missing-nins that have devastated and harmed the whole world met their deaths with this man.
But that wasn't what made the Undertaker scary. What made him feared was the fact that he would take your soul once he finishes you. He has never been beaten once… no one sees how he kills, and he would appear and disappear that would make a jounin jealous.
"He… isn't… my… brother," the Undertaker growled softly, ever so coldly. "He disowned me… wanted to do nothing with me. You remember that time, old man. You were there. My brother thought so nobly of himself, he had forgotten where his blood lies. He abandoned the family. All for a woman from this village."
The Third went silent, contemplating what next to say. It was the perfect plan… supposedly. Naruto, trained and taken by Arashi's older brother… it would ensure his safety and well-being. Only… only if he'd accept. It's most unfortunate that the Undertaker and Arashi never left in friendlier terms.
"I know you blame this village for your loss of your brother…"
"Old man, you know damn well that I don't blame this pathetic village," the Undertaker said, looking back at the grave he just dug. He slowly dragged a handsome coffin made of wood inside it… lifted it… and placed it in so that it would look straight, and fixed. "I blame him. He decided to leave us. He decided to cut us."
"Yet you bury him in a nice coffin…"
"He was family… even if he didn't want anything to do with us," the Undertaker replied. "I am only giving him the last respect he deserves."
The Undertaker began to cover the ground with the dirt, and the two men stayed silent. Only the rustling sounds of the dirt being poured back to the grave was heard. After a few minutes, the Third gave a small prayer, and the Undertaker had bowed his head down respectively.
After a minute or so, he spoke. "Old man… you know if I take the child… he's going to be one of us. He'll be a soldier for the Order. He won't be your ninja. He won't be this village's soldier."
"Even if he stays here… I don't believe he'd grow up without people hating him," the Third replied.
"You're the Hokage… can't you do something about it?" the Undertaker asked, once again calm and unemotionally.
"I may be this village's kage… but the real power runs with the Council. I am just a figure-head," the Third replied sheepishly.
"Heh, figures," the Undertaker snorted softly. "Where's the kid?"
"In my home," the Hokage replied.
"Very well then, old man. I will take the kid. I will raise him with the Order," the Undertaker said with a sort of finality that the Third couldn't quite get with his own speech. "Lead the way. I'll grab him and leave this village."
"… thank you…" the Hokage bowed softly at the man. Both men walked under the pale moonlight, towards the village.
Life has continued in the Fire Country's Hidden Leaf Village. The story of Kyuubi and his death by the hands of their very own kage had been the bed-time story of every child before they'd sleep. Parents smile, telling the story in such fascination and awe that they hide the ugliness of death, loss and destruction.
Though its understandable, as parent's job is to raise the future generation, the future hope of the village. Heroic stories of their own heroes would be passed down to these hopes and dreams of what the parent's could not have done, and what the kid's can do.
Life goes on.
Thirteen years… thirteen years passed. In thirteen years, the stories have changed. From the death of Kyuubi, it suddenly became the survival of Uchiha Sasuke. Adults once again told the children stories of awe, marvel and once again, fascination. The kids soaked it up, and Sasuke, the loner, suddenly found himself surrounded by people who kept asking him questions, surrounded by girls who all love him… he suddenly began to despise them. They wouldn't leave him alone. Thus, the birth of Uchiha's personality came to full fruition.
But this is not his story. This is the story of the boy who was forgotten, the vessel of Kyuubi himself, the son of Arashi, and now, a soldier for the Order. This is Naruto's story.
The Third Hokage was signing a few papers when suddenly, his lamp went out. The cold night wind blew from his open window, and chilled the whole room. He shivered involuntarily. Poking his lamp with his pen, he wondered what was wrong with it. The lamp's light came back. And he suddenly felt a presence behind him.
"Good evening… old man."
The third suddenly jumped away, his mind all alert, and got into a fighting stance to try and kill the person who dared sneaked behind him… only to see a tall figure. The figure wore all black… fully buttoned shirt, tight pants, fingerless gloves, unbottuned trench coat, and a hat. He recognized the figure immediately.
"Oh… its you," the Third gave a silent breath of relief.
"Yes… you sent a letter to me," the Undertaker said, slowly moving more towards the light, that his face was seen. His long hair was neatly cropped behind his neck, and his beard was once again unkept. His pale face and striking brown eyes stared back at the old man. "You should have been expecting me."
"Yes…" the Third replied, swallowing. "Did you bring him…?"
"You know what makes me wonder?" the Undertaker asked.
"After our talk of him being a soldier to The Order, you agreed wholeheartedly… yet, you call him back," the Undertaker said coolly. "It's… almost confusing."
"I… just wanted to see him… know more of his progress," the Third replied carefully.
"Heh," the Undertaker snorted. "Don't try to fool me, old man. I shan't waste time to finish where you stand if you ever dare break our promise."
"I won't…" the Third replied softly. "It's been 13 years. I want to see how the boy has grown up. Yes… there are some other reasons… but I would only implicate those choices if you approve, and if he agrees."
The Undertaker went silent, looking at the old man. His eyes went deep in the Third's. He closes his eyes.
A knock was heard from the door, and the Third Hokage looked towards it. "Come in…"
The door opened, revealing a figure all in black. Standing 5'3", he wore a similar clothing like the Undertaker's… only his was a bit more… proper. He wore no hat, and his long hair was combed backwards, with a few spikes in its ends… like a hedgehog. He wore black pants, with black boots. He also wore a trench coat, buttoned from the neck up to the crotch level, hiding his upper torso.(1)
He looked like a priest… of some kind.
He walked slowly, letting his steps sound and echo through the chambers. The Third felt another chill rise in his spine. He almost dreaded for the figure to walk towards the light… and when he did… he gasped.
The figure was… handsome. His is blue eyes sparkled with… power. His blonde hair swayed behind him… yet he wore no facial expression. His face was also clear. He walked in, without a word, and went towards the Undertaker, his coat swaying with the wind. When his back was turned on the Third, the old man saw a sign… it was a sharp S, and at the bottom of the S, it was connected to with a slanting line, forming a small X(2).
He stood beside the Undertaker, and turned around. His face didn't change. Then, after a few seconds, he spoke, in an unemotional, steady tone. "Good evening, Hokage-san."
"Is this… Naruto?" the Third asked, very perplexed and impressed. The boy changed… well… he grew up.. but even his face changed. The six lines in his cheek even disappeared.
"No," the Undertaker replied evenly. The Third frowned, and before he could speak, the Phenom beat him to it. "He was the boy you gave me… but he no longer goes by the name of Naruto. His name, was given by the council of the Order after seeing his ability."
"What ability?" the Third asked.
"The Order had decided to extract the Kyuubi's soul inside Naruto… after all, it is our product," the Undertaker stated calmly. "But the seal used by my brother was very strong… stronger than expected… and so, an accident happened."
"What… accident? Did the Kyuubi… get free?" the Third asked… he was still confused about the 'Our Product' bit… but now, he was more worried about the fox's revenge to the village.
"Almost… and it was evil," the Undertaker stated. "I was almost ordered to finish it off… kill it. But I was afraid that if I have consumed Kyuubi's soul, I would take out Naruto's as well. The boy and Kyuubi's soul were much more stitched together than anticipated."
"And… what happened?" the Third asked, now fascinated… though a bit disturbed.
"The boy showed us his power. He talked to the fox… and ate Kyuubi's sins."
"… ate… Kyuubi's… sins?" the Third asked… disbelieved.
"Ate his sins…" the Undertaker replied. "All people Kyuubi killed… all the sins… he ate them. Thus, the spirit of the fox, which was mostly composed of sins… was no longer a fox anymore. All was left is the awesome power of the departed fox, and therefore, the council gave him a perfect name."
The Hokage's brain was spinning. What the hell was Undertaker talking about?
"You are confused… I see," the boy 'Naruto' spoke.
"Yes… forgive me… but I am not really much of a spiritualist," Hokage said sheepishly.
"Understandable. I'll explain. Every living being has a soul," the boy said in an even voice. "When a soul commits a sin, like steal, kill, or rape, he stains his soul black. The heavier the sin, the bigger the stain towards the soul. My job, is to judge a soul, and see to myself if I have to cleanse the soul. Cleansing it means I have to eat all the blacken spots of the soul."
"Ah…" the Hokage said. "So… the Kyuubi is still inside you then…?"
"No. His soul was black… filled with sin. When I ate them… he left no trace," the boy replied. "I am like my sensei… I eat souls… but I can only eat the darkened souls. Sinned and stained souls…"
"Which is why the council gave him the name… Sin Eater."
"Of course… you may call me Sin," the boy gave a small smirk.
The Third looked at Naru… no, The Sin Eater. He didn't notice his jaw was slacked in awe.
Naruto as Sin
(1) – for a more info, check out what Neo from the Matrix Revolutions was wearing in his final fight with Smith
(2) – You can find the sign in te link in my Profile Page.
This story will be updated side by side with Fairy Odd Adventure. Enjoy.