W00t! If you read the title, you should realize that this is... wait for it...
So I lied about there being 2 chapters, but considering how long my updates are, this is roughly the same size as two.
Quick little note before you read: As promised, I posted the artwork of Naruto (and Hinata if you look at mine). It's hyperlinked on my author profile page, but I would suggest you read this chapter before looking at my image. There's a bit of a... spoiler in it that I'm sure would ruin things for you if you knew about it beforehand. Now, on with it!
usual disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, but look at this piece of work! I really should!
Daemon sat peacefully against the gargoyle on the tiered roof of a badly damaged skyscraper taking in the smoking scenery. When he returned to the battle with the eastern swordsmen, the location had moved to this building and, after a while of fighting, promptly ended there. The so-called 'Samehada' sword laid in pieces at his feet and the large slab of a sword carried by the smaller easterner sat behind him, cleaved cleanly in two. As his eyes gazed at the distant quivering of dark mist emanating from Uzi and the Hyuuga, he sighed hard, releasing a small jet of pristine steam from his lips to cool himself down. Only one person understood him well enough to know that this was a subtle sign of irritation for the demon slayer.
He was sorely disappointed by the eastern specialists. His long smooth blade pierced the younger man only once after slicing through his weapon, causing his liquid body to instantly evaporate due to the intense heat of the new Master's sword. The fishlike man was no better; his wide swings and flagrant disregard for tight control of his energy left him open in so many ways that Daemon deeply questioned his status as a high-ranking specialist. His aggravated mindset was interrupted by the arrival of another recently anointed Master.
"Vahre Blus," the swordsman greeted sullenly without averting his eyes. "I see that your work isn't quite done. What's up?"
The vampire settled into a comfortable standing position, his wings folding over his massive frame. His latent abilities left much to be desired in the way of personal relaxation. "My subordinates are working in my stead for the time being. I trust you are aware of the reasons for my visit?"
"Of course," he dully answered while aiming a finger at the eastern Master and his blue-haired companion. "You're curious too, aint'cha?"
"Master Sünden was concerned about it."
"Don't see why," the demon slayer leaned back further and stretched his arms. "Naruto can take care of himself."
Vahre Blus eyed him with mild annoyance. "That's not it, and you know it."
"Yeah, yeah, I know," he shrugged. "Seems to me that you should ask Nephil about it. He knows more in that field than I do."
"I would like to hear your observations anyway."
The swordsman Master scrunched his face up in thought. "Well, I can tell you what it's not…"
"And that would be…"
"It's not evil. Nothing demonic about it."
A faint glow of brilliant white flashed behind them and they turned casually to glance at the newest arrival.
"You summoned me?" Nephil asked as he slung his insanely large rifle across his shoulders.
"Yes," the vampiric Master replied. He leaned his head in Uzi's direction and asked, "What do you make of that?"
The sniper specialist glanced at the massive dark cloud and shrugged. "That's Naruto using his new power."
"We're not talkin' about him," Daemon clarified.
The red-eyed commander's eyes blazed brightly as the cross-hairs in his orange pupils fluctuated and he gazed across the burning distance at the white-eyed woman. His eyes went wide when he saw wisps of ebony smoke flow from her.
His lips curled into a 'how-about-that' smile. "I'll be damned. I never knew there was another person like me."
"I told him you would probably know," the demon slayer pointed out. "Looks like I was right."
"Yeah, yeah," he nodded, still awestruck by his discovery.
"She has your ability as well?" Vahre Blus demurely inquired.
Nephil looked the vampire in the eyes with a wide grin. "Yeah, but it's a lot stronger..."
Sasuke was using his hand like wings to fly by the many buildings on that street while trying to determine his next course of action. He couldn't figure out for the life of him how to land a blow against Naruto, so most of his attempts were aimed at the corporeal Hinata. He suddenly redirected his flight pattern to the other side of the street as the structure next to him exploded in a hail of dark mist and onyx tendrils.
He glanced back to find the strands of evil chakra spiraling towards him, falling short by inches but keeping up nonetheless. His bloodline eyes peered forward again and he banked upwards when he saw the Hyuuga flying up from below using tufts of ebony smoke as steps. Her acceleration slowed as he flew higher and he could feel her energy brush against his heel. His leg suddenly burned as the miniscule amount of chakra was released into his limb before the woman broke off her pursuit and pulled the tendril back.
Now that he was damn near in the clouds, he gazed down and saw that both easterners decided to attack his brother. "Smart move," he praised them only in his mind. "Lure me all the way out here so I won't be there to keep you from stealing my revenge." His wings flapped in the opposite direction and he propelled himself back down to the earth.
"Why'd you stop?" Uzi's multilayered voice asked the blue-haired woman as quietly as it could. "You almost had him."
"My steps disappeared," she answered. "You didn't follow me that time."
"Hmm… you must not be able to use them if I'm not nearby."
"Could be. Let's take out Itachi before worrying about Sasuke."
"Sounds like a plan. He was a letdown anyway."
The duo sped towards the ground and found the aforementioned Uchiha where they left him. As they barreled through the sky like an unholy meteor, Hinata noticed that the inside of the glass building in which he was residing was lined with tags of some sort. "I think he laid a trap…" she began.
She didn't finish her statement when the glass on that entire side of the skyscraper exploded outwards in a sea of reflective shrapnel. The Hyuuga began knocking away the sharp bits that would intercept her, causing her arms to appear as blurs. Through her supercharged Byakugan, she could see that Naruto didn't even try to dodge the shrapnel; it passed through him as if he weren't there. She found herself smiling that she could see his silhouetted body through the inky mist when she noticed an amazing buildup of chakra coming from within the building.
The older Sharingan user was about to implement the second portion of his trap. While his targets were busy moving glass out of the way, he formed the appropriate seals and built up a special batch of chakra in his lungs. He took the deepest breath humanly possible and exhaled ferociously, spewing forth a massive stream of ebony fire. He was reasonably certain that there was nothing his opponents could do at this range except take the hit.
Hinata was momentarily horrified. "I can't block this!" she exclaimed while instinctively barring her arms to keep the flames at bay, even though she could tell from the quality of chakra that it was a futile move. She grit her teeth when she noticed a few dozen tendrils extend from Uzi's mist and position themselves in front of her. The dark cloud extended into the outstretched fibers and opened to form a massive mouth. The ebony fire hit the opening and was immediately sucked into the void. She blinked in amused surprise and realized that Itachi was doing the same, albeit not for the same reasons. She smirked when they finally crashed onto his floor…
And felt annoyance when the building rumbled. She whipped her head around and was almost floored by the sight. Outside the structure, Sasuke stood tall on the head of an impossibly large snake.
"What the hell, boy?!" the snake hissed. "You bring me out here without even having a sacrifice prepared?!"
The mutated Sharingan user aimed his sword at the dark cloud. "You can have him."
"That's not enough!" the reptile retorted.
"I'll prepare more sacrifices after this, Manda."
"You better! Now, time to eat!" The massive animal shot forward, mouth open, with the intent to swallow the strange fog whole.
"What the hell is that?!" Hinata shouted. When the snake advanced, she noticed that Naruto's onyx smile had reappeared as the misty form began to laugh. "Naruto," she started apprehensively, "What are you doing…?!"
The cloud responded by cackling harder. Uzi's head shot back and he exclaimed enthusiastically, "A big snake?! Is that the best you can do?!" His head lowered, although the white-eyed woman was the only one who could tell. "Tell you what; I'll humor you! Come on, snakey!" When the gaping mouth began to shut, the mist condensed into inky tendrils and shot down the reptile's throat.
"That tasted like shit!" Manda complained.
The Hyuuga's eyes widened and she smiled maniacally. She knew that being swallowed whole by a large animal wouldn't even slow the blonde down. Noting that the revenge-consumed Uchiha had leapt off the snake's head and was charging hell bent for a retreating Itachi, she positioned herself in his way and charged her limbs with the evil chakra.
"Out of my way!!" he shouted as he slammed into her and discharged a mass of onyx electricity into her. She faltered for a moment and he grinned inwardly.
But instead of falling over as he expected, she straightened up and smiled at him. "That tickles!" she giggled as the modified chakra coursed through her. "I hope you weren't serious about that," she taunted through chuckles.
This pissed the younger Sharingan user off. This was a high-level technique in his book, and she was literally treating it like a feather. His anger took over his mind and he exploded. "You bitch!!" he screamed in her face. "Move it you fucking whore!!"
Hinata's good nature instantly died. "What?" she asked flatly. She could feel a surge of unnatural rage building up in the back of her mind.
"You heard me!! Get out of my way you Hyuuga bitch!!"
Her eye twitched as her anger grew. She wanted to say something but felt compelled to let her actions speak for her. For some reason, it felt like someone else was listening to her thoughts.
Before she could retaliate, the massive snake outside began hissing in pain. Curiosity not withstanding, the deadlocked enemies peered back to find long inky tendrils piercing outwards from Manda's scaly hide. The summoned creature flung itself wildly against anything in its way in a futile attempt to end the agony. The desired effect came when its body burst open to reveal Naruto's misty form and outstretched fibers.
"What did you say?!" the blonde demanded. The white-eyed woman wondered if he somehow heard Sasuke's insults.
The younger sibling merely glared at him in response. He felt a mixture of anger and awe at the incredible display of power radiating from Uzi.
"Did you just call her what I think you did?!" The multitude of voices began to change into a more ominous tone. The Uchiha knew he heard it before…
"Yeah!!" he shouted back without thinking. "So what if I did?!"
"Ira!" he called. "You wanna go at him?!"
"Yeeeeeesssssss!" a distinctly separate voice shrieked. It was filled with contempt and bubbled with hatred. "Kiiiilllll" it screamed before the cloud and its tendrils shot forward with newfound speed.
The avenger instantly released the woman and charged hell-bent to the side, slicing openings through the walls with his sword and electric chakra. Despite the fact that he had never run this fast in his life, the mist had no problems keeping up. In fact, it was gaining on him.
He burst through the final wall and found himself high in the air. His wings caught the wind and soared through the sky with the black mass in tow. Sasuke willed himself to not look back this time as he flew for his life. He could hear the Hyuuga catch up to the cloud and say something inaudible to his sharp ears. Immediately afterwards, he felt the aura of hatred rescind a bit and the pursuing fog didn't seem quite as murderous.
"Oh, Sasuke…" the familiar mulitvoice of Naruto cooed mockingly. "Where're you goin'?! I thought we were friends! Why can't we just…" A single tendril latched onto a finger of the right wing and bit into it. "Talk!!"
The Uchiha felt his velocity lower as a sharp pain shot through his right curse seal appendage. He whipped out his sword and sliced the demonic limb off in one motion, replacing the wing with multiple snakes the moment it was cleaved from his back. The gigantic hand was sucked into the void and disappeared from the world.
"Oh, now that was gutsy! What a shame there aren't more people like you!"
The avenger heard something like a grunt emanate from behind and he suddenly jerked back. His head swiveled around to find Hinata clutching one of his snakes with a grip reinforced by tiny sharp fibers extending from her fingers. He swung his sword to either slice off the snake or injure his living anchor, but she caught his blade between two fingers of her free hand. Her uninjured digits bent the previously believed indestructible metal to establish an absolute hold on the weapon as the ebony haze caught up with them.
His eyes widened as the mist's inky tendrils wrapped around him and dug into his skin. He shrieked in pain as the cloud parted to reveal the dark silhouetted form of Uzi and the fibers pulled him in close.
The blonde's onyx hands grasped the sides of the avenger's face as the mist began to reform around them. The Uchiha felt nothing but sheer terror as his body was masked by the unholy shroud and he sputtered in fear at the glossy yellow eyes and pitch black smile staring him in the face.
"Look on the bright side," the new Master said playfully. "You put up a more amusing fight than your brother."
The fog crept up the Sharingan user's face and he screamed in horror. As the remnant of his head was consumed, he felt numb; there was a sensation of total nothingness wherever the mist caressed. Slowly yet surely the haze crept around his features while he shrieked, swallowing everything and leaving his eyes for last. His bloodline eyes produced a few drops of salty tears before the cloud covered them as well, effectively ending the man's existence.
"Now," Naruto turned cheerfully to the Hyuuga. "Let's go take care of Itachi."
"Right," she replied with a smile as her Byakugan searched out the eldest brother.
The eastern rogue ninja stumbled through back alleys as he slowly retreated from the battle. In the course of one day, his most powerful techniques had been rendered worthless and even turned against him. His constant use of the Mangekyo Sharingan to no avail had left him dangerously low on chakra, so he now ran with normal eyes. He was outmatched and he knew it.
He could no longer feel Kisame's presence, so he had no backup whatsoever. As he pondered his situation, he recalled how his late partner had complained of not acting soon enough. He cursed himself mentally for not following the sound advice of the fish-man and opting to wait until it was too late.
Slumping down in a maze of dirty back alleys, he hoped that he put enough distance between him and his combatants to buy enough time to make a proper escape. He was frighteningly aware that the Hyuuga woman could easily find him, although he was unsure as to the extent of her abilities now that she harbored some of the evil energy.
"What is that, anyway?" he mused inwardly. "I've never seen anything like it before. Not even Madara has strength like that. Is there any hope of controlling such a force?" He shook his head at the thought. "No. Forget controlling it; is there any way to defeat it? It mustn't be allowed to exist…"
He jumped to a sound at the end of the alley, glancing nervously at the opening to find it was merely a loose brick falling to the earth. Hunkering back down behind the large dumpster, he sunk back into his inner conversation.
"There may be a way to defeat it. Eight of the nine tailed beasts are already sealed in the weapon, so even though it's incomplete, it may have just enough power to weaken it to the point of killing its host." He congratulated himself at his intuitive observation. "It also seems that Uzumaki is either unwilling or unable to utilize the nine-tailed fox's chakra while using the darkness. It might even be safe to assume that he can't use the fox's energy at all anymore…" Another jarring sound shook him from his thoughts. He glanced in front of the garbage disposal unit to his side to find another fallen brick. Sighing lightly in relief, he leaned back against the wall and continued his mental monologue.
He felt an unusual sense of happiness of being alive. While he had been soundly beaten, he had survived a force unknown to the strongest beings on the planet. For a moment, he was glad to be alive and felt a pang of regret for all those he had forced to the netherworld. Old memories of Konoha began to resurface as his life repeated itself in his mind. As thoughts of his family were dug up, he felt an odd sadness of his actions towards his clan. For the first time since he could remember, a small tear welled in his eye. It almost escaped when he blinked and saw a dreadfully familiar wisp of dark haze float past his head.
"How sweet," a feminine voice from above broke the silence. "He's regretting things… I guess that's you call a near death experience."
His head shot up to find Hinata hovering over him. Somehow, she had come to rest in a squat on top of his dumpster cover without him catching on. Panic flooded his mind when she raised two fingers, closed an eye, and pointed at him. He fled down the maze of alleys and turned corners at random until he hit what he feared the most: a dead end. He turned around to backtrack but was met with the blue-haired woman staring him down, fingers still aimed at him. His mind froze when the onyx mist appeared from behind her and shot towards him. He saw a massive void of a mouth with inky tendrils for teeth open and angle downwards to swallow him whole…
And for the first and final time in his life, he screamed.
In no more than a moment, the darkness consumed Itachi and the last known Uchiha was gone. The haze condensed to form the silhouette of Naruto and the black fibers twirled in the air as they shrunk and layered themselves over their owner. As the evil power receded, the blonde strolled back to the diminishing daylight to join his blue-haired companion.
As her crush neared her, the Hyuuga pushed back ever so slightly against the darkness in her body and it ceased flowing. She felt the intruding voices and moods in her mind diminish but not disappear for some reason. As she focused on trying to silence them altogether, she noticed that there were more unfamiliar voices in her head. She listened intently and held her breath when she realized they were normal people. When the blonde stepped out into the waning sunlight, she gazed at him with newfound wonder.
The unholy haze had completely sealed itself up as the blonde approached his companion. He was about to congratulate her on a job well done when she glanced at him and gave him an unexpected surprise. He strode up to her while activating his crimson eyes and grasped her gently around her arms. "Hinata…" he spoke in a far off tone peppered with shock and awe. "You… you're…" A genuine smile exploded onto his face. "You're a red-eye!"
She blinked and felt an unusual sensation. As she gazed into the shining red and blue eyes of her crush, she felt the crimson sea surrounding her lavender pupils flare up and delve into his mind.
In that instant, their crimson eyes exchanged every thought and emotion they possessed towards each other. Uzumaki truthfully understood what the red-eyed woman in his arms felt about him and the Hyuuga clearly saw how close the blonde Master felt to her. Everything they could and couldn't vocalize passed to the other's consciousness and the duo realized how much they cared for each other.
"Naruto, you…" she choked as a tear of joy rolled down her cheek. She put her arms around his neck and pulled him closer.
Uzi returned the gesture and softly clasped her face with his tattooed hand. He lifted her face to his and kissed her as passionately as he could.
As the sun sank below the devastated scenery, the easterners never broke the kiss. Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyuuga loved each other with all their hearts.
A large chamber devoid of illumination came to life as six figures broke the silence with projected versions of themselves. The purported leader of the group glanced at the two actual inhabitants of the room with ringed eyes.
"It seems Itachi and Kisame have failed," his distorted voice stated. "Zetsu has informed me of Naruto Uzumaki's growth, and I am certain that he will prove to be a troublesome target." A strange cloaked man emerged from the ground and faced the leader's hologram. "There are now two more positions within this organization. If you wish, you may fill them."
"Yes, yes!" a masked man exclaimed as he bounced up and down. "I still want in!"
The second shadowed figure merely dipped a bit as its head nodded.
"Very well. Zetsu, give them the rings." The plant-like man held out his hand and presented the finger adornments. "Itachi's was lost and forging a suitable replacement was a difficult endeavor. Don't loose it."
Tobi snatched his ring and excitedly slipped it over his thumb, dribbling like an idiot while the silent phantom slipped his quietly over his ring finger and lowered his arm to his side. As soon as the shadowed hand came to rest on the armor over his leg, his eyes flared a deep crimson in acknowledgment.
Who is this mysterious new addition to the Akatsuki organization?!
Whatever could Hinata's "unknown" power be?!
And will I ever stop using awesome cliffhangers?!
All these questions can and will be answered in the sequel! Stay tuned!
In all honesty, I'm probably gonna take a little break (like a week or so... whatever I feel like) before starting the continuation of this. In the meantime, leave a review! I mean it this time, if you've been reading this story all along and have enjoyed it (you'd have to in order to be reading this), leave a review telling me what you liked, didn't like, thought was awesome, thought what sucked, and anything else you can think of that could point out how I could do better or not try to fix 'cause it ain't broke. I wanna hear your detailed thoughts!
On that note, I bid you faithful adieu... for now.