1This is a rewrite of chapter 1. I am probably going to go through and rewrite all the chapters before continuing with the story. I want to say thanks to all the reviewers that have supported me so far, and to those who are willing to continue to support me by reviewing. To them and everyone else who reads this story, I apologize for the wait. I hope you find the rewrite to be better than the original.
Chapter 1 – In the midst of war
Disclaimer: its not that I don't want to own Naruto… but I don't.
Jumping over an approaching leg, Naruto finished his set of hand seals and called out his attack. 'Fire type: Dragon flame technique' a thick stream of fire burst out of his mouth, quickly incinerating his opponent. Flipping backwards, over another enemies punch, he flung two kunai in opposite directions, taking out two more nins. Once he landed he swept the legs of the nin who had tried to punch him out from under him and, twisting sharply, shoved his last kunai through his enemies temple. Crouching down for a moment to catch his breath he surveyed the landscape. It had once been a training ground, one he had used often. Now it was barely recognizable.
Standing up from his crouch he immediately snatched a stray kunai out of the air. After creating a small group of shadow clones, he ordered them to jump in unison and throw their kunai in the direction that the stray had came from. Flying through the hand seals as one they shouted, 'shadow shuriken technique'. The small group of kunai soon turned into hundreds that flew at a group of enemy nin with deadly success. After that he jumped into the thickest mass of enemy nins that was closest to him and started fighting with taijutsu, buying some time to let Kyuubi replenish his chakra.
As he went through the stances of his own unique style, taking out any of those who were foolish enough to come within striking distance, his mind went back to just three days ago, when the madness had all started.
The meeting had been called not to any specific group in Konoha, but to all of it. Naruto couldn't remember anything like this ever happening before so he knew it must be important.
'It darn well better be important,' he thought to himself, 'interrupting my training like that.'
He had grown a lot in the year he had been back from his training trip with Jiarya and was always training when he a free moment from missions. He had taken the chuunin exam a few months after he got back and ended up beating every opponent who came against him with ridiculous ease. Many people had changed their view on him after that as they realized that if he really was a 'demon' he could have killed them all at any time, and with little trouble.
Turning the corner he froze, seeing the mass of people before him. Konoha was a very big village and almost all of its citizens, if indeed not all of them, stood before him. The hokage tower stood majestically above the crowd, the symbol on its front proudly standing out.
"Hey, Naruto," a familiar voice shouted snapping him out of his thoughts. Turning Naruto saw Shikamaru walking towards him.
"Hey Shika, what's up?" Naruto responded, repeating the nickname he'd heard Ino call him.
"Troublesome," Shikamaru sighed loudly, before taking a long puff out of the cigarette he had stuck in the corner of his mouth, "I was just going to tell you that all shinobi are to report to the spot in the front, since this apparently concerns us the most."
"Oh, good," Naruto said, scratching the back of his head. He got the impression that he should have known this.
"Well let's go, the sooner we get this over with the better," Shikamaru sighed, walking forward.
With a small smirk for his friends antics Naruto fell in step beside Shikamaru and soon they were at the front of the crowed, joining the rest of the rooky nine who were all ready there.
Looking around Naruto noticed that Kakashi was already there and was intently reading his precious book. His lateness hadn't really been a problem since Tsunade had said that if he didn't start showing up on time she would ban Jiarya's books from Konoha. Since then he had started showing up exactly a minute early for everything.
Noticing Tsunade walking to the podium a sudden hush fell on the large crowd. As soon as she started talking you could have heard a pin drop. Though Naruto felt very impressed by this, considering the amount of people, that thought was swept away at the ragged sight of his kage. She had blood on her robes and looked like she had been crying.
"Shinobi, citizens… Konoha. I have called you together with very grave news. This morning a shinobi stumbled into my office half dead. After giving me his message he promptly died, despite my efforts to revive him..." at this Tsunades voice cracked, and Shizune stepped forward to put a hand on her shoulder. Taking a deep breath Tsunade continued, "that person was none other than Jiarya of the legendary three." A collective gasp was heard and the crown broke into a murmur.
Naruto felt stunned, 'Ero-sennin…is dead,' he thought as the information slowly sank in. Feeling a hand on his shoulder he looked up, Shikamaru gave his shoulder a knowing squeeze. Looking around he saw all the rooky nine looking at him sadly. They all knew that Jiraiya and him had been close.
"The information he brought," Tsunade continued after the crowd quieted down, "was very important. It seems two of our strongest enemies have united, their goal is to wipe us out, and they are practically at out door step."
A scream could be heard somewhere in the crowd and talking broke out again.
"They are a union between the Hidden Sound and the Hidden Cloud villages," Tsunade pressed on, "they are calling themselves the Army of Thunder. They should be here in about a day. All citizens are asked to leave the village immediately, you are advised to take only what you can carry. All shinobi are to take this time to rest and prepare for this threat. You are to report back here in five hours to help prepare a defense. You are dismissed"
A fist struck Naruto's face bringing him back to the present. Cursing himself for his carelessness he quickly took the offending nin out. After he had beaten the rest of the nins around him, leaving a circle of bodies were he was standing, he looked around to see if there was anywhere he could be of help. Gai and Kakashi were standing back to back fighting fiercely. There was a wide path of body's leading up to them, showing what direction they had come from. Seeing that they were exhausted but still holding their own he looked on. A small group of Hyuuga, probably the last of the once great clan, Naruto couldn't help but think grimly, stood fighting together. Having used up most of the chakra that fulled their feared attacks they were dropping alarmingly fast. Naruto tried his best to rush over to help, but by the time he got there the last had already fallen. A tear escaped his eye as he recognized Neji's face.
'Now I'm the last of the old group,' Naruto thought sadly.
Looking around again he realized it was becoming harder and harder to find Konoha nins in the raging mass. There were just too many enemies. Too many replacements while Konoha had none.
A nin charged him with a sword, which he easily dodged before simply reaching up and snapping the nins neck. He sighed as the nin slumped to the ground. It almost didn't bother him to kill anymore. Almost.
Biting his thumb and smearing it on the symbol that was on his arm, Naruto summoned his own sword and ran forward cutting a path through his foes. That's when he noticed him.
'Sasuke,' he thought grimly, 'or rather Orochimaru.' He had failed to save his friend and it ate away at him. And almost as bad, he had broken a promise.
He had discovered that the curse seal did in fact influence some of Sasuke's actions, but instead of totally controlling him, as Sakura had insisted it had, it merely amplified his own negative desires. Not that it mattered anymore, he had learned too late. Sasuke was gone forever, his body being used by another's soul.
Naruto started to fight his way to Sasuke, taking down everyone that got in his path, including a familiar robed figure. The Akatsuki had apparently decided to join the fight soon after the invasion had begun, automatically destroying what little chance konoha had had. Tsunade had died taking out the leader of the group after she had beaten two of its other members. Sakura had also died killing a member. Sasuke would have been happy to know that his brother was now dead. Naruto really wouldn't be surprised if that was the last one he had just killed, he wasn't counting on it however.
As he neared Sas...Orochimaru, as he now had to think of him, he noticed that the evil snake was already fighting Kakashi. The surrounding nin had all backed up, not wanting to get caught in the crossfire of the two powerful ninjas, which had created a loose circle that showed the bodies of the fallen within it. Seeing bright green and orange among the fallen he knew Lee and his sensei were together again. He struggled to get closer so he could join the fight, but before he could break through the circle Kakashi was already dead.
Orochimaru pulled his hand from Kakashi's his chest as the blue glow of a chidori slowly faded away. With a cry of despair Naruto rushed forward and caught is sensei's falling body. Gently he lowered him to the ground and closed his teachers glassy eyes. All the sadness and despair that he had been holding in since the start of the war then began to overwhelm him.
"Ah, there you are Naruto-kun," Orochimaru's voice said. "I believe with Kakashi dead that makes you the last leaf nin. tell me, how does it feel?"
'The last one?' Naruto thought disbelievingly, not bothering to try and stop his freely flowing tears 'surly there's more… no he's right, I can't since any others presence.' Standing up Naruto looked around. Well over a hundred shinobi stood in a thick circle around him and Orochimaru, all bore the sigil of the Army of Thunder.
'That's about a tenth of the original force' he thought, suddenly filled with pride. The Konoha nins had been severely out numbered and had only a day to prepare, yet they had all proven themselfs strong and worthy people.
"How does it feel?" Naruto asked in a gravely voice, slowly standing up, "it sucks, but I can't but feel a sense of pride. Not one Konoha nin fled when they were given the chance, Orochimaru. They fought better than ten to one odds with little warning, and they all fought until the end."
"Yes, yes," Orochimaru laughed, "but that doesn't change the fact that there all dead, now does it? Once you die Konoha will be no more, just a story, a memory from the past soon to be forgotten. Now let's stop this pointless talking and begin shall we?"
"Very well, snake-teme" Naruto said angrily as he made a ram seal, "let's get wild."
And so the battle commenced, each bringing out techniques previously unused. Elemental techniques took down nins who weren't quick enough to get back. More techniques took out those who had backed up, their power letting them reach great distances. Most of those were done by Orochimaru who cursed every time Naruto dodged his attacks.
As time wore on the battle wore down, both nin running lower and lower on chakra. By this time only about seventy nins were left besides Naruto and Orochimaru.
Naruto dodged another swipe of Orochimaru's sword, and swiped back with his own. It was the sword of the frog summons, a weapon not seen by humans for hundreds of years. Gamabunta had given it to him after he had made chuunin, and taught him how to summon it. It held its own quite nicely against Orochimaru's 'grass cutter'.
With a loud clang both swords flew out of their owners hands. 'well so much for that,' Naruto thought. Charging his opponent he threw a punch, which Orochimaru easily dodged. The snake sanin followed up with a swift kick which Naruto rolled under before trying to uppercut the startled sanin. Flipping back Orochimaru easily dodged, throwing his foot out to kick Naruto while he was still in the air. Naruto dodged by jumping back. Now standing a good distance from each other they eyed each other warily while trying to catch their breath. It had all taken less then five seconds.
"You are indeed skilled, Naruto-kun," Orochimaru said with a smirk on his face.
"yeah, well you suck, snake freak," Naruto panted.
"ku, ku, ku," the last sanin laughed between breaths, "the point is this battle is lasting to long, I say we finish it now. What do you say to one last attack Naruto-kun?"
"I agree, lets get this over with," Naruto responded darkly.
Running through several and seals in the blink of an eye, the sanin had a chidori flashing in his palm within seconds.
Placing his arm strait out to his right Naruto charged up a fully perfected rasengan, before bending his arm and bringing it down to his side, ready to thrust it forward.
Pausing for a moment, which the observing nins would swear lasted for hours, the two charged. Meeting directly in the middle of where they both had been standing they both thrust out their last attack. A bright light flashed, followed by a powerful shock wave. When it started to clear all the remaining nins saw the silhouette of the victor, but couldn't tell who it was.
Coughing up blood, Naruto dropped to his knees. The chidori had pierced deep into his chest. Looking at the corps of what used to be his best friend, he winced, it was torn to shreds.
Coughing up more blood Naruto took a shallow breath before slipping into his mind.
Having done this so many times it didn't take him long to find the room with Kyuubi.
"Well that's that," Naruto said, sitting down in front of the cage. "any chance for survival?"
"No," the demon replied, "your body had used too much of my chakra and is starting to reject it, healing will be impossible."
"Figured as much," Naruto replied.
"I hope you haven't forgotten out deal, brat" the fox growled.
"I never break my promises, besides why else would I be here?" the last leaf shinobi replied.
Hysterical laughter suddenly erupted from the giant fox "Yes, free! Free after these long if few years of imprisonment." The demon rejoiced.
"Yeah, yeah, just don't forget to wipe those losers out once you're out. And remember, you agreed to stop needlessly attacking people after this."
"Yes, yes, foolish human, as the greatest of the tailed beasts I swear it. Now hurry we're almost out of time."
"Well…it's been, err… ok so it sucked, but still, I guess this is good bye Kyuubi. And thanks again for your help during the war. Now tell me what to do." Naruto said smiling up at Kyuubi.
Kyuubi looked at Naruto for a moment, before sighing. 'I must be growing sentimental in my old age,' Kyuubi thought. But remembering his time in the boy he couldn't help but feel… uncomfortable, demons don't feel sad. He had always thought that all humans were worthless little sacks of nothing, but after seeing life through this boys eyes he realized something. Not all humans were what he thought they were. And if he had ever met a truly worth being it was this boy. He realized suddenly that he respected Naruto, not as a shinobi or a human, but as a truly decent being. It was then that he made his decision.
"All right boy, do the hand seals as I show them to you. If you do even one wrong we both die. And we need to hurry, what's left of those pathetic humans out there are starting to move in."
"All right, I'm ready," Naruto responded concentrating on the images Kyuubi was sending to his mind. Bird, dog, horse, snake… and so on. Another minute passed and Naruto was on his last few symbols. As he finished he thrust both hands on the ground as he was instructed.
"Well done… kit," was the last thing he heard before blinding whiteness overwhelmed him.
End chap. 1
So what do you think? Was it good, bad, or so so. What could I have done better? Questions? R and R.