Disclaimer: I Do Not Own Naruto
A/N: Please read and enjoy! The story will be focusing on Naruto and Sakura.
Genre: Romance, Drama, Adventure, (Humor), Tragedy, Action
Summary: After the Great Toad Sage's warning, the revelation begins as Naruto prepares himself to take on Akatsuki. Things would have been far more easier if Sakura hadn't tagged along. NaruSaku pairing. Spoilers.
BE WARNED OF MAJOR SPOILERS
Despite the fact that nothing else could be heard through the forest's deafening silence, Jiraiya could hear himself palpitate the more they covered the aching distance that brought them to their designation. Next to him was an avid ninja who longed for this day to come, his sunny aura glowing by the minute just as the man's apprehension rapidly increased.
"Why don't we take a break, eh, Naruto?" asked Jiraiya who couldn't help but glance at his student from the corner of his eye from time to time.
"A break? We just had one a minute ago!" said Naruto, whose evident grin widened at an impossible length, "c'mon old man, we're just so close, I can feel it!"
They swept through the fortress of greenery and dove deeper until they ventured beneath denser foliage, scattering the daylight into miniscule rays. The air grew as dense as the blood that flowed through the hermit's veins; the air grew more humid as his discomfort gradually increased. The nearer they got, the more he regretted.
"It's great to know that you can finally sense the Frog's Haven, but are you sure you're ready for this? We still have to get to The Hidden Village of Rain" reminded Jiraiya, finally sensing the proximity of the area as well. Naruto just vigorously shook his head. The hermit sighed, inwardly beating himself up, why did The Great Toad Sage suddenly call on to Naruto?
"It's this feeling isn't it, ero-sennin, the one you mentioned to me about when The Great Toad Sage told you of your future, right? It's an opportunity that's needed to be prioritized above all else!" responded Naruto whose youth emerged from within, "right? Right?"
Jiraiya just held his tongue, once more regretting that he shouldn't have drowned himself with wine when he's around the boy. The hermit did not take his somber demeanor back when Naruto glanced at his sensei.
Naruto just grinned at the man for all he cared. If Jiraiya was simply just jealous that he wasn't going to get another reading, then so be it, the man's quite old already and had done most of his part to the world. Finally, it was his turn to actually gain an insight on his future, and he'd better see himself as the Sixth Hokage somewhere in there. Just having the very thought of it further invigorated his speed and zealousness, unconsciously releasing a massive pump of chakra to his feet before leaping several hundred meters away from Jiraiya.
The hermit, who was already at his top speed, withdrew a soldier pill and chewed it with hesitance. With a burst of stored energy released to his chakra system and a heart stabbing line of powerful curses, he bolted towards Naruto. Before they knew it, they arrived at the Toad Haven earlier than they expected.
Naruto landed on a grass clearing that revealed a lake outlined by a rocky boundary with a small waterfall in between two baleful boulders that roughly took in the form of two toads... which would only be possible if you were very imaginative enough to do so, or were simply having some delusional ideas. Nonetheless, it was what the blonde ninja claimed, a little something Jiraiya found amusing; it must have been his ardent enthusiasm that got the boy going.
"Some genjutsu going on here," said Naruto who stated the obvious, "a reason why the waterfall could only be heard when we're this near, right?"
Jiraiya nodded once after landing next to his student
"Where do we go from here?" asked Naruto, eyes randomly darting around in search for some sort of entrance
Jiraiya raised and lowered his shoulders, lazily lolling his head towards the boy, "you said you know where you're going—"
"There!" gasped Naruto, rigidly outstretching his hand forth with a pointed finger.
"You sure it's the waterfall?" asked Jiraiya, quirking a brow
"Sure am!" with a burst of impossible gusto, Naruto left a trail on the watery surface and ran straight through the vertical torrent to only to meet another rocky wall. As a result, he fell back from the impact and sunk down the lake as he tended to his bleeding face, hands clutching his nose as he went.
Jiraiya couldn't help but chuckle to himself, reminding him of his first time as well; Naruto's blood was his key for entrance. A crimson cloud billowed beneath the lake's filmy surface as a miniscule area bubbled, tainting the rest of the water with its hue. Emerging from the lake, Naruto, who bore a sour demeanor with a hand on his nose, snapped the bone back in place before pointing an accusing figure at the man whose laughter escalated to a reverberating howl.
Jiraiya held his sides in hopes of calming down, but with a student who consistently poured their teacher with malevolent threats, the hermit failed miserably, scorching his student's face red with embarassment.
"SHUT UP!!" roared Naruto, hurling a massive wave of water towards Jiraiya with his chakra. The blonde furrowed his brows when the rushing torrent died down before it reached past its rocky border, a pulse of chakra rippled through the lake, and Naruto, who finally came to his senses, emerged from the water with chakra embedded feet.
Silence infiltrated the mirthful atmosphere the moment light filtered from the relentless fall of the vertical torrent. The younger of the two snapped his head back to the waterfall and awed at the kanji that read oil glowing right behind its watery wall. Naruto looked over his shoulder and receiving an approving nod from his mentor, with careful steps, he walked towards the waterfall, and let the light devour his range of sight.
Amongst many other things that Naruto could focus his eyes on, they remained on the wisened toad, though smaller than Gamabunta, was fairly massive. It wore nothing else but a beaded necklace that had the writing oil in kanji on the largest bead.
"Ho, ho, ho, you're here, eh?" croaked the herculean toad, its voice reverberating almost chaotically on the walls if it weren't for caution. The toad hummed thoughtfully before speaking, "Who are you again?"
"His name's Naruto, Great Sage, the student of Jiraiya!" croaked a toad on Naruto's left. The blonde suspected the amphibian's feature and presence
"Jiraiya?" repeated the Great Sage
"No, No, No! Naruto!!" corrected the toad on Naruto's left. It had thick, white brows, its miniscule body clad in a robe fit for its size, this toad was better known as 'Pa'
"Oh yes, yes, yes, the great pervert's student" smiled the Great Sage
"You called him yourself, you senile old fart!" croaked the toad on Naruto's right, once more
"Old fart?! Ma, don't call the Great Sage an old fart--didn't we already have this conversation some good years ago?!" spat Pa
Naruto couldn't help but grin to compensate his furrowed brows and scratch at the back of his head, alleviating any sort of impolite gestures, inwarldy noting that the Great Sage was indeed old and senile.
"No fighting children. A husband and wife have to be nice to each other." Reprimanded the said toad, finally turning to Naruto, it spoke, "now then... who are you, young man?"
Naruto's quirked a brow, hearing the toad on his right mutter something along the lines of nostalgia.
"Naruto-chan" began Pa, "The Great Sage had a vision concerning you, like your mentor Jiraiya-chan. As you know, this vision amounts to the prediction you have about your future. Listen well!"
The Great Toad Sage began, "now then... if you head out now, you'll surely die, when the table turns, his spirit will fly. When the wise man falls, turn to his mate, it is she who holds the start of this fate. When you've broken a barrier, don't wait, slice through your path before it's too late. Cross blades in the night, don't make them the bait and bear the burden of your duty's weight. Your actions be numbered, carved on a slate; the cycle will end on the death god's plate.
Before Naruto could even bring himself to speak, he felt a sharp tug from the center of his mind and felt the barriers of his skull close in, pressuring his brain as it threatened to explode. Naruto fell to his knees, agonizing moans echoed hauntingly through the dark chamber, voices reverberating through whispers before a flash of light stripped the surrounding's color into mere black and white, devouring outlines until there were none.
Naruto, driven back by an invisible force that can be felt through chakra pulses, saw the sky move before his eyes; its corners tinted with blots of black and red and heard nothing more but the rapid beating of his maddened heart. A wave of pain overshadowed him with each cycle his blood circulated through his veins. His rhythm of life muffled coherent words; his conscience that slipped away from his flesh-bounded body dragged him along, leaving him at peace accompanied by a dreamless slumber.
Jiraiya overcame his blindness from the flash of light, utlimately caught off guard when he found himself staggering in his steps with ragged breaths. He hated the impact set to those uncalled, him being considered one confused him. The moment he regained his vision, he saw his student fall back from his stand and inch closer to the lake's surface.
Quickly, the man ran to Naruto's aid, catching him before he sank to the water and inhales the liquid. Kneeling down to set Naruto's head on his lap, he shook the boy by the shoulders to keep him from passing out.
"Naruto," growled Jiraiya, "stay with me boy..."
"Relax," croaked a toad. The man turned to the amphibian that resembled a stone the size of his fist, it perched on the rocky boulder with unblinking eyes, "the boy just passed out after meeting The Great Toad Sage"
With narrowed eyes, Jiraiya spoke, "What did he tell the boy?"
The toad just chuckled, "you'll have to ask the kid yourself," and with that, it jumped back into the water.
Jiraiya sighed, "Why do I get a bad feeling over this?"
(If you head out now, you'll surely die)
Slinging the unconscious Naruto over his shoulder, he continued his path towards the Hidden Village of Rain. He promised his student that they'd be doing this together, and pressumably Naruto would soon awaken when they arrived.
Naruto stirred, and the next thing he knew he felt crimson liquid splatter on his face and clothes. Forcefully shoving the sleep off his eyes, the sight before him registered in his brain. Before him was the hermit's back with a metal edge sticking far out from behind him, its blade stained with fresh blood that tainted his white hair.
The image was surreal.
(When the tables had turned, his spirit will fly)
"J-Jiraiya?" gasped Naruto, struggling to stand upright, a kunai drawn in hand. Inwardly cursing as he regained his composture, standing before the hermit. Jiraiya grabbed his student's sleeve, delivering him a reprimanding gaze. Naruto paid no attention to this, but rather, the blood that trailed down the corners of the man's mouth and the katana driven through his throat.
"Who did this?" growled Naruto, intense bloodlust looming his being, "don't worry, Jiraiya-sensei, the moment I get rid of this fucking Akatsuki, we'll be back in Konoha and everything will be all--"
His sentence failed to continue at the sudden tug around his waist, eyes widening as everything moved on an achingly slow pace. He watched his sensei give him a small smile as four men clothed in Akatsuki robes approach him with katanas in hand. Naruto felt helpless as he watched his vulnerable sensei from a growing distance.
What the hell was going on?! Why couldn't he move?! Naruto struggled and gripped on the tight binding that wrapped his waist, he glanced down it was a... tongue? He looked around the pink that framed his vision, it must be a frog's mouth, a summon from Jiraiya. It closed and darkness devoured his surrounding.
"Let me out!" roared Naruto, stabbing the damp surface he sat on to regain his footing and blindly charge to where he assumed the opening was. He one-handedly formed a rasengan out of sheer fury and embedding his whole hand to a wall that his palm met.
Naruto drew back slightly and reformed another rasengan, slightly enlarging its size before driving it on his target through the darkness. The ball of wind glowed in his faint blue chakra, dispersing as it reached the same wall.
"Fuck, damn, shit!" hissed Naruto, as he repeated his ministrations over and over, rasengan's winds whipping at his face, chakra glowing brighter with each increased size.
"The true measure of a shinobi is not how he lives but how he dies"
Naruto blinked and blindly spun his head; he knew that voice. Silence reigned in the darkness, while the blonde screwed his eyes shut and pried them wide open, but it was all done in vain since it made no difference.
"It's not what they do in life, but what they did before dying that proves their worth..."
"Jiraiya-sensei!" hollered Naruto, rasengan began to brew in his hand, "don't die, you hear? Don't die yet you perverted hermit, you! Don't give up! Never give up!!"
Naruto felt a trail of warmth depart from his eyes and roll down his cheeks, and then a light of hope rekindled, though it was faint, he heard a response.
"Never give up..." repeated Jiraiya
"That's right sensei! That's the choice you have to make!" screamed Naruto as he further enlarged his rasengan, the narrow trail down his cheek escalated to a torrent that gushed from his eyes, his palm blindly drove towards the damp wall
If you head out now, you'll surely die
When the tables have turned, his spirit will fly
Though that verse that echoed in his head sounded painfully familiar, it didn't matter to him now that he felt his rasengan penetrate the damp barrier, allowing light to deluge the surrounding darkness: He was out...
To be continued...
A/N: hmm... please do comment