Phantom of the Nine-tail Fox

By: Pakkrat

For: My lil'sis

Chapter 1: The Opening Act

On every night, in every night, he has the dreams of that early night. A night that is defined solely, a nightmare…

For tonight, that similar night it was the same terrible night. This is the night like the later night that shows his deepest and darkest dreams, of that deathly night…

He saw his mother, father and all other taken from his own, his brother. He remembers the scenes for the large demon of a fox, the dust flying, their part of the city burning… and all their fates locked.

He remembers eyes, those eyes… like his eyes. The eyes only his family had. The eyes his clan had. The eyes… his brother, who stood in his family's own blood, has. The eyes that look to him, and stare, as the flames rose like burning his blood has.

The sounds of laughter… he was not one of them, his brother made sure to hunt him alone. The man in bandaged lower-mask agreed, turning his large blade on the innocent victims. The other man, the lead man, the man with the snake-eyes and pale skin seemed to count the bodies. He made a demand that if planned, the boy, he, would be returned. Yet he never was for flames grew, the fox attacked… and the boy fell, into a place of darkness… under this old, abandoned place… the opera house of old, now new.

In the coming of moments recoil the youth shot up hidden by darkness as dressed the same. He reached to his side a mask that was a white kabuki-mask, the full-face mask he placed onto his visage to hide his shame. Still, he was alive… what else mattered was little to him. Except one thing that this opera house offered, peace… gentle peace. He took to the wind a moment running like a demon, for he was still skilled in arts of his family. The training from his blood was evident through the mask that donned his face, but his eyes' odd pupils and designs, his sharingan were key reminders he was special.

It was to the place of his dreams the ones not haunted he took to thru secret passages and such. This place was old, renovated as a simple place to the greater people of the land. The Leaf city-state was a rich place where the old was gone… and, so was his family in that mass-murder. They say it was not, that it was an attack of the Fox-demon… but he knows, oh he knew well the cover of that ordeal with the pale man… who bit him, and turned him to what he is. The flames scorched him with the venom of the man, mixing the marks under his mask with shame. He covered his skin in the clothes of old performers, gentlemanly clothes he found in this old place and the mask something special he used it to hide his shame…

The place was now before him, he hid in the walls of the stoned architecture in parts supposed to be hollow. They were, but for he… and now he waits for the morning she came and she sang, and gave prayer… and he answered all she offered.

A woman of youth like he entered, in a long pink gown like that of the finest cherry-blossom. She had long pink hair too, which only magnified her looks that were slender and peaked with the boyish roughness some not see in a woman. He did see it, and power… much of that. He was pleased as she looked to the spot he hid as if seeking him and she sat, with a petal of the cherry-blossom in her hands that she now plucked from the full blossom in the other. She now sung, slowly, only a humming of her talent. She waits for him, and he made her do so only to look to her. A gentle gaze, her icy eyes the contrast of beauty, the true presence of power… a divine piece of art. In turn, her name, like her hair and clothing… Sakura, the cherry-blossom…

"Come to me… my angel of music…" she whispered a kiss to a blossom to signify what was her ritual. This was the means that he came to her as she asked and begged from every night.

"You're begging…" he said, dark though as if the darkness of the place was speaking for him. She is alarmed, and so he calls out "Calm yourself I was just saying, it does not suit you."

"I… I only, well… I was you know." She turned red, embarrassed… and he was amused while she did.

"Tonight…" he says, to which she looked to him. "Tonight is the night, you will sing."

She was confused, "But I sing for you every night…"

"No… you sing in the main act, for the audience." She seemed alarmed, "You will sing, sing the main act and you must practice. I want you to sing, sing like you are meant to." He whispers, "Sing like for me, to raise the divinity of the art form once again."

"Lady Ino…"

"SHE is a pig!" he snapped… now, he backed, and said again, "She wails her voice and does not express it. I want you to practice you will sing." He smiled, though darkly… "I will make sure you sing."

Sakura was nearly in tears… but, she gave a nod, "I thank you my angel, the one who gave me hope." She stood, "I won't disappoint you! I swear to you, I will not!"

He left out a low sigh… for she left, and now he said "Sasuke… do not fail her." He turned and thought aloud as he moved, "Now to handle Ino Yamanaka and Jiraiya… the old man has a thing for the girl. He's been letting her sing for her family name." He skid off the dirt as he fell down the old catacomb, plotting aloud "As long as she can sing she will sing… so, I need to ensure that she will not. After that, she must sing… and for that, I will be sure to make that old-codger be smart enough to take her." And so he lands into the boat that was below and he pressed with his gondola to move the waters. "The girl is easy… the old man… is…"

"Ooh-hoo!" screamed Jiraiya who opened his arms, "There you are baby-girl!"

The blonde, growls, and smacks him with a large vase, "You scum! Look at this!!!" he blinks, as she shows him the flowers, red roses and lilacs… "YOU see this!!!"

"Uhh…" She smacks him again this time with flowers…

"YOU got me roses, ROSES are common! I am not a commoner!!!"

Sasuke shook his head, "Well… I might be doing him a favor…"

Time passed… and there, the play was ready. Still practicing Sakura hummed the song to herself, unseen or noticed by any others. In the crowds were many but most important two of the most referred men of the times. One is Kakashi Gaiden a man who sat in the back with his partner, renowned and honored by the city state he wore common gui outfits, "Hmm… seems like the show's about to start."

His second, Guy now seemed to smile, a thumbs-up he says "Indeed Kakashi, and about time. A good day to relax."

"I suppose…" said Kakashi, letting his one eye lazily scan the play-stands. "It's just been a long week and we've been doing nothing, things are so calm… Hokage said we should look into other-things to do with our time. Maybe manage something… you know?"

Guy, turning with a smile asks "A joint-sort of thing? Kakashi, I didn't think you were like that."

"I… don't know if I should ask…" he narrowed his eye, "Lee? How about you? Enjoying the show so far?"

Stadning, and at attention he, the younger one of the group says "I am honored to be with the two most recognized shinobi in the leaf-city state you…" and he's grabbed, Guy snapping "Kid! We're on leave! Don't go blabbing!"

"Yes sensei!" He said a smile like his while cocking their thumbs. Kakashi rolled his eye, and slumped… thinking 'Wow… this is going to be fun, I wish I brought my comics with me after all.'

Behind the curtain Sakura sat, and hummed the leading songs, their roles… and she did well. Ino, who demands another pitcher of water to moisten her voice that is laced with vocal-agents now seemed to gargle with her vocals not caring of the others, she passed them all. Her show was about to begin soon. During this, Jiraiya screamed "Everyone! Everyone up and about, ready and steady!!!" He looked up, snapping, "Naruto!!!" He growled to no response, "NARUTO!!!"

The young blonde haired boy jumped, blinking… and he screamed as he saw the rope let loose and nearly allow a large prop of a chandelier fall… he pulled it back, and tied it, "Ye-yes pervy-stage manage... I mean, Mr. Jiraiya."

"FIRST off! Fix that prop, you lazy brat! Second you better watch what you're calling me, I own this building and I'm the only guy who could afford this dump here! SO if anything happens to me, or whatever you're all screwed!"

"Y-yes Per… Mr. Jiraiya!!!" He pulled on the prop and fastened it tight, a sigh… he's never been happy here. His mind leaves it easy; he studied to be more though every time he tried the teachers tossed him back from the shinobi-schools… so few are accepted now. He looked down seeing the play at least he could enjoy a good play now and again. He scratched his stomach… a little hunger; he raised his shirt to show the mark he has had since birth… "Man, I'm hungry…" he walked off; they didn't need him till later the lighting stayed the same he'd eat and be there for the lighting. He licked his lips, in commoner's baggy-dirty clothes he said "Yeah… apple… fruit, that'll work!"

Then the curtain raised as Naruto ate, and before the show… the vial of the lady suddenly was replaced with a new one. The masked man seemed pleased as she sprayed her voice again… "Yes…" he whispered.

The actors moved, and went… and Ino readied to sing not on stage yet. She went to, and then… she was wide-eyed, gasping, her voice gone and throat in pain. She ran to Jiraiya and tugged his coat, trying to make him listen. When he did… he grabbed his head, "Ahh! What the!!! YOUR VOICE!!!" The cue-master now turned, and he shook his head… no one knew the lines, the song… and then, he heard humming, it's the same beat… rhythm… he smiled, and took Sakura, "You know the song?" She shook her head yes. "YOU can sing?" Another yes. "Then, get out there!" He tossed her, and she stumbled…

Ino slapped him, and he snapped back "It's only one night!"

Ino growled… glaring at Sakura who moved to HER spot, and sung HER song!!! She sung it well too… really well… and she bit her lip, she was too good…

Sasuke sat in his spot, smiling, nodding to the beats. Pleased… she sung like always. She was an angel, the true angel of music.

Another noticed too, young Rock Lee, mesmerized… he seemed to look to her as she twirled and said, "She is a miracle…"

"It seems my student has good taste, would you not say so Kakashi?" He heard no response, and looked asking "Kakashi?"

Kakashi was in mid-read of his comic he had in his pocket, he'd forgotten it, "Hmm… I suppose so Guy."

Guy, irritated… grinds his fist again Kakashi ignored him, and he did it SO COOL!!!

As Sakura sang, Ino plots… and she took a pencil and paper, now writing. Jiraiya read and was deathly red, "What… you'd do that?" Sasuke looked to the two, "You'd really do that… if… I get rid of her?" He went wide-eyed, his angel? THEY were plotting against her?

Ino gave a nod, and he Jiraiya was smiling a perverted kind of way, "Ooh-hoo! Consider her gone after tonight's performance!!!"

Ino was pleased, and… Sasuke was furious. His eyes were shaking like his hands, so tense, they plot over his angel… he now looked to them, the pigs… and he stormed to the rafters. There… he looked on… the chandelier was not in this scene, it was still back-stage over Jiraiya and Ino… he seemed pleased, taking the rope in hand. "They won't take her…" he whispered… and he tugged the simple knot.

Naruto poked up his head, blinking, he thought he heard someone. Then screams, for below the chandelier fell and Jiraiya was able to push-away Ino, as there fell the mighty prop atop him. It was grizzly while the opera ends from the noise, performers coming to see…

Naruto looked back, his eyes wide to the scene below a half-chewed fish in his mouth. He stood over the rafters… looking, and then turned to the rope, but saw a gloved hand. He was looking to the specter that was standing, looking down… and as it looked to him and faded into the shadows, Naruto fell back, whispering… "A… A phantom…" for it's eyes were not like a man's or it's face in that mask… it must be, a phantom of the nine-tail fox.

Done. Hope people enjoy chapter one. Thanks to my ladies. :3 It's for you I do this piece.