Naruto Genkyouien

- ナルト- 威宴

Chapter Twenty-one: Phantom Menace Party – Uzumaki Avalanche (Part One)


"For the next 72 hours, you shall be skewered by these swords," he had said.

In the subjective time of Uchiha Itachi's Tsukuyomi, 71 hours, 57 minutes and 24 seconds have passed.

It had been an excellent challenge; one Itachi would fondly remember until the end of his days. Kitsune were truly worthy of their title of Masters of Illusion, and the one he had fought, Higashiyama Yurisa, was an excellent example of her species.

Her specialty seemed to be messing with the brain's visual areas. When he tried concealing his shuriken within a barrage of illusory replicas, she caught him with something she called Noushikkan – Fukushi, which inflicted him with double vision and made it extremely hard to aim. When he got the hang of it and dispelled the Genjutsu, she simply switched to Noushikkan – Tashishou—namely, Multiple Vision—.

It was a nightmare.

Then there was Shikishi, a technique that made every moving object leave afterimages which cluttered his vision to unmanageable amounts. His brain almost shut down when he threw a volley of shuriken at the fox-woman; there were simply too many illusory objects to process. And there was also Shishijakushi, which rendered him unable of fixing his gaze on anything.

Itachi quickly realized Yurisa was strictly a defensive fighter. Her whole strategy relied on making sure her opponent would not be able to attack her in the first place. He lost count of how many kunai and shuriken he threw at directions nowhere near close to her actual location. When he briefly switched to ninjutsu and released a Goukakyuu no Jutsu she easily dodged it, and his follow-up Housenka she neutralized in mid-jump with something she called Spectral Counterforce.

She laughed off his Utakata. When he turned her techniques against her with Kyou Tenchi-ten—Mirror Heaven and Earth Change—she actually internally compensated against the disruption of her brain's chakra instead of simply stabilizing her chakra to dispel the technique, only to show him that she could and that his technique was weak.

That is not to say Yurisa was the better fighter. Not in the least.

Itachi could tell: Higashiyama Yurisa was a person who learned combat to protect herself and her family, not to engage in combat on a regular basis. She just happened to have her race's natural talent for the discipline, and she had obviously put considerable effort into developing her jutsu suite.

But a technique like Tsukuyomi, which requires but a mere instant of eye contact to initiate, was something Yurisa would be hard pressed to avoid.

After almost three days of subjective time, Yurisa was defeated. She was just a "normal" Kitsune, mother of one. Higashiyama Yuri is not in the habit of subjecting her daughters to torture training, after all. Among the lilies, probably only the former Matriarch would be able to bear with three days of impaling torture, and barely (it could be debated whether Yuria and Himeyuri's daughter Yurie could bear with it as well).

The four-tails' body hung limply by the arms nailed to the obsidian cross behind her. Her jaw trembled as she mumbled undecipherable gibberish and her eyes were empty and devoid of attention.

Itachi placed a hand under her jaw and lifted it to look at her face. His Mangekyou Sharingan examined Yurisa's blurry pupils, but those could not possibly return his stare. Yurisa was looking at nothing and nowhere.

"You posed a considerable challenge, Kitsune," he admitted. "I have learned that Mastery of Genjutsu is still beyond my grasp, and for that you have my gratitude."

"Also, you have a cute daughter."

The Doujutsu came to an end and Yurisa's body slumped on the stadium's tiled roof like a string-less marionette.

Itachi noted that he was very low on chakra; the fight had been demanding and jutsu-intensive.

If he wanted to get things done, he had to move quickly. It would not do if, for example, the former Matriarch of Higashiyama returned.

Near the edge of the large rooftop, a persistent fireball was like a miniature sun that protected the body of Itachi's target. Itachi was a genius, but in the current circumstances he was still having trouble figuring out how to deal with this unusual chakra construct.

"If I had more chakra I could try Amaterasu, but…!"

He had tried to walk towards the fireball.

He had tried, and he had failed.

As if unable to support his own weight, Uchiha Itachi collapsed on the roof tiles.

He could think, but he could not feel. All his senses had been completely shut down, but his parasympathetic system kept his internal organs working. His body was frozen on the roof tiles, incapable of voluntary movement.

"If you want to call yourself a Master…you have to…catch up to me first…"

Itachi could not hear those words. He could not see Yurisa crawling so that she could look at the disabled shinobi's face. She was tired, and there was little she could do anymore, but she believed her fallen opponent deserved to be confronted the right way.

When her left hand touched the skin of his face, a connection was forged between their minds, and Yurisa was able to communicate with the rogue Uchiha.

"The soul…is something that exists inside you, right?"

The feeling of alarm triggered by the sudden helplessness was somewhat eased by the sudden mental contact. Itachi was not very fond of the idea of having his mind invaded, but he could somehow tell the Kitsune was no longer his opponent.

"I am not just a Kitsune, child. I am a Spirit Kitsune, with the power to manipulate souls."

Genjutsu that manipulates not the mind, but the soul. That is Higashiyama Yurisa's pinnacle technique.

"Reikyouyou – Shikyoukairou."

Spirit Compulsion – Prison of Death's Boundary.

"Right now, you soul believes it is outside of your physical body," Yurisa explained. "Your soul believes you're dead."

Yurisa said nothing else. She saw no need in explaining herself further; that young human, so talented in the illusory arts, was more than sufficiently smart. He would be able to realize that the reason she was not broken by the three days of torture was that she devoted all her concentration to preparing the jutsu. Normally, she could cast it in a moment, but Itachi's special eyes could see the flows of chakra in her body; he would have noticed the moment she tried using any jutsu.

Tsukuyomi's fearsome power worked to Yurisa's aid: she had three whole days to work her jutsu subtly, very subtly, moving her chakra so slowly that, to Itachi's Sharingan, her internal flows never looked in any way different from what he would expect from a person caught in his supreme illusion.

If it sounds amazing, that is because it is. But it is also to be expected: Yurisa's repertoire of jutsu does not have fifteen techniques.

Less than fifteen techniques in two hundred and fifty years of studying.

Higashiyama Yurisa is no Sarutobi Hiruzen, but she has truly mastered each and every single one of her few techniques.

With a long sigh, she allowed her body to succumb to mental and chakra exhaustion.

And of course my daughter is the cutest.

Normally, the point of a technique like Shikyoukairouwas killing the opponent once he became utterly helpless. Yurisa had spent the last of her chakra sending those few sentences to Itachi's mind, and her body would not muster the strength to do something like break Itachi's neck or even pick one of the many kunai that littered the roof and stab him.

Soon enough, the jutsu that captured Itachi would end.

This was not Higashiyama Yurisa's victory. Just the lesson of a prideful lily for a young human who impressed her.

And then the rooftop was swallowed by light; the last gasp unleashed by Naruto's fiery coffin.


"What…do you plan to do now…?" Naruto asked, even if he knew the answer, and did not like it.

As the thick columns that sealed Higashiyama Sayuri rotted away, a Higashiyama Sayuri from a different timeline smiled fondly at the human she loved.

"Mah, I've done everything I wanted to do here. I…guess I ran out of things to do."

Her fiery carmine eyes brimmed with emotions, foremost of all a grim determination.

"Now I have to settle things with Mayuri. Once and for all."

What could he say? He was standing just a few steps away from a woman who was ready to die.

Sayuri did not need supernatural powers to read his thoughts.

"Please, don't make this goodbye sadder than it is already, onii-chan," the nine-tails spoke with soft words and trembling lips. "Will you not show me your wonderful smile one last time?"

Naruto's eyes softened and, with a mixture of good will and resignation, he acquiesced.

This particular goodbye would be painful no matter what he did.

"Um," he uttered before asking his lips to curve the proper way. "Sure."

The seal was falling apart gradually, but Sayuri still risked stretching her hand. Was it too much asking, to touch him one last time?

Naruto followed, but hesitated when the tall Kitsune winced upon reaching the boundary of the prison.

"Sayu—"

"Please."

The want, the hope in that word…Naruto could not deny her this.

The seal, what was left of it, hurt only Sayuri. But she met his hand with hers without hesitation.

"Onii-chan…" it was closer to a sigh than to actual words. Even if she obviously had to be in pain, she looked immensely happy, and that touched Naruto like few things could.

"You don't have to worry about me anymore, onii-chan. Sorry for intruding in your life like—"

"How can I—!?" Naruto broke the sentence as his throat choked for a moment there. "How can I not worry!? You are…I can see it! And I'm stupid!"

The girl chuckled.

"Yeah…I guess…you would not be onii-chan if you did not worry."

"Well of course." He would have crossed his arms if that wouldn't have broken their faint contact.

"But, onii-chan…my timeline, it's over anymore. Everything has changed here; you can write a new story. A better, happier story. So…please, don't worry about me anymore…"

In spite of her attempt to relieve the boy she loved, Sayuri was already shedding tears.

"…let my story end, onii-chan."

"But—!"

"Oh, but don't get weird ideas!" Sayuri suddenly exclaimed with mock perkiness. "Sayuri won't go down easily!"

Once again, that grim yet fiery determination.

"I can't die before I see Mayuri's lifeless body."

"Just what did she—?"

"It does not matter…no, it's better if you don't know," Sayuri responded. "The Mayuri of this timeline…is still innocent, pure and kind-hearted. But, onii-chan, if you become the one who gives her happiness, like you did in my timeline…please, make her strong. Don't just let her become attached to you. Make it so she can stand on her own as well. That's what Mayuri needs, more than anything else."

Naruto nodded. Only an idiot would ignore advice from a time-traveler.

"Take care of everyone, onii-chan. If someone can bring humans and youkai closer together, it's you. And the girls…well, they're immature, and kinda rude, and don't really know how to act around humans, but…"

"Neither do you," was what Naruto wanted to say, but instead he went for the diplomatic response…for a change.

"I know," he said. "They're good people…youkai…whatever. Except for your mother, she's just…mean."

"She's senile and she didn't have enough fun as a child," Sayuri explained in a mock sagely tone. "It's a dire combination."

They felt something change in the world around them. Everything felt…fainter, ephemeral.

"Well, that's that I guess," Sayuri declared. "Without a seal, there's no need for this 'internal world'. We can't stay here much longer, onii-chan."

The small fragment of good humor the latest exchange had created faded in that moment.

"So…this is goodbye, for real."

"Um," Sayuri responded and nodded.

"Thank you for all your hard work. For coming all the way here…and everything."

Naruto never had much of a way with words.

They took a step closer, until their bodies almost touched each other. As the seal disappeared, its harmful effect on Sayuri also lessened. Boy and fox closed their hands around the other's.

"Onii-chan…it is I who must thank you. You made me more than just…a stupidly powerful little girl. So, so much more. In the years we spent together, few that they were…you…"

She smiled. It was a real smile, with only the faintest hint of sadness. Distant memories that pushed her forward every single day returned to the forefront of her mind.

"…you raised me. You were my father, my brother, my teacher and my best friend. You were everything I needed you to be."

But he never was what she truly wanted him to be. His early death got in the way of that.

"Everything I was…everything I am right now, is because of you, both the good and the bad. And I…I've never…I've never hated anyone…blamed anyone…for those thirteen years of loneliness behind these bars."

She was blinking far more often than usual, as if that could hope to stop the tears from escaping her eyes. Naruto could feel her trembling form through the connection of their hands.

"How could I…possibly…onii-chan…"

"Sayuri…"

"You were…the best thing that happened to me!" the fox-woman gasped as she opened her heart bare, one last time. "This power…! If I could give away all my power…just to make your life one minute longer…!"

Naruto was trembling as well.

"But it was this power! It was my power that killed you! This power, that everyone fears! That everyone envies! That everyone worships and lusts for!"

Her face was distorted by the agony of feelings she had contained for centuries. As if unable to carry the burden of her guilt a second longer, her legs gave in and the nine-tails fell on her knees.

"What's the point of this power if it takes away…the one thing…the most important thing…!?"

Unable to restrain himself anymore, the young boy crossed the last step into the prison to envelop one of the mightiest youkai in his arms.

"O-Onii-chan!" Sayuri frantically shrieked. "Shi-Shinigami-sama said…! You can't come in! Your chakra might get in the way—!"

"Shut up!" Naruto stunned the Kitsune into silence with a yell. It came out considerably more high-pitched than he would have liked.

"What kind of friend would I be…?" He gasped. "What kind of man would I be…!?"

"Kyah!" Sayuri squeaked as Naruto strengthened his embrace to a level the average human would find painful.

"What kind of human would I be…if I didn't do this!?"

"Silly onii-chan…how could I possibly understand…being 'human'?"

Besides, to her, Uzumaki Naruto was never 'human'. To the nine-tails, Higashiyama Sayuri, humans were 'something below her concern'. Youkai were 'annoying things that do not know left from right'. Gods were 'useless things'.

To her, 'Uzumaki Naruto' was itself a concept. Someone, something, that transcended 'human', 'youkai' and 'god', and stood at the pinnacle of her world.

They could feel the world falling apart around them. They were out of time, so they held each other even tighter.

"Onii-chan…that girl…Sayuri…she's younger…she's different…but her feelings are the same…"

Her eyes met. So close, so deep, so urgent.

She wanted to, so badly.

"I love you, Naruto. Sayuri loves you. In my world, in this world, in every world…! I always have…! I always will…!"

'Sayuri'.

She, too, wanted to become a concept. Not just 'the little girl that was sealed inside him' or 'a nine-tails'.

She wanted to become what 'Naruto' was to her: 'the one irreplaceable existence'.

"Sayuri…" Naruto could only whisper, overwhelmed by happiness and misery like never before.

This was it, wasn't it?

What he had been looking for so long, even without being aware he had been looking for it.

This was greater than Yurimi's submissive devotion, Yuria's ebullient friendship, Kotonoha's motherly affection, Mayuri's desperate attachment and Yuriyo's arrow-minded lust. He did not look down on them; they were all 'love', but this…this was…

This was truly 'Love'.

That indecipherable feeling, that you're so much more when that person is close. That, when that person leaves, she takes a part of you with her. That the world becomes brighter, better, solely by that person being there.

What did he do to her? What did he do for her, to deserve that kind of feeling? And why was it that, now that he had received this incredible feeling, he had to let go of it?

No…that was not right, was it?

She had said it herself.

'That feeling' was still there, in the little fox-child he met that day that idiot Jiraiya pushed him off the edge of a chasm. But it was different, immature.

Incomplete.

And that was what made it all the more precious. For he could be like a gardener and truly nurture 'that feeling'; help it grow and, if it became the 'complete feeling' the adult Sayuri had shown him, then he would be truly deserving of it.

Sayuri watched Naruto's pupils dance with emotion, and she knew he understood. She knew her deepest, purest feelings had reached him.

"I love you, Naruto."

Not 'onii-chan'. 'Uzumaki Naruto' was way more than just 'onii-chan'. To call him 'onii-chan' after saying those three words would be an insult to 'that feeling'.

Naruto shook his head. Words failed him, his lips trembled and his throat felt awfully tight, but he would truly fail as a man if he did not say them.

"Me…me too, Sayuri."

It was like a miracle. Her face contorted in an almost unsightly manner, but her eyes danced with unimaginable joy.

She did not sob. She did not whine. But the tears flowed like a torrent.

"And now, I am truly invincible."

Higashiyama Mayuri did not stand a chance.


The fireball ceased to be in one last burst of sun-like radiance, leaving behind a boy restored. All traces of the lethal damage he received were gone from his body. So, he stood there, calmly, with eyes closed and tears trailing down his cheeks.

She was gone. That Sayuri was gone, taken away by the God of Death to a world beyond this world. From there, she would return to her own timeline. And then…

She was gone. But 'that feeling' would live in his soul forever. It had marked him. It had changed him.

He wanted to reach it, to recreate it himself, and then share it with the whole world. One person at a time.

He shook his head and slapped his cheeks to draw himself out of his little daze.

"Alright, 'ruto, you're back in business," he whispered to himself. "Yosh!"

His hands then fell in his pockets, where he felt two familiar objects. He left the Seed of Life where it rested, but his right hand took out the ever-changing shape of the Silver Key.

"Now I'm sure this wasn't in my pocket before I fell unconscious," the boy uttered. Then, he gave up and put it back in his pants' pocket. "This thing is creepy."

He was so giving it back to Sayoko, as soon as he could.

"Anyway, I'm back!" He finally declared in his usual boisterous tone. "I've got asses to kick and maidens to save…or something like that…huh?"

The rooftop was deserted save for two figures slumped on the ground.

"Huh. Yurisa-nee-chan, and…uhh…older, cooler Sasuke."

Still trapped in Yurisa's Spirit Compulsion, Itachi could not hear, see or in any way notice Naruto's presence. Thus, the boy got no response either from the unconscious youkai or the paralyzed nuke-nin.

"…just what did I miss?"


Their roars resonated and amplified each other. Their fists met, and the earth shook under their combined might. A sonic boom blew windows and roof tiles away, as the air that formerly occupied the space between their fists was forcefully pushed away.

"Guh!"

Jiroubou grunted when his arm was blown back after the impact.

It hurt! His arm was shaking, his bones were complaining!

That fox-girl's fists, they really hurt!

Yuria took a step back, lowering her knees and placing her weight on her right foot slightly behind the left. Her right fist was poised for another attack.

"Haa!"

Jiroubou quickly side-stepped the straightforward punch, guiding Yuria's body by pushing the length of her right arm with the back of his left hand. A second later, he had grabbed the hair on the back of her head and pushed her down to smash her face with his right knee.

"Buh!" Yuria blurted out as she stumbled backwards. Jiroubou stepped forward after her, clasping both hands together over his head to slam her from above. But, even as she was bent forward, Yuria raised her arms to meet the attack, grunting as the force of the impact traveled down her legs and into the long-suffering ground.

Roaring even as she ignored the ground under her feet surrendering to Jiroubou's strength, Yuria grabbed the young man's wrists and used them to push herself up and in between his arms.

"Gah!" Jiroubou's face was painfully jerked backwards by Yuria's knee kick and, just like that, he grabbed the offending leg and flailed it around like an oni wielding a club.

"Whoaaaaaa—oof!" Yuria's shriek at being swung around was interrupted by the harsh impact of her back against a utility pole. Her body contorted awkwardly for a second, like a snake coiling itself the wrong way, until Jiroubou pulled her away…

"Buh!"

…and slammed her on the ground…

"Guh!"

…and on a nearby wall…

"Aaagh!"

…and after two full spins, once more on the pole.

While the utility pole, now broken, collapsed behind Jiroubou, the Sound nin threw the small foxgirl across the street and into a building's front wall.

"Guuu—buh!" Yuria's pitiful moan was interrupted by Jiroubou's chakra-enhanced follow-up punch; the boy crossed the street in a single leap.

The three-tails had been pretty much embedded into the wall. Jiroubou grabbed her long black hair and pulled her out. The wall cracked apart, leaving an irregular hole near the corner that could destabilize the whole building should it grow any larger. Jiroubou saw this and decided to make use of it.

Roughly pulling Yuria away from the wall, the bulky boy corrected his grip to seize the foxgirl's head…and then smashed her on the wall a second time.

Yuria moaned.

Jiroubou snorted.

As if that particular sound triggered a switch in the girl, Yuria opened her eyes. Carnelian pupils glared at Jiroubou from the spaces between his fingers.

It bothered him. She was mocking him! Challenging him!

"…not strong enough," she uttered, and the boy's pupils blazed with rage.

He pulled her again. This time, he would take some distance before slamming her; he would bury her under metric tons of rubble—

Something prevented him from pulling. It was Yuria's tails, which had speared themselves in the wall.

The girl grinned, and then tightened her lower back, legs and buttocks. Yuria pulled her body back, and Jiroubou was pulled along, easily in the path of the girl's eager right fist.

The boy's large body stumbled, fell and rolled backwards almost the whole way across the street.

Pulling herself off the wall, Yuria's feet returned to the ground. She smashed her fists together.

"Stand up! I only hit you once!"

Indeed, she only hit him once after that onslaught of Jiroubou's.

By this point, it was painfully clear: the girl was stronger.

Even after initiating Curse Seal Level One, the girl was stronger.

From the purely physical standpoint, it did not make sense—his bones and muscles were thicker and heavier, and thus all parameters which define the strength of a muscle were better in Jiroubou's body.

It was Yuria's chakra that proved superior, if only in amount. Yuria has poor chakra control—although the tree-climbing and water-walking have certainly improved it—and her Reinforcement is still fairly inefficient. She simply has really that much chakra, enough to make up for everything else.

And there was also her body.

Jiroubou's facial bones felt brittle after that last punch. The girl was panting, true. Her nose needed to be readjusted, and a trail of torn skin dug a trench in the middle of her right eyebrow, but she still stood unflinchingly.

He had hit her! So many times, and with so much force!

What the hell was she made of!?

A tail grew longer than its original size, lashing at Jiroubou like a spear-tipped whip of fur. The bulky boy rolled to his right.

"Ora, ora, oraaa!" Yuria exclaimed. "If you don't move, the evil youkai will get you!"

The second tail went at Jiroubou from the other side, and the young shinobi had to sway the top half of his body to the left before the tail could spear through his right lung. Instead, the tail flew past him and into the wall of the building behind him.

At this point, he was already expecting it.

The tail pulled, and Yuria flew towards Jiroubou, right fist ready to strike. The Sound nin caught it, and grunted at the strain on his left arm. Still in mid-air, Yuria leaned her body to her left, allowing gravity to pull her upside down. Jiroubou had to raise both arms to block Yuria's right leg before it could hit his face.

"Ungh!" the boy grunted one more time. The kick forced him to take a step back. Yuria fell on her upper back and quickly got back on her feet. She was surprised to see that Jiroubou had jumped to the top of a two-story home.

"Going somewhere, fatty?"

"Not at all, Kitsune," the boy coldly retorted as he glared down at the short fox-girl. "Not at all."

And a strange, painful and disgusting feeling gripped Yuria's heart.

The foxgirl instinctively took a step back, even if she did not understand why.

"Wha…?"

It was insane.

Even Yuria, subpar student that she was, knew that chakra was made of physical and spiritual components. A creature capable of molding and using chakra combined those two components whenever necessary, and almost constantly during heated combat. Normally, even the most powerful youkai only kept a minimal flow of chakra through their system; there was no reason to carry any more, given that molding chakra can be done in but an instant.

Jiroubou was molding insane amounts of chakra. So much that even a non-sensor like Yuria could feel it leaking out of his pores.

"Wha…how…?" she murmured. At the same time, the human she had been fighting began a new, monstrous transformation.

"Buh—agh, aaaaaargh!" Jiroubou grunted and then groaned in pain; his body lurching forward as if heaving before screaming to the heavens in indescribable pain.

Yuria took a second step. This…transformation, it was completely beyond her understanding.

Jiroubou's body grew larger, bulkier; the fat in his belly disappearing as his arms grew larger and grotesquely muscular. As he grew to almost twice his original size, the arrow-like marks on his skin spread until his whole body became a muddy brown in color. Foot-long bone spikes burst out of his elbows, and his canines grew so long they poked out of the space between his lips. Globular warts sprouted on his forehead and a pair of osseous horns framed them on both sides. His three tufts of hair grew and merged into a leonine orange mane.

It took Jiroubou a moment to clear his mind past the haze of power and bloodlust. He understood that this was not the usual Curse Seal Level Two transformation. It was different, more violent, more exhilarating, and definitely more powerful.

"Ah, I see, I see…this is your gift, Orochimaru-sama…"

"Ugh…" Yuria grimaced. She was no longer taken aback by the monstrous change or the massive amounts of chakra she could still feel from the inhuman shinobi.

The strange aroma which had been a faint distracter all this time had become a noxious stench that threatened to overload her nostrils.

"Why…?"

And unmistakable, unbearable stench, like blood mixed with rotting flesh and sweat. Now that she could feel it so intensely, it triggered a response from her memories.

"Why…?" Yuria murmured as she gritted her teeth. Was it disgust? Was it fear? Probably both.

Yes, she remembered that smell. It was a distant memory; a memory over 140 years old.

A memory of when she was still an ordinary fox, roaming free and innocent in the fenced forests surrounding the Higashiyama Shrine.

She remembered that scent, and the overwhelming fear it had elicited back then.

She remembered scurrying through the shadows, hurrying back to the safety of the pens; her instincts screaming at her to pick little Yurina and Yuriyo and hide or face death.

It was a scent that made her feel like prey.

"Why, human?"

She could not understand. She did not want to understand. For a human to carry that smell, it brought implications Yuria really did not want to think about.

But the words still left her lips.

"Why in all gods' names do you reek of Oni, human!?"


"Mu—mugyuu…"

Huh. Been a while since we heard that.

Higashiyama Sayuri stumbled her way up a nameless street. Her feet were dirty—a flood of water had threatened to swallow her and everything in its path until she used her Aegis of the Firestorm. For a few seconds, she was like a tiny sun in the midst of the flood, instantly vaporizing anything that touched her (mostly water).

She had turned around and begun her way back to the stadium. She was but a child and not one for long-lasting grudges. She felt weird, uncomfortable; she wanted to be with onii-chan.

As she trudged closer and closer to the stadium, a strange and horrible feeling gripped her insides, making her knees weak and sending him face-flat on the hard street soil. She felt her very soul being twisted and clutched by an invisible hand, and her chakra being molded and drained against her will. When it ended, it left her feeling empty and exhausted.

"Onii-chan…" she moaned cutely, the word being a call as much as it was a prayer and a charm for protection. Even his mere name made feel happy and warm and fluffy inside. It gave her strength beyond her tiredness.

She wanted to go back to his side, she needed to, because she could not feel him anymore.

"Onii-chan…"

Even in this brief time she was able to leave the prison of Naruto's body, she had still felt a connection; a chain that bound her to him and would take her back to him and within him in due time. But then that horrible gripping feeling had drained her of chakra and shattered that connection; she was free, but she felt utterly alone.

"Onii-chan…Sayoko-san…Mama…Yuria-onee-chan…"

She called the names of those closest to her heart, hoping one of them would become the cleansing water that would wash away her solitude.

No cleansing water came.

However, what came was an explosion, which made for a very close second in Sayuri's internal list of things she wanted.

The front wall of a building some fifty yards ahead exploded from within in a burst of tempestuous water and slicing winds. From the maelstrom, two figures leapt out, weapons clashing in midair like a divine dance of madness. They were the most unconventional swordsmen, wielding tools of death that could not really be called 'swords'. One was a scaled monstrosity that needed no sharp edges to be lethal; the other was a hatchet.

Hoshigaki Kisame wielded the seven-foot-long sword with unreasonable deftness and speed, meeting the swift and short blade every single time. Its larger size compensated for Kotonoha's rapid strikes, easily reaching to interpose itself between the hatchet and the vital spot the fox-woman aimed for.

But, Kisame had to admit, he was impressed by the woman. Precisely because her weapon was shorter, she had to move more when attacking and defending, thus making greater risks and losing more stamina. But her relentless assault had yet to cease or even lose intensity: she was aware of her disadvantages, and for that very reason she wanted to finish him off as quickly as possible.

However…

"This…" the grinning nuke-nin began to point out. "This is not the limit of your technique, is it?"

As if in response to that, Kotonoha leapt away and created some distance between the two, assuming a low stance and, both strangely and surprisingly, gripping her hatchet with both hands.

"Ougi."

Kisame, champion of many battles, could actually sense her muscles tightening and the brief yet massive flash of killing intent that preceded the attack. It was this instinctive awareness which told him there was no way in hell he would be able to block this one.

Kotonoha flashed out of existence, and the air exploded. The Kitsune crossed the street's ten or so yards at speeds even beyond hypersonic, and the air howled as it was disrupted, the ensuing shockwave blowing entire houses away in every direction.

Kisame, who in his wisdom moved out of the path of the thankfully-straight-aimed attack before it was even unleashed, placed his sword in front of his body one more time to protect himself from the tempestuous gales such high-speed movement had unleashed.

It was an excellent technique: the powerful wind currents generated by the sudden attack at approximately Mach 70 prevented any surviving enemies from taking advantage of the openings in Kotonoha's defense after unleashing that insane attack.

Futari no Kyori—The Distance Between the Two.

"Mu-Mu-Mu-Mugyaaaaaa!"

Unfortunately, the current Sayuri did not have the strength to overcome the maelstrom. Fortunately, Kotonoha's acute ears managed to catch the little foxgirl's shriek in the midst of the storm.

"Sa-Sayuri-sama!?"

"Mugyuuuuuuuuu!" Sayuri made her presence known even as she was blown away.

It was an odd end for the swordsmen's epic battle.


Higashiyama Yurisa's supreme Genjutsu ceased to be, and Itachi regained awareness of the world around him.

He was one of the greatest shinobi alive. It only took him a second to recognize his situation: he was laying on the stadium's rooftop, his face awfully close to the fox-woman's—why couldn't he wake up next to a cute little girl instead?—. Furthermore, the large fireball that had protected Uzumaki Naruto's body was gone. The vessel of the Nine-Tails stood there instead, staring at him with obvious confusion and wariness.

A second later, Itachi was standing behind Naruto, kunai-wielding hand poised to reach his neck…

A waving construct of blue chakra got in the way of the incoming weapon. An arm shot out to reach for his wrist, but Itachi was way faster. Regardless, Naruto had done two motions rather than just one; his body moving down to make a sweeping low kick at the same time. Itachi's form did not seem to move; it merely flowed and flickered from one place to another.

The rogue Uchiha had placed some distance between them. He intended to get into close-combat once more, but his instincts warned of an incoming attack with every intent to kill. The cloaked missing-nin flickered away just before seven tails fell upon the spot like silver spears.

"Oh, he got away."

Itachi found himself suddenly facing both Uzumaki Naruto and Higashiyama Yuri. It was a rather unfair increase in difficulty, was it not?

Kudagitsune swirled around the former Matriarch, and Naruto found himself rushing over to her side.

"Oi! Oi-oi-oi-wait a minute!" He called out as he approached the tall Kitsune. "Don't just go and kill him!"

"Um…" Yuri did not look very confused. If anything her expression was one of pity. "I know I'm stating the obvious here, but…he just attacked you."

"I know!" Naruto groaned. "But we can't just—"

"Why not?" Yuri retorted even before Naruto could finish the sentence.

"'Why not', she says…" Naruto mumbled to the side. "Aaah, I just don't know what's going!?"

"Oniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-chan!"

The over-stretched vowel gave Naruto the time to turn around in time to catch a little flying foxgirl.

"Oof! Damn, you ram like a fruit cart."

"Onii-chan!" Sayuri repeated, looking up at him with brimming, almost worshipful eyes. It was the first time, Naruto realized, that they met each other like this, in the real world.

Kisame landed next to his partner in villainy…of sorts.

"Kisame," Itachi blandly greeted the former Kiri shinobi. "Explain."

The former member of the Seven Swordsmen strongly pondered forcing Itachi not to stare at Sayuri in Naruto's arms the way he was doing so. It was seriously, seriously creepy.

"Yes," he finally declared. "That…thing, is Kyuubi."

"That 'thing' is adorable."

"You have no idea how mind-wreckingly disturbing it is to hear you say that."

"We must have her."

"Your intentions have nothing to do with Akatsuki, do they…?" Kisame tiredly retorted.

"We must have her."

"I heard you the first time."

"Onii-chan!"

Truly, his very presence provided Sayuri with energy she did not have. Even in her exhaustion, she found it within herself to smile brightly and joyfully at her former captor, the child who had been her prison for almost thirteen years.

"Welcome back, Sayuri." Naruto was all smiles as well, welcoming his former tenant back into the physical realm.

"Um!"

"Sayuri…"

The little foxgirl shot the same ear-to-ear grin to her mother.

"Mama! Sayuri's bwack!"

Kisame glanced at the fallen form of Higashiyama Yurisa.

"So you won your fight, as expected…"

It was more of a tie, but Itachi did not bother explaining.

"Let's use her now that they're distrac—"

Seven tails like silver spears fell upon the two Akatsuki, piercing the roof tiles and surrounding them like a prison of fur.

Higashiyama Yuri did not look at them, but the intensity of their presence made her message extremely clear.

"Don't even think about it."

Both Kisame and Itachi were extremely confident and proud of their skills, but the truth remained that they knew next to nothing about the seven-tailed Yuri's capabilities. Even if they counted out the exhausted Kyuubi and the virtually dismissible Naruto, fighting the ancient Spirit Kitsune could prove to be too much of gamble.

Besides, she was not the only one…

Naruto was drawn to the sound of a metallic object striking the roof tiles. He exhaled, but it was neither exhaustion nor exasperation. It was a feeling closer to relief, but not quite the thing. It was more of a "there you are" feeling; an "I finally see you again".

He wordlessly handed Sayuri over to her mother—who was wearing quite the suspicious smile, but he ignored that—and made his way to meet that other, most precious person.


She had watched him die.

She had seen how his chest was carved open by that man's vile hand.

She had watched him die, and take a part of her with him.

Something…something precious; something vague—something she could not fully understand. Like a family heirloom stored in the basement: it has always been there, but your thoughts rarely go to it, until the basement burns down and that valuable treasure is lost forever. Like a tiny seed buried in dry land in the midst of a drought: nobody realizes is there, but it is there; patiently, stubbornly sucking in what little water and nutrients it can seize; growing at a snail's pace, popping out diminutive sprouts that nobody sees but are definitely there.

That.

That little thing.

That little, vague, yet irreplaceable thing.

That man destroyed it.

She had watched him die, and Katsura Kotonoha swore in that moment to devote the rest of her life to vengeance.

She had watched him die, and Katsura Kotonoha became another Kiyoura Setsuna.

But then, his body was devoured by flames. Not calamitous flames that would even deny her the chance to cry over his corpse, but the vital flames of one who loved him like nobody else could.

She had watched him disappear in the flames, and Katsura Kotonoha allowed her broken heart to torture itself yet again. This time, with the searing venom that is hope.

She hoped, and she prayed. And she fought, for his sake.

Because she wanted to see him again.

To see him smile, so that she could smile back at him.

To see him cry, so that she could wipe away his tears.

To see him happy, so that his happiness became hers as well.

To see him sad, so that she could console him in the warmth of her bosom.

To see him triumph, so that she can burst with pride over his success.

To see him stumble and fall, so that she could lift him back to his feet.

To see him step forward, so that she could walk towards the future by his side.

To see him stop and look back, so that he could see that she was definitely there.

When…

Her mind wondered, addled by the intensity of this mysterious emotion.

When did this happen? When did this clumsy boy fill her heart in this unbearable, this overwhelmingly powerful manner?

Ten days.

That's all it took.

Ten days of utter normalcy.

She was not like the Higashiyama lilies. They were (mostly) not caught in ridiculous romantic comedy-like antics. She was just Yurimi's bodyguard and tutor. Then Yurimi chose him, so she became his bodyguard and housemaid.

That was it.

Ten days of utter normalcy.

Ten days of living together, under the same roof. Ten days of cooking together, cleaning together, shopping together, and occasionally bathing together. Ten days of doing (mostly) utterly normal things. Ten days of sharing their lives.

Ten days of being family.

That's all it took.

Losing the capability to bear with her weight, Kotonoha's legs gave in and the four-tails fell on her knees. Her hands met in front of her trembling lips, and tears that could not be stopped—tears that she refused to stop—poured out freely from her wide, grayish brown eyes.

"Ah…aaah…"

He was there.

He was there.

He was there.

He approached, and long before he got within reach of her hands, she could feel him: his natural male scent filled her nostrils; his stable breath was caught by her sensitive ears; the vitality in his eyes relieved her; the warmth of his smile healed her.

He was there, and he was safe.

Nothing else mattered.


He had died.

He had died, and it had sucked.

He had died, and he had returned.

Since the moment he woke up in that creepy room with the Gate of the Silver Key, he knew he had to get back.

There were many reasons, most of them really vague. Like the whole "becoming Hokage" thing. When was the last time he thought about that?

Those foxgirls, those youkai, they had filled his thoughts and his time so thoroughly that it felt like he had never lived a life without them. Becoming Hokage still felt a mighty awesome idea in his mind…but there were so many other things there as well, all because of those foxgirls.

To release Sayuri (mission accomplished!).

To raise Sayuri into a proper woman.

To save Mayuri, and thus give back to Yurisa the daughter she believes she has lost.

To save Ayame-nee-chan, and thus allow her and Kokoro-san to regain their normal lives.

To help Yuria become truly awesome.

To be a good boyfriend/Master for Yurimi.

To find the cause of Yurine's issues and resolve them.

To help Yurina become the next Higashiyama Sage.

To be Yuriyo's first and proper friend (with benefits).

To give that goddamned stone back to Sayoko-san.

To (finally) have a proper discussion on pranks with the twins, Yuriko and Yurika.

To teach that bothersome Yuri the true worth of humans.

To keep learning more, more, so many more amazing things from Setsuna; to be a proper disciple and make her proud.

So many things. So, so many things.

And there he was, reaching for yet another of those important things.

To be with this person in front of him.

Ten days.

It was all it took.

This person…

For ten days, she was just there. For him, like nobody else had been before. Filling his life, and his heart, like nobody else had done before. With such simple things, like meeting him every day, first thing in the morning, clad in an apron and preparing breakfast, for him.

It was all it took.

This person…

This person, Katsura Kotonoha, was his mother.

Even if some other woman showed up in the future, with irrefutable proof of maternity; Uzumaki Naruto would merely point at this woman, this four-tailed Kitsune, this valiant swordsmistress, this dedicated caretaker, this irreplaceable friend, this pillar of his heart, and announce with unsurpassable pride:

This is my mother.

He was not even aware he was crying.

"I…" he blurted out, and his voice came out awfully throaty, as if he had not spoken in years. He coughed, and Kotonoha's eyes shone with alarm.

"Ah! Naru—"

"I…!"

His voice paralyzed her, for it was imperative—more important than anything—that she listened to his words.

"I…I'm back, Kotonoha…san."

It felt weird, that honorific. It felt wrong.

"I…I'm sorry…" Embarrassed, nervous, like a child about to confess stealing cookies from the dinner table. Naruto looked away, twiddling his fingers like he had seen Hyuuga Hinata do dozens of times.

"I'm sorry…if I made you worry—"

He stumbled two steps back when Kotonoha buried her face in his chest. While the other Sayuri had done a great job patching him up, his clothes were a different story. Even now, the left side of his dark blue t-shirt clung lamely to his left arm, and thus half of Kotonoha's face was in fact rubbing his bare chest.

It was not mere crying.

Kotonoha wailed, howled even. It was not mere crying; it was detoxification. She was purging herself; crying away her misery, her despair, that soul-rending feeling of loss she experienced not once, but twice, because of that man. She was exorcising away her past; the chains that bound her to the memory of Itou Makoto, Saionji Sekai and Sawanaga Taisuke. She threw it all away, the whole weight of those distant autumn days, until only this moment remained.

This moment, and this feeling. The beginning of her future.

Their future.


Higashiyama Yuri vaguely noted the two males in the black cloaks using a high-speed technique to get away, choosing to leave and fight another day rather than try their luck against a total eleven tails of power.

No, had they interrupted this, Kotonoha would have torn them apart. So it did not really matter if they left, really.

Pressing little Sayuri closer against her own body, Yuri wondered if there had ever been a way, something she could have done, to forge a bond like that with her daughters.

Probably not. She was not a good mother. She never tried to be a good mother.

It was a failure even she could admit.

She watched, silently, as Kitsune and human joined together in tears. They were meaningful, beautiful tears; to them worth more than any diamond. They clung to each other fiercely, desperately, almost painfully; Kotonoha strongly aware of what they had, but still uncertain of how to label it; Naruto knowing full well what it was, but unsure of whether it was in fact something he could truly have.

Ten days.

"Sometimes it's all it takes…"

"Mugyuu?"

Yuri smiled down at her youngest, oh so powerful daughter.

"Nothing dear, just commenting on the loss of a wonderful employee."

"Mugyuu…Sayuri doesn't get it."


It took a few minutes, but Kotonoha and Naruto eventually regained their composure and rejoined the Higashiyamas. Yuri had somehow returned Yurisa to consciousness, although the four-tails was still lacking in chakra and thus chose not to stand up just yet.

"My…my utmost apologies, Yuri-sama. I…I have shown you a most unsightly scene…" Kotonoha promptly apologized, offering the former Matriarch a deep bow.

"Oh no, no, please do not say that, Kotonoha," Yuri dismissed the previous statement. "More importantly, do you now understand? That precious thing you have gained?"

Kotonoha was surprised, but an earlier conversation returned to the forefront of her mind.

She nodded. "I…I believe so, yes."

Yuri nodded as well. "Good enough. Then, as I promised, I relinquish you of your current duties as vassal of Higashiyama. I no longer carry the authority of the Matriarch, but I'm sure Yurimi-sama will not mind."

Kotonoha's lips tightened for a moment, but quickly relaxed again, and the swordswoman bowed one more time.

"Thank you very much for looking after me all this time, Yuri-sama."

"No, no, thank you for your services to this day, Kotonoha."

In the midst of the exchange, Sayuri had sneakily drifted away from her mother and back to her favorite person in the history of forever.

"Onii-chan."

"Um, um, Sayuri, aren't you cute…?" Naruto quickly read the foxgirl's glimmering eyes and proceeded to tenderly pet her.

"Munyaaan~"

"How you feeling, Sayuri?"

"Sayuri's tired…"

"…yeah, Shinigami-sama said that would happen. Looks like you'll be out of commission for a while."

"…Sayuri doesn't get it, but okaaaay…"

"Speaking of which," Yuri joined the conversation, having finished matters with Kotonoha. "Would you care to tell me just how you pulled this off, Naruto-kun?"

"Eeeh, long story," Naruto retorted in a voice that clearly said he found it a hassle. "Maybe later. More importantly…"

He looked at the scenery of Konoha around them. Fires propagated until they covered almost half the city, and the sounds of fierce battle still filled the place. The summoned beasts invoked to tear down the village's walls had already been taken care of by the Jiraiya-Anko-Yuriko-Yurika team, and the twins were on their way to the meeting spot. However, even without giant summoned creatures, intense battles were still taking place all over the village.

"What's the situation here?" Noting the presence of only three Kitsune, he had to ask. "Where are the others?"

"Yes, yes, moving on to that…" Yuri admitted. "Naruto-kun, I'm sorry to ask things of you right after you come back to the land of the living, but your help rescuing Yurimi-sama would be most appreciated."

The words immediately caught both Naruto's and Kotonoha's attention.

"Yurimi-sama! Just what…?"

"Yumemigahara," Yuri explained with the single word that made everything clear to Kotonoha.

Kotonoha drew the hatchet she had recovered at some point.

"This blade will not hesitate, Yuri-sama. Just give the order."

"Aah," Naruto agreed. He did not understand much, but Yurimi needed to be rescued and that was everything he needed to know. "Show me which ass and I'll kick it."

"Ahaha, how quaint," Yuri giggled merrily at Naruto's bold use of the language. "With Naruto-kun's powers, that should not be necessary, right?"

"What do you mean, with my—oooh…" Naruto got it in mid-sentence.

Clinging to his waist, Sayuri giggled.

"Sayuri made it for onii-chan."

The Kitsune Summoning Contract, of course.


"Your hands are shaking, 'Yurimi-sama'," Yumemigahara Yuuki taunted the foxgirl across the low table. His voice spoke with scorn and derision at a girl trapped in a hopeless struggle. It also spoke with fascination and envy at a girl willing to struggle to such an extent.

How many cups had she drunk? How much of that stimulant was running through her bloodstream by now?

He was no idiot; he had tested the thing on the Kasukabe sisters before the trip. After the first dose proved a success, he tried increasing it just for kicks.

Higashiyama Yurimi, by this point, should be a wanton whore hungry for cock.

Or unconscious.

But she was still there, sitting in perfect seiza, even as her hands trembled while they held yet another empty cup, presenting it to his tiger youkai servants for yet another refill.

There was no glorious exchange of fists and jutsu. There was no blood being spilled, and it was completely devoid of explosions. But this was Higashiyama Yurimi's battle, in no way of less worth than the other lilies'.

"I find…your lack of…respect…utterly…disappointing…" Yurimi replied, carefully measuring each and every single one of her words. Her vision was blurry, and her body was on fire. Her nostrils were seemingly saturated with the scents of the other three people in the luxury carriage, and every time either the other Kitsune or the tigresses made the slightest move she had to resist the urge of her body to assault them in ways she had only imagined herself assaulting her precious Master.

She measured each and every single one of her words because she felt that the slightest mistake would push her over the cliff to a pit of no return.

To become somebody else's belonging…as the Fourth Matriarch of Higashiyama and her Master's proud Slave, it was unacceptable.

"Do you…realize that…every word…every action you've…made today…in, invites…serious retribution?"

The youngest, fair-haired of the Kasukabe sisters offered Yurimi a new cup of warm tea; her eyes avoiding those of the two-tailed Kitsune. Every cup Yurimi accepted and drank without complaint was like a stab to the twin sisters' pride and her self-respect. Such was their shame, such was their self-loathing at having to be part of this deplorable reunion, that their hands trembled as much as Yurimi's when they handed her the vile concoction.

"I'm sorry…!" The young tigress gasped in the quietest of voices. Yurimi's ears twitched; that girl's breath on her sensitive fur, it was not helping!

"You're not in a position to make threats, Higashiyama Yurimi," Yuuki retorted with dark humor. "Not in a position for much of anything."

Yurimi looked at the liquid; at the ripples created by her trembling hands and the pretty little cup that contained it. The boy's words did not make it to her ears; she only heard "bluh-bluh-bluh."

"Deaf ears to inane words," was it her mother who said that…? She didn't…she could not remember—her thoughts, so blurry…

Could she handle another cup…?

No.

Hesitation would only lead to defeat. Defeat was not an option.

"Be mine, Yurimi. Don't make this harder than it should be—"

"Silence, dog."

Yuuki's pupils glowed in outrage at that most horrible of insults.

Even if her hands trembled and her loins burned with desire, Yurimi's eyes remained defiant. Her pupils lacked luster and looked rather foggy, but there was a spark of challenge there; an undefeatable wish to remain herself, the owner of her own destiny.

Higashiyama Yurimi believed such rash insults were beneath her, but it appeared that her patience was not as vast as her determination.

"Are you…so deluded…you can't even see…how little…of a chance…you have…?"

After watching her mother pull it off many, oh so many times, it was Yurimi's turn to try out the Higashiyama Condescending Stare™—also known by some as the Higashiyama "Bitch Please" Stare.

"Urk!" Yuuki grunted, his body reflexively flinching back at how casually Yurimi's eyes were demeaning him.

"There's…no way…the author would…write NTR…you know…?"

She didn't really have to put it like that.

"The only thing…you've done…is rouse the retribution…of my clan…"

Yurimi exhaled deeply, hoping to calm her frantic heartbeat and focus her thoughts enough to speak properly. A telling-down should not be spoken in slow-motion.

"Yumemigahara Yuuki."

"Gh-ghuuugh…" A strange guttural sound was the only thing that hummed out of Yuuki's throat. Yurimi interpreted it as "what?" and thusly continued.

"Higashiyama Yurimi's body…Higashiyama Yurimi's heart…Higashiyama Yurimi's thoughts…everything that is Higashiyama Yurimi…already has an owner."

"He will learn of what happened in this cabin. And when he does, he will find you and utterly crush you."

Yurimi's pupils glinted with sadistic fascination she did not know she was capable of. Believing in giving dogs a suitable diet of bones, she threw a fairly good one at the pitiful fox-boy in front her.

Her lips curved slightly upwards in a rare smile.

It was not a very nice smile, though.

"And I will enjoy every second of it."

"Haaa—hih…hiiiii-whuh, wha, what!?"

He was making little sense, Yumemigahara Yuuki.

"Say, say whatever you want! If you're so confident, then keep drinking!"

"Very well."

Yurimi once more looked down at the cup full of tea.

Master, give me strength.

Master did something even better.

She felt it immediately: a subtle yet firm pull at her belly, followed by an influx of foreign chakra she would never, ever, fail to identify.

Oh, Master, I love you so much!

Another woman might have cried in relief. Yurimi simply closed her eyes and reveled in the feeling of his chakra reaching out to her. Filling her.

Calling for her.

Summoning her.

Calmly, she placed her cup back on the table.

"Well…it appears I have over…extended, my stay."

"Wha…?"

Yurimi bluntly ignored his host and looked at the teary-eyed Kasukabe sisters.

"It was…a pleasure, to meet you again, proud tiger sisters. Let us hope…our next meeting…is under better…circumstances."

Another rare, far more sincere smile from the Matriarch of Higashiyama.

"I would be delighted, to try your tea once more; hopefully free of the…filth you were ordered…to add today."

The twin tigresses, despite being taller and stronger, could not help but feel so painfully diminutive before Yurimi's figure. How could they not be impressed by such a regal presence, by such an austere poise, by such humbling majesty?

"Yu-Yurimi-sama!" the two feline youkai immediately fell on their knees, inclining their heads until their foreheads touched the wooden floor in utmost reverence and humiliation. It was only convenient that in such a posture their tears could not be seen.

"Such words, how could we possibly deserve them!?"

Yurimi felt pity for the two. Such proud, beautiful creatures should never bow their heads to anybody like that. It was probably the drugs in her bloodstream, but her mind conjured a powerful and amazing vision of herself and those two shapely females writhing together under a mess of satin sheets…

The two-tails immediately attempted to replace the tigresses with her beloved Master. She failed at 'replacement', only managing 'addition'. For some reason, Yuriyo and Yuria showed up as well…

She brought up the sleeve of her kimono to cover her mouth and nostrils—elegantly, of course. As the Matriarch of Higashiyama, appearances were important.

"Very well…I shall take…my leave now. My regards to your family…Yuuki-kun. Although…with the current circumstances…I believe we shall be meeting…again…soon."

"Guh—no!" The boy jumped to his feet, glaring down at the girl he lusted for with fury and scorn. "You're not going anywhe—"

And she was gone in a cloud of white smoke.

Yuuki knew it was not possible—Yurimi just does not do that—, but he would swear he could hear fading laughter in the stillness of the now emptier room.


Surrounded by Yuri, Yurisa, Sayuri and Kotonoha, Naruto used the Summoning Technique.

It took longer than usual, but Yurimi eventually appeared with the usual cloud of unnatural white smoke.

"Yurimi!" Naruto exclaimed happily, immediately reaching for the third Kitsune he met in his life. "Are you oka—bughgrrlbhgah!"

The Kitsune audience placidly watched how their Matriarch pounced on the poor human boy, their mashed bodies rolling on the roof tiles well past the other Kitsune's standing forms only to rest at least eight yards away.

"…she's…raping his mouth," Yurisa flatly described the scene.

"Raping indeed…" Kotonoha agreed.

"Definitely raping it," Yuri added her two cents.

"Muu…Sayuri wants to wape onii-chan's mouth too…"

That's a little too much, Sayuri-sama.

Surprisingly enough, Sayuri was too low on fuel to even set Yurimi on fire. It was truly a miracle.

"Buagh!" Naruto gasped out the moment Yurimi's lips and tongue released him for even a second. He was amazed at the amount of strength it took to keep her from assaulting his mouth again. "Yurimi! What the hell!?"

"Yumemigahara Yuuki forced me…to ingest overwhelming amounts…of stimulant drugs, Master," Yurimi explained, her vaguely developed chest heaving almost exaggeratedly. "I have no control over my own actions."

"Your eyes are glinting! I can totally see your eyes are glinting!"

"Master…!" Yurimi gasped out desperately before breaking past Naruto's admittedly feeble resistance and claiming his lips once more.

Naruto had no qualms against kissing Yurimi, but he was seriously in danger of asphyxiation there.

"That's…" Yurisa mused, somehow embarrassed by the sight of two minors kissing so passionately. "…rather intense."

"Ara, ara~" Kotonoha was just delighted.

"As a mother, should I stop her…?" Yuri pondered.

"Muu, Sayuri wants to chuu-chuu…"

"Puagh!" Yet again, Naruto was (temporarily) free. "Wha…Yurimi, seriously, stop it already…"

It was surprisingly exhausting. He was already panting.

"I'm…terribly sorry, Master…"

Yurimi was panting for entirely different reasons.

"But I've become a wanton whore, hungry for cock…"

Don't just quote me at your own convenience!

"Yuri—mmmph!"

Higashiyama Yuri decided the dry-humping was as good a cue as any for her to intervene.

"Yes, yes, that's enough, that's enough…" she said as she pulled her daughter away with a single silver tail, thus becoming the target of a surprisingly heated glare.

"Mother, as the Fourth Matriarch of Higashiyama, I command you to let go. My hymen has deemed it no longer needs to exist."

"That's disturbing, dear," Yuri responded with a placid smile. "Sayuri-sama?"

"Yurimi-nee-chan has had enough chuu-chuu."

The former Matriarch grinned devilishly.

"Kyuubi-sama has spoken."

"Curses."

Kotonoha, having approached the prone form of the boy she loved like her own son, looked down at him with a modicum of worry.

"Naruto…" Somehow 'sama' did not feel appropriate anymore. "…kun?"

"Kotonoha…I don't feel my tongue anymore…"

"…oh my."


Chapter 21 – To be continued...