Elements of War
Forward: This newest work is meant to be a fusion of the worlds of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Naruto. As you can see in this prologue, I make an attempt to link the two worlds starting all the way back to the beginning. The time period this starts out in is somewhere in the few weeks between the last chapter of Book 1 and the first chapter of Book 2 for Avatar, and around a month before the beginning of part 2 of Naruto. As this is a fairly complete fusion, certain things within the individual stories up till this point are different, but not so much that it effects the story. For instance, there is no television or refridgerators in the ninja villages, though they may have somewhat more advanced tech than the nations at large. This does not effect things too much, however. Other things may need to be explained, for instance, why is Haku so special now that we've introduced bending into the equation. All waterbenders can turn water to ice. However, I've also eliminated the ability for ninja to use more than one of the four basic elements (what this means for the Kakashi/Zabuza fight will be explained in story), so Haku's kekkei genkai changes from simply being able to fuse the wind and water techniques into one to being able to use both elements at all. Again, why there are those who can use more than one element will hopefully be adequately explained later on down the line. Lastly, I'd just like to express my thanks to Mr. Kishimoto for the story of Naruto as well as Mike and Bryan, the creators of Avatar, for their creation. I obviously do not have any claim to these properties, though admitting that hardly exempts me from legal recourse, though I doubt anyone will care.
Qin Qi Shuhua
Long ago, before the Divine Spirit descended upon the mortal world in human form, there was only one nation, instead of merely the Earth and Wind Tribes, and the kingdoms of Water and Fire. Before the Avatar, all people of all worlds could bend a fifth element no longer available to humankind and there were no non twisters, for all of us possessed the power of Spirit.
This changed when humankind came upon the corporeal forms of the Gods. Tui of the Sea and La of the Moon, in the form of fish, taught the tribes at the North Pole how to twist the waters to their liking. Agni took the form of a dragon and taught the people of the Western Continent the ways of the sun. Likewise, Susano'o took the form of a bison and traveled the world, teaching peoples from the different cultures the art of windsnaring. Kishar, in the form of a badger-mole, taught the people of the kingdom of Omashu.
At first, the people rejoiced at these gifts, but then when each culture saw that the others had received different gifts, they became jealous of each other and began to war with each other. Eventually, a group of ten people from around the world gathered together and journeyed into the Spirit World to seek a spirit who could help them. They asked many spirits, but none knew how to stop humanity from destroying itself, and not many cared to try. It was their own fault, they thought, for abusing the gifts the spirits had brought them.
However, one day they came across a powerful and wise spirit and knew that this being could help them. They begged and pleaded that the spirit would come with them to the mortal world and stop the endless wars. The spirit said that he would not leave his home for them, but would train them, provided they could offer a worthy sacrifice. The leader of the group immediately fell on his sword, giving his life to the spirit. Therefore, the spirit became the nine remaining mortals' master and for one hundred years, he taught them his secrets.
When the nine returned to the mortal world, they were no longer mere mortals. They traveled the world, defeating the armies and forcing peace among the various tribes. They were praised for their heroic deeds and became kings and queens among the people. However, soon the nine themselves became jealous and tainted by power. The priest, Shukaku, challenged the strongest of them, Ono, to a duel right away. Ono beat Shukaku soundly and exiled him to the desert, where he died of thirst. However, his spirit had become so strong, and his soul so wicked, that the sand around his dead body took the shape of a racoon-dog and began to ravage the peoples of the desert.
After another hundred years, Bast was burned alive after a great coup, and the flames of the pyre became a raging cat. One hundred years after that, Xuan Wu was killed in battle, and his body thrown into the sea, where his spirit took the form of a dragon-tortoise. Over the next four hundred years, the rulers died, until finally, eight hundred years after they had originally undertook their mission, the world was divided between Ono and Listrik-sapi. The two had warred on each other since they had jointly destroyed their mutual enemy, Septima. Ono was too powerful for Listrik-sapi to overcome, however, and the red haired ruler's armies descended upon his northern castle, and Ono defeated him personally before having him quartered. Then there was only one ruler of the world.
One day, Ono found a woman in a forest near his palace and fell in love with her beauty. He took her and made her one of his many concubines, and with her fathered a child named Genryu. The child grew to become a strong warrior, and Ono decided to send him on a quest to subdue the wild beasts his old friends had become. Ono waited for his son for a long time, nearly losing hope that his son would accomplish his mission. However, he soon heard that the beasts' appearances had ceased, and soon after his son returned. He had changed much in his travels: his body had been pierced, his temperament had been cooled, and his eyes burned like hot embers.
Genryu recounted his tale of the six realms of the world where he had met his past lives. He told his father that he had brought them back to the human realm, and then they appeared before him. Ono was shocked and called for his army to help him, but his son's mother restrained him.
She revealed to him then that she was his old teacher, and had decided to come to correct her mistake. Their son was the last of a series of reincarnations, whose original form Ono recognized as a man who had sacrificed his life for their sake. His old master stood before him, as well as a tortured creature from Hell, a wraith from the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, a beast that Ono had trained himself as an entertaining means of execution, and a demon that he had crossed paths with before.
Ono, enraged, shed his mortal form and became a nine tailed demon fox. The six incarnations of Genryu and Ono's lover fought him fiercely, and in the end he was also sealed, but not before casting a poisonous blow upon the woman who was his teacher.
As Genryu's mother lay dying, she felt regret that she had used her son as a tool. As the spirit had lived as a human, she had become more and more like them, and now was the first time she felt the true pang of loss. She wished that she could have understood humanity better, but her life was at an end. Genryu, however, heeding his filial duty, plucked her soul from the wind and caused it to be reborn back into the human realm as a true mortal, ignorant of her past life as a deity, so that she might have her wish.
Gaara replaced the scroll on the shelf. The rest of the ancient manuscript had been burned away long ago. However, he could hardly believe what revelations could be made into the past with the reading of a few passages from any of these scrolls. He was glad that he had come to the library. He picked up another scroll, this one more recent.
One hundred years ago the thought that there might be those who could still Spiritbend was ludicrous. However, recent discoveries have led us at the Eastern Air Temple to believe that there may be some truth to this. My comrades and I recently captured a group of assassins attempting to murder a local official in a nearby Earth Kingdom town. During the pursuit, some of us succumbed to a mass hallucination. I also nearly succumbed, but for the fact that my Avatar mentor seemed to speak to me in my head, which disrupted the illusion. This fact, combined with the discovery of no hallucinogenic powders in the area, lead me to believe this was induced by a form of Spiritbending.
Furthermore, one member of the group attacked trapped one of our numbers seemingly by extending his shadow. Another could Earthbend without seeming to deliver a strike while the other could Firebend by the same manner. In lieu of actual strikes, they seemed to summon their abilities by a form of hand signals.
We know that somehow the knowledge of Spiritbending was lost to all but the Avatars, and that in only the most crude form. However, it seems as if clans of Spiritbenders have appeared in the various nations, and while some seem to possess the ability to bend the classic four elements, it seems to be in addition to Spiritbending, thus implying that all benders have this as a common link; an element that binds all humanity as one. After questioning the "shinobi," as they call themselves, the only thing we know about the source of this rediscovery of the elusive fifth element is its name: "Rikkudo Sen'nin," or "Sage of the Six Paths."
Gaara stopped reading the scroll there. It seemed odd now that at one time the ninja were truly hidden from society. Some did not even believe that the ninja existed, but that changed after those who used chakra energy, otherwise known as Spiritbending, were proven to exist, and the evolution of the ninja into what they were today began.
Of course, even as recently as one hundred years ago the ninja were heavily fragmented into secretive clans, and many were able to conceal their knowledge of the ninja arts from the world. However, when the war started, Fire Lord Sozin wanted all of his available countrymen involved. That was why he became the patron of the most powerful ninja clans, and helped organize the various clans into a single entity, founding an entire village based on nindo.
Gaara grimaced. His own village, much like the others, was based on this model in response to the deadly effectiveness of the huge Hidden Leaf organization. His great grandparents had been fully fledged Air Nomads, and his grandfather, one of the few trainees to escape the initial attack that wiped out the majority of the Airbenders, helped found the Village Hidden in the Sand as an organization dedicated to revenge on the Fire Nation and the Hidden Leaf.
The young Wind Shadow recalled the most recent attempt at revenge, when his father the Fourth had allied with the Sound to destroy it. He was particularly interested in destroying the last of the Uchiha, as it had been a man named Uchiha Madara who had finally killed the First Kazekage. However, now it was possible for the Sand and Leaf to truly live in peace, even as the war between the nations raged on. After all, the Fifth Kazekage would never harm the man who brought meaning to his life, the man who would become the Hokage of the Leaf.
"I trust you are finding everything alright?"
Gaara was broken out of his reverie by the interruption and he turned to face the curious owl spirit, Wan Shi Tong, who ran the library. "Yes, thank you. It's too bad that the wing about Fire Nation history has been destroyed, though. I would be curious to read of it."
"Yes... it is unfortunate. I've found that all too often humans seek only to abuse knowledge for their own benefit in their petty conflicts. I am glad to meet anyone who truly wants to learn."
"I am glad to learn," Gaara said. "I have a lot of learning to do if I am to become a good... human being."