Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto
Author's Note: Yo! I was on Writer's Block (preferring sleep over writing), but my good old friend OneAznDragon kicked me out of hiatus status! Starting from here on in, all of my fics will have the same Jutsu System as my fic 'Aerial Perspective.'
The two Elite Jounin, Kakashi and Gai, stopped running towards the Third Hokage and turned their heads back as Naruto yelled out the same technique that was still being performed by another. The blonde fell to his knees and coughed up blood, before his eyes turned completely black.
Orochimaru spared a glance towards the blonde, before he turned back to his opponent. "You… What is this Jutsu? Is this the one… The one that sealed the Kyuubi into that brat? You won't catch me with this, sensei." The Snake Master's gaze turned confused as he saw that the Third's attention was no longer on him. Instead, he was staring to the sky above… the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki?
The Sandaime couldn't believe his eyes as he now saw two Death Gods hovering in the air. Or were they the same? 'The Shiki Fuin… Has another effect on Naruto?'
With a flash and a massive backlash, Sandaime felt the Chakra he performed for the Shiki Fuin return to his body. 'What does this mean? The Shiki Fuin can't be performed by two different Shinobi at the same time, or is it something else?'
The old Sarutobi looked to the sky to see that the Death God he had summoned was no longer there. "It seems my Jutsu was cancelled out." He heard the sounds of battle all around him. His ANBU were busy with many Sound and Sand Shinobi. Skimming through the masses, he also noticed four Shinobi with their Curse Seal activated. Quickly thinking, he turned to Naruto, Kakashi and Gai, the only ones who seemed focused on Orochimaru. "You three deal with Orochimaru's summons."
Orochimaru chuckled as a response to that, licking his lips in anticipation. "You and I, sensei? You've grown old, you can't keep up with me anymore. I'll show you."
The First and Second Hokage rushed towards Kakashi, Gai and Naruto, only to stop in their advance. Orochimaru whipped his head towards the two as he didn't order them to stop. What he saw as he looked at his two summons was not something he expected.
He saw his two subordinates standing there… Kin and Zaku, the two he had used for sacrifices for the forbidden Summoning. 'What happened? The Edo Tensei is only cancelled out when I cancel it out!!' And then, both turned to dust and scattered into the wind. 'Not good…'
The Third was also observing and noticed that there was a weird Barrier around Naruto. A Chakra Barrier. 'I see… The Shiki Fuin for Naruto… is an ultimate defense. Anything that comes too close gets sealed to death immediately. But it seems Naruto himself is unable to move.' Narrowing his eyes at the lack of life in Naruto's facial expressions, he knew he was right. 'That technique should kill anyone performing it, but… Naruto somehow is still alive. It'll have to be thanks to the Kyuubi. Or is it because there are two souls in Naruto?'
Chapter 8: Fallen Ember
"Doton, Heiwo Megurasu!!"
"Wha-, Hokage-sama!!" Many Konoha Shinobi chorused, rushing towards the Third and the S-Ranked Missing-nin.
Orochimaru stared at the massive walls starting to surround him, ascending around him… Him and the Third Hokage. All other Shinobi were left out. "What are you planning, Sarutobi-sensei? You would have had a better chance against me with your ANBU watching your back, but now…"
"Don't fool around, Orochimaru." Sarutobi cut in. "You're planning on escaping, since you've lost your trump card. But with this Jutsu, you can't get away."
"Sarutobi-sensei. My biggest aim was your head. You've made things a lot easier for me now." The Hebi-Shinobi cackled. "Allow me to show you the wonders of being immortal!!"
Outside of the massive dome, the ANBU and many Jounin were trying to get in. "This is the Hokage's Imprisonment Technique. He plans to take out Orochimaru." An ANBU Captain explained. "We can't go in."
'Although Lightning is good against Earth, my Chidori won't be able to cut through this one. I don't have any Electricity Attack strong enough to penetrate this.' Kakashi thought as he stared at the huge walls. 'Adding to that, it seems these walls are not simply Stone and Earth, but Iron as well… Be careful, Hokage-sama.'
The Copy-ninja turned as he heard a small thud behind him. 'It seems his technique has run out. That Jutsu won't do him any good. It renders him completely unable to move. And he falls unconscious immediately after its usage. A Kinjutsu to the end, it seems.' He thought as he moved to pick Naruto's body up.
The grey-haired Jounin lifted Naruto onto his back and turned towards his other subordinate. "Sasuke. Are you alright?" The Jounin could see that Sasuke was very tired.
"I'm fine. My opponent ran away, turned into water and disappeared. The coward." He mumbled. "Where's Sakura?"
Kakashi pointed towards a building where Medic-nin were healing Sakura and Shino. "All we can do now… is wait." He said as Gai approached him. Behind Gai, he saw how many ANBU Members carried away four unconscious bodies. The Sound Four was defeated.
He quickly whirled his head around but caught no sight of Kabuto…
"Ugh… Thank you, Kabuto-sensei…"
The Konoha Traitor sighed as he looked over his shoulder. In the distance he could see the gates of Konoha. "Orochimaru-sama will be here shortly. He is dealing with the Third Hokage."
Kimimaro nodded his head shortly. "I apologize for my defeat, Kabuto-sensei. Uzumaki Naruto was an opponent I was not prepared for."
"Yes, quite a worrisome opponent, indeed. Konoha has a true monster in their midst with that one." The greyhead let out as he noticed water on the ground. "Suigetsu-kun… It seems you're out of Chakra if you can't even reform into human form. It seems Uchiha Sasuke gave you a hard time…"
The Water Specialist, at the moment being nothing but water, could not respond. Slowly, but surely, he was returning to his normal form. When that time comes, he'll tell Kabuto what a coward Sasuke was.
"Katon, Garyuu Endan!!" The massive fire blast created light in the dark dome they were both trapped in.
"Suiton, Suijin Heki!!" Orochimaru quickly followed up with "Dokon, Shimaku no Jutsu!!" As he breathed out the poisonous gust, he chuckled madly. "A foolish move, Sarutobi-sensei. Trapping the both of us here takes a lot of your Chakra and… With my Dokon Jutsu, you won't survive. You'll die because the poison will eventually spread out and cover this entire area. It has nowhere to go to thanks to your Imprisonment Technique."
"You forget, my little student. I am the Professor. The one with more Jutsu than you can fathom! Fuuton, Atsugai!!"
The Konoha Missing-nin side-stepped around the powerful Wind Blast, and shook his head. The Blast erupted into the wall and created a big crack. "A powerful Technique, but not strong enough to destroy the Imprisonment Technique, it seems. Or did you use it to blow away my Poison Gust?"
Sandaime chuckled and continued. "Katon, Ryuuka no Jutsu!!"
"Suiton, Gekiruu no Jutsu!!" Orochimaru responded, blowing out a massive water blast.
"Not enough!!" Sandaime declared as the remains of his previous Wind Technique still lingered around Orochimaru. That combined with Sarutobi's Fire Technique created a more powerful Ryuuka no Jutsu, too powerful for Orochimaru's Water Technique.
It resulted in an explosion, with Orochimaru in the centre of it.
Sensing movement from behind, The Third quickly ducked under a kick from Orochimaru. "Shunshin? Taijutsu? That's not like you, Orochimaru." All around them were small fires, remnants of techniques used before. That was what allowed them to still see each other in the darkness.
His clothes were singed from the previous attack, but it seems he was fast enough to avoid getting seriously hurt. "Games are over, old man. You will die now! Kuchiyose: Ama-no-Murakumo: Kusanagi no Tsurugi!!"
As a quick response, The Third also summoned. "Kuchiyose no Jutsu: Great Ape King; Enma! Form Kongou Nyoibo!" Without any form of communication, the Monkey King transformed into a staff, automatically flying straight into the Third's grasp at the same time. "Now then, Orochimaru. Your Kusanagi against my Nyoibo! Let's begin!!"
They had been trading blows for a long time and they were both running low on Chakra. Their weapons were already cast aside and both were aiming murderous glares at each other. "It looks like…" Orochimaru started, but he was also panting at the same time. "The poison's finally getting to you, old man…" Indeed, the Sandaime could barely stand anymore and it looked like he was about to pass out.
Orochimaru started walking towards him. "I can barely sense any Chakra in you anymore, Sarutobi-sensei. Your plan has failed, I will be victorious today and I shall crush Konoha flat to the ground!"
"Konoha… Will not so easily be crushed!" The aged leader of the Leaf roared. "Maton, Ikino Atta!!"
Orochimaru frowned. "Ain't that something new, sensei? You know Maton Jutsu? I would almost feel intimidated, were it not for the lack of any Chakra in your body." His frown deepened. "But how troubling. I've never been able to learn any Maton Techniques. Care to tell me how you managed?"
The Third coughed out blood as a response.
"I see." With a shake of his head, Orochimaru started performing handseals. "You're a pathetic Shinobi right now, Sarutobi-sensei. You can't even move. Allow me to put an end to your pitiful existence. Doton, Ishi no Jutsu." Orochimaru punched both his hands into the ground. The ground in response seemed to open up, as if it suddenly had a mouth. And then, the 'mouth' blurted out a stone the size of a building.
Sarutobi's eyes widened as he tried with all his might, to move backwards, away from the descending stone. 'The Stone is filled with Doton Chakra, it's too massive for me to be able to break. I can't… I can't do anything!' He scrambled back and back, but in the end, the stone landed on him.
Orochimaru used Shunshin and appeared at the Third's face. You could still see Sarutobi's head and chest, but the rest was buried under Orochimaru's Stone Attack. "Hurt much, Sarutobi-sensei?" The Snake Specialist frowned as the Third only chuckled at him.
"You came too close…"
And then… Orochimaru screamed out in pain as his legs… were breaking. "Wha-what did you do, OLD MAN?!"
"Uggh…" Blood was pouring out of the old man's mouth, but he chose to answer. "The Ikino Atta… Complete Synchronization Technique. You fell for it, Orochimaru."
'That means… That Jutsu makes my body the exact same as his…'Orochimaru fell on his back and noticed that the massive dome entrapping the two of them was crumbling down. 'H-he's out of Chakra, but I've defeated him!' But then the Third's Jutsu started expanding… He suddenly saw that his hands looked old… He started feeling his face and realized… He was old!! 'I… Impossible!! This Jutsu!! It completely made my body the same as that fucking old man's!!'
"This Jutsu… is a Kinjutsu… My body won't be able to return to normal, but neither will yours. The difference between us, is…" The Sandaime coughed out blood as he spoke. "I'm not alone anymore…" The Doton Barrier the Third had set up had completely crumbled down and Konoha Shinobi were rushing to the two fallen Shinobi. "Ahh… It looks like… your mission has turned into… failure."
Orochimaru realized he now also had the same amount of Chakra as the Third Hokage… Completely nothing. 'S-Shit! I can't get away if I'm like this! Where's Kabuto!?' That was when ANBU surrounded his body. He managed to see how a Shinobi got rid of the massive stone on the Third's lower body and how Medic-nin started working on the Third.
That's when his light got knocked out.
"You've really pulled one out, old man."
A dry, weak chuckle barely came across as a response to the tall white-haired man standing by the bed in the small hospital room. Jiraiya shook his head as the sun came shining into the room through the open window, the same he had arrived through in. "But at least now, Orochimaru's gone."
"It seems… you're the first one I speak to… Jiraiya." The Toad Hermit's look softened as he saw how weak the old man looked. "Care to… report?"
"Of course… Sarutobi-sensei. The Ikino Atta is a reckless Jutsu, it disables your entire body, for the rest of your life. Next to that, you have close to no Chakra left in your body. I assume you know you won't be able to move. It's a miracle you can still speak. But, you should be glad you didn't die against that Snake Bastard." Jiraiya started. "The Council knows about your condition and those two have already approached me for the title of Godaime Hokage."
"Heh… You, Hokage? You've rejected the offer, I'm sure." His voice was getting clearer already. Jiraiya could tell the man was glad, satisfied with how things turned out, even though he would be bedridden for the rest of his life. "I'm smart enough to realize you're going after Tsunade, for two reasons."
"Obviously." Jiraiya uttered. "You've always been able to see right through me. Tsunade, she might be able to do something for you. With your condition, she's the only one who might… And, she'll be a better Hokage than I'll ever be."
"I agree." Jiraiya rolled his eyes at the Sandaime's reply. "Continue with the report…"
"We've managed to capture four of Orochimaru's subordinates, all bearing the Curse Seal to its maximum spread. They're a bothersome bunch, but I'll bet Ibiki is having fun, so to say. The Sound is without a leader, although I'm sure there will be someone taking over. Yakushi Kabuto, Hozuki Suigetsu and Kaguya Kimimaro managed to escape from Konoha. Suna Shinobi have all returned to the Sand, including Sabaku no Gaara, who has aided Naruto and Leaf in this conflict. According to my sources, the Kazekage was killed several months ago by Orochimaru. Added to that, Suna is dealing with the aftermath of all of this, but they have a whole lot more to deal with than Konoha."
"Did you witness… The Clash of the Shiki Fuin? What is your… take on it?"
Jiraiya sighed and crossed his arms, indicating he was unsure of the matter. "It's just assumptions, but I think I've managed to analyze the Shiki Fuin, or rather… Naruto's Shiki Fuin, completely. For you, the Shiki Fuin is a Compensation Technique, a soul for a soul. You would have certainly died if you had performed the Jutsu until the end. Naruto's however… His was a Zettai Bougyou Technique. The Shiki Fuin becomes an Absolute Defense. In turn, Naruto is unable to move a single muscle, loses all control of his senses and… loses consciousness. That, I have witnessed. It seems Naruto's Chakra is turned into the Shiki Fuin itself and surrounds him. Everything and everyone that comes too close, is sealed to death."
"How is it possible that the Death God did not take Naruto's soul?"
"It's the Kyuubi. The Death God always takes its own bargains or deals… seriously. Going against the deal it had made with the Fourth, would mean certain disgrace, after all. But I'm not too certain about it. It also could be because there's more than one soul it's dealing with concerning Naruto."
"How is the young one?"
"His lights are still out."
Sasuke and Sakura were both watching Naruto's still form in the hospital room. "It's strange, seeing him like this. Isn't it, Sasuke-kun?" The pink-haired female Genin asked, to disturb the silence that had building up ever since they've gotten there. Sasuke never was one to speak much, after all.
"Even the strongest Shinobi need rest and sleep, Sakura." Came the blunt reply.
"How did he end up here, anyway?" Sakura continued. "As far as I know, Naruto always heals, so…"
"Hn. Jiraiya managed to knock him out in a second, remember? Apparently, that's how you deal with Naruto if you fight him. Killing him is the thing what won't work." Sasuke closed his eyes and folded his arms over one another. 'Kakashi's out on a mission and I'm stuck with these two…'
Sakura noticed Sasuke trying to sleep, or so she thought, and chose to try and do the same, since she had nothing better to do at the moment anyway. 'Besides, sleeping in the same room as Sasuke-kun!?! One of my dreams is coming true!!'
A knock disrupted her thoughts, though. A second later, Jiraiya entered the room with a grin on his face. "Kakashi's students, right? Konoha Team Seven. I have some news for the two of you. Actually three of you, but that one has yet to regain his senses… literally." He started.
Sasuke and Sakura both stared at him. The Uchiha with indifference, Sakura with open curiosity. "You know more about Naruto's condition?"
"His is classified, as is the Hokage's. But, I have orders to take you two and Naruto with me…" Jiraiya grinned. "In search for the next Hokage."
Sakura's eyes widened, while Sasuke closed his eyes again. "W-Who!?"
"Why, I'm glad that you asked, little pink one. I refused the offer, because I have many better things to do! The one who'll take the job, will be none other than the Slug Princess, Senju Tsunade!!"
Sakura's eyes widened even further. Tsunade-hime, the female part of the Sannin from Konoha?! 'Awesome!!!'
Sasuke quietly grunted and snorted. 'A female Hokage? Jiraiya as Hokage I could understand, but this female? I'm sure she's the weakest of the Sannin…'
"We'll be leaving as soon as Naruto wakes up."
The sound of water slithered around him and a green haze was all he could see as he stepped forward, already knowing where he was. Quite frankly, he was rather bored and impatient. Being here only ended up in disappointment… somehow.
"The Shiki Fuin is a variable too dangerous. I'd prefer you not use it again, little human."
Naruto glanced sideways, remembering how much the place reminded him of a sewer. Although he didn't smell anything at first, just the sight made him smell rotten things. The walls and even the cage entrapping the Kyuubi were wet. "Why is there so much water here?"
"It should be obvious why. It strengthens the seal specifically designed for me. The Yondaime Hokage… truly an infuriating man to the end." The Kyuubi blew out hot steam, but Naruto showed no reaction as the demon's breath washed over him. "But I have not dragged you here to talk about how this place looks. I have summoned you to discuss a slight adaptation."
The young blonde sighed and folded his arms. "What is it now?"
A chuckle came at his indifference. "Stupid human… You should realize now… I have had to adapt your body so the Shiki Fuin will not be so full of risks should you use it again. I will not tolerate for us to be immobile or weak! Next to that… You now permanently have the skin of the Kyuubi…"
"Yes…" The Kyuubi's hollow laugh seemed mocking. "Your goal is unreachable, human. You've gained the impenetrable skin of the Kyuubi!!"
"Zetsu said the snake failed, right?" A tall man whistled lowly as he observed Konoha underneath him. He and another, this one significantly shorter, stood atop the Hokage Monument overlooking the Leaf Village. "Konoha looks like it's never been under attack, even. Orochimaru really is pathetic, I'm glad he's not with us anymore. He would've been a complete disgrace."
The shorter man simply stared ahead of him, not feeling the need to converse to much with his partner. 'Sandaime-sama is still alive. I was sure he would've died at the hands of Orochimaru. Something happened I didn't expect, but what could it have been?' He turned around. 'Our presence here is a waste…'
"Oy, Itachi! Where do you think you're going? Pein told us there was a Jinchuuriki in there! You afraid or something?"
Itachi turned his head and leveled his partner with a gaze that dulled the taller man's senses. "It'd be best for us to leave now. The Third has already noticed us."
Hoshigaki Kisame barked a laugh. "He did, did he? Damn that old bastard. I guess we'll have to shave our way through an ANBU Squad or four, eh?"
The shark-like man got a short shake of the head as a response. "It'd be best for us to leave. I have already created a Shadow Clone in Henge before the Third noticed out presence, which is infiltrating Konoha as we speak. We will leave."
"This is not how I wanted today to turn out, though. How about I stay for a few minutes, eh?" The tall Akatsuki Member chuckled. "You can leave, I don't care."
"I will not be coming back for you. Your pointless lust for battle deserves no saving." With that, Itachi vanished. Kisame turned around and sensed a few Shinobi coming his way.
"Whatever, man… I'm gonna have me some fun!"
"Tell me… what happened?"
Sasuke cursed his luck of being the only one present at the moment. Really, why did his blonde teammate wake up right at this time? He disliked speaking too much and now Naruto was asking him about the Sand-Sound Invasion. "I was fighting this Water Bastard called Suigetsu. I wasn't really paying attention to the fight between Orochimaru and the Third Hokage. When I got there, you were unconscious while the Third was still fighting Orochimaru in a weird Stone Dome, no one could get in there. Afterwards, I was witness to Orochimaru's death, but that's it."
"You know nothing else?" The blonde ventured. "I only remember using the Shiki Fuin and then, immediately… everything went black. I've chosen not to use this Shiki Fuin any longer. The first time I used it, nothing ordinary happened, but this time… it was different." Naruto thought back on when he first exercised the Shiki Fuin back when he had first learned it from the Forbidden Scroll of Sealing.
Sasuke shrugged, he didn't really care. "We're having a mission as soon as you are completely recovered."
"Completely… recovered?" Naruto asked. "Recover from what? My body needs no recovering." Naruto sat up from the bed he was in and spotted some simple clothing from the hospital he quickly put on. "It looks like we'll be having a mission right now." He grinned somewhat. "I assume we leave Konoha for this mission?"
Sasuke nodded, copying the grin. Things were going to stop being boring. "Yeah, our mission is to locate the next Hokage."
"Ah, so we're looking for someone really powerful? Perhaps… He will be the one who can kill me!"
"Actually… it's a she." The young Uchiha pointed out.
Naruto gave him a frown. "A she? A woman?" He narrowed his eyes as he considered this new piece of information. "If this woman is powerful enough to be Hokage, I want to see how strong she really is."
"Yeah, me too."
His back was sore from days before and he noticed that his feet were still killing him when he woke up this morning. Even his fingers felt tired. It had been quite a while since he used so many Jutsu on a single day. At least the Sand-Sound Invasion was a complete failure.
He had fully intended to go to the Hokage after his shower and getting dressed, but didn't expect Jiraiya to sit on one of the few chairs in his living room, scribbling down notes on a piece of paper with a weird grin on his face. "Jiraiya-sama?" Not at all surprised about the fact that the Information Gatherer got in his apartment without him knowing it, since Jiraiya was known for his skills in getting in any place undetected, Kakashi simply sat down in front of the taller man.
"Ah, Kakashi. Wait a minute." The old man mumbled as he put away the piece of paper in one of his pockets and settled Kakashi down with a serious gaze. "I've come to talk about something serious."
The Copy Ninja nodded his head, but the expression on his face remained the same; bored. It was his natural expression, after all.
"Old Sarutobi gave me permission to take your team with me on a mission, S-Ranked."
Kakashi's eye narrowed. "S-Rank? I don't know if they're ready for that."
Jiraiya shrugged. "It's not ranked S because it's dangerous, but because it is very important to Konoha; we'll be dragging back the princess." He grinned. "To be the next Hokage."
"Hm." The grey-haired Jounin calmed down. "Hokage-sama is in danger, then? I thought he was alright."
"He is alright. But the Jutsu he used, the Ikino Atta… It shuts down the body of the user completely after usage. He's still alive, but he can't move anymore. His Chakra Coils are… well, useless. They're there, but they're pretty much empty. Tsunade might be able to do something for him, but I highly doubt that. The Ikino Atta is a Forbidden Maton Ninjutsu, I don't think anything can be done."
"So then, you're taking my team with you… why?"
"I want to help you. The Third has told me there are many missions waiting for you, all ranked high. You don't have time for your team, so I'll train them a bit while we go get Tsunade." Jiraiya explained.
"There's another reason?" The Copy-nin urged, knowing Jiraiya a bit better.
"Yeah. There's an organization out there called Akatsuki. Consistent of nine S-Ranked Missing-nin. An example of the type of Shinobi in this organization might give you an idea about how dangerous they are…" The Toad Hermit started. "Orochimaru was a member of this organization, but he quit. Rumor has it the Snake picked a fight with another Akatsuki Member and lost…"
Kakashi was a bit surprised. "So members of this organization might well be stronger than Orochimaru. Do you know who it was Orochimaru had a fight with?"
"Ah, you know him. The bastard massacred his entire Clan several years ago, leaving but one survivor."
The Sharingan user nodded his head. "I see… Uchiha Itachi… Scaring Orochimaru away like that, he's gotten even stronger…"
Jiraiya sighed and put down a piece of paper on the table separating the two. "Look, I don't know much about Akatsuki, but let me write down a few names. Last month, an informant told me he spotted Akatsuki nearby Rock Village. I have four names; Uchiha Itachi, Hoshigaki Kisame, Akasuna no Sasori and Deidara. Apparently, they recruited Deidara at that time."
Jiraiya looked up from his writing and continued. "The Akatsuki have an objective, Kakashi. They're after all the Jinchuuriki. So, Naruto is one of their targets. We'll have to see to it they don't get their hands on Naruto."
'After all the Jinchuuriki? What for?'
Both respected Shinobi turned at the presence of a Chuunin Messenger. "Jiraiya-sama, Kakashi-sama!! Konoha has an intruder! His name is Hoshigaki Kisame!!"
Next Chapter… The Akatsuki (no, it won't be Itachi and Kisame) versus Jiraiya and Team 7!! Sound gets a new Leader and the Akatsuki… won't wait three years like they did in Canon! No, they will strike now! Nii Yugito and Killer Bee fighting side by side… And yeah, what will happen with Kisame, who's just playing around?
Until next time!!