Fury Guilt and Love
Ladies and Gentlemen... THIS IS IT!!! The long awaited final chapter of this tale has at last ARRIVED (for real, this time)!!! What can you possibly expect from this, you ask?... Questions, answers, drama of all high degrees and SMUT!? Most of the questions that have reared their ugly little heads will at LAST be answered and MORE MYSTERY SHALL BE AWAITING YOU!! I hope you're all buckled up, 'cause this is gonna be one HELL OF RIDE!!!
FINAL CHAPTER: The Culmination of All
(Go to Song 4 on Profile)
It all happened so fast...
The scent of blood and destruction lay across the open war-zone that was once a beautiful feild of Hi no Kuni. Nearly all of the vegitation was charred and destroyed, along with various parts of the terrain; what was once a raging battlefield... was now a deadzone.
Through slow and steady progression of the battle, everything died.
But for one side of the opression... the reward was well-worth the sacrifice.
"GO BACK TO HELL!!!!!!"
The curse rumbled throughout sky and along with it, came the sound of one clean slice. Choking and gagging vibrated into the air.
A bloody and murder-crazed Tsunade stood before a kneeling Kuro, with his sword in her hands. The red haired Demon held both of his hands to his throat, as it was sliced completely open, spilling his liquid contents all over himself and the ground.
Though she was no longer afraid of blood thanks to her gruesome experience, she couldn't help but tremble and quake at what she had just done.
Her heavy breathing became shaky and loud.
The choking Kuro's eyes were widened beyond believe; he could hardly grasp the fact that the very life that he held unto for so long... was actually slipping away from him. He could feel his tainted blood soak his hands as his entire being burned with both agony and numbness.
He glared hatefully at the woman responsible for this travesty and inwardly cursed her exsistence... along with the other fighters around him.
Scattered about that area were the other two Sannin, along with Kabuto, Shizune... and a half-dead Naruto; taking in the mind-blowing site before them. Beaten and riddled with bloody wounds of their own, they all watched the historic event unfold.
Tsuande stared down at her dying enemy with nothing but malice and an overpowering desire for his death.
Though it was amazing and nearly unfathomable, Tsuande knew that Kuro wasn't long for this world anymore; the seemingly unstoppable monster that was responsible for the deaths and suffering of COUNTLESS innocent people... was at last paying for his crimes against humanity.
She quelled her trembling as much as she could as her murderous gaze became accepting but as hateful as ever.
The fatally injured Kuro narrowed his red eyes as his breathing began to weaken and his surrounds seemed to blur.
"Karatsune Kuro... For the heignous crimes you have commited against Sunagakure no sato, Kirigakure no sato, Kumogakure no sato, Tsuchigakure no sato, Konohagakure no sato and the rest of this entire planet... I, the Godaime Hokage, sentence you to death!", the blonde Sannin declared.
Kuro's eyes widened tremendously at that last part.
"I... I knew it... I've been searching this whole time, and I KNEW IT!!", Kuro's mind rumbled as he blared at Tsunade, "It was you... all along"
The hazel eyed female frowned deeply before she pointed Kuro's deadly blade at him.
"Just die", she whispered before swiftly plunging the sword RIGHT into Kuro's mouth and through the back of his head.
Blood splattered upon the ground behind him as he gagged harder than before.
The ravaged behemoth began to bleed from every orophis in his head before reaching out and weakly grasping Tsunade's grey shirt. The blonde, inwardly squirmed as she backed away from Kuro, falling right on her ass, shaking and sneering at him.
Kuro's grip was released from the shirt as he continuosly gagged on his own blood. He fell backwards as the last remnants of his strength left his body. His wounds bled out uncontrolably as his vision tunneled and darkened. And upon his leave, his mind echoed one solemn pledge.
"Some how... Some way... Somewhere... Some day... I will make... them... paaaayyyy"
Upon that last promise, Kuro Karatsune's eyes closed for the final time as he was carried off within the arms of Death.
Naruto's eyes shot WIDE open as he was hoisted out of slumber.
He rose up and frantically took in all of his surroundings. It took him a moment, but in time, Naruto realized that he was... in a hospital room?
"Wha... What the-... Where am I?", he murmered to himself as he continued to take in his surroundings.
The blonde Genin looked outside the window and saw that it was morning; the beginning of a new day. He shut his eyes and massaged his temples.
"How did I get here?...", he asked himself.
"Well, the Hero of the Hour awakens", came a voice from behind the curtains on Naruto's left side.
Emerging from the curtains was a smiling Tsunade.
Hearing that voice at first, sent shivers of denial down Naruto's spine.
Had he heard right? Was that really Tsunade's voice?
His mind vividly replayed the gruesome images of her selfless protection of him; the way she took every deadly hack and slash from Kuro's sword for his sake.
Looking to his left to comfirm his thoughts, Naruto froze as he stared up into the eyes of his protector. She was indeed alive and well.
NAruto's eyes began to glisten as he took in her appearance, feeling his joy swell up inside him... Of course, he was still WAY too proud to do something so stupid as to throw himself at her in blind happiness.
Instead, he turned his head away and wiped his eyes before turning back to her with a straight face.
"What happened?", the Jinchuuriki asked.
Tsunade stared at Naruto with surprise, "What? What do you mean 'what happened'? Don't tell me you don't rememeber anything", she said.
Naruto stared down at his bed covers as he thought long and hard. He frowned at his inability to recall certain things.
"I-... Its all just a blur", he admitted, "but one of the last thing I can even recall was an alien feeling; like a burning lump of coal sat in my heart"
Tsunade stared at the boy for a few moments, and inwardly thought that it'd be best just to let it be.
Naruto may not remember anything, but she concluded that it was for the best if he hadn't... But there was one thing that she had to make sure of.
"But you do... rememeber Kuro... don't you?", she asked.
"Of course I remember that freak", Naruto shuddered, "But... what I remember the last time I saw him, was him falling to the ground. After that... nothing"
"Well, lets just say that he won't be a problem anymore", she said proudly.
At this, Naruto raised an eyebrow in curiousity, but was suddenly overtaken with shock and a small dose of giddy.
"What? Y-You mean we-... You mean he's-"
The blonde Sannin nodded in affirmation.
The dumbstruck Naruto's widened eyes glisened with overwelming relief at this news, before he stared back down at his covers.
"Huh... Wow... and here I thought we were all goners for sure, but...", he trailed off in his words.
"Trust me, you weren't the only one", Tsunade said before studying the boy's face, "He seriously doesn't remember..."
A moment of silence befell the room; one that was welcomed by Naruto, as he was lost in his thoughts.
"I can't believe it... After all of that Hell, Kuro's finally dead... but why can't I remember anything before or after it happened? I remember Tsunade-baa-chan getting seriously hurt, then nothing", Naruto thought to himself.
Now that his senses came back to him, Naruto peered out the window again and was relieved to see that he was back home... back at Konoha. The blue eyed Jinchuuriki rose out of bed, stared out the window and sighed with content.
Soon thereafter, Tsunade joined him.
"What are you thinking about", she asked him.
"Just...(sigh)... I don't know... Everything, I guess", Naruto said scerenly.
Tsunade stared down at the boy with a smile before looking out the window upon her village again.
"You and me both, Kiddo... You and me both"
Another session of silence filled the room, but Naruto broke it this time.
"Obaa-chan... I want to know everything... everything that happened before we got back, but later on", he said.
"Later on? You've got some important business to take care of or something?", Tsunade asked.
Upon that question, Naruto's stomach rumbled and grumbled; he blushed and held his stomach.
"Yeah, something like that", he chimed with a nervous smile.
The hazel eyed woman chuckled before bidding him farwell.
"Well, its time for me to head out myself. From what Jiraiya told me of whats been going on, it looks like I have my work cut out for me", Tsunade mentioned.
Remembering Kakashi's condition at that moment, Naruto nodded and placed full trust in her ability to fix his sensei right up.
"Well, it looks like we'd both better get a move on, then", Naruto said before opening the window that he stared out of and stepping upon the ledge.
"Hey Naruto...", Tsunade called out before her fellow blonde actually left, "Thank you... for everything"
Naruto cracked a foxy grin and nodded before vaulting out of the hospital.
Staring after him, Tsunade was utterly relieved that everything turned out the way they did. With the tasks as the new village leader at hand, the blonde Sannin sighed and walked out of the room.
The blonde demon container slipped into his apartment and immediately went to his bathroom.
He leaned his back against the door and sighed heavily.
"What a dreadful experience...", he whispered to himself before stepping up to the bathroom mirror, "No one deserves that kind of power"
Naruto removed his shirt and checked himself out for any permenant damage that might've been aquired through his death-defying struggle, and was surprised to actually see a few bruises that Kyuubi was unable to fully heal.
Suddenly remembering the time that he lost contact with his inner tenant, Naruto frowned before digging deep into his mind.
"Kyuubi... Kyuubi, can you hear me?"
"There you are! Do you have any idea how long I've been trying to-"
"Kit... Listen to me... you're in grave danger"
"What the-... Are you alright, fur-face? You seem a little drained"
"Heed my warning, Kit... The choices you make from here on out... are critical"
With that final and mysterious word, Kyuubi's voice was silenced, despite Naruto's constant attempts to contact him again.
Stratching his head in sheer and utter confusion, the spikey haired boy shrugged it off with as little care as he could... but he was inwardly conflicted about leaving the matter alone since his mind was stuck on Kyuubi's last words.
Deciding that his mind would be able to clear with a nice hot shower, Naruto stripped down his hospital garments and turned the water on.
After a nice ten minute shower, Naruto allowed the frustration of his inability to figure out Kyuubi's words to pass as he decided to focus on more important matters... like Sakura and Ino.
"Yeah, thats right; I still need to talk to Ino-chan about last time. I can't believe I yelled at her like that", he said to himself as he towel-dried his shaggy hair.
Naruto emerged out of his steamy bathroom before going into his room and picking out his clothes for the day. Dawning his recently favored black attire, Naruto flopped himself on his bed.
"I still don't know what to say to her though...", he thought out loud, "Now thats admirable; you go through a fight spattered in blood and you can't even say you're sorry to one of your friends..."
Conflict raged within Naruto about that particular situation.
He really let Ino have it when she made a move on him.
He admitted that his anger got the better of him that night, and as such, he was even MORE conflicted about how he would approach her after how he snapped out at her.
He felt so rotten about it.
"Well, guess there's no use in beatin' myself up", Naruto abruptly concluded before lifting himself off of the bed, "Its time to do something about it.
Upon that little declaration, however, Naruto's stomach rumbled again.
He groaned and told his stomach to shut the fuck up as he walked to his kitchen.
He cursed his horrible fortune when he saw that his cabinets were totally empty.
"I'll have to remember to re-stock on ramen", he grumbled to himself.
A huge smile then cracked on his face.
"Well(!), time to go to Ichiraku!", he chimed before running right out his door.
"I'll pay Yoshuna-san a visit before I find Sakura-chan and Ino-chan"
Streets of Konoha...
The morning brought on quite a bit of life that day; the streets were quickly filled with its usual crowds of people.
Among the crowds of people were Sakura and Ino, walking along the streets.
"So, what do you think really happened when Sasuke-kun shattered that... weird-looking stone thingy on the ground?", Sakura asked.
"Psh. How should I know? But what ever it did, Nekoshi and Kitsune certainly weren't happy about it", Ino replied, "I think one of them was actually tearing"
"It doesn't make any sense. Why would they hold a stone object in such high regards? Did you see how they begged and graveled for Sasuke-kun not the drop it?", Sakura questioned with a finger to her chin, "They looked really spooked"
"Yeah, that was confusing enough. But its what that old guy did that really got me confused", Ino said.
"Oh right; that weird jutsu with an identical object he pulled out of his little brown sack. I wonder what that was all about..."
Sakura looked towards Ino's direction and saw that she looked sad about something.
"Ino-chan?... Are you okay?"
The bleach blonde kunoichi's expression didn't change as she went right out with what was bugging her.
"I'm... I'm not so sure we should be going through with this, Sakura-chan"
The pink haired female stared at her companion with confusion, but upon further speculation, she had a clue of what she meant.
"I've... had my doubts about it too. I'm not one hundred percent sure on how he'll react to it all, but chances are, he'll-"
"Its not that, Sakura-chan", Ino interjected with a grim demeanor, "I... I sorta pissed him off the last time I saw him when I tried to make my move... I don't know what'll happen if we just... showed up in front of him and say that we've decided to share him. I mean what do you suppose he'd think about that?"
Sakura became silent at hearing that.
In truth, she hadn't really thought the scenario that thoroughly, and she had little more than a week to do so.
Though she felt a little stupid for that, she was also feeling hopeful. She took Ino's hand and held it tight.
"It'll all work out... You'll see", she reassured.
Ino stared at her pink haired friend incredulously before smiling at her.
"Maybe you're right", Ino joyously accepted.
There conversation was cut short as they arrived at Ichiraku Ramen.
Stopping before the noodle stand, both females traded glances and smiles to each other before deciding to unwind with some nice hot ramen.
As they sat down, however, they were met with quite the unusual greeting.
"Ah-ha; there they are!", an excited Ayame chimed with a very friendly demeanor.
Teuchi simple chordled with jolly delight when he saw them both.
"So what'll it be for Naruto's favorite ladies today?", the store owner asked.
Blushed crossed both Ino and Sakura's faces upon hearing such a thing, but they smiled and giggled to each other.
"Just the usual", they said in unison.
It was amazing to them both that they could finally say something like that at Ichiraku.
Acknowledging the order, Teuchi and Ayame got to work, leaving their costumers to their thoughts.
"Favorite ladies, huh?", Ino thought as her blush remained strong, "Maybe Sakura-chan was right afterall"
After a short and silent wait, Ino and Sakura delightedly dug into their meal... with Naruto in mind.
"Say. Do either of you two know if Naruto came back at all", Sakura asked between mouth-fulls of her ramen, "We miss him"
"You didn't know? He's already back from his trip", Teuchi informed.
At hearing this, both kunoichi nearly spit their ramen all over the counter.
"What?!", Ino coughed out loud, "He's back?!"
"I can't believe it! He's okay!", Sakura inwardly exclaimed.
"Yeah, he's been back for a while now; he even stopped by not too long ago", Ayame concurred.
"Which way did he go?!", they shouted in unison.
Both stand-owners flinched back because of the sudden outbust but immediately pointed toward the direction Naruto went.
Upon this info, Ino and Sakura scarfed down their bowls at Naruto-worthy speeds, slurped down the broth and bolted away into the distance.
Yoshuna's Weapon Shop...
A severly bored Yoshuna sat behind her clerk-counter with a dreadfully dull expression on her face.
She tried countless methods of self-entertainment as she awaited business in her store to pick up.
Of course, none of them worked, as she was still bored out of her skull; safe to say that she was pretty much SOL.
Little did she know, her day was about to get a lot more interesting.
The door to the shop opened for what was only about the third time that morning.
Not wanting her bordem to affect how she treated her costumers, Yoshuna changed her attitude as best she could and threw on her welcoming smile.
"Welcome!", she chimed.
The blue haired store owner peered into the figure that entered the building and her eyes widened.
"Naruto-kun!", she gasped with delight, "You're back!!"
"Oi, Yoshuna-san! Miss me?", the happy blonde boy said with his trademark-smile.
Out of sheer and affectionate impulse, Yoshuna leaped over the counter and ran toward Naruto before locking him in a powerful and almost crushing embrace. With his shoulder pretty much squeezed into his neck, Naruto gargled and grunted while trying to keep his smile.
"Gruugh! Good--to see you too, Yoshuna-san!"
Pulling back from Naruto, Yoshuna gripped the boy's shoulders.
"Oh Naruto-kun, I was starting to worry about you! I'm so glad you're home safely", the brown eyed female said with glee.
"You and me both, Sister. So, did anything new happen while I was away?", Naruto asked.
"Not as far as I can tell, no. B-But tell me; you were successful right? Have you found her?"
Knowing exactly what she was talking about, Naruto nodded as his smile remained strong. Yoshuna leaped into the air and shouted for joy.
"YES!!! Tsunade's here!", she chided.
Naruto smiled proudly, "It wasn't easy I can tell you that much. You wouldn't believe what I went through to do it, I swear", he said.
Yoshuna put her hands to her hips, keeping her bright smile.
"Well whatever the Hell you did, I'm just glad that you're here in one peace. Now surely you didn't come all the way here just to brag about your awesome success Naruto-kun", she said rubbing her index and thumb together.
Naruto breath caught in his throat before stiffling a chuckle, "Greedy little bitch", he thought playfully to himself before rolling his eyes to her.
With a silent agreement, Yoshuna showed Naruto all of the new items and clothing that her shop aquired while he was away. The little tour was short-lived however.
Though Naruto did manage to find a few items that could benifit his training. Hell, just because Kuro's dead doesn't mean training was neglected.
He decided to stick to his current attire though; he liked it JUST the way it was. Since he was tired of washing the same pair of clothes everyday, the blonde shinobi decided to buy several other pairs of his black outfit and a few red jackets.
Greatful to Naruto's business, Yoshuna took care of all of his needs, making sure that this current experience was as great as all of the others.
"So, Yoshuna-san; how has the jack-ass been lately. I'm surprised he hasn't tried to hunt me down when I came back", Naruto snidly remarked.
"Ah! Naruto-kun! Yoshitsu-neesan is not a jack-ass! He's just... a little protective is all", the blue haired female insisted.
"Yeah, to the point of being a total jack-ass...", Naruto mumbled under his breath.
Yoshuna squinted her eyes upon the blonde smart-alec, but couldn't contain her laughter for long. Naruto's immense sense of hearing caught something within Yoshuna's laughter however; the treble of her very voice began to shake.
Though it was pretty much unnoticable to any normal human being (which Naruto wasn't), he caught it easily.
Naruto's own laughter came to an abrupt halt as he studied Yoshuna's facial features. Yoshuna's chordling slowly died as Naruto stared at her; from genuine laughter to nervous chuckling. Again... Naruto heard that same tremble in her voice.
Finally, Yoshuna stopped laughing.
"What?... I-Is there something on my face?", she asked.
Silent at first, Naruto simply continued to stare at his long time friend... at least until she couldn't take it anymore.
"Naruto-kun, you're starting to freak me out; why are you staring at m-"
"Maybe you should take the rest of the day off. I don't know, maybe close the store down early today", Naruto cut in.
"Say what?! I practically just opened. There'd be no point in closing now. Why would you even suggest such a thing", the blue haired woman questioned incredulously.
"You're upset...", Naruto responded without a hitch.
"Wha-... Don't be ridiculous. I'm perfectly fine", she insisted.
The leering Naruto walked closer to her.
"No, I can feel it. Somethings really bothering you", the blue eyed boy astutly inspected.
Sighing heavily, Yoshuna knew that Naruto wouldn't give up in the slightest until she admitted something, so she threw him a bone.
"Well... if you must know, I've adopted a young girl not too long ago. She's a little shy, but I think she's actually starting to warm up to me. Though I can't help but wonder how she got here in the first place", Yoshuna said.
Naruto leered upon his lady-friend for a moment longer, much to her discomfort.
"Hmmm-yeah, but... something else is bothering you"
At this point, Yoshuna began to sweat as she inwardly cursed Naruto's persistance.
She was visibly shaking and Naruto was about to move in for the kill and demand what was bothering her if she didn't comply. Luckily for her, the brown eyed store owner formed a plan; one that could end this ridiculous battle of wills.
"There actually is something else bothering me, Naruto-kun... Whatever happened between you and that Ino-chick"
At this, Naruto flinched.
"Surely you've made up with her before you left... right? I mean, its not like you'd forget what would happen if Sakura ever found out what you almost did with her, right?", Yoshuna continued.
This time, Naruto was the one who was shaking as he vividly remembered the conversation between him and his friend before he left and before he (ahem) whammy-whammy bang-banged Sakura.
He had a very unsettling and gut-wrenching notion of the apocolyptic events that could unfold if Sakura ever found out about that.
"Dammit! This time you're lucky, Yoshuna-san!", Naruto shouted before running toward the exit, "But you ARE going to spill, got it?!
Upon that last declaration, the blonde shinobi barged out of Yoshuna's store, comPLETELY forgetting about the items he purchased. Realizing that she was holding her breath, Yoshuna exhaled and breathed easy. However, she wasn't exactly in the brightest of moods anymore.
"Why?... Why does Jii-Jii want me to keep such things from Naruto-kun? He has every right to know what has happened", she said to herself, feeling a stinging ping of guilt in her heart.
"I'm sorry, Naruto-kun"
Outskirts of Konoha...
A lone figure carrying a large grey sack walked his way though the forested area. His destination was unknown, but he was certainly sted-fast to arrive there. After a few minutes more of traveling, the figure stopped before a seemingly random column of trees.
He stood perfectly still and waited...
Not long afterwards, a SWORM(!!!) of ANBU Black Ops. surrounded the figure and trapped him in his place; kunai and various weapons ready for the slicing and the killing. The man huffed in exsasperation.
"Its me, you idiots!", he lashed.
Flipping their kill-switch to sleep mode, the ANBU suddenly realized who they almost struck down. Easing their weapons from the man, they stood away and bowed out of respect and appology.
"Forgive us Jiraiya-sama. We were not expecting you", Yuugao (the ANBU captain) said.
Jiraiya scoffed before adressing the captain.
"You're headquarters still has a morgue, correct? You know, for autopsies and such?", he asked.
Yuugao removed her mask, "Of course... why do you ask?", she questioned.
"I have a task from Tsunade; appearantly its urgent", the whited haired toad sage explained.
The ANBU traded glances toward one another before nodding. Yuugao stepped up.
"I know this may be vexing... but you must have some sort of clearance before entering", she said.
Jiraiya scowled, "Are you serio-!... Fine; you want clearance?...", he said in a bit of a menacing tone before flopping the grey sack upon the ground.
The ANBU carefully studied the sack. What they all saw when Jiraiya opened the sack, not only startled them, but it nearly made one of them wet their garments.
"Oh SHIT!!!", Yuugao cursed out of her startlement.
"Here's my damn clearance... Now are you gonna let me in, or am I gonna have to drop his festering corpse right here and leave?", Jiraiya hissed.
"N-No, of course not! We'll take you to the morgue right away"
Upon that word, Yuugao snapped her fingers, and two of the ANBU retied the bag and carried it away. I can't very well describe to you where they're going or how they get there, can I? No, than there secret headquarters wouldn't be so damn secret.
"Jiraiya-sama. What will you have us do with his body. Surely it is not a regular autopsy you require", Yuugao suggested.
"Of course not. Tsunade wants you to harvest all of his organs and keep them contained until she can study them", the middle aged man said.
All of the ANBU flinched back at hearing such a bizarre request.
"Harvest... his organs? Whatever for, if I may be so bold", the captain ask.
Jiraiya sighed, "To this very day, we don't know how he obtained his regenerative abilities. And we very well couldn't just ask him or beat it out of him. So now that the deed of killing him is finally done, we can find out ourselves. At least, thats what Tsunade wants", he explained.
"Then what troubles you, Jiraiya-sama?"
I don't like it! Nothing about this makes any sense. We've tried everything before, and nothing worked! No matter what we did, we couldn't find any way to kill him, and now all of a sudden he becomes vulnerable to the point of death?! Something about the whole thing stinks", he said with unmoving conviction.
"Huh? But... I don't understand, Jiraiya-sama. He is clearly dead. There are no life-signs what so ever. No chakra signal-not even a pulse; nothing"
(Don't ask how they could know that... they're ANBU)
Jiraiya was silent in conjunction to the previous statement. It didn't matter how he looked at it; Kuro Karatsune dying from ANY conventional means simply didn't compute with him. But he concluded that the present was a little more important with such changes in the air.
"Lets go Yuugao. I will over-see the operation", the whited haired Sannin said, "Oh and... be on the look out. The rest of the Jonin are sure to be informed of this as well; they'll be paying this place a visit"
Konoha Central Building...
Tsunade perched herself behind the huge desk that once belonged to the other village leaders before her.
She was deligantly reading an advanced medical journal; looking for a way to save a certain someone's Ninja career without taking his life (I think you can all guess who's).
The blonde woman's concentration was wavered by the entry of none other than Shizune. Seeing her beloved master in such a concentrative state, Shizune smiled.
"Working hard already? Glad to see you taking this Hokage business seriously", she said.
"Trust me, I'm not interested in all of that paper-work. Its a waste of time, if you ask me", Tsunade blankly responded as she turned a page of the medical journal.
Shizune's pride of her master's work ethic sunk a bit upon hearing that, yet she was slightly curious as to what she was reading if it wasn't the typical paper work.
Approaching the desk, the brunette Jonin took a peek at the journal and was slightly surprised; she saw several entries and documents about spinal conditions and things of the like.
Shizune then recalled a 'Rock Lee' who was gravely injured in battle and was told that his Ninja Career was at an end. The irony of it is, Tsunade was the one who uttered those words. Yet here she was, reading every last detail of the journal in order to find away to safe Lee.
Shizune silently smiled, not wanting to disturb her Master's work. She skimmed around the drawers of the desk, catching Tsunade's attention.
"What are you doing?", she questioned.
"Oh, I'm sorry! I should have asked your permission before snooping around"
Tsunade peaked down at the open drawer and saw the mission-lists from D to S, along with mission success details.
"Wait a second", the blonde woman said before putting the medical journal aside and rummaging through the drawer herself.
Slightly surprised, Shizune politely stood back as Tsunade pulled out a folder of mission success details. Throwing them on the desk, she quickly skimmed through them all before pulling out another folder and repeating the prossess.
Upon several minutes of research, Tsunade seemed a little peeved, based on Shizune's observation.
"Looks like all of the recent Academy graduates are getting their fair share of missions", Tsunade said mostly to herself.
Shizune looked at her master in slight confusion as to why she looked so vexed. Then she saw her looking through Team 7's mission status.
"Hmm, strange... only two out of these three Genin successfully completed three A-ranked missions"
"Did you just say A-ranked missions?? But these are Genin you're talking about, right? Shouldn't they be limited to D-ranked missions", Shizune questioned.
"Normally, yes. But look at this", Tsuande said, showing Shizune the folder.
"Hey, thats the team Naruto-kun is on! And... Kakashi Hatake is their squad leader and Sensei?"
The blonde Sannin studied the folder a bit longer before digging deeper into it. She then came across the recorded data from the second A-ranked mission that Naruto and one 'Sakura Haruno' attended. Upon doing this, she nearly gasped in shock when she read through it.
"No way... This is-"
"Tsunade-sama, whats the matter", a concerned Shizune asked.
"It... I-It says here that Naruto along with his teammate, Sakura Haruno, Ino Yamanaka and Anko Mitarashi set off to retreive a woman named Ashima Karatsune. They were successful in bringing her back to the village, but... she slowly died upon arrival", Tsunade informed.
Shizune didn't seem to understand why her master seemed so vexed about it... until the name 'Karatsune' popped back into her head.
"Karat-... But what does this mean?"
"I... don't know, but Sarutobi-sensei was the only one who gave them all clearance to go in the first place. Why would he send them out there to bring Ashima to Konoha?"
Tsunade studied the data further, noticing that it took place only a few days before the Chuunin Exams.
"And why in the name of God would a Chuunin Exam finalist be selected for a mission?", she murmured to herself
With that, Tsunade rose from her chair, vaulted over the desk and rushed back to the hospital, leaving a severly confused Shizune to wonder.
Of course, that didn't excuse her from the mess that Tsunade left during her little research session. Sighing heavily, she got right to work.
Tsunade arrived at the hospital, ready to tell all to a certain someone
Amazingly, however, the very person she wanted to see emerged right out of the hospital door in his normal shinobi gear; all rested up and ready to go.
"Kakashi. A word, please", Tsunade called out.
Catching the Copy Ninja's attention, he turned to her and was genuinly curious.
"I hope she's not here to rub my failures in my face again",Kakashi thought to himself.
"I think there are a few things you should know, right-up-front", the hazel eyed female said before turning the other sirection, "Follow me"
Raising an eyebrow, Kakashi nonchalantly shrugged before doing as he was told.
They both walked in silence, much to Kakashi's curiousity; thinking that this had to have been the most stimulating conversation he'd ever engaged in... Of course, when they arrived to the central building, Tsunade stopped.
She then leaped high, jumping upon the building to reach the top.
Copying this, Kakashi followed the blonde to the top, where she leaned forward upon the edge's railing.
With his gaurd up, the silver haired Jonin approached his new leader and stood beside her.
"May I ask why we're here?", Kakashi asked.
"Just needed to get away from public ears...", Tsunade answered.
She faced Kakashi's direction and stared him directly in the eye.
"You're Naruto's sensei right?", she asked.
"... I am"
"Thought so. I don't suppose you know anything about an A-ranked mission that Naruto and your other student, Sakura, attended before the Chuunin Exams, do you?"
Kakashi shot her a rather proplexed look, giving her the impression that he had NO idea what she was talking about.
"Than I'll cut to the chase... Your student; that Naruto... he's a lot more than he seems", Tsunade began.
Kakashi was silent since he already knew that little factor.
"That A-ranked mission he attended... was a retrieval mission for one: Ashima Karatsune. I'm sure you've heard of her", Tsunade implied.
"Wait, thats the mission Anko told me about before the Chuunin Exams...", the Copy Ninja thought, "You mean Naruto was apart of that mission, and Sakura too?"
"Thats right; they brought her back here but... well, I'm sure you know the rest"
The more Kakashi thought about it, the more it didn't make sense, and it showed on his face (or lack thereof)
"What was Hokage-sama thinking... Naruto was a Chuunin Exam finalist"
"I've realized this myself. Of course, there's no way we can just ask him why he allowed it now, can we?", Tsunade said.
Kakashi exhaled a meloncholy sigh.
"Listen, Kakashi. Its no secret to me that all of the Ninja within your ranks know about Kuro's mysterious revival"
The silver haired Jonin sneered slightly at that reminder.
"I trust that you've found a valid reason for that", Kakashi suggested.
Tsunade cracked a sly smirk as she answered.
"Well, because of the lone fact that he's dead, I'm afraid I won't have to", she said.
"I see... Well, along with the others, I haven't quite figured out how to tell my students abo-... Could please run that by me again???"
"Hmhmhmhm... If it wasn't for Naruto, it would've turned out grim... but its because of his desire to safe his home and the people he loves, did we recieve the highest advantage in the tide of battle", she explained.
"Wh-Wh-What?????... Naruto... f-fought Kuro??"
"Hn. More than once, Kakashi. You've got quite the little trooper on your hands, you know that?", Tsunade proudly remarked.
Speechless as he was, the one eyed shinobi could hardly think of any words to say.
The very idea that the most incapable (without traditional luck) of his students fought the Destruction Incarnate and LIVED(!!!!!!) was simply blowing his mind. In fact he was still in slight denial.
"Okay, lets rewind the tape real quick... Naruto fought Kuro..."
"As in Naruto Uzumaki..."
"As in Naruto, Naruto"
"Kid with blonde hair, about yey tall, loves Ramen to an inhuman exten-"
"YES!!!! How many TIMES do I have to say it?!?!?!"
With his suspicions confirmed, Kakashi remained as awestruck as ever. The fact that it came from Tsunade only made it more believable. As far as Kakashi was concerned, she had nothing to do with Naruto personally, so she'd have nothing to gain by making the whole thing up.
"He... He really fought-..."
"Listen... There's going to be a little harvest at ANBU Headquarters before my announcment as Hokage; you and the rest of your Jonin colleagues are cordially invited to observe. Inform all of your fellow Jonin, and anyone you feel should know everything that I just told you, to meet at this buidling, at this spot before-hand", Tsunade informed before turning around and walking past the Copy Ninja.
Kakashi stared down into the view of his village.
"The ANBU Headquarters, huh?... So we're still keeping the whole thing underwraps?"
"Yeah... just in case"
A frantic Naruto stood atop one of the buildings of his village in search of Ino.
To this very moment, he couldn't seem to find her OR Sakura anywhere, which was really freakin' stupid because of his awesome sense of smell and hearing.
Of course, the over crowded streets sure didn't help him in that department.
Sighing to himself, Naruto lifted his arms, stretching long and hard before sitting upon the edge of the building, watching over the flow of life that surfed through the streets of his home.
"Jeez... Of all times that I want to see them, I can't. This is bullshit", Naruto thought to himself, "Of course, I probably shouldn't be so eager; for all I know, Sakura-chan might wanna rip my balls off for the whole Ino-fiasco... What a pain"
With another sigh, the blonde Genin closed his eyes to settle his thoughts... when all of a sudden.
At hearing that, Naruto's eyes shot open before he whirled around and saw none other than Sasuke.
"Oi, Teme... You look well..."
"Tch... and you still look like an idiot. I can't believe you actually pulled this off", Sasuke said with a smirk.
Sasuke turned away, mouthing the words 'As if' while retaining his smirk.
But soon after, his demeanor changed.
"Ino and Sakura have been worried sick about you, Naruto; they've been driving themselves to near-insanity waiting for you to come back", he informed.
A ping was sent through Naruto's chest when he head that.
"Oh crap, I didn't want them to worry about me"
After a small pause, they both shared a good laughter, But Naruto's concerns were still as strong as ever.
"Do you have any idea where they are?"
Sasuke crossed his arms.
"Well, word spread pretty quickly about Tsunade's return, so they might be out looking for you", he said before walking next to his friend and taking a seat.
The two Genin gandered upon the ravishing view, and Sasuke was now debating himself over one particular matter.
The silence was making Naruto a little uncomfortable.
"Whats up with you?...", the blonde said.
"(sigh)... Nothing... Look, you should get going, and find Ino and Sakura before they go stir-crazy. Or at least... more than they all ready have"
"Hmm... I should, shouldn't I?... Alright then, I'll see ya around, Sasuke", Naruto waved before leaping off of the building.
Sitting in solitude, Sasuke closed his eyes and wondered if he did the right thing.
"Was it wise to listen to the old man?", he inwardly questioned.
The black haired Uchiha's senses were suddenly blazing when a familiar presence made itself known.
"You seem conflicted, child...", a shaky old voice sounded out.
Without even turning to the source of the voice, Sasuke stared out into the distance.
"Don't I have every reason to be, Old man? I don't see why we have to keep everything from Naruto. He deserves to know", Sasuke said.
From out of the blue, came Jii-Jii (cane in handy). Standing beside the seated Uchiha, the gold-clad geezer explained.
"He must never discover that Nekoshi and Kitsune arrived here; he would surely grow restless. Besides, thanks to you, they'll probably never show their faces in this village again", Jii-Jii said.
"I've been meaning to ask you about that. What the Hell did you give me, and what the Hell happened when I broke it?", Sasuke questioned.
"Hehehehehe. Well, lets just say that what ya did not only put us all in mortal danger... but saved us in the process"
"Child, the relic ya held in your hands the other day was the source of Kuro's powers; a special seal that he and his students held in substantial regards"
"W-What?! The source of hi-his powers?!"
"Shh! Keep ya voice down, Child... But yeah, you breakin' that seal was probably the worst thing that could've happened to poor old Kuro in a middle of a fight with the Sannin. Hehehehehe"
"That little stone?... I-I don't-... So what, did me breaking that relic kill him, or something?"
Jii-Jii, shut his eyes.
"No, son... it did somethin worst... Much... much worse. It was fortunate that I was able to participate, and stop the tranformation with this", Jii-Jii said as he pulled out an identical relic, "We can keep everything under control with this alternative sealing relic"
Sasuke turned an eye to the relic and recalled the radically eccsentric jutsu that the old traveler casted when the previous one had been shattered on the ground.
"Wait, what do you mean transformation?", the curious Uchiha asked.
"... It's no longer a factor of concern, Sasuke. The important thing is that you continue your training and keep your friends close. Your hardships have only just begun", Jii-jii informed before relinquishing his little carrying sack and dropping it upon Sasuke's lap.
Startled, the raven haired Genin took the sack and revealed what it carried.
"But... this is-... Why are you giving me this?", he questioned.
"Haven't I already made it clear, son? I trust you'll know what to do with such a responsibility", the old traveler said as he turned to leave.
Sasuke abruptly rose to his feet and shouted after his elder.
"W-Wait! Tell me; why are you doing all of this?", he questioned again, "Why is helping us out so important to you?"
The brearded old man stopped where he was and lowered his head with a soft sigh.
"... Its a family issue..."
With those final words, the mysterious Jii-Jii's form slowly broke down into dust and was swiftly carried away by the wind.
Now left completly alone, Sasuke was more curious than ever as to whats been happening, and what will happen in the future. But more importantly...
"Who are you, Old Man...?"
With his mind in wander, Sasuke stared down at Jii-Jii's gift.
"And why do you so willingly trust me with this thing?"
The panting Ino and Sakura were resting upon the bench of the village's park, catching there breaths.
"This is bullshit! Why can't we find him anywhere?!", Sakura yelled out loud.
"Who knows?... Its like he's invisible, or some-", Ino said before she was cut off.
"HE'S AVOIDING US, THATS WHAT HE'S DOING!!"
The platium blonde Kunoichi slowly turned her head to her pink haired friend with a blank face.
"Wow-there's, um... something wrong with you, isn't there...?"
"(Sigh)... Sorry, Ino-chan. It just feels like forever since I've been able to see him, hear him or touch him. Plus, just finding out that he's still in one peice? I think I'm actually losing my mind", Sakura said trying to relax herself.
"Really? Wow, I didn't notice", Ino sarcastically retorted.
With a huff of exsasperation, Sakura sunk into her seat.
"Come on, I miss him too, ya know. You're worrying too much, Sakura-chan. They said that he was here, right?. If we keep looking than I'm sure he'll turn up eventually"
"But I wanna see Naruto, now! This is so stupid! I mean, its bad enough that I didn't get to see him after we... umm... spent some special time together... but for almost two weeks?! I don't know how much more of this I can take, dammit! Do you hear me?!", Sakura writhed on.
It seemed as though her bitching fell upon deaf ears, however, as her purple-clad friend stared off into the distance on the left side. But looking closer at Ino's expression, it looked like she was oggling instead.
Raising an eyebrow to this, Sakura snapped her fingers in front of Ino's face, gaining no effect what-so-ever... Than she tried to see what she was staring at, and her face went rampade with shock.
Before them both, stood the object of their shared affections, standing tall with his hands to his hips. Though his back was turned to them, they just knew it was him; why, he was practically glowing! (Okay, by now you should know that they've pretty much went through a mental withdraw because of the lack of Naruto...)
Ino's eyes flipped to heart-shapes while Sakura's teeth scraped and grinded against themselves as she glared daggers at him.
"Dammit... I swear to God, if I don't find her soon, I'll go nuts", Naruto murmered to himself as he scanned the park for any signs of his favorite ladies.
It was only when he heard his name being shouted from behind, did Naruto turn around and notice a tremendously elated Ino and a wrathful she-devil-Sakura running at him.
(Que the Slow-mo)
Instantly becoming freaked out, Naruto turned-tail and attempted to make a run for it, screaming 'WHOA!' as he did so.
Unfortunately for Naruto, he was viciously tackled by the two females, where they were then sent on a massive tumble across the ground that only ended up with Ino relentlessly nestling to his chest with her arms around him, while a tearing Sakura mercilessly hugged/strangled/crushed the poor bastard by the neck.
As for Naruto, himself... Well... he was kind of unconscious to really enjoy/repel any of it...
Several minutes later...
Naruto's senses slowly restored as he was steadily comming to. From what he could make out, his head was lying upon something soft/firm, and very comfortable. Welcoming the relaxing feeling, the blonde shinobi coaxed a content moan as he cuddled against it; a smile tugging at his face.
Upon doing this, however, Naruto could have sworn that he heard giggling.
"He's so cute..."
"I know, right?"
Since he wasn't quite awake, those words only seemed like blurry sounds, though they were just enough to fully awaken him. Opening his eyes, the blue eyed Jinchuuriki saw Sakura's face looming over his; greeting him with a gentle, loving smile.
Naruto slightly turned his head to the side and saw a slim torso garbed in red. So he knew that Sakura's lap was what he rested upon.
He turned his head to the other side and saw yet another familiar face, blushing and smiling at him from above.
"Ino-chan...", Naruto thought.
"Welcome back, sleepy-head", Sakura cooed as she ran her fingers through Naruto's hair.
"Where did I go?...", he wearily murmered.
Ino stiffled a giggle under her breath.
"Through Hell in a ham-basket and back again, from what we were told", the bleach blonde female said.
Naruto nestled into Sakura's lap to get more comfortable and closed his eyes.
"Someone informed you? Was it that perverted Sage; I bet it was", he assumed.
Ino and Sakura shot glances toward each other, than back at Naruto.
"Lets just say, that it was a really good source", Sakura said.
Naruto peeled one of his eyes open, wondering who else could've possibly tipped them off.
"Really? What kind of source?", he asked curiously.
Sakura's breath caught in her throat as she sealed her lips shut. Ino glared at the pink haired female, barring her teeth; an expression that simply screamed 'you stupid bitch!'.
The blonde female calmed her expression and looked back at Naruto.
"Forget about it, Naruto-kun. The important thing is that you're back safely. We were so worried about you", Ino said.
A side of Naruto was a tad too curious to simply 'forget about it'. Something seemed a little off... but the more dominant side of him really wanted to let it all go.
The Hell that he suffered through is now a thing of the past, and he wanted to forget anything and everything that involved Kuro...
Besides, he didn't go out searchin' for his favorite ladies for nothin', right?
"Hmm... Your probably right, Ino-chan. Besides, there's a few things I wanna talk to you about anyway", Naruto admitted.
Sensing where this conversation was going, Ino's anticipation rode high, as did Sakura's.
Of course, they both saw hesitation in Naruto's face as he looked at his pink haired girl. Now completly certain what he was about to bring up, they both smiled at him.
"This wouldn't happen to be about Ino-chan's little schmoose she made on you, would it?", Sakura said as though she didn't know.
At hearing this, Naruto's eyes shot open with shock and awe.
He rose to sit up and stared at the two grinning females before him.
"H-How did you-"
"Lucky guess?", Ino playfully mocked.
"Na-ah. Sounds a little too good to be a guess. Someone care to start explaining things to me?", Naruto said with an eager curiosity.
Ino and Sakura traded another glace, and their grins became more vivid. Naruto was once again taken by surprise when he saw them both schooched side by side before getting right in his face, giggling excitedly.
"Have we got an explaination for you", they both chimed in unison.
Meanwhile, atop the Central Building...
"Are you serious?!", an incredibly surprised Iruka exclaimed, "And he's still alive?!"
"Yes. Thanks to Naruto, we were able to pull in the advantage in the battle", Tsunade said.
Standing before the Godaime (not just yet, but still...) were the Jonin leaders of all of the village clans; Yamanaka, Nara, Akimichi, Inuzuka, Aburame and Hyuuga , all of the Jonin Sensei and of COURSE Iruka.
Each one of them were not only shocked that the near-indestructable Kuro had finally met his end, but more on the fact that Naruto Uzumaki aided the cause.
Hell, even Kakashi couldn't get over the shock. And he was already told!
Standing beside Tsunade, was a cross-armed Jiraiya, who shared on passing the information.
"But his assistance in that fraction of the battle left much room for great concern. You all know of the demon within him...", the white haired Sage said.
Though they all knew what Jiraiya was talking about, Iruka isntantly became worried.
"Kuro had us all against the ropes and nearly took one of us out. When Naruto became too involved... something terrible happened", he trailed off.
"A thick demonic aura encased him, and his nature became nothing short of blood-thirsty. He attacked Kuro with a ferocity that humans simply don't possess. He caught him off gaurd... No, he caught all of us off gaurd. I've never seen anything like it... he nearly tore him apart with his bare hands", Tsunade said.
"The aura took a very unique form; a two-tailed form. We're unclear of what it means exactly, but there's one thing that we know for certain. And its not good", Jiraiya continued.
"I see... So Minato-sensei's seal is beginning to weaken... For the Kyuubi to have such an influence upon Naruto... Tsunade didn't tell me that", Kakashi trailed in his thoughts.
"Unfortunatly, Kuro was able to gain the upper hand again, as he acknowledged Naruto's inability to distinguish friend from foe. Because of his blind and savage nature, Naruto couldn't focus on his enemy", Tsunade added.
"But it was what happend afterwards, that was most disturbing. For no ryhme or reason that we can think of, Kuro was suddenly crippled with tremendous agony. His energy fluxuated dangerously, before it plummeted like an asteroid... thats when we struck"
"Something was strange about the whole ordeal, though. When Kuro's power mysteriously decreased, Naruto's own energy decreased as well; his demonic aura was gone and was out of it from there on out. When he awakened earlier this morning, he claimed to have not remembered anything after his little... change"
Both Jiraiya and Tsunade paused to let everything sink in, and as expected, there wasn't a single calm expression on any of the Jonin's faces. Iruka, in particular, was the most worried out of them all.
It felt like its been forever since he was able to sit down and ask Naruto how his life has been since he saw him last. (Second Chapter)
And now, from what he was just told, he began to fear that Naruto was changing into someone else; someone that was merely a shell of what he once was. Though the tanned academy teacher hoped against all possible hope that he was wrong in his worries.
"Kuro is dead... and we have brought his body here for examination and study; If we can find out why we were unable to kill him before, than we may be able to prevent him from ever comming back", Tsunade said.
"Wait. They brought his body here?!",Anko mentally shouted.
"That is mainly why I summoned you all here. You're all expected within the ANBU Headquarters to oversee the autopsy with Jiraiya. You must contain his organs after harvesting until I can study them in private", Tsunade added.
All Jonin, nodded in affirmation.
"And what of you, Tsunade-sama?", Asuma questioned.
"Well, I am the Godaime Hokage, you know; can't just waltz out of the village walls whenever I want when there's work to be done. Now get goin'", the blonde Sannin said.
Acknowledging the task at hand, the Jonin leaders hastly turned-tail and were about to take their leave.
"Oh, and one more thing", Tsunade called out, gaining stares from them all, "How's about none of us go around breathing a word of this to the Council, huh?"
With a simaltaneous 'Hai' from the lot of them, all of the Jonin vanished from off of the building to their destination. Now alone with Jiraiya, Tsunade crossed her arms and thought for a moment.
"Keeping it from the Council, eh? Why the secrecy, Tsunade-hime", the white haired Sannin questioned.
The hazel eyed female shut her eyes.
"Don't play coy with me Jiraiya. You know as much as I do, the risky move we're making", Tsunade said.
"Heh, we? I seem to recall this hair-brained scheme to be your idea. Besides, we're gonna have to spill the beans to them some time or another.", Jiraiya mentioned.
"I know that... I just want him to stay dead. And removing all of his organs to prevent any miscellaneous regeneration seems like the best way to do it"
"Hmm... Well, I suppose I'd better get a move on. As cautious as they are, the ANBU might get suscpicious if I'm not there with the other Jonin. I'll see ya later, Tsunade", Jiraiya said before taking his leave.
With her duties as village leader laid before her, Tsunade steeled her resolve for what was to come...
If she only knew...
Far beyond the boundaries of civilization...
The flustered and greatly vexed Nekoshi and Kitsune (dawning their red Akatsuki attire) sat before a long and vast creek, silent and down-hearted.
"That sorry sack of bovine excrement... How could I let him break the seal? For that matter, how did he get his shitty little paws on it?!", Nekoshi cursed.
"It doesn't matter anymore, Nekoshi; we've failed... We've failed our task... We've fail our sensei. There's nothing we can do now", a depressed Kitsune said.
Nekoshi slammed his fist into the shore out of sheer anger.
"No!... I don't believe it; I won't believe it!", he shouted.
"Oh come on, Love; you felt it too. Kuro-sensei's life force is completely gone", the tanned female uttered.
"But... it can't be. After all of the things we've been through? Just like that?? There's no way... there's simply no way he can be gone"
Kitsune sighed sorrowfully.
"Nekoshi... I don't want to believe it either. In fact, I always thought he was invincible... but this is the way things are now. We have to accept them whether we want to or not"
"No, I'm telling you... something about this whole thing seems off", the burly veteren said.
Kitsune raised an eyebrow at Nekoshi's words.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, for starters, whats in the back of your mind right now?"
Nekoshi stood up and pulled out a slashed Konoha headband. Out of sheer rememberance, Kitsune recognized it.
"What the-... How did you get your hands on that?", she questioned.
"I took it from Naruto's apartment and kept it for irony's sake. The point is, doesn't the kid seem to be plowing around in your mind every now and again?", the white haired man continued.
"Yeah, but... is there some hidden answer to this riddle?"
"No riddle... but cold-hard fact"
Kitsune peered at her companion's face for answers.
"What are you getting at?", the blue haired kunoichi asked again.
"Isn't it obvious by now? We're all still connected. When Kuro-sensei's energy signal vanished, our connection with Naruto should've vanished along with it. If he's really dead, than why do we have a super-strong intuition as to where the boy is and what he's doing at this very moment?", Nekoshi pointed out.
Hearing these points sent shivers up Kitsune's spine.
"By God, he's right! I know exactly whats going on with the boy right now", Kitsune inwardly exclaimed.
Nekoshi stared at the slashed headband for a moment longer before a smile crept upon his face. He knelt down before the shore of the creek and dropped the headband into the water; watching it being carried off along the stream.
"I see now... so its not over yet", Kitsune murmered.
"No, babe... this is only the beginning", the blackened eyed warrior concurred as he pulled out his sun glasses and slipped them unto his face.
With a new goal now concieved by the whily veteren, he immediatly sped off. Taken by surprise, Kitsune hastily picked herself up and followed.
"Nekoshi?! Where are you going?!"
"Just follow me, Kitsune! One way or another, we WILL make his dreams a reality!"
Streets of Konoha...
Naruto was reluctantly dragged by the arms, across the village by Ino and Sakura.
He could point two things slightly out of place about the situation. One; they both happily treated him to food and things of the like without so much as a competetive, seething or otherwise hateful glance toward each other, and second; they neglected to explain their mysteriously gained knowledge.
Needless to say, he starting to get a little ticked off.
"Is this just a girl's way of beating around the bush, or what?", Naruto inwardly huffed to himself.
"So where should we go next??", and ultra excited Ino said.
"Well, our options are limited, since we can't go to the other towns without supervision". Sakura mentioned.
"True... And hanging around the village is starting to get a bit boring. Say, what do you wanna do Naru-... oh", Ino cut herself off in mid-sentence when she saw the look on her fellow blond's face.
Sakura, who was oblivious to Naruto's displeasure, carried on with her planning and was JUST about to say something further until Ino stopped her with a grasp to her shoulder. Confused, the pink haired female shot Ino a puzzling stare before she too caught glimpse of Naruto's expression.
It was at that moment that both Sakura and Ino decided that the time was ripe.
"On second thought... why don't we all find some place a little more private", Sakura reconsidered.
Dropping his seething expression almost completely, Naruto stared up at his female companions questioningly.
Before being given a chance to say anything, the black-clad Genin was again pulled along by his arms.
NAruto found himself standing before his female counterparts inside the walls of the Chuunin stadium minutes later; private and discreet as Ino and Sakura had wished it.
"Okay, whats been going on, you two? I feel like I've missed too much and I want answers", Naruto sternly demanded.
Sakura was the first to speak out.
"Answers... right. Well, I can say that you've missed out on a few things, definately", she began rather hesitantly.
Naruto slightly frowned at the constant beating around the bush, trying his damndest not to let it show too much.
"(Sigh)... Let's just cut to the chase; while you were gone, Ino and I have been... talking to say the least", Sakura carefully advanced, pressing her fingers together.
"Okay...", Naruto said with a curious edge.
"We've been talking about... well, you know... us"
"Us...", Naruto flatly reiterated with a raised eyebrow.
Sakura could feel her hesitation growing from within, and Ino was well aware of it. Needless to say, she was getting a little impatient
"Y-Yeah. You see... the thing is-... well, that is to say-"
"Oh, for fuck's sake!", Ino blurted out before she abruptly took Sakura's hand and intertwined it with her own.
At this, Naruto's curiosity was piqued further as he stared at the tangled hands.
Ino's lack of stability in this matter made Sakura more nervous than before, but decided that she would be best suited to breaking the 'big news'.
"What our illiterate friend is trying to say, is that we've been seeing each other. More than usual, that is", Ino comfirmed.
At this, Naruto crossed his arms. That particular chesture made Sakura squirm inside, questioning if this was a total mistake.
"Well thats painfully obvious...", Naruto responded without any specific tone.
Hearing this made the girl's heads spin a hundred rotations a second.
"W-What do you mean its obvious?!", they both freaked out in unison.
"Well, you both have eyes and you're actually getting along... I'd say you've been seeing a lot of each other too, but how does that answer my question?", NAruto densely asked.
Both Ino and Sakura had to keep themselves from falling on their faces at the sheer idiocy, but they retained their composure (and the urge to whack him upside his head).
"That's not what I meant, Naruto-kun... I mean we've been seeing each other", Ino calmly explained as she pulled Sakura closer to her and ran her fingers through her glossy pink hair.
Seeing this(!), sent a chill through Naruto's spine.
"What the Hell is she talking about... why is she holding Sakura-chan like that?", he inwardly questioned, "Now I'm confused... what are you trying to tell me?"
Both female's faces fell.
"Still don't get it, huh?", Ino sighed as she tried to think of another way to explain.
Naruto could feel himself growing more and more irritated, and was on the verge of cracking. Sensing this, Sakura's gut-instinct ordered her to make a risky move. The results were uncertain, but she decided that Naruto has waited long enough.
"Okay... Maybe it'll be better if we just show you what we mean", the pink haired kunoichi suggested, gaining an impressed look from Ino.
With his curiosity piqued again, Naruto eagerly awaited to see this physical explaination. Waisting no more time, Sakura took her female parter's chin and leaned forward; Ino repeated this action.
Naruto's jaw went numb and his arm slowly dropped to his sides as he witnessed their faces edging closer to one another. His eyes widened to an unbelievable radius when their lips met.
Meanwhile, at the Central Building...
Tsunade stood before the large window in her new office, staring down upon the book that would save Rock Lee's Shinobi Career. That is until she was interuppted by a knock on her door.
"Who is it?", she demanded.
"Sasuke Uchiha is here to speak with you, Hokage-sama", the informant said, gaining a raised eyebrow from Tsunade.
Upon those words, the large double-doors opened, and in came Sasuke with his usual expression. Tsunade set the book upon her desk, looked the boy over and noticed that he carried a little brown sack with him. The doors closed behind Sasuke as he approached Konoha's new leader and bowed respectfully.
Smirking slightly at the Uchiha's manners, Tsunade sat at her desk with her chin rested upon her laced hands.
"You... You're one of Naruto's teammates", the blonde Sannin said.
"Yes I am...", Sasuke comfirmed.
Tsunade looked him over again, and her expression fell a bit.
"Jiraiya was right; he's so uptight he practically squeaks...", she thought to herself, "So, to what do I owe this visit"
Getting right to the point, Sasuke reached inside the brown sack and pulled out the object it carried. This immediately made Tsunade's eyes nearly fall out of her head. She was so surprised, she shot to her feet.
"I understand that you know what this could be", Sasuke said as he held the object within his hand.
Growing more and more alert, Tsunade approached the younger Ninja to take a closer look.
"Th-That stone!! But... But how?!... When did this kid get his hands on it?!", she inwardly pondered, "Kid... do have any idea what you're holding?"
"All too well", Sasuke responded without so much as a batted eyelash, "But you seem to know a lot more behind it than I do"
He offered the mysterious relic to his leader, and she practically snatched it from his hands and studied it further.
"I know about Kuro Karatsune", the Uchiha said out of the blue.
Hearing this, Tsunade flinched and shot Sasuke an awed stare.
"What? But... how?"
"So, you all know the truth...", Tsunade trailed off.
"Thats right. I understand that the council had our best interest in mind by keeping it from us", Sasuke assured.
"And you've all kept your word and revealed nothing to the public?"
The hazel eyed female turned away from her guest as she stared at the sealing relic in her hands. A cloud of silence filled the room for a time, until Tsunade simply HAD to have her question answered.
"Who gave you this?", she asked directly.
"Does a man who calls himself Jii-Jii mean anything to you?"
At first, Sasuke heard nothing in response; he stared at Tsunade, waiting for one. Since her back was turned, he couldn't see the seething and hateful expression on her face.
The black-clad Uchiha flinched at the sudden snap-back.
"Leave at once...", Tsuande clarified with a little more force.
Sasuke's eyes became fearful the INSTANT he felt a thick wave of murderous intent eminate from the hot-headed woman. He slowly backed away from the angry Tsunade.
"NOW!!!", she shouted.
Gasping, Sasuke turned tail and ran out of the office; nearly plowing right through Shizune, who was just shy inches away from the door. Shocked by Sasuke's sudden exit, Shizune peered into Tsunade's office in concern.
"Tsunade-sama?", she called out.
At her own risk, the brunette Kunoichi entered, only to find an empty room and an open window. Suddenly growing worried for some reason, Shizune hastily exited.
"Sweet grandma in a speed-waggon goin' 90; I'm SO glad the hotsprings are still intact!", an overly excited Jiraiya said to himself as he spyed upon the gorgeous young girls lounge around the streamy hot waters via his so-called 'research-a-scope'.
Lying on his stomach far from the hotsprings, the old pervert took in every fabulous detail; drooling and cackling as usual
"Heeheeheehee! Maybe if I'm patient, I'll be lucky enough to catch some 'story-telling' action!"
As mentioned long before, nothing really distracts Jiraiya from his 'research' unless it was something of dyer importance; in which case, another person accompanied him in his peepi-... research; sitting up straight
"Guess it's a good thing I suckered 'em into signin' some release-forms, just in case, huh?", a shaky old voice rung out from Jiraiya's left.
"Jii-Jii... I still can't believe you can show your face around here after what happened. Surely you're not here remenace about the good old days", Jiraiya said as he spied.
"So ya knew the whole time, eh? Well, I appreciate ya not tellin' Tsu-hime 'bout any o' this. Last thing I need is an amazon with an attitude after my throat", Jii-Jii responded.
"That only makes me more curious as to why you'd show up now, of all times; you know that Tsunade's taking Sarutobi-sensei's place as leader of this village... One would assume that you actually wanted to be found"
"Guitly as charged... Better if she finds me than I find her... that would turn out baaaad"
Jiraiya ceased his peeping and stared up.
"Than why are you really here, Jii-Jii", he questioned sternly.
The gold-clad old timer continued to peep, but held the conversation strongly.
"Stop playin' stupid Jiraiya, its gettin' as old as I am. You know as well as I do that killin' him was way too easy", Jii-Jii said.
"And you say I'm playing stupid. If you knew about this, than why haven't already confronted Tsunade about it?", Jiraiya argued.
"'Cause Jii-Jii know how women operate; holdin' grudges is what they do best. Now you weigh out the pros and cons of me just walkin' up to a hot-headed chick, who's had fourteen years to accumilate all o' that hostility, and tell me that its a good idea"
"If it means the safety of this and every other village, I'd say cons be damned"
"Son, what I'm doin' is for the safety of this and every other vi-... Jiraiya--Jiraiya-JiraiyaJIRAIYAJIRAIYA!!!!!!!!!", Jii-Jii frantically shouted as he pointed his twidling finger toward the direction of the hotsprings.
"What-What-WHAT?!?!!?!?", the white haired pervert responded as he hastily resumed his peeping, "What?! I don't see anything!
Jii-Jii: A little to the left.
"Oh... Oh...! OH!!! WHOA, BABY!!! Is she doing what I THINK SHE'S DOING?!?!"
"Unless gettin' rough with anotha chick in a kinky way no longer applies to the smut category, than I say SHE IS!!"
Both gleeful perverts happily enjoyed the show, laughing and cheering fro more... all while blissfully unaware of the lurking shadow from behind them.
"WHOO-HOOO!!! Punish her!!", Jiraiya cheered on.
"(Whistles) She is tearin' her--UP", Jii-Jii concurred, "Heh-heh-heh-hey look at that; she tryin' to act like she don't like it"
"GOOD!! Makes it all the hotter!
The shadow lurking from behind, draped over them without their realizing.
"Shit! Jii-Jii better get his camera!", the aged perv said before averting his attention from the action and fumbled in his pockets.
"(GASP) Oh my God! Hurry, man; I think one of the five that are watching is about to joy in!", the not so old but equally perverted Jiraiya warned.
"What?! God dammit; where the Hell's that camera"
As Jii-Jii continued to search for his camera, he failed to notice his fellow pervert being kicked off of the building. By this time he had found what he was looking for.
"Got it!... What the-", the old man said as he finally noticed Jiraiya's absence.
Looking forward, he noticed a little spek in the air from a distance; he peered through his telescope to find that it was none other the Toad Sage himself, flipping and spinning through the air. Jii-Jii lowered his spying tool revealing a nervous face.
"(Gulp) So, heh-heh-heh... ya found me Tsu-hime. Wha-Wha-What a surprise. Heh-heh... heh", he chuckled nervously as he braced for the impending punishment.
When he felt nothing come his way, Jii-Jii grabbed his trusty cane beside him and staggered to his feet. He stared at the blonde woman curiously.
"Whats this, now? No pummeling? No merciless beat-down?"
Tsunade frowned deeply just before she held up the sealing relic given to her by Sasuke. A smile came upon the bald travelers face as he saw this.
"Just as I anticipated; he did the right thing afterall... Perhaps he is the one", Jii-Jii thought to himself.
"You do realize that, had it not been for this, you'd already be a smear on the face of this building, right?", Tsunade mentioned with some rather heinous venom in her voice.
"The notion had crossed my mind", Jii-Jii answered with a slight grimace.
Not buying her older counter-part's little routine, she immediately grew impatient.
"I've had enough of your mind game's, Old man. Why did you give this to the Uchiha?", she demanded.
Jii-Jii pushed up his small glasses as he turned toward the edge of the building.
"Because I knew I could trust him; he has sound judgement, but still lacks proper guidence..."
Tsunade stared after the bearded geizer suspisciously.
"Knew you could trust him? You don't even know him", she protested.
"True, but he did exactly as I expected of him... twice", Jii-Jii explained further.
Tsunade could feel her impatience getting the better of her as she tried to listen to Jii-Jii's words. If any of her past experiences were any indication, than the old man's words have always carried some kind of hidden meaning to them that she would never catch until much later.
"Than answer me this... why are you here", the Medic Master questioned as she stashed the sealing relic away.
Jii-Jii stood silent as he stare off upon the beauty of Konoha.
"... I came here to warn you, Tsu-hime... Naruto Uzumaki must not be allowed to live within these village walls any longer than necassary"
"What the-?! How do you know about Naruto?! And what on Earth do you mean?!", Tsunade demanded.
"How I know about the boy is totally irrelevant. What is imporatant, is that you listen to my words very carefully", Jii-Jii said much to Tsuande's anger.
Swallowing her pride the best she could, the blonde Sannin steeled her will to listen to the old man; regardless of how much she wanted to punch his head off.
"You are well aware of Naruto's weakened Fire-seal, correct?"
Tsunade silently nodded.
"Do you know why the seal has weakened to such an expenential rate; for him to be able to summon two of the Kyuubi's tails?"
Tsunade gave careful thought to that prospect.
"Than perhaps you realize that Kuro's influence upon Naruto was not natural", Jii-Jii threw out there.
It was upon that question that Jii-Jii reached into his robe-pocket. Bracing her self out of instinct, Tsunade watched the old traveler carefully as he relinquished a hand-held bag.
He reached into the bag and pulled out a hand-full of strange yellow powder.
"What is that?", the hazel eyed woman questioned.
"... A curse to human nature, Tsu-hime", Jii-Jii answered as he watched the tainted powder seep through his reckly fingers, "A pleague as evil as the mad-man responsible for its creation"
Tsunade gave Jii-Jii's words even more careful consideration.
"Thats right... This powder; this... evil concaction, is the end result of Naruto's grave misfortune. It works like a virus; when inhaled, it courses through the blood stream. Its purpose in its travels through the body is to reach the heart and brain. And when its course is complete, the host is nothing short of a ticking time-bomb of death and destruction", Jii-Jii explained.
Feeling her worry start to creep up on her, Tsunade unconsciously rose her hand to her chest.
"What are you telling me, Old Man? A-Are you saying that... Naruto was-..."
The aged traveler lowered his head with regret.
"I'm afraid so, Tsu-hime...", the gold glad old man sighed, "The grains of this powder have Kuro's very soul woven into them; upon his will and his will alone, are the powder's affects active"
The blonde Hokage could only look away into the distance as she pondered the future outcome of all of this.
"How do I stop it"
The old man sighed before placing the sack of dorment powder back in his golden robe.
"... Tsu-hime, you know as well as I do that its too late-WHOA!", Jii-jii yelled as he was abruptly yanked by the collar of his robe.
"Of all times to play your games, Old Timer, NOW'S NOT THE TIME!!", Tsunade roared with fury and fear.
Keeping his wits about him, the collected Jii-Jii continued his explainations.
"Its far too late to save the boy, Tsu-hime; after exposure to the spours the powder produces, it takes twelve hours for it to take its course. Once that happens, the host is under the complete influence of Kuro's will... and Naruto was exposed two nights previous", he explained.
With her breath now caught in her throat, Tsunade froze in her place as she stared into Jii-Jii's closed eyes; searching for any kind of falt in his conviction. Seeing none, what so ever, she released the grip she had upon his robe, clinching her teeth in despair.
Straightening his appearance, Jii-Jii peered to his left, and his facial expression became dead serious.
"Reach out with your heart... can you feel it? The rage?... the hate?... The maddness that tears through his very soul as we speak?"
Tsuande concluded that she fully understood where the short old man was comming from.
"I... I've felt since the moment he woke up this morning... I-I thought it was just my imagination, you know?", Tsunade said with a noticabley shaky voice, "I had no idea it ran this deep... but I should've guessed Kuro's reasons for letting him live after the first time, or at all even"
Jii-Jii turned back to the younger woman.
"Then you must also be aware that its not over..."
Tsunade's fist tightened greatly at hearing that.
"Kuro's body may be lifless, but his will now lives on... within Naruto. Poor child... A demon fueling his power, and a devil fueling his hatred", Jii-Jii said.
To say that Tsunade was now at a loss for words and answers, would be dead accurate. All she could do was stare at the ground in silence, wishing that she knew what to do.
"You must make your decision immediately, Tsu-hime... Nekoshi and Kitsune will return to ensure the final act"
The hazel eyed woman's face blew up with shock at those words.
"What did you say?!"
"If ever there was a time you wished to speak to your former student, than you'll have your chance; those two will arrive here to ensure that Naruto's fate is final... and you'll have a choice. Either you can allow things to take their course... or you can interviene and make certain that those two never get to the boy", the old timer explained.
"Just be certain of this, Young Leader; if you allow Naruto to stay within these walls... he will forever be lost; his soul and mind will be twisted by the evil that now festers within his young heart", he continued.
As if she didn't have enough to worry about...
Tsunade stared hard into Jii-Jii's closed eyes.
"I... I understand... but tell me something; if I were to allow this to happen; if I were to let them do what they intend... then what?", she asked in a quiet tone.
"... Then you will be spared the agonizing torture of having to exile the Yondaime's only son from his own home. Once he learns of his inevitable fate, he will leave upon his own free will in the hopes that he will never lay harm to the ones he loves. He will go with Nekoshi and Kitsune, and that will be the end of it", Jii-Jii answered.
Tsunade's hair fell over her eyes, agonizing over the situation. She KNEW something was wrong. She could feel something amiss even long-after she figured out Kuro's intentions for Naruto... but she just didn't act.
She truly knew not what to do.
"The choice is your's to make Tsu-hime; you're the leader of this village, and I shall no longer impede upon your decisions"
Upon those words, Tsunade looked up for a final time and saw that Jii-Jii was completely gone...
"Naruto!" Sakura yelled as she walked after the steaming blonde, "Naruto, wait!"
Naruto, after witnessing Ino and Sakura lock lips RIGHT in front of him, was power-walking away from the two with a heavy scowl upon his face.
"Naruto-kun, hang on! Give us a chance to explain!", Ino shouted after him.
Not willing to respond, the black clad Jinchuuriki kept walking without a single acknowledgement. Despite their desperate plee's, he didn't even consider stopping for them.
But what happened next, intensified the situation; Sakura forced him to stop with a powerful grip on his arm.
"Now wait just a minute Naruto! Can't you at least give two lousy seconds to explain?!", she yelled a little more forcefully than she intended.
The pink haired female recieved the recognition she wished for when Naruto whipped his head to her direction, holding his soul-shaking scowl, and causing her to squirm inside. She flinched back as she felt the scorn of Naruto's expression.
He harshly ripped his arm from Sakura's grip before facing her completely and crossing his arms. Out of frightful impulse, Sakura stumbled back as she stared hopelessly into the blonde's eyes.
"I'm waiting...", he said with a slight growl to his voice.
Suddenly at loss for words, Sakura pressed her index fingers together and stammered upon what little words she could actually produce.
"Come on... spit it out!", Naruto yelled without mercy, "Give me one good reason why I should stick around you two any longer!"
It was at that moment that Ino stepped up beside the distrought Sakura.
"Now hold on a second! I'll have you know that we did that for you! We were trying to-"
"I don't think I ASKED YOU!!", he snapped out.
The bleach blonde Kunoichi gasped sharply as she felt the same biting scorn at that very moment as well.
"Now tell me why I should stay here and listen to your pitiful excuses!", Naruto demanded again, glaring directly at Sakura.
Feeling the need to explain her actions more than ever, Sakura swallowed hard and fortified her best efforts to do so.
"Listen, Naruto. I know it was sudden, but I-... we thought that you'd welcome the oppurtunity with open arms", Sakura feebley defended.
Naruto's frown became more vivid.
"'Welcome the opputunity'?... You honestly believed that I would welcome you frenching someone else in front of me with OPEN ARMS?!?!", he roared in disbelief.
"I... I-I-", Sakura stammered further, feeling more and more stricken by her mistake.
"How could you, Sakura-chan?! I trusted you!"
"You start other realationships behind my back, and I TRUSTED YOU!!!!"
It was at that moment that a bold Ino took a defensive stand between the two... in opposition to Naruto. With a look of shock written on his face, the blonde boy stared at her.
"Stop it, Naruto-kun! I told you before that we did it for you! We wanted to show you that we hooked up just for YOU!", Ino shouted.
Silence filled the empty Chuunin stadium at that very moment. Indeed, Naruto had heard and understood every word just spoken to him... but he could feel his anger start to rise to the surface.
He just stood there, with his mouth hanging open, still trying to comprehend why... why they one-uped and betrayed him RIGHT before his very eyes. Retaining his facial expression, Naruto simply turned around and leaned forward against the wall of the stadium.
He stared into the wall as he drove his fingers into it, feeling yet, another burning sensation within his heart.
"Are you listening to me?!", Ino shouted from behind him.
Upon this, Naruto's teeth clinged HARD as he stared at his trembling hand. Even in his current state, he began to swell up with fear as he quite literally saw nothing... but red. The distraught blonde became short of breath and he clutched his hand over his thumping heart.
Glaring into the wall, Naruto became completely deaf to the cries and yells behind him. Instead, he lost control of his reactions and launched his fist into the wall. This action gained a terrified gasp from both Ino and Sakura, who stared at the boy in shock.
Naruto, realizing what he had just did, yanked his fist out of the damaged wall before latching both of his hands unto his now aching head. Groaning in sudden pain, he fell to his knees whispering distasteful curses in the air.
Hearing that voice, for some reason, nearly drove Naruto mad. He vanished completely from sight and didn't even think of looking back.
A down-hearted Tsunade returned to her office with a look of hoplessness on her face.
Closing the door behind her, the blonde woman walked to her desk and practically dropped into her seat. She leaned back into her chair and stared at the ceiling in wonder; brain-storming her severly limited options.
Her thinking would have to wait, however, as the sound of her office door re-opening, shook her out of it. Though she continued to stared at the ceiling, Tsunade knew who it was.
She straightened herself back up and immediately saw a look on her face that was almost identical to her own...
"So... you heard every word, huh?", Tsunade solemnly asked.
"Hai... Tsunade-sama", Shizune murmered.
Approaching her master's desk, Shizune took the seat before it and stared into her eyes for any sort of answer. She was obviously as lost as Tsunade was, but the fact stood clear that business came first.
"Ahem... I-I came to inform you that the harvest is complete; the organs have been contained and are waiting for you at the ANBU headquarters", Shizune said in the most professional demeanor she could muster.
Sadly, the most she recived from her beloved master was an 'okay'. Its was painfully obvious that she wasn't necassarily focused on the subject. Shizune searched Tsunade's lost eyes.
"Tsunade-sama... what will you do?", the brunnete Jonin asked.
Looking down at only her desk, the hazel eyed Sannin couldn't answer that question in good conscience. She knew she didn't have much time, and she also knew that Jii-Jii was not lying... She could feel it in her bones.
Without giving her apprentice even a look, Tsunade turned her attention back to the book she was studying upon, trying with all of her strength to let it all go... as that seemed to be the best thing she could possibly do for poor Naruto's sake.
More importantly, she contimplated how to confront the inevitable... How to confront her former pupil for the first time in fourteen years.
Feeling every fiber of her master's anguish down to the very teeth, Shizune's face fell even deeper.
"Oh Tsunade-sama...", she thought sorrowfully.
Deciding that her presence would be a bother at this point, Shizune rose from her seat and turned for the door. Reaching out for the knob, the black-dressed kunoichi gave her master one last look before turning it.
Before she was even able to open the door, another person from the other side knocked on it.
Raising an eyebrow to this, Shizune cautiously opened the door and saw the person behind it. Her voice caught into her throat, unable to utter a single word. Her eyes went wide and livid, and her hands fell to her sides as she stared into the shaded sun-glasses of the man before her.
"Ho-... H-How did you get in here?..."
"Well infiltrating this village, sneaking through the busy streets without a peep and getting up here without getting killed is in a league all in its own right, let me tell you what. Luckily, I'm just that damn good...", the man bragged.
Hearing the voice from where she was, Tsunade looked up and saw a petrified Shizune at the office entry-way.
"Who is that?", she questioned.
Her response, was Shizune backing away as the new presence entered the office. As this person came into clear view, Tsunade froze up at the same instant.
Gently shoving Shizune aside, the man fully showed himself to the Godaime.
"I've finally returned to you... my Master"
"Y-...You...", Tsunade stammered as she stared at the man.
"Tch. 'You'? Thats it? Thats all you have to say to me after fourteen long years?? You're one cold-hearted bitch, you know that", he stated.
Tsunade regain as much focus as she could muster as she prepared for a good old fashioned interrogation.
"I didn't come here to fight, Shishou; I came here... to talk", the white haired veteren interuppted, "But why don't you, Shizune and I go someplace a little more... open"
Upon those words, Nekoshi waved his hand through the air; residual chakra trailing from his fingers. In a single instant, Tsunade's office was completely morphed into a spectral array of cosmic anomolies, flying and speeding passed them as though they were all traveling somewhere at speeds unimaginable.
Tsunade observed the mind-boggling phenomena in complete awe, before steeling her focus upon the one responsible.
Shizune fell on her bottom as she lost her balance staring into the wild display.
Several seconds afterwards, everything stopped as instantaneously as it began, revieling a place... far from Konoha. Barron... Bitter cold... Frozen over.
"Welcome... to my little slice of Hell"
Bordering Walls of Konoha...
The distictive sound of heart-wrenching sobs echoed into the air from the railed walk-ways atop the protective walls.
Sitting upon them, was a heart-broken and severely frightened Naruto; his legs hanging through the railing. The torturous images of Sakura kissing Ino in front of him constantly replayed in his head, and his heart ached every time.
"I don't understand... How could she do that to me???", he questioned out loud.
The sense of betrayal was bad enough, but what Naruto felt with that, is what scared him half to death.
Bloodlust... Malice... A desire for slaughter.
Those feelings resided in his heart and burned at his soul. All of those feelings were directed... toward Ino and Sakura. The very prospect of those thoughts were almost enough to tear the blonde in two different directions.
Naruto lowered his head and leered unto his hands, noticing that he was still seeing nothing but red. Feeling truly lost at that moment, all he felt he could do was cry.
He immediately ceased his whails when he felt the presence of another. The strage thing about it, aside from the fact that he knew exactly who it was, was that he wasn't frightened by this presence.
For a reason he could not comprehend, he welcomed it.
Though focused on the person behind him, Naruto's tearful eyes peered into the wilderness before him.
"Naruto-chan...", said the person behind him.
"What do you want from me?..."
"No... Its not about what we want, Naruto-chan... its about what you want... and what we can give you"
Standing behind the lost Naruto was none other than Kitsune, staring down at him with a heavy heart.
"All I want is to be left alone! Go away!!", the black-clad Genin snapped.
In an instantaneous reaction, the blue-haired female fell to her knee's and latched her arms around Naruto, much to his unyeilding shock.
Speechless and wide-eyed, Naruto froze where he was, unable to utter anything.
"They've hurt you, Naruto-chan... I can feel your agony; your grief", Kitsune cooed.
Naruto frowned out of impulse.
"What do you know of it... to be thrown aside for someone you trusted. To be... betrayed knowing that you'd never do anything to hurt the one you love?! What the Hell do you know of ANYTHING!!", he roared.
At this, the tanned Akatsuki warrior expressed her audasity and pulled Naruto as close as she could possibly muster. Gaining even further surprise from the woman's actions, Naruto could feel her breasts pressed hard upon his back and could feel the intense warmth of her body against his.
"Aahh! Your soul is crying... Burning for release... It can feel every fiber of your insanity, Child!", she huffed breathlessly.
Kitsune snaked her hands to Naruto's head, surfing her fingers through his shaggy, unkept hair. Out of sheer reaction, the Jinchuuriki closed his eyes.
"We wish to help you, Naruto-chan; we wish to free you from your torment", she huffed again.
Kitsune's ministrations kept Naruto from saying anything at all, as he was only able to exhale many groans of relaxation.
"You seek answers; you seek answers to qestions that have haunted you your whole life... These answers, you will never find in this place, Naruto-chan. You will never find peace until you release yourself from the ties that bind", Kitsune cooed.
Naruto's eyes slightly cracked open as he heard this.
"I... I can't leave my home... There are still things... I have to do.... I want to be-"
"Who would have you, Child? Can you honestly accept living in a place that will only use and betray you?... Can you truly accept your lover for what she did to you?"
The blonde Genin's eyes opened a bit more at that last bit.
"I can still feel your agony, Naruto-chan; all that was taken from you can never be replaced; your rights, your childhood, your love. Do you truly wish to love those who will never truly love you back? Do you truly want to live in a place where you're known only as a being of infamy?"
Growing more and more distraught, Naruto's tears fell again.
"Then what is it, Naruto-chan; what is it that you truly want out of it all? Submit unto me... your greatest desire!", Kitsune demanded in a somewhat hissing tone.
Eddies of vile darkness began to eminate from the blonde's head as the foul maiden careesed his skull. The young Ninja was overwelmed by a mysterious influence that Kitsune further intesified with her temptations.
Without realizing it, Naruto's eyes began to bleed profusely. The residual darkness around his person seeped into his cranial orophis.
"Then the time for waiting... has at last ended"
Without hesitation in the slightest, Kitsune relinquished a sharpened kunai knife... and jabbed it right into Naruto's stomach. Heaving at the sudden feeling of cold hard steel forced into him, Naruto was paralysed to do anything about it.
Thin trails of blood leaked down the corners of his mouth as he choked on his fluids.
"When your trials in this place have been endured, Fox Child... remember this name", Kitsune cooed before ripping the kunai up, through and out of his belly, "Shuumatsu no Tani"
After that seemingly meaningless brutality, the brown eyed female rose to her feet with the bloody Naruto in her arms, before tossing him off of the protective walls they were on.
She turned around and stared down at the plummeting Naruto and his thick trail of blood.
"Thats where you will find us, Naruto-chan"
Meanwhile, at the Frozen Wasteland...
Nekoshi stared into the eyes of his former master without moving an inch; Tsunade returning the stare. On the sidelines was Shizune, who had to keep focused in order to keep from crumbling at the pressure building up between the two.
"So... You said you wanted to talk, Nekoshi. Well here I am", Tsunade said tenaciously.
"Yes... I did say that, didn't I?...", Nekoshi said with a complete drop to his smile, "I'll cut right to the chase... I understand that you and Naruto have gotten rather close during the short time you've spent together; is that right"
Tsunade didn't answer.
"Let me be the first to tell you how bad that is. I'm here, Shishou, to ensure that you do not interfere with his liberation", Nekoshi stated.
The blonde Sannin frowned deeply at hearing this.
"I see... and what if I was to interfere? What happens then?", she questioned at a challenging pitch.
At first, Nekoshi was silent as death... but than he smiled; he smiled a smile that Shizune knew all to well.
In the fraction of an instant Nekoshi was standing before his former master with his circular sycles around her neck... and Shizune crouching beside him with three sanban placed to his side.
"Hmhmhmhm... Well isn't this nostalgic...", the white-haired man sighed, "You didn't even flinch"
Easing out of his deadly position, Nekoshi twirled his weapons before replacing them on his back. Yet he remained practically in Tsunade's face. Not letting her gaurd down for even a moment, Shizune remained right where she was, just in case.
"I'm glad to see that you haven't gotten soft", Nekoshi said, "But of course, I shouldn't expect any less from one of the Legendary Sannin"
"Why did you come back?...", Tsunade questioned, almost making the venom in her voice as clear as day.
"Business, Shishou. I'm sure you understand how that is... Then again, you haven't even attacked me, so maybe I'm wrong"
"Enough of you're GAMES, NEKOSHI!!"
The red coated warrior raised an eyebrow to the sudden outburst, but was taken completely by surprise when he saw Tsunade grief-strcken face.
"Why are you still taking actions in his name, Nekoshi?? Why are you still fighting for him???", she demanded.
Nekoshi almost laughed at this. Without warning in the absolute slightest, he whirled to his right and clasped a powerful grip on Shizune's skull before throwing her a great distance behind him. She collided face-first into a solid glacier and lost consciousness.
Tsunade gasped at this and clenched her fist tightly.
"Is that what you're getting so worked up about? Hn, I guess talking about Naruto is out of the question at this point, eh?"
"Tell me, Nekoshi... Why?"
Nekoshi sighed as he marched passed his former master until they were back-to-back.
"Tsunade-shishou... you're almost like a mother to me. Tch. What the Hell am I talking about; you are a mother to me. If it weren't for you, my life would be over before it even began", he started.
"Do you remember, Shishou?... When you found me? You remember all of the stories you told me of how everything changed that day?"
Tsunade found herself staring at her reflection upon the frozen sheet of ice they stood on.
"You raised me... You taught me so much, Shishou. You trained me until my bones snapped. You drove me to break myself and become stronger everytime. You told me that I was destined for greatness amoung the hero's of the Leaf Village..."
Tsunade's eyes darkened behind her hair.
"But it wasn't enough... there was one gap in my soul that was neglected, and no matter how hard I tried, no matter how hard I searched, I could not figure out what it was. I used your willingness to construct me into a true Ninja, to nurture the emptiness that simply wouldn't leave me. For the better part of my time in the village... I was truly lost... That is, until I met... him"
An echoing and heavily distorted voice of unwavering dominance pleagued his mind, throwing his psyche into a whirlpool of chaos.
Warped images of his past meshed into his memories and opened his mind.
The fires of Hell morphed his memories into nightmares.
The overpowering sense of bloodlust engulfed his spirit, throwing him into the maelstrom of his own destructive will.
Upon that final command, Naruto's eyes flipped open.
His lungs burned for air, and his eyes were racked with pain.
He rose to a sitting position, drawing a long-winded breath before unleashing a terrible cry of anguish, holding the area on his body were he had been sliced open.
Naruto's wound festered and shifted spastically as he hunched over.
As predicted, the gaping wound healed... but in less than two seconds. Suddenly feeling great release, he silenced his laments, lifted himself from the ground and cracked the joints in his neck.
For some mysterious reason, he was deaf to the callings of his name.
"Hey, Naruto? What are you doin' all the way out here", Kiba Inuzuka (Akamaru perched in his hoody) called out.
Once again, his calls fell upon deaf ears as the dog tamer watched Naruto peer in every direction but his, as though he had no idea where he was. Tilting his head in confusion, Kiba approached Naruto further.
"Hey, come on, dumb-shit; don't tell me you got lost in your own home", he joked.
Again, no response.
Because of the lack of reactions from the normally short-tempered blonde boy, Kiba started to grow a little concerned. But as soon as he took another step, Akamaru started whining.
Startled by the sudden behavior, Kiba brushed his hand upon his companion's head.
"Hey, buddy, whats wrong?"
Upon this, Naruto steadily turned his head toward Kiba and Akamaru. Looking up, the hooded Genin saw that he finally got Naruto's attention. However, when he saw his fellow Shinobi's awkward posture, he became confused.
And when he saw the stains of dry blood trailing from his eyes and mouth, he got a tad curious.
"Naruto... you alright, pal? Who kicked your ass?", Kiba asked.
The expression on Naruto's face was also cause for mild concern, as it bore a striking resemblance of a child discovering something wonderous; bewildered and somewhat awe-struck.
Akamaru started barking like a mad-dog before whining again and diving into Kiba's hoody, much to his surprise.
"Whats gotten into you, Boy?", he said before staring back up at Naruto.
Kiba's insticts started to act up as he saw the Jinchuuriki's pupils start to dialate. Within seconds, the pupils in both of his eyes expanded so much, that his blue irises were engulf by black and only a fraction of white could be seen.
Growing more uncomfortable each passing moment, Kiba felt like he over-stayed his welcome.
"Well, alright then! I guess I'll be getting out of your hair now", he nervously suggested.
"Do... Not... Move"
Kiba raised an eyebrow at this, but before he could say anything about it... Naruto lunged at him with a furious roar.
Unable to react in time to avoid it, Kiba was taken to the ground with Naruto on top of him. The crazed blonde held his head to the pavement with his hand pushed against his throat. Struggling to free himself, the frantic dog tamer squirmed and writhed against Naruto's opression.
As he stared into his attacker's blackened eyes, he saw him lift a clawed hand over-head.
As he was about to strike his victim down, Naruto was suddenly disturbed by Akamaru, who launched out of his master's hoody and clamped unto his attacker's face with his teeth.
Grunting in pain, Naruto released Kiba from under him and grasped the dog mauling his face, giving the now alerted Inuzuka the time to escape.
Ripping Akamaru from his face, Naruto threw him away and returned his focus on the startled Kiba, who was just able to get to his feet.
"Naruto?! What the Hell are you doing?!", he yelled.
The only response he recieved, was an overwelming wave of murderous intent that made him shiver tremendously. Kiba stared into Naruto's eyes and realized that his old friend simply wasn't there...
What was even more bizarre was the fact that he was absolutely terrified.
Even Akamaru, who stood his ground on Naruto's flank, had his tail between his legs as he growled at him.
Drool oozed down Naruto's chin as he leered at the frightened dog tamer. He slowly marched toward Kiba without taking his eyes off of him, visciouly growling with malicious desire.
Instantly going into fight or flight mode, Kiba preped himself for battle. That is until Akamaru's started barking at him. When, Kiba caught wind of what his companion said to him, his eyes widened.
"What??? Are you telling me that-..."
Without warning, Naruto dipped into a blurring sprint by sheer explosive power. Reacting quicker than before, Kiba caught this act.
"Dammit!", he cursed before diving out of the way and dashing toward his canine partner.
Naruto came to a grinding hault as he trailed Kiba's movement.
"KIBAAAAAAA!!!!!!", he roared ferociously.
Snatching Akamaru, Kiba focused his chakra and disappeared from sight via Shintenshin no Jutsu. Seeing this, the twisted Naruto fell to his knees and cursed.
However, with no other people around, he grew more and more restless and finally decided... to go to the people themselves.
With the mysterious voice continuously whispering commands in his head, the black-clad Genin held his head tightly again as he yelled in pain.
Kill them all...
Losing all sense of himself, Naruto obeyed the command and made a mad dash... toward the closest populated area of the village.
From above, atop the railed walls of the village, Kitsune stood as she observed what had just happened.
"Mhhmhmhmhm... The End Begins"
Standing atop one of the buidlings of the village, was Kakashi Hatake, engaging in his usual task of reading his perverted Icha Icha Paradise.
Unfortunately for the mask Jonin, his mind was too preoccupied on other matters to actually enjoy it. When Kakashi can't focus on the addicting ways of the cetrus arts, than something is really eating at him.
The images of Kuro's graphic autopsy (organ harvest) replayed constantly in his mind, disturbing him from his perferred free-time.
Though, he really wished to see what would happen in his smut-filled stories, the silver haired Jonin simply couldn't get into it. With a sigh, Kakashi closed the book and replaced it in his weapon pouch.
Just as he was about to jump to the ground and go for a simple walk to clear his head, he heard his named called from behind.
Recognizing the voice, Kakashi turned around and was surprised to see Kiba running toward him.
"Oh, hello Kiba. To what do I owe this visit", he uncaringly greeted.
Catching his breath after a short while, Kiba stared up at his superior.
"Its Naruto! Somethings seriously wrong with him!", he shouted with Akamaru barking in agreement.
Staring blankly at Kurenai's young student, Kakashi crossed his arms.
"Son, I've been Naruto's sensei for almost a year now, and I don't even know whats right with him", he said dimissively.
"I'm serious! I found him by the village walls a few minutes ago, and he tried to KILL me!!", Kiba informed.
Hearing that last bit caused Kakashi's expression to harden a bit.
"Hmm... That doesn't sound like Naruto. Could... Could this be what Tsunade-sama and Jiraiya-sama warned us about?", he thought carefully.
"I don't know whats gotten into him, but... whatever it is, it can't be good! He didn't even seem human anymore!"
Kakashi was now almost entirely certain that trouble was afoot.
"Kiba, find the rest of your team and tell them what happened; I'm gonna go check this out", the one eyed Shinobi ordered.
Both of them parted ways to carry out their tasks.
Meanwhile, at the Chuunin Stadium...
A crushed Sakura was crumbled to her knees with an equally devastated Ino kneeling behind her, trying to sooth her pain as best she could with an affectionate embrace.
"Oh my God...! This isn't happening!!", Sakura whailed.
"Shh... Its okay, Sakura-chan. Its okay", Ino quietly sobbed along-side her companion.
"How in God's name can you possibly say that things are okay?! Things couldn't be any worse!!"
Ino knew that she couldn't lie to herself for too long; she knew how bad things were at that very moment. Seeing Sakura agonize over the ordeal certainly didn't help her toughness on the matter either.
All she felt she could do was whisper false reasurrances despite her own doubts.
"Oh, what have I done?! After all that we've been through together, it finally happened! I finally get with him and made everything happen, but I fucked up-I fucked up-I fucked it all UP!!!", Sakura continued to lament.
In the time it took to draw a breath, Ino could no longer hold back her own sobs.
"I'm so sorry...", she said before she tightened her embrace on her pink haired friend, "I should've never got so involved. This is all my fault!"
As Sakura continued to cry her eyes out, the bleach blonde Kunoichi could feel her heart breaking peice by peice. She nuzzled her chin against Sakura's shoulder, trying to sooth both her and herself.
"This is all my fault... If I didn't have this absurd need to butt into everyone's business, none of this would have happened"
Though Sakura's sobbing was slightly quelled at those words, Ino continued.
"I didn't even consider how much of an affect this could have on either of you! I just selfishly plowed forward, because I wanted what you had... I'm so God damn sorry, Sakura-chan", she whined.
As Ino started to cry into Sakura's shoulder-blade, the jade eyed Genin's own cries were quietted. Her tears remained stained on her face, and her expression was woven with grief.
"I just... can't do this anymore..."
Ino lifted her head and stared at her companion.
Sakura took hold of the arms around her torso.
"I... I just can't...", she mourned before breaking from the warm embrace.
Sakura stood to her feet; Ino staring at her confused.
"What are you talking about?", she asked as she suddenly felt very cold.
Turning back at her fellow Kunoichi, Sakura bit down on her knuckle as she caught wind of the blonde's face.
"S-Sakura-chan, answer me... What do you mean?", she asked again, but in a more pleading demeanor.
"I just... I need to be alone. I need time to figure things out", Sakura uneasily admitted.
The purple clad female's heart skipped a beat when she finally received the message that her partner was trying to give. She stared into Sakura's eyes longingly, not truly willing to let her go like that.
Sakura caught every vibe from that stare.
"Stop it!", she cried as she backed away from Ino, "Stop looking at me like that"
As Sakura continued to back away, Ino started to feel colder and colder.
"Sakura-chan... You can't just leave me like this"
Feeling, more and more, that she simply didn't know what she wanted anymore, Sakura gave Ino one last pained stare before turning around and running... trying with everything she was, not to look back.
The Busy Streets...
Staring down upon the unsuspecting poulace, bustling with life, was Naruto, standing balanced upon a wooden post erected high into the air.
He heaved the odors of flesh in the air into his lungs and exhaled a rugged breath.
His dialated eyes wildly gazed at all of the people carrying out there business; most of them working hard to repair the still damaged village.
Without sparing a minute more, Naruto leaped off of the wooden post, savoring the feeling of wind surfing across his form.
Landing upon the ground without a sound of any kind, Naruto was crouched as he stared up at the opportunities he had laid out before him.
Acting without any visible ryhme or reason to his methods, the black-clad Genin stood up (posture as odd as ever) and marched through the busy streets... and no one suspected a thing.
Not making any sort of eye-contact at all, Naruto simply gave anyone in his way a gentle shove to go forth, unhindered. As he walked further, he came across the buidling he was looking for.
A Weapons Shop...
Without stopping, he walked inside.
When he stepped through the bell-tripped door, the store owner was alerted. Since he could see the door in plain sight from behind his counter, he was obviously not happy to see who entered his shop.
"You again?? I thought I told you to never show your face around my property again, you little Monster!", the grey haired man shouted.
Once again, Naruto was completely deaf to the words thrown in his direction. Instead he lifted his head and had the owner in his reddened sights; that same child-like expression appearing upon his face.
"What are you, deaf? I said GET!! Your money's not, nor will it EVER be good here!", the owner spit again.
Much to the middle-aged man's surprise, the blonde Genin simply marched down the asile, instead of appologizing or trying to be polite in any way so he could buy something.
"Oh, so you're a tough guy, now, huh?!", the store owner said before turning around and taking a sturdy sword off of a platter on the wall behind him.
Unfazed and unwavering, Naruto continued to march on with his unchanging expression. The store owner smile as he just DARED the unwanted guest to come closer... that is until he saw his eyes.
"What in God's name-"
That was about all he could muster before Naruto vanished from sight. Confused at this sudden action, the store owner peered around his shop in search of him... before a hand from behind, slapped upon his neck, and quite literally... ripped out his throat.
Hoisted into a sudden state utter confusion, the maimed store owner choked on his own inability to breath as he lifted his hand to the space where is throat once was. His eyes rolled to the back of his head as he went into shock the very next instant.
Thats when Naruto grasped his head before flipping over him and the counter. Upon his landing he slammed the guy's head into the counter so hard, that his skull shifted shape and alignment.
Smearing the dead owner's face onto the bloody counter, Naruto tilted his head as he noticed he was still holding his sword. Releasing the now misshapened head, the shaggy haired boy took his wrist and pried the blade from his dead grip.
Now holding the deadly weapon, he examined it's length and sharpness.
Deciding that the sword would do nicely, Naruto turned around and explored the other weapons in the shop...
And he had a massive set of options...
"What could she possibly hope to gain from studying his organs? It doesn't make sense to me", Anko said as she walked along-side Kurenai through the busy streets.
"She did say that she wanted to find out any reason for his regenerative capabilities. Who knows, bringing his corpse here may be the key to everything", Kurenai responded.
The fact that Kuro's rotting corpse was even miles away from civilization still made Anko uneasy. If it were up to her, she would burn the son of bitch and everything that he was made of.
Trying to let it go as best she could, Anko simply carried on with her day, walking with her friend. However, a peaceful stroll down the lane would have to wait.
Catching both her's and Anko's attention, Kurenai turned around and saw Kiba, Hinata and Shino dashing toward her. A bit surprised by this unusual greeting, the raven haired Kunoichi gave them her attention.
"You three? Whats the matter?", she asked.
Kurenai's squad stopped before her and Anko.
"Its Naruto; he-"
Kiba was immediately silenced.
Anko, Kurenai, Hinata and Shino (yes, even Shino) all gasped at what had just happened. And most of whom witsnessed this atrocity, screamed in horror and shock.
Coughing and blinking in a sudden daze, Kiba tried to regain his senses. Blinking a few more times, he slowly peered down and saw the pointy-ended lenght of an arrow through his chest. His eyes widened and narrowed multiple times before he realize what had just happened to him.
"H-Holy fuck...", he gasped in his daze before falling to his knees.
"NO!!", Hinata screeched before both her and Shino turned about, withdrawing their kunai knives in a defensive huddle.
Kurenai quickly kneeled to aid her fallen student.
"Shit!", she cursed as she saw the angle that the arrow was stuck.
Whipping her head to the rooftops of the buildings far ahead, the red eyed Jonin could have sworn that she saw a lone figure facing there direction. Noticing the distant person as well, Anko acknowledge her fellow Kunoichi's plight, and opted to help the wounded Kiba.
"Kurenai, go! I'll look after him!", she said as she took Kiba into her arms.
With a simple 'thanks' and a sudden adrenaline-rush, Kurenai nodded before dashing off after the suspiscious person, ordering her other students to follow her.
"Stay with me Kid!", Anko demanded before she dashed off with the now choking Kiba in another direction, nearly plowing through a growing crowd of spectators.
Not wanting to lose the suspected attacker, Team 8 rushed as fast as they could to catch them. Reaching the area desired, Kurenai leaped to the rooftops with her two students following. Sharply peering around, it didn't take them long to detect the presence of another.
Though it was not exactly who they expected to see.
"N-Naruto-kun?...", Hinata stammered.
Upon closer inspection, all of them noticed that Naruto was absolutely DECKED OUT with weapons all about his person. A bandolere of kunai adored his torso, as did another of shuriken. His waist carried a belt that held sturdy carrying sacks of various different materials.
Sheathed upon his side, was the deadly blade he had taken from his first victim...
A rather... parculiar object in his hands set off more suspscion though. Kurenai's instincts started to act up as she put two and two together.
"What? No way.... him??", Kurenai thought.
"N-N-Naruto-kun... Wha-What are doing w-with that bow, a-and all of those weapons", Hinata questioned, as she was in a great deal of confusion and fear.
With the said blonde's back turned to them, he wasn't even aware of their presence; he simply stared down upon the huddled crowd of unsuspecting people from far and below. Studying the boy's person, Kurenai hardened her focus as she cautiously stepped forward... an action that was caught on Naruto's radar.
Dis-heartedly turning to the source of the disurbance, the blackened eyed Genin stared at them all with that same, eeriely child-like expression.
Stopping in her tracks, Kurenai became nervous as she saw the blonde's abnormally dialated eyes.
Impassive and unreadable, Naruto replaced the bow upon his back and fell into his odd posture again.
Centering all of his attention toward the one closest to him, Naruto stared into Kurenai's eyes.
Growing on edge each passing second, the white-clad Jonin decided to test her theory.
"Naruto? What are you doing here?", she asked with a certain edge to her voice.
The only response she recived was that same vacant shell of an expression; something that she found somewhat irksome.
Taking the action at her own risk, Kurenai steadily approached the boy.
Both confused at this whole ordeal, Hinata and Shino waited patiently and observed everything; mentally preparing themselves for anything.
"Kurenai! Get away from him!"
Instinct took over, as Kurenai leaped away from Naruto, RIGHT when he lunged for her throat.
Not able to leap far enough to escape, she would have been bounced, had it not been for Kakashi's intervention.
The silver haired Jonin knocked Naruto away and stood his ground before his fellow Shinobi.
"Are you three alright?", Kakashi asked as he stared at Naruto.
Shooting to his feet with a suddenly murderous expression on his face, Naruto placed his hand unto his kunai bandolere as he growled beastly at the two Jonin.
Sensing every trace of the killer intent, Kakashi and Kurenai were in NO position to take things lightly at this point.
"You two get out of here, right now!", Kurenai strictly commanded.
Simaltameously shooting their Sensei a look of surprise, Hinata and Shino both glanced at each other, and then back at her.
"Thats an ORDER!"
Taking note of Kurenai's serious tone, both Genin took heed, and Shino left the scene. Hinata on the other hand, hesitated for obvious reasons.
Still slightly dazed about the fact that her long-time crush had visciously attacked her teacher in cold-blood, she was very distraught at that very moment; wondering to herself how... and why he would do such a thing.
"Naruto-kun... wh-wha-", Hinata whispered.
That commanding shout snapped the young Hyuuga heiress out of her daze, and she quickly left the scene as Shino did.
Now alone with the twisted Naruto, Kakashi and Kurenai gauged their unusual situation.
"Kakashi-kun... What do you thinks wrong with him?"
Observing the features on Naruto's face, Kakashi couldn't really answer that question with any sort of accuracy.
The first time he had seen him in a Kyuubified state, he had never forgotten his features; remembering, quite vividly, all of the traditional merits.
What was throwing him off the most, were the severly dialated eyes.
"I don't know... But we have to put a stop to this before he causes a wide-spread panic"
With two new targets in his blood-red sights, Naruto withdrew three kunai from his bandolere and held them between the joints of his fingers.
"Leave... Me... Be", he whispered before back-flipping off of the building he stood on.
Taken by surprise of this action, the two Jonin ran to the edge and saw the young Genin land upon the ground, RIGHT in the dead center of an unsuspecting crowd.
If that wasn't bad enough, than watching him slice through the body of an innocent bystander definately was.
"Okay, thats it; we gotta take him down!", Kakashi said before he and Kurenai jumped off the building as well.
By the time they arrived, Naruto had already sliced clean through another unfortunate soul, triggering a most unsettling uproar of fear from the surrounding crowd.
"Naruto, stop this!!", Kurenai cried out.
Answering the call in the completely opposite fashion, Naruto reached into one of his carrying-sacks and pulled out a large time-fixed explosive.
Activating it, he tossed it into the air with a grim smile just before he disappeared out of sight.
Kurenai dashed forward and leaped to the air in an attempt to stop the bomb, while Kakashi formed the proper hand-seals to he sheild the crowd from any harm.
Kurenai was comPLETELY caught off gaurd when she reached the bomb, as an arrow came hurdling at it.
Making inevitable contact, the bomb exploded before it's designated time, sending the raven haired female soaring through the air in a smoldering heap.
"Oh, no...!", Kakashi gasped before jumping up and catching the other Nin.
The masked man landing safely and quickly assessed Kurenai's condition, noticing that she had suffered grave burns and gashes on her face and chest; coughing and heaving irregular breaths as her eyes wildly trailed in every direction.
When Kakashi's sensative ears picked up a distinct whistling noise, he whirled around and effortlessly caught another arrow aimed at the both of them, noticing Naruto standing upon a nearby balcony.
The blonde's nostrals flared as he sighed at his failure.
Though he still couldn't grasp why this was happening, Kakashi knew that he would have to pull out the stops if he was gonna put an end to Naruto's sudden spree of chaos. (XD)
Rising to his feet and lifting his hand to his headband, Kakashi finally unvailed his infamous Sharingan.
He stared above at his young student, and his Sharingan eye began to spin.
As he peered at Naruto, he searched; he didn't quite understand what he was searching for, but he was sure he would know when he found it...
And then he did...
"What?!... No... H-How can this be?!", Kakashi trembled.
Naruto continued to stare down at his sensei; his head lazily tilted back and forth, able to smell the overpowering odor of un-cleaved flesh throughout the village.
The sensation on it's own slowly drove him mad.
Kakashi, on the other hand, thought that he was going mad as he saw what he was looking for in Naruto.
Now completely aware of what he was up against, the wary Jonin, as descreetly as possible, reached to the rear of his shinobi vest, and flipped the back pocket open.
A radio com was safely stashed inside... and he pushed the red button (you know, the button you're not usually supposed to push).
(Play Song 5 on Profile)
Practically bursting from the Hospital doors, Anko made the fastest track back to the action that she was surely missing.
Once she was informed that the gravely injured Kiba was stablized, she high-tailed it right out of there.
If Kiba's unfortunate mishap was any indication, than there was an unwanted guest inside Konoha...
Or so it seemed.
"I hope Kurenai's gotten to the bottom of this...", the purple haired Kunoichi thought to herself.
As she effortlessly scaled the buildings to cover more ground, a sudden beeping noise sounded from within her trench-coat.
Reaching within her pockets, Anko pulled out a small communication device... when she saw the ominous red light blinking on and off, her blood ran cold.
"What the Hell; a Code Red??", she whispered with dread, "W-We haven't had a Code Red since-... But that's impossible... unless-..."
With an overwelming but temporary sense of fright welling up inside of her, Anko doubled her speed, as she put the ear peice to her ear.
Before she could even utter a single word, Anko heard Kakashi's voice from the other end; she silently listened.
"Any and all Jonin still within the Village boundries, report to my location immediately for a Code Red situation. I repeat; Code Red situation. Target is extremely hostile; contact imminent"
Knowing that she hadn't a moment more to waste, Anko took great heed and picked up her pace.
Though she simply had to ask herself, what could've possibly slipped underneith all of their noses? For a Code Red threat to present itself in a matter of moments...
"Anko!", came a familiar voice from the distance.
Turning to her side, the Snake Mistress saw none other than Miato Gai treking in the same direction that she was.
Instantly appearing by her side, Gai scaled the buildings with the Special Jonin.
"Gai, have you heard?", she asked.
"Yeah, I did. What in God's name do ya think could've gotten Kakashi sounding that spooked; thats just not like him"
"We'll find out soon enough, but we'd better step on. If it's as bad as it seems, we'd better stop jawin' and go!", Anko said.
Acting upon those words, both Shinobi picked up there speed even more to aid Kakashi.
In no time flat, they had arrived at the scene and accompanied the edgy Copy Ninja, also noticing several other Jonin scattered about the fray; even the Clan Leaders were there.
As Anko and Gai edged closer to Kakashi, they both noticed a mildly charred Kurenai, laying unconscious on the ground benieth him.
"Holy shit... Who could've-...", Anko stammered before focusing on Kakashi, who was still staring into space (as far as they could tell).
Finally deciding to see what got Kakashi so shook up, all eyes glued unto the center of attention.
They were all immediately alerted when they saw Naruto staring back down at Kakashi with weapons up the wazoo.
"Kakashi? What's going on? Why is Naruto-"
"Where are the rest of the Jonin?", the silver haired Jonin interjected.
"They're--They're all on missions. You rememeber the protocol, don't you?", she asked.
Kakashi harbored a vexed expression undernieth his mask.
"This won't cut it... We need every thread of experience we can get!", he nearly shouted.
Anko and Gai both looked back up at Naruto again.
"Wait, you don't mean-... Don't tell me this is what I think it is...", Gai dreadfully suggested.
"It isn't Kyuubi...", Kakashi informed.
The other two Jonin gave Kakashi the classic 'WTF' look before staring at Naruto more closely.
They finally noticed his inhumanly dialated eyes.
But when a Hellishly familiar flux of Killer Intent radiated throughout the area, they withdrew their weapons.
Anko, in particular, was on the steepest edge.
"What the HELL was that?!", Gai shouted.
Kakashi's eyes narrowed.
"You don't recognize it, Gai? Try a little harder..."
The bushy-browed Jonin did just that as he studied the twisted Naruto further;once again, that incomprehensible wave Killer Intent rushed through the air.
After that, it didn't take long for Gai to realize what was going on.
"Thats impossible; Tsunade-sama said that-... What the Hell's going on here? Why is he disguised as Naruto?", he asked.
Anko, wanting to hear an answer to this as well, awaited Kakashi's response. But all they recieved was silence, thus they had to preceive the worst.
"Its... Its not a disguise, is it, Kakashi...", Anko said out of the blue.
"... I don't know why, but somehow he has a powerful influence upon Naruto's actions; all he can see are victims", Kakashi said with a certain level of distain in his voice, "Kuro... What have you done to my student, you bastard"
"B-But... how can that be? We saw his body during the Autopsy. What manner of trickery is this?"
Naruto's pained howl redirected every ounce of the Jonin's focus toward him. The pain that surged through the tortured boy's head showed, as he forcefully gripped upon it.
He fell to his knees and writhed.
"AGH!!! What... do you... WANT FROM ME?!?!?!?! GAAAAAAH!!!!", Naruto roared.
"Naruto...", Kakashi whispered through his hidden dread.
As spontaneously as it started, Naruto's howl's were silenced as he held his no longer aching head.
Rising to his feet with his face twitching uncontrollably, the blackened eyed Jinchuuriki slowly twisted his sight toward the direction of a certain building.
Upon that, Naruto abruptly threw up the Kage Bushin hand seal... and along came the clones... loads of them.
"Crap...", Anko mumbled as she saw the sheer size of the group of Kage Bushin that burst into existence; scattered about the area in a hundred yard radius.
Surrounded and completely outnumbered, every Jonin that was present prepared for battle against one of the last persons they desired as a foe.
Every one of the clones harbored the same eerie expression on their faces, and they all awaited commands from the one who summoned them.
And it was quite simple...
"Slaughter...", Naruto said in a dead-panned tone.
With a simaltaneous and strangely inhuman screech from the lot of them, the clones scattered about; searching for anyone and everyone they could find... and it was a crowded day...
Realizing that they weren't being attacked, the Jonin immediately formed multiple sets of teams and split up in order to prevent an unprecidented massacre.
Kakashi, Gai and Anko stood their ground and focused on the key component, who was still staring unto that certain building.
Yelling with a murderous edge, Naruto leaped off of the balcony and made an insanely quicked-footed trek... toward the Central building.
"Hokage-sama!", the Jonin trio simaltaneously gasped as they made the greatest haste to catch the young Genin and stop him from whatever he was about to do...
It was after that exact moment that the fallen Kurenai finally awoken. Her eyes fluttered open several times before she came too. Lifting herself to sit up, Kurenai massaged her aching skull before coughing a few times.
"Wha... What happened...", she asked herself in a lingering daze.
When the memory of Naruto's mysterious behavior surfed back into her mind, she frowned deeply. Staggering to her feet, Kurenai realized that she was still injured from her previous encounter, but she ignored the liability as she assessed her situation, and the first order of business was finding everyone...
but that would have to wait...
The raven haired female's senses were assault by the sudden outcry of several screams and blood-chilling atrocities. From every direction, she could hear the distant screams of her people echoe throughout Konoha.
Though this phenomena frightened her to some degree, her duties to her village came first. Kurenai steeled her will and sped off to the closest source of the bloody screams...
Meanwhile, at Nekoshi's Frozen Wasteland...
Hurdling through the air like a well-polished dart, Nekoshi collided head-first into one of the icebergs of the arctic domain.
Still and silent for a time, the white haired warrior pulled himself out of the icy rubble and shook himself to clear his head.
"For God's sake, Woman! Is this how you treat everyone you know??", he shouted RIGHT before Tsunade's vengful fist drove into the side of his face, thus grinding his head into the thick sheet of ice.
It wouldn't take a world renowned genius to understand that Tsunade was beYOND pissed. So blinded with anger, in fact, that the punches she held back from Nekoshi for all of those years, had finally come to the surface.
"How dare you...", Tsunade hissed as she pulled her old student/foster child's head out of the ice, "How dare you show your face back here... after everything YOU'VE DONE!!"
Holding his arms up defensively, Nekoshi displayed his unmatched audasity and smiled at the situation.
"Come on, Kaa-san! Give Ol' Neko a break!"
Tsunade's teeth clinged greatly as she heard him say that. With a furious roar, she shoot to her feet and dropped her foot upon Nekoshi's face, causing a ripple of sheer magnitude expand outward.
"Shut up! Don't you call me that!!", she howled before stomping upon his face again, "Don't you EVER CALL ME THAT!!!
Nekoshi just layed there, unmoving for another brief period before twitching back to life again. With any possible expression impossible to keep normally, he simply squiggled his face muscles against the bottom of Tsunade's sandal... and laughed.
At first, the blonde Godaime was certain that she was just hearing things, but in no time flat, she was fully aware that the heap of flesh benieth her... was indeed laughing.
Feeling her rage begin to overboil, Tsunade started to shake as her balled fist tightened so much, she inadvertantly drew blood from her palms. Not that she was in any disposition to notice...
Lifting her foot off of Nekoshi's face, she fell to her knees and straddle-pinned him to the frozen ground. Taking the collar of his color-altered Akatsuki coat, she pulled his head from out of the faulty indent that was formed.
Just know noticing that she had long-since knocked off his sunglasses, she stared at his bloodied and beaten face as he shut his eyes in laughter.
"Still the same, aren't ya? Heehhhehehehe! Tryin' to beat some sense into me, as always", Nekoshi continued to laugh.
Tsunade could steadily feel any and all hope of seeing the Nekoshi she had raised out of the cold hard shell that she was beating the crap out of, start to fade away.
"Everything... You threw everything you ever had away, Nekoshi... AND FOR WHAT?!?!", she roared before slamming her mighty fist into his face again, "For power?! For Glory?! What could possibly possess you to alienate yourself from your roots?! TELL ME!!!!"
Spitting out a glob of blood from his mouth, Nekoshi turned his head to face Tsunade directly... and opened his eyes. The hazel eyed Sannin gasped in complete shock.
"... Liberation...", Nekoshi whispered.
Seeing the completely black eyeballs of her former student sent shiveres up and down Tsunade's spine. She peered into them; not really certain if what she was seeing was entirely true.
"Those... Those eyes...", she stammered.
"Ha! And you had no idea, did you? You had no idea who, or what I truly was... but he did. He took everything I ever was and broke me-scratch that; he shattered me into a million peices. His teachings and philosophies had sunk into my soul and nearly drove me insane."
"But behind all of the blood I spilled under his hellish wing, layed the true cause of it all. And thanks to him, I have finally reached my full potenial as a true Warrior, thus awakening my Doujutsu; no longer held down to the rag and tag Nindo's of the Shinobi world..."
Tsunade heard everyone of those words loud and clear, and they all cut deeper than any blade ever could. He was lost... The Nekoshi that she had raised for eighteen years had sold his soul to Darkness.
"No... I don't believe you", Tsunade whispered; nearly choked by her grief, "... I don't believe you, Nekoshi, not even for a moment. You... had everything you could ever want at Konoha, and you can sit here and tell all of this bullshit to my face?..."
The grounded man scoffed boldly.
"Bullshit, you say?... Bullshit?? Really??? Well then, I suppose you think what Naruto is going through right now is bullshit too..."
Tsunade flinched back.
"Don't you understand what I've been trying to get through to you? The level of maddness that consumes the boy is beyond words, and you wish to keep him here, instead of allowing his liberation to surface. That is not what a true leader does"
"SHUT UP!!", Tsunade barked, "Don't you DARE lecture me! You; a person who's long-since abandoned and betrayed his people for nothing, has NO right to- (Gasp)!"
Her words were silenced...
Until the moment Nekoshi's fingers caught the tears falling from her eyes, she hadn't even realized that she had been crying, or for how long. Tsunade stared at her old student's now softened face, taken somewhat aback by his change in aura.
"Kaa-san... you have to let him go... If not for Konoha's sake, than do it for him", Nekoshi said with an uncharacteristc mellow.
Tsunade's face hardened as she slapped his hand away.
"Don't you fucking touch me, you bastard!"
Even she could hear the weakening in her voice. Though she now tried to hold her tears back, it only made her resolve faulter.
"Just let him go... just like you let me go. Just accept the fact that his fate is as certain as mine was. Allow him to find his liberation", Nekoshi continued.
"Shut up, Nekoshi..."
"Release him... from the torment of his life. Are you so cruel, that you won't allow him to break the shackles that keep him locked in the cage of his own Hell?"
"I said shut up!!"
"You have the nerve?... You have the nerve to show your face to me without so much as a hint of remorse, any showmanship of redemption?! You have the nerve to talk to me like-... like you still love me as mother, and you're calling me cruel?! Don't you DARE TALK TO ME THIS WAY!!!"
Though her efforts to keep her emotions in check her resiliant, she felt as though her heart imploded as Nekoshi deactivated his Doujutsu.
The horizontal line upon both of his eyes parted to abolish the black upon them, and his true eyes; those sharp and beautiful silver eyes that Tsunade recognized him for, were revelaed.
"Stop looking at me...!", she said with a quaking tone, "Stop it, I said"
"You have to let him go", Nekoshi persisted, "You'll thank yourself in the morning when you do... just as I'm sure you did when you let me g-"
"BUT I DIDN'T, NEKOSHI!!!", Tsunade lamented.
The warrior grew silent... and watched Tsunade's tears fall with full force, no longer hiding her heart-break.
"I... I coudn't... I couldn't let the only son I've known out of my life. I couldn't accept the fact that I let that... that mother fucker take you away from me", she cried.
All Nekoshi did was lay back and listen...
"I was so proud of you... From the moment I began training you, I've always been so very proud of you. If I'd known... if I'd only known that this would happen, I'd have-!", Tsunade cut herself off as the souless and apathetic eyes of Nekoshi peirced deeper into her soul.
The greif-stricken woman, once again, slammed her fist unto his face. Only, this time, there was no overwleming force behind.
"I hate you...! I hate what you've become!! I hate what he's turned you into!!", she roared distastefully.
Once again, Nekoshi continued to drink it all in without so much as a bat of an eyelash. Tsunade's exterior was finally broken.
"But... God, but you're still my son...", she sobbed out loud, "You're still my little boy... I can't forget that day; on that day fourteen years ago, I'd lost a peice of myself. When I think about all of the things that I could've done to stop it I-... I-!"
"Then you do rememeber. You remember that on that day, I was your enemy. On that day is when I had pledged my undying loyalty to Kuro-sensei before the village, alongside Kitsune. Being attacked on sight; of course we'd be prosumed dead after that little onslaught", Nekoshi remenisted with a smile.
When Tsunade saw him smiling at those terrible times, her tears fell stronger.
"Why are doing this... Why are you torturing me like this. Afterall we've been through, how can you put the people you love in so much pain??", she questioned dejectedly.
At this, Nekoshi still found the audasity to scoff.
"Torture?.. Pain?... Hehehehehe... You haven't seen anything yet"
With that, the wiley veteran suddenly vanished from benieth Tsunade, much to her surprise.
Picking up his location instantly, the blonde Kunoichi rose to her feet and peered unto the peak of an iceberg far behind her, and not a moment too soon.
Shizune awakened shortly afterwards.
Wallowing in her haze for a short period, the raven haired Jonin rememebered what had happened, and tried to steel herself to get up.
Meanwhile, the still tear-streaked Tsunade stared unto the ice peak that Nekoshi now stood upon.
"If what you say is true, than when you leave this realm, you will know the meaning of torture", he said with the open cold carrying his echo clearly.
Though she was far from both her master and her old comrade, Shizune heard those words too... but she was completely lost on the subject.
"You'll reap the fruits of your selfishness, and experience yet another loss... unless you let it go", Nekoshi stated as his presence began to fade, "Tsunade-kaa-san... Shizune-chan... Fare thee well"
And with that echoing good bye, the black-hearted warrior's form meshed into nothingness, thus causing the icy terrain to break apart and distort.
Within a matter of seconds, both women were back at Konoha, inside the Hokage's office.
Through the daze of being hoisted back to normal plain, Shizune spotted her master in the same spot behind her desk since, Nekoshi's untimely arrival.
"Tsunade-sama!", she gasped.
By this time, Tsunade's tears were dried, mostly due to the cold, and barely noticable as glistening streaks on her face. Shizune stood to her feet and stared at her master with great concern.
She concluded that whatever Tsunade and Nekoshi talked about, it was more than enough to move her to painful grief; she could see it on her face.
Shizune tilted her head slightly at the sudden remark.
"I can't do it... I can't let him win... Not again"
Feeling her heart start to burn within her chest, Tsunade frowned deeply as she remembered Nekoshi's words.
"I've already lost one no thanks to him... I won't lose this one too!"
With a renewed conviction surging through her, Tsunade vaulted over her desk, and charged out of the office.
Concluding that any rash decisions would probably be bad at this point, Shizune called after her master on deaf ears. Now going more worried, the brunette Kunoichi charged after Tsunade, who on the verge of barging out of the Central Building exit.
"Wait for me Naruto!", she inwardly pleaded.
Once she plowed the double-doors open, she was greeted with the usual; the burst of wind and the glare from the sun... what she DIDN'T expect was a savagely wild blonde lunging through the air, with rending kunai in hand, only a few short feet away from her.
Able to instantly prossess what she was seeing, her mind was racing at an incalculable pace as she stared into the inhumanly dialated eyes of the roaring Naruto; flabbergasted in a way that caused Time to pump the brakes.
Through her blurry daze, Tsunade could also hear the alarmed cries of her name (or Shinobi class, as the case may be).
"Is... Is this... Naruto?"
The distance between the two was getting frightfully close.
"No... Am I too late...?"
Reaching a suitable distance, Naruto readied to tear into the flesh of his target... that is until a hand wielding a powerful Rasengan burst into the frey, blasting into the boy's side, hurling him away from Tsunade and straight into a neaby building.
The hazel eyed female was shaken out of her daze by the sudden action, and turned to her right side only to see her old teammate.
"J-Jiraiya?? Where the Hell have you been?!
The white haired Toad Sage gave Tsunade a slight sneer.
"Well, after Jii-Jii found me and helped realign my hip thanks to SOMEONE I could mention, I went looking for you... Seems my timing was impecable."
Tsunade didn't say anything as she reverted her stare to the building that the crazed Naruto was knocked into.
"Tsunade... You know what has happened, don't you?", Jiraiya questioned knowing.
When he heard nothing but silence, he sighed.
"It can't be helped, we have to incarcerate him, Tsunade"
Jumping within the fray at that moment, Shizune joined the pair; alarmed and readied for anything... or so she thought.
"I see... So its already begun...", she thought.
The ground rumbled from benieth them as they heard the viscious roars of Naruto. Erupting from the ceiling and unto the roof, the blood-thirsty blonde stood upon the building, staring down at his target.
"Must... Terminate...", he grumbled.
Heart-broken and empty inside, the drab and spritless Sakura Haruno sat in her upstairs bedroom, curled into her little 'thinking ball'. Her experience that day was positively overwleming, making her doubley grateful that her mother wasn't their to ask how it was.
If that had been the case, she probably would've started crying all over again.
Everytime she thought about all of the different ways to show Naruto what had been going on since his absence, her heart would be constantly stabbed by that biting guilt; the guilt of not thinking of any of her actions thoroughly.
"I should've never been so reckless...", Sakura thought outwardly, "Now he probably never wants to see me again"
Despite her obvious perdicament, the pink haired Kunoichi could help but smile bitterly at how things in her life couldn't be any more perfect, and then the instant later, everything goes to shit.
She heavily questioned if this was what life was all about... to lose everything that makes it all worth-while.
Without the energy to even budge from her current spot, Sakura remained in her curled position as she sat on her soft bed, allowing her mind to wander freely.
That is, until her thoughts were thrown off by a sharp and sudden noise.
Whipping her head toward the window, Sakura groaned with slight irritation as she rose from her bed. Once she looked out the window, she cringed even further.
"(Sigh)... Ino-chan...", she sighed/whined.
Noticing the platinum blonde juggling another readied stone to throw, Sakura decided that it would be best to see what she wanted before her window was shattered.
As she ventured to the mid-level of her home, the dead silence made her shiver slightly. Ignoring it as best she could, Sakura made her way to the door.
However, just before she turned the knob, she INSTANTLY turned around and was shocked to see someone else in her home... staring directly at her.
"What the-?? Who are you?! How did you get in here?!", she barked instinctively.
Draped behind the shadows, the intruder simply stood there... silent.
Not liking the vibe that her unwanted guest was giving out, Sakura withdrew her kunai knife from her leg-holoster.
"You have until I count to three, to get the Hell of this house!", she threatened boldly.
Instead of the desirable compliance, the shadowed intruder slowly approached Sakura, without fear of any kind.
As the intruder approached, the light slowly uncovered his features; revealing all of the weapons that he possessed.
Still no response; only that ominous advance.
By this time, the number three would've been shouted and Sakura would've fufilled her promise and attacked... but she couldn't bring herself to do either as she discovered the identity of her guest. Hesitating, the pink haired kunoichi's hands began to shake as her grip upon her weapon weakened.
"Na-... Na-", she stammered.
"I've... been looking for you... Sakura-chan", he hissed.
Still shaking, Sakura resheathed her weapon.
"Naruto, y-you scared the Hell out of me. W-What are you doing he-... Huh?"
She saw the massive dialation in the blonde Genin's eyes.
"What am I doing here...?"
With her gaurd lowered even in the slightest, she was completely unable to contradict an unexpected attack. Without warning or remorse, Naruto zipped forward and rammed the back of Sakura's head unto the door, pinning her in place.
Yelping in both pain and surprise, the jade eyed female grasped Naruto's forearm, trying to release his grip.
"Yah! N-Naruto?! What are you-ngh!... What are you doing?!", she shreiked.
"Hnnnnn... Returning the favor... Sweet Sakura-chan"
Confusion pleagued the young kunoichi's mind as she was trying to figure out what was going on. But as she stared hopelessly into Naruto's eyes with fear, her basic instinct was screaming at her to get away somehow.
Once again withdrawing her kunai, the panicing Sakura pointed it directly at her unlikely attacker in the hopes that he would back off... but she once again hesitated.
"Cut... Me?", Naruto hissed.
Trembling even harder, Sakura began to sweat heavily and her hand shook more and more.
"No?... Than why don't I..."
Slapping an unbreakable grip upon the hand that held the kunai, Naruto locked Sakura's hand with a vice-grip.
The frightened rosette put up a rather pathetic resistance against this assault, due to her inability to comprehend why it was happening.
Unfortunately, her lack of rebellion would prove to be quite fatal, as Naruto shifted the blade's point... towards it's weilder.
"Eh!... Ngh!! Naruto, s-stop it! This isn't funny!! STOP!!!", she shreiked.
Not even thinning his efforts, the murderous Naruto continued to push the kunai toward Sakura.
Within seconds, the blade was only inches from the frightened girl's neck, which Naruto fully exposed as he bent her head back.
Her eyes trembled wildly and her mind went into overdrive. Reflexive tears burst from her eyes, and her terrified sights glued unto Naruto, who was focused heavily on his point of attack; the kunai reached ever closer to it's destination.
"N--N-No! I... I don't understand!", Sakura sniveled.
"Very soon... you will... Everyone will..."
The deadly point of the kunai, was now pressing against Sakura neck, just a slight angle beside the air-way... and still advancing.
"Please... stop! I... I'm so sorry for what I did! I didn't--I didn't mean to! Please forgive me!... Please, Naruto!", she pleaded through her fearful sobs,
It was a real shame... Naruto's persona was cold and pitiless.
"... No...", he whispered.
Sakura could now feel cold hard steel begin to penatrate her skin... slowly.
Restrictions damned to the winds, Naruto continued his advance; ever so slowly driving the knife into his victim's neck.
Sakura's cries became frantic and desperate as she continued her fruitless efforts to resist this brutality.
Everything suddenly hit her at once; she was before Naruto, she was going to die... and he was the one who was going to do it.
Adrenaline tore through her like a drill through wet sand as it all started to take its tole.
Her mind began to race even harder, even as every moment that she had ever experienced flashed before her eyes.
Her child-hood, her moments with family, her moments with her team, her moments with Ino... her moments with Naruto...
"You... Y-You're not-GAH!!"
Sakura's words soon turned to howls of torture as the kunai dug even deeper into her neck, with that same slow, and dreadful pace.
Blood trickled out of the wound as the sound of flesh splitting apart, assaulted the hollows of the room.
With only white clouding her vision, Sakura's heart-rate soared because of all of her adrenaline, thus inadvertantly pushing her efforts above and beyond to keep the knife from penatrating any further.
Suddenly, an inssecant knocking came from behind the door that Sakura was pinned to.
"Sakura-chan?! Sakura-chan, whats going on in there?!", the distressed Ino called out, much to Naruto's displeasure.
"Obstacle...", he murmered before ripping out what little of the kunai that was torn into Sakura's flesh and tossing her behind him.
Like a ryhme without a reason (:D), Naruto flipped the knife to the air and caught it, holding it in reverse.
From behind the door, a startled Ino had her ear pressed upon the wood, trying very hard to make out the noise she was hearing.
She was startled further when she heard a pained Sakura yelling.
"No! Naruto, DON'T!!"
Just then, the bladed edge of a bloody kunai BURST from the door, only mere centimeters from Ino's head.
The platinum blonde froze in place as she blankly stared unto the blade that nearly impaled her.
It was only when the kunai was pulled back, did Ino manage to shake out of it in time, and push herself off of the door, before the same weapon sliced through again; this time, missing the dead center of her face.
Startled beyond words, the turquoise eyed blonde stumbled back and fell on her bottom, trembling.
Behind the hole that was just made from the sudden attack, was the crazed eye of the one responsible.
"You...", he hissed meancingly.
The wooden door was suddenly kicked open and split into peices. Ino shielded her eyes from the splinters, before laying them upon... him.
"N-Naruto-kun?? W-What are you doing?", she asked with confusion plain on her face, "Did-... Did you do that?"
Unresponsive to the questions, Naruto dropped the bloody kunai on the ground as he continued to glare at Ino, much to her discomfort and myserious fear.
He reached for the sword sheathed on his side.
Scurrying back a bit more, the heavily confused Ino stared at Naruto in search of what he was feeling... all she could feel was a lust for death.
Suddenly she noticed something behind Naruto.
When she took a closer look, she saw Sakura crawling on her hands and knees trying to get to them... She also noticed the bleeding gash on her neck.
"S-Sakura-chan... Who did that to you?..."
Though her mind was perfectly capable of putting two and two together, Ino simply didn't want to see the answer tthat was right in front of her.
She peered up at Naruto, who continued to advance with sword in hand.
Ino's facial features portrayed what she was feeling at that very moment quite well, as tears of grief and confusion rolled down her eyes.
"Naruto-kun???", she choked.
Now standing over the stunned Ino, Naruto lifted his sword over-head, readying a deadly slash.
"You... You can't... Naruto-kun...", Ino whispered.
Sakura watched in horror as she was about to witness a precious person struck down by another. She inwardly screamed at her body to un-freeze and move, but no matter how hard she tried, she could only be paralysed by her own fear.
"Stop it...", Sakura pleaded.
It made no different, Naruto was now ready to execute.
"Naruto, stop it! Stop it!! STOP IT!!!"
Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Naruto's eyes flashed red before he exhaled a screechy howl. Without any visible rhyme or reason, he jumped over the frightened Ino, and sprinted away into the distance.
Frozen in place, the minds of both females were offically boggled beyond belief. Everything that had just happened stuck with them and turned their brains into jelly... but only for a moment.
"Sakura-chan!". Ino yelled before shooting off of her feet and to her fallen companion, "You're hurt!"
"No... No, its just a flesh wound. We have to go after-"
"My ass, its a flesh wound! Stay here!", Ino commanded before running into the house to.
Not feeling like putting up any arguement, Sakura did as she was told and stayed put... but her mind would be allowed to wonder at another time.
"Sakura!", came a familiar voice from her flank.
Turning her attention to the source, Sakura saw her former crush, Sasuke, dashing toward her.
"Sasuke-kun...", she whispered.
Once stopped before his teammate, the raven haired Uchiha knelt down to offer any aid.
"What happened, Sakura?! Was Naruto here?! Did he do this?!"
All of those questioned were indeed easy to answer... but all they did was make Sakura burn and ache inside.
Choking back her sobs as best she could, Sakura nodded as she stared into the ground.
"Kuso! Can you stand??", Sasuke asked.
The pink haired female gave her teammate a physical answer as she stand right to her feet.
"Whats going on, Sasuke-kun? I don't understand any of this!"
Though Sasuke was partly focused on the bleeding wound, he opted to answer.
"I don't know. Everything seemed to be fine until I saw hordes of Naruto's clones slaughtering innocent people", he said.
Sakura's heart strained at hearing that. Naruto? Slaughtering innocents?
"N-No, there... there must be some mistake. He-He wouldn't-"
"What are you talking about? Is there something else that you know?", Sasuke questioned.
Sakura tangled her hands into her glossy pink hair as her mind continued to race.
"I don't know. I just-... something isn't right. Are they even his clones? Maybe someone else is-"
"No, Sakura... its him... down to the last fiber", the young Genin down-heartedly insisted, "These eyes don't lie.
The pink haired kunoichi defiantly shook her head in denail.
"No! I-I can't accept that! This is his home; he'd never-... He'd never do this to the people he loves!", she adamantly defended, despite the warm tears building under her eyes.
Though he felt for his fellow shinobi, Sasuke knew that he couldn't allow his hands to be tighed.
"(Sigh)... We don't have time for this, Saku-"
"Okay, I've got the-... Sasuke-kun?"
Ino emerged from Sakura's house carrying first-aid material. With not enough time to fill the other girl in, Sasuke prepared to leave.
"Sakura, fill Ino in on whats happening. I'm gonna go help everyone with... whatever's going on"
"Wait! I'm going with you!", Sakura protested.
"Like Hell, you are! You're still hurt!"
"Ino-chan, there's no time to argue! We have t-"
"My thoughts exactly!", Ino shouted before taking the rosette by the shoulders and promptly forcing her to sit on the ground, taking the opportunity to treat the wound, "Now sit down, and shut up!"
Both Sakura and Sasuke were taken by surprise by Ino's sudden dominant atittude.
While one was staring into her eyes with awe, the other was a little more focused on the task at hand.
"Okay then... When you two are finished, follow me; I'll mark my path so you can-..."
Ino temporarily ceased her treatment as she noticed Sasuke's sudden pause.
"So we can what-"
"Shh! Listen... can you hear that?"
Confused, both Ino and Sakura opened their ears.
"H-Hear what?", they asked simaltaneously.
"Exactly... its too quiet all of a sudden"
The two females traded worried glances toward each other, than one to Sasuke, who abruptly dashed off to check it out.
"Sasuke-kun, wait for us?", Sakura called out before her shoulders were pushed down, keeping her in place.
"I said stay put!", Ino shouted.
"But we can't jus-"
With establishment of choices finally set, Sakura remained perfectly still so Ino could finish treating her wound... and because she feared for her life.
She couldn't lie; a part of her wanted to slap Ino so hard, her mother would feel it, but she also knew that she only did it because she cared... alot.
Sakura continued to stare unto her partner's eyes, as awestruck as ever. It was at that moment, did Sakura remember what she had said to Ino at the Chuunin Staidum, further complicating matters further.
By the time Sakura had realized it, Ino was finished tending to her wound; her neck now complimented with bandages.
"There we are; all better"
Sakura broke eye-contact as she caressed her neck.
"Thanks...", she mumbled.
"Sure... no problem", Ino responded with a dull tone.
They both rose to there feet; their eye contact still broken as a cloud of silence suffocated them.
In time, Ino looked up at her fellow Kunoichi and tried hard to see her eyes clearly... but she was obviously still lost.
"Sakura-chan, did you... really mean-"
"Lets go. We have to go find and help the others", Sakura interjected before hastly dashing off in the direction that Sasuke did.
With her words left hanging in the air, a dejected Ino lowered her head in disappointment, glaring into the wall of the Haruno Home.
"This isn't over Fore-head... not if I have any say in the matter"
With that, Ino turned on her heel, and dashed off in the same direction as the others.
With her pace gradually increasing, she intended to at least catch up to Sakura.
When she was within eye-shot of her, Ino noticed that she had taken it to the rooftops.
Once the platinum blonde jumped up with her, her pace continued to increase... that is until she felt a droplette of liquid hit her cheek.
Confused, at first, as to where it came from, Ino wiped the wet spot off of her face and stared at her hand... then another one hit her forehead.
Ino peered straight ahead of her and finally saw the source of the droplettes, as several of them seemed to be spaying from Sakura.
She realized, right then and there, that her companion was torn apart by what had just happen, not to mention what was happening between the two of them...
Ino's heart wreched.
"Hmm.. He appears to be changing...", Jiraiya stated as he watched Naruto from afar.
Still glaring at Tsunade with an unshakable desire for her death, Naruto's features spontaneously began to change.
His hair became more fural, his canines nearly doubled in size, and his wiskers became denser and more noticable... as if things weren't bad enough, he was becoming Kyuubified.
His eyes remained as they were; inhumanly dialated, giving him a crazed animalistic looked.
Like a shark that had inhaled the scent of blood, he now had only his goal in mind and spirit... his prey.
The sensation of two different aura's, other than his own, tore through his body, causing him nothing but more pain.
He growled at the feeling; cursing it and embracing it all at the same time.
The power of one tenent and the hatred of another, threatened to tear his mind to shreds; all of the strength, all of the prespective... it was beginning to take it's tole.
But it mattered not; the only aspect of the expereince that mattered to the twisted Naruto, was the commands of the voices that still pleagued his phyche.
Tsunade, Shizune and Jiraiya, along with the three Jonin who stood there ground at the bottom of the stairs that led to the building's entrance, witnessed Naruto's transformation; once again assaulted by an even stronger Killing Intent.
Suddenly, Kakashi's radio buzzed, gaining his immediate response.
"This is Kakashi; whats the matter?... .... What? What do you mean 'they're gone'?... ... ... Strange... okay, stay sharp out there, it could be a trap... ... ... Roger that. Keep me posted"
"Whats the problem?", Gai questioned.
"Appeantly, the clones retreated..."
Anko's brow batted slightly.
"Retreated, eh? I don't buy that for a second;Somethin's up", she thought suspisciously.
With the tension riding as high as ever, Shizune continued to study Naruto along side her superior, fretting over what more the twisted blonde could be capable of. But then she realized something...
"Ngh! This isn't right...", she said out of the blue.
Gaining the attention of the the two Sannin, Shizune explained herself.
"Why isn't he attacking? He's had more than enough time to gauge the situation, even in his current state. So why is he just standing there?", she said.
Returning their stares toward Naruto, Tsunade and Jiraiya understood where Shizune was coming from.
"She's right; if Naruto wanted to lead a direct attack, he would've done so already... But just look at him; its like he's driving himself mad simply by sitting there... What is he waiting for", Jiraiya thought.
All Tsunade did was stare at the crazed boy in silence, constantly thinking how if she only knew when it mattered the most, she probabbly could have stopped any of this from happening.
But she knew...
She knew that she had to stop him here and now, or things would get much... much worse.
Suddenly, without the slightest hint of warning of any sort, the Kyuubified Naruto unleashed a tremendous, inhuman roar of an epic magnitude; sending the vibrant rumbles of his voice echoing throughout the area.
In time, the echoes were quelled, and all was silent.
"Well, what the Hell was that all about?", Anko inwardly questioned.
"Oh shit!", Kakashi cursed out of the blue.
"Huh? W-Whats the matter??", Gai asked in a sudden worry.
Kakashi withdrew a kunai from his holster while inwardly smacking himself for not seeing this sooner.
"Its so obvious, now; thats why he's not attacking, he was biding his time, waiting for the right opportunity to do this", he said as he peiced everything together.
"Biding his time? What are talking abo-"
Anko was completely interuppted by the ear-grating sounds of screeching howls radiating from the corridoors of the surrounding area.
"Get ready, you two; things are about to get dicey", Kakashi warned.
Right as they were warned, Anko and Gai felt the presence of several chakra signals.
Realizing at that exact moment what their fellow Jonin meant, they withtdrew their weapons as well, and prepared for an all-out war.
Startled by the sudden ruckus, Shizune, Jiraiya and Tsunade peered around the open area to detect any source of it... then they saw them.
Seeping out of the corners and rooftops of the surrounding buildings, were hundreds upon HUNDREDS of Naruto's blood-thirsty clones; stameping toward the Central Building like pit-bulls after a big juicy steak.
They didn't hesitate and they didn't stop; they had only one goal in their sights, and the time was ripe.
"Holy fuckin' ass-crackers!", Anko cursed through her unyielding shock and fright.
"H-How?! When did he form this many?!", Gai wondered.
"... He didn't... When they retreated, or so it seemed, they went into hiding so that the others couldn't detect them. From there on, they multiplied, using Kage Bushin all on there own", Kakashi said.
"What?! Th-They can do that?!"
"Buckle up, 'cause it gets better; when the clones that were originally summoned scattered throughout the village, it seemed as though they'd stop at nothing to kill everyone they could... but it was all a ruse; a deceitful trick"
"Oh, wait a second, I think I get it now", Anko chimed in, "When he sent his clones all over the place, he knew that the others would split up and try to stop them. Once we were scattered about, they went into hiding and mutiplied so that they could get the jump on a single target with limited interference"
Thats when Gai finished peicing it together.
"I see... So he gave us all the slip; made it seem like his true motive was killing the people, when in reality, he was really after-... So this is why Kage Bushin is a Forbidden Technique"
The crazed clones continued their mad rampage toward the Central building, as the real Naruto was at last prepared to attack... and he didn't hesitate.
With fang and blade prepped, Naruto thre all caution and care to the wind, and made an insanely tremendous leap toward his target.
With the sudden cloud of death steadily converging upon them all, Shizune could easily admit that she was rather nervous, and along the line, had to ask herself.
"This... This ruthless tactic;is it Naruto-kun's doing... or Kuro's?", she questioned.
Jiraiya turned toward Tsunade.
"You know what we have to do", he said.
Tsunade felt bad enough, so dragging the moment on any longer wouldn't serve her in any way; both Sannin vanished out of sight.
Seeing this, Naruto grunted in confusion, as he wildly searched for his missing target.
But his search would not last; his body was viciously snatched out of the fray as Jiraiya tackled him from the air.
Crashing straight unto the ground, Naruto writhed and struggled against Jiraiya's hold.
"Let... GOOO!!!", he roared.
"Sorry, gaki, but this is for your own good"
It was then, that Tsunade appeared before Naruto... and he completely lost it; he flailed and shouted until his voice hoarsed out and drool hunged from his mouth.
His target was now RIGHT in front of him, and there wasn't a single thing he could about it.
Tsunade's heart ached for the boy before her, never truely wanting to go through with what she was about to do.
But no matter how much she wished that things were different, no matter how much she wanted to know how to save him... their was no escape from the fate that was dealt to Naruto.
A painfully repetitive montage of Nekoshi's last words to her, played through her mind, and she simply had to ask herself; was she truly ready, much less willing, to let it all go.
"God damn you, Kuro... God damn you to Hell for making me do this...", Tsunade inwardly cursed.
Knowing that further hesitation could lead to more maddness, the blonde Sannin swallowed the gaggle of her sorrow, and formed several hand-seals.
Tsunade's hands glowed brightly, signifying the end of this ordeal.
Solidifying his hold, Jiraiya kept Naruto as still as possible.
"Do it, Tsunade..."
With a heavy heart, Tsunade genlty placed her hands upon Naruto's head, driving the Jinchuuriki even wilder.
But once again, hesitation set in, and she stared unto the boy's blackened eyes one last time, feeling her heart breaking over what had to be done.
Her hands began to shake as she remembered all of Naruto's dreams... and how they were now, forever, out of his reach.
"I'm so sorry... Ninppou: Mirai no Jisatsu!"
Suddenly, a blinding bright flash of light exploded throughout the area, followed by an ear-peircing scream.
The swarm of Kage Bushin that were now only mere feet from the Jonin standing adamantly before the Central Building (Kakashi, Anko, Gai and Shizune), simaltaneously vanished from exsistence, expelling a thick fog over the entire area like a tsunami.
After sheilding themselves from it, the Jonin frantically peered around the lingering fog.
"Gone?... What happened?", Shizune questioned.
"(Gasp!) Oh, no!", Kakashi exclaimed before rushing off from the group.
After exchanging short glaces to each other, the others followed suit, having to rely on their other senses to manuveur insided the fog.
After only a few short seconds, Kakashi made his way out of the fog and spotted the two Sannin... and his fallen student.
As he arrived to the scene, the silver haired Copy Ninja fell to his knees and craddled Naruto into his forearms to examine his condition.
When he saw a familiar Kanji symbol upon his forehead, his expression fell quie a bit.
The two Sannin stared down at Kakashi with a look of pity.
"You... You used the Mirai no Jisatsu on him... Why?"
"There was---There was other way, Kakashi, lest we allowed him to roam around like this", Jiraiya said.
Tsunade simple stared at the ground, unable to say anything to the Jonin.
"I understand that this technique was once used on Kuro to prevent him from attaining any more power... but-"
"But this is the only time we've ever used it on a human subject. The... The results are fatal. It was the only way to break Kuro's hold over him", Jiraiya explained.
Kakashi fell silent after that.
He stared unto his student's peaceful form for a moment longer, feeling saddness and guilt well up inside of him.
A short time afterwards, all the Jonin that were involed in the whole ordeal, arrived to the scene one by one, and beheld what had transpired.
With the way it all looked, they assumed that the Sannin were responsible for the silence.
"Is... Is he-..."
"Not yet... but he will be..."
Watching the event unfold from atop one of the nearby buildings, the discreet and observant Jii-Jii hummed to himself in wonder.
"So... you've decided not to give up on him afterall, ey, Tsu-hime?", he said.
With things going the way they were, Jii-Jii knew that his role in this play would soon reach it's climactic turn-point sooner than later; a fact that tickled Irony's Judgement.
"To think, everything that has happened recently has led up to this point. Fate can really be a ball-buster... Wouldn't ya say, Father"
As Jii-Jii prepared for departure, he saw the rest of the Rookie-nine Graduates gather at the scene as well, making him cringe on the inside.
"Hmm... That Ino and Sakura ain't gonna like this... Nope, not one bit", he murmured before leaving.
Bordering walls of Konoha...
Kitsune, standing in the exact same spot since her time with Naruto, crossed her arms as she waited patiently for her companions arrival.
As if reading her thoughts, the said warrior arrived to the scene, standing right beside her.
"Okay, I'm back, Babe"
"Did everything go as planned?"
"Yep. Tsunade-sama's decision will shape the future of this village. Either way... they're all doomed. Although, I must admit, we can't expect to make any unhindered progress with the old man around. Some time or another, we'll have to find a way to take him out", Nekoshi said.
"(Sigh)... I know..."
Nekoshi gave Kitsune a concerned stared.
"Something trouble's you?"
"Greatly... Its the Pink One", Kitsune said.
"Hm? You mean the Haruno rosette? What about her; she find new ways to please her man and her woman at the same time. Hehehehe!"
"I'm serious, Nekoshi... This is a major problem"
The white haired vetren shot his fellow warrior a look.
"Well, are you gonna enlighten me or what?", he pried.
"Nekoshi... she's a week and a half pregnant"
Nekoshi's body stiffened as he retained his facial expression.
"... I swear to God, if its not one thing its always a-FUCKING-nother!", he cursed at this grave turn of events.
"We both know who the father is. We can't afford to let this situation develop. If either Sakura OR Naruto finds out-"
"It could ruin everything... or at least make things more complicated than they need to be. Fuck! Of all times!"
Kitsune tucked threads of her blue hair behind her ear as she turned away from the village.
"We have to go, Love; there's much more planning and buffering to be done", she said.
"Yeah, I hear ya. First order of business; recruit Naruto Uzumaki. Second; kill the unborn embryo"
With yet another phase of the Plan complete, Nekoshi and Kitsune prepared to depart from Konoha for a while... That is, until Nekoshi abruptly stopped.
"SHIT!! I totally forgot!", he shouted out of the blue, startling his Lover half to death.
"W-What is it?!"
Without answering, the wiley man pulled out a kunai from his coat and flipped it in the air, throwing it with all of his might after he caught it.
"That takes care of that. Alright lets go"
"Not until you explain that", Kitsune demanded.
"Huh? Oh right; lets just say that Sasame Fuma is no longer a factor in the Plan"
It was then, that Kitsune remembered that that particular little problem wasn't taken care of the day before.
Smiling at Nekoshi's attitude toward the matter, despite the situation, she shook her head and leaped out of the fray, and he followed suit.
And THAT, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the end of Fury Guilt and Love... Or... IS IT?!?! MWAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! I'm sure the jist of you are thinking, 'Where in the flying FUCK is the lemon we've been waiting for?!' You wanna know? I'll tell you... IN A SEPERATE ONE-SHOT I'M WRITING (aren't I just the worst type of ass-hole)!!! Oh, my friends; we've had a good run. Laughs, cries, curses, ball-busting twists. I can easily say that I enjoyed damn-near every word I've typed in this story, and now that it draws to a close I bid thee all, FAREWELL!!!!
Craine, over and out!
"This is Junko Hiyori, reporting continuation of project 'Black Onslaught'.
Yes... the Dark One known as Kuro has been killed. Though the cause is still somewhat of a mystery, there are zero life-signs detected.
No, the alternate sealing relic has been entrusted to Tsunade. Its not going anywhere.
Nekoshi and Kitsune's intentions are still a mystery. The mission will continue in order to unconver the truth behind the shadows.
... ... ...
Thats right. As troublesome as it is, we can't allow Konoha to get involed, but that may prove to be more difficult now.
Project 'Black Onslaught' is still hot; there is a new confirmed target. Subject is determined to be infected with the spores
Well... you're not gonna like this Kushina-sama...
TO BE CONTIUED...