Yo! Nenacu here with a new fanfic idea. It may be kinda crappy, but it got into my head, so I wrote it down. Yes, I will still be working on, and updating TOLaD, don't worry about that. I had to get this out of my head though, it was driving me a little insane. If the idea doesn't fly with you guys, I may or may not continue. If you like it, I'll try to keep it going. Ask me questions about how this world works, please. I need to find any holes in the physics of this world. I'm thinking that this won't be too heavy on the romance. Not like what TOLaD's gonna be when the harem really gets going. However, there will be a very small harem in this one. NaruxHinaxIno. Odd combination, I know, but I think I can swing it. The rating will be at M. Why? Because I tend to write rather gore-filled fights of late, and I do it to be safe.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything as awesome as Naruto, or the World of Mana. Much as I would like to.
On with the show!
Chapter: 1 The Goddess Speaks.
Nine centuries ago, the Mana tree burned to ashes. The power of Mana lived on in Mana stones, enchanted instruments, and artifacts. Sages fought each other for control of these last remnants of Mana.
Then, after a hundred years of war, as the power of Mana began to wane, those who sought it grew scarce, and the world returned to peace.
After that, mankind grew afraid to desire. Their hearts filled with empty emotions, and they grew estranged from my hands. They turned their eyes away from my infinite power, and were troubled by their petty disputes.
Remember me! Need me! I can provide you with everything! I am love. Find me, and walk beside me.
I am the light. I am the darkness. Half of me is what you have fought in the past. I create, I destroy, and I create again. I am love. Not all of me is just. Not all of me is pure. That is only half of myself. Those who desire my other half cross their swords. People's freedom is lost, and my truth is buried. I shall show you my darkness. You must defeat me. You will become a hero. Open the path to those who search for me....
"I had the strangest dream... Now that I think about it, that's what set everything in motion. It was like I saw the history of the world through the eyes of those that had influenced it... A boy named Keldric, his friend and love, a girl named Ritzia. The seed of a legendary tree, a young spirit, and a holy blade. This was the first of my dreams.
What happened in between is of little consequence to my tale. What you do need to know, is how this great land, known as the elemental countries, came to exist. In a time long ago, the world known as Fa'Diel was at war with itself. The result was that important places in the world were sealed into artifacts and scattered. One such artifact released itself at the whim of a greater power. One who would be this power's champion and savior. Everything that was known about this champion has been lost by history. Name, gender, motivation, everything. This champion traveled the world, helping all those who crossed its path. It led the people back into the arms of the Mana Goddess by action alone, and when the Goddess was once again strong enough, the great Tree of Mana reappeared. Her champion scaled the tree, and communed with her in the Sanctuary. There, they did battle, the champion succeeded in defeating the dark side of the Goddess, returning her blessings to the world.
The world was forever changed by the journey of this champion, and Fa'Diel prospered. The spirits of mana, Undine, Salamander, Gnome, Jinn, Shade, Wisp, Dryad, and Aura, spread throughout the world, blessing those they favored with the ability to tap into their powers to control their specific element. It was long before the first Great Shinobi war, that the Mana Tree was once again cut down. Nobody but the Goddess knows the reason why. This is the world that I was born into, and the world that I must protect. Who am I you may ask? Naruto. Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto. Let me tell you how I got where I am today...
My story begins shortly after I was born. My mother, Kushina Usumaki, forced into early labor due to the stress of the attack on Konoha, my home town, by a powerful demon, died shortly after my birth. My father, Namikaze Minato, the Fourth Hokage, leader of our village, took me from the hospital. He used me as a medium to seal the demon away, sacrificing his own soul in the process. Thus, I grew up alone and tormented by those who saw me as something I thought long since dead.."
Running, always running, the young blonde could barely see through the tears in his eyes. The tenth of October, what should be a happy day for all, was one he dreaded the most. It was his birthday, but unlike any other in the village, he was hunted instead of pampered. It was only a year ago that the orphanage he had lived in for the first three years of his life had kicked him out. Now, he lived in the streets as a gaunt, blonde specter. Only standing out because of the hideous orange jumpsuit that was all any store would allow him to have. It was especially hard today. Villagers and ninja alike chased him through the streets, brandishing weapons of all kinds. Once they had inevitably caught the exhausted boy, the beating began. It would not stop until the end of that day. 'Why!? Why does everybody hate me like this? What did I do that was so wrong?' Crying even harder, the boy blacked out.
His senses returned slowly. At first it was touch. He could feel the weight of thin sheets and a lumpy mattress. Next came his hearing, and a strange rhythmic beeping somewhere to his right. With smell came the scent of a sterile environment and, strangely enough, sweet tobacco smoke. This caused him to open his eyes to see the one person in the village who showed any compassion for him. His adopted grandfather, even though the man could not act like one, much as he wanted to. "Jii-san. What happened to me? Why am I in the hospital?" The boy's voice was weak from starvation and his recent trauma.
Sarutobi sighed, thanking the Goddess for Inoichi of the Yamanaka clan. He was one of the very few that saw the boy for what he was. "You were involved in an accident, and were sent here to recuperate. The doctors say that you should be find to leave today though. There wasn't much damage done." The lie tasted bitter in his mouth, but it was better that the boy remembered as little of these beatings as possible. Naruto, however, could feel something off about that answer. 'Hadn't I been chased around by near half the village before he woke up here? Guess that must be when the accident happened'
Knowing that it wouldn't help anything to think about it, Naruto switched gears."Hey, Jii-san, is Asuma-san gonna come today to yell at you for trying to get him to return to the village?" Truthfully, he wanted to see Asuma, and to spend time with the aged Hokage. Another reason was that it got him out of the streets where people glared at him constantly.
Sarutobi was about to answer, but a loud growl emanating from the boy's stomach cut him off, changing the mood in the room entirely as he laughed and Naruto blushed a deep red. "He might Naruto, but before we go there, let's get something to eat." Naruto cheered at this idea and pulled on his newly repaired jumpsuit, which Sarutobi narrowed his eyes at. "One of these days, I'm going to take you to find some better cloths than those. The tailors in Suna are amazing you know." Naruto beamed, tying the jacket of the suit around his waist.
The two left the hospital through the window, Naruto riding on Sarutobi's shoulders, and headed to the one place the old man trusted to feed his grandson. Ichiraku ramen. Techui had known Minato as one of his best customers, and by some quirk of genetics, it seemed that his son had acquired an even greater addiction to the dish than his father. Ayame was too young to remember anything about the day that the Kyuubi attacked, and her father treated Naruto like family. Well, paying family sometimes. Eight large bowls of ramen later, and Naruto's empty stomach was satisfied for the first time in months, Techui waving any money offered aside. He hated to see the kid starve, but Naruto was too kind for his own good. He refused free food most of the time, claiming that they would go out of business if they fed him for free as often as it was offered.
The Hokage tower was built on top of a wide stump of some kind of ancient tree, felled long before any currently alive could know. This stump was the reason Konoha was built where it was, seeing as something about it seemed to draw the elemental spirits like a magnet, allowing the surrounding town to grow crops faster than normal. Seeing as it was the central part of the town, it was obvious that the tower should be built on top of it. At the top of the tower, in the Hokage's office, were three people. Naruto sat atop the shoulders of a strong young man with slightly long black hair and a habit of chain smoking, who was having a loud argument with the leader of the village. The boy couldn't be happier though. He saw Asuma as an uncle, and every time the man came around, he would tell Naruto stories of the world outside the gates of Konoha. Sometimes, if he was lucky, he would get to hear stories about missions that Asuma had been on. This man, who, under normal circumstances, would be a sub-par role model inspired Naruto with dreams of greatness. It was the dream of the boy to become the strongest ninja ever. Perhaps he would attain the seat of Hokage, but that didn't matter to him as long as he could find and protect as many precious people as he could. To Naruto, that was true strength.
Naruto's small moment of familial bliss was broken as a porcelain dog masked member of ANBU entered the room to give a report on a top secret mission he had returned from, and he and Asuma were grudgingly dismissed from the room. Asuma, who had other errands he needed to take care of in the village, left Naruto by the entrance to the tower and headed off into town. That was when he heard it, felt it. Something was calling for him. This something yearned to be found, and it was pulling at him to search. Confused, the boy circled the tower, running his hand along the smooth bark of the enormous stump, when his hand seemed to pass right through a portion of it. He tested this, and found a hidden entrance, assuming that it was a fallout shelter of some design. Still curious, he entered the passageway, following the pull as it strengthened. The inside of the stump was a maze, and he was sure he would be lost if not for the constant call leading him in the right direction. Once he reached the center of the maze, he stopped, staring in awe at what he had found.
There, in exactly the center of the room he had found was a magnificent, ornamental sword half buried in the ground, almost as if the tree had sprung from it instead of any seed. His compulsion was at its strongest, and he could not resist the pull. He placed his hand on the hilt of the blade and pulled with all the might his small body could manage. The blade broke free of the earth and wood around it, and once free, shattered into millions of tiny fragments which attached themselves to the boy's hand, forming a thin, skin tight gauntlet. His compulsion changed to one of sleep, and he lie down, drifting into one of the first truly peaceful respites he had yet. He dreamed of a magnificent tree which spoke to him with a kind, loving voice, and which showed him glimpses into the past.
Once the boy was asleep, physical manifestations of the elements began to form in a ring around him. One resembled a mermaid carrying a trident. One a lizard with a flaming spear. Yet another took the form of a small man with a pointed hat from which dangled a red crystal. A sleepy looking, floating blue entity formed next, and after it came what looked like a tongue of blue-white fire with eyes. Dark, bat-like wings and a single eye comprised the next one, and after it came one that looked like a tree with the face of a woman. The last was a bright golden statuesque figure with eyes. Once all were assembled, the spirit resembling a small man spoke first. "Well my brothers and sisters, it looks as if the Goddess has chosen her next champion. I don't think we need any discussion about whether we help the boy out or not, do we?" All present showed what form of assent they could. "Good. I don't think he would be able to understand what's going on, and it may be a bad idea to explain it to him at this point. None the less, we should assign one of us to watch over the boy until he's ready. Jinn, how about you?" The sleepy looking one nodded, never opening his eyes. "Yes, I believe it would be a job best suited for me at this point. He seems to have a natural affinity for my ilk anyway." Gnome clapped his hands together. "Good! That settled, let us go about our business as usual. He'll find us when he's meant to." Again, all showed their forms of assent, and all but Jinn vanished. Jinn, himself, bonded to the gauntlet on Naruto's arm, a small teal gem filling in one of the eight empty slots on the back of his hand.
Naruto awoke refreshed several hours later, never noticing the new silver, gold accented gauntlet which had covered his right arm to the elbow because, to him, it felt like his normal skin. He made his way out of the maze slowly, absorbed in the memory of his dream. The voice had asked for his love in such a desperate way. It made him happy that it did. For some reason, he knew all that he saw and heard was real. That voice, whoever it was, wanted and needed him. With that thought, he emerged from the base of the stump, smiling. What he saw when he came out confused him though. There, in front of him, were three worried faces. Those of Sarutobi Asuma, Yamanaka Inoichi, and strangely enough, Hiashi Hyuuga. It was Asuma that spoke first. "Naruto! There you are. We've been looking all over for you for the last three hours! Where in the world did you get off to?" He never let the boy answer, his tirade continuing until the three had brought him to the Hokage's office where the third sat behind his desk. "We've found him, finally, Hokage-sama" Inoichi spoke, receiving a relieved sigh from the old man. "Naruto, where did you go?"
"It's alright Jii-san, I just found that hidden bunker under the tower and took a nap, that's all." Naruto was glad to finally be able to speak, but was astounded at the look of surprise on the old man's face. "Uhh.. Jii-san? What's wrong? Did I do something wrong?" Sarutobi shook his head, gathering his thoughts. "Could you show me Naruto? I've never even heard about something like that." Naruto cheered, glad to not be in trouble for once, and glad that he had found something new to show everybody. "Yeah! Follow me, I think I remember where the door was."
Ten minutes later, they had reached the place Naruto remembered entering the base of the tree. The problem was, that the door wasn't there any more. Getting frustrated, Naruto began to bang on the stump with his right hand, finally drawing everybody's attention to the change, including his own. "Ahh! What's this?! Jii-san, what's this? I don't remember finding this anywhere, or even putting it on!" The boy was beginning to panic, trying to pull the gauntlet from his arm, only to realize that he could feel everything through it, and that it wouldn't even budge.
Sarutobi took a long drag on his pipe, blowing the smoke out slowly as Naruto began to calm down again. 'I hate to take a Nara's line, but this is going to be... troublesome...'
Well, there you go. First chapter of a crossover that I don't think anybody has yet tried. If they have, it's extremely rare and hopefully not as well done as mine. Not all chapters will be this short, I promise. I just needed to get the foundation for the world and the story down first. Let me know what you all think about everything. Your reviews and constructive criticism make me a better writer, so hit that shiny button and type something nice. Flamers, go ahead and flame. I'll laugh at you.