WARNING: the following chapter contains copious amounts of grimdark and questionable storytelling skill. viewer discretion is advised.
Majin Hentai presents ahead of schedule Chapter 20
I own nothing and will not claim otherwise, Naruto still belongs to Masashi Kishimoto who will not end it until another time skip happens.
"Argh my phlebitis" Nixon groaned as he patted the small silver flames eating at his suit.
"Normal Speech" "This isn't over yet Nixon." MHX said dropping his shattered sword and willing his left hand to grow back.
'Thoughts' 'Damn this kid's good I have to bring out my secret weapon'Nixon focused his thought as something massive slipped in from another dimension with absolute stealth. MHX flew forward his fist glowing bright blue white.
Greater Beings Speaking/Text "Engaging extraction protocol." Declared a monotone voice declared as a geometric energy field enclosed Nixon repelling MHX's fist. "Wahahaha Behold the instrument of your destruction Silent Majority!" Nixon declared as he vanished and his savior was revealed a gray rounded face sitting atop an oblong body supported by two raptor like legs with four black flesh like arms ending in gleaming gray pincer claws.
"You mother fucker siding with the Anti-spirals you're worse than scum you're a reality show producer." MHX scorned as Nixon just cackled like a madman.
Techniques Being Used "Die you hippy Cambodian Rain Nixon declares hitting keys on his command console and the evil machine fired thousands of energy blasts the size of school buses at the author. And when the smoke cleared there was nothing laugh but ashes.
"I got him victory is mine!" Nixon laughed going into a wolfish howl.
"ROCKETTO PUNCH!" This declaration was punctuated by two massive fists crashing into Silent Majority's face.
"This fights just getting started!" MHX shouted from the cock pitt of the Original Super Robot the one that started it all Mazinger Z!
Chapter 20: Shit Goes Down!
"So… this kid's the one, huh?" Tsunade mumbled, hunched over the counter of the roadside stand.
"If, by that, you mean my apprentice, then yeah. He's the one." Jiraiya took a long drag on his saucer of Sake.
"Don't give me that." She glared. "You know exactly what I'm talking about. He's their kid. He said you were his godfather, right before he tried to use that Jutsu on me."
"… Yeah." Jiraiya glanced over at the boy, sitting farther away from them but still listening intently; Hinata was clutched close to his side, her face only a faint shade of red. 'She's getting used to his affections,' he thought with something akin to pride for the boy. "He's their kid. Named after my terrible book."
"… He's good." Tsunade let just a flicker of a grin appear. "Nothing but Kage Bunshin and Taijutsu, and he almost landed a hit on me. That transformation somehow took away all of his injuries, too." She sent the other man a sharp glance. "Did you teach him that?"
"Did I teach him what?" said Jiraiya, flushing red from the alcohol.
"That perverted technique that healed all of his injuries when he dispelled it. Did you teach him that?"
"Whuh…? Naruto knows something like that?" Jiraiya looked over his shoulder at the boy, a confused look on his face. "Since when?"
"Since he walked into the bar with the body and clothes of a hooker." Said Tsunade, tapping absently at her bottle. "You really didn't teach him that? Seems right up your alley, you freak."
"… I'm sorry, but I am not hearing you at all." Said Jiraiya, swaying side to side faintly. "I'm still pretty hungover."
"And you go right back to drinking?"
"Hair of the dog, my dear. Hair of the dog."
Naruto laughed softly to himself, but the words he half-heard the woman say had him thinking. 'She does have a point…' he slowly patted at his side. 'I shouldn't be able to even move. I mean, fuzz-butt has gotten faster at healing me, but it's like I didn't get hit at all. What did I just do?'
"Try it out later, if it's gonna bother you this much." Said the Kyuubi.
'Stop listening to my thoughts, you damn fox.'
"Then stop thinking so damn loud."
'How can you think loud?' Naruto rolled his eyes and focused back on the girl attached to his side. "Hey."
"… H-hey…" Hinata looked up just a bit, smiling faintly.
"You look comfy." Said Naruto, grinning.
"… A bit… you're really warm…" the girl simply snuggled in closer. "… I'm just glad that… you're all right, I-in the end…"
"Will you cut the shit and just have sex already? This touchy-feely crap is making me sick."
'Way to kill the mood, asshole.'
Tsunade sighed and placed the bottle back on its saucer. "You sought me out for a reason. Why?"
"… The old man's in a coma." Said Jiraiya, all humor from his voice gone. "Orochimaru really did a number on him. Nobody knows if he'll wake up, or if he'll be fit to serve if he does wake."
"I heard he had attacked. I hadn't heard about Sarutobi…" Tsunade frowned. "… But you're not looking for a doctor. You're looking for a successor."
"I told the council exactly what your opinion of Konoha was, but they said that either you take the job, or I do." Jiraiya shook his head emphatically. "Anybody with half a brain knows that I would be terrible as Hokage. I'd run the village into the ground. So, here we are, I suppose."
"And bringing the kid? And his girlfriend?"
"Naruto is my apprentice." Said Jiraiya, taking a long swig of his saucer. "I've been meaning to teach him after the exams for a while now. Kid picks up Jutsu pretty fast. The Hyuuga girl… well, there are extenuating circumstances, but long story short, its part a favor to the kid, part curiosity as a professional seal crafter."
"Seal crafter?" Tsunade glanced over her shoulder at the girl. "Her?"
"Like I said, it's a long story. We've also got a, well; I suppose you could say prisoner of war related to that curiosity. He should be back at the hotel by now."
"… So, you just waltz in here with your entourage of pipsqueaks, tell me you want me to become Hokage of all things, after your pupil mouthed off to me, and expect me to accept?" the blonde Sannin laughed cruelly. "What a joke."
"Don't you get it?" the woman's voice grew hard. "I have cut my ties with that accursed place. I never want to see it again. It has plagued my life ever since I was a child… and its people are not much better." She glared. "You, Jiraiya, are the worst of them all, save that traitor Orochimaru. You have no compunctions, no morals, no sense of decency, and are the codifying example of the worst men have to offer."
"… This is about the anniversary incident, isn't it?" Jiraiya couldn't meet her in the eye. "I swear, Tsunade, I'm sorry. A thousand times, I'm sorry. You know in my right mind I would never-"
"But you DID." Tsunade cut him off. "And that's all that matters. You want an answer? Leave, before I plaster it across your face."
"… I'll… I'll come back when you're sober." Jiraiya stood from the counter. "Naruto, Hinata, we're going back to the hotel."
"… Okay." With many worried glances behind him, Naruto and Hinata took off behind the man. "Ero-sennin… what was that about?"
"… Maybe I'll tell you later." Jiraiya glanced down at Hinata. Naruto thought for a moment, before nodding.
"… Hang on, lemme try something. Pause!"
The world froze… and Jiraiya gawped. "Wh-what? What?! What did you just do?!"
"It's this thing I figured out early on into this time-loop thing." Naruto shrugged. "Whenever I say pause, time stops." Jiraiya's jaw dropped to the ground. "it's not perfect; I mean, I can't touch anything, so I can't just freeze time and then stab somebody, but it's pretty useful even so."
"F-full time stop?!" Jiraiya exclaimed looking wildly around. "And you're talking about it so CASUALLY!? Naruto, do you even know what kind of ability you HAVE here!?"
"Y-yeah, I think…?"
"Naruto, people were scared so shitless of the Yondaime they issued a flee-on-sight order because he LOOKED like he could do this! Seal crafters the world over have tried since the first seal was MADE have tried to gain this kind of power over time, and you're talking like it's no big DEAL! Oh my-"
"Okay, okay!" Naruto backed away from the ranting man. "So I don't see all the applications of this…"
"Oh, god, this is the powers that the Sysadmin was talking about, wasn't he?" Jiraiya looked as giddy as a kid in a candy store, running wildly around the street, doing absurd stunts in front of unmoving people. "Oh sweet merciful gods, this is the greatest decision I've ever made in my LIFE! HAHAHA!"
"… Was I like that when I figured this out?" Naruto wondered out loud.
"No I wasn't. I- yeah… yeah, I was."
"HAHAHA!" Jiraiya cackled. "Oh, this is GREAT! SO many different applications of this! I could complete research exponentially faster; I could move nigh-instantaneously, I could work on my books without any chance of inju-"
"ERO-SENNIN!" Naruto shouted. The sage froze mid-scheme. "I know this is great and all, but I activated this so that we could have a private place to talk. And… we really need to talk."
Jiraiya's manic grin froze. "But… I…" the grin fell, and Jiraiya sighed. "Yeah… yeah, I guess we need to talk."
"What the hell is wrong with baa-chan?" asked Naruto, cutting straight to the heart of the matter. "She's… well, she was a real hard-case the first time we met her, but now she's just being a total bitch! What's going on?"
"… I dunno what to tell ya, kid." Jiraiya looked away. "Tsunade and I… well, let's just say things haven't gone well between us. There's a reason that none of the legendary trio likes to see each other. Orochimaru, well, you know his deal. But, hime and I…"
"Little pet name. She hated- hates, when I called her that."
"…You had pet names?" Naruto's eye narrowed. "… Wait a minute…"
"I… jeez, I feel like I'm digging up ancient history." The sage sighed. "Back when we were… younger, I suppose, I thought for a while that hime and I were… an item, I guess."
"This was before she met Dan, obviously. Tsunade was over the moon with that guy." Jiraiya's eyes drifted away. "I thought we were just taking things slow… girl was an incredible prude, even though she had absolutely no chest at all."
"Now you're just bullshitting me."
"No, no, it's true!" Jiraiya shook his head. "When she was a kid, she was flatter than a board."
"I find that, and the fact that you two dated, incredibly hard to believe."
"…Yeah. About that." Jiraiya looked away. "I thought we had something… special, ya know? I didn't want to mess this good chemistry up by going too fast. You know, true love and all that crap." He laughed bitterly. "I was a naïve little squirt. It was only after she met Dan, and I could see in her eyes the absolute adoration she had for him, that we were never together at all. I was just imagining what I wanted to see. I was just a goddamn friend."
"We're all dumb as kids, Naruto. Learn that real quick. I'm glad you picked up this Hyuuga girl. She's obviously over the moon for you, so you won't make that mistake of assuming affection where I did." He laughed. "And between her and Orochimaru, I learned my goddamn lesson about feelings. I've never tried to have an emotionally romantic relationship ever since; you're probably the closest thing I've had to a new friend in years, and you're family. You never let feelings get involved, you only live in the now and the tangible, tit-for-tat, and you never get burned."
"… But what does this have to do with Tsunade hating us?" Naruto asked, hesitantly.
"… Because of what came afterwards. It's… one of my greatest shames." Jiraiya pulled at his face and looked away. "I… don't like talking about it."
"I… if you don't, then you don't have-"
"Yes I do." Jiraiya sighed. "Because it'll probably be the reason we fail this mission." With a shrug of his shoulders, he turned back around. "Some years later, on the five-year anniversary of Dan's death, I, in a fit of liquor-induced insanity, tried to sleep with Tsunade."
"… You WHAT?!" Naruto exploded. "You- you- oh, motherf- WHAT!?"
"Yeah…" Jiraiya winced, pain obvious in his eyes. "We'd… well, we'd been mending bridges up to that point, she and I. thought we'd been building that spark I only imagined as a kid. Well, Dan's anniversary came around. We got together, we got shitfaced - I got INCREDIBLY shitfaced, more than I've ever been, before or since - and I… well, I said things. Terrible things. Things I only thought in my deepest, darkest, most depressed moments, about her and Dan. Said I was glad she was available again, that I wasn't going to tiptoe around the issue the issue this time, wouldn't waste my chance. Then I tried to make a move on her."
"You- oh, what the hell?!" Naruto screamed, his eyes wide with shock, and accusations. "WHAT THE HELL?!"
"Didn't go far, of course. The moment I tried to kiss her – and at that point, that was all I was aiming for, what with romance and shit - she punched me through 5 different walls, and nearly beat me to death." Jiraiya pulled up his shirt and pointed at a series of long, pale, jagged scars racing up the right side of his chest. "That's where my entire left side of my rib cage was caved in and punched through the skin. Apparently I didn't learn my lesson when I peeped on her as a kid, and she did the exact same thing." He laughed bitterly. "I knew, as soon as I came to in a hospital that she would never forgive me. She hasn't… and I'm not sure she should."
"… But…!" Naruto protested weakly. "I didn't see ANY of that in my first life! I mean, she was a hard case, yeah, but she was willing to talk to us! You guys got along fine! You guys even hung out after she put on the hat!"
"… Really?" Jiraiya looked up, something resembling hope in his eyes. "She did that?"
"Yeah! I mean, she did drug you and all, but that was just so you wouldn't… interfere…" Naruto trailed off as his eyes opened wide. "Oh, shit. Oh, SHIT."
"What? Drug me?" Jiraiya blinked. "Tsunade drugged me in your first life?"
"It… it was a thing she did… messed up your ability to use chakra. W-we thought it was to keep us from… from interfering with her assassination of Orochimaru…" Naruto's hands flew to his head. "Holy shit. HOLY SHIT, she was ACTUALLY going to sacrifice you! She was ACTUALLY going to kill us both, oh, sonofa-"
"But she didn't…"
"N-no, she started fighting Orochimaru, and we showed up, and I kicked Kabuto's ass, and then she healed me when Kabuto got me back and she got over her hemowhatsit and gave me her necklace and agreed to come back but SHE WAS GOING TO SACRIFICE US!" Naruto threw his hands in the air. "She would have had us dead to rights! You couldn't even summon Gamakichi, and I can't even TOUCH her, and she definitely would have had the motive with your- WHAT THE HELL?! You nearly got us KILLED and I wouldn't have even known WHY!"
Jiraiya paled. "She hates me so much she'd throw Minato's kid under the cart just to kill me…" a hand went to his forehead. "Okay, okay, that's not good. That's not good at all. This mission just got a lot more complicated."
"Aaaaaugh!" Naruto flailed about a bit more, before throwing hands to his face. "Alright… alright… I'm okay… Somehow, I dodged a blow that by all rights should have killed me. For whatever reason, Tsunade changed her mind and started liking you again. Why?"
"…I dunno, Naruto." Jiraiya pulled a hand to his forehead. "I… I really don't know. If I knew how to make amends with her on this, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Having red ink on this issue has haunted me for a long time, because it's something that I never, ever do."
"Gaaaaah…" the blonde sighed. "Dammit, this is really freaking me out. I nearly got killed by BAA-CHAN. That's all kinds of messed up. I- what the hell, Ero-sennin? What the hell? Are you physically incapable of keeping it in your pants?"
"Hey! It wasn't like that!" Jiraiya protested. "I- it- just- booze and flames, especially old ones, are a bad combination, okay? I've never gotten even close to that drunk ever again; even today was tame compared to how smashed I was. Now I've always got enough faculties to know when to back away, so why don't you lay off!?"
"… Yeah." Naruto looked away. "Yeah, you're right. I guess… I guess I'm overreacting a little bit."
"I'd question the 'little' part… but you'd have justification."
"Shut it." Naruto sighed. "I think… I think I need to have a clone watching you whenever you're interacting with baa-chan, just in case she… uh…"
"Gets any ideas?" the sage offered.
"…Sure. Let's go with that." Naruto sighed. "Man… and I had such a good impression of who baa-chan really was, too… now I'm never going to forget she almost killed me…"
"Welcome to ninja life, kid." Jiraiya put a hand on his shoulder. "Somewhere, somehow, everything you do is going to be remembered, no matter how hard you try to hide it… and we tend to remember grudges for a long time."
"… Fuck this ninja shit. Let's get out of here."
"Let's. How do you start time again, anyway?"
"So, what exactly are we trying to figure out here?" asked the clone as Naruto backed away from the new body, sitting down on the stump.
"Not sure." The blonde shrugged, rubbing his toes through the grass of the town outskirts. "I mean, obviously we've got those dozen clones off over there trying to figure out how to stabilize that Satsufu technique Jiraiya showed us. It's got structure and spin sorta like the Rasengan, so, already knowing that should probably help give dividends soon. But… it's more than that." He frowned. "There was something up with that transformation during that battle with Tsunade a day or two ago. I actually got hurt while that thing was up, and it went away when I dispelled it. Something's up."
"You think shenanigans?"
"Thinking shenanigans hasn't steered be wrong lately." Naruto nodded. "Yeah. I wanted away from people in case I'm right."
"So, what, I just transform?" the clone asked, raising a seal.
"Try working up to it. Henge, Oiroke, then clothes. We'll see where things go weird."
"Right. Henge!" a cloud smoke revealed a naked Oiroke Naruto, aged up to the version that fought Tsunade. The second Naruto clone, sitting beside the original, tossed a kunai at it. The kunai scraped 'her' cheek, dispelling the illusion and the clone.
"Seems normal. But then, we're not curious about henge." With a quick burst of chakra, another clone stood there. "Now the Oiroke."
"Oiroke no Jutsu!" yet another adult naked Oiroke Naruto appeared.
"… Hmm." Naruto frowned. "That's weird."
"What?" asked the Naruko.
"Your tits. The left one's bigger than the right, just a little." Naruto circled the air to emphasize. "Not really noticeable to a regular person, but if you know the intended body shape by heart…"
"… Really?" The Naruko grabbed her breasts and squeezed them slightly. "Hey, yeah, you're right. That's not supposed to be like that. We made this so everything's perfectly proportioned and symmetrical."
"The clone screwed up?" the Naruto clone suggested.
"Doubt it. We know that jutsu like the backs of our hands. It's practically muscle memory. Same result a hundred times outta a hundred, even when we adapt the age." Naruto's eyes narrowed. "I'm thinking shenanigans even more right now. Dispel her."
"Right." Another kunai cut the cheek open; the Naruko dispelled just as easily as the first. This time, Naruto pulled three new clones into existence.
"Can't hurt to have backup." Naruto nodded to the middle clone. "Now with clothes."
"Right. Oiroke no Jutsu!"
A flash of smoke.
"Guh…!" the Naruko exhaled.
"Something wrong?" Naruto asked.
"… Who…?" the smoke dispelled. "... What?"
"What the!?" Naruto's eyes flew wide. "Why are you all busted up? I told you to just do the Oiroke with clothes!"
"Oiroke- what the?!"
Standing before them was Naruko… looking like a jigsaw puzzle with most of the pieces missing; Wrapped up in casts over the pre-created skirt and tube top, chest and stomach bruised so much as to almost be black, and quite generally looking like shit.
"You- aaaaaghhh!" the busted Naruko nearly toppled to the ground, screaming in pain. Naruto leapt from the stump, catching her on the way down.
"Okay, what the shit is going on here?" asked one of the clones. "Why does the clone suddenly look like she got stepped on by an elephant?
"… Definitely some shenanigans happening right now." Naruto scowled. "Hey, you okay?"
"How… how did you kidnap… the camp was guarded…" the Naruko clone gasped.
"Kidnap?" said Naruto, confused. "I just created you less than 15 seconds ago. You're a clone… or at least… you should be…"
"I don't… understand…" the clone gasped, clutching her side. "Tell me… or I'll… get real angry… you wouldn't like me… when I'm angry…"
Naruto's eyes narrowed. "… Because of a certain fuzzy bastard?" the female clone's eyes shot up, wide with shock and fear. "…Who are you?"
"Naruko… Naruko Uzumaki…" the female clone breathed. "You're… you're here to kill me… aren't you…?"
"…Well, I'm completely lost now." One of the clones muttered.
"Well, we've obviously found our shenanigans." Said another. "We just need to figure out what the hell this new fuckery is."
"I know because I've got the exact same problem." Naruto lifted his shirt and pulled on his chakra, exposing that black seal on his stomach to the world. The clone's eyes were as wide as saucers.
"But… that's my…"
"Your seal?" Naruto cut her off. "Your demon? Your torment from the village, your burden?" Naruto slowly lowered her onto the grass. "I have no idea what's going on right now. You're a clone combined with a unique gender bending technique of mine."
"… Oh my god. Bishonen no jutsu…!" the clone's eyes shot open. "You're… You're a younger version… of my Bishonen no jutsu…! A spitting image…!"
"… Wait, we become a bishie when we get older…?" a clone exclaimed.
"Not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, Sasuke's fangirls… on the other, Sasuke's fangirls."
"Will you two shut up back there?" Naruto snapped. The two clones backed away quickly. The boy turned back to the 'woman'. "My name is Naruto Uzumaki, and right now, we're on the outskirts of Tanzaku Gai."
"Tanzaku Gai…?" Naruko breathed, craning her head ever so slightly. "But… that was destroyed, years ago… wiped off the map… by that demon…"
"… How old are you?"
"Twenty-three… just turned a few days ago…" Naruko coughed mightily, blood flecking across her lips. "I don't understand…"
"… I'm thirteen." Said Naruto. "I started creating a variant of my Oiroke no Jutsu that involved creating clothes. I got into a fight with Tsunade of the sannin in the transformation, and I noticed some strange things. All of the damage I took while in that transformation disappeared when I dispelled it."
"… You did this…!" Naruko's eyes widened. "A few days ago… I was nearly beaten to death… nobody knew how… Even I didn't remember… but somehow, you…!"
As one, all three male Naruto's heads jerked up. "Oh my god…!" they exclaimed simultaneously.
"The Naruko Avatar…!" the clones gasped. "She's from a completely different avatar! Adding clothes actually nabbed her from a different multiverse!"
"Then, the shit we did to her…!"
Naruko began a mighty coughing fit, blood spewing from her mouth. With frantic movements, Naruto rolled her onto her side. "Hey, hey! C'mon, stay with me!"
"I… I don't think so…" Naruko laughed softly. "I… I don't have the Kyuubi… to bolster my healing… too many seals… so I can hide from the moon… no more benefits…"
"W-well, then take some of mine, then!" Naruto panicked. "We're pretty much the same person, s-so, shouldn't it work!?"
"I don't think so…" the woman spat a dark red blob from her mouth. "Hey… how did this happen…? You know… don't you?"
"W-well, my life is a videogame, literally. I've died like, ten times, but I can always restart, and, and, and I've been trying to figure out what's going on, and, and Jiraiya's helping me, and he thinks there's a multiverse for some reason we don't know yet, and, and this guy called Sysadmin says I need to go between all of the different versions of me in this multiverse and fix whatever's going on in order to fix all of Existence, and, and, I think you're one of my alternate mess, so, don't die!"
"… You're fixing things?" Naruko smiled. "…Good. I could use… some fixing… I did some stupid stuff… as a little girl… made some terrible choices…"
"Sure, yeah, tell me all about it, but not now! Just hang on!" Naruto moved to pick up the woman, but she faintly pushed him away. "No! We've got Tsunade in Tanzaku Gai right now!"
"And she's still… afraid of blood… isn't she?" Naruko grinned. "That's… what you're doing now… isn't it? She can't fix internal bleeding… if she's afraid… of blood."
"Just, listen…!" Naruko grabbed Naruto's jacket and pulled him close. "Keep the others safe… the other Jinchuuriki… keep them safe…! They're the most important…!"
"If they're safe… then the Moon's Eye Plan… it can't work…!" Naruko heaved, blood streaming from her mouth. "And Tobi…! He's the real bad guy…! Pain's just a dupe… well-intentioned, but misguided…! Tobi's the real leader… of Akatsuki…!"
"What…!?" Naruto sucked in a breath. 'She's trying to make things easier for me…! Telling me the secrets of the future…!'
"And Jiraiya…! Learn what he knows… I rejected him, out of hand…so stupid… didn't think about benefits, just focused on his faults… he could've stopped this… could've stopped Tobi… could've prevented his victory…" Naruko pulled herself to eye-level with Naruto. "And Sasuke…! Don't hesitate… to put him down…! He's addicted to revenge… If you don't control him… he'll destroy everything… you know and love…!"
"I was a fool…" she gasped. "I let my feelings… get in the way… let our past cloud my judgment… don't ever… hesitate to kill him!"
"… I understand." Naruto bit his lip. 'I can't believe I'm hearing this… but…' a vision of Sasuke, screaming obscenities and murder threats behind his bonds, bashing Kakashi's head in with a weighted umbrella, flashed underneath his eyelids. '… I think I can believe her.' "What about Metsuki? Can she be trusted?"
"Metsuki…? Who… who's Metsuki…?"
"… Sasuke's older sister. The middle child." Naruto frowned. 'Did she die in her version?'
"What older sister…? Sasuke… he doesn't have… an older sister… he only had… Itachi… I don't… know what you're saying…"
"…! Wait… You said… Tanzaku Gai… right?" Naruko looked behind her, the town filling her vision. "That's… another thing... watch out… for the demon!"
Naruto's attention snapped back to her. "The demon?"
"The demon… of Tanzaku Gai!" her grip began to loosen. "Sealed… it's going to break free… don't… don't… don…"
Her grip fell free.
Naruto felt the breath in his lungs freeze as Naruko lay there, unmoving, blood beginning to stream from her nose. "No…"
"… I guess we know what the Sysadmin guy meant by all the other multiverses headed towards a 'Bad End'." A clone walked up beside Naruto. With gentle hands, he pushed the woman's eyes closed. "She said stuff that… that… I mean… her world didn't turn out well, did it?"
"… No. No, it didn't…" Naruto bit his lip. "… Somebody go get Jiraiya. He'll want to see this."
"Got it." The second clone took off for the village.
"…" Naruto fell backwards softly, staring upwards. "Holy shit…"
"What's wrong?" Jiraiya asked, appearing in a swirl of leaves. "Your clone said something related to the Sysadmin, but he wouldn't-" the words caught in his mouth. "… Well, okay, then. What exactly am I looking at here?"
"You're looking at… at a new discovery about the game, marred by tragedy." Naruto sighed.
"Naruto, saying some vaguely ominous things doesn't explain why there's a very hot, very skimpy, and very dead woman at your feet." Jiraiya slowly walked over. "Who is she?"
"… She's me."
"Remember the multiverse thing?"
Jiraiya's eyes slowly widened. "Wait… Are you telling me… this is you? Like, gender bent, alternate universe you?"
"… And she's dead." Jiraiya knelt down by Naruko. "… And in our universe. Alright, that's the biggest question-mark of them all, so let's start there. What's going on?"
"… I have a technique I created, called Oiroke no Jutsu. I used it to prank pervy old men like you." Naruto looked away. "Basically, it's a solid transformation that turns me into an attractive, naked female version of myself."
"… And you're only telling me about this amazing technique now?" Jiraiya scowled, wiping furiously at the thin trickle of blood from his nose. "But never mind. How does that relate to the dead body?"
"… I started getting curious about the 'solid' bit of the transformation." Said Naruto. "Thought maybe more could be done with it. Started trying adding on clothes to it. Couldn't do much, only skimpy stuff like you see on her, but it was all real."
"God-damn…" exclaimed Jiraiya, scratching his head. "You created a solid transformation, clothes and all? Stealth operatives all over the world would pay their dominant hand to have a technique like that. Continue."
"Well, I disguised myself as an aged-up version of my usual technique to find Tsunade in an adults-only bar, and then… well, you know what happened. I got curious today, because it didn't dispel when I got hit, and I actually bled."
"… Did you make a solid transformation of internal organs, too?" Jiraiya pinched his nose. "That's… Naruto, that's incredible. I don't know how you did it, but that's one of the most complex techniques I've ever heard of, period. How did it go from that, to her?"
"Because when I tried it again with a clone this time, it turned into… her." Naruto gestured at the body. "Completely different person. Adding on the clothes nabbed the actual person from the parallel world at the appropriate age."
"Holy shit. Multidimensional travel… in the flesh. I… I guess it didn't sink in until now. Other versions of us exist…" Jiraiya's eyes widened. "Wait, so, now, chick version of you… is dead? Like, that universe's version of you is dead after you stole her?" Jiraiya fell backwards onto the grass. "That's… not good, is it? That's not good at all, especially if you're supposed to be the lynchpin holding this whole deal together. Damn."
"Yep." Naruto bit his lip. "Turns out all the damage that I took when fighting Tsunade was transferred to her, and not to me. That's why it dispelled when I cut the technique. She no longer had the Kyuubi's power, for whatever reason, so she… died."
"Dammit…" Jiraiya picked himself back up. "Didn't have the Kyuubi's power? Why?"
"That's what she told me. Said it was the only way to hide from 'the moon'."
"Wait, she was still alive?" Jiraiya whirled around. "Did she say anything else?"
"Y-yeah. Told me a bunch of stuff." Naruto nodded. "Starting rattling off when she decided she wouldn't make it."
"I see… anything related to the future?"
"Uh-huh. Talked about Akatsuki, and a guy named Tobi, and something about the 'Moon's Eye Plan.' Dunno what that meant…"
"Good. Well, no, not good, since she died, but she knew what was important to tell us. Anything related to Akatsuki is vital information." Jiraiya knelt down by Naruko's body. "Now, why didn't you have the Kyuubi…?" with a gentle hand, he touched her stomach, his hand lighting up with chakra. A smorgasbord of black expanded out from his touch. "Damn…"
"W-what?" Naruto said, confused. "What's all that black?"
"Seals. An absolutely ridiculous amount of seals. Many of them highly unnecessary could've been condensed into a fourth of the space they take up now, at least, and made five times as effective. Whoever did these was obviously not a master of the craft." His free hand began tracing the symbols. "If I'm reading this right, though… most of these are to keep the Kyuubi's chakra locked up tighter than a virgin in a town full of man whores. Girl-you obviously didn't want even a drop of the Kyuubi's power circulating in her system, let alone be allowed to use it. So much so, in fact, that these seals went overboard; probably locked up a fair portion of her own chakra with it. Dropped her capacities from high jounin to chuunin, at least."
"… But why?"
"Hiding from the moon?" Jiraiya shrugged. "Whatever that means. If she was hiding from something, though, then there was obviously something bad going down in that place."
"Yeah…" Naruto jerked his head up. "Oh! I remember! She said that the Jinchuuriki were vital to the moon's eye plan!"
"She, she said, keep the other Jinchuuriki safe. If they can't get ahold of the Jinchuuriki, then they can't complete the Moon's Eye Plan." Naruto's face twisted up. "She also said… she said, she said that 'Pain wasn't the real leader of Akatsuki. Well-meaning, but misguided. Tobi's the real leader.' Is there a person named Pain?"
"… I've heard rumors of somebody called Pain, yes." Jiraiya nodded slowly. "Wasn't sure what his position was in the hierarchy, but your alter ego seems to have made it clear he's either a figurehead or the acting leader. Haven't heard anything about a 'Tobi', though."
"Well, apparently he's who we've gotta be watching out for." Naruto slowly stood up. "She also… well, that's not important. What are we going to do with her… her…?"
"Her body?" Jiraiya sighed. "Well, that depends. Those seals of hers are very extensive, very airtight. Wouldn't signal any demonic traces whatsoever. But that means that any demonic energy in her body is going to stay there for a long, long time. And with the Kyuubi, that's an awful lot of energy sitting around for the first grave-robber to come around."
"I say cremation. It'll get rid of the body, which clearly raises questions of why there's a female you running around, and why there's a second Kyuubi. It'll also keep her power out of the hands of any opportunistic megalomaniac. Lord knows the last thing we need is another Kinkaku and Ginkaku…"
"Some people from before your time. Before my time, even. They're both long dead, so it's nothing to worry about." Jiraiya slapped his forehead. "Agh. Dammit, Jiraiya, rule number one, never discount the supernatural bad guys for being dead… that's almost as bad as 'what could possibly go wrong?'"
"Nothing. C'mon, help me set this thing up. We don't want to have somebody come looking."
"Jiraiya…" said Naruto, the flames of Naruko's funeral pyre still dancing in his eyes long after the ashes were cold.
"Is there a demon in Tanzaku Gai?"
Jiraiya froze. "… Is this something that Naruko said?"
"Yeah. She sounded surprised when I said we were outside Tanzaku Gai… said it had been destroyed by 'the demon' ages ago. She started warning me about it breaking free soon before she… died."
The sage scowled. "This would be the first I've heard of it. There's no way anybody in Fire Country would let people come to this place if there were a demon sealed here. Is it a Jinchuuriki, or just a localized sealing?"
"It… didn't sound like she was talking about a Jinchuuriki." Said Naruto.
"Damn. We should investigate thi-" Jiraiya rocked back on his heels. "Shit! Someone broke the seals on Sasuke!"
"What?!" the two of them were off like lightning towards the village. "What about Hinata?!"
"I dunno! But someone's after Sasuke, and she's back there with him!"
It was Naruto's flying kick through the window that ultimately saved Hinata from a chakra scalpel to the heart, throwing her assailant through the wall.
"Hinata!" Naruto called, pulling the girl to her feet. "You okay?"
"I-I-I'm f-fine…" she huffed, gasping for breath. "I, I, Kabuto-s-san…"
"Kabuto…" the boy growled ferally, whirling around and glaring daggers at the rising form. It wasn't the same Kabuto that Naruto had last seen, however.
"Kukuku…" the hooded figure chuckled menacingly. A scaled hand reached into the shadow of the hood and came away bloody. "You've gotten stronger since the last time we met, Naruto-kun…"
"Strong enough to kick your ass, I think."
"I don't think so. You see…" the traitor threw back the hood. "I've also changed quite a bit."
"HOLY-" Naruto bit off the coming explicative.
The bisected face of Kabuto split into an evil grin; the half of his face that was snake split his lips far up his cheek. "A final gift from Orochimaru. It's nice, isn't it?" the grin froze as a spasm ran up and down the serpentine half of his body. A tail snaked out from his cloak and stabilized him.
"Doesn't look so nice to me…" Naruto glanced around, looking for his mentor. 'Where the hell is he? He was right behind me…!'
"Minor setback…" Kabuto shook his head wildly, sounding much more in control of himself. "Only half of the DNA serum was ready for use, and so it was not as instantaneous as I would have liked. But it will pass…" he stood straight again. "And then, I will show you the difference between our power, Naruto."
"I don't think so." Jiraiya materialized behind Kabuto, a scroll unrolled and already blooded. "BIND!" chains as thick as Naruto's leg sprang out of the scroll and encased the traitor from head to toe. "Try and break free, and those chains will multiply weight up to fifty tons each link. You don't want that."
"You took your time!"
"I sensed sage energy. I thought it was Orochimaru, but it was all wrong, so I hung back to see what was happening." The toad sage stared intently at the mutated Kabuto. "So, this is what our little double agent's been up to. Splicing himself up with snakes? Orochimaru's work, no doubt. Where is your wayward master, anyway?"
"Gone." Kabuto grinned, not struggling an inch. "Not a single person has seen him since the invasion."
"… So, not even you know." Jiraiya frowned. "You volunteered that rather easily."
"Because it doesn't matter anymore. Kukukuku…" Kabuto chuckled.
"What's so funny?"
"That you think he matters anymore." His glasses glinted eerily as he laughed quietly. "That you think Sound matters anymore. That you think villages matter."
"He sounds crazy. Think he's lost it?" Naruto drawled.
"Insane? No. enlightened." Kabuto shuddered violently in his bonds. "I know what really matters. What is the truth of our sad little enclave of nations?"
"And what's that?" asked Jiraiya, folding his arms.
"That we're all going to die."
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGH!" a voice shrieked. Naruto's head whipped around.
"SASUKE!" he screamed.
"And the Aberrances will lead the way."
A midnight-black form exploded through the walls, breaking the chains binding Kabuto to the ground like twigs and carrying him out into the streets. "NO!" Naruto roared, leaping out the hole nigh-instantaneously. "What have you done!?"
"I did what must be done!" Kabuto laughed hysterically on the ground, as the black form meant to be Sasuke rose from the dirt. "And isn't it fantastic!?"
"Grrrrrr…" Sasuke rumbled, his body shifting and morphing before their eyes. From the shredded Uchiha symbol burst a row of inch-long spikes, followed by a pair of tattered wings. His body flexed, and grew, as the boy became ever more bestial.
"Sasuke…!" Naruto breathed.
"GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" with a mindless shriek, the twisted dragon-like form whirled on the trio.
Kabuto laughed maniacally. "HAHAHAHAHAHA! Wonderful! See how the cursed seal twists him further than even the Aberrance ever did! With the other soon within my-"
WHAM! Kabuto didn't even have time to think as Cursed Sasuke turned with impossible speed and struck like a hammer on an anvil. The traitor flew through the air, smashing headlong THROUGH the reinforced walls of the Tanzaku Gai castle.
"Naruto, get back!" roared Jiraiya, running furiously through seals. "That's not Sasuke anymore! That's something else entirely! GAMAYUDAN!"
"I-I-" Naruto shook his head and quickly put ground between them. "I know… that's not him anymore. But what IS he?!"
"NYAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Cursed Sasuke flailed about on the ground, phalanges whipping about his body wildly as it was coated head to toe in oil. If anybody were to look, is would seem as though he was trying to tear himself to pieces, completely ignoring the two in front of him.
"He said something about a curse seal… and an Aberrance." Jiraiya's eyes shot open. "OH, SHIT! The curse seal interacted with the glitch, turning him into that thing!"
"Jiraiya!" a voice called from above. The two looked up and saw Tsunade on the roof.
Her voice, though, caught the attention of Cursed Sasuke. With a snap of wings and a lunge, he had crossed the 100-foot gap in less than a second.
"YAAAAH!" the busty blonde jumped from the roof and slammed Sasuke's face into the ground, before punting him across the street with all the grace of a field goal kicker. The entire second floor of an acupuncture shop was crushed. "What the hell is this thing?!"
"Good to see you've still got it." Jiraiya drawled. "That used to be our POW, Sasuke Uchiha, before one of Orochimaru's men somehow got him with a cursed seal."
"The Uchiha!?" Tsunade did a double-take. "THAT'S the Uchiha boy!? Why is HE here!?"
"Tell you over drinks. Help me subdue him first." Jiraiya slowly breathed out, a strange aura growing around him. "Where's Shizune?"
"With your Hyuuga girl. Those eyes of hers saw was happening over here first. They're getting civilians out of the radius, and then they'll come assist. I know how you fight; nothing's standing once you're done."
"You hurt me, Hime. You really do." Strange markings began to grow around his eyes. "Naruto, go after Kabuto. Don't let him escape."
"I-" Naruto bit his lip, glancing at the rubble of the business.
"We've got this. This looks like it's a bit out of your league, anyways." Jiraiya grinned (were those warts on his nose?). "I'd rather not reset so quickly, yeah? I still want to learn so much. Go kick his ass."
"GRyyyAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" a streak of black. Tsunade met it with an uppercut; Jiraiya met it mid-air with a searing blast of fire. The beast lit ablaze like a bonfire.
"r-RIGHT!" Naruto took off towards the castle. Jiraiya sighed.
"And here I was hoping I wouldn't need to use this form anymore… it's pretty ugly, ya know?" he grinned at Tsunade. She answered with a straight left to the flaming Cursed Sasuke, sending him reeling.
"None of my hits are even breaking skin, and the fire's not doing shit. What the hell is going on with this curse seal?" she growled, not letting up for a second.
"He's not normal, even by Orochimaru's stand-"
WHUMP! Cursed Sasuke had had enough, and slapped Tsunade aside with his tail like so many flies.
"Shit…!" the woman scowled, picking herself free of the wooden rubble, slapping at embers on her clothes. Jiraiya scowled.
"Kuchiyose no jutsu…!" Shima and Fukasaku appeared in a flash of smoke.
"Ooh, Jiraiya-chan!" Shima croaked, looking down at her new perch. "I was just saying to Fukasaku that you haven't stopped in for a long time!"
"I hate to be rude…" Jiraiya cut her off, slowly extending the kabuki lines on his face, "but we've got an issue, and it's a strange one."
"Grrrrrrrrrrrr…" Cursed Sasuke rumbled, eying them with a mad gleam. With the flames licking up his haunches, he looked like something out of the pits of hell.
"And what is THAT?" Fukasaku exclaimed.
"That's the problem." With a swift move, a Rasengan began to form in his hands. "Tsunade, you up?"
"You okay with helping me take this thing down?"
"Even if I'm not, it's after me too, now." Tsunade fell into a brawler's stance. "Think you can keep up?"
"I'm not the one to be worried about, here. Is your Hemophobia going to be a problem?"
"… We'll find out, won't we?"
"I suppose so. RASENGAN!"
Naruto lunged through the hole in the castle, eyes hard. "KABUTO! Where are you!?" he roared. The shout thundered through the empty, shadowed halls, bouncing between the countless possible hiding places.
"Kukukukukuku…" Kabuto laughed, echoing across the stone hallways of the ancient building. "Do you wish to die that quickly, Naruto-kun?"
"I told you, didn't I?" said Naruto, whipping towards the source of the sound. Nothing. "Back in the chuunin exams. If you ever turned traitor, I'd kill you."
Kabuto laughed. "Kukukuku… I've transcended even my power then. I have the powers of a sage pulsing in my veins! Ninja the world over would die to have such power at their disposal. And you think you can kill me?"
"I think you are MISTAKEN!" with lightning-fast speed, Kabuto's tail struck from the ceiling, wrapping itself tightly around Naruto's neck. Only a second of frantic struggle was allowed before a sick CRACK! Broke the silence. Naruto hung limply in its coils-
Before turning into a splintered stone brick.
"There you are!" Naruto shouted, leaping from the dark. "Kage Kunai no jutsu!"
A wave of black steel imbedded itself in the wall where Kabuto hung; the freak himself, though, whirled out of range, leaving his cloak to be impaled. Naruto gagged at the sight. "Holy shit… you really did fuck yourself up…"
"No…" Kabuto's face split unnaturally wide; his tail, now revealed to be an actual live snake grafted to his body, lifted itself up and hissed as charka scalpels formed on his hands. "I've taken a step forward. It took Orochimaru years to gain this kind of power… and I've done it in DAYS."
Kabuto lunged forward, swiping the ethereal blades at Naruto's body, but the boy easily back flipped out of the way. "Hasn't made you much faster, though." Naruto muttered, quickly cross-referencing his last fight- and was swung like a flyswatter into the opposite wall. Kabuto's tail-snake, now firmly wrapped around his legs, flung him with all the power held in its coils into the floor in front of Kabuto, splintering the aged rock.
"When you have range and utility such as I, Naruto-kun…" Kabuto whispered, raising a scalpel, "Speed and power can be neglected for a time. And soon, they too shall come!" he slammed his hand down on the boy's back, instantly stopping his heart. "Unfortunately, you won't be here to-"
The log exploded into splinters.
"Blind Dive!" Naruto lunged down from the ceiling, crushing the stone where- Kabuto had been a second ago. The blonde quickly followed up with three roundhouse kicks to Kabuto's stomach, lifting him off the ground. Kabuto instantly shunhin'd behind the boy; Naruto instinctively head-butted behind him, catching the traitor in the nose. An angry strike by the snake connected- and dispelled the clone.
"A clone!? When did he-!?"
"FUUTON: REPPUSHO!" the Jutsu caught Kabuto head-on and unprepared. The medic-nin went tumbling head-over-heels into the wall. Two more clones were quickly summoned, and with a single motion, the doppelgangers held pairs of kunai. "Kage Kunai no Jutsu!"
Another wave of black steel… another dodge by Kabuto. For Naruto, though, it was the distraction he needed. With a roar of chakra, the Yondaime's signature spiraling sphere burst into existence between his son's hands.
"Eat this!" Naruto lunged at the traitor. "Raseng-!"
WHUD! The snake rammed itself head-first into Naruto's gut. The technique in Naruto's hands fizzled out as Naruto sank to the ground.
"Fascinating…!" Kabuto leered as he stood over Naruto, gasping for breath. "The infamous Rasengan, in the flesh… I was almost intimidated for a moment. I suppose Jiraiya must have taught it to you, but to learn it so quickly…" the medic-nin grabbed Naruto by the throat and lifted him one-handed. "I wonder…" he traced a slight circle around the smaller boy's navel, a disgusting parody of tender affection. "Could the Kyuubi be enhancing your capabilities? Not just your chakra, but your mind, as well?"
"Ghhkk…!" Naruto attempted a weak flailing attack, but coldcocked as he was, and with the hand crushing his windpipe and turning his head to white fuzz, all he could muster was glancing strikes on Kabuto's shoulder.
"Such power…" hissed Kabuto. "Power enough to rival the Aberrances, I wonder? Kukukukukuku… such secret thing I could pull from your corpse. I could wield an entire army of Biju monsters, a cleansing wildfire to pave the way. Or unlock the Sage's secrets from his mind? Kukukuku…" the finger pulled back, and became a ghostly blue. "But first… the beast must be extrackkkk!" Kabuto's body seized up, muscles spasming uncontrollably. The hand clutching Naruto unlocked, and the boy quickly scampered away, gasping for air.
"Haaaah… ahhh…" Naruto wheezed. "Mother of god… he was definitely not that strong before… haaaah…" Naruto slowly stood up; watching with horrified fascination as the scaled portions of the grey-haired man inched further along, encroaching further on his dwindling humanity.
"Don't just stand there like an idiot! Shank him while he's distracted!"
Flinching at the sudden internal voice, Naruto whipped out a kunai and rushed forward. With a final shudder, Kabuto regained control of himself, swinging a wide and clumsy haymaker at Naruto. Naruto slid under the attack easily, spun around on his knuckles and kicked the feet out from under Kabuto. With his body disoriented and airborne, Kabuto couldn't block the devastating side-kick that followed, throwing him bodily across the room.
"Hah…" Naruto allowed himself a small grin. "I'm a lot better in Taijutsu than your stupid cards say, aren't I?"
"Maybe…" Kabuto pulled himself upright, looking relatively unscathed by the blow that blasted him into the wall. "But then, I'm a lot stealthier than you assume, as well."
"Whatever…" Naruto reached for a kunai… but couldn't. "Huh!?" his head whipped to his right hand, completely unresponsive and deadened.
"Kukukukuku…" Kabuto held up a hand, covered in the glow of a chakra scalpel. "Deceit is the essence of a shinobi, Naruto-kun."
'Shit! Fox, how long to fix my hand?'
"A minute at most. But you NEED to put distance between you two, otherwise you're fucked."
"Dammit!" Naruto ran pell-mell down the hallway.
"Kukakakakakaka!" Kabuto cackled maniacally. "You think you can run!? When your body is swathed in the Aberrance's taint!? You can NEVER run!"
"No…" Naruto growled. "I'm playing hide and seek." Naruto slowed a bit as he came to a door, and a stairway leading down into the castle's gloom. "I bet I could get the others to help out in this fight…"
"… Then again, they're all busy fighting Sasuke." Naruto bit his lip. "Shit. Down I go!" with a running leap, he plunged downward.
"Idiot. The Hyuuga slut and the monkey-man would have made excellent meat-shields against this guy."
'They were having problems fighting ONE messed-up version of a bad guy, even if that guy was Sasuke. You think we all could handle TWO at the same time?'
"If you used my power, you- SHURIKEN!"
Naruto instantly ducked into a roll, watching the weapons pass overhead. "How long?!"
"15 seconds! Make room!"
"FFuuuuuck…!" the corridor opened up to a sprawling room, with ledges and staircases, and eerie paintings watching his moves. "There!" Naruto grabbed the banister and threw himself off it, latching onto another 3 floors down with his feet, and dropping the few lengths left to the floor.
"Kukuku…" Kabuto laughed ominously from above. "You can't expect to outrun me forever, Naruto-kun…"
"Don't need to." Naruto called, glancing around the bottom floor; it was bare, save for a tunnel, blocked by a rotted wooden portcullis covered in old, faded sutra tags. The hairs on the back of his neck stood as he glanced at the path. "Just need to get feeling back in my hand."
"Really now?" without any warning, Kabuto was there, standing in front of Naruto.
WHAM! His tail slammed into Naruto, sending him flying through the air; the portcullis buckled easily against the new force. Naruto retched up blood.
"And do you think I'll let you do that?"
"You've got your hand back. Waste him!"
"You- gahaack…!" Naruto bit his lip, hiding the pain his chest was bringing him. "You don't get a choice! KAGE BUNSHIN NO JUTSU!"
A dozen clones burst to life. Kabuto grinned, both of his eyes now glowing an off-yellow hue. "You think that will work?" the clones rushed forward, screaming bloody murder. Kabuto blazed into motion, his hands burning with chakra, his tail-snake thrashing and biting.
Kabuto whipped his head up as a body landed on him. Another clone, now grinning, wrapped his arms and legs around Kabuto. "Karma's a bitch, ain't she? BURN with me!"
Kabuto's eyes widened. "NO!"
BOOOOOOOM! The exploding tag attached to the clone's chest went off. Even with two bodies shielding it, the shockwave still sent the original tumbling down the corridor.
"Aaaagh…" Naruto moaned, pulling himself to his feet, clutching his side.
"Boss!" a clone not dispelled by the blast ran over. "You okay?"
"Y-yeah…" the blonde nodded. "Just, jostled my aches a bit…" his eyes clouded over. "And that clone's memories hit a little close to home."
"When did you make that guy?" asked the clone as they slowly made their way over to the explosion debris.
"I didn't." Naruto grinned. "That one was the guy I had tailing Jiraiya today; he must have been tailing the fight for a while now. I don't know how he didn't get dispelled, but I'm glad he was there." Taking care to step around the blasted-away masonry, the two knelt over the body slumped against the wall. "Damn. Think he's getting up from that?"
"You're kidding, right?" the clone responded. Kabuto's entire chest was missing, vaporized in the blast, and what was still somewhat intact was a charred husk, mangled and broken. Only the snake-like portions of his body retained an image of what they once were, with the snake-tail hybrid retaining the most complete image.
"Who knows what… whatever he did to himself, did. It… yeah…" Naruto stood, embarrassed. "That came out kind of weird."
"You just blew a guy to pieces, and have the memory of going suicide bomber on him, and you're worried about word choice?"
"Well- it's not exactly the first dead body we've seen, or even caused. I mean, hell, our first kill was Itachi! And, well, not the first time to die, either."
"True. Man, we are so messed-up it's not even funny." The clone blinked. "Hey, wait a sec. what's that behind you?"
"Huh?" Naruto turned around. There, behind a section of stone dislodged by the tag, was a section of wood. "Hey, yeah. That… that's a door?"
"Why's there a door behind a wall? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of a door?"
"No kidding." Naruto walked over and began pulling free other bricks from the door. "Hey, make sure that fucker's extra-dead. Maybe he's got a bounty on him or something from the invasion."
"Bounty collectors want heads, right?"
After a minute or so of work, the majority of the door was revealed. The clone, finally separating the head from the body, glanced up. "So, what do you think it is?"
"Dunno." The boy traced unrecognizable symbols in the woodwork. "… Don't these look like seals to you?"
"Maybe…" the clone wandered over, head in his hand.
"Dammit, put that nasty thing down first."
"Whatever." Chuck. "Okay, where is this thing?"
"All over the door." Naruto scratched at one of the symbols. "Don't look like any I've ever seen before."
"If you want to know, you should ask." Said the Kyuubi, after a long period of silence.
"What, you know what these are, fuzzy?" Naruto said out loud, for the benefit of the clone.
"I've seen them in action. They're exorcism seals."
"Branch of sealing, made to kill demons. They don't, not really, but they can get pretty damn close. They're not a worry to any Biju, since even the Shukaku's too powerful to be seriously hurt by just these, but a lesser demon can get absolutely wrecked by these sutras."
"You're awfully helpful."
"That was a good fight." growled the fox. "It cleared the haze from my mind a bit, even if you didn't use my power. For a while, at least, I can stop thinking with only my dick and be a rational being once more."
"… And you can't be rational all the time?"
"Don't I wish. My behavior has been appalling for the however-many-years we've been doing this loop." The fox shuddered in his cage. "I can't even take myself seriously anymore, but as long as this damnable fog around my mind doesn't go away, I'm going to keep acting like I have a permanent boner. Even this temporary sanity will fade soon, and I can't do shit to stop it."
"… Huh. I was thinking you got less obsessed with sex after big battles." The boy frowned. "Then again, I thought you were just a really horny bastard. So… this 'fog'. This isn't natural for you? Like, you're a fox. Maybe you're in heat or something?"
"Not in the slightest." The fox rumbled. "One, I'm not a bitch or a vixen; men don't 'go into heat'. Two, Biju don't have sex drives. Unlike other, more traditional demons, who have corporeal origins, I'm a being of chakra and emotion, pulled from the ether by the Sage of Six Paths. Why would I need to have sex? I do it an awful lot, sure, but it's to prove my domination and superiority, not out of any pleasure or reproductive need. It's you mammalian fleshbags that get any physical use or good feelings out of it. I'm hoping that you having sex will vicariously sate this unnatural urge of mine, which is why I push so hard on that now that you've got a primed and willing participant, but if you're so damn unwilling on that front, finding whatever is messing with my head will also do just fine."
"…Oh. Good… good to know. I'll… try and give you less crap about it, I guess if you're not usually like this…? Ugh. Whatever." Naruto stepped away from the door. "So, this is where the demon Naruko talked about is. Think we can brick this part up again, o clone of mine?"
"I bet we could. Let's-"
The castle rumbled a muffled crash of stone echoing down into the basement. Naruto's eyes widened. "Shit! Sasuke!"
"They haven't beaten him yet!?" The clone looked upward, worriedly. "If two Sannin can't beat him like that…"
"You stay here and brick this back up so nobody finds it again. I'll go see if I can help them!" Naruto took off running, running pell-mell for the stairs. The clone looked back, biting his lip softly.
"Yeah… go get 'em, boss…"
Naruto rushed out the yawning hole in the stone walls just in time to see Cursed Sasuke smash his tail right into Jiraiya's face, sending the sage spinning wildly down the road. "Ero-sennin!"
"GRRrrrrrrRRRRRAAAHH!" Cursed Sasuke whirled about at the sound of his call and snarled, revealing a mouth full of too many jagged teeth. He lunged forward- and was yanked back.
"No you don't!" Tsunade shouted, gripping him by his tail. With a herculean show of strength, the legendary sucker lifted the deformed body from the ground and began spinning him around in a textbook tornado throw, before slamming him brutally into the ground, cratering his massive body.
"What're you doing, brat!?" Tsunade shouted.
"Kabuto's dead! I thought you could use some help!" Naruto quickly formed a dozen clones, before rushing off towards Jiraiya. "Help Baa-chan out, a'ight?"
"Ero-sennin!" Naruto skidded to a halt by the man. "You okay?"
"Urgh." He grunted. "I'm fine. Sage Mode makes me a lot sturdier than normal… still hurts like a bitch, though."
"Why haven't you guys beaten him yet?" Naruto glanced back at the beast tearing through his home-made squad. "I mean, both of you are crazy strong! I would've thought you'd be the ones coming to help me!"
"The damn thing's invulnerable." Jiraiya scowled, glaring at Cursed Sasuke. "We've been wailing on that thing for ages, and we haven't even managed to break skin on it, let alone bleed or seriously hurt it; all we can do is stun the thing. That it doesn't bleed is good for keeping Tsunade involved, but if WE'RE the only ones getting smacked around…"
"I-Isn't there any way to stop him? Like, can't you turn him back with your crazy god-powers?" Naruto exclaimed.
"I don't KNOW how to use these powers, Naruto! I got them exactly ONE WEEK AGO!" Jiraiya roared.
"Jiraiya-chan, please calm down." Shima cooed from atop his shoulder. "The boy meant no harm in it."
"I know that, but, what are we supposed to do?" Jiraiya stood. "I've never fought an enemy that's invulnerable! Fought a lot of 'immortals', but not something that literally can't be hurt!"
"…Grrr!" with a growl of frustration, Naruto pulled on the Kyuubi's power, forming the one-tailed cloak around his body. "Fuck this!" with an animalistic battle cry, Naruto rushed forward.
Cursed Sasuke met him him halfway, clawed hands ripping and tearing at the cloak. Naruto struck with a right hook; the cloak followed with a shattering two-handed hammer strike. He followed with a rising body kick, a leap, and a severe axe heel drop, finishing the combo with a roundhouse kick to the body, sending the monster flying into a building. The Jinchuuriki landed, panting slightly.
"Dammit…!" Naruto panted. "That was like… kicking a brick wall!"
"I told you…" Jiraiya growled. "He can't fight for shit, but if he can't be injured, he doesn't need to! We're only tiring ourselves out battling it!"
Tsunade glanced sharply at the sage. "Why is this thing even here, Jiraiya? What is it you're not telling me?"
"Way above your pay grade, hime." Jiraiya shook his head. "All that's needed is that that thing is Sasuke Uchiha, and he's not like that by choice. Leave it at that."
"You think not telling me why we're fighting a monster will make me want to come back to the village, let alone lead it?" she glared.
"It's not a village issue. This is between me and Naruto." Jiraiya declared, his triangular teeth clacking together loudly. "Sarutobi doesn't even know about this."
"… Fine." Tsunade watched as the ruins of the gambling den shifted, revealing Cursed Sasuke once more. "This isn't over."
"It never is." Jiraiya reached down, forming the familiar position of the Rasengan. "Naruto, what if we tried a double-Rasengan attack? Maybe that would-"
The world froze. Naruto froze with it.
"What!?" Jiraiya exclaimed, whirling around as the colors bled away. "But-! We didn't pause the world!"
"Of course you didn't, nitwit. That would be our doing."
Jiraiya's head whipped up towards his shoulder. "Fukasaku? What are you…?"
"U-um… Jiraiya-san, I'm sorry about… barging in like this, but…" Shima mumbled. "You seemed to be having difficulties… understanding your new powers…"
"Powers? How did you-" Jiraiya's eyes shot wide then narrowed. "You're with the Sysadmins."
"We ARE Sysadmin. There's more than one of us, you know." Said Fukasaku. "Now, if you're done with asking the obvious questions, we can get back to fighting the ridiculously easy-to-solve bug. Seriously, we could have solved this one in ten seconds. You're a pretty shitty head of support, aren't you?"
"That's… not very nice of you to say, you know…"
"…" Jiraiya's face twitched, a slight vein bulging on his forehead.
"See… look… you've made him angry now…" Shima patted the sage's hair softly. "I'm sorry… my sister can sometimes be… a little hotheaded. Even kind of mean…"
"I'M the hotheaded one!? You're saying that-"
Jiraiya snarled. "ENOUGH!" both of his hands flew up to the faces of the toads, silencing any response. "I don't know who you two think you are, but all you've done so far is possess the bodies of two toads I care for quite a bit and then bitch in my ear, while there's a fight going on that you yanked me away from while there's people I care about in danger! I'm tired, I'm getting the shit kicked out of me, and I'm hanging around one of the world's most volatile exes with an axe to grind with me, so I am NOT in the mood for this shit! If you're going to help me, fine, but shut up and help, then! Otherwise, LEAVE!"
"…" the two toads remained silent. Jiraiya lowered his hands from their mouths. "Very well, then, Jiraiya of the Sannin. You command us to remain silent, and so we shall." Fukasaku folded his arms.
"But know, Jiraiya of the Sannin… that regardless of your importance… you do not get to make demands of us lightly." Shima shook her head. "Your arrogance… will be your punishment."
"Let it be known, then," both toad elders intoned, a deep bassy echo leaping from their diminutive bodies, "That Jiraiya of the Sannin shall never hear our words, or our wisdom, ever again outside of his appointed contract, whether directly or indirectly. Neither will he ever come to fully understand the conflict he now plays a part in. So Mote It Be.
The world rumbled.
SO MOTE IT BE.
Jiraiya's face paled. "W-wait… what just happened? What did you just do?"
The world bled into color.
"Double Rasengan, then!" Naruto held out a hand, the iconic technique forming quickly beneath the cloak. "You ready, Ero-sennin!?"
Fukasaku placed a hand on Jiraiya's neck. The man stiffened; a white aura began to encircle his hands.
"I… oh… oh…!" Jiraiya looked up, terrible clarity in his eyes. "No… I've got this." He rushed forward.
Cursed Sasuke lunged with inhuman speed. With a snarl, his jagged teeth plunged into Jiraiya's forearm. Jiraiya retaliated with a scream, slamming his fist right into the monster's jaw. The jaw exploded into a cloud of symbols; the punctures in his sleeve and his flesh disappeared without a trace.
"What the…!?" Tsunade visibly flinched at the display.
"RAAAAAAGH!" Jiraiya followed the reeling monster relentlessly, all technique, all finesse dissolving into a flurry of pain and rage and helpless fury. Cursed Sasuke could not have resisted against the onslaught even if he tried. Piece after piece of the monster broke away, turning into blackened, twisted text flying away. Piece by piece, something resembling a human began to appear.
"E-ero-sennin…?" Naruto slowly let the cloak fall away. "What...?"
His fist sent Sasuke, whole and untainted once more, skittering across the stony road, landing in a heap at Naruto's feet.
"Sasuke!" Naruto grabbed the boy, lifting him onto his side. The steady rise and fall of his chest met his eyes.
Tsunade stepped forward. "Jiraiya, what the hell are you-"
"DAAAAMMIIIIIT!" the toad sage fell to his knees. The two toad elders on his shoulders shot something resembling contempt at the man, before disappearing in matching clouds of smoke. "Dammitdammitdammit! How did I… I did it again… because of my goddamn big fat mouth, I…"
"What are you talking about?" Tsunade's confusion was evident. "You're not making a bit of sense."
The world froze.
Jiraiya looked up. "YOU."
"Didn't you just swear to cut me away from all this?"
I'M SORRY. THIS IS WHY I DON'T TRUST THEM WITH THE POWER I USE TO CONTACT YOU RIGHT NOW. THEIR WHIMS WOULD DOOM US ALL. AS IT IS, THEY HAVE FAR TOO MUCH CONTROL AS IT IS.
"THEN WHY DIDN'T YOU STOP THEM!?" shouted Jiraiya. "YOU… you wave the secrets of the universe in front of my nose, and then take it away just as I'm starting to understand! What the hell kind of god are you!?"
I MAY HAVE RELATIVELY MORE POWER THAN THEY, BUT I COULD NEVER OVERRULE BOTH AND WALK AWAY UNSCATHED; I'VE LEARNED THAT THE HARD WAY. AND I NEVER SAID WE WERE GODS.
"Well, it's pretty damn obvious from where I stand!"
… IT IS, ISN'T IT. THEN YOU SHOULD REMEMBER THIS FOR AS LONG AS YOU RETAIN YOUR POSITION: ALL GODS ARE SIMPLY ALL-POWERFUL JACKASSES WAITING TO RELAPSE.
Jiraiya wasn't quite sure how to respond to that.
WE ARE NOT KIND. WE ARE NOT BENEVOLENT. WE ARE SIMPLY BETTER THAN THE ALTERNATIVE. I HAVE WALKED AMONG HUMANITY, AND SO I UNDERSTAND OUR INHERENT FLAWS NOBODY ELSE WILL ACKNOWLEDGE; I UNDERSTAND RIGHT AND WRONG. BUT EVEN SO, I DO NOT TRUST MYSELF TO TINKER WITH THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE WORLD ANY MORE THAN I HAVE TO; I TRUST MY CONTEMPORARIES EVEN LESS.
"… Why are you telling me this?"
BECAUSE I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU DID, WHILE I AM STILL ABLE TO EXPLAIN. THE EGO OF A GOD IS NOT SOMETHING TO EVER SLIGHT, NO MATTER HOW RIGHTFULLY EARNED. WHEN A CELESTIAL PISSING CONTEST BEGINS, HUMANITY SUFFERS. THAT'S WHAT YOU INVOKED. WERE YOU NOT SO IMPORTANT, SHE WOULD LIKELY HAVE SMOTE YOU WHERE YOU STOOD.
"… What does this mean for me?"
I AM NOW BOUND TO NEVER SPEAK TO YOU AGAIN REGARDING ANYTHING OUTSIDE OF DIRECT ORDERS; YOU HAVE ALSO BEEN BLOCKED FROM GAINING ANY HELP FROM ME, MUCH AS I WOULD LIKE TO. YOU'LL NEED TO TEACH YOURSELF THE POWERS YOU HAVE. YOU'LL NEVER MEET US. YOU'LL HAVE NO POWER, OVER WHICH SHARD YOU JOIN; THAT WILL BE NARUTO'S DOING.
"… So it's his story, huh? I'm just a part of it, now. Dammit… me and my fucking big mouth." Jiraiya chuckled sadly. "Was it worth it?"
YOUR ACTIONS HERE HAVE REDUCED THE POSSIBILITY OF CAUSING A BAD END FROM 936 POSSIBLE PATHS TO 5. ANY OTHER DEVIATION FOR THE BETTER WILL PERMANENTLY STABILIZE THIS AVATAR.
"… Cool." Jiraiya looked away. "… Is it reversible?"
IN TIME? POSSIBLY. BUT A GOD'S MEMORY LASTS FOREVER, AND I DO NOT KNOW IF I HAVE THE CLOUT TO REVERSE THEIR DECISION. I WOULD NEED MORE ON MY SIDE THAN WHAT I HAVE.
"So, don't count on it."
The world resumed.
Sasuke's hand flew upwards to Naruto's throat. "GHHHK!" the blond gasped, his windpipe creaking loudly.
So this is the child in the way, then?
Sasuke's lips didn't move an inch, but the voice still rattled in his head, banishing every thought. Sasuke's pitch-black eyes, whites banished to darkness, stared deep and unrelenting.
You surprise me, child. Fufufu… two of my precious children defeated today. Perhaps they didn't choose poorly after all.
"NARUTO!" Jiraiya broke into a run.
But it doesn't matter who they chose, does it? You are just another pawn, after all. A remarkably resilient pawn, but a pawn nonetheless.
"GET AWAY FROM HIM!" the sage roared.
"Wh… y'r nt…shske…"
Does it matter? You'll all be erased soon enough. After all, I still have my queen on the board… I simply wanted to know the face of the one who could be so stubborn in fighting me. It was just a nobody, after all.
The hand released itself from his throat, and Sasuke fell to the ground in a boneless, unmoving heap. Naruto's legs collapsed beneath him, gasping for breath.
"Naruto!" Jiraiya ran to the boy's side. "What the hell happened?!"
"I… I don't…" his eyes widened. "Sasuke! He's not breathing!"
"Wha!?" Jiraiya whirled around. The Uchiha was still as death. "Shit!"
"Get out of the way!" Tsunade scrambled to the boy's side, immediately feeling for a pulse. "Shit! He's gone into cardiac arrest! Get out of the way!"
And now, a note from the Co-Authors:
Holy shit, Majin. Twenty chapters. Ain't that something? We're actually still working on this thing twenty chapters and almost 4 years later. Damn.
"Yeah the years just fly by don't they" Puts Excaliblog back in Ibiki's magic interrogation bag. "And we kept to our promise last chapter so no one has to suffer."
E-Ehehehe... yeah, nobody suffers, I like this idea... but god-damn, we're not even done with the first avatar yet. We're damn close, though. Whaddaya say, Majin? Wrap up Standard Naruto in one more chapter and finally get along with the main premise of the story?
"One more chapter might be doable but it will be one hell of a chapter long but not dragging on. Unless we get a sudden left field idea I think we could pull it off."
In other news, Less Wrong plugged for this story on his site and in his favorites. Cool.
[Squeals like a bitch internally]
Is... Is this what it feels like to be an ascended fan boy, Majin?
"Ascended Fanboy? No Dude we have barely scratch the surface of such, but hey who knew we could be trend setters. I'd like to thank you the readers because without your support and countless reviews. I would have given up and thanked the Dude for working with me on the project and left Fan Fiction behind. So thank you to all those reading this chapter on its release and those who will read it in the future.
Yeah, thank you so much, guys. You proved that this off-the-wall idea of Majin's has amazing potential, and that there's a possible genre that hasn't even been tapped yet. It's incredible, and it's all because of you guys.
But, of course, now that we've got the big-leagues reading our stuff, our first couple of chapters become painfully written. We might spend some time editing the previous chapters to take care of the casually horrific mutilation of spelling, grammar, sentence structure and overall bad writing. So, you might see some of that happening while we're banging out the last chapter.
"As always this is Majin Hentai X, And the Animaniac Dude, signing out, saying good night, happy holidays, and thank you for not reading Yaoi"
P.P.S. alright, then. judging by the early reviews, we went grimdark. we made stupid writing decisions. we wrote this very disjointed and confusing. and glitch shenanigans are overpowering the narrative.
that's not good. that's not good at all. and that's also totally not what we were going for, but we seen to have gotten that anyway. alright, then. we hear you guys, and we're listening. we'll clean up our act. we'll take a good, long look at what we thought was a good story, but obviously is not what you guys want. see, we're not infallible. we're not always right. this is what you guys are for; helping us to know what we're doing well, and what we're screwing up. and we're listening, now. we hope that you can forgive us for this slip into grimderp from this chapter, and give us another chance to bring this back to the incredible story that we hope we can tell. thanks for staying with us.