Disclaimer: I don't own anything alluded to in this story or any other I write.
Guardian of All Creation
The hail of ice senbon was halted as soon as Pein realized what had happened. Internally, he berated himself for his trusting of the former Jinchuuriki, as it had just cost him dearly; he had no extra bodies. He was confined to just the one. No matter, he still had the Rinnegan (Samsara or Transmigration Eye) to assist him. He cancelled the rainfall around Amegakure (Hidden in the Rain) to prevent such another occurrence of senbon.
Amongst the spires of cobalt frost, Naruto felt the ceasing of the weather, preventing him from causing cosmic showers of terminal velocity senbon. He didn't mind all that much, as while it was a good opening technique, it would be worthless in assault as he would have to shield himself from them just as much as others would. Melding into the forest of frost, he searched for his prey.
He released the Kyuubi from the forest, giving him specific orders to unseal the demons from the statue with any means necessary. This fight was his own, and so long as the demons were within the statue, there was a possibility that Pein could use them against him.
As soon as he caught sight of where the Akatsuki members were, all of them vanished as black fire spawned above the forest, bearing down upon the unnatural construct with the heat of the sun. He quickly escaped, not willing to let the fire touch him. As he touched down on the ground, he was faced with Uchiha Itachi, Mangekyou Sharingan (Kaleidoscopic Copy Wheel Eye) whirling in his sockets.
Midnight fire shot from the Uchiha's right eye, prompting a trail of bloody tears to fall from the strain upon the organ.
"Amaterasu (Goddess of the Sun)"
Baring his teeth in a grimace, the Black Mage countered with a whirling torrent of pure white flames. While they consumed less oxygen than the black flames, they proportionately had less heat. However, they stalled the black flames long enough for him to teleport away from the warring flames, a gale force wind springing to life around him.
A rather pretty kunoichi appeared before him with navy blue hair pulled backwards in a bun accentuated by a paper rose behind her right ear. She was only about 5'6", with pale skin, cobalt blue eyes, and was wearing the standard Akatsuki garb. She had a single piercing through her bottom lip, and her stature and gaze depicted her emotionless demeanor. She spread her arms, causing thin sheets of paper to whirl towards Naruto, shaping themselves into senbon, shuriken, and kunai.
"Kami Shuriken (Paper Shuriken)"
Scowling darkly at the co-leader of Akatsuki, the gale of wind whipped to hurricane-like speed. The paper weapons were strangely unaffected by the wind, prompting him to seed sparks of white fire into the wind, turning it into a blazing glory of a firestorm. Konan immediately backed out of range, suffering several burns upon her body from the scorching heatwave.
A tri-bladed scythe sliced through the firestorm, nearly catching the Black Mage in the shoulder and pulling his attention to yet another member of Akatsuki. This one was taller, about 6'0", and had slicked back silver hair. His eyes were a rather odd shade of pink and were glinting in bloodlust at the prospect of a battle. His teeth were bared in an unsettling enthusiastic grin.
"Fuck yeah! Finally, someone who's not afraid to fight!"
The Black Mage, getting incredibly agitated at not having neutralized at least one of the threats, flung several spears of ice towards the High Priest of Jashin. Hidan deflected them with a skilled gesture of his scythe which had returned to him like a boomerang, before charging towards the white-blonde.
Naruto dashed forward, his feet and legs beginning to sink into the earth before he was completely swallowed, just a few feet away from the immortal. Hidan was rather perplexed, until he heard a voice behind him.
"You will die here, aberration."
A cold touch hit the back of his skull, and he whirled around with scythe in hand to attack the threat, finding nothing. Unknown to him, a hand print of black frost was slowly spreading across the back of his head. The ice was slowly killing even him, as it was causing every single cell in its path to explode by freezing the water in the cell, forcing it to expand until it finally burst.
He would 'die' within a few minutes, his divine link to Jashin binding his soul to a body with no function whatsoever.
A few hundred feet away…
Slipping out of the ground with no mud upon his person, he searched for his next target. A few clay butterflies flitted towards him, distracting him as they neared. Sensing danger, he backflipped away just as they exploded, only to be subject to a shredding force from behind. His sand clothing was unable to block it entirely and it caused bloodshed from shallow wounds upon his back.
Regaining his composure before it could slip, he landed on one hand, twisting his body grotesquely to sweep the feet out of under his assailant with his own. With a sickening pop of bone, his spine realigned itself and he slipped through the ground to avoid a few more clay insects, reappearing some distance away.
Kisame had regained his footing, grinning at the blood staining his Samehada, while overhead another member of Akatsuki was molding more clay into weapons. The airborne assailant was blonde, reminding Naruto of Yamanaka Ino, and had part of his hair pulled back into a ponytail with the rest let loose. A single long bang obscured his left eye, held aloft by a scratched Iwa (Rock) hitai-ate. He was around 5'4", looked somewhat androgynous, and had brown eyes with an excited grin on his face.
"Naruto-san, I will show you the beauty of my art, un!"
The air chilled dangerously, the ground underneath the Black Mage's feet being covered in frost. Leaping upward to avoid inconspicuous clay grasshoppers, he stuck himself to the side of the abandoned building, the people of Amegakure being evacuated at the nearest sign of hostility. He blocked a downward swipe of Samehada with a lance of frost, allowing the weapon to shatter after leaving the danger zone and motioning the shards to attack the shark-like nin, who batted them away carelessly.
As the nuke-nin from Kirigakure (Hidden in the Mist) charged towards him once more, he spat a cloud of neurotoxin, which was dodged if only barely. However, the distraction was used to the fullest as a gesture from Naruto's hand caused a lightning bolt to arc from it and slam into the Samehada, numbing the swordsman's arm with the electricity.
Switching Samehada to his less proficient hand, the former Kiri-nin continued to swing at him with the same bloodthirsty expression on his face, only slightly dulled by having to use his off hand.
The white haired teenager's body exploded into shards of ice upon contact, attempting to flay Kisame, but only succeeding in causing many shallow wounds due to his tough skin. The real Naruto appeared from the spreading of frost upon the ground, having used it as a rudimentary ice mirror.
A large shadow appeared over him, and he looked upward to find Deidara floating upon a large clay dragonfly that was shedding 'scales' of clay that quickly formed into miniature dragonflies, headed directly towards him. Annoyed, he flicked his fingers upwards, spreading several hundred sparks of white flame into the air and causing a chain reaction of explosions while he escaped under the cloud of detonation.
Appearing in the air from a void, he dropped like a sky diver towards the clay-user. Amethyst eyes narrowed as globes of water rotated around him. Passing near the former Iwa-nin, the globes multiplied exponentially before exploding in a shower of boiling water.
The blonde nin let out a yell of pain as his right side was burned by the water, discreetly molding clay in his mouth.
Landing upon the ground lightly, Naruto was forced to flip through the air once again to avoid the deadly 'shaving' edge of the Samehada. Kisame seemed to have gained use of his arm once again, as he was quickly doing hand seals, a swirling vortex of water appearing behind him, drawn out of the air.
"Suiton: Daibakufu (Water Element: Great Waterfall)"
The spinning column of water shot forward, only to be captured within the mana released around the Black Mage. The column bent around him, doing a complete 180 degree turn and launching back towards the caster. The former Kiri-nin leapt out of the way, quickly working on different hand seals.
"Suiton: Bakusui Shouha! (Water Element: Exploding Water Shockwave)"
A gushing spout of water shot out of the shark-like nin's mouth, pouring hundreds, possibly thousands, of gallons of water out of nothingness. The water level rose around the battlefield, easily ten feet deep. Unfortunately for Kisame, a feral grin pulled at the Black Mage's mouth. From his vigil on the side of the building, Naruto pulled one of the threads binding him to the element of water and released it with a twang that was visible to both Kisame and Deidara.
Amethyst eyes bled to aquatic blue as the thousands of gallons of water moved at his command, forming an abomination of the element with Naruto at the center. It was several stories tall, and shaped like a Kraken out of myth. Dozens of thick tentacles suspended the main body off the ground, with Naruto situated inside the 'head'.
Thrashing the tentacles of water around, he decimated the surrounding area with pulverizing force, seeking to bury Kisame beneath the rubble. Deidara, knowing when his assistance was needed, spat the clay out of his mouth where it formed a replication of himself and divebombed the Kraken. A tentacle swatted it, only to cause it to disintegrate into brown 'dust' that was absorbed within the monstrosity. The blonde Akatsuki lifted a hand to his mouth and yelled out loud enough for Naruto to hear within the watery depths of the aberration.
"Behold the beauty of my art! Katsu!"
The 'dust' exploded upon a molecular level, destroying the Kraken in a shower of water that caused monsoon-like rain all over the battleground. Naruto, lightly scorched by the heating of the water from the explosion, glared at the blonde, his eyes returning to purple as the downpour turned to ice. Once again pulling a string of elemental manipulation hard enough for it to twang, his eyes bled into an icy color, the frozen needles exploding into a flurry of motion.
Kisame, using his own advanced water manipulation, was able to deflect the needle storm from harming him. Deidara, who had the primary affinity for earth, was unable to do so and died in an explosion worthy of being called beautiful art.
The needles rotated around the floating Black Mage, forming into an intricate sculpture of frost. A diamond-like prism at the center encased the Black Mage, while thick icicle chunks rotated around the center much like electrons around an atom.
The environment around the elemental flash froze, buildings freezing over, the ground turning to ice, and Kisame's blood ran cold. The center prism had a temperature of absolute zero. Within the Black Mage's head, the entity sang a requiem for the death this form would cause, the beautiful music reverberating throughout the elemental entity like a tuning fork and sending chills throughout Kisame's spine.
The elemental floated serenely in the sky, the icicles whirling lazily around the prism until, at an unknown stimulus, it attacked. Arctic winds blew forth, slivers of ice hidden within the gusts of white wind towards the shark-nin. Kisame, his body sluggish from the proximity to the construct, was able to escape with a few deep gashes on his left arm.
A blast of hot fire slammed into the prism, not doing much more than melting the rime upon it which was quickly replaced. The prism 'turned' towards the intruder, the white wind swirling hatefully around it.
A male figure, roughly 6'2" in height and covered almost completely by Akatsuki garb had appeared. His face was masked from the nose down, with only his eyes shown, and he wore a bandanna with a scratched Takigakure (Hidden in the Waterfall) plate on it. His eyes were rather odd, with the whites being a bloody red, and the iris and pupil being a filmy green. Behind him was a towering demonic bear-like black creature with a tiger mask.
The masked behemoth opened its maw and discharged another wave of scorching flame, melting one of the icicle 'electrons' while Kakuzu attempted to retrieve Kisame from his proximity to the elemental to prevent the former Kiri-nin from freezing to death. Unfortunately, the threads he spread from his hand were shredded by another arctic blast as the entity floated closer towards Kisame in a possessive gesture.
Naruto, his mind obscured by that of the element of ice itself, refused to have such an ugly aberration take his possession away from him. The shark one was his, and nothing the rag doll could do could take him away! A gale force blast of frozen air was sent towards Kakuzu once again as the elemental lowered itself to Kisame, freezing his body entirely by the proximity to the absolute zero core, where he was shattered by a deceptively gentle tap of an icicle.
A second masked behemoth appeared behind Kakuzu, this one with an eagle mask. Its body was a strange four legged creature and had thin thread-like wings behind it. It opened its beak and blew a hurricane force wind; combining with the tiger masked one to cause a boiling firestorm that shot towards the ice elemental.
The intense heat melted all of the rotating icicles by proximity, and began to eat away at the frozen core, only for the core to form itself into a shield to protect its inhabitant while the Black Mage teleported away, the element fading from his mind as his eyes returned to purple.
Grimacing in distaste at how possessive and vain the element of frost was, he gestured with his fingers, whipping up an opposing force of wind threaded with water to extinguish the firestorm.
Kakuzu was quite interested in the teenager's ability, as he had yet to see anyone who was able to create such powerful beings like he was able to. Granted, his were created out of hearts of those he had killed, and were formed of threads. Naruto's, however, were created out of an element and seemed to have a mind of their own while he was safely encased within the center.
The wind thread monster discharged another blast of wind, this one leveling and shattering the frozen battlefield with intense air pressure. The ground below him cracked and groaned in protest as Naruto, who had avoided the shrapnel of ice by sinking into the ground, cast another spell.
The ground collapsed inward, creating a large crater below the Taki nuke-nin and forcing him to stumble. A spear of earth shot from the ground, attempting to impale him through the chest, only to shatter against his hardened skin. Inside the ground, Naruto frowned at what he was feeling from the nuke-nin. It seemed the man was another 'immortal', though his ties to the material plane were human in origin, not divine.
Above ground, Kakuzu was repeatedly attacked by grasping arms of earth, monstrous humanoid golems of soil, and lances of rock. The thread using ninja, annoyed at being attacked without being able to counter in turn, detached the lightning mask from his back and formed its body.
The bull-like mask had a deformed humanoid body, towering over Kakuzu's tall height. Lowering its claw-like hands to the ground, it blasted high voltage electricity into the earth, tearing it apart due to earth's elemental weakness to lightning. Several hundred feet of earth was torn apart in the upheaval, revealing a lightly scorched Black Mage waist deep in rock below him. The upheaval had widened and deepened the crater, making it seem as if Naruto were an ant lion within its sand den.
The skies cried in protest as hundreds of thick bolts of lightning shot from the heavens, illuminating the crater in a beam of white light, destroying the earth mask held on Kakuzu's back and frying his water heart. The thunder caused by tearing the air itself asunder cracked the earth around them and burst both their eardrums. The nuke-nin was only able to save his life by absorbing the lightning heart into his body, and having the wind mask protect the fire mask from damage by using lightning's elemental weakness to wind.
Freeing himself from the grasp of the earth and heedless of the blood flowing from his ears, Naruto charged towards Kakuzu, throwing several lightning bolts from his hands only to be sliced asunder by the wind mask. Changing tactics, he created a swirling monsoon of water and wind, sending it towards the two remaining elemental masks while he flung gusts of slicing wind at Kakuzu.
The nuke-nin and the masks countered in sync, with the masks blowing another scorching firestorm and causing the monsoon to evaporate, while Kakuzu did incredibly quick hand seals, speaking of decades of experience.
"Raiton: Gian! (Lightning Element: False Darkness)"
A spear of lightning shot from his mouth, splitting into several lances of lightning as they aimed to impale the Black Mage. Naruto was able to deflect the majority of them, but was impaled through the stomach by one of them, forcing a gasp of pain from his mouth as the electricity sparked through him.
Forcing himself to disregard the pain, he clutched one arm around his bleeding midsection and pulled a particular elemental string taut until it twanged in response. Glowing orbs of white light sparked into existence, whirling protectively around the injured Black Mage before merging together with Naruto at the center.
They formed a humanoid being, roughly twelve feet in height with absurdly long claws in place of fingers. Its form was tall and lanky, but no gender could be discerned from the figure. It was a pure white color, though solid unlike the light it was formed out of. Its eyes were glowing orbs of colorless light, glaring hatefully at the being that had harmed its creator.
It sliced its claws through the air, spawning thin blades that flung towards the surprised nuke-nin, exploding on contact with the ground as Kakuzu dodged. The figure leapt acrobatically through the air, claws working in a flurry as it launched a storm of the nonelemental creations.
Finally close enough to the masks that were trying fruitlessly to protect their own master, it raked its lethal claws through the body of the wind mask, causing it to be rent asunder from the inside out. It turned upon the fire mask, bending grotesquely to avoid a flamethrower spat out of the tiger mask's maw and suffering only slight burns from the fire.
"Raiton: Gian (Lightning Element: False Darkness)"
Another lance of lightning shot towards the nonelemental entity, who only stared apathetically at it impacted upon a shield of white light. The shield held for a few moments, preventing the lightning from piercing it. As soon as the lightning quit coming, the shield was then used as projectile to throw at the fire mask, which dodged out of the way.
Irritated at the rag-doll who continued to avoid its inevitable death, it let out a screech of anger, glowing brightly. The crater that they were still fighting in was enlarged once again as the nonelemental entity succumbed to its volatile nature and exploded spectacularly, taking the fire mask with it and severely wounding Kakuzu.
The paradoxical colorless irises bled back to purple as the wounded Black Mage approached the bleeding nuke-nin. An expression akin to pity appeared on his face as hundreds of wind blades shredded the 'immortal', destroying his last heart and sending the ninety two year old nuke-nin to the afterlife.
Turning away from the decimated battlefield, he teleported away with a morbid thought in his mind.
'Four down, six to go.'
Hundreds of feet away…
He appeared in a swirl of wind, a bandage of sand wrapped protectively around his stomach and back wounds. He felt that one of the Akatsuki were near, and charged his mana preemptively.
Uchiha Itachi appeared from behind one of the buildings, the trail of blood under his right eye dry, and Mangekyou still swirling within his sockets. A second figure approached, hunched over and with a ragged face mask concealing their mouth.
Not taking any time for witty banter, the Uchiha stared directly into his eyes and activated one of his strongest techniques.
"Tsukuyomi (God of the Moon)"
The world bled to darkness, Naruto's last sight being the hunched figure approaching his crumpling body.
Inside the world of Tsukuyomi…
A bloody moon hung in the night sky, casting a red light upon the surroundings. The colors of the world bled away, leaving only red, white, and black, as Naruto appeared, crucified upon a cross, with Uchiha Itachi standing before him.
"This is the world of Tsukuyomi. Here, I am in control. I control time, space, and even the mass of objects. For the next 72 hours, you will be tortured."
Before his sword could be drawn, a new presence made itself known. The red dissolved to be replaced with green, a looming figure towering over the cross Naruto was pinned to.
"He is my child (my weapon), my beloved (my sentinel). I will not let you harm him, Uchiha (disgusting wretch)."
Before the Uchiha could comprehend what had happened, his essence was obliterated by the force of will of the entity.
Sasori halted his approach as Uchiha Itachi let out a blood curdling scream of horror. The puppet master turned to face the Sharingan master, only to blink rapidly in surprise. From the center of his left eye which contained the Tsukuyomi, thick thorny roots were growing. They ripped out of his eye, wrapping around Itachi's neck before snapping it, and continued to grow even after the Uchiha had died, enveloping his body in its embrace.
The Black Mage stirred, and wind swirled protectively around his body, lashing out at Sasori who was close. The blades of wind hacked through most of his puppet body, revealing his true form.
He looked to be around twenty years old, and was half naked wearing only a pair of shinobi pants. Metal blades extended from his back on rods in a parody of wings, allowing him to fly. A compartment on the right side of his chest opened, revealing a brightly glowing mass of chakra. His body was only around 5'3" tall, with bloody red hair and deceptively soft brown eyes. Shaking off his surprise, Sasori quickly pulled out a scroll from a holster built into his back, unsealing his puppets.
"Aka Higi: Hyakki no Soen (Red Secret Technique: Performance of a Hundred Puppets)"
True to form, a hundred red clothed human puppets were unsealed, each connected to the glowing core of chakra in the right side chest compartment by a single chakra string. All one hundred and one puppets (Sasori included) turned to face Naruto, who twanged another elemental string in response.
A windstorm focused itself around his body, his eyes bleeding to a bright green as the wind became visible. It spiraled around one point on the ground, becoming a light green as the avatar of wind created itself. Naruto was encased within a deep green globe of wind held aloft in the middle of the slicing winds, protectively embraced within a cocoon of breeze surpassing four hundred mph.
Sasori was intrigued by this ability, and leapt into the fray with his puppets, firing every mechanism he knew of at the wind elemental. The needles, kunai, and other weapons were simply blown away in the jade airstreams spiraling from the ground, while the poison gas was simply dispersed. Focusing his chakra in his puppet body, he unsealed the flamethrowers in his arms and blew the fire directly at the green core.
The wind elemental huffed in righteous anger at the pitiful mockery that dared to attempt to burn it, and showed its mastery of the air itself by creating a vacuum in front of it. The lack of air in the vacuum smothered the flame instantly, and the slicing winds focused on the puppet who dared to be human.
The puppets were flayed within the swirling windstorm thrown at them, while Sasori attempted to retreat. His retreat was cut off as the wind elemental created another vacuum, pulling Sasori into oblivion, his human heart destroyed within.
The wind gave off a feeling of smugness before dissipating, allowing its creator to land lightly on the ground. As a parting gesture, it ruffled his hair and embraced him within a warm wind before disappearing.
A plantlike figure melted out of the ground behind him, prompting him to spin on his heel to face the new assailant. It was a man, roughly 5'6" tall, encased within a pair of venus flytrap-like leaves. His body was separated in half vertically, with one half being white, the other black. Empty yellow eyes stared at him in interest, before he attacked.
Vines and grass sprang into life, snapping towards the Black Mage with ferocity unknown to most. Naruto's expression softened at the natural elements attacking him, and allowed them to make contact. Unfortunately for Zetsu, the plantlife merged with him, giving him an armor of vines and flora. When Naruto opened his eyes again, they were back to purple, and the last thing Zetsu heard was but a whisper carried on the wind.
"Your death shall be swift and painless."
Zetsu, unfortunately, was only powerful as a spy. His power at fighting was only equivalent to a jounin at most, and he died quickly and painlessly to a burst of white fire igniting inside him.
Naruto's expression softened at the ashes of his attacker, and held his hands together in a praying gesture for the dead nin. He turned to leave, feeling quite weary of the fighting, his stock of mana quite depleted by the heavy magicks used.
Feeling three sets of eyes upon him, he sat with his back against a building nearby to regain some energy. The entity within his mind wrapped around his thoughts like a protective parent, crooning lowly to relax him.
The plush fox was able to sense everything going on with the Black Mage, and secretly was worried. He had never known that Naruto was able to meld himself with an element to the point where the element gained a mind of its own to fight for him. To relinquish control like that meant that Naruto was in dire need of assistance, and he tried as best as he can to undo the seals on the King of Hell statue.
Quite honestly, though Kyuubi was rather good with seals, the King of Hell seals were far out of his league. It was like comparing a chisel and slate to a computer. He felt Naruto give in to the nonelemental energy, the most volatile of all the magicks, and started panicking. Trying everything he could think of, he finally came to a conclusion.
He was going to have to do something drastic.
The only thing he could think of that would destroy the statue and release the bijuu would be to kamikaze bomb it. Doing so would obliterate the plush doll and seal binding him to it, leaving him as a soul with a body comprised of destructive youki. The attack would be the equivalent of smashing an electronic console hard enough to break it and opening a locked door.
Giving himself a few moments of silence, and a mental apology to the Black Mage who he had grown attached to, he passed his limits, enveloping the area with a haze of malicious youki.
He stiffened noticeably when he felt his connection to his doll snap, like a string pulled too far. Turning his head towards where he had left his doll, he noticed a giant behemoth of youki in the shape of a nine tailed fox slamming a beam of concentrated youki into the ground. As more and more youki was spent in the attack, he realized what his friend was doing.
The fading form of the Kyuubi no Kitsune turned in his direction and bade a sad farewell, booming voice reaching his ears from so far away as the rest of the bijuu left with it to the realm of demons.
"Stay safe, brat. I'll miss you."
Naruto allowed himself only two tears, hardening his resolve as he turned towards the three remaining Akatsuki members. He rose from his spot against the wall, energy crackling around him in rage at losing his last family member. Purple lightning streaked across his form, his bloodied sand bandages reddening more as his wounds reopened. Black coloring bled across his sclera, leaving his purple irises untouched as he stalked towards where the final three enemies were, mind numb with grief.
Konan, touched deeply by the selfless act the Kyuubi had done in protection of its former container, came to a realization. Such acts would be performed countless more times should Akatsuki have continued with their plan, and it touched a raw nerve deep inside her emotionless demeanor, reminding her of her younger days. She remembered Yahiko being injured by an Iwa (Rock) chuunin, and how Nagato had activated his Rinnegan (Samsara or Transmigration Eye) in response, killing the chuunin.
She remembered how Nagato had gotten mortally wounded only a few years later, and how Yahiko, in a fit of self-sacrifice, had offered his own body to allow Nagato to live. It was the last time she had cried, mourning for her friend who had given his body up for another to live, his soul departing the shell once Nagato had entered the body. After that moment, she had been determined to never let her emotions be shown again.
As her mind speculated upon the countless thousands of others who would be torn apart by having to do such sacrifices for their precious people, her body moved in front of Pein, dead eyes hardened in determination.
"Nagato-kun, I cannot continue like this. Countless lives, friends, families would be torn asunder should Akatsuki complete its goal. I can't allow that to happen, nobody deserves it."
Pein's Rinnegan eyes softened slightly, before hardening as he grasped her by the collar of her shirt and flung her behind him.
"Then you leave me no choice. I will deal with him, and words will be had later for your insubordination."
As Pein and Madara moved to intercept the enraged Black Mage, the ground sublimated beneath the white haired teenager. Ribbons of sand swirled protectively around their controller as beige-tan coloring spread across his irises. He bared his teeth in a snarl as the sand elemental thread reverberated angrily, lifting him over a hundred feet in the air.
Sand whipped about angrily, forming a self sustaining tornado of sand, holding its creator aloft by enveloping his body up to his waist. It was only a few meters wide, but incredibly dense from so much sand whirling in such a small space.
Konan, sensing very real danger, performed a tactical retreat.
Pein, also sensing danger, quickly summoned his entire armada of summons in an attempt to subdue and kill the enraged Black Mage.
A giant crustacean, somewhat resembling a crab or lobster and about half the size of a bijuu, appeared. Flying above it was a bird with a drill-like beak. Standing next to the crustacean was a nine headed dog, growling angrily at the one who was a danger to its master. A giant panda with several stud-like piercings resembling that of Pein's own appeared in front of him in a defensive stance. A giant chameleon appeared below Pein, allowing him to ride atop it. It had a snake-like tail, and also had similar piercings as the panda. A giant yak rounded off the summons by appearing on the other side of the crustacean, also holding many of the same piercings.
Madara, knowing that he wouldn't be helpful in this battle, made a tactical retreat. He continued to watch from afar, though, with his Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan.
A wordless snarl erupted from the Black Mage's throat, mimicked by the swirling sandstorm which increased in speed as it began to spread across the landscape, flaying everything caught within its winds.
The panda hardened its skin, preventing it from being killed from the sandstorm as it began lumbering towards the center. As it got closer and closer, the skin hardening technique it was using began to crumble under the onslaught of sand. Almost at the center, it finally was sent back to the summon realm, having been 'killed' in the mortal realm by the sandstorm.
The dog, normally able to split apart whenever damage was dealt to it much like a hydra, found its ability becoming a weakness. It was split into infinitesimally small pieces, the sand hitting it far too many times for its ability to work adequately. It sent itself back to the summon realm, unable to assist its summoner.
The bird failed to get within the storm itself, 'dying' immediately upon contact with the flaying grains. The yak followed soon after.
The crustacean was the only one able to attempt to damage the elemental, spraying jets of water into the storm and weighing down much of the sand with the foaming liquid. Unfortunately, as soon as the sand elemental noticed, it focused its attack on the crustacean until it, too, died.
Pein, perched atop the final summon, the chameleon, became undetectable due to the chameleon's ability. Both vanished from sight, smell, and all other senses while Pein began sealing for a technique.
"Katon: Zukokku (Fire Element: Head Mincing Pain)"
He blew a very deceptively small fireball to the ground, still hidden by the chameleon which leapt away at its summoners mental insistence. The fireball smacked the ground and exploded into waves of flame that raced towards the sandstorm, melting any sand particles that came close into glass. It devoured a large amount of sand due to being fed by the raging winds inside the sandstorm before succumbing to the suffocation of the sand.
He continued to use guerilla warfare against the elemental, until half of the sand had been melted to glass upon the ground, forcing the Black Mage to calm down and think rationally. The twister writhed in response to his mental commands, before it solidified into a column of sand, detaching tendrils of sand to seek out the unseen menace.
Using his Rinnegan, Pein spawned several jets of flame out of the air, augmenting them with stiff breezes to blow a storm of fire at the solidified sand column. Now that his enemy had a more substantial body, he used the Rinnegan's ability to control the elements to the best of his ability. Geysers of water punched through the ground, splashing against the sand column, hindering movement while lightning, wind, and fire all attempted to melt it to glass.
Unfortunately for Pein, his usage of the Rinnegan for offensive uses caused a fluctuation in the control he had over the chameleon, causing the technique hiding him to waver. That single moment in which Naruto found his presence was his downfall, the Black Mage pouring all his rage and hatred into one attack and impaling him upon several spines of sand from the ground.
The elemental effects ceased as their controller was mortally injured, and Naruto teleported to the body with a grim look upon his visage. Just as he was about to close the dying man's eyes with his hand, the leader of Akatsuki gave one command.
The first Uchiha appeared behind Naruto with a look of morbid glee on his face, Eternal Mangekyou swirling in his sockets as he used the final attack of the Mangekyou Sharingan.
"Ame-no-Uzume (Goddess of the Dawn)"
The technique was quite powerful, as Naruto learned. Spears of light impaled him through the chest, stomach, thighs, calves, shoulders, and forearms. Unable to be dodged due to moving at the speed of light, he could only cough up blood in surprise.
The entity within his mind screamed for retribution, using its anchor in the world to assist it. The roots covering Uchiha Itachi exploded into growth, ascending to a majestic tree reaching into the heavens. It was the last thing Pein saw before he died, and it was quite possibly the most beautiful thing the Rinnegan wielder had beheld.
Madara, shocked by the appearance of the tree, let the spears of light fade away in his surprise. The tree's roots grasped the mortally wounded Black Mage, moving him halfway up the trunk where he was held within a gentle embrace. He bled out his life slowly over the vines attempting to hold his injuries closed, and the tree's voice boomed over the landscape.
"Fool (forsaken one)! You dare attack my guardian (beloved)?! You will suffer (for eternity)!"
The roots tore up the landscape, thrashing in an attempt to kill the first Uchiha, who used a space/time technique to make himself intangible. Enraged at the audacity, the tree captured him within a void of space itself, collapsing it like a black hole and obliterating his body.
The tree intoned a gentle elegy that played out over the landscape as fire rained from the heavens upon the decimated Amegakure, razing it to the ground to allow new growth to begin from the ashes of what once was. Konan, suffering only a slight burn from the rain of fire before she could escape it, collapsed against a tree and watched the scene with a sense of detached awe and sadness. She mourned for her deceased teammate, as well as the white haired stranger who had given his life for those who would have been affected by Akatsuki's plots. Trails of tears fell from her eyes as she hugged herself against the encroaching feelings of loneliness.
Many people had sensed the incredible destruction happening in the direction of Amegakure while the Black Mage was fighting. Zabuza, pulled along by Haku (who had a feeling it had something to do with Naruto) were the first on the scene. They were closely followed by Jiraiya and Yamato who had been sent by Tsunade. Sasuke, having snuck out to find the feeling of power (and stubbornly refusing to believe he had become a eunuch) followed them.
None of them had any idea who the crying blue haired kunoichi was, aside from Jiraiya who hopped down to her and asked her a question.
"Konan…? What happened?"
The paper using kunoichi recanted the tale of the white haired teenager who had fought off the Akatsuki, and defeated them all one by one. Her tone was empty and dead, something contrasting against her tear stricken face as she spoke of how every single Akatsuki member but her had died. She was the lone survivor, spared only due to her regret at the actions of the organization.
The rain of fire halted, the flames smothered as the tree felt the ones close to its beloved approach.
Sasuke, unwilling to believe his ears, followed them up the roots towards the trunk. All of them were in awe of the tree, though Haku sprinted ahead of them, afraid of what she'd find.
She gave a soft cry of despair when she reached the base of the trunk, Naruto's body being lowered toward the base to allow them to be near the Black Mage in his last moments.
His clothing was ripped, with vines growing all over him from Zetsu's attack and holding his wounds as closed as they could, though the crimson blood still spilled over the makeshift bandages. The black that had obscured his sclera had retreated with his rage. His purple eyes were dull with his upcoming death, and blood spilled over his chin, stained his hair, and covered his clothing from his coughing and bleeding.
Even with all his injuries, he was still able to speak in a soft, halting tone.
"Haku-chan…? Zabuza-san? Heh… never thought I'd die this way. Jiraiya-san and Yamato-san, too? Well, at least I won't die feeling alone against this tree."
He spat blood to the side, fixating his eyes on Sasuke, who seemed to be glaring daggers at him.
"I remember you… Uchiha Sasuke. Your brother and ancestor gave me a much better fight. Itachi's fire was stronger than my own, though his genjutsu led to his death. Madara's technique is the one that got me. You should be honored to be descended of such a line, though you will never reach their heights."
The Uchiha lunged at him, as if to kill his brother's killer, only for Jiraiya to knock him out. Yamato spoke his mind, still regarding the tree with something akin to hero worship.
"Naruto…? What kind of tree is this?"
The Black Mage spoke, his voice tinged with affection for the tree.
"Nordrassil, the Guardian of All Creation."
The tree hummed in pride at the title, feeding information into the Black Mage's mind. In its own wordless way, it outlined that it wished for Naruto to become one with it, to be its guardian for all of time. Flashes of a willowy, pointy eared race flitted through his mind; the tree's stewards and wards. It sustained their immortality, and in return they protected it.
Zabuza kneeled in honor of the valiant fighter dying before him, zanbato held horizontal over his bent knee. He performed a quick prayer, before standing. Naruto gazed at him with an odd look, before he coughed in laughter.
"Take good care of Haku-chan, Zabuza-san."
The nuke-nin grinned and nodded in response.
Turning to Jiraiya, Naruto had only one thing to say.
"Please tell Tsunade-san that I'm sorry I couldn't keep my promise to her."
The hermit was only able to nod sadly, offering his own prayer.
Naruto, feeling the last of his life slipping away, gestured with his hand in a final movement, throwing them off the tree to land lightly on the ground. They watched in awe as the Black Mage was absorbed into the trunk, blinking in surprise as the entire tree faded from existence, taking the Black Mage with it.
A soft voice echoed in the wind as it finally disappeared.
"I will stand guard for all of time."
Jiraiya, stalling his grief, moved to where the tree had been grown from and sealed the crushed body of Uchiha Itachi into a scroll. Both eyes had been completely destroyed by the weight of the giant tree, and it would take a medical exam to figure out if it truly was Itachi.
Yamato, Zabuza, Haku, and Konan traveled from body to body, burning and burying the various nuke-nin to prevent people from stealing their secrets post-mortem. Konan was allowed a few minutes alone with Pein's corpse to say her goodbyes.
Many gaped in awe at the sheer destruction wrought against the ground, such as the crater spanning hundreds of feet wide and deep, as well as the shattered frozen remains of many buildings. After debating on what to do with Hidan's body, as he was never truly dead though it would be impossible to heal him, they tossed him into the deep point of the crater and used several Doton (Earth Element) techniques to fill the crater.
Haku and Zabuza paid their respects for their fallen friend, erecting a small gravestone for him where Itachi's body once laid before wandering once more.
Konan, her only tie left in the world being Jiraiya, followed the toad summoner, the Mokuton (Wood Element) user, and the Uchiha's unconscious body back to Konoha. She had never been a nuke-nin, instead being a ninja of Amegakure which was no more, the inhabitants scattered to the winds of change, their village destroyed.
Over time, Konan became a ninja of Konoha, teaching her unique brand of ninjutsu (oddly named Origami Element) to ninja who had no elemental affinity. Sasuke committed suicide, his two goals in life of restoring the Uchiha clan and killing his brother barred from his grasp forever by the 'dobe'.
The world's reaction to the destruction of Akatsuki at the cost of the S-class nuke-nin known as Kouhai no Naruto (Naruto of Devastation) was rather odd. Every single shinobi village sent an envoy to the remains of Amegakure, paying their respects to the fallen Black Mage. His title was renamed post-mortem to Wakagaeri no Naruto (Naruto of Rejuvenation) due to his penchant for using plant techniques, and for turning Otogakure (Hidden in the Sound) into a lush forest.
Konoha's Council was disbanded after slamming the irrefutable evidence of his parentage into their faces by Tsunade. Several were wracked by inconsolable guilt for it, unable to apologize due to his death. Tsunade refused to create a new Council, stating that such power had corrupted the other Councils, and that it was much easier to assassinate a corrupt Hokage than a corrupt Council.
After being absorbed within the physical manifestation of Nordrassil's power, he was swept away into the tree's home world; Azeroth. Encased within the protective grasp of the guardian tree, his body was reconstructed to suit his status as a guardian of the tree. He spent years within the center of the tree itself, his aging halting in the mid twenties.
He became a guardian spirit born of the tree. Eternally bound to the tree, should his body die once again, he would simply be reborn from the tree.
Perfect in every physical aspect, he retained his height of 6'1", though his aesthetic appearance changed drastically due to his affinity for frost and flora. His body lost a lot of its core heat, his skin paling and turning a light blue hue of hypothermia. His lips became pale, his ears elongating slightly and tapering to a sharp point. Hair was replaced with fine mauve colored vines, capable of sprouting miniscule thorns that could flay flesh from bone. His eyes retained their amethyst hue of purple.
In addition to his physical changes, the World Tree gently submerged his mind in information of the world around him, teaching him of the world's inhabitants. The connection between the two strengthened, allowing Naruto to finally let go of his iron control on his emotions and cast forbidden magic without a focus without being overwhelmed by power.
He learned of the Night Elves, or Kaldorei, who would be under his protection, their culture, their leaders, and their history.
He learned of the history of the world, everything that Nordrassil had learned over the ages. Steeped in ancient knowledge, he absorbed it all.
The time came when his protection was required, and his eyes opened within the trunk. Easing himself awake, he teleported out of the wooden embrace with nary a sound.
He appeared from the ground directly in front of Jaina Proudmoore with a quirk of his pale lips. The sorceress stiffened in surprise, holding her battle staff aloft and prepared to attack the would-be assassin, before he spoke in Darnassian-accented Common.
"You have no need to fear me, sorceress. I am here to protect my tree."
Without acknowledging her existence further, he turned towards the oncoming army of demons. Augmenting his voice with the power of Nordrassil, his challenge boomed across the battlefield.
"Archimonde the Defiler! You dare to threaten my domain, my tree, my life! You will suffer an eternity of torment for harming my charges and threatening the balance!"
Malfurion Stormrage, who had been preparing a ritual to use the life force of Nordrassil to destroy the Eradar, halted in his casting. A Darnassian curse bloomed in his mind as he realized what the tree had just done in its defense, and he hurried to the battlefield to prevent any of their allies' troops being caught in the crossfire.
The closest translation to the curse upon the tip of his tongue was echoed by Tyrande Whisperwind, Thrall, and Jaina.
Author's Note: Complete! And I followed through with my odd tradition of leaving the ending completely open to a sequel. Huzzah huzzah.
Oh. I finally found a translation for the Hymn of the Fayth.
Pray to Yu Yevon. Dream, fayth. Forever and ever, grant us prosperity.
Unfortunately, it takes some interesting reconstruction of the syllables.
The original lyrics to the Song of Prayer are as follows:
This can be translated by rearranging the syllables. Take the first four words and rearrange the syllables vertically.
e bon ju
Dream Child of Prayer
Arrange the last two words into a rectangle and an L, respectively.
Forever and ever
Bring us peace
This gives us the "real lyrics" to the Song of Prayer:
Inore yo, Ebonju
Yume mi yo, inorigo
Pray to Yu Yevon
Forever and ever,
grant us prosperity
As stated on http://lyricwiki dot org/Nobuo_Uematsu:Song_Of_Prayer_(Hymn_Of_The_Fayth)