The man trembled. It was cold at night in this forest, but it was the only time that he would be able to find this story.
He was a writer. He didn't write spells or messages, but stories; legends, rumours, fantasies. Normally he wrote biographies of famous ninjas. But this was different. This was the story that was going to make his career.
He was a simple looking man, with glasses and brown hair. He wore normal clothing and his Leaf head band proudly. Once, he would've been ridiculed or even attacked for wearing this symbol anywhere on his persona, but since the fall of the Akatsuki, Konohagakure had grown to become the greatest city ever seen. The writer could've attributed it to Naruto, the boy who had released the full power of the Kyuubi and defeated Pein once and for all. He could've attributed it to Itachi Uchiha, the one Akatsuki member who killed many of his own village just to destroy the Akatsuki behind their backs, slowly but surely.
But it was the one who Itachi had been relaying info to that the writer wanted to find. The media said that it had been Tsunade, and all the Hokages before her. But the writer had heard whispers. No, more then whispers. Legends, and rumours, and fantasies. And the writer knew they were true.
He stopped, pulling his cloak tighter around him. The trees seemed to whisper to each other of the new form that hid under their leaves, purple in the moonlight.
He had to be here. He couldn't come all this way for nothing… please…
"Who are you?"
The whispered voice that broke the silence sent all of the writer's hairs standing up on end, and a tremor ran up his spine. "So it's true…" he whispered, noticing the leaves had gone silent as the grave.
"Yes. So it is."
The writer almost didn't dare to turn, but he did. It was him. Him. Silhouetted against the moonlight that poured through the trees… it was him. Koth.
He was lithe, with the appearance of a 23 year old man. His hair was as silver as they said, like a messy mass of liquid metal atop his head, and his eyes were like blood, gleaming angrily through the darkness, with slit pupils like a cat's eye. He wore a black trench coat, left open to reveal a bare chest covered in scars. Some of them had faded to small pink lines, but there were some that would never fade. A pair of pants, ripped and torn, held together only by numerous stitches, adorned his lower half. No shoes adorned his feet, which were just as scarred as his chest. He glared at the writer, and took a step forward, smirking slightly as the writer jumped backward.
"Who are you?"
"I go by no name." the writer said, voice trembling. "But you may call me Scribe, if you wish."
"Scribe it is." Koth said, and a gloved hand pulled a sword from its sheath, pointing it at Scribe's neck. It gleamed as white as the moon, sending a dull throb through Scribe's neck where the sword's point touched his skin. "I suppose that you are another thrill seeker, here to try and uncover my myth? Yes, I stand here before you. I am that of legends, the legends of heroes from the Age of Red Skies."
"Koth." Scribe mumbled, trying to ignore the paralyzing pain creeping through his body.
The blade glowed slightly at its name, but that didn't stop the fear coming over Scribe. "Please, all I'm here for is a story."
"A story? And what makes you think I'll just spill all my secrets onto paper?"
"Because I'm not here for a legend or some story told in a backwater town. I want the truth."
There was no reply from Koth.
"The real, honest truth." Scribe repeated, closing his eyes. He knew that Tsukiakari killed slowly, but surely. Suddenly, his body felt limp as the sword was lifted away from his throat. He collapsed, blessing the goddess that he was still alive.
"So you want the truth?" Koth said, and his voice didn't sound nearly as angry or vicious as before. In fact, it seemed subdued, and Scribe looked up. Koth's back was turned to Scribe, for he was glancing past the leaves into the sky. "Well, then… I've been waiting a while for a chance like this."
Scribe paused, eyes wide. He pushed his glasses farther up on his nose. "Well, it seems I am your chance, Koth."
"It seems so."
Koth started to walk off into the woods, and Scribe hastened to follow. But Koth held out a hand to stop him.
"I must prepare my thoughts if I'm to tell you the real story. Set up camp in the clearing just a couple yards north of here. Make a fire, set up tent, get your utensils ready… whatever. I will appear at midnight exactly. This will take multiple days… so I hope you're prepared."
Scribe gave a small nod, and with that, Koth was gone, vanished in the trees. Scribe paused. This was his only chance to back out. Koth could be waiting to kill him, or even worse… 'steal' him. Yet, Scribe had heard that tone in Koth's voice, an almost pleading tone. He wanted to talk about his past and present. And if Scribe got this story, he'd be realized for his great deeds. Scribe sighed, and made his way to the clearing.
It wasn't long before Scribe had set up camp, and gotten a roaring fire going, which sent away some of the cold. He ate his dinner, and got out some paper and pens, waiting patiently.
Yet, he found his eyelids drooping. He was tired from his journey. This place was so far away from Konohagakure. He started thinking of home, a warm bed, and reading his latest story by the fireside…
A branch snapped, bringing him quickly awake. Koth stood at the edge of the fire, dropping the two sticks he held.
"You're awake?" he inquired, giving a small smirk.
Scribe nodded, quickly, and offered Koth a log on the other side of the fire. Koth took it, giving a small nod of thanks.
Scribe had expected Koth to be more mysterious… though, perhaps he had gotten his large dose of "mysterious" when they had first met. He seemed like anybody else now. Just another friendly face.
"Now. I'll try and tell my stories without interruptions. I don't want any from you either. If I ask a question and do not state otherwise, it's rhetorical. Got it? If I stop, I'll probably lose my train of thought."
Scribe nodded. Demands like this came from almost everyone he interviewed. It was hard to tell your life story, especially if it was one with a lot of action. A busy person always had a better story. "Feel free to begin, then."
Koth nodded, and paused, closing his eyes. He thought for a second, and then began.
"I find it's always very hard to try and remember where to begin my story. I've tried telling myself it many times, and then find I become dissatisfied with it and then start over. I could start with what I remember of my childhood, which isn't much, or I could start with when I first discovered my innate ability… a bloodline trait, I think it's called, though I suppose I'm the only one alive who has this trait now, and I don't plan to have any children. I could even start with when I first discovered the Akatsuki, an almost fatal mistake. But I think I'll start with names, because I am made of names.
What everyone calls me is Koth, because that is the name I have made famous by stating it in the face of the public. I have also been called Shadowslayer, because I wield a sword that banishes the darkness. I have been termed Koth-danna by my followers and Soul Stealing Bastard by my enemies. I've been called Body Stealer and Dark Thing, both lovingly and maliciously. My first lover called me Gin because of my hair and my friend turned enemy called me Delicate because he didn't think I could fight. I've been Confused, Hungry, Angry and Sick. I've been Dead, Reborn, Bent on Revenge, and In Love. I've been called by the names of a thousand faces, and none of them my own. Some who are old now know me as Suchi-ru, or those who are even older, Kusaki, for Kusaki is my real name. I've been called both Fearless and Stupid for daring to stand up to the Akatsuki, and I've been called Lone Wolf, for I wander alone and I always just barely survive. Such is my path in life. I've been called names much too vulgar to be said here. And yet, the one I'm proudest of is the one that only one person has said. I have been called Savior only once, and I think that is the one that suits me best.
I am Kusaki, and Koth, and Savior. This is my story."