Disclaimer: I own nothing, and I will never own this great seires, I am doing this for free, and for you enjoyment
The mad warrior of lightning has fallen,
The blades now seek a new master,
And a new master they have found, in the most unlikely of persons;
A new age has begun, one of hidden strength reborn,
An age where a destined warrior becomes greater than his destiny ever anticipated,
For the warrior, now both wind and lightning are his to command,
Behold, the birth of the Storm Fox, behold, the Arashi Kitsune
"Lightning! Give me my funeral! Give me a funeral to remember!!" the man bellowed out as he plummeted down past the face of the cliff. The storm that had so willingly followed his orders in battle now obliged his one last command. Six bolts of lightning race down, striking at his body, forming a sphere around him as the electricity destroyed his earthly remains, cell by cell. A few seconds later, the sphere of lightning shrank as the body and the earthly vessel of the soul of its former master, Raiga Kurosuki, was destroyed completely, leaving not even ash.
His vision faded to black, the memory fading out like he was in some sort movie. Without warning, his vision returned, and he really wished it hadn't, for now he was looking at the absolute last place he ever wanted to be, his mindscape. The dark, damp, poorly lit hall way of his mindscape was not a place of fond memories. He had only came here two times; first when Ero-sennin knocked him off the face of a cliff, and second when he was fighting Sasuke at the Valley of the End when he entered his first 'tailed state'.
And what was worse was where he currently located in his mindscape; the hallway that he was currently viewing led to the one place he hated even more than soggy Ramen, the room that held the demon fox; the place he liked to call 'The Seal'. If he could, he would have turned away as soon as he realized where he was, just that there was one problem. He couldn't, he had no control; in fact it felt as if he didn't even have a body. He didn't have long to ponder this as he was distracted by a voice, no, two voices; it was impossible to tell if they were male or female, but both were saying the same thing.
With a flash, his vision changed. Now he was in a hall; in front of him, Sasuke wearing his chunin final garb, in-between them were two adults decked out in inky black cloaks adorn with blood red clouds. Sasuke was on the floor, clutching his freshly broken wrist, in front of him was the shorter of the two cloak garbed men and, consequently, the cause of Sasuke's injury. Itachi Uchiha.
'I remember what happened, after seeing Sasuke get hurt I tried to use Kuchiyose no Jutsu when that shark guy, Kisame was it? Yeah, Kisame, drained my chakra with that freaky sword of his…'
As if the memory responded to his thought, everything started to move, Sasuke started shaking and cradling his broken wrist as he desperately tried to dull the pain. Itachi just looked down on him with that emotionless face. With a muttered "Too slow kid" Kisame swung his massive bandaged broad sword through the reddish-orange aura that had started to envelope Naruto. Just as he remembered, he felt a sudden draining sensation as the shark man's sword devoured his chakra like Choji at an all-you-can-eat BBQ restaurant. The memory played out just as he remembered, even feeling his own confusion at the sudden loss of chakra.
"Wha…? Come on! Come on!"
Striking what he thought to be a cool pose (or as cool of a pose you can strike with a sword that looks like a super sized bandaged Popsicle, or something equally inappropriate), Kisame explained the situation to Naruto as his sword made an odd munching sound, as if it was saying 'thanks' for the chakra meal.
"My sword, Samehada, it eats chakra, so now we don't have to worry about you using any jutsu now…"
Once again his vision faded to black, returning again to the passageway leading to the seal, but father along than his previous visit. His vision seemed to be slowly progressing down the hall, moving a little closer and a little faster than before. This time the voices were a little louder, and he could now hear that there were two distinct voices; one male, one female.
"…you must…find us…Naruto…you…"
Another flash, this memory before him was one he would never forget, for it was the first time he felt absolute terror. From his angle, the figure standing before him looked to be a titan. Cow-hide arm and leg warmers decorated his arms and shins, while a pair of pale blue pants adorned his legs. He wore no shirt, only a belt that went around his neck and secured his massive, cleaver like zanbatō to his back. From the nose down, his face was covered in bandages, while his hitai-ate (forehead protector) rested cock-eyed on his head. But that wasn't what drew Naruto's attention, no; it was the man's eyes. Two black pits of hatred and malice overflowing with killing intent, the eyes framed by tanned skin that could only belong to one Zabuza Momochi, Demon of the Mist.
Yet again the memory fades and his rate of travel towards the seal increases yet again. The voices were louder still, this time sounding urgent, almost panicking.
"Find Us… You Must… Find Us…"
The memories returned, but not a single memory, but many. They flashed through his mind, barley giving him enough time to recognize one before the next took its place. It continued like this each memory coming faster and faster, the memories themselves seemed to have no real order or common thread, until it finally clicked. Zabuza Momochi, Kisame Hoshigaki, Raiga Kurosuki. Those three were at one point or another part of a single organization, Kiri no Shinobigatana Nananin Shu, the Seven Shinobi Swordsman of the Mist. No sooner than Naruto arrived at this revelation did the memories stop, and his mind entered the seal.
There, standing before the gate like cage that held the Kyuubi no Youko, the nine tailed demon fox, was two figures. He couldn't see any really defining features, only their silhouettes. He could make out some features, like the fact that both had their heads down and the one on the left was male, judging by the bulk of the armor he wore. He assumed that the one on the right female, because she (if it was a she) wore a very cut down version of the armor the male wore and had a slender figure. Simultaneously, both figures raised their heads and shouted one thing:
After hearing the shout, he was suddenly propelled backwards, out of his mindscape. Before he was completely pushed out of his little dream world, he managed to make note of one thing: both figures had eyes the color of polished steel.
Naruto shot up from his futon, gasping and not to mention sweating up a storm. Three times now he had that same dream. He looked over to his room mates, Neji, Lee and Tenten. Normally a kunoichi wouldn't bunk with her fellow shinobi, but with Karashi and Ranmaru moving in with Sanshou-baasan in the Curry of life shop, they were short on room. Naruto snorted, Tenten liked to sleep with her hair down like Neji; so if some one were to come into the room with out prior knowledge, they would think he and Lee were sleeping with a pair of girls. After Raiga was finally defeated for the second time, Neji decided it was wise for the team to stay at the Curry of life shop to help out the miners of the Katabami Kinzan gold mine rebuild what damage the Kurosuki family had caused, that, and give them time to heal from the electrical burns they had received at the hands of Raiga's blades.
Pulling off his toothed sleeping cap, Naruto let out a long sigh; thanks to that dream/vision/thingy, what ever, he was now wide awake. He had no way to get back to sleep, and even if he could…
…two pairs of eyes stared back at him, both the color of polished steel; watching, waiting…
He bolted upright, his back ram-rod straight, before violently shaking his head. Kami (god) damn it! There it was again! Naruto let out an exasperated sigh, he might as well head downstairs and get something to eat or drink seeing that they would be leaving around midday. Getting himself out of bed, he made sure not to bump Tenten (since she slept with her kunai and was rather proficient at using them, even while she was asleep!) and made his way downstairs. He didn't have to worry about making too much noise as he got up and went downstairs, not with Lee snoring like a fog horn. Making his way into the Kitchen/Dining room/Front hall area of the Curry of life shop, he was surprised to find he wasn't the only one up early today.
"Karashi, Ranmaru, what are you two doing here?" The two aforementioned people were sitting down at one of the tables, looking at nothing in particular, until Naruto spoke. They both looked a bit restless, like some one who was forced to sit in the same position for a long time, or endure one of Iruka-sensei's lectures. But at the sound of his voice, both looked up at him with smiles on their faces. Naruto could only smile in return. Over the past couple of days Karashi and Ranmaru asked Naruto to tell them stories about his encounters with the two other members of the Seven Shinobi Swordsman of the Mist. Remembering what he could from his faulty and fractured memory, Naruto had told them of his encounter of Kisame, the terror he felt when he first faced off against the Demon Zabuza. But most of his stories were about one person most of all, Haku. Naruto didn't know it, but his stories affect Ranmaru the most; to hear about someone that was so like himself, and one that had influenced Naruto to such a degree, it shook him to the core.
"Ah, Naruto-san, we were hoping to be able to talk to you before the others got up," Karashi replied "We, well… we wanted to thank you for all you've done…and umm…"
It was painfully obvious to anybody, save one knuckle-headed ninja, that Karashi was uncomfortable being the spokesmen for the two. If it was a topic that he had a lot of experience in or was passionate about, like making curry, then Karashi could be very talkative, but if not, well… Fortunately, Karashi was saved from embarrassing himself any further by Ranmaru.
"What Karashi-san means to say Naruto-kun is that we're thankful for you help and want to give you a gift to show our appreciation."
"Aw, guys, you really didn't have to do that…" Naruto said as he started to scratch the back of his head, his trademark 'nervous,' gesture. Karashi immediately got up and started waving his hands in the air.
"No, no, we insist! You've done a lot for us, and since you didn't find out anything about Kisame, or whatever his name is, we thought it would be best if you didn't go back empty-handed."
Naruto's hand dropped as his smile fell. He failed again. One of the main reasons he went on this mission was to find information on Kisame since he was working with Itachi. Since Sasuke wanted to kill Itachi, finding him would find Sasuke. Yet another failure to add to the growing list. Karashi and Ranmaru shared a look, in addition to the stories about Haku, Naruto had told them about his best friend and his betrayal. It was painful to see Naruto look so depressed; his face wasn't made for sadness. The only two emotions that looked natural on his face were seriousness and happiness. Karashi normally wasn't very violent, but if he ever came across this 'Sasuke' person he would make sure to ram his foot up his ass and remove it, painfully; nobody had the right to do that to such a nice guy as Naruto.
"Enough being dreary, come on Naruto-kun," said Ranmaru, breaking the teens out of their respective depression and anger, "I want you to see your gifts before we help you pack them, come here and sit down!"
Sitting down, Naruto couldn't help but notice how Ranmaru seemed excited about giving his gift for some reason or another. As he waited for Karashi to get the gifts out from under the table, he put on his best smile that he could, I mean, he should be thankful that he was getting something out of this. He was drawn from his musings when Karashi placed three packages on the table. The largest was an oddly shaped, but long, bundle wrapped in what appeared to be bandages that Naruto couldn't make heads or tails of; the second package was square and tied up neatly with twine. The third gift was unwrapped and sitting on top of the square one, and it was…
"They're the 'Blade-Gauntlets' the Kurosuki family used during their Kuro Tatsumaki, or Black Tornado technique. Here let me show you" Karashi said as he put the odd gloves on. The gloves were fingerless, had an open palm, and extended back two or three inches past the wrist. They had a thick backing on the back of the gloves where, Naruto assumed, the blade like claws were kept. "I figured that with these you could do some more damage when you start wailing on some one with your taijutsu."
Naruto nodded, that made sense, also they kinda looked cool. Karashi continued speaking.
"The palms of the glove are open and finger-less so they won't obstruct you when you perform hand-signs. Here's how they work, when you want to extend the claws, you form a fist and tense your mussels and… ha!" As predicted, the three talons shot out of the backing of the gloves, extending about seven or eight inches. "And to retract the claws, keep you fist tensed, flex your fist back and forth and presto! Here try 'em on and try 'em out!"
Karashi removed the gloves after demonstrating how to retract the claws and handed them to Naruto. Trying them on, Naruto had to admit not only did they look cool, but were damn comfortable, if a tad on the loose side. Oh well, it looked like he would just have to do some growing. He managed to get a hang of extending and retracting the claws in about seven or so minuets. Taking the gloves off and placing them to the side, he took the next gift Karashi handed him, the square one tied up with twine.
"Before you open this one Naruto, I just want you to think back to that outfit I was wearing that you said looked 'ultra-wicked-cool'." Karashi said with a sly grin, it was obvious (to all but one blond headed shinobi) now what his next gift was.
Scrunching his face up, Naruto tried to think why Karashi would mention that. He knew what he was talking about; Karashi was talking about the clothes he was wearing when he was with the Kurosuki family. He had to admit it did look cool; it had the asymmetrical look that Kurenai-sensei had and had a 'robe' feel to them with the flap hanging in the front and back. Not to mention the chest bandage thing completed the whole thing and added to the coolness of the look.
Shrugging his shoulder Naruto went back to opening his gift. When he finally opened it he froze, there in the wrapping was not one, but three sets of the uniform Karashi had been wearing. One of them was larger than the others and was obvious the one Karashi had worn, but the other two were smaller, perfectly sized for him! And the colors were different as well, what had originally been a dark violet with maroon detailing was now a dark inky black with a burnt orange lining. Naruto just couldn't believe it; he kept looking between the cloths and Karashi.
"Well, not to brag or anything, but, in addition to being a good curry chef, I'm also pretty damn good with a needle and thread," Karashi's smirk exploded into a full-blown grin, "In fact, I'm the one who made all the uniforms for the Kurosuki family! And just so you know, I included a guide on how to do the shirt wrappings." Karashi said, feeling proud of himself.
"Wow, thanks Karashi, this is awesome!" Naruto couldn't help but feel giddy, not only did he get some cool claw-gloves, but some cool clothes as well. The best part was he could keep his orange and still look awesome! He always had trouble finding clothes that looked cool but still had his favorite color in them. Up until recently, most shop-keepers would just throw him out, it was only thanks to the fact that one shop keeper was so short sighted he couldn't tell who Naruto was that he could buy his orange jumpsuits since he didn't have the money for something 'cool.' Now-a-days, though, a lot more people were accepting of him and thus, their shops were open for him to shop in without being overpriced or given very poor quality items.
Naruto was broken from his musings when he realized that Ranmaru was no longer at Karashi's side. Instead he was standing next to Naruto and he was holding the last gift in his arms. Even Naruto could see that he wanted to say something.
"I just wanted to say something before I give you my gift, Naruto." Taking a deep breath, Ranmaru looked Naruto straight in his eyes. "When you first tried to save me, I was confused. To me, you were a complete stranger, you had no reason to try and help me when I thought I had nothing left to live for. When you told me about Haku, I was shocked, I mean, it's scary how much we were alike. Both of us wanted to die when we felt useless, it almost feels like I know him we're so similar. And I realized why you saved me, you didn't want history to repeat it self, and you didn't want another person to needlessly suffer!"
At this point Ranmaru had to stop to shake and wipe the tears out of his eyes while Karashi openly gawked, never had he seen such emotion come from Ranmaru, ever. Wiping the remaining tears away, Ranmaru looked to Karashi. After composing himself, Karashi gave the small boy a nod, before letting him continue.
"When you told us about Sasuke and how he betrayed you, we both agreed that he was wrong. Breaking your bonds with people only makes you weaker! Karashi and I want you to prove him wrong next time you meet, so we wanted you to have this gift more than any other."
With that, Ranmaru handed Naruto the last gift and a small kunai to cut the wrappings with. Not wanting to disappoint, and a bit eager to see what Ranmaru and Karashi wanted him to have, he took the kunai and sliced the wrappings from one corner to the other. As the wrappings fell away, Karashi and Ranmaru smiled, while Naruto received the shock of his life. There, resting before him were two objects that he thought he would never see again.
The twin blades of Raiga.
Both of the blades rested there before him, almost taunting him. The two straight, single edged pike like blades look as if they had never been in battle before; not a scratch or bit of rust or corrosion on them. The unsharpened portion was a dull, unpolished steel grey while the sharpened edge was polished to a near mirror shine. Each blade had a large hook like claw with its forward/inner edge sharpened extending from the back edge of the blade near the hilt, and a smaller claw with both sides sharpened extending from the edged portion of the blade about a third of the way down from the tip. The cross-guard of the blades was unique, the guards of the swords were small and extended inward from their center, making it dangerous to try and stop an enemy sword with them. Rather, it appeared as if one had to try and block with the claws instead. The handles were long enough for both of his hands to rest comfortably on one of the sword handles, with the light brown wrapping ending about a half an inch from the prommel. The prommel it's self held a latching mechanism so the two swords could be linked together to form a sort of double bladed sword/sword quarter-staff.
Naruto kept working his jaw trying to say something, but he couldn't get anything out. What could he say, "Wow, thanks for the blades that your dead friend used' or 'Gee, I hope I don't start obsessing about funerals now…' thankfully, for Naruto's sake, his mind was stopped before it could conjure anymore morbid responses by Ranmaru.
"Before Raiga and I came here, I remember him telling me a story about his swords…"
"Huh, a story?" Ranmaru nodded
"Yeah, he told me a long time ago that the blades weren't originally his, that he killed the man who originally held them. I remember him saying that the blades were called the Ooburi Futago, or storm twins." He paused, taking a deep breath before speaking again. "Naruto, you defeated Raiga not once, but twice. If anyone has a right to claim the sword as their own, then it's you."
"Umm, well …" Naruto, for a lack of a better term, was dumbfounded. He did beat Raiga twice, once with a Rasengan and the second time with a Kage Bunshin (Shadow clone) taijutsu combo that sent him over the edge of a cliff. The only problem now was getting them back home. Tenten and Neji had asked around about the blades, to either collect or return to the mist village, respectively. Tenten stopped asking yesterday and Neji the day after Raiga's death. If either found out he had them, they would probably take the swords away. As if reading his thought, Karashi provided the solution.
"We wanted to give you the swords today because your teammates stopped asking about them yesterday, and don't worry, we have the perfect way for you to get them back home, show him Ranmaru!" Naruto watched as Ranmaru made three hand-signs, and with a muttered 'Henge' tapped the swords. A muffled 'poof' and a small cloud of smoke later, and the Ooburi Futago had been transformed into a pair of collapsible tent poles. Giving him a look, Karashi continued.
"If anyone asks, just say that when you went to pack the clothes I gave you, you found those 'tent poles' in your bag and had to take the out to fit the clothes in. Besides, why did you think I had you guys move your bags down here last night?" Karashi finished by motioning to the three bags that lay by the door. Naruto could only smile for it looked like Karashi had a bit of a pranksters mind in him.
The next morning was a hectic one. Everybody was securing around, trying to make sure that they had everything. Tenten was turning the place upside down just to make sure that she didn't forget any of her kunais, and Lee was going off on a tangent about 'the spring time of youth morning stretches' or something while performing one handed push-ups. The only people that were ready to go were Neji and surprisingly, Naruto. This slight difference from the norm would usually raise a few eyebrows, but Karashi had explained to the three why this was, but it still didn't keep Naruto from feeling nervous. His mind was plagued with worries.
'Would Tenten realize that I have a henge on the Ooburi Futago? Will Neji see the chakra of the blades with his Byakugan? No, that won't happen. Neji's good and all, but he didn't see that Raiga was barely alive after I beat him the first time, so that won't happen. But there's still Tenten and Lee, I know Lee won't ask anything, but Tenten might!'
Naruto never mentioned it, but right after he cut open the wrappings that held the Ooburi Futago he felt something, like an invisible spark, jump between him and the swords. Ever since then, he felt at peace. Even the lingering guilt of Sasuke's defection to sound seemed to melt away. His thoughts seemed clearer, and he could recall his memories a little easier than before. He didn't know why, but the thought of some one taking the Ooburi Futago away from him sent chills down his spine. Luckily, Neji wasn't paying any attention to Naruto to see his nervousness; instead, he was watching the theatrics that were going on in the kitchen between Karashi, Ranmaru, and lady Sanshou. The three curry chefs stopped there argument when Lee spoke.
The three looked up. It appeared the four ninja were finally ready to leave, Tenten had found all of her kunai, and Lee had finished his 'light' morning work out. Ranmaru gave Naruto a wink that none of the other shinobi noticed.
"We'll be leaving now" everybody decided to add their thanks or good bye.
"Thanks for taking care of us" Neji
"Baa-chan, take care of Ranmaru!" Naruto said, sending Ranmaru his wink back with an added smile. Mistaking the smile for her, Sanshou-baasan smiled and raiser her ladle before replying.
"Oh my! As an heir to making my Curry of Life, I'll raise him well." Tenten decided to add in her two ryou.
"Ranmaru, Karashi, work hard." A duo of 'Hai's followed. Before they could turn to leave, Sanshou-baasan jumped onto the table with an excited look on her face.
"Oh my! It's a long way from here to Konoha." Pointing her ladle behind them she continued saying "So you can be especially strong, I've made a special batch for you! After you eat it you can set out."
Turning to see what was so special about this batch of curry, three out of the four shinobi felt a chill run down their spines at the sight of the four plates of red curry sitting on the table before them.
"What's with that especially spicy-looking bright red color?!" Tenten exclaimed, remembering the effect the black variant had on her. She wasn't the only one affected.
"My eyes have gotten a bit watery" Naruto said. Lee, unfortunately, went from a look of horror to a look of pure excitement.
"It looks great, doesn't it?!" His companions decided to make a hasty retreat as Neji spoke.
"If we don't hurry back, Tsunade-sama will get angry!"
"That's right! It's a pity, but we've got to leave now." Naruto added, before helping Neji drag Lee out of the Curry of life shop. Tenten followed right behind them with a "Wait up!"
As the curry chefs stepped out to watch the retreating forms of the three shinobi, none of them realized the results of their actions. Both Ranmaru and Karashi had created a legend, simply by deciding to give the blades of Raiga to one Uzumaki Naruto. They were the origin of a hero of legend.
Behold, Arashi Kitsune, the Storm Fox.
AN: And Cut! The first chapter of my new story, I first thought of this story when I first saw the Riga arc online (in subtitles, not the dubbed version) a long time ago. I came up with a good idea and put it on the back burner so I could write my other story, Honored Predator. Note that this fic will contain elements of both Bleach and Mortal Kombat, but it is NOT A CROSSOVER, I'm just adding elements, you'll see them later.
AN2: Made a quick translation correction. please bear with me on this as I am trying a new translation style and all I have to help me is a crappy online translator, if you have a link to a high quality translator that I can use fro free, please send me a PM. same goes for betas, just send me a pm.