A/N- Hey guys!!! I'm sorry for taking so long, and I'd offer an excuse, but even if I did, it wouldn't change anything in the end, so I'm not gonna bore you guys with my personal life. Instead, I'm just gonna bring you the latest chapter of Destiny, The Other Side of the Coin! Enjoy please, and tell me what ya think!!!
Anyway, here are the latest stats- words- 92,313- Chaps.- 18- reviews- 133- hits- 36,533- c2s- 24- Favs.- 92- Alerts- 125
Chapter 17, The Other Side of the Coin
In a field a fair distance from the village, the townspeople huddled together, looking fearfuly at their captors, a small squad of five Iwakagure chuunin. Early that morning, they had all been roused from their beds by an even larger force, and told if they did not cooperate, they would all die. So, reluctantly, the villagers marched in ragged files until they reached this spot, and were told to wait for further orders For these people, who were just now starting to recover, it was like the terror of Gato's reign all over again.
Boldly, an old man stood up, glaring at their oppressive guards. "What's going on here? Why have you ninja taken us hostage? We haven't done anything to you!" He demanded, his tired old eyes burning with an inner fire.
"Shut up ya old geezer!" One of the chuunin demanded, walking forward and angrily pushing the old man back, causing him to fall back. "Dammit, if we didn't have to watch over you dumbass villagers, I'd be at that battle right now! I'd be makin' a name for myself! But NOOO, I've gotta baby-sit your stupid asses!" He complained, kicking dirt at the villagers, causing a few to flinch back, bringing a nasty smile to his face.
"Hey hey hey, come down Tsuki, we're just supposed to watch over these people, not scare them half to death." Another one of the chuunin said, placing a calming hand on Tsuki's shoulder.
Tsuki pushed the other chuunin's hand away with an annoyed huff. "Who gives a damn about these pansies? Let's just kill 'em, then go join the battle! I know that at the very least Copy-cat Kakashi and Maito Gai, Konoha's resident Goken master are there. Do you know just how famous we'll become if we're even a part of that, let alone if we kill either of those guys ourselves?!We'll be hailed as heros! C'mon, lets just off these people and get to it!" He exlaimed, whirling on the villagers as he palmed a pair of kunai.
The other three chuunin approached as the one grabbed Tsuki by one of his wrists. "No, we were ordered by Genbu-sama to watch over these villagers, where they would be away from the fighting. If you take one step towards those villagers with the intent to harm them, I'll have to take you down." He replied, his voice low and dangerous.
Another of the chuunin stepped up behind Tsuki, nodding. "Besides, Those two are world-famous jonin who are known for their lethality, while we're just a group of chuunin. Us, take them on? C'mon Tsuki, your being ridiculous. Now, just calm down, and do your duty, ok? You don't want Genbu-sama mad at you do you?" He asked pleasantly, trying to diffuse the situation.
Tsuki spit at their feet, jerking his hand away and putting the kunai away. "Fine..." He grumbled.
The chuunin behind him grinned, and was about to say something, when suddenly the grass around them seemed to come alive, black mice scurrying up the five chuunin, melding together and becoming solid black masses before the men had a chance to react, dragging them to the ground. When the ink receded, all five Iwakagure ninja were unconscious.
"Wh-what just happened...? Are we safe?" A woman asked, tentatively getting up to go check up on the men as the rest of the villagers looked around in confusion.
"Yes, you are all safe now, there is nothing to worry about."
The voice startled the villagers, causing them to look over at the forest, where Sai was emerging from behind a tree, calmly rolling up a scroll."A Konoha ninja! So, does this mean that we can return to our homes?" The old man from before asked hopefully.
Sai shook his head. "No, I'm afraid not right now. There is some rather heavy fighting going on in the village right now between our forces and the opposing force from Iwakagure. It would be best for you all to either remain here, or better yet, move to a further location so that you will be safe." He replied.
"I don't think these villagers will be going anywhere."
Before anyone realized it, another Iwa had appeared behind Sai, holding a kunai to his throat. "You may have been able to defeat those chuunin, but did you honestly think the Genbu-sama would have left them alone with just five chuunin without a jonin supervisor? I knew someone would be coming along eventually, so I hid myself, and you fell right into my trap." He said, pressing the kunai even closer.
Without warning, a wave of power washed over the two, feeling completely alien from any chakra signature they had ever felt. "What the hell was that?!" The jonin asked, shocked.
"I have a feeling it was Naruto." Sai said from just behind the jonin, knocking him out before he had a chance to react, the ink clone he'd been holding dissolving before wrapping around him, forming a binding cocoon.
"What's going on? What should we do?" The old man asked Sai as he went about binding the five chuunin.
"Like I said, You all need to get to a safer locale. I will escort you all after I send a message back to Konoha." Sai replied as he finished binding the chuunin and setting them by the jonin, setting a multi-layered genjutsu to be triggered in case any of them woke. Then, taking out another scroll, he quickly jotted down a message informing Tsunade that the battle had already started, but the villagers of Wave were safe, and being moved to a secure location. Then, using his jutsu, he transformed the ink into a replica of a bird and set it off in the direction of Konohakagure. "Okay, if you all will follow me please, I will escort you." He said, smiling at the villagers.
Still uncertain, the villagers of Wave gathered up to follow behind the eccentric young ninja, who spared one last look back at the village, a frown briefly marring his features.
Neji stood as still as a statue in his Jyuuken pose, glaring at the thirty or so Iwa shinobi that surrounded him and the others. "Shikamaru, what's the plan?" He asked, shifting one foot slightly. After he and Shikamaru had taken out the first few, the others had wised up and were keeping their distance, not that even distance had helped them too much when Tenten and Sakura had joined the duo, but they were still holding their own, and at this rate, he and the others would run out of chakra before the Iwa shinobi did.
Shikamaru shook his head, glancing around. "I've got a few ideas, but they're all a bit too sketchy for me to run with. Don't worry though, I've almost got something figured out." He replied in a low tone.
"Well you better hurry up soon, I'm getting antsy." Tenten said curtly, fingering a wicked-looking sickle she held in her hands as she watched the Iwa nin with a gimlet stare.
"You guys talk as if your gonna beat us, but it looks like we've got the upper hand in numbers right now." One of the opposing ninja shot back, wielding a pair of wakazashi. The man was probably an upper-ranked jonin, considering that he was one of the only ones to hold up against both Gai and Kakashi, and he had managed to stave off one of Neji's Jyuuken assaults.
Sakura glared at the man. "Oh yeah? Well, we'll just have to see about that, won't we?" She growled, causing five chuunin amoung the Iwa group to cringe, having already learned not to cross her.
Before the jonin could retaliate, a huge wave of energy washed over them all, stopping them in their tracks. "N-Naruto-kun?" Sakura whispered in disbelief, looking in the direction the energy pulse had come from.
"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!" Demanded one of the chuunin in a shrill voice.
The jonin at the head of the group shook his head, sheathing his wakazashi. "I don't know, but it definitly did not come from Genbu-sama." He said, his tone giving away his worry. Looking down at the group of Konoha nin, he quickly made up his mind. "Half of you stay behind to take care of these four, and the rest of you come with me to see if we can't lend any aid to Genbu-sama. I don't know about that kid, but dealing with both copy-nin Kakashi and Maito Gai would be hard for anyone. Let's go!" He ordered, leaping away, followed by fourteen other Iwa ninja.
Shikamaru grunted. "I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. In any case, we should probably take these guys out, and get over there, because that's definitly where Naruto was." He said, palming a kunai.
Neji spared a quick look over his shoulder at Shikamaru. "Think we can take these guys down?" He asked.
For the first time, the pineapple-haired teen smirked. "Easy as completing a D-rank mission." He replied, letting the kunai fly.
"You shouldn't underestimate us brat! We'll have your heads!" One of the remaining chuunin yelled as they all stepped to one side or the other to let the kunai pass harmlessly by.
One of the few remaining jonin watched the kunai fly past, there was something odd about it...
"Scatter!" The jonin screamed, seeing a corner of the explosive tag that had cleverly been hid on the underside of the kunai, already fizzling. They all leapt away just as it exploded in a bright flash of light.
"Wh-what just happened..." One of the chuunin asked, confused.
Shikamaru grinned as the others moved in. "Multi Shadow Possesion Jutsu, success."
Suijin and Kazejin towered over Kakashi and Gai, a malicious, rumbling chuckle escaping from Suijin's throat as they glared down at the two Konoha jonin. "KNOW THAT YOU DIED WITHOUT GIVING US ANY REAL FIGHT." Suijin growled, raising one massive paw to smash Gai with while his brother mirrored the action, letting out a snort of disgust as he looked dispassionatly at Kakashi. Both of the large summons swung at the same time, though the sudden explosion of raw power from where their brother was distracted the two, fatally breaking their concentration for a split second.
Seeing the distraction, Gai's body tensed up. "FIRST GATE, KAI!" The green-clad jonin roared, feeling a rush of power through his body as his pupils dialated to pinpricks, dodging to the side as both Suijin and Kazejin's paws smashed down. His attention focoused fully on his overly large opponent, Gai leaped, kicking the massive bear in the side of the head with a spinning roundhouse, slamming him so hard that Suijin's head twisted and he went down, disappearing in a poof of smoke.
"SUIJIN!!! YOU BASTARD!!!" Kazejin roared, watching his brother fall at the hands of the impudent ninja. With a mighty roar that masked the sounds of thousands of birds chirping, Kazejin prepared to charge, heedless of the daqnger right behind him, up until a massive pain ripped through his back and he disappeared as well, Kakashi landing beside the splintered log he'd replaced with when the bear tried to crush him. "Gai!" Kakashi exlaimed, watching his fellow jonin landed a few yards away.
"Kakashi, what is going on with the young Naruto?" Gai asked, releasing his hold on the first gate. "I did not know that he was capable of such power anymore, since he lost his control of the demon!" He went on.
Kakashi shook his head. "I'm not too clear on the details either Gai, but Naruto still needs our help, I spied a group of Iwa nin coming this way when I was in the air.
Gai nodded. "Alright then, let us go help our most youthful comrade!" With that, the two were off, rushing towards the towering form of Tokijin.
Lee and Ryo landed atop the roof of an inn, facing one another. "Heh, so you've finally stopped running Green Bean? Ready to be squashed now?" He asked cockily.
"You are too arrogant! Prepare to taste defeat at the hands of Konoha's Beautiful Green Beast, Rock Lee!" Lee replied, moulding into his classic taijutsu pose.
Ryo snorted, thumbing his nose at Lee. "Konoha is the worst village there is, preaching peace. There will never be peace, and in the end, only the strong will survive. When I become the Rokudaime og Iwakagure, I'll make sure that your damn village full of weaklings is the first place I personally crush." He shot back.
Just then, a wave of power passed over both of them, but so intent were they on one another they did not spare a glance. "Heh, it seems like there's someone stronger out there for me to test myself against, so I'll make sure to end this in one hit." Ryo said, pulling his vest over his head and tossing it over the side of the inn, where it landed on the ground with a resounding boom.
Lee nodded. "My allies may need me, so I shall not spare any effort here either." He replied, removing his orange leg-warmers and their weights, along with his vest, and tossing them over the side as well, their impact mirroring Ryo's vest.
"WE'LL SEE ABOUT THAT!" Ryo roared, and the two charged one another, their fists pulled back.
Genbu squatted down, whistling. "Whoa, that's pretty impressive Naruto-kun! How'd you manage that? And what's with the change of clothes?" He asked in wonder.
Shutting his eyes briefly as he felt the power course through him, Naruto snapped them back open. "It's a long story, but to put it bluntly, I'm a Shinigami, a God of Death, and now that I've unlocked my powers, you don't stand a chance. You should give up Genbu, I really don't wanna hurt you, but I will if I have to." He said, his eyes seeming to spark with power.
Genbu grinned. "That sounds like a challange gaki! Fine then, I'll play with ya, but you shouldn't underestimate me! Let's see how much of a shinigami you really are!" He exlaimed.
Tokijin tore his eyes away from the boy in front of him, feeling his brothers disappear. "GENBU, THOSE OTHER TWO HAVE DEFEATED MY BROTHERS." He informed.
Genbu nodded. "Can you hold 'em off while I fight Naruto-kun? I'll be there in a minute to help you out." He promised.
"I SHALL NEED NO HELP AGAINST HUMANS, NO MATTER HOW POWERFUL." Tokijin rumbled, turning to go face Kakashi and Gai as Genbu leapt from his head.
Suddenly, fifteen Iwa shinobi appeared on a building a short distance behind Naruto. "Master Genbu! We are here to help!" One of the jonin yelled.
Naruto whirled to see the Iwa ninja. "So you guys wanna take me on too huh?! FINE! MULTI-SHADOW CLONE JUSTU!" He yelled, making the familiar handsign, making sure it was in the right position. Suddenly, a hundred Narutos appeared all around him, yelling battle cries as they chared towards the Iwa shinobi, who issued battle-cries of their own and charged as well.
'Shit! Against that many clones of Naruto-kun's calibar, my boys won't stand a chance!' Genbu thought frantically. Quickly coming up with a plan, he formed an earth clone that went after Naruto, and then he himself aimed for the center of the charging group of clones, landing at their center even as he was going through another set of handseals.
Naruto blocked another hit by the earth clone of Genbu and counter-attacked, Chigatana Keiriku biting deep into the clone's shoulder. "Man, earth clones are durable!" He complained, leaping away.
The clone grinned. "What's the matter Naruto-kun? Am I too much for ya to handle?"" He asked, taking a taijutsu stance.
Naruto frowned as he felt all of his clones disappear, mental images of Genbu's chakra flaring as he touched the ground, then spikes of earth shooting up in a huge radius around him popping up in his mind. "A clone? Never. Let's see how you can handle this though!" He exlaimed, quickly forming another shadow clone, the two of them quickly forming a Rasengan that grew to a gigantic size. "Oodama Rasengan!" They cried out togehter, hitting the clone with it, obliterating the clone.
Genbu turned, his eyes widening with shock as he watched his clone obliterated by what was easily the largest Rasengan he'd ever seen. "HOLY- YOU CAN USE RASENGAN NARUTO-KUN!" He exlaimed, flabbergasted. 'Oh, this isn't good. With as many clones as the gaki can make, and the ability to use Rasengan, he'll decimate my troops in no time.' He thought worriedly. Looking around, he spotted four approaching Konoha nin, Sakura among them. "Men! I want you to lead those Konoha ninja away and capture them! Leave Naruto to me!" he ordered, pointing at the approaching cell.
"YES SIR!" All of the Iwa nin said simultaniously, saluting, secretly glad to have an excuse to get away from the suddenly much more fersome-seeming blond. With a roar, they charged towards Sakura, Neji, Tenten, and Shikamaru.
"That's not good!" Tenten exlaimed, screeching to a halt, pulling out a large spiked mallet from a scroll.
Shikamru shook his head. "No, this is perfect actually. Naruto can hold off that leader guy until we finish with these guys, and then we can come back and help him." He replied.
"What should we do?" Neji asked.
Shikamaru closed his eyes. "Let's withdraw for a distance, so that their leader won't be tempted to help out, and then we'll take them out." He strategized.
With a nod, the other three started to back up, and then they all foud fled.
'Naruto, please be safe.' Sakura thought, sparing a glance back.
Naruto and Genbu stood off, neither one moving a muscle as they eyed each other warily. "I've gotta say Naruto, that Rasengan was the most impressive I've ever seen. It seems you have surpassed your idol in at least one area." Genbu complimented, sliding into a stance.
Naruto afforded a small grin. "If you thought that was impressive, I'll show ya my Rasenshuriken some time, it's a whole level above the Oodama Rasengan." He replied, gripping Chigatana Keiriku in both hands. "However, with my shikai released I shouldn't need to use it." He went on.
Genbu grinned. "I don't know if I should thank you or feel insulted Naruto-kun. BUT I THINK YOU NEED AN ASS-WHUPPIN' EITHER WAY!" He yelled, charging forward. He swung one meatty fist forward, only to have Naruto dodge out of the way at the last instant, bringing his sword around at Genbu's waist. Genbu counteracted by blocking with one of his steel-inlaid bracers, then lashed out with a side kick that Naruto jumped above, planting both of his feet in Genbu's face, staggering the giant back.
"Not bad Naruto-kun! At this level you definitly have the upper hand!" the giant exlaimed, grinning as he wiped away some blood from his nose.
Naruto nodded, taking a stance. "Your saying that, but you don't sound worried." He replied.
Genbu's grin widened. "You've got the power and speed Naruto-kun, but I've got experience and technique, and those should never be counted out. I've come up with a hundred different ways to fight Byakugan and Sharingan users, and I can apply a few of those techniques against you!" He revealed.
Naruto pulled back a bit, observing his adversary. "I can't tell if your bluffing or not, so I guess there's only one way to find out!" He yelled, rushing forward, Chigatana Keiriku held at the ready.
Genbu grinned and dug in... and as soon as Naruto got close, kicked up, spraying dirt into the teen's face, blinding him.
Crying out at the sudden, shocking blindness, Naruto stumbled forward, only to be stopped as Genbu buried a huge fist into his gut, robbing him of his arir and folding him over. Before he could regain his bearings, the giant hammerfisted him in the back, knocking Naruto to the ground before he kicked him through the wall of an inn, into the main lobby, causing Naruto to wheeze in pain.
"Heh, I think that this battle is mine Naruto." Genbu said, stalking forward.
Guys, I've got a bad feeling about Naruto!" Sakura said worriedly, using a kunai to block some shuriken, watching warily as two Iwa shinobi moved in.
Suddenly, a pair of spiked chains lashed out, forcing the shinobi back. "What are ya waitin' for then Sakura?! Go make sure he's ok!" Tenten exlaimed, whipping the chains around.
"But what about you guys?!" sakura asked desperately.
Neji dropped one of the remaining jonin with a Jyuuken strike to the back of the neck. "Don't worry about us Sakura, we can handle these fools. Go now, so you can assuge your worry." He said calmly, watching as several nin jumped at him. "Kaiten!" Suddenly he disappeared under a swirling blue dome, knocking the Iwa forces away.
"Thanks guys!" Sakura exlaimed gratefully, taking off.
Genbu stepped through the hole that Naruto's body had made, grinning. "You ready for your whuppin' to continue?" He asked, cracking his knuckles as Naruto struggled to his feet.
"Yuh... Thuh... This isn't over yet." Naruto groaned, spitting up blood.
Genbu's grin grew. "What more do you have Naruto-kun? I've worked you over pretty bad." He replied.
"Yuh-you haven't seen any of... of my techniques with Ch-chigatana... Keiriku... But... BUT HERE'S ONE NOW!" He cried out, spinning his sword around, then thrusting it up into the air. A sudden, violent wins sprung up around around Naruto's feet, rattling the windows of the Inn.
"WHAT THE HELL?!" Genbu bellowed, his eyes going wide as he began to go through a complex set of handseals.
Suddenly, Sakura burst in through the front doors, spotting Naruto. "NARUTO!" She screamed, thinking Genbu was the cause of the building's shaking.
"FIRST WIND OF ASCENSION, KAMEKAZE!" Naruto screamed, unable to halt what he'd already started as he brought Chigatana Keiriku down in a cross-slash. Suddenly the winds formed a raging tornado that tore the inn apart as it rushed towards Genbu, bodily picking him up as it tore through town.
The remaining parts of the inn that still stood, unable to take their own weight any longer, collapsed all around Naruto, some of the boards falling on top of Sakura, who cried out in pain before going silent.
With a low groan, Naruto watched the tornado tear through the town, large black spots invading his vision as he felt consciousness slipping from hin. "Nuh-no... c-can't...bl-bla...ck... go...ta... save... saku..." reaching out, he fell forward, his head knocking against a collapsed support beam as he passed out on top of the broken remains of the main floor, still clutching his sword loosely in his left hand.
As soon as Naruto lost conscioussness, the tornardo which he'd created, now unsupported by his reishi, collapsed, dropping Genbu uncerimoniously to the ground. Holding his head, Genbu sat up, eyeing the devestation left in the wake of Naruto's attack. In a nearly straight line, all of the buildings had been flattened. "Ow, that kid hits harder than my old master did!" He grumbled, staggering to his feet.
"Genbu! What happened? Did you do this?!"
Genbu turned, blinking owlishly as he spied Kakashi and Gai making their way towards him, both looking the worse for wear. "No, it was Naruto actually- That kid really packs a punch when he really puts it together. Did you guys get hit by his attack as well?" He asked, gingerly feeling a large knot on his head.
Gai shook his head. "Almost, but we managed to avoid the worst of it. Your summons wasn't so lucky though, he had to unsummon to avoid anymore damage afterr the tornado threw a building on top of him." He replied.
Genbu laughed despite himself, and quickly found himself regretting it as his body racked with pain. "I've gotta hand it to ya Kakashi, that kid's really something else, I didn't think anyone had a technique that could throw me like that, let alone a young gaki like him! Heh, he's managed to rightly earn himself a new title today I reckon, and he's taken away one of mine. In any case, I'd say that we should call a temporary truce, since it seems that none of us are really up for fighting right now." He said, struggling to his feet.
"Alrightt. Oh, and what would that be about Naruto's new name?" Kakashi asked, covering his Sharingan back up as they finally reached the giant of a man.
Genbu grinned down at Kakashi. "He can now call himself 'The one who knocked down the Iwa Mountain.' What since his technique did that to me. Damn! That thing is destructive!" He exlaimed, lokking again across town, where the tornado had ripped it's destructive swath. "How can the gaki have that kind of power Kakashi? I haven't seen anything like that since our jinkuuri went crazy and released his demon, escaping from Iwkagura and levelling a quarter of it in the process!" He questioned.
Kakashi shook his head. "I wish I could say, but even I'm not certain. After Naruto lost his demon, he somehow managed to come back with new powers, and took down a demon that easily rivaled the great bijuu in size, but I wasn't anywhere near him at the time to get a look at how he did it. How ab out you Gai?" He asked, looking over at his best friend.
Gai shook his head as well. "Alas, I didn't see it either, though I was told Naruto's skills were a sight to behold, and that he could easily claim to have killed at least a third of the demonic horde and not be exaggerating." He replied.
Genbu whistled. "Damn Kakashi, the brat's really something else! Let's go find him and agree to a truce before he makes us look any worse, eh?" He asked, starting down the new, rubble-strewn path.
Looking at one another, Kakashi and Gai nodded once, and started after Genbu, catching up to him.
A small distance from ground zero, where Naruto collapsed, a tumbled wall shifted, and then fell aside as Ryo pulled himself up, panting heavily, bleeding from numerous gashes. "DAMN IT!" He roared, punching the wall that had fallen on top of him as he stared around, wild-eyed. "WHERE'D THAT GREEN BEAN GO?! COME OUT SO THAT I CAN RIP YOU APART!" He screamed. Looking around, he saw Naruto laying there, unconscious. "WAS IT YOU THAT INTERRUPTED OUR FIGHT?! I'LL KILL YOU!" He screamed, practically foaming at the mouth as he stomped forward, intent on killing Naruto.
Stalking up the mound of rubble, he stood above the blond teen's prone form. "I said I was gonna kill you before all this was over, and I meant it." He whispered with a maniacal grin, bending forward, reaching out with one hand.
Suddenly, another hand burst from under some collapsed floorboards, grabbing Ryo by his wrist. "Yuh-you w-won't hurt... Naruto..." Sakura panted, pulling herself up from underneath the section that had fallen on top of her, her drooping eyes signalling that she was near her limit as well.
Snarling, Ryo turned towards Sakura, grabbing her roughly by the throat with his other hand and lifting her up, squeezing. "You would dare try and stop me, little bitch?!" He growled, his grip tightening, a cruel smirk playing across his lips as Sakura futilly tried to break his grip, clawing uselessly at his forearm. "Heh, time to die." He laughed, cocking back his other arm.
Before he could unleash a fatal punch though, a sudden burst of energy stumbled him, nearly knocking him over. The energy... It felt... Evil... Dripping with an unmatched malevolence that shook Ryo to the very core. Turning his head, he looked back to where Naruto was laying-
-Only there was nothing there, the blond had disappeared. "Wha-" He started, only to have an excruciating pain shoot up his arm. Whipping his head back around, he spotted Naruto, his back to him, holding his arm in a vice-like grip. Without warning, his grip tightened even further, causing Ryo to start screaming uncontrollably as the bones popped and his arm spasamed in pain, his fingers opening reflexivly, dropping Sakura. "Wh-What the hell are you?!" He asked, trying frantically to pull his broken arm from Naruto's grip.
"A monster? Heh, I guess you could call me that..." Naruto replied, his voice gleeful, and terrifyingly different from what Ryo had heard earlier. Letting go of his arm, Naruto slowly turned, and Ryo got a look at his tormentors face...
Kami, he wished he hadn't.
Naruto towered above Ryo, grinning down at him insanely. almost the entire right half of his face covered in a bone-white mask, the teeth displayed in a gruesome, skeletal smile. A single horn jutted from his forehead, sweeping up towards his hair. "Awww, why the face, arn't I pretty?" He asked, giggling insanely, his eyes, which had become a mixture of equal parts black and silver, with golden, slitted irises, locking onto Ryo's own brown ones.
"Puh-please don't kill me!" Ryo begged, trying to back up.
Naruto, or rather, his inner hollow, laughed. "Now what would give ya an idea like that?" He asked, his eyes gleaming with an unholy fervor as he reached for Ryo.
Genbu, Kakashi and Gai, feeling the malevolent burst of energy picked up the pace as they rushed past buildings to get to the site where they felt it. "KAKASHi, WHAT WAS THAT?!" Genbu bellowed as they ran.
"Surely it's not some remnant of the fox is it Kakashi?" Gai asked as they ran.
Kakashi shook his head as Genbu came skidding to a halt. "What?! The boy's a Jinkuuri?!" The large man gasped.
Sighing, Kakashi shook his head. "He was, but the Kyuubi was pulled from him. He no longer has it, which means he shouldn't have access to demonic chakra anymore. I've got no clue as to what this new chakra that we're feeling is." He replied. "In an case, we don't have any time to sit around talking about it, let's move!" He ordered, taking the lead, Gai and Genbu following close behind.
As they finally made their way to where they had felt the horrible energy, they were met by an even worse sight, Naruto, with his back to them, holding Ryo up, spitted through the middle on his sword. "HEY GUYS! WHO WANTS SOME SHISH-KABOB?!" Naruto yelled out gleefully as Ryo screamed in pain.
"NARUTO! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!" Kakashi screamed, skidding to a halt.
With a grunt of annoyance, Naruto slung his sword, sending Ryo flying towrds them, only to be caught by Genbu. "Why... I was just wantin' to have some fun!" He exlaimed, turning towards, the trio, causing them to start with a shock, seeing the mask that was half-formed on his face and the malevolent aura that surrounded him.
"Uh, we've got a BIG problem here guys." Gai said, taking a taijutsu stance.
Genbu, staunching the bleeding, nodded. "Gai, please get my student out of here. I'm sure that Kakashi is going to go for Sakura, am I right?" He asked, turning towards the cycloptic jonin.
Kakashi nodded. "Yes, leaving her there would only be a deterrant, I was going to move her out of here, and then come back to help." He responded.
Genbu nodded. "Well, the two of you get them out of here, and I'll hold him as long as I can until the two of you get back, alright?" He asked.
Gai, who'd shouldered the now unconcious Ryo, looked at Genbu in shock. "But you cannot possibly take him! Especially in your condition!" He exlaimed.
Genbu shook his head. "I know that Gai, but of the three of us, I'm the best suited for holding him off one-on-one until backup arrives." He said, grinning at Gai and giving him a thumbs-up.
"IF YOU GUYS ARE FINISHED TALKING, I WANNA PLAY NOW!" Hollow Naruto screamed, swinging his sword down in a slashing arc. A huge gout of energy erupted from the blade, tearing along the ground towards the surprized trio, wailing as it plowed towards them.
"SCATTER!" Kakashi screamed, and they leapt in opposite ditrections, looking back long enough to see the blast tear through a building, tearing it apart.
"Kami, what power!" Gai breathed in awe, landing a fair distance away. "I'll be back shortly! He called out, and then he was gone, having taken off with Ryo slung over his shoulder.
Kakashi had similarly gotten around Hollow Naruto, and was gingerly scooping an unconscious Sakura into his arms. "Don't worry Sakura, I've got you." He said gently, and then he was off as well.
Hollow Naruto watched the two jonin run off, seeming to pout. "Awww, come back guys, we'll have fun! And then I'll kill you in the most painful way possible, I promise!" He called after them, then broke down into more insane giggles.
Before he could leap afteer them though, Genbu appeared, blocking his path. "Sorry kid, but it's just you and me for now." He aid, his voice deep and menacing.
A jostle, her eyes began to flutter.
Another jutsle, and she was roused further into consciousness. Looking up blearily, she saw the face of her former master. "K-kakashi-sensei?" She asked weakly.
Kakashi cam to a halt, laying Sakura down. "It's ok Sakura, I've gotten you away fomr there, and I'll have you to safety shortly." He promised.
Sakura shook her head. "Nuh-no... Kakashi... sensei... Naruto... Naruto needs us!" She exlaimed, grabbing at the sleeve of Kakashi's shirt.
"Sakura, you really don't need to be there right now." Kakashi chided, looking over his shoulder, back at where the battlefield was.
Sakura's grip tightened, a fire springing into her eyes. "No Kakashi-sensei... We never leave a comrade behind! Can't you feel it? Naruto needs us now more than ever... He's... He's lost in the darkness..." She panted.
kakashi bit his lower lip, indecisive. "...Fine." He finally conceeded. "You're right Sakura, we can't abandon Naruto now, can we? He's our precious comrade after all. Fine then, let's go." He said, helping her up.
"Thanks, sensei." Sakura said, sighing in relief.
Tenativly, they started to make their way back to the battlefield.
"Awww, just you against me? I'm kinda hurt." Hollow Naruto said, pretending to pout before he burst into insane giggles. "You really shoulda had those other two stay and help ya, it would've been SOOO much more fun!" He exclaimed, grinning down at Genbu from the ruined remains of what had been a general goods store.
Genbu glared up at the transformed blond. "I'm not entirely sure what's happened to you kid, but you need to snap out of it! Look around you and see the destruction you've already caused! You need to stop before you cause anymore damage, or worse, kill an innocent, Naruto!" He demanded, standing at the base of the building turned rubble, his deep-set scowl the mirror opposite of Hollow Naruto's grin. "I can feel the malevolent power pouring off of you in waves, but I can also feel the good, pure heart that I know you posses, hidden under the layers of that malevolence. However, as you are now, I fear what you might be capable of. Therefore, don't expect me to hold back, I'll go all out this time to make sure that you don't hurt anyone who can't defend themselves." He went on, shedding his vest and tossing it away, where it landed with an audible thump that shook the ground, then tossed his boots along side it, which produced similar results.
Hollow Naruto's grin only widened further at Genbu's words. "That's good- That's VERY good!" He exclaimed, his excited anticipation heightening to where it seemed almost that of a child's who knows he is about to recieve a brand-new toy. "It wouldn't be very fun if you held back after all, there wouldn't be any sport in it! I haven't had a chance to play at all since I awakened after all- Can you believe that the stupid boss has kept me on the sidelines?! ME! I didn't even get to have any fun in that fight against those demon thingies, even though his sword drew more off of my own hollow reishi rather than that of his Shinigami reishi!" He went on, rambling. With a sigh, his smile disappeared and he slicked his hair back with one hand, pointing Chigatana Keiriku, which pulsed a bloody red, at Genbu with his other. "Now, can we begin please? I'm really wantin' ta play." He said, his grin returning slightly, playing as a small smirk.
Genbu grunted, sliding into a taijutsu stance. "Fine then brat, you've asked for it. First Gate- KAI!" He bellowed, chakra seeming to explode from him as the ground around his feet cratered and he disappeared from view.
Hollow Naruto's eyes widened. "What th-" His words died abruplty on his lips as he grinned and tilted his head to the left slightly, Genbu's fist passing harmlessly by from behind, where Hollow Naruto's head had just been. Ducking his head, he dodged as Genbu's meaty arm swept across his shoulders, then kicked backwards, his foot connecting with Genbu's upraising leg, using it as a platform to leap away from the large man, landing on the roof of a nearby building. "Hey hey! That wasn't too bad old man!" He laughed, turning to face Genbu.
Genbu for his part was gobsmacked. How had the gaki done that?! In one instant, Genbu had taken his back and was going for a clean knockout punch, but Naruto had somehow dodged the attack, along with the two follow-ups, even going so far as to use Genbu's leg as a springboard to put some distance between them! "How in the name of Kami did you manage that Naruto?!" He demanded, taking his stance again. "Do your eyes act like the Uchiha's, telling you where your opponent is going to be before they're actually there?!"
Hollow Naruto threw his head back, bellowing laughter. "You think my eyes are the same as that weak clans?! Oh, that's hilarious!" He exlaimed, holding his sides. After his laughing fit had mostly passed, he wiped a tear from one of his eyes. "No, my eyes can't do that. They do give me a rough idea of what my opponent is gonna do, but that's only a small side effect of their real abilities, which the boss hasn't come anywhere near tapping into. No, what these eyes really do is show me the auras of everything that produces energy, and how they use that energy, everything from the slightest twitch of a muscle to say- releasing the first of the eight blocks that keep your fragile human bodies from tearing themselves apart from the type of power they're actually capable of. Thanks for that technique by the way- my eyes also have the nifty little ability to show me how to work any move I see, and to it's maximum effect too! Not that when you used it there were really any flaws, your control over that move is nearly flawless, you must have been practicing it for years." He grinned.
Genbu gritted his teeth. "So those eyes of yours make you a technique thief do they? But that doesn't explain how you were able to read me so perfectly." He groweld back.
Hollow Naruto chuckled again. "Even if that is another side effect of the eyes, the boss wouldn't ever intentionally use 'em for that. But you see, there is another interesting use for them. And hey, I don't even mind revealin' it to ya, since I'm on a whole different level from you anyway, human." He spat the last word out as if it left a foul taste in his mouth. "No, one of the major abilities of my eyes is that they show me the energy of everything, and how that energy reacts with the energy of other objects, wether it be chakra, reishi, electricity, or anything like that. " His grin widened and he flashed his teeth. "Everything has an aura field, and once yours interacts with mine when we clash, that's it. All is takes is a little of my energy used the right way, and your attacks will never connect with me. I can make them veer off to the side and leave you completely open." He said, his voice taking on a menacing tone.
Genbu nodded slowly, and in the blink of an eye, a kunai impacted against Hollow Naruto's mask, snapping his head back as the kunai slid across it with a horrible screech. "Thought so." He said in a thoughtful tone.
Hollow Naruto snapped his head back around, his eyes wide with glee. "You already found a way around my dojutsu just with that small explanation?! Maybe I underestimated you human, that's not half bad!" He exclaimed happily.
With a grunt, Genbu unleashed a barrage of kunai and shuriken, leaping after them. Even as Naruto used his sword to bat away the projectiles, Genbu came in high, aiming to knock him down with an overhead hammerfist, only to have Naruto effortlessly dodge, retaliating by kicking Genbu in the gut, sending the large man tumbling over the side of the roof, hitting the ground with an audible thump.
Genbu grimaced as he stood up, trying to think of a way to counter-act Naruto's dojutsu again. He'd already used dirt once, so Naruto would undoubtedly be on gaurd for that again. Things were looking increasingly hopeless against this monster the boy had become, but maybe, just maybe, if he could buy enough time, he could figure out away around the boy's abilities. "So you counter-act people's moves by focing a little bit of your... Chakra? Reishi? into interacting with their own energy fields, causing their attacks to veer off huh? And what if I was to concentrate and force my energy to counteract what your doing?" He asked.
Hollow Naruto's single visible eyebrow rose. "Who knows, eh? I've gotta say, I've really underestimated your ability to figure out stuff like counters like that." Turning to the side, he looked away from Genbu, where the sun was creeping towards it's zenith in the sky. "You really are a unique human, so I'll let you in on another secret about these eyes of mine- they allow me to see... a ghost I guess you could call it... of the moves that I can possibly do with my power, as well as their names. As a hollow, I wouldn't normally be able to access some of these techniques until I grew in power- And don't ask me how I know it either, I just do, kinda like an instinct or something, I dunno. but with these eyes I can see how to form my energy in the correct way to form those attacks that I normally wouldn't know how to use, so I'll honor you with one of the most powerful attacks my kind can produce." He said, holding his right hand up towards Genbu, a sickening light began to emenate from his palm as a ball of energy began to form there.
"Wh-what is that?" Genbu asked, a sinking feeling worming it's way into his gut.
Hollow Naruto turned his head to look at Genbu. "It's called a Cero, or Doom Blast. So long." He smirked, and the world seemed to disappear in a flash of light.
Sakura and Kakashi, who had been making their way, slowly due to Sakura's condition, felt the massive build-up just before the entire town was rocked by a deafening explosion. "Kakashi-sensei, what the hell was that?!" Sakura asked, shielding her face from the sudden backlash of debries that the explosion kicked up.
Kakashi shook his head, covering himself in a similar manner. "I don't know Sakura, but I'm afraid it was Naruto's doing. Did you feel that build-up? That was Naruto's power in his new form that we felt. I'm almost afraid to see what the battlefield looks like after that explosion." He admitted, pulling his hitai-ate up and exposing his Sharingan eye, even though he knew he wouldn't be able to do much with his chakra as low as it was.
Sakura shook her head. "I don't know what's going on Kakashi-sensei, but Naruto needs us, I can feel it." He said firmly, using a wall to support herself as she pushed on.
Kakashi walked up, taking Sakura's other arm and pulling it over his shoulders, letting her rest some of her weight on him, which caused Sakura to sigh in relief. "Thanks sensei." She said gratefully.
Kakashi shook his head. "Don't worry about it Sakura, your right. Naruto is our precious comrade and we have to do what we can to save him, even if it's saving him from himself." He agreed.
Sakura smiled, and was about to reply when they rounded the corner of a building, stumbling upon the site of Genbu and Naruto's battle- Or what was left of it at least. "Dear Kami... Did Naruto do this?" She breathed.
Looking down in shock, they saw that they were standing at the edge of a trench that was at least twenty feet wide and five feed deep, stretching all the way to the waterfront, which was quickly filling in the trench.
Hollow Naruto leapt down, landing lightly on his feet as he looked down at his hand in contempt. "Figures, with most of my power still held in check by the boss, I can't manage anything more than that weak little blast. However... I gotta say, I'm impressed that you dodged it all the same." He said with a smirk, looking from his hand down at Genbu, who was laying on the ground groaning in pain.
"Whuh-what was... th-that?" Genbu asked weakly, looking up at Hollow Naruto through bleary eyes.
Hollow Naruto looked down at Genbu, cocking his head to the side. "I told you already, that was a Doom Blast, one of the most powerful attacks in my aresnal. It was only at about thirty percent power, but it was impressive all the same that you managed to dodge it, being human and all. However, I can promise that you won't dodge this. Goodbye Human, die with the knowlage that you never stood a chance against me." He said arrogantly, raising Chigatana Keiriku above his head to deliver the final blow.
Lowering his sword, Hollow Naruto looked over his shoulder, spying Sakura and Kakashi standing there, Sakura panting from the exertion of screaming for him to stop. "More human bugs? I swear, you guys are like cockroaches." He growled, turning towards them...
Kakashi's eyes widened, and he just had enough time to get his arms up to protect himself as Hollow Naruto kicked him into the wall behind him with an audible thump.
"Please stop this Naruto!" Sakura begged, tears forming in her eyes as she fell to her knees from the sudden lack of support, grabbing onto one of his pants-legs.
Hollow Naruto looked down at Sakura in contempt. "Even if you are a weak human, you shouldn't beg, it's beneath you." He said, raising his sword high over his head in his left hand.
The tears were spilling freely down over Sakura's cheecks now. "Please Naruto, this isn't really you! Your a good person Naruto, and you wouldn't hurt your friends, so please don't do this! Please come back to us!" She cried.
Hollow Naruto grinned. "Isn't really me? Girl, I'm as much Naruto as the part of him that you do actually know. I'm all the hatred, all the anger, all the pain, and all the sorrow that he's ever experienced taken physical form. And I can tell you, being born from that, that I KNOW that you were cause for at least part of that pain that he's experienced in his life. All those times that you degraded him or ignored him? Yeah, you added to what eventually I became, so ya might wanna shut your mouth." He said with a snarl.
"Nuh-no! that can't be true!" Sakura cried.
Hollow Naruto chuckled darkly as he lowered the sword a bit, enjoying Sakura's pain. "Yeah, it's true babe. and once I'm through with you all, my first stop is gonna be that fuckin' village so that they can see what a real demon is like before I pit 'em all on stakes to watch them all die in a slow, gruesome manner." Reaching up with his free hand, he traced his fingers over his mask. "Ya know, there is a kinda twisted irony to all of it. No matter how bad he hurt, the boss always hid that pain away, just showin' people his lighter side, kinda like he was wearin' a mask or something, and now here I am, his dark side, a hollow, and I actually do wear a mask. Kinda funny, huh?" He asked with a grin.
Sakura let go of him, trembling violently as she cupped her hands over her mouth, feeling like she was about to vomit as all of what he said came rushing back to her all at once, the times when she berated Naruto for no reason, the times that she'd beaten him over the head. "Oh Kami... I'm a horrible person..." She moaned, clutching her head.
Hollow Naruto chuckled raising his sword again. "Yeah, when ya come down to it, we're all pretty bad, arn't we?" He asked.
Sakura sniffed, looking up into Hollow Naruto's face. "No, you're wrong... Naruto's the greatest person I know..." she whispered, looking up into Hollow Naruto's eyes. "Naruto... I don't know if you can hear me but... I'm sorry... and..."
'Huh? What's going on? Where am I? Sakura, what are you sayin' sorry for?'
Sakura's eyes glistened and she smiled. "... and I love you... Thank you for being my friend, my brother..." She finished bowing her head.
'I... I love you too Sakura, but what's goin' on? Why does everything seem so fuzzy?'
"SHUT UP YOU DAMN BITCH! YOU DON'T HAVE ANY RIGHT TO SAY ANYTHING!" Hollow Naruto screamed, swinging the sword down towards Sakura's exposed neck.
'What the hell is happening?! Why am- NOOO-'
"-OOO!!!" The sudden, loud scream erupted from Hollow naruto's lips as the sword stopped, poised a mere inch above the back of Sakura's neck. "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?! LET ME KILL HER! LET ME KILL THEM ALL! THEY HURT US!" He secreamed, stumbling away from Sakura as he futilly swung the sword around.
Suddenly his right hand darted up, grabbing the edge of the mask. "NO! I WON'T LET YOU HURT SAKURA-CHAN!" Naruto screamed, pulling mightily on the mask.
"N-Naruto-kun?!" Sakura's head shot up, tears still brimming in her eyes. "You can do it Naruto-kun!" She yelled encouragingly.
Hollow Naruto dropped Chigatana Keiriku, grappling at his right arm, which was slowly prying the mask off. "NOOO! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?! THEY HURT US, SHE HURT US! LET ME KILL THEM AND ALL THE PAIN FROM OUR PAST WILL BE WIPED AWAY!" He screamed.
Naruto struggled, pulling the mask further away. "No... Ah-I won't let... let you hu-hurt my precious people!" He grunted, tugging harder. "Wuh-we've gotta remember the... the past... BUT WE"VE ALSO GOTTA LEARN TO FORGIVE AND LOOK TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE!" He sceamed back, fully tearing the mask away from his face, watching as it discentegrated in his hand even as he heard the fading screams of the hollow in the back of his mind. "Kami... What did I do?" Naruto groaned, falling to his knees, staring dumbly down at his hands.
Suddenly the blond was nearly bowled over as Sakura tackled into him, squeezing Naruto in a bone-crushing hug as she sobbed incomprehensible apologies. After a few moments, Sakura finally managed to calm down a bit, though her tears were still soaking Naruto's shoulder as she buried her face into his neck. "I'm so sorry for all the horrible things I've ever done to you Naruto-kun, I just hope that you can some day forgive me..." She finally managed to say after a few more moments.
Naruto rested his head against Sakura's. "Don't worry about it Sakura-chan. I've already forgiven ya for everything that's happened in our pasts, ok? Heh, let's just try to not make the same mistakes in the future." He replied, rubbing her back in what he hoped was a comforting manner.
Sakura sniffled a few times before finally pulling herself away from Naruto, her gaze locking with his. "Naruto... But what about everything that's happened to you?" She asked hesitantly.
Naruto grinned. "What about it? That's all in the past Sakura, and we've just gotta learn to accept it and move on with our lives, ok? So quit cryin', you know I can't to see a gril cry!" He exlaimed, grinning goofily at her.
Sakura giggled despite herself, hitting Naruto lightly in the arm, which caused the former jinkuuri to pout and rub his arm, which only served to make Sakura giggle even more. "Thank you Naruto, I needed that." She said after she finally managed to stop. Impulsivly, Sakura leaned forward and hugged Naruto again. "What would I do without you brother?" She asked quietly.
Naruto's grin widened. "You would've probably had some other jack-ass who was just as bad as Sasuke-teme stuck on Team seven with you, and then you would've really been in a bad spot." He replied cheekily, causing Sakura to giggle again.
Wiping her eyes, Sakura returned Naruto's grin. "How the heck are you able to flip things around and make everything seem better after I was just scared out of my wits and thinking I was about to die? I mean, I'm laughing now for Kami's sake!" She exlaimed.
Naruto shrugged. "Just one of my charming qualities I guess." He replied, wiggling his eyebrows.
Sakura couldn't help but laugh again, pulling Naruto into another hug, content in his embrace.
As Naruto rested his chin on Sakura's shoulder, his face took on a sullen, despondent look. What had happened? How in the hell had the hollow taken over? What if it happened again? These thoughts whirring through his mind, Naruto clutched to Sakura tighter.
A dozen yards away, Kakashi was helping Genbu to his feet. "Well, it seems that despite all our skill, all it took to bring Naruto back was Sakura, and she didn't even lift a finger." He remarked nonchalantly to the larger man, grunting under his weight.
Genbu grinned wearily. "Well, I suppose this means me and my boys lost, eh Kakashi? That Naruto really is something else, even if the look on his face is pretty disquieting right now. Any chance you Konoha boys would let us have him for a little while? He'd do wonders as an Iwa Shinobi."
Kakashi grunted as the two of them started to make their way towards Naruto and Sakura. "Not on your life Genbu, Naruto is a Konoha Shinobi through and through. And besides, not everyone in Iwa have as much respect for the Fourth as you did, and if any of them are as smart as you are, then that would spell trouble for Naruto that I'd rather he'd avoid, at least for a while longer yet." He replied.
Genbu chuckled. "So your saying that my hunch was spot on then? So What was Naruto? Namikaze's little brother? His nephew from an unkown brother or sister perhaps?" His eyes took on a crafty glint. "Or am I right, and... ?"
Kakashi sighed, Genbu really was too smart for anyone's own good, luckily he was discreet as well. "Let's just say his dream is the same as his father's was, and he'll probably realize it as well, and leave it at that." He replied.
Genbu only laughed heartily in response.
-Two days later, the Naruto Ramen Stand-
Naruto sat on a stool, slumped forward slightly as he morosely picked at the cooling noodles in his bowl. It had already been a day since the Iwa Shinobi had picked up and left, albeit slowly because of their wounded, and the villagers had finally come back to Wave. Naruto had tried to apologize for what had happened, but none of the villagers would hear of it, and Tazuna, who had been chosen as the unofficial representative of the town had thanked Naruto for them all. "Heh, if it hadn't have been for you kid, who knows where we'd be now, right? Houses and stores can be rebuilt, but lives can never be replaced. We owe Konohakagure again, and it's something we'll never forget." He'd said.
Regardless, Naruto felt horrible, since he'd actually been the cause of most of the destruction, so he'd been helping out with the repairs all over town- everywhere anyone looked they could see at least a dozen Narutos, helping out wherever they could, and as a result, the twon was coming back rather nicely, having already been done in just a day what would have normally taken at least a week for the villagers.
But that wasn't the only thing Naruto was feeling... There was that other feeling as well...
How had the hollow taken over? How did it still exist seperately in him? He'd already accepted that he, just like everyone else, had a darker side, didn't he? He'd come to terms with it, and firmly told himself that he'd never fall into it...
...but if pressed, he'd have to admit that he feared it as well, if just a little bit...
"One Pork Ramen please!"
The loud, boisterous voice dragged Naruto from his reverie with a snap, his head cracking around almost fast enough to get whiplash as he looked up- right into the crinckled, grinning face of... "GENBU!" The young blond screeched, shooting to his feet and pointing.
Genbu laughed. "Keep it down Naruto, do you want all of these villagers to know who I really am?" He asked, a twinkle in his eye.
Naruto sat back down hesitantly. "How come they don't know already?" He asked warily.
Genbu looked over at the stand owner. "Your not gonna say anything either are you?" He asked.
The stand owner shook his head, setting a pork bowl in front of the jolly giant. "I like my head where it is, so I don't know nuthin' about nobody bein' here other than Naruto-sama." He replied, turning back to his pots.
Genbu laughed again before slurping down some noodles. "Naruto, your a ninja, you should know that a simple genjutsu would be enough to sneak a skilled ninja through here without any problems." He finally answered Naruto's question after setting his bowl down.
Naruto conceded the point, taking his seat next to the Iwa Jonin. "But why'd you come back?" He asked, eating his own noodles.
Genbu shrugged. "I felt like it." He replied.
Naruto nodded, and the two of them went through two more bowls apiece, eating in relative silence.
Setting down his bowl, Genbu turned his head to look down at Naruto. "Wanna talk about it kid?" He asked quietly.
Naruto shook his head, setting down his own bowl. "I just don't understand." He replied, looking into the dregs of his teacup. "That thing that came out... it... it was my inner darkness... my personal demon I guess you could call it. I can't figure out how he managed to get out though, I mean, it's not like when..."
"When you held the Kyuubi?" Genbu asked.
Naruto looked up at the large man, shock written all over his face. "You know?" He asked in a terrified whisper.
Genbu nodded solemnly. "I managed to guess, but I was informed that the demon had been pulled from you. Now, what about this new thing of yours?" He asked.
Naruto looked away. "Well... it's just that my inner-hollow, that's what it's called, is a part of me, and I don't understand how he was able to take over like that, since I've embraced who and what I am." He replied.
Genbu raised his eyebrows. "Your inner darkness huh? Well tell me something young man, do you embrace that inner darkness, relish in it?" He asked, not unkindly.
"No! I'm not a bad guy!" Naruto shot back, horrified at the thought.
Genbu patted Naruto on the back. "Well, then even if you accept that it's a part of you, you'll always be at least a little afraid of it, afraid of what you might be capable of. You've just gotta learn to live with that, and learn to control it as best you can, eh?" He replied sagely.
Naruto hung his head. "But... But what if he takes over again... And I can't come back next time?" He asked, voicing his fears.
Genbu laughed. "I don't think there'll be any problem of that Naruto. As long as your strong of heart, and remember that you've got those who love you, you'll be able to prevail every time!" He said, grinning.
Naruto grinned a bit as well. Yeah... Yeah! Your right! Thanks Genbu!" He replied, his spirits finally lifting.
Sakura sat under a cherry tree, watching the the area as she thought about everything that happened, absently running her fingers through the grass around her.
"Man, I never thought you of all people would try to steal my hobby."
The sudden voice startled Sakura, causing her to fall over. "Shikamaru you ass! How dare you sneak up on me like that!" She screeched, jumping up as she fumed at the pineapple-haired teen.
Shikamaru shrugged, uncaring. "Anyway, even though Naruto has final say, Kakashi and Gai are wanting to set out for Konoha by tomorrow, and I figured I'd come and tell you." He replied, pulling out his ever-present pack of cigarettes, striking one up.
Sakura made a face. "Those things are bad foir you." She said crossly. Looking over to her left, she spotted what she'd been looking at before. "Hey Shika, can you see what's over there?" She asked, pointing in the direction of town, where a tree-line was.
Shikamaru looked in the direction that Sakura was pointing. "I see trees." He said bluntly. "Anyway, I'm going back to the house." With that, he started away.
"Right..." Sakura mumbled uncertainly, looking back at the spot, where it seemed like a transparent man was hovering along, easily a foot off the ground as he looked around, confused. Deciding to wait to talk to someone else about it, maybe Naruto, Sakura turned to follow Shikamaru.
However, if she'd remained a moment longer, she would have seen the God of Death, one of the paths of the dead, appear behind the ghost of the dead bartender.
Naruto and genbu stood up, laying their money on the counter. "So, what are you gonna do now?" Genbu asked.
Naruto stretched, his bones popping. "I dunno, though we should probably be leaving soon to report." He replied. "What about you?"
Genbu chuckled. "As slow-going as my guys are right now, I've got a few hours to spare." He said. "Say, Naruto- How fast of a learner are you?" he asked, a twinkle in his eye.
Naruto looked up at Genbu thoughtfully. "I'm pretty fast, why?" He asked.
Genbu chuckled. "Well, I've notgot enough time for any real proper instruction, but what do you say to a sparring match? I can show you a bit of Iwa-style Goken, and I can teach you a bit about your dojutsu while we're at it." He replied.
Naruto's eyes widened. "You'd do that for me?! Really?! Why?" He asked, surprised.
Genbu chuckled, patting Naruto on the back. "Because your an interesting kid, and I think you'll go far. So, whadda ya say, are you up to it?" He asked, his eyes twinkling.
Naruto grinned. "Sure thing old man, your on!" He exlaimed.
Laughing, the two friends set out to find an empty field.
Sitting at her desk, Tsunade carefully examined the large scroll that lay on her desk, sweat beading her forehead as she tenativly examined the seals around it. There could be no doubt, this was Minato's handywork, probably one of his finest ever- And one bad move would not only destroy the scroll, but the resulting explosion could easily wipe out half of Konoha, if she was looking at the multi-layered array correctly.
She had been searching through the private vaults of the Hokage for all of the information she could find on the bijuu when she'd stumbled accidentally over this scroll, which had been hidden discreetly behind a number of larger, unimportant ones.
Why would Minato leave such a dangerous weapon in Konoha, even if it was in the Hokage's Tower?
And why was it keyed with a very specific blood-seal, to Naruto's, his own son? Was it a weapon for him to use in the most desperate of measures? If just it's outer defenses were so powerful, what was the actual weapon like?
With a sigh that belied just how nervous she really was, Tsunade pulled out a small vial marked with Naruto's name, filled with his blood from one of the samples she'd taken the last time he was hospitalized. Channeling a small amount of chakra, Tsunade warmed the blood to human-body temperature, and poured it on the scroll in a specific pattern, two drops on the seal at the top, four in the middle, and one at the bottom.
Tsunade held her breath, waiting with a frightened expectancy for several seconds, and then breathed a sigh of relief as the defensive seals disengaged and the scroll rolled open.
Picking it up, Tsunade quickly scanned through the first bit of it, her eyes widening. "WHAT?!" She yelled, frantically scanning through it again.
There could be no mistake, the scroll itself wasn't a weapon, it didn't even contain one.
No, it detailed the outlines of a weapon of incomprehensible measure, a weapon that made the defensive measures around the scroll seem like a small firecracker in comparison...
A/N- So, how was it? Was this chapter awsome? Did it suck? Tell me in a review!!!