A/N: Well, this is my new fic I said I was going to work on. I'm transporting Naruto to the world of Sylvarant in Tales of Symphonia This is going to be an eventual Naruto x Sheena fic. The Naruto in this fic is from several years after the start of part two, making him almost 19, which is the same age as Sheena. This first chapter is really just an introductory chapter, and as such, it will contain minimum detail up until the battle where Naruto is transferred to Sylvarant. In this fic, the people of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla will speak Japanese, as the game was first released in Japan, meaning they 'naturally' spoke Japanese. Also, the world of Naruto was never truly given a name, and as such, I'm going to have to make up a name. In this fic, I dub the world of Naruto: Gaia. And if you're going to ask for any background info on Tales of Symphonia in response to this chapter, I'll strangle you for not reading the A/N of the second chapter. So, for those of you who are too lazy to do it, let me bring that part of the A/N forward a chapter and put it here: Also, I'm not going to explain the story line of Tales of Symphonia, nor am I going to describe how things work or why things exist in the game. You want answers? Go and find them yourselves. I don't have time to write out a 10000000000000 word fic just to explain why things are in the game before I start this fic.
For those of you who have played the game all the way though, I'm not going to spoil the big secret right at the start, so I'm going to have Dirk give Naruto an incomplete background to Sylvarant.
SPOILER WARNING: For those of you who don't want the story line of Tales of Symphonia completely laid out on the table so to speak; do not read this, ok? I'm going to cover the entire story and beyond, meaning this is going to be one hell of a long fic. After all, if the game was big enough to require two GC disks, it would be big, right? If you're wondering where I got the name of the fic from, it's a slight twist of a quote from the game. Please forgive me if I don't follow the major parts of the ToS script to the letter, but I'm doing it off memory alone, so bare with me. If I stuff it up badly enough, I'll play through the game again and refresh my memory. To make it somewhat fairer and not make Naruto's strength equivalent to an lvl 80 or so character when he gets to Sylvarant, I'm going to use part of the story line to adjust him so he's around level 20 or so until he leaves the world. When Naruto first meets Lloyd, he's obviously going to be somewhat out of and slowly get back to his 'normal' self. Most people would be completely dazed if it happened to them, so it's not that unbelievable. And don't worry, there is ramen in this world, and it's an official recipe in game.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Tales of Symphonia, their characters, music or anything about them. Last I checked, I wasn't making money off these pieces of literature referred to as 'fics', so I've got that covered too…
'...Human or Lesser Summon Thinking/Small A/N...'
'...Demon or Summon Boss Thinking...'
"...Human or Lesser Summon Talking..."
"...Demon or Summon Boss Talking..."
"...SHOUTING/TWO OR MORE PEOPLE SAYING THE SAME THING/CASTING THE SAME JUTSU/SPELL..."
Thanks to my beta, Kyuubi no yoko 9.
Two Worlds, Two Ninja:
My Closest Friend:
Once upon a time there existed a giant tree that
was the source of all mana. A war, however, caused
this tree to wither away, and a hero's life was
sacrificed in order to take its place. Grieving
over the loss, the goddess disappeared unto the
heavens. The goddess left the angels with the
edict: "You must wake me, for if I should sleep,
the world shall be destroyed." The angels bore
the Chosen One, who headed towards the tower that
reached up unto the heavens. And that marked the
beginning of the regeneration of the world.
Several Years After Naruto's Return:
Almost as soon as Naruto had come back from his training with Jiraiya, he had been deployed to recapture Sasuke and bring him back to Konoha. That had been a massive failure, despite the fact they had converted a member of the Roots extremist group in ANBU by the name of Sai to their side. Not long after, they had been redeployed, managing to injure Orochimaru enough to cause him to transfer again. That had been their last resort, so Naruto had kept Sasuke busy while Kakashi, Sakura and Sai managed to defeat Orochimaru. Luckily for Orochimaru, his right hand man had been present. Orochimaru transferred into Kabuto's body, giving him another three years to keep Sasuke safe. The new Team Seven trained for the next two and a half years, both Naruto and Sakura progressing to the rank of Jounin, and all of them itching to get Sasuke back. After the two and a half years, they had a reliable lead to Orochimaru's current hideout in the Sea Country. It was now or never. They just hoped they had the strength to do what they needed to do…
A Week Later, Sea Country:
Team Seven had been very careful to mask their presence, hoping to catch Orochimaru and Sasuke off guard. However, they were shocked to see both of their targets standing out the front, waiting for them. Orochimaru chuckled.
"I suppose you're wondering why we know you were here? It's quite simple really. I need pieces to become my arms and legs for me. I also need others to be my eyes and ears in other places. I knew you were coming, what I did not expect was that you would get here so soon. I must say, I'm somewhat impressed."
Naruto looked at Sasuke, his eyes full of hope.
"Sasuke, are you seriously going to let him take over your body?"
Sasuke looked at Naruto emotionlessly.
"If that's what I need to do to get the power necessary complete my revenge, then so be it. However, you have something I want, Naruto."
Naruto's eyes widened as Sasuke drew his sword and reappeared behind Naruto.
"I want your life. By killing you, my closest friend, I can get even more power."
Sakura looked on in horror as her crush talked about taking his 'best friend's' life for power so casually.
"Sasuke-Kun, how could you say that? What power could you possibly get from killing Naruto?"
Kakashi sighed and shook his head in shame.
"The Mangekyou Sharingan…"
Sasuke nodded slightly.
"Correct. By killing my closest friend, I will gain our family's version of the Mangekyou Sharingan. Only then can I face Itachi equally."
From there, an all out battle ensued. Like last time, Naruto was left to deal with Sasuke while the other three dealt with Orochimaru. Orochimaru seemed to be just able to hold his own against the two Jounin and the ANBU, but managed to deal with them. He stood over their unconscious bodies, far to weary to finish the job. He looked over to see his apprentice bringing his match to a close. Orochimaru smirked as Sasuke brought his Kusanagi straight towards Naruto's neck for the final blow. Orochimaru was unaware that Kakashi was watching the match, and had been preparing his own Mangekyou Sharingan to get rid of Sasuke. Right now, Naruto's life was more important than Sasuke's. Kakashi activated his second Doujutsu, aiming it at Sasuke. What he didn't expect was for Naruto to take the attack for Sasuke, pushing him out of the way before the temporary dimensional gateway shut again, taking Naruto with it to wherever it led to. Everyone froze for several moments, trying to process what had happened before Sakura screamed out, tears welling in her eyes.
Sasuke turned to Kakashi's prone form, his eyes full of hate and anger.
"You bastard! I would have gotten the Mangekyou Sharingan if it wasn't for you! Shi-ne!"
Sasuke charged forward, but Orochimaru stopped him.
"Let me go!"
Orochimaru's eyes narrowed.
"There are reinforcements coming. We will not survive more of them. We are leaving and now. You have no say in the matter."
Sasuke reluctantly submitted, sending one last glare at Kakashi.
"The next time we meet, you're dead."
With that, their targets vanished, while they were in no condition to pursue them. Sakura wept openly for her lost comrade, while Kakashi was completely lost in thought, cursing himself for not realising that that was something Naruto would have done without a second thought. They could only pray that he was alive and well wherever he was…
After Kakashi's jutsu had taken effect on him, Naruto was sucked into some sort of hole that had appeared in front of him. He tumbled through some sort of tunnel that one would normally associate with a hallucination at frightening speeds, the entrance he had come from was now no longer in sight. Naruto saw up ahead that the passage way split off in several directions. Not caring which way he took at the moment, he tried to aim for the right fork. At the next junction, he took a left. This process kept up for the better part of one minute before Naruto saw there were no more choices in passageways, but an exit. He blasted out of the tunnel and into a forest, smashing through trees and kicking up a massive cloud of dirt that could bee seen from miles away. Once Naruto had come to a complete stop, he slowly got to his feet, rubbing his injured head.
Naruto looked up as he heard the soft pattering of paw prints nearby to see a white and green … Thing that looked like an overgrown dog that had been one of Orochimaru's experiments that had gone horribly wrong. The creature came up to him and sniffed him before backing away, clearly scared. Naruto raised an eyebrow, clearly unsure of what to do. He was saved however, when a rather short tanned man with brown hair and a bushy beared came up to him.
"Ya alright there, lad?"
Naruto raised an eyebrow. Although he'd never heard this accent before, he obviously spoke Japanese.
"Yeah, I'm fine thanks…"
Naruto got up and winced at the jab of pain from a rather sharp piece of bark that was sticking in his side. The short man's eyes narrowed as Naruto grabbed the bark and ripped it out, tossing it away. The small man looked up at Naruto in concern.
"Ya can be brave all ye want, but that's a serious wound."
Naruto grimaced as steam began rising off the wound, and the man looked at him in surprise.
"I know f'r a fact tha' you didn't use a spell t' do tha', lad."
Naruto's eyebrow rose.
The man looked up at Naruto in a look that said 'you're half mad'.
"Spells, lad. Ye use mana t do things like shoot fireballs, heal y'rself, and even some people can return people t' life."
Naruto's eyes widened in recognition.
"Oh, you mean jutsus!"
The dwarf sighed.
"Yer not from around here, are ye?"
Naruto scratched the back of his head.
"Heh heh… Not really…"
The dwarf extended his stubby hand in greeting.
"I'm Dirk. Who might you be?"
Naruto took Dirks hand and almost gasped when the dwarf practically crushed his hand. He did gasp out his name though.
Dirk's facial features twisted into a calculative gaze.
"Somehow, I doubt yer from this world…"
Naruto's eyes widened at that remark.
"Why do you say that?"
Dirk sighed and turned around back the way he had come, motioning for Naruto to follow.
"Long story. Might as well discuss it while we have something to eat and drink."
Naruto followed Dirk and the creature back through the woods until they arrived at a small building set in a small clearing with a small stream tricking passed it. Naruto noticed that a path down the side of the house led to a grave, but did not pry about who rested there. Dirk opened the front door and walked inside. It was fairly dark, despite the fact it was full daylight outside. There were several hanging pot plants, as well as a raised wooden platform passed the dirt entrance. Naruto began to take off his shoes out of habit when Dirk stopped him.
"Why're ya taken off yer shoes, lad?"
Naruto looked at him as if he'd grown another head.
"We always do it on my world when we enter a building…"
Dirk shook his head as he walked over to the stove and checked on a pot that was boiling with something that smelled somewhat decent.
"If ye take yer shoes off, you'll regret it."
Naruto looked at Dirk in incomprehension before looking at the floorboards. They may be well put together, but they had not been sanded, and as such, walking barefoot here would be a very bad idea. Naruto put his sandals back on and stepped up onto the wooden platform. Dirk waved him to the table in the far corner near the stairs. Naruto took one of the three seats there. Dirk grabbed a glass and turned on a rather crude faucet, filling the cup with water. He shut it off and handed it to Naruto, who gladly gulped it down. Dirk leaned back against the stove as he looked at his visitor.
"I guess you should tell me how Tethe'alla is doin…"
Naruto looked at Dirk in incomprehension.
Dirk looked at Naruto that clearly told Naruto that he thought Naruto was brain dead.
"Tethe'alla. It's a long story, but ye say you've never 'eard of it?"
Naruto nodded, making Dirk shake his head in amazement.
"Unbelievable… There are other worlds out there…"
The pot with the food in it started boiling over, so Dirk pulled it off and started ladling it onto two plates. He placed the pot on the bench before bringing the plates over to the table, giving one to Naruto and one for himself. Dirk immediately started digging in, but noticed that Naruto looked extremely downcast and had not so much as touched his food.
"Ya alright, Naruto?"
Naruto sighed and began picking at his food.
"Just before I got here, I was fighting to save my best friend from a guy called Orochimaru… My friend was about to stab me through the neck with his sword when my Sensei used a jutsu to try and send Sasuke to a different dimension, but I took the attack for him."
Dirk put his fork down and looked at Naruto.
"And ye say yer best friend tried to stab you through the neck with his sword? I don't know what the people of yer world classify as 'friends', but here, we call them enemies."
Naruto shot Dirk a look that would make flowers wilt before regaining control of his emotions.
"It's a long story..."
Dirk nodded and took another forkful of the stew before talking again.
"Seems we both have a long story to tell… Want to go first?"
Naruto nodded and started telling Dirk about his world, the countries, the hidden villages and the wars that if they were not already happening were so close to happening that people kept in a constant state of alert. When Naruto got to talking about the Kages, he inevitably ended up talking about the Yondaime.
"The Yondaime was supposedly a really strong guy. Apparently the strongest man who ever lived."
Dirk raised an eyebrow at this.
"Judging by the timeframe yer given me, he should still be alive. Why're ye talken about him in a passed tense?"
Naruto lowered his head to the ground. This was obviously a very touchy subject for the blond.
"Nearly 19 years ago, the Yondaime was forced to sacrifice his life to save the village from the king of demons… The Kyuubi no Kitsune."
Dirk's eyebrows shot up.
"King of demons? No mortal man could do tha', even in our world…"
"You're right. No man could kill him. But he invented a suicidal jutsu that would give him the power of someone who did."
"An who would tha be?"
Dirk spluttered and coughed. Naruto looked up at him as dirk managed to catch his breath.
"Wha did you say lad, I coulda sworn you said Shinigami."
Dirk raised an eyebrow again as he tried to see if Naruto was lying. The pain, anguish and sorrow was all the convincing he needed.
"Shinigami is referred to briefly in a book I read long, long ago. Shinigami, the god of death and torturer of souls…"
Naruto nodded a he continued his explanation.
"Yondaime summoned Shinigami, who took both the Kyuubi's and his own souls as compensation. If he had tried to seal it in himself, the Kyuubi would have just been released back upon the world, so he sealed it inside a newborn child. Me."
Dirk sat back in his chair and whistled.
"If I didn't see the look in yer eyes, I would have said that'd make a nice story…"
Naruto looked up to see that Dirk was not running away screaming or trying to kill him. Dirk sighed and looked out the window.
"I suppose ye want to know the story of this world, right?"
Naruto nodded, thankful that the spotlight was now off him. Dirk sighed, thinking about where to begin.
"Like how liven things in yeh world rely on chakra, the entire world here relies on mana. I wouldn't be surprised if they were the same thing. However, our would is constantly losen' mana. Every few generations, a special human called a 'chosen' is born. This chosen must break the seals and then climb the stairway to heaven to bring us out of our current slump. Apparently, the chosen was supposed to begin her first trial today…"
Naruto had seen many things that the majority of people in his world thought didn't exist, so this really wasn't that much of a surprise, apart from the fact that he was on a planet that he had no idea existed up until almost an hour or two ago. By now, the sun was just beginning to set when Naruto heard footsteps outside. Both of them looked up as the door opened to reveal a brown haired boy in an incredibly ugly red coat of some description. He waved at his dad.
"Hey dad, I-"
The boy stopped as he saw the other occupant of the room.
Naruto raised an eyebrow but stood up and offered his hand.
"Uzumaki Naruto. What about you?"
The boy took Naruto's hand. Although his hand shake was strong, it wasn't bone crushing like his 'dads'.
Naruto noticed something on Lloyd's right hand. Lloyd winced when he saw his guest's choice of clothing.
"Man, that orange jumpsuit really hurts the eyes. And the green jacket doesn't go with it at all."
"You can say the same for that red coat of yours."
Lloyd flared up, his ego wounded.
"What did you say?"
Naruto without thinking started arguing, which was completely unlike his usual self.
"I said red coat is way worse than my choice of clothing! And this jacket is standard issue to Jounin!"
Lloyd raised an eyebrow.
"Jounin? What's that?"
Naruto sweat dropped. Explaining this story to every single person was going to be a complete pain in the ass.
"Jounin is the third highest ninja rank of a village behind ANBU and Kage."
Lloyd looked stupefied.
"There aren't any villages of 'ninja' around here…"
Dirk sighed and looked at Lloyd.
"Tha's right. But he's not from around here."
Lloyd looked excited.
"Really? Where're you from then? Across the sea?"
Naruto sweat dropped again, but Dirk seemed unphased by it. Dirk looked at Naruto, who shook his head. Dirk nodded and went back to his work. Naruto looked at Lloyd and sighed, shaking his head.
"I'll tell you one day, not now though."
Lloyd nodded, seeing the previously energetic blond suddenly lose his energy at the mention of his home. In one of Lloyd's rare moments of intelligence, he decided not to push it. He turned back to his dad.
"Hey dad, can you make me a key crest?"
Dirk turned to face his son, a stern look in his eyes.
"Why d' ye need a key crest all of a sudden?"
"I met someone today who had an exshpere without a keycrest. An exphere without a keycrest is dangerous right? OR don't tell me it's too late once it's attached to the skin, right?"
Dirk shook his head.
"Nah, not at all. However, removen an Exsphere without a key crest is dangerous, so just make an accessory out of inhibitor ore and attach it."
"So, it'll be alright if we do that, huh? Well, could you make me a bracelet then?"
"Just a moment. This person yeh saw with an Exsphere, who was it?"
Lloyd seemed to stumble with his story. Practice told Naruto he was trying to cover something up, but stayed out of it.
"Oh, eh, I met a travelling mercenary with a keycrestless Exphere. He said he got it off a Desian."
"Baloney! Exspheres are only made in human ranches, and if he got it off a Desian, it'd already have a keycrest on it. Dwarven Vow Number 2: Lying is the first step down the path to thievery. Tell me the truth, why do you need it?"
"Well, I met someone today at the ranch-"
"YOU WENT TO THE RANCH?"
Naruto recoiled in surprise at Dirk's outburst. He'd seemed like such a level headed guy up until now. Lloyd seemed to recoil as well.
"I'm… I'm sorry! A bunch of stuff happened, and I-"
"Yeh didn't let them see yer Exsphere, did yeh?"
"No. I took care of the ones who did. Why is this thing so important anyway?"
"It was your mother's keepsake."
"The Desians killed yer mother for it."
Naruto decided that this was a family issue, and he didn't need to hear it. He stepped quietly outside and was surprised to see three other people there, listening in. A young girl with long blonde hair and cerulean eyes, a woman with short cropped light blue hair and a shorter boy that looked much like the older female as well as that weird animal from before. They looked at Naruto in surprise. The shortest one with spiky blue hair stared at him.
"Who're you and what are you doing in Lloyd's house?"
Naruto looked at him deadpanned.
"Why are you listening in on their conversation?"
The smaller one had no answer to that. Inside, things were getting loud enough for them to hear outside.
"WHAT? Why didn't you tell me?"
"Because you'd have gone off and tried to take revenge on the Desians if I'd have told yeh earlier."
Naruto winced at that, which only the elder female noticed in the dim light.
"Lloyd, just leave the rest to Colette."
"Fine… Will you make me the key crest?"
"Have you heard nothing of what I've said?"
"You can't just expect me to stand here now that I know the Desians killed my mother!"
Naruto heard the sound of bone hitting flesh.
"Ugh! You don't have to hit me!"
The door came flying open, Lloyd in tears until he saw the four people there, along with his pet.
"Let me guess. You heard all of that just now."
It was a statement, not a question. Naruto nodded.
"By how loud it was, it was impossible not to…"
Lloyd looked hurt for a moment while the younger blue haired boy spun around, anger covering his face.
"What did you say? I bet you don't know what it's like to lose a parent!"
Naruto recoiled violently as if he'd been slapped, making everyone present gasp. The elder female looked sternly at the youngest boy.
"Judging from that reaction, he knows more about not having a family member than you do Genis. Apologise."
Genis looked at Naruto, who was trying to rein in his emotions.
Naruto shook his head.
Naruto turned around and much to everyone's amazement, jumped from the ground up onto the roof of the two story house. Naruto cursed loudly, much to everyone's surprise.
"Why won't my chakra gather properly? It's like something's stopping me…"
Genis turned to his elder sister.
"Raine, what's chakra? And how did he do that?"
Raine's eyes narrowed.
"I'm not sure, Genis. I know he used mana to aid that jump, but I've never seen it used like that."
Raine was cut off when she felt a massive source of mana coming from the boy.
"Suiton: Suiyuudan no Jutsu!"
The others gasped as the water of the creek stared rising, turning into a moderate sized dragon that thrashed around wildly before dissipating, the water dropping back to earth. They heard the boy cursing again.
"The hell? I put enough chakra into that to cover this entire clearing! What the hell is happening?"
Raine gasped at the boy's ramblings.
"Enough to cover this entire clearing? Who is he?"
Lloyd looked at Raine, his eyes now dried of tears.
"He said he's from a ninja village or something…"
The younger girl looked at Lloyd with stars in her eyes, obviously off with the fairies.
"Ninja Village? They must be some kind of super humans!"
Everyone sweat dropped.
"I don't think they're super humans, Colette…"
Everyone gasped as Naruto jumped off the roof and landed without any broken bones or even being winded. He stood up and looked at them dead panned.
"Are you telling me you guys can't do that?"
They nodded slowly. Naruto growled in frustration and turned away, the moonlight giving his normally sun kissed blond hair a silvery touch.
"I'm going for a walk. I need to try and sort this out."
Naruto started walking away but stopped as Raine called out to him.
"Wait! We don't even know your name!"
Naruto turned back around.
Naruto walked out of the clearings to try and clear his mind. Right now, all he really cared about was getting back home and going for another attempt to bring Sasuke back. He really needed to get back in contact with them, but had no idea how to do so. Suddenly, an idea struck him. He bit his hand and formed the hand seals, slamming his palm on the ground.
"Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"
From the small puff of smoke came a familiar orange frog in a blue Gi.
"What do you want Naruto? If you want to play, give me a snack!"
Naruto was very tempted to boot the frog back to their world.
"I don't have time to play. Has there been word from Ero-Sennin?"
Gamakichi looked up at Naruto.
"What do you mean?"
Naruto sighed as he sunk to the ground.
"We're obviously no longer on our world. You can tell, right?"
Gamakichi looked around and his eyes narrowed slightly.
"Yeah… How'd you get here?"
Naruto looked up at the sky as he gave a brief recount of how he'd gotten here.
"-And then Kakashi-Sensei used his second Doujutsu on Sasuke. I wasn't about to let him take it, so I took the jutsu for him, which is how I ended up here."
Gamakichi snorted and looked around.
"Fine mess you've gotten yourself into there, Naru-"
Naruto clapped a hand over Gamakichi's mouth and looked up.
"You guys shouldn't try and sneak up on a ninja with stealth. Any decent ninja could have heard you a mile away."
There was cursing as they came out of the bushes, looking somewhat shocked at the frog. Lloyd pointed at it.
"What is with that frog? Why is it orange?"
Naruto raised an eyebrow.
"It's a ninfrog."
Lloyd snorted in contempt at it.
"That thing? A ninja frog? Yeah right."
Naruto smiled as he pulled his hand away from Gamakichi's mouth. The frog immediately went on the offensive.
"What'd you say, punk? You'd better not disrespect amphibians! Bleh!"
Gamakichi stuck out his tongue for effect. Everyone just stood there, trying to comprehend the fact that the frog had not only just talked, but insulted Lloyd.
"Did that frog… Just talk? And insult me to?"
"Yeah. The frog just chewed you out, Lloyd."
Colette looked completely grossed out, while Raine had a very dangerous look in her eyes as she stared at the frog. Genis groaned.
"Oh no… Not again… Naruto, if you want that frog to live, I suggest making it get out of here very soon…"
Everyone present sweat dropped as Raine shivering with anticipation.
"I must study it!"
Gamakichi glared angrily at Raine.
"Oi! I'm not some test subject! Back off, you crazy woman!"
Raine charged in, while Gamakichi started hopping away.
"Come back! I absolutely must study you!"
Naruto sighed as he got back up.
"Now how am I supposed to contact Ero-Sennin or Tsunade-Obaachan…"
Colette looked at Naruto in confusion, her head tilted to the side.
"Perverted Hermit? Grandma Tsunade? Are they friends of yours?"
Naruto nodded and leaned his back against the tree.
"Ero-Sennin is a white haired old super pervert and is the author of the most disgusting series of books you'll ever read."
Colette was apparently completely innocent, as she didn't get the hint.
"I'm sure they're not so bad…"
Naruto looked at her dead panned.
"They fall under the genre of Hentai."
Colette paled while both Lloyd and Genis choked. Naruto looked up at the star filled sky through the trees.
"He's a pervert through and through, but he's a great guy once you get passed all that."
Colette smiled while Genis wasn't so sure. Lloyd seemed to remember something and looked back at Naruto.
"And who's this Tsunade?"
Naruto smiled as he thought of her.
"She's the same age as Ero-Sennin. She's got a severe gambling problem and drinks far too much sake for her own good. She uses a jutsu or spell as you call it to appear as old as 20. Apart from that, she's the best medic our world has ever had and a very caring woman. She's the Godaime Hokage, the fifth leader of our village and the closest thing to a mother I ever had."
Colette smiled and clasped her hands in front of her.
"She sounds like a really nice person…"
"That is, until you get on her bad side and she punches you 100 meters away through several stone walls."
All three of the others sweat dropped. Lloyd didn't believe it though.
"No one has that kind of strength…"
"No one has that much natural strength, but she uses chakra to super power her attacks. I remember the time she used a single finger to create a chasm when I first met her…"
Genis and Lloyd were gob smacked.
"Wow, she must be really strong."
Naruto was starting to get the idea that Colette was far too 'pure' for her own good; pure to the point where 'naïve' was far too subtle a word to use when describing her. Naruto looked around as Gamakichi came back, panting.
"Naruto, that woman is crazy! I'm getting out of here! Ja!"
Before Naruto could finish, Gamakichi was surrounded in a puff of smoke. When it disappeared, he was no longer there. By now, the others were starting to get the point that Naruto's home was very, very different to theirs. Naruto groaned as he slapped his forehead.
"Those frogs are annoying sometimes… Then again, so are most summons…"
Genis's eyes widened in shock.
"Did you just say summons?"
Naruto nodded, seeing the look of recognition flash across Naruto's face.
"You know about them?"
Genis nodded slowly.
"We have summons in our world too…"
Naruto's eyes widened.
"Like what? What species can you guys summon?"
Genis looked at Naruto in confusion.
"Uh… We don't summon animals… There are things called Summon Spirits which control the elements. For example, Gnome, the summon spirit of Earth controls gravity."
Naruto looked at Genis like he was mad.
"A summon? Control the force of gravity? Not even one of the nine Demon Lords could do that."
Colette's eyes widened at the word.
Naruto's eyes narrowed.
"Are you saying you've never heard of demons?"
Colette shook her head.
"That's not it… There are demons in this world, but none of them are very strong."
Naruto scratched his head, trying to make sense of this.
"That's strange… In our world, Demons were very powerful, especially the nine demon lords…"
Colette tilted her head to the side.
"As strong as Angels?"
Naruto snorted in contempt.
"There's no such thing as angels."
Colette gasped while Genis raised an eyebrow.
"I guess the angel we saw today when Colette received the oracle was just a figment of our imaginations…"
Naruto looked at Genis.
"I'll believe in demons before I believe in angels."
Colette gasped again and her voice took on a slightly more hostile tone.
"How can you believe in demons? They do nothing but torture and kill! The Goddess Martel would never approve of devil worshipping!"
Naruto had to keep from bursting into laughter as he looked at Colette.
"When I said I believe in demons, it's because I've seen two and fought one of the nine demon lords in my time and the other one of them actually helped me when I was for all intents and purposes, dead. I've never seen an angel either. But just because I've seen one and not the other does not mean I would worship them. I'd rather see them dead."
The other three stared at Naruto who shook his head and sighed.
"Maybe you guys will understand one day that the lines between good and evil are not like black and white…"
Naruto started walking away, before he turned back to Lloyd.
"Lloyd, would you mind if I stayed here for the night? I can sleep outside if you want."
Lloyd nodded slowly.
Naruto really hated being depressed like this, but these kids had no idea what 'tact' meant and blunt statements about this subject brought out his temper. He jumped up onto the roof of Lloyd's house again, using up four times as much chakra as he normally would have. He summoned a frog again, calling to Gamakichi. When he appeared, he looked around fearfully.
"Naruto, where's that woman? If she's around, I'm going home."
Naruto sighed and sat down.
"Gamakichi, I want you to do something for me."
Gamakichi held out his webbed hand and made a beckoning motion.
"Give me a snack."
Naruto scowled at Gamakichi.
"This is no time for playing, Gamakichi. When Ero-Sennin summons you, tell him I'm alive and well and ask him to try and help me find a way back to our world, ok?"
"Since when did amphibians become messengers…"
Gamakichi poofed out of existence just as Naruto heard the balcony door open and two people step outside. Naruto could hear Lloyd's voice.
"Colette, I'm sorry for not making your birthday present in time…"
"It's ok, Lloyd…"
"But this sort of thing is special because you get it on your birthday, you know?"
Naruto raised an eyebrow. It was Colette's birthday?
"Well, will you just wish me a happy birthday then?"
"Sure. Happy birthday, Colette."
Naruto scowled. He really did not want to hear this. Birthdays were another touchy spot for him.
"World regeneration, huh? Sounds kind of exciting…"
"Yeah! Travelling, breaking the seals, and then…"
There was silence for a moment which made Naruto wonder exactly who Colette was.
"Never mind. Still, I can't believe Remiel is really my father…"
"Even if he's your real father, you still have a father in Isalea. Just because he isn't related by blood doesn't mean he's not family. You should just be thankful you have more than most people."
Both of them whipped their heads up to the roof where Naruto was laying, staring up at the stars. Lloyd got angry.
"Naruto? What are you doing listening in on this conversation?"
Naruto smirked at Lloyd's reaction.
"I've been here since I left you guys in the forest. I have a habit of laying on rooves and looking at the stars. After all, for two and a half years, all I had for a roof over my head was the sky. But still, you made a good point. Family is family, no matter if they're blood related or not. Oh, and happy birthday Colette. If I'd have known, I would have got you something. Sorry about that."
Colette smiled brightly at Naruto.
"Oh no, it's no problem! Thank you, Naruto."
Naruto looked at Colette.
"Colette, do you mind if I ask you a question?"
Colette looked surprised but shook her head.
"Not at all."
Naruto looked up at the sky as he asked her.
"This world regeneration thing… How far will it take you from here?"
Colette looked surprised but answered truthfully.
"All over the world. Why?"
Naruto looked straight at her, determination the likes of which she had seen only in Lloyd.
"I assume it will be dangerous?"
"Yes. We have to deal with monsters and Desians. May chosen have failed before."
Naruto nodded. This would be as good a chance as any to find a way back to his world.
"Would you mind if I came along with you? In exchange for protecting you, I want to scour the world for a way back home."
"She doesn't need your help. I'm all the help she needs."
"Want to spar to prove that?"
Lloyd smiled as he turned around.
"You're on. Meet me down there."
Naruto smirked confidently.
"Better get going. I'm waiting."
Lloyd and Colette looked in surprise at Naruto before he pointed to the area in front of the house. They turned to see Naruto standing there. They blinked in surprise, before looking back up on the roof to see Naruto was no longer there. They turned back to see Naruto still standing on the ground, tapping his foot as he looked at them impatiently.
"Well? We don't have all night."
Lloyd growled as he jumped off the balcony and landed without winding himself. He looked at Naruto from the other side of the pathway.
"I'm not going to fight someone who's unarmed."
Naruto snorted and waved his hand dismissively.
"I'm armed. I just haven't revealed my weapons yet. Go when you're ready."
Naruto was completely relaxed and disinterested while Lloyd was getting very annoyed.
"Hey! Are you even ready?"
Naruto nodded. By now, everyone was gathering around as Naruto held up a single finger.
Everyone looked at Naruto questioningly.
"Even with my partially suppressed chakra, one finger is enough for this duel."
Lloyd charged in blindly, oozing rage.
"Don't underestimate me!"
Naruto smiled as he aided his finger with chakra and knocked Lloyd's wooden sword that he thrust at Naruto out of his hand without even moving. Everyone gasped as Lloyd stumbled back. He looked over to his lost sword when he felt Naruto behind him.
"Never, ever look away from your opponent, Lloyd. It took me more than 12 years to understand that and it nearly cost me my life many times."
Lloyd snarled as he tried to slash Naruto, who flipped back over several times out of harm's way. Lloyd glared at him.
"Why do you have to be so annoying?"
Naruto's eyes widened before he looked back down at the ground, hurt, sorrow and pain filling his eyes. Lloyd saw his chance and charged in with his sword extended.
Naruto's eyes shot up as he saw Lloyd thrust his sword at him, surrounded by what looked to be green chakra. He stiffened and flicked Lloyd's other sword away, making it slam into the side of Dirk's house and stick there. That wasn't bad for a wooden sword. Naruto looked at Lloyd.
"I'm annoying because that's the only way I was able to get recognition of my existence as a human being, Lloyd. You know how hard it is to get recognition, for who you are and not who you're related to or seen as, right?"
Everyone gasped or showed some signs of severe shock. Lloyd's eyes narrowed.
"What did you say?"
Naruto smiled sadly.
"You know exactly what it's like. I can see it in your eyes."
"That's so cliché."
Naruto stared at Genis, making him shiver. It felt like he was staring straight into his soul. Naruto did the same to Raine.
"You too, Genis and Raine."
Genis and Raine gasped, making everyone turn to them.
"Professor? Genis? Is something wrong?"
Raine shook her head.
"No, it's nothing."
Naruto looked at the group, before settling on Colette.
"I think I've proven myself. When are you leaving?"
Colette's eyes widened and looked between Lloyd and Naruto, making Naruto sighed.
"I get the point. I'll ask later."
Colette's eyes widened as Naruto seemed to be able to read her actions like she was a book. Naruto turned around and walked away, everyone staring at his back in awe.
"Who is that guy? He's freaky…"
Everyone nodded in agreement with Genis' assessment. Dirk knew better, but kept his mouth shut at Naruto's silent request to keep the information private. Colette turned to Lloyd and tugged on his hand.
"Lloyd, I didn't get to finish the conversation. Can we go somewhere else?"
Both of them left the group to finish the conversation.
"Lloyd, we're leaving at noon tomorrow. Don't be late, ok?"
Lloyd smiled and nodded at the fact that even after Naruto had humiliated him, she still wanted him to go.
"I'll be there, and have your present ready."
"Thank you Lloyd, it means so much to me."
"Hey, that's what friends are for, right?"
Both of them left to go back to the group. Colette looked at them before smiling.
"I'm going to go and find Naruto. Then we can leave, ok?"
They nodded as Colette left in the direction Naruto had gone. She walked into the trees and squeaked, falling over in surprise as she heard Naruto's voice from almost directly behind her.
"Colette, I'm here."
Naruto sweat dropped as Colette looked around wildly.
Colette looked up and saw Naruto hanging upside down off a branch as if it were the most normal thing in the world.
"Wow! Naruto, how did you do that?"
Naruto raised an eyebrow.
"Chakra, or mana as you guys call it, doesn't just have to be used for spells. Chakra can be used to do anything. You name it, it's probably possible."
Colette's eyes lit up as she started dreaming of various things.
Naruto hummed as he though back to his time in his world and his eyes snapped open when he remembered his trip to Hoshigakure no Sato as a Genin with Team Gai.
"It's possible, yes. A rare ability, but possible."
Colette nodded, getting a serious look on her face.
"Naruto the reason I wanted to talk to you two separately was because I don't want Lloyd to come. I care about him too deeply to let him get involved. I also want to help you get back to your friends and family in your world, as well as I know you can do what you say you can. I also have a feeling you're hiding a lot more than you're showing us…"
"That's true. We all have our secrets, and mine is very sensitive. I'm not usually like I am now, but your friends don't exactly understand the meaning of the word tact…"
Colette nodded slowly.
"They say things they don't mean some times, but they have good hearts. When you looked at Lloyd, I've never seen such sadness in a person. Would you mind telling me what was wrong?"
Naruto shook his head as he tried to think of a way to put it.
"I will tell you, but you have to keep it a secret from everyone, especially Lloyd, ok?"
Colette nodded and placed a hand to her heart.
Naruto nodded and looked Colette in the eyes.
"Colette, Lloyd is a mirror copy of me when I was his age."
Colette's eyes widened but nodded slowly.
"What about him?"
Naruto shook his head.
"Think of any of his personality traits. The hot temper, the stubbornness, the desperate need to be recognised and most of all, the iron will to never give up. That's why I get so confused around him. Because I used to hate myself for being too weak to do what I needed to do, for being too stupid to figure things out my team mates figured out in seconds, but I feel so sad around him because I see a part of myself I would rather forget about and protect at the same time. Normally, I'm a lot like Lloyd, but I have a lot weighing on my mind at the moment. Colette, could I make an extra request?"
Colette had listened to this with absolute fascination and happiness that there was a very good reason Naruto was so 'cold' towards Lloyd.
"What is it Naruto?"
Naruto sighed and closed his eyes, before opening them again.
"In my home village, it's customary for people of my rank to take on either an apprentice or team of apprentices. Up until now, I've never found a person or team who understood what it meant to be a team. Lloyd knows and he knows it instinctively. He has the 'I'll never let my friends die as long as I breathe' mentality. I've waited for two years to find a team or a single person who not only uses words to say it that but their body as well."
Colette looked down at the ground. She was internally torn between denying Naruto's request and granting it. She looked up and smiled sweetly.
"Ok, you can bring him. Please come at midday tomorrow. Ask Lloyd where to meet us."
The one bad thing about Colette for Naruto was that he couldn't tell when she was lying. He'd never been able to do so with non ninjas, and it was very unnerving.
"Thank you, Colette."
Colette nodded and walked away, mentally cursing herself for not only lying to Lloyd, but for lying to Naruto and denying him a way back home. She felt absolutely disgusting as she walked back and said her final goodbyes to Lloyd and Dirk before leaving the clearing with Genis and Raine to get ready for tomorrow. Once they had left, they turned to see Naruto coming back out of the forest. Lloyd narrowed his eyes and turned away, going back inside.
"I'm going to bed. G'night, dad."
Naruto called out to Lloyd.
"Lloyd, can I speak to you for a second?"
Lloyd stopped just before the door shut, and called back out.
"What do you want?"
Naruto scratched the back of his head and looked down at the ground.
"Lloyd… I'm sorry for treating you like I did... You remind me of someone who was very close to me that died before my eyes while I couldn't save him…"
Dirk caught on and raised an eyebrow at the analogy of Naruto's 'personality death'. The door slowly opened and Lloyd stuck his head back out, his features softened considerably from the hardened scowl that was on them seconds before.
"Yeah, I'm sorry as well. So, did Colette tell you when she was leaving?"
Naruto nodded and followed Lloyd inside. Lloyd thankfully didn't ask when she had told him when they were leaving, saving him the hassle. Naruto's stomach growled, making him chuckle sheepishly.
"You wouldn't happen to have any ramen, would you?"
Both of them had clearly never heard of the food, making Naruto groan. He was thankful he'd sealed almost a month's supply inside several scrolls that were sitting in his ninja pouch.
"You have boiling water, right?"
Dirk nodded and filled a kettle up with water before placing it onto the stove. Naruto reached into his back pouch and pulled out a red scroll with the Kanji for 'Food' on it. They stared at it as Naruto opened it, which is when they gasped, making Naruto look up.
"Is something wrong?"
Dirk's eyes narrowed.
"Where'd ye get tha'?"
"I made it myself."
Dirk's eyes narrowed further as he came over and looked at it. Lloyd whistled.
"I though dwarfs were the only ones who could make charms or seals anymore…"
Naruto looked at Lloyd before smiling.
"Where I come from, sealing masters are rare, but seals are used in every day combat. A lot of highly ranked ninja are able to make the most basic seals such as exploding tags, but only a seals master can do make ones much more complex than that."
Lloyd looked at Naruto in incomprehension.
"You know that all seals do when you break it down to the most basic part is to either contain something until you need it or suppress something for as long as needed, right?"
Lloyd looked at Naruto as if he'd grown another head.
"They're they same thing!"
Dirk shook his head.
"Not quite, Lloyd. What he means is that some types of seals or charms are meant to keep something contained until you need it, or in the second case, keep something trapped until they don't need to be trapped anymore. For example, with exploding tags, I assume they contain an explosion until you need to release it?"
Naruto nodded slowly.
"Kind of, yeah."
Dirk nodded and went back to his explanation.
"And the second type would be to keep an enemy imprisoned until you no longer need to keep it imprisoned, like when it's dead."
Realisation dawned on Lloyd.
"Oh, I see."
Naruto nodded in agreement.
"You can break it down further and say that seals do just that; they seal things. Anyway, the way we do it where I come from is we seal objects into seals like these, turning the object into its Kanji equivalent. For example, in this scroll are about three hundred servings of ramen. If I were to pull all of them out, it would fill up this entire house."
Lloyd's eyes widened.
"That's not possible!"
Naruto nodded and pointed to a Kanji so Lloyd could see it.
"This is one Kanji. Watch."
Naruto pressed his hand to it, and it was surrounded by smoke, making Lloyd become weary. When it cleared, Lloyd's jaw literally fell open and Dirk whistled as five small colourful packets of something called 'cup ramen' appeared out of no where. Naruto put them down and heard the kettle boil. He put the scroll down and grabbed the kettle. Both Lloyd's and Dirk's eyes were still on the scroll and the packets of ramen. Naruto peeled the lid off one and poured the water in. Naruto rolled the scroll back up and chucked it to Lloyd.
Lloyd braced himself for a massive load but stared at the scroll in incomprehension.
"How can this weigh so little?"
Naruto smiled as he finished pouring the last of the water into the last cup.
"Like I said, our seals turn objects into their Kanji equivalent. While things are seals, they weight only as much as the ink they're written with."
Dirk's eyes narrowed.
"Yeh said yeh made this yerself, correct?"
Lloyd caught on.
"But you said only sealing masters could make more than those explosive tag things!"
Naruto chucked and sat down.
Lloyd stared at Naruto.
"That means you're…"
"A Fuuinjutsu master? I'm not as good as either of my Senseis who were the Fuuinjutsu masters of their generations, but I'm apparently pretty good. Both of them said I am the Fuuinjutsu master of my generation and had the potential to be the best one yet, but I don't think I'm that good… At least, not yet…"
Lloyd was trying to comprehend the full one eighty degree personality change in Naruto and failing miserably. Before, he'd seemed so cold and arrogant, but now he seemed so friendly and modest. Dirk chuckled and put a hand on his adoptive son's shoulder.
"He might tell you eventually, Lloyd. As for now, I say we have dinner and get to sleep. Both of you have a lot to do tomorrow and for a while yet it seems."
Both of them nodded as they sat. Naruto passed each of them one of the cups of boiling noodles, which they gratefully accepted. Lloyd was probably more interested in looking at the cup than the food. Naruto groaned at their reactions.
"You guys don't have plastics yet, do you?"
Dirk shook his head. Naruto sat back and thought about how to question this without giving too much away. However, Lloyd beat him to the punch.
"I don't know any place that's made this plastic stuff…"
Dirk looked at Naruto's calculative face and turned to Lloyd.
"Lloyd, it'd be best not to ask questions about Naruto's past or where he's from until he's ready to tell you. It's very sensitive to him."
Lloyd looked at Dirk and nodded slowly.
The rest of the dinner was eaten in pretty much silence. Afterwards, they left the table. Naruto and Lloyd wished dirk good night and went upstairs. Lloyd immediately went over to a small work bench where there were several tools and pieces of metal on it. Naruto smiled.
"That Colette's birthday present?"
Lloyd nodded and smiled sheepishly.
"I didn't get to finish it in time…"
Naruto smiled as he leaned up against the wall.
"You forgot, right?"
Lloyd's grin turned into suppressed anger.
"No, I didn't."
Naruto smiled and held up a hand.
"I didn't mean that as an attack. No one's memory is perfect except for those weirdos who have a photographic memory…"
Lloyd tilted his head to the side and stared at Lloyd blankly.
"From what I've been able to tell, they do not forget a single thing they see, hear, smell, touch or taste. Not a single thing from their first memory until their last."
Lloyd's eyes widened.
"Wow. There are people like that?"
"Not many, but they exist. All of the one's I've talked to said it was useful and annoying as well."
"How could something like that being annoying?"
Naruto chuckled. That was exactly what he would have said at Lloyd's age.
"Well, sure you get to remember everything you want to remember just as you saw it when it happened, but also the things you don't want to, like a friend dying or something like that."
Lloyd's features softened.
"Oh… I didn't think of that…"
Naruto laughed softly.
"At your age, few of us do."
Naruto came up to Lloyd's side and watched as he worked. He chatted with Lloyd for the rest of the night about his life. If Naruto needed more conversation that Lloyd was a clone of himself, his past was all that he needed. Lloyd was the dobe of his class in school and according to what he found out today from his father, the strange gem on his right hand called an Exsphere was unique even among other Exspheres. Lloyd didn't know why it was so special, but he knew it was. When Naruto questioned what an Exsphere was, Lloyd refrained from blurting out a 'you don't know what an Exsphere was?', remembering his father's advice and explained what it was.
"An Exshpere is an object which brings out or dormant powers and amplifies our existing ones. However, if you attach a keycrest directly onto the skin, it will cause an effect called 'Exsphere Toxicosis', making you very weak and eventually kill you. The only way to stop it doing that is to get a special type of ore called Inhibitor Ore and carve a charm into it, placing it between the Exsphere and your skin. I would have died a while ago if I didn't have this."
Naruto nodded slowly. Lloyd smiled.
"I bet if you used yours, you'd be really strong!"
Naruto sighed and turned around.
"I probably would be. But if what I think would happen did, it would be best if I never wore one."
Lloyd raised an eyebrow but said nothing as Naruto turned back around.
"You'll find out eventually why. Anyway, I'm going to sleep. I'll see you in the morning, ok?"
Naruto nodded and walked outside onto the balcony.
"Night Lloyd. Try and get some sleep."
Lloyd smiled and went back to work.
"Can't make any promises there."
Naruto chuckled and walked outside, staring up at the stars. He tried to find a single constellation he recognised and couldn't find a single one or something even remotely close to one. What shocked him the most was a second moon was now coming over the horizon. A green moon. If he questioned Lloyd about that, Lloyd would definitely know that Naruto wasn't from this planet and so kept his mouth shut. He sighed as he stretched out, trying to get at least some sleep before tomorrow.
Naruto had woken up out of habit at dawn, and looked around, remembering what had transpired the day before. It was very unlikely that Kakashi had been able to contact Jiraiya within less than twenty four hours, even if a messenger bird had been sent the second Naruto had taken the jutsu for Sasuke. Naruto could still hear Lloyd working away and sighed, calling out to Lloyd through the open window shutter.
"You didn't sleep at all last night, did you?"
Naruto heard Lloyd stop for a second before continuing.
"Nah. I won't get a chance to finish it after this, so I gotta get it done now."
Naruto smiled and stood up, stretching. He smiled as he thought about what he had told Colette about concerning Lloyd last night. The problem was, he didn't know how to broach the offer of training Lloyd to him.
"What did you learn in school? Like, what did you personally learn?"
There was silence for a moment before Lloyd went back to work and answered.
"When I went to the academy, I didn't learn anything either. And probably only one lesson I was ever taught there was of any use to me, which was the extra lesson I got for detention one day."
Lloyd stopped work, probably trying to comprehend this insight into Naruto's life.
"You didn't learn anything?"
"Not a thing. Everything I know is from what I learnt outside the academy apart from that lesson in detention. What you learn and how you apply it to real life you only get from real life experiences. I could tell you a whole bunch of stuff old geezers would tell you, and it'd mean nothing to you now. But when you get to about my age, you start understanding."
"Eh, so when I get to be about 20, I'll be an old geezer? I never want to get old!"
Naruto couldn't help but laugh out loud. Once he'd calmed down, he clarified what he meant.
"No, I meant that when you compare an old man to me, it's like comparing me to a pre teen."
Lloyd grunted his acknowledgment that he's heard the statement. Several seconds after, there was a crash and Lloyd started cursing. Naruto got up and opened the door to see Lloyd had dropped a tool that looked like a wrench on his toes and was hopping around holding his toe. Naruto smirked as he leaned up against the wall. The pain in Lloyd's foot eventually died down and he returned to work. Naruto smiled as he took a seat leaning up against Lloyd's undisturbed bed as he thought about a different way to broach the subject.
"Lloyd, do you want to become strong?"
Lloyd nodded as he continued working.
"Yeah. I want to get strong."
"Why do you want to become strong?"
Lloyd stopped and thought about it for a second.
"I want to get strong enough to make Kratos believe I'm not getting in the way anymore."
Naruto raised an eyebrow. Even judging by the names of Lloyd and his friends, Kratos was a very foreign sounding name.
Lloyd looked surprised for a second and then remembered he hadn't told Naruto yet.
"Kratos is this really arrogant mercenary who's going to be protecting Colette. He says I'm nothing but a hindrance and I don't think before I act."
Naruto snorted, making Lloyd look at him.
"When I see Kratos, I'll decide if he has the right to be that arrogant."
Lloyd smiled and went back to work. Soon after, Naruto's stomach growled loudly, which made Lloyd's reply in kind. Naruto stood up and smiled sheepishly.
"I'll get us something to eat."
Lloyd shook his head.
"Family rule. No eating upstairs."
Naruto nodded and reached into his pouch, pulling out a small cloth bag that was tightened with draw stings. He opened it and pulled out a small dark brown pill.
"Lloyd, eat this. It'll give you back your energy."
Lloyd caught the pill and looked over it.
"Just a warning, it doesn't taste very good and it won't fill you up for long."
Lloyd nodded and chucked it into his mouth and bit down. His face instantly twisted into a grimace.
"What the hell is this?"
Naruto smiled. He remembered the first time he'd eaten one and made a face like that.
"It's called a soldier pill. Chew it several more times and then swallow. There's a sweet aftertaste."
Lloyd nodded and chewed several more times before swallowing. He waited for several seconds before his eyes shot open.
"Wow! I feel great! And it tastes like vanilla!"
Naruto smirked and went downstairs to make himself some proper breakfast. He called back up the stairs to Lloyd.
"Don't think you can just pop them all the time. They're not a substitute for proper food and they're expensive."
There was no answer, so Naruto continued down the stairs to see that Dirk wasn't inside, however, there was a note next to the stove and a still simmering pot of stew on it. Naruto picked up the note and his eyebrows rose.
'To Lloyd and Naruto,
I've gone for a walk. There's breakfast in the pot. When you're ready to leave, come and see me. I'll be just outside.'
Naruto saw a pair of clean plates next to the note and grabbed one, lifting the ladle out of the pot and scooping several large dollops onto the plate before going to sit at the table. He offered a silent pre meal prayer before digging in. After he had finished, he looked at his watch out of habit and snorted at it's read out.
"4:53 pm… Yeah right…"
Naruto got up and went to the sink, seeing the sink was already full of relatively clean soapy water, he dunked the plate in it and went back upstairs. When he saw Lloyd working on the present with renewed vigour, he smirked.
"Seems the soldier pill's working…"
Lloyd nodded enthusiastically.
"It works even better than an apple and orange gel together!"
Naruto raised an eyebrow but said nothing. He didn't know what common knowledge of this world was and not, so he had to just observe. He was brought out of his musings by Lloyd's next question.
"What are those things made of?"
"Not sure. Medicine's not my specialty. Anyway, what time is it?"
Lloyd looked outside at the sun for a moment and then sighed.
"It's about 7 am. I'll finish this up and then have some breakfast and we can get going."
Naruto nodded and took a seat on the stool in Lloyd's room. They chatted for the next two hours before Lloyd held up the finished product.
Naruto looked over at it. It was somewhat crude as far as jewellery went, but he wouldn't be able to make something better even if he tried. Lloyd put the necklace into one of his many coat pockets and walked down the stairs. He saw the note left by his dad and followed much the same process Naruto had earlier that morning. Once Lloyd had finished, both of them went outside and saw Dirk standing at the grave. They approached him, making Dirk turn around. Lloyd spoke up.
"Dad, we're going to help Colette with the world regeneration."
"I thought you'd say that, so I prepared some things for your trip."
Dirk handed Lloyd what looked like a map, some coins, a bottle of liquid and a reddish glob of gelatine that was stored inside a bottle as well as a key crest.
"Wow, thanks dad!"
Dirk nodded slowly.
"Dwarven Vow Number 2: Never abandon someone in need. I'm just goen' along with the teachings. I'm grateful that you called me, a non human, yer father. I remember when I found ya at the ranch, yeh were barely old enough to walk. Yeh were scared senseless of me and yeh cried all the time. Now, you've become a fine swordsman and man. One day, when yeh become a full grown man like Naruto here, I'll have somethen special for yeh."
Lloyd smiled as he hugged his dad.
After a while, they let go and Dirk turned to Naruto.
"Naruto, I've known yeh for less than a day, but I can tell yeh have what it takes to make sure the world regeneration is successful. I probably won't ask yeh anything else, but please make sure Colette and Lloyd are safe until they can defend themselves."
Naruto nodded and took the man's hand, which Dirk gave a massive squeeze.
At that point, they heard rushed footsteps behind them and turned to see Genis running up to them, panting with Lloyd's 'pet' not far behind them.
"Genis! Great timing! We were about to go and see Colette!"
Genis looked up at Lloyd in a very angry manner, which made Naruto scowl.
"I knew it."
They turned to Naruto as he growled.
"She lied to us. She said they were leaving at midday."
Genis's eyes widened.
"What? Oh no… No wonder you didn't turn up… We don't have much time, we gotta hurry!"
Naruto looked at both of them.
"How fast can you two move?"
They looked at Naruto and then each other.
"I'm going to use chakra to enhance my movements, meaning I'll literally be kicking up a dust trail. Can you keep up with that?"
Both of them shook their head, making Naruto look at Lloyd's pet.
"Can you ride on it?"
Naruto looked at his pet and then nodded.
"Alright, let's go, Noishe!"
Both of them jumped onto the animals back while Naruto turned to them.
"Where is Iselia?"
Lloyd pointed over a line of trees to the north.
"Out of the forest that way."
Naruto nodded and concentrated before taking off, and as he said, leaving a dust trail behind him. Lloyd sweat dropped and Noishe took off at a much more sedate pace compared to Naruto.
Almost 2 Minutes Later, Outside Iselia:
The two guards posted outside the small village looked up as they saw a dust cloud flying towards them and got their pitch forks ready. The dust cloud came right up in front of them and stopped. When it cleared, they saw a rather tall boy with piercing blue eyes, sun kissed blonde hair and a fashion sense that made Lloyd look like a king. The guard on the left looked at Naruto fearfully.
"Wh… Who are you?"
Naruto smiled widely.
"A friend of Lloyd's. He'll be here soon enough."
Sure enough, a completely ragged Noishe came out of the forest with Lloyd and Genis on it's back. It came up to the gate and dropped to the ground, panting. Lloyd looked at Naruto in amazement.
"Wow, you were fast, Naruto!"
Naruto smiled at Lloyd, while the two guards turned to the red wearing sword wielder.
"Lloyd, Phaidra asked me to send you to her when you got here."
They nodded and walked through the gates, while Noishe limped back the way they came. Lloyd led the way to the back of the village. Naruto paid no attention to the villagers who stopped and stared at him, several in disgust and several in fear. Naruto had never been here before, and it was already turning into a Konoha without the good bits. Lloyd led them to what was easily the largest house in the tiny village and opened the door. Inside, Naruto saw a middle aged man with short blonde hair as well as an elderly woman who looked up at them. Lloyd looked at the elderly woman with concern clearly evident on his face.
"Phaidra, did you say you wanted to see us?"
"Indeed I did, Lloyd. You must be Naruto, correct?"
"I am, Phaidra -San. However, I wish to know why Colette lied to me and denied me the chance to get back to my place of birth."
Phaidra smiled at Naruto and looked at a letter on the table.
"Colette would not tell me; however, she said she wanted both you and Lloyd to read that letter."
Naruto looked at Lloyd. Their eyes met and Naruto nodded, picking up the letter.
'Dear Lloyd and Naruto,
I'm sorry for lying to both of you, but I care too much about Lloyd to get him involved, and I couldn't let you get him involved Naruto. I'm so sorry. Lloyd, I'm truly thankful for your friendship all these years. I'm truly luck to have met you. Naruto, I didn't know you for very long, but I can tell you have a heart of gold. I have one request. Please take care of Lloyd for me. Thank you, and goodbye.
Naruto looked up at Phaidra.
"This is a will."
Everyone in the room looked at Naruto whose face showed he was barely suppressing his anger. Lloyd looked at Frank for an explanation.
"Frank, what is this? Why did she lie to us about the time?"
Frank sighed shaking his head.
"You could call it a will of sorts. There's something we have been keeping from the villagers. Lloyd, Genis, Naruto, the journey of world regeneration will be the-"
Frank was cut off as several loud explosions pierced the silence, making everyone looked out the window. Naruto looked at Lloyd and Genis.
"We'll find out what is about later. Lloyd, Genis, let's find out what's happening."
Neither of them disagreed and the three of them charged out the door to find the village on fire, bodies strewn everywhere. Naruto looked around and saw several men in red and black skin tight clothes with metal helmets that completely covered their heads. Naruto pointed to two that were directly south of them, watching a building burn.
"Genis, Lloyd, I'm leaving those two to you. I'll take care of the rest. Meet in the village plaza when you've finished. Go!"
Neither of them were in any state to argue, seeing the village was in the state it was in. Naruto disappeared, leaving Genis and Lloyd to run down the curving street, dodging bodies and flaming debris. Eventually, they met up with the two enemies.
"Damn, the Desians!"
The Desians turned to Lloyd and Genis. The one with a crossbow pointed at them.
"Look! More survivors! Get them!"
A quick and savage battle ensued, with Lloyd and Genis coming out without a scratch. Both of them remembered Naruto's instructions and ran to the entrance of the village which was deemed the 'village plaza' because it was the widest open space in the village. A Desian with a golden headdress, a backpack and a staff looked at them.
"Lloyd Irving, come forth!"
Both Lloyd and Genis came from the side and stood in front of the multitude of Desians. Lloyd snarled at them.
"Damn it, you Desians have come to attack the village again! I've had enough of this! Fire you attack the Chosen, and now this! When are you going to be satisfied?"
The speaker looked to the one on his right and started laughing.
"Us? Attack the Chosen? I see now, it must have been them."
"Mind telling us who 'them' is exactly?"
Everyone whipped their heads in the direction of the voice to see Naruto standing lazily behind the speaker, who fell back in surprise. Naruto snorted.
Naruto stiffened as he felt a very powerful chakra source behind him.
"I would advise you to not intimidate my men like that. This has nothing to do with you, so step aside human."
Naruto looked at the aqua green haired man who was dressed in the strangest clothes he had ever seen. His right arm was also covered in some sort of metal canister.
"Well then, mortal, answer my question and I might consider it."
Everyone raised an eyebrow at Naruto's emphasised word. One of the crossbowmen raised his weapon and took aim.
"How dare you refer to Lord Forcystus like that, scum!"
He fired the crossbow bolt at Naruto, who whipped a hand up and caught the bolt between two fingers casually, making the Desians go on guard. For effect, Naruto snapped the bolt in half with those two fingers and looked at the bowmen.
"Are you in a hurry to die? I can oblige you, if you wish."
"With all of us here? Do you think you have any chance of winning?"
The man known as Forcystus held up a hand.
"Judging by his levels of mana, I have little doubt the human can back up his words without much difficulty."
Every single one of the Desians stepped away from Naruto while Forcystus narrowed his eyes at Naruto.
"It is truly a pity you are a human. If you had been a half elf, I have little doubt you would have been a very powerful Desian."
Naruto waved him off and back flipped over the nearest Desians' head, landing next to Lloyd.
"Even so, the fact remains that I'm not, and I never will be. Now, tell us why you have done this-"
He indicated the burning village.
"And I may let you live, depending on your answer."
Forcystus's eyes locked onto Lloyd's.
"Lloyd Irving, you a human, have been found guilty of breaching the non aggression treaty, coming into contact with host body F 134."
"Was this treaty on paper?"
"It was, signed by both myself and the mayor."
"Treaties aren't worth the paper they're written on. A hand shake or a treaty on paper is no better than a verbal agreement with no witnesses; your word against ours."
Everyone gasped at this before an old man with grey hair stood in front of Naruto.
"Do you have any idea what you're doing?"
Naruto looked down at the man.
"Last time I checked, I was trying to save you."
The man scoffed.
"Being a friend of Lloyds, I should have known better. I wouldn't be surprised if you had something to do with this!"
Naruto released a small amount of focused killer intent at the man, making his drop to his knees and quiver. Naruto sighed and shook his head.
"I really, really hate judgmental people like him. I've had to deal with enough of them in my life."
The villagers gathered around the mayor to check if he was alright. One woman looked up at him.
"What did you do to him?"
Naruto looked at the woman.
"Stopped him from digging a bigger hole for this village. He'll be fine soon enough."
"Is there internal confusion?"
Naruto looked at him.
"No. I was never really part of this village, so internal is not the right word."
Forcystus smiled and snapped his fingers.
"Lloyd Irving, we have prepared a suitable opponent for your crime."
A towering creature made of twisted green and off white flesh limped into the plaza, much as a zombie would. Naruto however, knew this was no ordinary monster.
"That thing has a human chakra source… Who is, or was that?"
Naruto heard a voice in his head. However, it was not the Kyuubi. It sounded like an elderly female in obvious pain.
"Genis… Lloyd… Run away! I can't control myself…"
Genis gasped. He'd obviously heard it too.
"That sounds like Marble…"
The monster walked up to them and smashed the mayor out of the way, who was just starting to recover. Naruto sighed and looked at Lloyd and Genis.
"Lloyd, Genis, this is your fight. I'm not permitted to interfere."
Naruto jumped back, leaving them to face the monster. The monster lumbered forward and aimed a wide sweep with its' mutilated clawed arm, striking one of Lloyd's wooden swords. Lloyd just managed to absorb the blow before striking at the monster's arm, making a deep gash that spewed dark green blood and the monster shuddered in obvious agony. Genis began channelling a spell, an intricate circle of red mana around him. After a while, he announced his spell.
Three fireballs were launched out of Genis' kendama. The trio of fireballs flew through the air, heading straight for the monster. The monster brought up it's wounded arm and took the fireballs, cauterizing Lloyd's slash wound instantly and burning the rest of the arm. The arm was now hanging loosely by its side. Lloyd ran behind it and around to the other side, trying to disable the other arm. However, the monster seemed to have a violent fit of pain. Its arm shot out, catching the unsuspecting Lloyd full in the chest, sending him tumbling to the ground, where he stayed, groaning. Genis looked at his dazed friend.
Genis glanced back at the monster and shut his eyes.
"I'm sorry, Marble…"
A circle of green mana surrounded him and he released his spell.
Several wisps of razer sharp, mana infused air ripped into the monster's chest, cutting into it severely. The monster tried to go onwards, but collapsed and stayed still. Genis ran over to Lloyd as did Naruto. Lloyd had a somewhat serious cut to his chest from one of the spikes on the monsters arm. Naruto held out a hand, stopping Genis from getting any closer.
"Let me heal him."
Naruto formed several hand seals and his hand was surrounded by the lite green healing chakra and he placed it on Lloyd's wound. Several years ago, Tsunade had insisted Naruto learn some basic medical jutsus to help heal his friends when they were in need. He remembered the incident well.
Flashback, Tsunade's Office:
"Tsunade-Obaachan, did you need me? Like, is there a mission where I have to protect a really famous person? Or maybe a Daimyo?"
Tsunade's eye twitched at the casual reference, but let it pass.
"I did, Naruto, however, not for a mission I want you to learn some medical jutsu."
"I have it. I don't need them. And other wounds from our team Sakura-Chan can heal."
Tsunade sighed as she sat back. It was true that the Kyuubi's healing of its container practically eliminated the need for Naruto to learn medical jutsus for his own sake, but that was not why she wanted to teach him them.
"Naruto, what happens when you become a Jounin and are sent on solo missions where you are required to protect a target and he is wounded to the point where if you move him, he will die? You can't just hope that a friendly medic Nin will pass by."
Naruto waved it off.
"That won't happen."
Tsunade's eye was now twitching madly.
"I don't think you get the point, Naruto. I'm telling you, you are going to learn some medical jutsu."
Naruto looked at Tsunade before turning around and began walking towards the door.
"No thanks, Obaachan. I'm going to go and train."
Tsunade smirked evilly as a plan came into her head.
"If you don't learn them, I will never even consider you for the position of Rokudaime Hokage."
Naruto froze as Tsunade blackmailed Naruto again.
"I heard Konohamaru wanted to be Hokage as well…"
Naruto shot back around and raced up to the desk.
Tsunade smirked. Naruto was so utterly predictable sometimes.
Naruto was now glad Tsunade had taught him the healing jutsu. Everyone's eyes widened as the wound on Lloyd's chest sealed, covered in scarless skin. Genis spoke everyone's thoughts.
"You can use the healing arts…"
"Only a few basic ones, though. Medicine isn't my speciality. That's my team mates department."
Lloyd slowly got up and shook his head.
Naruto got back up, while continuing to look at Lloyd.
"You were pretty badly wounded. I managed to heal you though."
Lloyd nodded and extended his right hand to Naruto, which Naruto grabbed and tugged Lloyd to a standing position. Forcystus gasped at Lloyd's Exsphere.
"That Exsphere! It's the one from the Angelus Project we've been searching for! Give it to me!"
Lloyd turned to Forcystus.
"Never! This is a memento of my mom, who you Desians murdered!"
Forcystus raised an eyebrow.
"What are you talking about? Your mother was-"
Forcystus didn't get to finish his sentence as the monster latched onto him, restraining his arms.
"Lloyd, Genin, run! Genis, you were like a grandson to me. Thank you for freeing me… Goodbye…"
The monster flashed bright yellow and then exploded, severely scorching Forcystus' back. The three boys were aware of a red gem that rolled and bounced, ending up in front of Genis. Genis scooped it up and looked at in horror.
Naruto saw his chance to finish Forcystus.
"Now I can finish you off!"
Naruto charged in there with blinding speed, but it seemed Forcystus still had some strength left as he lifted the cylinder on his arm up and pointed it directly at Naruto who was less than a foot away from the end of it.
"One wrong move human, and I'll make sure you cover this entire plaza. I'm not one of the five Desian Grand Cardinals for nothing."
Naruto was not sure of how fast or powerful this weapon was, but he didn't want to risk it. He nodded and flipped backwards several times, landing next to Lloyd. Forcystus' guards surrounded him as he looked at Lloyd.
"Lloyd, as long as you have that Exsphere, we will always come after you. Always."
With that, the Desians retreated back the way they had come. The mayor coughed, making everyone look at him. He seemed to be suffering from a minor case of smoke inhalation.
"Look what you've done!"
Lloyd hung his head in shame.
"Don't say it, Lloyd."
Everyone looked at Naruto as he stared at the mayor.
"This was exactly how I was treated in my hometown, and I did nothing like this. No matter how many times I protected them, saved them or was nice to them, they detested me. I actually think you have nothing to apologise for. Did you attempt to save that woman before?"
Lloyd nodded, amazed that from Forcystus' 'appropriate opponent for your crime' line, Naruto had figured that out.
"Then you have done nothing wrong. Those who do not follow orders are trash; those who do not take care of their friends are far beneath that. If they don't realise that, they are so blinded by hatred their judgment is clouded."
One woman tried to fight back for the villagers.
"The people in the ranch are just going to rot there, anyway!"
Naruto glared at the woman, making her falter.
"So, as long as it's not you rotting there, it's fine is it? You people really are disgusting. Lloyd, Genis, we're leaving. We all have a mission to complete. Don't waste your time on idiots like them."
Naruto turned around, noticing that neither Lloyd nor Genis were following him, so he turned around again.
"You do realise that they will do one of several things now. They will either have you executed, banished or imprisoned. This village is a lost cause. Remember, as long as you don't regret what you've done, you have done nothing wrong. Lloyd, do you want Colette to die?"
Lloyd shook his head madly.
"Without our help, that's what will happen. Lloyd, remember what I said. Those who don't take care of their friends are worse than trash. That goes for you too, Genis. These people aren't the type to accept those who are different from them. Let's move. If we leave now, we should be able to catch up to them within several days travel."
Lloyd and Genis nodded slowly and began following Naruto out of the village. Everyone was gob smacked that this young blond had taken the situation out of their hands completely and made them look like the ones in the wrong at the same time. The Mayor started trembling in rage.
"I order you to come back here!"
Naruto laughed out loud, calling out to them.
"You obviously didn't listen very well. If we listen to you, we're lower than trash. If we don't we're just trash. I know which I would pick. Let's go you two!"
Lloyd and Genis half smiled at their unofficial leader's enthusiasm and ability to turn any situation around to their advantage with just words. They walked through the gates of the burning village, leaving their old lives behind to start a new one in the outside world.
A/N: Now that's what I call a prologue! I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. I'll catch you around!