Disclaimer: I do NOT own Naruto! I do own all original characters!
Thank you to all my reviewers!
"blah" Imprisoned demon's speech
"blah" Imprisoned demon's thoughts
So, a lot has happened in the time while I was dead. I changed quite a bit in this story (below are the list of changes per chapter; I suggest you re-read the important ones). The biggest of these is the removal of the demonic training world Na'zal. Na'zal actually has a history that is rooted into certain things in the real world back in 2005, back when I had only started writing this story. Those things don't hold true anymore and Na'zal doesn't really fit with the new course of the story; and keeping it has only managed to cause problems. I tried to save it, even to some extend, thinking maybe to refer back to it in flashbacks, but it just wasn't happening. So after much deliberation I have decided to take it out of the story completely. I apologize to anyone that may have been looking forward to it.
01 - Add/delete; definite re-read.
02 - Some changes to Naruto's personality; redressed Naruto; being more explicit about Supremacies.
03 - Some changes to Naruto's personality.
04 - Fixed that little error about Naruto knowing Haku's name even though Haku hadn't introduced himself. Small battle details added/edited.
05 - Added comic relief.
06 - Added a quick tidbit about angels that will be important later (3rd arc).
07 - Just some grammatical changes.
08 - Added a scene between the Ancient and Zeph. Changed the reason for the fight between Naruto and Tsunade.
09 - Added a short scene between the Ancient and Zeph.
10 - Ruins fix.
11 - Added a scene between the Ancient and Zeph (Uchiha history).
12 - Grammatical changes.
13 - Changed a jutsu and grammatical changes.
14 - Added the lemon. Changed the time dilation coefficient for the Ancient's private dimension. Removed Na'zal and added something else.
I will keep refering to the Kyuubi as 'the Kyuubi' even though she doesn't have nine tails anymore. I think it would be more confusing if I started calling her 'the Gobi.'
Decided that a little show-and-tell of the fact that the Ancient has his own agenda was in order. These are meant to be vague; in fact they are re-read several times to make sure sensitive information wasn't revealed. Asking for details about what the Ancient or Zeph meant by a certain line (while interesting and fun to read) will go unanswered (unless I'm feeling particularly generous), unless I screwed up and/or it pertains to information you already know.
Repost as of 9/25/08. (I will be making reposts as error catches and/or suggestions come in)
Chapter 15 - Everything in Between
The Ancient had been recapping and training the Kyuubi in the same things that he had taught Naruto. However, since she had already heard most of it and had even practiced some of the taijutsu styles, this was more of an extended fine-tuning session.
The Kyuubi hadn't just been training with the Ancient. Now that she was out of the seal, she could freely prod the Ancient with questions and analyze his responses. So far the immortal had been playing along, though whether or not he knew about her agenda, he did not let on. It was during one of these question and answer times that the Kyuubi finally asked something that had been bothering her since she was unsealed.
"Hybrid demonic bodies," the fox woman paused to gain Yashka's attention, "You did not give us the whole truth during the unsealing."
Yashka was not perturbed by the question one bit; rather he had been expecting it. "It was a general-overview explanation."
"May I ask for the details?" inquired the woman. "I think I have a right to know the details about my own body."
"Sure," replied the Ancient. "One thing I want to say beforehand is that I did not lie, I really can't give you a purely demonic body because that would tilt the balance of the human world entirely too much."
Sofi nodded, "Yes, I understand that. From that, though, am I to understand that you gave each of us a half-demon body, the summation of which would make it look like only one demon coming to the human plane?"
"No, the hybrid-demonic bodies that I created for you and Naruto are not half-demon bodies," replied the Ancient. "They are stronger than half-demon bodies and in theory – and I must empathize that this is In Theory – your coming back to the human world should upset the balance, but it won't."
"That doesn't make sense."
"That is because you are looking at it from an inhabitant's perspective," simply said the Ancient. He then sighed in a way that Sofi had learned to attribute with a complicated explanation. "I empathized that it was in theory for one simple reason: your hybrid demonic bodies are a new creation of mine and therefore are not defined in the structure of this world. This does not mean that you do not exist. What this means is that this world has no idea what Balance Laws to apply to you from moment of creation."
"Meaning the world just treats us as unknowns?" queried the fox lady. "Also, aren't we in the world right now, so wouldn't these Balance Laws have already come up?"
"I'll answer your last question first. No, my private dimension is not considered part of The World; it is completely standalone," explained the immortal. "Now for your first question, let's take a step back: a regular demon arrives in the human plane. That dimension senses this and references several rules that have been set in place for such events, performs all the necessary functions, and life goes on as normal. Now, the hybrid bodies it has no idea how to react to because, like you said, it is an unknown. So what it does is ask me what do to with it, and from there I can define any rules and conditions I want."
"Dimension versus world?" the Kyuubi inquired in hesitant curiosity.
The Ancient nodded lightly in an understanding way, "I use dimension and world interchangeably; unless I specifically say that I'm referring to The World as a whole."
The fox lady nodded and continued with her previous line of questioning, "So you manipulate this world as you see fit to accommodate your desires?"
"Yes, what's wrong with that?"
There were several things wrong with that from Sofi's point of view; mainly the fact that the Ancient was supposedly the keeper of the balance and hence mostly an observer of the world. While she may have wanted to voice this opinion, she was constantly reminded of the fact that if he hadn't overstepped (in her mind) his boundaries (if there really was such a thing for him) then she and Naruto would have never been separated into two independent beings. While it seemed that the Ancient handled criticism well, at least not outright violently, Sofi did sense that there was a line past which he may not be so amiable; it was a line she did not wish to cross with a God.
So she shook her head in the negative.
"I assume from what you said before that you have fixed this problem and that our new bodies are properly defined."
"Yes, I fixed that little annoying hindrance," replied the immortal. "However, it will take a year, in Earth time, for the change to propagate; that's actually about the same amount of time it will take for your souls to assimilate. Don't ask why it takes so long because a year is just a tick of the geological clock."
"It's almost as if you perfectly planned the entire thing," she muttered.
He shrugged in an unconcerned manner, but his eyes held a bit of mischief, "What makes you think I didn't?"
Even though he said it in a playful tone that question stopped the Kyuubi dead in her tracks, and her mind began to race with the possible implications of such a statement. Though before she could fully develop her conspiracy theory the Ancient's voice cut through her musings.
"You worry too much," he said coolly. "Do you really think I would purposely burn away a year's worth of training on purpose?"
The Kyuubi nodded hesitantly, still reluctant to give up her theory, but instead of continuing with her previous train of though decided to ask whether her and Naruto's supremacies would still work on Ningenkai.
"They should, I set it up that way," he replied calmly. "Though, I did not finalize my decision, so when I take you and Naruto down there the dimension will ask me for a confirmation. At which time I will make any necessary adjustments; this is done to simply make sure that I am not overlooking some important aspect."
"Is it that hard to go back and fix it later?" wondered Sofi.
"It's more tedious and bothersome than anything else."
"So you are just lazy," the fox woman said satirically.
"I prefer to call it: energy efficient." She rolled her eyes, he laughed.
Before the immortal could say anything further a new voice interrupted, "If you are done chatting up my mate could you please teach me this 'Flicker' technique."
Yashka turned around to come face-to-face with a scruffy Naruto. The blond's clothes were torn, there were a couple of leaves in his hair, and splotches of dirt all over his body.
"What'd you do, mud wrestle a kangaroo?" asked Yashka.
The blond resisted the urge to face-fault; it was very difficult, "No, I went through that dimension-long obstacle course you set up to test my speed."
"Oh right," said the Ancient in faked sad voice. "But did you see a kangaroo while you were running around? I lost track of my pet a while ago and I was hoping you might help me."
Now, Naruto knew that the Ancient liked to pull this kind of insane and completely retarded line of questioning to get under his skin just so he could laugh at his victim's reactions. Still, knowing and being able to keep his cool after spending the better part of twelve hours running through an obstacle course were two different things.
"I didn't see your goddamn kangaroo," yelled Naruto. "And if I had I would have eaten it for lunch!"
"Now, now, no need to yell, I don't have hearing problems," replied Yashka in a completely calm tone. "By the way, it would have been very cruel if you had eaten my poor little kangaroo for lunch; very cruel indeed," he added in a sorrowful voice.
The teenager's hands trembled wanting nothing more than to strangle his teacher so that he would shut up. However, he took a deep breath and asked his teacher one more time to teach him the new technique. Yashka chuckled, much to the displeasure of his student, before going through the explanations and examples of one of his favorite techniques.
A month passed quickly, really quickly. Before either Naruto or Kyuubi knew it the Ancient was checking their soul assimilation and telling them that they would be taking a short trip down to the human world before returning to the training dimension.
It was strange, Naruto thought, a whole year had passed in Konoha, but he had only aged a month. Also, in the next six months before he had to return to Konoha he would age by a year and "catch up" as the Ancient put it on the year spent in the Ancient's house. It was confusing, not to mention headache-inducing, so he focused on the fact that he would be a couple months over seventeen when they got back to Konoha. This would also effectively "move" his birthday back a couple months, so that it would now be in the spring; April if his calculations were right. Yes, very strange indeed.
Their stay on Ningenkai took at most an hour. Yashka had teleported them to a very weird place. It was a stadium that had been almost completely consumed by vegetation, just like all the other buildings and structures around it. Naruto was sure that it had been a human town at some point, but it was completely abandoned now. The Ancient muttered something about them being on the other side of the planet, but didn't say anything further.
After, "all the quirks were figured out," as Yashka said the group went back to the training dimension and the more-or-less usual routine started up again. For the next four months Naruto and the Kyuubi trained in taijutsu, ninjutsu, genjutsu, kenjutsu, and the combination thereof without much of anything interesting happening. Except one time, when the Ancient took the Kyuubi away for an entire day.
They had teleported away from the training dimension early that morning and appeared in a black and white room; the background was black and the foreground was white. However, as soon as the Ancient started moving more colors were added, like several shades of blue, then gray, and soon it started looking more and more like a control room of sorts.
"This is the astral space where World rules and definitions are held," explained the Ancient. "Tread lightly and don't touch anything, but don't worry you can't fall off the edge or anything silly like that."
Yashka tapped a couple keys, pressed several button, and typed something in a foreign language on a holographic screen, all the while making small talk with the fox lady.
"You've already awakened your second Supremacy," commented the Ancient in an impressed tone.
The Kyuubi nodded, "It's pretty easy when you which elements they are, and since I had water before, I went straight for learning this one. I'll need a couple more days to get reacquainted with it, and then move on to mixing."
Yashka grinned, "Ahead of the curve as always, but that is to be expected from the Fox Prodigy."
She waved off his praises, "Oh please, I worked just as hard as everyone else to be the number one fighter in my family."
"Still you were number one not some other fox, so I guess that intellect helped."
"Oh sure, everyone conveniently forgets that muscles have to trained, endurance has to trained, flexibility has to be trained, any physical aspect has to be trained," she replied perturbed. "What are we doing here anyway? Rather what am I doing here?"
"You are needed in order for you and Naruto to be able to summon."
"I'm going to learn to summon the toads?" the nine-tailed fox that had put a scar over the boss toad's eye was quite skeptic. "Somehow I don't think they'll accept me."
"No, I'm going to make it so that you two can summon foxes," replied the Ancient as he made a 3D image of, what the Kyuubi assumed to be Ningenkai, appear in the middle of the room.
"I've never heard of a fox summoning contract."
"There isn't one, but I'll make you one," said Yashka.
"You can do that?"
"Yes, sort of, not in the traditional way humans do it, but yes," after that reply the immortal was forced to elaborate. "Foxes don't exist as a summoning animal right now, but that can be changed if you were to agree."
"Why me?" wondered the Kyuubi. "It's not like I have magical governing powers over all the foxes on Ningenkai."
"Maybe not that you are aware of, but since you've come to Ningenkai from Makai you have been the strongest fox in the human world," explain Yashka. "By default, it's the strongest fox that is the 'leader' of the foxes and the one that can make such decision for the entire species."
"What ever happened to intelligence?" she asked disdainfully.
Yashka smirked sadly and nodded in understanding, "I needed a default rule; power is the over all best idea."
"Sure, whatever, I agree," replied the Kyuubi taking this new discovery in stride.
"Good, then if you would could you stand inside that sphere?" the fox lady complied. "That sphere is an abstraction of the human world. Using that abstraction and some of your blood, I will construct a blood-bind that will allow you and anyone you bestow a special seal on to summon foxes."
"That's always bothered me, where are these huge building-high summons on Ningenkai?" asked the Kyuubi. "I've never seen them anywhere around the Shinobi World."
"They are on another continent, which is currently not occupied by humans at all."
"And they all live on this continent in peace?" wondered the Kyuubi incredulously.
"They live there like the clans live in Makai," replied Yashka to which the fox lady nodded in understanding.
The procedure was over so quickly the Kyuubi hadn't even realized that it had started. A couple lasers hit her, then the Ancient took a painless blood sample, and before she knew it the sphere had disappeared and the immortal tossed her a scroll about the summoning seal. The scroll explained in detail how to put it on a person and said that if the foxes refused the summoner that the seal wouldn't set.
"So this is where you go when you say you have business?" inquired the Kyuubi. "Your real business, I mean, not just picking up girls."
"No, I don't really go to this place much," replied Yashka.
"Sometimes I think that the worlds you create are just a big playground you make for yourself."
The immortal shrugged, "Maybe. I am young."
"Only a billion years old," said the fox sardonically.
Yashka laughed, "Not even a million."
That definitely caught the Kyuubi's attention, "Wait, seriously? You're not even a million years old?"
The Ancient chuckled, "Nope. I'm not even half a million years old."
Kyuubi's train of thought completely crashed at that wall. It was theoretically impossible that the Ancient wasn't even half a million years old. Suddenly an idea struck her, "You're counting your age from the heavily slowed time of your home dimension," she deduced.
"Well, that's part of it," replied the Ancient as he tilted his head back and seemed to consider something. "I'll tell you a secret, but you have to swear to not tell anyone, even your mate."
Kyuubi noticed the seemingly playful look on the Ancient's face and was about to respond in kind, but then she noticed the deep undercurrent of extreme seriousness. She thought about for a minute before nodding positively.
"Remember, not a word to anyone," warned the Ancient. "I will know if you break your promise and you will learn the hard way that there are much worse things in this world than death."
Kyuubi steeled her resolved and agreed.
"Alright; first a question: how old do you think this world is?" asked Yashka. "Assume all the dimensions in it were created at the same time."
"It has to be at least 100 thousand years old," reasoned the fox. "Makai has ruins that date back past that, but maybe you skewed the numbers somehow."
Yashka nodded, pleasantly surprised by the Kyuubi's intuition, but a small mischievous smile played on his lips. As he uttered his next words, the Kyuubi felt her confidence for anything she held as historical fact fall apart. "It is not even half that; the world is a little over 43 thousand years old."
"But how? That's impossible someone would have noticed," she tried to reason.
Yashka shook his head and continued in a mocking tone, "Noticed? Noticed what? There is no way to notice something that is written into your brain as the absolute truth." He pulled up a screen containing a long list of some sort. "These are all the absolute truths of Makai. No mortal can oppose anything that is written on this list."
Kyuubi managed to make out the carbon dating to a famous temple as 112 thousand years and felt cold chills run all the way down her body.
"This is my eighth world," explained the Ancient. "I have not reached an age where I worry about how perfect my worlds are. I am merely playing around and trying out new things with each consecutive world. While I do try to keep my worlds orderly that is not at the top of my priorities list."
"What are we to you?" asked the Kyuubi, internally scared to death of what the answer would be.
"You and Naruto?" Yashka studied her for moment before answering, "Players in this world?"
"Players to what end?" she asked suspiciously.
"Not an end that will get you killed before your time," reassured the immortal.
"How do I know I can trust you?"
"You don't know," was the tired reply. "You simply have my word and I have not lied to you in the past."
Kyuubi was not satisfied with that answer, "Then you really did pick Naruto for his potential?"
"Yes, he has a great potential."
"Great potential to be used as a means to accomplish some plan of yours?" it was more a statement that a question. The Ancient did not respond, so the Kyuubi continued to press. "And what is this plan of yours going to do exactly, could you be so kind as to at least tell me that?"
"Naruto will be helping me correct a flaw that I made when I created this world," was the simply yet very vague reply. "You have already surmised that there would be some sort of fee for my training and you are right."
The fox lady was fuming, the Ancient was purposely giving vague responses and somehow this whole conversation had an ominous feeling about it; she did not like it one bit. "If not death, then what exactly is Naruto going to pay with?"
Yashka decided to cut this conversation short, "You want to know too many things. Need I remind you that you are still under oath; you will not repeat any of this to anyone, especially Naruto." The Kyuubi snarled. "Or I could wipe your memory of these events? It is your choice."
"I'll keep my mouth shut," she replied begrudgingly through a half snarl. Yashka accepted her oath silently.
Once that was done they returned to the training dimension and the Kyuubi put the seal on Naruto and he summoned a very cute white fox that instantly took a liking to him.
After their conversation the Kyuubi never again felt fully comfortable around the Ancient. Naruto noticed this, but as neither side would provide an explanation he was forced to leave it alone. The only thing Naruto ever got out of his mate was a snarled out muttering that the Ancient held more secrets there were trees in a forest.
Yashka did not worry too much. After all, memories could be wiped and animosity could be fixed by the need to act before the need to think.
As previously noted, it is really hard to tell the passing of time if your surroundings don't change from day to day. This is why Naruto is forced to bring the subject of time yet again at the breakfast table.
"We have 1 months, 29 days, 6 hours, and 43 minutes before you are due back in Konoha," replied the Ancient. "In this dimension that translates into 3 months, 28 days, 13 hours, and 26 minutes."
"You keep track down to the minutes?" asked Naruto deadpanned.
"Yeah, I like to be prompt," replied Yashka.
"You're insane," muttered the blond.
"Thank you, I like being unique," the immortal blatantly ignored the next comment about it not being a compliment. "On the note of time, we are moving out in about a week."
"And going where?" wondered Sofi.
"To visit your kin in the human world."
"My kin?" wondered the Kyuubi. "I do not remember having any kits."
"A great uncle of yours was sent down to Ningenkai before you were born," explained the Ancient. "His passing is what prompted your own transportation to that world."
"Why are we going to meet them?" asked the teenager.
"They will be the Kyuubi's cover story for when she goes to Konoha," said Yashka. "Plus, I'm going to start giving you a crash course on the Void World, which you can only access in the human world."
"Void World?" inquired Naruto.
"It is what I use to teleport us," answered Yashka. "It is also what I sometimes use to cheat with Flicker."
"What does it do exactly?"
"It creates a dimension in Void Space, which is basically free space anywhere close to large dimensions. It's a small dimension in which you can control time, space, and orientation dilation. The easiest thing to do though is to make a overlay of your current battlefield and use time dilation."
"So that I can get across, say, a stadium in a millisecond?" asked Naruto joyfully.
"Yes," replied the Ancient and watched as his student's grin spread across his entire face. "However, before you start getting crazy illusions of grandeur, it is a very expensive technique. A simple overlay without time dilation and one that you can only use once would cost you ten percent of your chakra."
The former jinchuuriki's eyes widened, "Ten percent?"
"That's right, you can't just constantly use the Void through out the entire battle," said the immortal. "It's more of a finishing move type of jutsu, or you use it to get behind your opponent."
"What did you mean by 'use once?'" inquired the Kyuubi.
"What I mean is that it disappears as soon as its creator leaves it. Reusable Voids take more chakra, like 30 percent, and have a five second counter to stay open without the presence of its creator. Well, it's 30 percent plus a small fee of about 0.3 percent for each entrance."
"Time dilation would then really drain my chakra?" asked Naruto.
"Oh yes, each doubling would cost you about ten percent," replied Yashka.
Naruto was perplexed, "So how do you do it?"
"I use Creation," was the simple reply. "It effectively cuts those figures by 100, or gets rid of them altogether."
The Ancient shrugged, "It's part of the job description."
"Hold on a moment, you said the Void dimension disappears as soon as its creators leaves it," analyzed Kyuubi to which the Ancient nodded. "How long does its creator have to get into it before it disappears? On that note, how does one get hop dimensions?"
Yashka nodded in approval, "Good question. The way the Void is set up in this World is that the Void's creator gets transported into it as soon as it is created."
"Then how does one get out?" wondered Naruto.
"You set through the exit portal," answered Yashka as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Which you define either during creation or while you are inside the dimension."
"I'm guessing you'll teach us how to create these dimension and then enter them and show us the ropes," reasoned the blond.
"No," was the curt reply, which earned him two very confused looks. "It's actually very hard find a Void dimension in all of Void Space; almost impossible actually. If all three of us created a Void dimension that would overlay this house, we wouldn't all get teleported to the same Void dimension, we would all get our separate dimensions.
This is because the overlay is simply an abstraction of a Void dimension. An overlay defines size, shape, terrain, and obstacles. Location is not defined it is randomly selected in an area of Void Space that can accommodate the definitions you ask for. Plus, if you think about it, two dimensions cannot exist in the same space. Hence an overlay cannot physically be in the same space as the human world, the demon world, or the angel world."
It turned out that Kyuubi's kin were even further north than the Snow Country and quite far from the Shinobi World; needless to say it was extremely cold there. The Kyuubi quickly transformed into her more furry form and pulled her white, furry, leather coat closed while hiding her hands into its soft pockets. She and Naruto were finally forced to channel chakra to their extremities to keep warm.
Though the cold didn't seem to bother Naruto too much, but that was probably because he was too preoccupies with playing with his tails. The Ancient had placed a seal on Naruto that would keep his hybrid demonic body looking human for five years. Said seal was "paused" as the Ancient put it his some sort of backdoor password. So now the blond was busy examining and playing with his newly discovered physical aspects.
"Why'd you have to place the seal on my back?" asked the blond once again in a whiny voice. "On that note, doesn't that also mean that my body is being held back by the seal?"
The Ancient was quickly getting annoyed of both of those questions, "So that you wouldn't unseal it on your own or even worse screw it up in such a way that you would be physically deformed for life. I thought we've gone over this enough times, the seal just represses your ability to transform everything else stays the same."
"I guess when you put it like that," drawled Naruto.
"Don't want you looking like a hippo," commented the Kyuubi.
"Would you leave me if I turned into a hippo?" wondered the teenager.
"Yes, I would," said the fox lady deadpanned.
Naruto face fell into a deep frown, "That's so cruel."
Sofi smiled, "I'm kidding; you're so easy to tease," she quickly looped her arm around his and pushed her body right along his.
"You can continue this in the bedroom," Yashka didn't even bat an eye. "We are approaching the town."
The pair ignored his first comment, "I don't see why we couldn't have teleported inside the town."
"That would cause quite a commotion," was the steady reply.
"But you don't care about commotions," Naruto pointed out. "I think you just did it because you like to make us suffer."
"I like a lot of things," he paused for a moment. "Having sex with a two-tail is especially fun."
Naruto quickly shook his head as a dozen scenarios flooded his head, "You know what, I really don't want to know." The Ancient threw his head back and laughed, no doubt clearly amused by how perverted his student's thoughts were.
"I do wish you'd have let these bodies transform into full demonic forms," said the fox lady longingly.
"You miss being of skyscraper height?" coyly remarked the Ancient. "Sorry, no can do, but I am able to grant you as much of a half-demon form as your kin have."
Once they got to the city, it turned out that introductions were unnecessary as half-demon fox humans, or the Kitsuma as they called themselves, could tell just who the Kyuubi was by feeling her chakra. The gate guards and the general populace were all but bowing to her and Naruto, while the head of the town had offered up her room to the visiting couple. Kyuubi, being royalty, was used to such treatment. Naruto found it to be strange and somewhat unnerving.
Kyuubi handled the formalities like refusing the town leader's own room and instead requesting a guest room, as well as requesting a meal, and maybe some entertainment. Naruto, self-consciously, though that they were asking for too much and that the town head, who had introduced herself as Anzu, would throw them out soon. Sofi assured him that nothing like that would happen, especially with the Ancient present, and that instead the town would probably throw them a banquet.
The Ancient was surprisingly quiet throughout all this, almost fading into the shadows; whether that was intentional or not, no one knew. Though, when offered a place to stay he had politely refused stating that he had business to attend to later on and would not be staying for the night.
Naruto and Sofi has learned long ago that it was pointless to ask the Ancient what business he had to attend to and for how long he would be gone. If was going to share with them what he had done he would do so. Though, the first time he had done so they found out that he went to the Cloud Country to pick up three girls to have fun with in a motel. The dark-haired man had gotten quite a laugh out of their reaction. Of course this wasn't always the case, he would sometimes come back muttering angrily; the few times that they picked out what he said it something about war and instability and stupid bastards.
True to his word, Yashka left about halfway through the banquet, but not before whispering to Naruto that they were welcome stay here until he got back. As if Naruto and the Kyuubi had somewhere else to go. The immortal showed up a couple days later and dragged Naruto out of the nice warm house to train in the freezing cold.
They walked quite a ways from the Kitsuma's town during which time Naruto noticed that the Ancient never seemed to be affected by the elements. Voicing his thoughts had provided him quite a simple answer that Yashka was at one with nature and that such things as weather conditions simply didn't concern him.
Yashka suddenly stopped and used a bit of wind to blow away the snow on the ground. "Do you know what we are standing on?" he asked the teenager.
Naruto looked down and saw white ground that vaguely resembled ice, but didn't have the slippery factor of ice; he shook his head.
"We are standing on a glacier," was the calm reply; Yashka had not expected Naruto to know. "It is basically a giant slab of ice."
"I know what a glacier is," replied the blond before the Ancient could go into a full lecture.
"I want you to break off a chunk as big as a cottage," instructed the immortal. "No fire jutsus, you can't use raw chakra to cut it, nor can you use your swords. This has to be done through straight manipulation of the element."
"Ice is not an element."
"Ice is said to be created when Suiton affinity meets Fuiton affinity, but for you ice is like metal."
Naruto's eyebrows rose at that, "Ice is the extension of the Suiton Supremacy?"
"No. It is an ability provided by the final stage of the Suiton Supremacy."
"So am I to understand that I can manipulate ice, but not create it?" wondered Naruto.
"No, I'm pretty sure you will be able to create it," replied Yashka. "However, I think the initial exercises should be in manipulation rather than creation."
"How would I go about creating ice?"
"Same way you create water," was the nonchalant reply.
"But you said that a Fuiton affinity is needed in order to create ice."
Yashka nodded, "Yes, and you had such an affinity before gaining your new body. Don't think that everything has completely changed with your new body, your wind affinity was quite strong and bits of it carried over. However, even if you didn't have it Suiton Supremacy is designed in such a way that the Fuiton aspect is supplemented for the user. What this means for you is that it will be even easier to create ice."
"Oh yeah, that reminds me, something that's been bothering for a while now," the Ancient nodded for him to continue. "If the human body is 70 percent water, why can't I control it and make someone blow up?"
Yashka smiled, "And on that note why can't you make it freeze? Remember when we had the talk about not being able to make an ocean disappear or make the Earth split in half," Naruto nodded. "Same basic principal, the World Preservers are constantly in effect. Being able to make humans blow up, could very well lead to the destruction of the entire species, so that power is taken away."
"More Supremacy limitations," said Naruto.
"Everything has a glass ceiling."
"Oh yes, the inevitable glass ceiling," sarcastically replied the blond. "That I can look through and see that which I wish I could get to."
The immortal merely shrugged in a 'that's how it is and I can't do anything about it' way before telling Naruto once again to perform his given task. The blond didn't manage to do it that day, or the day after, or the day after that. On the fourth day he finally found out that the Ancient was actually trying to rush the Suiton Supremacy by having it interact with the native environment of the final stage; the supremacy wasn't being very obedient.
"I'm giving you two a vacation until we are due back in Konoha," suddenly said Yashka. "You can choose to go anywhere you want." He then tossed Naruto a thin electronic device. "That will teleport you to any major location on this world and it can teleport you to the training dimension; sorry but my house is out of bounds."
The immortal nodded in acknowledgement, "I'll come back for you in about six weeks and we'll go back to Konoha."
"Do we have to?" asked Naruto in a slightly whiny tone.
"Yes," was the straightforward answer. "I did give my word and you still have some unfinished business there."
Naruto suddenly looked hesitant, "You know, destroying Konoha isn't at the top of my priorities anymore."
"You would rather leave them alive to hunt you and your mate?" countered the Ancient.
"They wouldn't…" he trailed off not sure of this himself.
"Really? They wouldn't?"
"They wouldn't find us here," improvised the blond.
"You are sure? You would bet your life, your mate's life, and the life of the people here?" The Ancient maneuvered him into an ultimatum. "If your resolve is absolute then I will let you stay here, but if you have even one sliver of doubt you should eliminate it."
Naruto knew his teacher was right. There would always be a possibility that Konoha shinobi would find him here. They would live in fear, in constant paranoia, that someone would come for them.
"Fearing every single stranger, avoiding conversations about your past, constantly watching and checking that your walls don't have ears, is that the kind of life you want for your family?" asked Yashka. He paused to allow the blond to consider it and waited for the look of the answer he was looking for. "I know what your answer is and your reasoning behind it that is why I will be back in six weeks to take you to your place of unfinished business."
Naruto solemnly nodded and muttered out, "Ok, I'll be ready to go in six weeks." After all, the Ancient was right his biggest reason for leaving Konoha was for freedom. What kind of freedom would he have if he was constantly on the run? Also, he wasn't alone anymore, he had to worry for Sofi and the family he would have in the future.
Meanwhile the Ancient had teleported away to a very noisy place. Well, more like there was one person yelling and the other was cowering; the immortal found it entertaining as he stayed invisible waiting for the right time to reveal himself.
"Where the hell is he Jiraiya?" screamed the Godaime Hokage.
The toad hermit wanted to just be able to disappear. He didn't know where the hell the Ancient was. All he had to maybe curb his teammate's anger was the Ancient's word that Naruto would be back to Konoha. This, of course, would prove problematic since it was supposed to have him that was training the jinchuuriki.
He decided to just bite the bullet and tell her the truth. "I left him in the Ancient's care."
Tsunade paused in her tirade to consider the pervert's response. "The Ancient?"
"Yes, he gave me his word that he would bring Naruto back to Konoha within three years."
"You wouldn't happen to have that in writing, would you?" she asked in a suspiciously calm tone.
Jiraiya paled; he did not have it in writing. He was dead, he was sure of it. Tsunade would kill him for something he had absolutely no control over. However, before anything could happen, a soft voice from opposite side of the room interjected.
"You wouldn't happen to be doubting my word, would you?"
The pair snapped their heads in the direction of the voice to find a man dressed in all white standing there in a regal manner with a slightly amused look on his face. The worst part of it was the two sannin still couldn't sense this guy's presence.
"My, my, Hime-Tsu you haven't aged much since I last you," he complimented. "Your breasts did get larger I think."
The Hokage gritted her teeth together resisting the urge to punch him. "You're still a flirt, I see."
He shook his head from side to side considering it, "Guilty as charged," he said with a smirk, which faded as he noticed the other person in room groveling at his feet.
"Please, tell her that you will have Naruto back here soon and that it wasn't my fault that you took him in the first place."
"If by not your fault you mean that you would never have been able to bring out Naruto's full potential, then yes, it is not your fault that you would have been peeking at girls more than training him." This had the desired response of Jiraiya trying to stutter out a responses and Tsunade getting angry and punching him out of the office; again Yashka found this amusing.
"I hope that you will excuse any rudeness on my part," Tsunade bowed lightly. "I was expecting to have Naruto back two and a half years after he left."
Yashka waved her off with a small smile that showed that he was a lot more amused than insulted. "I was told by the man you ejected from your office that Naruto had to be back in Konoha in three years. As such, I have arranged that he will be back in six week, if that is fine with you?"
The Godaime could not bring herself to object. After all, this was the creator of the world standing in front of her.
"Good," the Ancient nodded and made to leave.
"Wait!" the man halted and waited for her question. "If you don't mind me asking, why did you train Naruto?"
"I don't mind," was the tranquil reply. "Naruto peaked my interest."
"Surely it was more complicated than that?"
The tranquil voice continued, though now there a hint of finality in it, "Even if that were the case, I would not be discussing such things with you." He smiled lightly to show that he didn't mean harm. "I will take my leave now Hime-Tsu. Oh yes, please enter Naruto in the next Chuunin Exam, I believe he will make it in time. Even if there is no team available I will insist that he participate."
With that he disappeared and Tsunade released a breath she didn't know she was holding and plopped down in her chair. It was lot of digest all at once. The Ancient training Naruto meant that Naruto had a potential higher than the Yondaime; that was a scary thought.
If the Ancient were to insist that someone participate in something it means that that person would participate, even if he is a one-man team, or else God got angry at you. She, along with Jiraiya and Orochimaru, had witnessed what happened when someone angered the Ancient. It was after that battle, or maybe she should call it a slaughter since the Ancient's clothes didn't even get damaged, that he had introduced himself to the three of them and nicknamed Tsunade 'Hime-Tsu.'
He had wiped out two battalions, 12 shinobi each, in under a minute; all of them were jounin. It was an ambush meant for her team, the Ancient just happened to be resting in that particular place; they attacked him and he retaliated. The ease with which it was done, the speed, and the fact that the man wasn't even slightly winded afterwards showed the sannin just how dangerous he was; Tsunade still shivered when she thought of that incident.
"You believe me now?" asked a familiar voice from the window. The Godaime nodded. "He challenged me to a duel to see who would be Naruto's teacher; the first thought in my head was the slaughter."
Tsunade nodded again, and relayed the conversation she had with the Ancient after Jiraiya had left.
"Remember those tattoos we saw on Naruto's body?" the Hokage nodded. "My theory is that the Ancient gave him those tattoos and that during that trip when I would leave him alone to train the Rasengan that was when he first met the Ancient."
"What do you think those tattoos do?"
"Hyuuga Neji's report about Sasuke's rescue mission stated that Naruto had brought down the chakra-stealing earth dome by applying a minimal amount of charka at the dome's weakest point," explained the hermit. "I think those tattoos give him an innate control over Doton."
"You think they are seals that force a Doton affinity?"
Jiraiya shrugged, "Maybe not force, but at least heighten it."
Tsunade was skeptical, "That's a little far fetched that a seal would be able to do that."
"Far fetched for whom, us?" countered Jiraiya. "Yes, for us it might seem far fetched, but what about Him? Do you think the Ancient has such boundaries as affinities? Maybe he can even give Naruto an affinity in all the elements."
"Like the Rin'negan?" questioned Tsunade.
"It is a bloodline," replied Jiraiya feverishly. "What would stop the Ancient from giving out bloodlines? I mean he is all-powerful."
The Godaime shook her head, "Now you are just talking crazy Jiraiya. At that rate the Ancient could pick up any student and make him as powerful as he wants."
Jiraiya frowned for a moment he improvised, "Maybe he needs a certain body type for these alterations to be possible."
"No, Jiraiya, stop," calmly replied Tsunade. "This is God you are talking about he can create people, he doesn't need to search for specific body types. So don't, just drop this, Naruto will be here in six weeks and we will get our answers then."
Yashka had disappeared, but only from view he hadn't teleported away. The talk between Jiraiya and Tsunade had been interesting. He found it funny that Jiraiya was pretty close to the truth in the beginning and then completely drifted into madness at the end.
This Rin'negan did seem interesting though, affinity in all elements if the hermit was spot-on with his definition. He would have to ask Zeph about this he was the one with thorough knowledge of the Shinobi World.
'That's right, Pein in the Akatsuki,' Yashka suddenly remembered. 'I will need a DNA sample; if this is what I think it is.'
Now that he had determined his destination, he teleported away.
Yashka calmly sat down on the balcony railing of the fifth floor of his castle putting his right foot on it and leaning his back against a short column on top of which sat a now empty flower pot. He swirled the blood-red wine in its glass as he looked out over his domain.
A figure materialize out of nowhere in the doorway and stepped closed to Yashka.
"Pein," Yashka started off.
"Is a descendant of yours," finished the man as he grew out his hair back to its usual length reaching the small of his back and changed its color back to silver. "The special gene that would normally be dormant in mortals is what is giving him his bloodline."
"Radiation will do that," Yashka sighed. "How many generations was it, three? Three generations of humans living on radioactive lands, eating radioactive crops and animals, and we were actually surprised that they acquired ninjutsu."
"The Sage of Six Paths was also a Rin'negan user," remarked Zeph. "The radioactivity brought the 'Ancient gene' out of its dormancy and the fact that he chose Creation only made it that much easier to give everyone else he knew either a bloodline or insanely powerful abilities."
"The first and last person to choose Creation over Destruction," scoffed the immortal. "It's ironic, they choose the element that is not only sealed away, but also the one that is completely useless except in one kind of situation."
"It is a subconscious choice," endorsed Zeph, "and they don't know the finer workings and differences between Creation and Destruction."
The Ancient smirked, "They don't know that Creation is more powerful; Creation breeds Destruction because you can create things are destroys and Destruction only destroys. Not to mention the fact that they only gain a slight increase in power because even I don't have access to the element of Destruction."
Yashka and Zeph shared a mocking laugh before both settled on observing the never-changing scenery.
After a long silence, the Ancient brought up a topic that he had yet to mention to his assistant, "By the way, I told her the real age of this world."
"How did she take it?" wondered the assistant.
"Not too bad."
"Does she suspect anything?" asked Zeph in a somber voice.
Yashka shook his head and took a sip of wine, "Not enough that it would warrant intervention, so relax."
"You should have erased her memory," insisted Zeph.
The Ancient waved him off, "The final act is a chain reaction, the entire scope of which only you and I see. To the inhabitants it will look like a bunch of coincidental events that they will not even pay attention to until it is too late; and there won't be any retrospect."
Zeph dropped the argument choosing to relax instead, and the Ancient continued swirling his wine analogizing the small action needed to swirl the liquid to the small action needed to swirl the world.
This chapter feels rushed... / Oh well.
Disclaimer: I am not religious, I do not support the theory of Creation, nor do I believe that the artifacts and bones archaeologists find were put there by a higher entity. However, the last two work very well in this story and I do not mind setting aside my personal beliefs for the sake of the story.
This chapter does mark the end of the second arc. The next arc will be set in Konoha with flashbacks to details of techniques (because I firmly believe that any marginally not retarded person would not explain his/her technique to his/her opponent). I can't see the 3rd arc spanning more than 10 chapters.
Chapter 16: Naruto comes back to Konoha; and all the chaos that that brings. The Ancient comes along to torment the foolish mortals for his own personal pleasure.