1 Chapter Three: Return of the Dragon
Naruto stood in front of the hokage's office and shifted from foot to foot as he waited for the chuunin guards to let him in. It had been two years since he had met his 'nee-chan' Xy and his training in the arts of war had come along beautifully. The boy was coming along even better than she'd hoped in things like strategy and planning once she'd removed the mental block seal that had been placed on the poor boy, oh was she not happy when she found out about that. She had shattered the block and seal with a surge of righteous fury and proceeded to teach Naruto a litany of curses in six different languages that would cause any demon lord to sit up and applaud. She had wound up teaching him those languages, English, Spanish, Greek, Chinese, German and French, in addition to his other lessons. She taught him how to fight and inserted her memories of her kills into his mind so that he wouldn't have the typical reaction to his first kill or a dangerous situation. Too many had died simply because they'd frozen when the first bullets began to fly and it wouldn't do for Naruto to die because he froze up. She taught him chakra control and integrated some of her dragon DNA with his, making him 1/32 dragon, a minuscule amount, but enough to make his skin harder than normal and his hair a bit spikier, now he could pull on one of his spikes and have a sharp, rigid weapon so he would never be unarmed. Kira was still asleep, though he was starting to come out of his flower-induced coma and Xy knew that he would wake soon enough, so until then she was content to paint him all the colors of the rainbow with paints that Naruto had given her.
Naruto walked into the Sandaime's office and greeted the old man as he usually did.
The Hokage looked up from his mountain of paperwork and smiled at the young vessel. Naruto had changed a lot in the two years since the attack that had forced the unknown silver chakra from the boy. He was much quieter and was obviously much smarter all around. His chakra control was very good and he was often heard by nins and villagers alike muttering in languages that no one had ever heard before. Just after the discovery of the silver chakra that council had called a meeting to call for the boy's execution, but Sarutobi nipped that idea in the ass quick, fast and in a hurry. He threatened to have every member of the council calling for the execution executed themselves if he heard another word about it. That shut them up really quick and the subject had not been brought up again, though the Hokage had suspicions that Danzo had schemes of his own cooked up...
Sarutobi looked at the boy and nodded.
"Hello Naruto, how are you today?"
"Fine Sandaime-jiji, but I did have something to ask of you."
Sarutobi raised a brow. It wasn't often that Naruto asked for anything. Ever since his sixth birthday he'd been content to train in secret and simply survive. He'd made two friends in that time, Nara Shikamaru and Akimichi Chouji, whose fathers introduced the two boys to the small blond.
"What is it Naruto?"
"I need to have permission to leave the village for about a week. Alone."
Sarutobi sat back in his chair and tried not to look as surprised as he felt. Naruto was only eight and had just started the academy, to let him out of the village alone for so long would be unwise because the boy could hardly defend himself as far as Sarutobi knew.
"I'm sorry Naruto, you're too young for me to feel safe leaving you to your own devices outside the village for that long. Besides, why would you need to leave the village for that period of time?"
Naruto looked at the Sandaime earnestly, before closing his eyes and turning the conversation inward.
Should I tell Sarutobi-ojisan about you?
Xy thought carefully about that question. If things went wrong, then life could become very bad for her little one, but if they went right...
Alright hatchling, but please be cautious in what you divulge.
Naruto's eyes opened and Sarutobi was shocked to notice that there was a sheen of silver in his eyes, sliding over his pupils and giving them a metallic look.
"Sarutobi-'jisan, there's something I need to tell you..."
To say that Sarutobi was surprised and shocked by what Naruto had told him would be an understatement of the situation. The fact that there were ten biiju rather than the nine that had always been assumed, and the fact that both the Kyuubi and the Juubi were locked inside Naruto was absolutely unbelievable. Naruto could see Sarutobi's scepticism easily and, before the old man could say anything, closed his eyes again to talk to his sister.
Sigh Alright hatchling. Stand aside.
When Naruto's eyes opened this time his eyes were the deepest purple-blue that the old Hokage had ever seen. The boy smiled a smile that showed fangs of all sizes, spaced evenly in his mouth, and a slightly forked tongue.
"Hello Sarutobi of Konohagakure no Sato. I am O'Shannon Xylianna."
Sarutobi rocked back on his heels and swallowed heavily.
"You-you're the Juubi?"
The smile widened, but it also softened.
"Yes. You can call me Xy. What the hatchling has told you is correct; I am the reason Kira attacked the village."
This made Sarutobi angry.
"What, did you not like the humans being in your territory or something?"
Xy's eyes became cold and a ring of ice began to form around the body she was borrowing for the time being.
"No. My soul was torn from my body by an incorrect summoning and Kira offered his soul for me to cling to, however the only way for me to survive was for Kira to get me to the Great Summoning Circle that is about fifteen miles east of the village. Unfortunately the quickest route was through an old trail that cut directly through your village, which wasn't here the last time we were awake, by the way."
"When was the last time you were awake?"
"Approximately five thousand years ago."
Sarutobi could no longer find it in himself to blame either of them, so he got back to the original reason for Xy talking to him.
"Why does Naruto need to leave for a week?"
"We've agreed that I can no longer train him simply in his mind, so he is going to the Circle to allow my body to be returned to me. Besides that, Kira is beginning to wake, and I really don't want to be in here when he realizes that I drugged him. And painted him to look like a rainbow. And braided his tails with ribbons that can only be removed in a certain order. Hehehe."
Sarutobi sweatdropped, now knowing without a doubt where Naruto got his love for pranks. He considered what the dragon had said and nodded slowly.
"While I can't let him go alone, I can send him with someone I trust not to mistreat him or tell anyone what happens when you arrive there. Tell me, do you know of Nara Shikato?"
"Yes, he was the man who helped hatchling two years ago. Truly his mind works very much like a demon's..."
"Well, what if I sent him and his two teammates with you? They already like the boy even knowing that he holds your brother, I'm sure that the secret about you won't change their minds about the boy."
What do you think hatchling?
I think we should do it. I trust them.
Xy smiled at the Hokage and nodded.
"Alright. We leave in two days."
Naruto waited impatiently by the gate of the village that would take him toward the Circle for the Ino-Shika-Chou team to arrive. It was six-thirty in the morning and he was ready to go, wanting to get his neechan freed quickly. He was bouncing on the balls of his feet, humming Sailing Away, a song that Xy often sang to him when he was feeling sad. She said that it was from her time in training, a Celtic song, she called it. He was in the middle of the refrain when the three jounin walked up to the gate and greeted him with happy smiles as the four set off. The journey really wasn't that long, only fifteen miles, what would take the most time would be summoning Xy's body from the elements it had long broken down to and reconstructing it precisely to how it was. That would be made even more difficult by the fact that about thirty percent of her body was made of metallic alloys that were not found in nature, alloys created for the sole purpose of being stronger than anything else on the planet. She had even had some diamond mixed in with the metal, so the reconstruction would be the longest process. The trip took only about two hours and that was simply because the four were walking slowly and enjoying the forests, but they finally arrived at the Circle and they all were awed at what they saw. Great stones towered, the designs carved on them worn almost into obscurity by the millennia, but their colors still showed clearly, the stones being largely made of metallic stones. One was a stone of iron ore, another veined in gold. A third was speckled with tiny diamonds and rubies while a fourth had stripes of silver. The last stone was veined with another silvery metal that Xy knew was a type of magnesium. The Circle had fallen into ruin over the five-thousand year interval, but Xy knew that the energy behind it was still there and still strong, so she instructed Naruto and the three jounin to pitch camp and then go to the center of the circle. Once there she sighed at the feeling of ancient chakra while the nins shuddered at the overwhelming feeling of thousands of years bearing down on their shoulders.
Hatchling, I need you to place your hands on the symbol in the center of the matrix.
Naruto did as his sister bid and placed both hands on the center symbol, the one that Xy recognized as the ancient Nordic rune, Thurisaz. There was a great flash of light and a gathering of energy began. Each of the summon stones began to glow and hum an eerie tune that no one, not even Xy could recognize.
Okay Hatchling. It has begun. We can rest here until my body has been regenerated.
It took nearly a week, but it was finally done.
The Ino-Shika-Chou trio stood beside Naruto looking down at the body at their feet in the center of the Great Circle. She looked a bit like the form in Naruto's mind, minus the tails of course. She had a heart-shaped face with almond eyes and long, very long silver-streaked-violet hair. Her body was short, as she was in his mind, and lithe, obviously built for speed over strength. That was an illusion though because, due to cybernetic enhancements, she could easily lift two tons without breaking a sweat. Her body was as near to perfect as a human body could get and the men all admired it for the work of art it was.
Damn doctors just had to make me look like a freakin' supermodel.
Naruto snickered at her griping before kneeling beside the lifeless body and placing his hand on it. It didn't take long for the dragon to transfer herself into her old form and soon enough the body before the four Konoha Nins was opening its lovely teal-flecked, silver eyes and looking up at the sky for the first time in five millenia.
"Oh wow, the sky is so pretty."
Naruto sniffled, trying so hard not cry, but it wasn't enough and soon enough he had sparkling tears racing one another down his face. Xy looked at her Hatchling and immediately knew what the problem was. He was trying to absorb the fact that she was real and physical; that she could now touch him physically instead of simply in his mind. Xy reacted as any dragon would...by grabbing her Hatchling into a tight hug and nuzzling his face with hers in an attempt to calm him down.
"It's okay Hatchling. I've got you Little One."
She rocked him back and forth as he cried, the three nins who had accompanied them politely letting them have their moment.
"You are my Hatchling and that is never going to change. I swear it on my honor."
It took them only four hours to get back to Konoha and the trip back was fairly uneventful until they got within a mile of the gates. In the shadow of a great and ancient tree the nins watched as a small dragon made of shadows rose out of the tree's great shadow and curled around Xy and Naruto, causing them to fall in a heap. Xy braced herself and managed to not fall on Naruto, but she glared at the little dragon, who was now snickering at his little practical joke.
"Oh I can tell that you and the Hatchling are going to get along beautifully Kiro."
The little dragon nodded and curled tightly around Naruto's neck, tight enough to not be dislodged, but not tight enough to choke the boy. None of the older nins asked any questions, taking it as just a quirk of Xy being a dragon, which they were right about. However, the guards at the gates were a different matter entirely.
"Halt! Oh, Nara-san, Yamanaka-san, Akimichi-san, welcome home. As for the demon, he will not pass these gates."
It didn't take long for Kiro to react as Xy did. Kiro wrapped himself around the ANBU's body tightly, cutting off his air supply, and Xy punched him in the face, sending him back into the wall surrounding Konoha hard enough for his body to dent the pilings. She glowed faintly with the rage of her silver chakra and the Ino-Shika-Cho trio could see the faint outline of a long scaled tail coming from her tailbone.
"Don't you ever call my ototo a demon. If you decide to ignore this warning I will show you what a demon really looks like."
Xy had to consciously keep herself from activating her ice lung as she raged internally at the man who would dare to disparage her brother like that. She wanted to freeze, then roast and then gut the man before eating his heart and liver and skinning the body Predator style (she'd loved those movies when the scientists had let her watch them), but she would be content to just kick his ass. She felt a hand touch her shoulder and looked up at Chouza inquisitively.
"I think he gets the point."
Xy looked at the ANBU, lying against the wall, then at his companion, who gulped heavily under her glare, before nodding decisively and walking through the gates without another thought.