Across Dimensions: Parting Reality's Veil

by Taliath

Author's Notes:

It's been a while. I won't deny that. According to the date stamp on my HP fanfics, it's been two years. Two long, long years. Those who are members of DLP and TFF have seen more activity from me in terms of writing fanfics than those here at FFN. I have several more scenes written for "In Light of Silver Memories" that have yet to be posted here on FFN. I also wrote a new story called "Ancient Ascension," which is a Stargate-HP crossover. And finally, this Naruto fic.

I don't exactly know when, but some time during past two years I began to watch Naruto and read Naruto fanfiction. I found myself getting nearly as obsessed over Naruto as I did over HP because of the sheer number of original and creative plots that can be crafted from the Naruto canon world. I read, and read, and read—but early this year I found that what I thought was a limitless supply of a new fanfiction source was beginning to dry up. I found that I'd already read most of the classics out there.

In February, my fingers began to itch. My mind began to imagine and plot amazing adventures for Naruto. But I initially resisted the urge to write. To be honest, I have yet to ever complete a fanfic. And I didn't want to bite off more than I can chew—again. But the thought of writing again excited me. So I found myself, one day in February, sitting down to write.

And write. And write. To be honest, I'm still slow in coming up with new scenes. I still sometimes doubt whether I can actually bring this fic to completion. But I can hope, can't I?

I told myself not to post it up until I've got a significant portion written. Well, I'm sad to say I don't. I only have almost forty thousand words. But I find I can't resist the temptation to post my Naruto fic on FFN any longer.

Thus, we are here. You're reading this because, well, I don't know. But I'm writing this to explain my reasoning for posting, yet again, another new fic. I hope you understand.

So. Let's get the show on the road.

First, the standard Disclaimer: "I own nothing written in this fiction. All of this is copyrighted and owned by, well, whoever it is that actually owns Naruto." (Kishimoto, or his fangirls—don't really know considering how the manga's headed).

Second, and more importantly, I owe a massive thanks to TheSeer and Shelter. They beta'd my fic, combing through it oh-so-carefully, and picked it apart thoroughly. Without their help, this fanfic would not nearly be so polished.

Finally, please leave a review with a comment for this fic. I honestly appreciate even the shortest, one-word review, because it shows me that there are people out there actually reading this and who have taken precious time to review. Thank you all in advance!

Cheers, and enjoy!


A strong ninja with the will of fire given to him by the self-sacrificing Third Hokage, Namikaze Naruto has led a charmed life under the protection of the Fourth. But now, after sacrificing himself for his home, he finds himself waking up in an entirely new world, surrounded by a village that despises him. Where it was the Fourth, not the Third, who performed the Shiki Fujin on the Kyuubi. Naruto must strive to solve this mystery and return to his original world.

Prologue: Shiki Fujin

He was the son of the Fourth Hokage. He was an elite jounin of the Hidden Village of Konoha. He was the former apprentice of the Great Sannin Jiraiya. He was a former ANBU Captain (and would have still been an ANBU captain if he hadn't gotten tired of the paperwork). He was known throughout all the lands as the Thousand Whirlwinds. He was the self-proclaimed heartthrob of all kunoichi.

And he had just reached his twelfth birthday this morning.


Ah, yes. He was Namikaze Naruto. The Number One Most Surprising Ninja. A lover of all, to all, and for all. Indeed, he cherished his home. He adored his family. He loved his village. But most importantly—he loved attention.


Naruto grinned. "Why? Don't you just love my work?" he shouted back to his pursuers. "It's my birthday gift to me!"

He woke up this morning to find that he had indeed aged one more year, and had the splendid idea to give himself a birthday present. It would have to be grand, he decided. It would have to have great meaning. It would have to be—


Naruto landed lightly on top of a lamppost and shook his butt at them. "Nah, nah, nah-nah, nah! You'll never catch ME! Who am I? I'm Namikaze—" He jumped up high into the air, chakra winds helping to lift him up and over the dozen shuriken that had been thrown at him. "That was just mean, ANBU-chan! Like, that could have seriously hurt me!"

The ninja chasing him all growled quite menacingly and Naruto gave them a sheepish grin.

"Not in the best of moods, eh?" he asked, and found his answer in the way the ANBU squads all reached for more sharp, pointy objects to throw at him. "Right, I'll take that as a no, then." He twisted in mid-air, quickly avoiding the volley, and landed atop another lamppost.

"Well, that's all right!" Naruto said cheerfully once more. "I can understand why you'd be annoyed, chasing me all over the place. But seriously, can't you appreciate the wonderful art that I've just performed? I mean," and here Naruto took a moment to return his gaze to his masterpiece of a present, "isn't it just grand? A true masterpiece to behold! It really just lightens up the whole mood of the village, doesn't it? Now the Hokages will be remembered even more vividly in the minds of the Konoha people!"

Unfortunately, it seemed none of his pursuers shared his viewpoint. The ANBU squads had not been idle during Naruto's musings, and when he finally returned his gaze to his chasers, he found that he had been surrounded. The ANBU were silent, as though afraid of provoking him into running again, and were approaching quite cautiously. But the former ANBU captain could easily see the irritation of the ninja surrounding him.

"Erm," the blond jounin muttered, his hand raised and scratching the back of his head. He attempted a look of innocence. "I'm sorry?"

"Naruto," growled one of the ANBU slowly.

He laughed hesitantly. "Yeah, ANBU-chan?"


His eyes widened as a dozen ANBU shinobi leaped at him with astonishing speed—

And he couldn't help but poke at their rage some more. "Nice try! But as I've said before, YOU'LL NEVER CATCH THE GREAT NAMIKAZE NARUTO!" He moved his hands into a single hand seal. Bunshin Daibakuha!

A very long distance away from the explosion, the real Namikaze Naruto erupted into laughter as his clone's memories accumulated in his brain. Heh, he thought clutching his sides in unstoppable mirth, as if anyone could ever catch—

"Naruto," said a calm voice in his ear.

"AHH!" shouted Naruto in shock, jumping away. "You! I told you not to sneak up on me again!" He frowned. "What are you doing here anyway? Shouldn't you be slaving away in your office right now?"

Namikaze Minato, the Fourth Hokage, rolled his eyes. "What, and miss out on the absolute mess my son's made of the village pride?"

"Oh, you saw my masterpiece, huh?" said Naruto, scratching the back his head once again, an action that reminded the Hokage of his own youth.

"As if anyone could miss it, Naruto," Minato said with a raised eyebrow, and sighed as Naruto grinned cheerfully in response. "Whatever am I going to do with you?"

"Oh, I'm sure you'll think of something. You're the great Hokage, right?" Here, the boy gave his father a pitying look, and shuddered as he continued. "And you have to deal with all the paperwork this mess'll cause too."

"Brat." Minato glared as his son. "You know, I just can't wait till you're Hokage yourself, son. Then you'll know my pain."

"Hokage? Me?" exclaimed Naruto childishly. He scoffed. "As if! I'm never gonna be Hokage. I'll kick the council's ass if they ever try pushing that much paperwork on me. Believe it!"

Minato just gave him a knowing look. "Well, you're still young. You never know—"

"Nope. Never. Nada." Naruto was firm. "Never, never, never. I'd rather become a missing-nin and terrorize little children than become Hokage. I'd rather re-join ero-baka on his travels. Or, maybe I should just confess my undying love to Kurenai-chan and quit being a ninja, get married, have children, and raise wonderful little Namikazes. Then again, that'll be such a hassle. And I never really liked little kids, what with their crying and screaming. Hmm. Maybe I'll just—"

"I get the point," interrupted Minato dryly. "But before the council, or even I, ever even think about giving you that position—you're going to have to clean up the mess you've caused today."

Naruto gave his father an innocent look. "What'd'ya mean? I didn't do anything wrong!"

"Naruto," warned the Hokage.

"What?" said the elite jounin, still keeping up his innocent-child façade. "Seriously, does anyone have any proof I caused—well, whatever it is you think I caused?"

Minato's eyes narrowed and stubborn blue met stubborn blue.

Naruto continued smugly. "Do you have any eye witnesses? Anyone who could point to me and say, 'Yes, he's the one! That's the great and gorgeous artist who rendered such a magnificent masterful masterpiece out of the old, boring Hokage Monument!'? Anyone at all?"

A glint entered Minato's eyes.

"I hate you," said Naruto angrily.

"I love you too," replied Minato sweetly.

The two of them were atop the Hokage Monument, where Naruto was to--very reluctantly--clean up the four faces displayed below.

"You know how disturbing I find it, and yet you still threatened to stick me with it again!" snapped Naruto, with a glare.

"Him, Naruto," said Minato in an exasperated manner. "And you know it was the only way to get you to actually clean this up."

"Fine, him. But seriously, I think Konohamaru's got some rare disease or something! He keeps following me around like some stupid lost puppy and it really freaks me out!"

"Just clean up this mess."

Naruto grumbled as he gathered up a large amount of chakra and began forming hand signs. "I can't believe you're making me destroy a masterpiece," he whined. At least the paint he had used had been water-based and would easily wash away with some liberal application of water. With the last hand sign, the jounin took a deep breath.

Suiton: Bakusui Shoha!

Torrents of water gushed out from his mouth and washed away all the paint he had used on the Hokage Monument. He carefully controlled the amount—just enough so that the paint washed away, and the small patch of trees below were watered. After a long minute, he released the technique with a sigh. "I love my large chakra capacity."

Minato gave him an amused glace. "I see you've got another vast chakra-consuming technique."

"Yeah, but it's really useful, isn't it?"

"When was the last time you tapped into—?"

"I haven't," said Naruto quickly. "Not since the war with Hidden Cloud years ago. I know how much it damages my body. Tsunade-baachan's made sure I was informed of the damage."

"I see," said Minato softly. He was looking out over the Hidden Village, his eyes looking far back into the past.

He's remembering the incident again, thought Naruto. Twelve years ago to this day. The devastation. The death of the Sandaime Hokage by his self-sacrificing jutsu. Even to this day, no one outside of the highest echelons of Konoha's hierarchy knew the truth. That the Kyuubi was still alive, still existing behind a seal on Naruto's stomach.

Only Jiraiya and Tsunade, Minato and Naruto, Kakashi and Rin, knew the truth.

"He was a great man, you know," said Minato, reminiscing. "I sometimes wonder what he'd think of me, whether he'd be proud of what I've done. The God of Shinobi. The Professor." The Fourth sighed. "And sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't have done the sealing myself."

Naruto stayed silent, as he watched the sun setting in the distance. After a moment, he finally replied, "He did what he thought was best, just as you've done till now. You've been a great Hokage, maybe the best. Everyone says so."

Minato gave him a smile. "I never did congratulate you on your birthday, did I? And I've missed out on so many these last couple years." He gave Naruto a one-armed hug. "Happy twelfth birthday, Naruto. I'm really proud of you. You know that, right?"

"I know, father," said Naruto. "I know."

And I'm sorry, but I will never be Hokage, thought Naruto silently. He had seen how tired it made his father, to bear such responsibility. He had seen firsthand how devastating it could be to a person. How a single mistake could mean the death of an acquaintance.

His father had changed greatly through the years. He rarely smiled, even more rarely laughed. It was all Naruto could do to make him leave his office every now and then.

No. Naruto had long ago decided. I never want that for myself. Never.

"Ero-niisan? What the hell are you doing here?" asked Naruto. He was about to enter the Hokage's office, having received an urgent summons from a messenger-nin.

The Copy-Cat Nin, Hatake Kakashi, lazily glanced up at him from his Icha Icha book. "Naruto? That's surprising. You received a summons too?"

"Yeah, must be pretty serious if the both of us are needed."

Kakashi answered with a shrug, his attention having already returned to his erotic novel, and Naruto rolled his eyes.

"Naruto, Kakashi. Excellent." Minato motioned for them to take a seat, and tossed two sets of scrolls at them. "Read them quickly. In there are details for our mission."

Naruto looked at his father questioningly. What did he mean, "our mission"? Was he going to go on a mission himself? It was extremely rare for a Kage to take a mission, unless it was an extreme emergency. And the Fourth hadn't gone on one for years. Minato waved away his questioning gaze.

"Read first."

And the two elite jounins did so. Kakashi seemed to have finished first, as he looked up sharply and said, "You can't be serious, sensei!"

"Unfortunately, everything in the scrolls has been verified."

"Are you sure we can trust the source?" asked Naruto, having caught up. "I know he's Rin's former apprentice, but—"

"Rin is adamant that he's telling the truth and that his loyalty still belongs to Konoha." The Hokage rubbed his eyes. "And even if he might not be and it turns out to be a trap, we can't afford to lose this opportunity. This is the first time he's surfaced in a decade."

"Even so, sensei," said Kakashi. "This really is troubling news. If they're really planning to join up—"

"Exactly why we must stop the alliance from finalizing as quickly as possible."

"And how did the source manage to infiltrate his base anyway?"

Kakashi answered Naruto's question with a grin. "You probably haven't been an elite jounin long enough, Naruto, but Rin's the Spymaster of ANBU's Information Division. And she's damn good."

"Oh, I see," said Naruto. He sighed. "So Sand's trying to eliminate us, huh?"

"It certainly seems so. And by joining up with a former Konoha missing-nin, they've got a fair shot at hitting us where it hurts," Kakashi concluded.

"Orochimaru and the Kazekage. What an awful match up," muttered Naruto. He looked up at his father. "So, are you seriously gonna just send ero-niisan, me, and yourself to take on the Snake bastard who is a former member of Konoha's Legendary Three, the Kazekage of the Hidden Village of Sand, and however many ninja they might have in their guard?"

The Fourth was silent for a moment, before nodding. "Yes. Essentially. We're going to have to move quickly and stealthily so they don't know we're coming."

"Are you fucking nuts?" exclaimed Naruto. "That's suicide! Oh, sure, you're easily a match for Orochimaru and the rest of the entourage, but do you really think ero-niisan and I can take on the Kazekage? The Kazekage of Sand? The one who's rumored to be strong enough to subdue his jinchuuriki son when he goes into full demon mode?" He shook his head. "I mean, sure, niisan and I are elite Jounin. But neither of us can take on a Kage!"

"I know!" snapped the Fourth, slamming his fist down on his table. "I know! But this is an opportunity we cannot waste. I will not have Sand and Orochimaru teaming up against us to wage war on Konoha. I will not allow it!" He stood up abruptly and looked out the window to the village, visibly calming down. "I understand what you are saying, Naruto. But we have no time. As you read in the report, Orochimaru's meeting the Kazekage in less than two days--and we have no idea how long the meeting will last. You two are the strongest in the village after me and we will just have to rise up to the challenge."

"There could be well over two dozen ninja there, sensei. Rumor has it Orochimaru's surrounded himself with an elite squad extremely loyal to himself, which I know you know. The Kazekage probably will have himself surrounded with a dozen elite jounin. Two dozen of the elite against us. Not very good odds." Kakashi also stood up, joining his sensei at the window.

"What do you suggest then, Kakashi?" asked the Fourth.

"We need to bring more ninja with us for the ambush," said Naruto, answering for Kakashi. "I know you said it needs to be a small squad. One or two more elite jounin won't hurt."

The Fourth was silent for a moment, before carefully asking, "And who else is there, Naruto? We cannot leave this village without strong ninja who can guard it while we are gone. Jiraiya won't be here in time, Tsunade the same, all of the ANBU Commanders need to remain to guard the village. The jounin-senseis need to keep taking missions to bring in funds." Minato shook his head slowly. "I have given thought to this, and there truly is no one else to bring."

There was a long period of silence, as each was lost in his own thoughts.

"What about Maito Gai?" said Kakashi suddenly, breaking the stillness. "I know he's a jounin-sensei, but he's due to return from the team mission today. In fact, he's most likely in the village by now. And Gai is an elite jounin equal to Naruto and me in strength."

Naruto gave him a look. "Don't you usually try to avoid him like the plague?"

"For the greater good, I must sacrifice my personal comforts," said Kakashi solemnly, barely keeping himself from shuddering at the thought of sharing a mission with the Green Beast.

The Fourth rolled his eyes. "Very well, then. Maito Gai will be the fourth person to join our team. I'll brief him later, then."

There was another moment of silence.

Naruto finally gave one of his boyish chuckles. "So. We're really doing this, then. We're finally eliminating Orochimaru." The young jounin felt excitement well up within himself at the thought.

"So it seems," muttered Kakashi. "And the Kazekage. And if the Sand ever finds out, perhaps even another Great Ninja War."

"Tomorrow," agreed the Fourth, still gazing out over the village. "Tomorrow, we will leave. The four of us."

Four of Konoha's Legendary ninjas, mused Naruto as he watched his beloved village. Each of us has made a name for ourselves. The Yellow Flash. The Copy Cat. The Green Beast. And the Thousand Whirlwinds.

"EXPERIENCE THE FULL SPRINGTIME OF YOUTH!" roared Gai as he ploughed into Sand shinobi.

Naruto grimaced as he slammed his kunai up the throat of another jounin into his brain, instantly killing the man. Why does Gai have to be so damn loud? He easily weaved through the messy array of his own clone army and the enemy ninja, quickly making his way to where his father was currently fighting both the Kazekage and Orochimaru.

They were at the edge of the vast desert stretching all across the Wind Country, where the landscape was a cross between desert, lush jungle forest, and mountainy terrain. They were in a secluded area where sight was very limited and travel to the place was dangerous and very visible. Thus, it had been extremely difficult to travel here without being seen--

But when the four Konoha legends had made their way to the area, all they found was—

A fucking trap after all, thought Naruto in annoyance. Kakashi was currently dealing with the source, a traitor named Kabuto Yakushi, who seemed to actually be almost an even match for him.

Fuuton: Kamaitachi no Jutsu! His fingers snapped a half-dozen handseals in a split moment when two annoying jounin attempted to block his path—and they paid for his irritation with their deaths. Ack! Everything's gone to pieces. I need to help father, quickly!

With a burst of speed, he was through the enemy shinobi to find his father in a tight taijustu battle with the two other Kage. Yosh! thought Naruto. He had made it in time.

"Rasengan!" he roared as he launched the blue sphere against the Kazekage, only to miss as the man twisted away at the last moment. The Kage swung his fist toward an opening on Naruto's side, only to launch back as Naruto widely swung his spiraling sphere around.

"The Namikaze brat, I see," sneered the Kazekage as he landed several meters away.

"At your service," said Naruto, with a smirk. He allowed the sphere to dissipate.

"Naruto! Take care of him!" yelled the Fourth, as he and Orochimaru moved away from the two.

The Kazekage snorted. "As if a child like you could even challenge me. I've heard of your exploits, boy. But you are no match for a Kage. Run away now and let the adults deal with adult business."

"We'll see about that," retorted Naruto, though he did rather worry about his position. Truth be told, he really wasn't a match. Not against a Kage. That's why ero-niisan was supposed to help me out. In the distance, he could still hear the other two Konoha shinobi dealing with the other enemies. It didn't look like they would be reinforcing him anytime soon.

"Ah, confident. I remember when I was that young. Very well. Come, little shinobi, and I shall teach you how insignificant you truly are."

If there was one thing that annoyed Naruto more than anything else, it was when people underestimated him. And his usual response was to—well, educate them.

He formed a single seal. Namikaze Naruto Kage Bunshin Rendan!

A Kage Bunshin appeared in front of the Kazekage, launching a punch, which the man quickly avoided—twisting and jumping up to avoid a wide-sweeping kick from another Kage Bunshin. As he reached the vertex of his leap, however, another Kage Bunshin appeared mid-air to kick, another appeared from below with a punch, and another, and another.

The Kazekage's eyes widened as more and more kept popping up and disappearing, slamming all types of kicks and punches into him from the most awkward angles. "What the—!" He had never seen anyone use Kage Bunshin to this extent. A complete mastery over when they appeared, where they appeared, and how they appeared. It was ridiculous!

And yet the real Naruto stood still, with a single seal and a look of concentration on his face.

The Kage Bunshin disappeared before the Kazekage could land a hit, frustrating him to no end. Though only a fraction of the blows actually landed on his person--he was quick enough to block and fast enough to avoid most hits--it was still getting ridiculous that a child, a child, could so effectively keep him at bay!

Naruto smirked, and changed his single seal into another. Namikaze Naruto Bunshin Daibakuha Rendan!

The Kazekage's eyes widened as a dozen Kage Bunshin suddenly formed around him and a massive amount of chakra built up—

"Fuuton: Shoumei Kakumau!"

The explosion was powerful, sending a shock that would have made Naruto collapse if he hadn't stuck himself to the ground with chakra.

The dusty cloud dispersed quickly as artificial winds blew the cloud apart. And there stood the Kazekage, relatively unharmed, as winds shielded him from the blast.

"I'm impressed, Namikaze. You are truly your father's son. But for all that effort, and you truly must have expelled a ridiculous amount of chakra to create so many Kage Bunshin, you have yet to land a devastating blow."

Naruto took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "You really are a Kage-level shinobi," he acknowledged. "You're one of the few who've survived against those attacks."

The Kazekage sneered. "Child, though I will be the first to admit you impress me, the time for games is over."

"I agree." The blone jounin mentally prepared himself for the fight--pushing away stray thoughts, annoyances, and other distractions. He needed to focus. He went through the usual steps he took before every battle, clearing his mind, leaving it blank, to become--a cold-hearted killer.

The blond swiftly launched a dozen kunai. Fuuton: Ikusen Kage Kunai no Butoukai! The dozen turned into a thousand, and roaring wind that Naruto manipulated swung the kunai around and around continually attempting to pin-cushion the dodging Kage.

The man twisted and avoided another run from the thousand kunai and within a second formed eight seals. Fuuton: Daitoppa!

"We are both wind-masters, boy! I know you've earned the title of the Thousand Whirlwinds—but you should know that I am known as the Wind God! Kuchiyose: Kirikiri Mai!"

No fucking way, thought Naruto as the Kazekage wiped his blood on to the ground to summon a nightmare of wind blades. He leaped back as quickly as possible as deathly blades of wind bore down on him and formed a dozen hand seals. Doton: Kyousei Dobei! He slammed his hands down on the grounds and poured vast amounts of chakra into the technique, and winced as a tornado of violent, raging wind slammed into the wall.

He could hear the Kazekage laughing victoriously over the wind, and gritted his teeth in annoyance. They were both wind-users. Naruto had fought other wind-users before, and every time his skills had been superior. But this was the fucking Yondaime Kazekage himself. The Kazekage who was wind-natured. The Kage of a village known for its wind techniques!

When the barrage finally stopped, Naruto allowed the wall to collapse and stood up to face the Kazekage once again, breathing slightly heavily.

"Ah, still alive, are you?" asked the Kazekage, his eyes narrowing.

"You'll find I'm rather hard to kill." Naruto was surprised to hear his own voice sound so raspy and tired. "Especially using wind techniques."

"Indeed, it seems both of us are rather proficient in terms of wind-based attacks. I suppose we could continue a ninjutsu battle using other elements—but that would be rather repetitive and boring now, eh?"

"I agree," said Naruto, moving into his taijutsu stance.

The Kazekage moved into his own unique stance. "Then—shall we dance?"

Both blurred and disappeared, only to reappear with a resounding slam, then blurred away once again. Naruto found out quickly that he was rather overmatched—he was strong, but the Kazekage was stronger. He was faster, but the Kazekage had more experience. And this difference in taijutsu was very apparent when moments later Naruto grunted as the Kazekage slammed a kick into his stomach. The boy slid roughly along the sandy ground until he finally lost momentum and skid to a stop.

Ow, thought Naruto as he shakily stood up. This is not going to work. And where the hell was his backup? If, if, he survived, he would have strong words with the other two ninja—and show them painfully how much he appreciated them leaving him to deal with the Kazekage alone.

"Tut, tut, Namikaze-kun," taunted the Kazekage. "That was rather disappointing. I was hoping for much more. Really, you're taijutsu is nowhere near you're abilities with ninjutsu. I suppose part of this deficiency has to do with your youth—you've yet to reach puberty and true muscular strength—but still, I'm disappointed."

Naruto spit out some blood, and grit his teeth. Double Rasengan Style! He formed a spiraling sphere in each hand, and quickly moved into another stance.

The Kazekage shook his head in amusement, before he launched forward at startling speeds—but had to dodge as Naruto swung the Rasengan around. The tables had turned this round, as the Kazekage could not land a hit without Naruto striking him with the Rasengan—and the Kage couldn't block either. It was almost a game of cat and mouse as each strove to twist and turn, jump and swing, to exploit any weakness.

A true taijutsu dance.

At last, the Kazekage leaped far away, he himself finally beginning to breath heavily. "I did not realize the Rasengan was a self-sustaining jutsu. How convenient," he panted.

Naruto also struggled to get his breathing under control, relieved to be given a break from that intense round. He was too out of breath to talk for a long moment.

"You truly are something, kid," said the Kazekage, chuckling. "If all of Konoha's kids are as talented as you, I can understand why you hold the title of the most powerful village. Remarkable." The Kazekage finally had his breathing back, and he narrowed his eyes. "Which is why I must act now to end your threat before your village gains any more strength."

"There is no fucking way that'll happen," snarled Naruto, finally responding. A smile suddenly bloomed on his face. "We will defeat you today." A slight shift of wind, and both Kakashi and Gai stood beside Naruto.

The Kazekage's eyes narrowed further. "Ah, so the famous Copy Cat and Green Beast join us at last."

"Naruto-kun, go help your father. He's still battling Orochimaru. We'll deal with the Kazekage."

"Are you sure—?"

"Do not worry, Naruto-sama! We'll deal with this vermin!" shouted Gai. "Yosh! Kakashi, I defeated more enemies than you in the camp. Now our overall score of wins is sixty-one to sixty-one. This shall be our tie-breaker. The one to land the killing blow on the Kazekage wins! Let us show him the fires of our eternal springtime youth!"

"Eh, Naruto, you'd better go now."

Naruto nodded quickly and formed another seal, disappearing in a rush of wind.

"KAKASHI! You and your hip attitude kinda piss me off!"

What. The. HELL?

Naruto could only gape at the amount of damage the two had dealt. Many of the mountainous rocky hills had been leveled and the lush green vegetation had been shredded to pieces as it seemed clear that the two geniuses had apparently had a summons battle, and then moved into devastating jutsu, before finally resorting to taijutsu.

"Kukuku, do you not get it yet, Minato-kun?" laughed Orochimaru even as the Fourth Hokage slammed another rasengan into his gut. "You cannot kill me!" The Snake bastard's body tore apart, but from the lower portion another Orochimaru jumped out and neatly avoided the kick from the Fourth. "No matter how many times you destroy my body, I shall just form another. Kukuku!"

"Then I'll just have to keep destroying your bodies, Orochimaru. I will not allow you to leave this place alive!" Minato was fast, very fast—lightning fast—and slammed another Rasengan into the new body, only to have Orochimaru regrow himself out of a body piece. "I will defeat you here today!" Chou Oodama Rasengan! The enormous spiraling sphere slammed into Orochimaru once more—only to have him reform from leftover pieces of his flesh.

"It won't work, Minato-kun." The Snake bastard laughed uproariously. "Kukuku! I am a true immortal!"

Fuuton: Rasenshuriken!

Naruto could only watch in shock as his father repeatedly tore the Snake Sannin apart, only to have him respawn. It was ridiculous, impossible, yet it kept happening. How the hell do you kill something like this? Then he knew. He knew, and it terrified him.

There was only one way.

Minato was breathing heavily, glaring as Orochimaru once again survived his attack. Nothing had worked. For the past hour, he had most likely destroyed over a hundred bodies. Yet Orochimaru still came out alive, perfectly healthy. How was he supposed to kill something as disgusting as this?

Perhaps... And then the Fourth also knew. Knew what had to be done.

It felt like a dream. It couldn't be true. And yet it was. There was only one way to defeat the Snake Sannin. To defeat him permanently.

The Shiki Fujin. The Dead Demon Consuming Seal. To summon a Death God and destroy Orochimaru's soul.

It was the only way.

And as Naruto watched, his father began the seals—and he couldn't do anything but watch. He could only stare in terror. He could only feel disbelief. He could only feel a grief so strong it felt like it was tearing him apart. He was going to watch his father die. He was going to see the fall of the greatest legend of Konoha.


"Kukuku, and what are you doing now, Minato-kun? Another foolish attempt to destroy my body? Do you not realize now that I have truly become the god among shinobi, the immortal!"

Minato solemnly continued to weave the hand seals necessary to summon the death god.

"Eh? Nothing to say?"

Naruto was in horror. This could not be happening. He had to do something. He had to stop his father—but what could he do? His most powerful techniques had already failed to destroy the Snake Sannin when used by his father. What could he—

No. There was a way. It was obvious—and so terrifying that Naruto could barely move his hands.

But he would do it anyway. Because he was Namikaze Naruto.

He knew the seals. He had memorized them in secret, knowing that some day he might be called to make the ultimate sacrifice.

The world needed Namikaze Minato more than Namikaze Naruto. The world needed a self-sacrificing Hokage more than a selfish boy only interested in himself. The world needed his father more than him.

If there was one thing, one single thing he was better than his father at, it was in making hand seals. It was the only thing he was faster than his father at. Marginally faster, but still faster.

Minato was taking his time. Naruto was not.

"Orochimaru, I said today will be the end for you. And I meant it. Shiki—"

"SHIKI FUJIN!" roared Naruto as he blurred into view. His hand, glowing with chakra, slammed into the Snake Bastards gut. "DESTROY HIS SOUL!"

"Wha—Naruto—" Minato froze for a second, a whole second that felt like an eternity, before an inhuman scream tore out.

But it was too late. And Naruto, though weary, was strong enough still to rip out Orochimaru's soul, and he watched with extreme satisfaction as the Snake bastard died with horror in his eyes.

It was done.

He felt all strength leave him, as his chakra slowly began to drain out, sucked up by the Death God. But suddenly Minato was there to catch up, and hold him gently.

"Naruto, Naruto, what have you done?" whispered Minato, horrified.

H-he's crying, thought Naruto. He felt oddly disconnected. His body was numb. He was dying. W-why is Father crying? He shouldn't be crying.

"N-Naruto." The Fourth was breathing raggedly, and called out his son's name in a manner only a desperate father could manage. "No, no, my sweet Naruto."

Don't cry, Naruto wanted to say. But he was so tired. So very tired.

"Stay with me. No, no, Naruto... Naruto!"

Naruto? Who's... Naruto?


I... I'm... tired... so... tired...


Sleep... I... sleep...








Naruto screamed as red, poisonous, powerful chakra burned through his being. A euphoric feeling spread across his body—but the feeling was so intense it hurt, it hurt.




Naruto screamed, and screamed, and screamed—

He knew no more.

To be continued...

INTRO ARC Part One: The Switch will be updated very soon, but reviews really help encourage me to write! So take the hint, spend a minute, and review! As I've said before, I honestly appreciate each and every review you make, even the one-worded ones. Reviews really show me that you've taken precious time out of your schedule to comment on my ficand there's nothing more an author can ask.

Technique Translations:

1. Bunshin Daibakuha -- Clone Great Explosion Technique -- a clone that explodes with great force. It causes significant feedback which is why it is a forbidden technique.
2. Suiton: Bakusui Shoha -- Water Release: Exploding Water Shockwave -- torrents of water summoned through the mouth, requiring massive chakra
3. Fuuton: Kamaitachi no Jutsu -- Wind Release: Cutting Whirlwing Technique -- summons wind blades that lash out, dicing whatever's in the way to bits and can only be blocked by wind-natured chakra or by a heavily reinforced chakra barrier
4. Namikaze Naruto Kage Bunshin Rendan -- Namikaze Naruto Shadow Clone Combo -- utilizes extreme mastery over Shadow Clones to build the ultimate offense and defense to control every aspect of a clone's summoning
5. Namikaze Naruto Bunshin Daibakuha Rendan -- Namikaze Naruto Great Clone Explosion Combo -- summons clones surrounding enemy, immediately exploding them to devastating effect
6. Fuuton: Shoumei Kakumau -- Wind Release: Divine Shield -- summons a wind tunnel around the user, providing protection from external physical harm. The strength of the barrier depends on the amount of chakra inputted
7. Fuuton: Ikusen Kage Kunai no Butoukai -- Wind Release: Dance of the Thousand Kunai -- summons a thousand kunai that are controlled by streams of wind chakra. It requires mastery over the wind element and its manipulation
8. Fuuton: Daitoppa -- Wind Release: Great Breakthrough -- summons a great rush of wind with tremendous force
9. Kuchiyose: Kirikiri Mai -- Summoning: Quick Behading Dance -- a creature of wind is summoned to devastating effect, capable of laying waste to vast areas
10. Doton: Kyousei Dobei -- Earth Release: Great Wall -- an earthen barrier forms, providing powerful physical protection
11. Chou Oodama Rasengan -- Super Great Ball Rasengan -- a huge version of the standard spiralling sphere, causes enormous damage
12. Fuuton: Rasenshuriken -- Wind Release: Spiraling Shuriken -- one of the highest variation of the Rasengan with full infusion of wind chakra, extremely deadly, one-shot-kill
13. Shiki Fujin -- Dead Demon Consuming Seal -- requires willing self sacrifice to seal away anything by summoning the Death God. It was developed by the Fourth Fire Shadow to defeat the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. Only a handful of people konw the technique. It is the last technique written in the Forbidden Scroll.

End Notes:

There you have it. I hope you found it to be interesting enough to catch your attention. I already have several chapters written, but they are being processed (read: being rendered apart) by my betas. Expect the next update to be uploaded soon.

My muse was caught in February, and since then I have yet to feel a writer's block. I hope this continues. I have great plans for this fic. I have so many things I want to accomplish. I hope you'll be there with me, exploring new aspects of the canon world, and simply enjoying the genius that is the Naruto world.

Please, once again, review! Tell me what you think! I really appreciate any and all feedback.

Comments always welcome.

-- liath