Chapter 96

Sepro the Shadow

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The ashy gray clouds blotted out the sky as the frozen rain fell in fat thick snowflakes. Dusting the landscaping that was already covered in the thick blanket of snow as a lone figure with long pink hair stood atop the peek, her sapphire eyes looking out at the large cliffs in the distance a dark, terrifying foreboding feeling gripped upon her partially making her want to throw herself from the cliffs but the soft crunch of snow behind her and the darkened but soft voice called out to her.

"Asami-san, Mizuki -san and I have finished preparing dinner for you and the children. Please come back inside and eat."

The pink haired woman simply braced herself as another gust of wind pushed upon her back almost threatening to send her over the edge making the figure move closer but she only shook her head at the shadow. "Sepro-kun do you remember the night we first met."

The shadowy fox bowed his head in submission to the though. "How can I forget, you saved me from my darkness."

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The flames flickered in the damp stale air as a panicked pink haired woman bolted into the room her eyes desperately searching for a hiding place as the large crimson eyes peered at her from behind its cage its massive forum covered in black fur in all area except the large gashing scar upon its torso.

Its mouth drew open, jaws clenching and snapping at a taste of her sweet delicious flesh, if the bars had not been in front of his little spooked rabbit he would have leapt upon her succulent flesh. But the scent of her seemed to stir a different reaction from within.

She smelled like something long forgotten buried in the darkest depths of his memories. Something he could not break could not abolish from his core. Protect the Uchiha was his masters command and the scent that reeked off of her was that of an Uchiha, Of a Haruno and of an Uzumaki. His nose never lied even if the abomination of a fox could not understand it as he let out a loud defining roar of frustration and anger that made the air quake in its path.

"She in there" called out a male voice from the other side of the door as the woman backed up to the wall farthest from the door her body shaking in terror as her knees trembled failing to support her.

"Like hell I'm going in there" Said another voice. "That's were that fucking demon monster lives."

"Our orders were strict, We are never to enter Uchiha-sama testing rooms even if she's in their he'd have our heads for going near one of his test subjects." Said the oldest of the voices

"Then the little cunt gets lucky for today. We'll catch her next time she tries to escape boys" said the 4th figure as he rounded up his men. "Might as well go report her location to Orchimaru-sama."

The footsteps draw away from the door as the girl cried softly to herself. Fearing the men behind the door far more than the fox to her left as she tried to draw steady breaths.

The fox for its part however simply seemed to stare at her with its large red eyes its jaws slightly hung open as the fowl stench of poison and rot lingered upon his breath.

"You don't like them ether do you foxy" she smiled at the black fox that had saved her. Even as it growled and bashed it's tail at the cage. She didn't care if it killed her now she had failed in her attempt to escape but the fox had saved her from the men. "Do you not like me ether?" just kept on smiling and looking at the fox. "I'll go as soon as the cost is clear."

And true to her word after a bit of time she rose to her feet and began to leave but from deep within the darkness of the cell a voice seemed to call out to her. "Wait…Please come here." A chain seemed to rattle as the massive fox simply shrank down. Loosing much of its form as well as its bulk as a boney small figure pulled itself from the shadow. Only the large gashing scar that seemed to almost pierce its whole body let her know the two foxes were one in the same.

She walked over to the bars of the cell in astonishment. She knew very little of the ninja world or of summoning creatures she did not know how this brittle, starved fox could be the same as the massive abomination that was just roaring and growling at her. But she felt sorry for it as she reached into her the sash on her hip taking out the meal she had packed for her escape and offering it up.

The starving forum of Sepro desperately wanted to snatch the meal up but before he did he wanted to come to understand the scents he was smelling as his nose sniffed the hand that was offering up the food. He could trace the scent far more clearly the more he sniffed. Indeed this girl had all three scents but they were also largely different with the exception of his masters. The Haruno scent that made him think of Juno and the pink-haired medical nin Sakura could only be described as being cut in half he had long since familiarized the cherry blossom and rain scented breeze smell of Sakura natural scent as being that of a Haruno but this girls was no a solid Haruno, no in fact the cherry blossom scent was cut perfectly cut naturally with the scent he had come to recognize as Uzumaki. It was an earthy forest smell of autumn. The two blended so well together that he knew she was of both bloodlines and very closely related if he didn't know any better he'd almost say she was their child but he knew that to be an impossibility she was older than both the Haruno girl and Uzumaki boy and the scent deviated enough to make him think she was defiantly a sister to one and a cousin to the other.

His nose then focused on the lingering scent of his master. He could smell it freshly between her legs but it was not the scent of sex that made him think of his master. No the scent of the Uchiha that dark springtime air, the scent that made you think of fire flies and moonlight over a lake came from her belly. He knew his answer the moment his eyes draw upon her stomach and her hand instinctively curled as if rubbing the womb of her child that she was carrying Sasuke child and he took the food gratefully.

"How far along?" He asked the woman who simply smiled again.

"You have a very keen nose don't you? Not even he knows." She pondered for a moment "A month maybe I just started having morning sickness. I was trying to get out of here before he found out."

The fox quickly finished his bites setting the food into the shadows to save the rest. "When the time is right I shall break you free of this hell."

The woman only curiously and disbelievingly looked at the fox who merely shadow shifted behind her to let her know he could free himself anytime he wished. "….How...Why?" She asked the fox that snuck its head into her lap and rested it upon the three scents.

"I am duty bound, no matter the pain no matter the suffering, torturing or hell master puts me threw to obey his commands. I will stay at his side for as long as I am needed, But I have a duty that comes before all else, given to me by both my masters before. "To protect the Uchiha child and watch over his brother". "The fox sniffed the girls yet to be born child and rubbed his nose upon her belly to indicate his next reference. "With new life, a new Uchiha to protect is born." His eyes looked upon hers.

"My first master was the one that told me to protect the Uchiha child. He left it up to me to decide if that was Sasuke or not he merely used the word child. This is now an Uchiha child thus I am fulfilling my first vow." He waited for her to scratch his ear, giving him a warm pleasurable feeling for the first time in so many years.

"The second master told me to watch over his brother. He did not say I must always stay bound to the boy. In fact before we parted and he gave me his final command he had another. To protect Sasuke, to protect the man he thought of as a brother. I can think of no greater way than to protect his child for Sasuke-sama will always live on threw this child so long as it's safe, even if the father is lost within the darkness." The fox withdrew from her only for a moment to bow. "So in fulfilling my Master wishes I shall serve you and this child with every ounce of my life force. I relinquish my service to Uchiha Sasuke in service to this younger Uchiha and place myself at your command till it is of age to command me directly."

The woman was astonished at the nobility and elegancy of the fox. She had always heard from her samurai relatives the story of how lords and retainers but the fox that bowed before her seemed steeped in the noble tradition to his very core as if it is what birthed the life that he was and so she bowed her head just as her late uncle had once told her lord did when taking on the retainer. "I humbly thank you for your service master fox and honor your duty to the masters before and accept you as my servant and my child's servant till your oath is fulfilled."

The fox rose from his bow and places his head upon the woman hands and let her resume her affection upon his matted fur and ears. "For now, till I have the strength and health to break you free I will continue a guise of serving my former master. I humbly request of you to bring me food and keep me company as often as you can to speed my recovery and your departure from here."

The woman smiled at her new pet fox. "With pleasure I could use the company myself. Will you explain to me about yourself some more."

The fox nodded his head. "My family has long served the samurai clans of the old. From Haruno to Uzumaki even the great Dynamo's of the past when the world was ruled by the sword before the age of shadows we shadow fox operated under their command and in there service. But as the age of the blade fell to the age of the shadows and ninja became more dominate so too dwindled the lineage of the shadow fox. I am one of the only shadow foxes left in the fox world and the last to follow the art of the old traditions. I was rescued as a pup by a young samurai named Kenji Kyoshiro when my father fell to a shinobi guarding his former master's grave. The man raised me till I was strong enough to serve a boy named Uzumaki Naruto a relative of yours if your scent does not betray my nose. Who like my former master was a very kind, very gentle soul when you were around him his whole presents gave off a warm glow, I never wished to leave his side and still to this day wish I could serve him instead of my former Uchiha master. However the boy already had two fox vassals that served him proudly one fox is named Naka who would become my brother and rival much as the Uchiha-san is to him. To this reason why I believe in part why Naruto-sama wished me to serve his own brother and rival. The other is part of the forum you seen earlier. The Spirit demon fox forum, a side Uchiha-san has been trying to unlock inside me ever sense his former team-mate managed to unlock it within his own fox. But the forum is twisted, corrupt fueled on by tainted Jinchurriki chakra and fox blood of my own offspring. It will never hold true to its power so Uchiha-sama kept me locked away for being an utter failure of an experiment thus I only come out and am only feed when I am of use to him for scouting…" The fox hung its head in shame as the tears escaped his eyes.

"Sasuke-sama used to never be this cruel. He was once a kind child too that I enjoyed servicing, I do not know what has brought him so far into the darkness as his mentor never allows me near his side. I was an utter failure as a vassal to him, I have let my lord fall so low that he enjoys the twisted torment of others. I do not even know if my mate is still alive after what he's done to her and to me." The fox sniffed the air suddenly as he was about to continue his speech of his story when suddenly he smelled the scent of snake and shifted himself into the cage. "Orochimaru approaches we will continue another time master." He puffed himself into his spirit forum that seemed to go berserk at the girl bashing its tails upon the cage loosing itself within the madness of its torment.

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The fox looked to the distant cliff with the woman. "You say I saved you but I truly feel you saved me Master Asami."

The woman nodded her head not arguing with the fox, no matter how long she debated the statement with the fox the fox felt how it felt and she was not about to command it to think otherwise as she turned her back to the distance the cold finally nipping her to the bone. "Whatever you say Sepro-kun. I don't like the feel I'm getting from those mountains be extra vigilant there's something coming. My Inner warrior agrees with me."

The fox bowed his head as he flayed its tails and glared at the mountains. "With every ounce of my life force, it is my duty to protect you from harm… and evil." He said before rejoining her side to return to the small cave his family called home.

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Sasuke and the rest of team seven seemed to dust the snow off their jackets as they stood waiting for Naruto to finish asking his questions as the passersby glared at him while others seemed to withdraw in terror in horror. He had to admit in a town that had no shinobi and was so deep in the land of Iron it barely heard of them. Heck the villager still walked around with swords on their hips and dawned old traditional samurai armor. They certainly knew who he was even without him ever visiting this village.

Heck one villager that had no clue who Kakashi the sixth hokage was or looked like fled in fear of him and refused to speak when he was around. So he knew he was apparently on the right track of finding the girl after all pink haired women were not something you see every day nor was a village scared out of their wits end that he'd massacre them.

Naruto rejoined the group as he wrapped up his conversation. The boy for his part had matured a lot in asking questions and being polite to someone heck the whole team had changed Sasuke could feel it was not the same team he had left even if he could not judge Sakura caliber due to her memory loss he was sure she would not be a fawning fan girl. This was further confirmed by the fact that she had a child. Something he was still finding completely disbelieving.

"So what did you find out dobe." Sasuke growled out at Naruto silence another factor he was not quite used too by now the blonde boy would have screamed out his information if he had managed to collect anything useful.

The man for his part merely shoved his hands in his pocket. "Rather hard to track down someone with the vague ass description of short girl, pink hair, might go by the name of Asami." He changed his direction towards the mountains. "However the man did give some interesting information. Only because he spotted Sakura-chan and at first thought she was her sister. The moment you showed back up he claimed up tighter than the stick up your ass teme. What I did gather is she's somewhere near the back of these mountains something about the old Haruno clan caves. But." Naruto jestured at all the mountains around. "In this thick ass snow storm that's a little like saying find the needle of innocents inside you."

Sasuke had to smirk at that comment. Naruto sure had been giving him a rough treatment. Sure he was friendly and lovingly to him but he could tell Naruto was giving him a good verbal beat down cause he was quite pissed at his former brother. So Sasuke for his part took his licks, even if he wanted to mock the blonde boy back he did not want to ruin his friends' emotional vent. It was rare to see Naruto ever lash out at someone even after all the hell he could endure. The venting brought him back to the days when they were younger and Naruto would vent to him at the sanctuary, it even reminded him of Naruto singing. He wondered if they still did that now that Naruto and Sakura had found each other.

"Hey dobe you still sing at night?"

"What the hell kind of fucking question is that. Here we are searching for your lost lover which you fucked up so royally half the town wants to shove a sword up your ass if they were so fucking dam fucking afraid of you." He ranted to which Kakashi smirked and put his hand on his shoulder.

"I think you just gave Tayuya a wet dream back home." He giggled seeing how much the red-head had that had become like a sister to him so long ago had rubbed off on his true side.

The laugh shared between Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi reminded Sasuke just how much of an outcast he had become to the group and torn him between turning away and saying this was no longer his home and the other younger part of him that so desperately wanted to scream and run back into the group.

"Hn I don't get it." Sasuke said as he grunted and turned his head away. Only for Kakashi to explain the foul mouthed woman to him, and her love of curse words that she had always been trying to get Naruto string out.

Even Sakura chimed in on the story telling him of how she made Kushina call all the other nursed in the ward dumb bimbo's or fuck face and how Tsunade who was now officially taking the role of grandmother to Kushina had practically torn Tayuya apart for it.

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Two weeks later

The scent of snow and soap obscured Serpo nose as he cursed the pink haired woman who had bathed him. He hated baths no matter what the little brats did to him he would rather clean himself than suffer threw one of her infernal baths. The soap always fucked up his keen sense of smell. Then again little Itachi had covered him in mud and grim and other things he did not even wish to think of, much the great shadow foxes dismay. He had thought the boy was going to give him his first commands but the boy just wanted to play and happened to pick the dirtiest, muddiest place in the whole underground cave resulting in both of them needing a bath before the women would let them enter the house.

He sat by the crackling fire watching the oldest boy of the group now about 9 in age sharpen the stick he would be using for hunting. Least the hunt Shisui would let him participate in was some minor restoration to his pride. Sepro always loved being able to chase the squirrels and rabbits toward the boy who seemed to be even more adapt than his former master at throwing kunai. He defiantly held Itachi Uchiha genius talent within him but that was nothing compared to his twin sister. Which he assumed was helping the women or enjoying the hot baths.

Sepro laid himself out before the fire and began dozening off his nose checking the wind one final time before he bid himself a rest. He could only really smell the scent of soap and what he could swear was Asami but the soap was way too powerful for him to be sure.

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(AN: It's getting late and while I said I'd finish this by Sunday midnight, I procasinated too much. The only reason it's not all being posted up right now is I really wish to re-write the fight seen that follows. Without too much of a spoiler, The girl Asumi reaction to Sasuke and Sepro reaction I feel they are too dull and lifeless in emotion I know from experience its not an okay your forgiven after a few exchanges of blows. Sasuke did some seriously fucked up things to both of them. That is why I want to re-write it a bit just give it more meat and soul to it.

With that said I hope those that enjoy Sepro enjoyed the bit of back story about him. I've always modeled Sepro as one of those old school feudal servents and even thought he was played as the shady, mysterious fox he's actually one of the kindest, nicest ones of the group he just is honor and duty bound to a purpose beyond himself must like the old lords and knights.

That said I would like to post a reminder that no one has yet to see Sepro true power, We know of Naka shape shifting, Demon tales transformation and mind reading and of Juno powers of intelligence and healing. But all you've ever seen of Sepro is his shadow step or the ability to move wherever a shadow maybe even if there are objects blocking his path. And his Shadow double. Both him and Juno had another super secret power. ;) Those foxes were crafty and specially tailored for what is about to come.

Remember the prophases as well. I'll post the next chapter probably tomarrow afternoon it will lead into end of Arch 5 and you'll see the final boss all that stuff maybe this weekend or next I'm cautions to give another deadline as when I do that I tend to really slack off and put it off like it becomes work not fun. However I'm newly inspired to write since I'm past all my writers block and like I've said a 1,000 times to myself I know what it is I want to write I know the ending I know who the big baddy boss is even know the scenes up to the fight and the words it'll say even the end of the battle. Its just writing that stuff between the countless hours it takes and the emotional drain, I always have to sleep and nap after writing cause well I dunno why that's why all this takes time. Anyhow about time I ended this long ass Authors Note and simply said Do not fear your wait will not be long.)