Agito: Crisis Core: The Azure Moon
By:
James D. Fawkes
— o.0.O.O.0.o —

One: Successor
July 29, 1260 A.D.

The room was lit dimly, candles flickering as friends and family slowly trickled out through the door. Each of them cast an eye at the tall blonde man, wondering exactly what he meant to their beloved relative. It was that beloved relative, after all, who had requested that he be left alone with this man.

He was a tall man, looking to be somewhere in his late twenties or thirties, with spiky blonde hair that shot out in every direction. His clothing was the loose robes of the Hokage, though those that knew him knew he had given the position up several years before. At his hip was a majestic sword with a four-pointed star for a cross guard.

Blue eyes turned soft as he walked steadily forward, sitting at his friend's bedside. Dark grey eyes, dulled with age, looked back at him from beneath a curtain of snowy white hair and an ashen complexion. A wrinkled hand, weakened from the same curse as his eyes, grasped one of the blonde man's.

"Uchiha Sasuke," the blonde man smiled ruefully, shaking his head lightly. "Even on your deathbed, you refuse to give up without a fight."

"Naruto," Sasuke wheezed, "still as big a bastard as ever." He smiled. "I can rest in peace, knowing that my best friend will be my last sight."

"And Sakura shall be waiting for you on the other side," Naruto responded softly, smiling. "You're going to leave some big shoes to fill, you know. No one could ever be as big an ass…or as good a friend as you."

"I'm glad," Sasuke gave a short chuckle. "If the price of peace is that none of my children shall surpass me, then I can live with that. I have lived a long and full life. I can ask for nothing more."

Naruto laughed lightly, "No, you can't. No one can ever say that Uchiha Sasuke didn't get what he wanted, in the end. I think the only one who had more kids than you was me, and I had the advantage of two women. You and Sakura were like rabbits!"

"It's been a long journey," Sasuke smiled fondly, "and a great adventure. If this is the end, then I have no complaints. I had fun along the way."

"To the well organized mind," Naruto commented, "death is but the next great adventure."

Sasuke snorted, "I think I've had my fair share of excitement."

He gasped suddenly, wincing as he grasped tightly at his chest, right above his heart. He wheezed, coughing as he tried desperately to suck air into his lungs. He grabbed weakly at Naruto's robes, pulling the blonde down to look in his eyes, "Do it. Don't let me go like this, with my last wishes unfulfilled! Do it!"

Standing with a sigh, Naruto closed his eyes and unsheathed his blade, "And what shall I do with it afterwards? What do you request of me?"

"Hide it away," Sasuke said as firmly as he could manage. "Seal it somewhere only you can find it, and retrieve it only when the time comes that it is needed. If such a day comes that our peace ends, if such a day comes when the world is threatened once more, then retrieve it, and wield the power of the heavens!"

"Very well," Naruto said solemnly. His eyes suddenly snapped open, and he could see it. Connecting the famous Murakumo no Ken to Sasuke's chest was a ghostly chain, starting from the bottom of the hilt. It was the Chain of Fate, the only thing that connected the sword to Sasuke's soul.

Naruto, Sasuke, Hinata, and Tenten were not Shinigami, not in any sense at all. They could wield Zanpakuto, could even access their powers, but none of the swords were truly a part of the ones who held them. Therefore, to make the connection between Zanpakuto and soul, there was a Chain of Fate to bind them. If the chain was cut, then the Zanpakuto could be claimed by anyone. It would take a while, but it would eventually bind to its new master.

Sasuke, unlike Naruto, didn't truly wield any reiryoku. All of it belonged to his Zanpakuto. He had borrowed Yamamoto's Ryûjin Jakka to solidify the connection between his own soul and Murakumo, and had evidently managed to succeed. The lack of his own unique reiryoku, however, (or rather, the inability to separate his chakra into its equal parts) meant that Sasuke had never and could never achieve Bankai. Hinata and Tenten, unfortunately, were in similar boats.

If they were to die, however, and their swords were not severed from their souls before Konsô, then they would become true zanpakuto. Sasuke didn't want that. Zanpakuto meant that he would have to fight in the afterlife, and he didn't want to fight anymore. So he had asked Naruto, forced him to promise, that he would severe the Chain of Fate connecting him to his weapon and slay him with Murakumo.

There was a little known fact about zanpakuto, one that was generally kept secret. If a living human was to be slain with one, Konsô would become unnecessary. Being killed by a zanpakuto meant you were sent on to whatever afterlife you had earned, bypassing Konsô and sending you directly to your final rewards. It was the same process that purified Hollows. It was kept secret to prevent Shinigami from getting any ideas.

So, Sasuke had asked Naruto a two-fold favor. The first was to sever his connection to Murakumo. The second was to end his life using his own lightning-based zanpakuto. It would be easier, he said, than letting him die and forcing him to wait for a Shinigami to come perform Konsô (as Naruto himself was unable to).

And so, as the Chain of Fate split in half, Naruto sheathed his own sword and picked up Sasuke's, holding it out in front of himself horizontally. Slowly, reverently, and with tears sparkling at the edges of his eyes, he slid the beautiful silvery steel from its scabbard. A flicker of hesitation shot through him, but his resolve to fulfill his best friend's final wishes was stronger.

Time seemed to slow, even as he moved the sharp blade into position, the tip pointing down at Sasuke's heart. Squeezing his eyes shut tight, he let loose a loud cry and stabbed the weapon of death downwards. A sob nearly tore itself free as Sasuke let out a choked gasp, then a final sigh of relief.

Sucking a breath in through his teeth, Naruto wiped the blood away and sheathed Murakumo. And so ended Uchiha Sasuke: Best friend, loving husband, caring father, and respected teacher. Nevermore would his eyes open, nevermore would he draw in breath, nevermore would he speak to his brother in arms.

Nevermore.

— o.0.O.O.0.o —

Two: Blaze of the Soul Reaper
Sometime in the early 1800s

The bright, peaceful sky was suddenly broken as a haunting howl rent the air. A crack opened up in the middle of nowhere, admitting more and more ghastly beasts into the realm of the living, where those who had yet to die existed. Though each monster was different, they all shared two things in common: a skull-like mask on their faces and an interest in their prey.

These creatures were Hollows, souls that were consumed by grief and rage to the point that they transformed into the evil beasts that fed on others. Alone, they were nothing for their prey, but together, they could easily overwhelm her, easily overtake her, and easily consume her simply because they were more numerous than she.

But their prey would not be defeated and eaten so easily, would not be dragged into the abyss of death so quickly, and would not be consumed without putting up a fight for the history books. This served to do two things to the Hollows: enrage them, and excite them beyond anything they had ever felt. Shinigami were such delicious morsels, after all.

Another Hollow moaned as a zanpakuto cut through its mask, disintegrating into fine particles that vanished in the breeze. The bone white fell to pieces, followed shortly by the gleaming red eyes and the body's thick hide. Its brethren around it shifted excitedly, anticipating and salivating over the taste of her flesh.

To Hollows, Shinigami were delicious, the crème of the crop when it came to pickings. There were even rumors amongst their own, within Hueco Mundo, of course, that eating enough Shinigami could ensure your ascension to the next level of power; for normal Hollows, Menos Grande; for Gillians, Adjuchas; for Adjuchas, Vasto Lorde.

But Shinigami were notoriously hard to kill for a normal hollow, especially if it was a one on one battle. Shinigami had vitals, sure, but they were internal and much harder to hit accurately than the Hollow's weakness: its mask. What made it even more difficult was the fact that most Hollows didn't have much in the way of weapons beyond their arms (which could be easily sliced off) and their teeth.

That made it really one-sided. This only proved to further the rumor about a Shinigami's role in strengthening a Hollow, as surely such a powerful foe would only augment a Hollow's ability once slain and eaten. And no true Hollow would turn down the promise of power, no matter how dangerous and deadly it was.

Hollows knew all about Shinigami and their powers. After all, no matter how much rivalry existed between them, Hollows passed around story after story about the Shinigami and their signature techniques. Even the youngest of Hollows knew of the Shinigami's magic, the infamous spells known as "Kidô".

But, despite believing themselves experts on their greatest foes, the Hollows knew nothing of the power a Shinigami's Zanpakuto. The Adjuchas and Vasto Lorde knew, of course, but the Gillians were too stupid to know and normal Hollows never lived to see it a second time. Shikai, the ace in the hole for the Shingami.

Another Hollow fell, slain by the same zanpakuto that had taken the lives of its comrades. A girl, short and looking to be in her mid teens, flung out her palm at the next foe to line itself up, chanting, "Ruler! The mask of blood and flesh! All creation, flutter of wings, ye who bears the name of man! Truth and temperance, upon the wall of sinless dreams unleash but slightly the wrath of your claws! Hadô no Sanjuusan: Sôkatsui!"

A ball of blue fire met the gleaming white mask of the avian Hollow, jerking it back towards the others as its body vanished into a fine black mist. That was, she noted absently, another difference between Hollows and Shinigami. When Shinigami died, they dissipated into blue mist, whereas, for Hollows, it was an ominous black.

A prickling on the edge of her senses caught her attention, then her sword, her grip reversed, slid backwards past her hip and into the mask of an incoming Hollow, one that had hoped to take her by surprise. Grabbing her zanpakuto's hilt with both hands, she dragged her blade through the bottom jaw, then spun around and cleaved through the top. The Hollow vanished with a deep moan.

That seemed to be a cue for the others, however, as they all moved to attack her at once. Eyes narrowing and a muttered curse leaving her lips, she swore, "Damn! Guess I have no other choice."

As her sword moved around in a graceful arc, she cried out four simple words, "Mae, Sode no Shirayuki!"

Her zanpakuto transformed into a beautiful white blade that belied its true power, a pure ribbon floating down from the hilt. As the first Hollow charged her, she slashed down her sword and cried, "Some no mai, Tsukishiro!" (First Dance, White Moon)

A circle of light bloomed on the ground, consuming the Hollow in a pillar of ice before it could so much as touch her. Without bothering to watch, she slammed the bottom of her fist against it and it shattered. Spinning around, she stabbed the ground four times, then poised her blade as if to thrust.

"Tsugi no mai," she called as the Hollows came forth, attempting to overwhelm her, "Hakuren!" (Next Dance, White Ripple)

A blast of pure spiritual energy shot out from her sword, swallowing countless Hollows as they cried out in desperate despair. The people in the nearby town went about their business, oblivious to the battle taking place a short distance away. These were the people she was protecting, though it seemed to have been a trap to lure her out in the open.

It was her job, the duty she had been assigned. As Lieutenant of the Thirteenth Division, she was tasked with the more dangerous duties. And so she had asked, respectfully, of course, that Ukitake-taichô allow her to patrol the city that had once been her home, so long ago. With a soft smile, he had acquiesced, and so she had began her duty as their silent and invisible protector.

But despite the townsfolk being unable to hear or see her, the sudden release of spiritual power caught the attention of another being, one who had not seen the light of day for nearly five hundred years. Within a prison of his own design, his eyes snapped open in the dark and he recognized the presence that had awoken him.

She, however, was far too focused on the battle to notice him, even if he had allowed her to. For more Hollows were advancing, though she finally seemed to be making a dent in their forces. Stabbing her sword down four more times, she cried again, "Tsugi no mai, Hakuren!" and poised her blade to strike.

Once more, a wave of icy reiryoku shot forth and consumed an innumerable group of the Hollows. The others, who had been about to attack, backed away and stopped moving, opting instead to leer at her. They seemed to fear her and didn't look ready to attack again, so she let out a sigh of relief.

"Interesting," a voice said from behind her and her eyes shot wide open as she realized that something had snuck up without her noticing. She whipped around, coming face to face with a large, humanoid lizard-like Hollow. Its mask was streamlined and plain, but its pale grey body was streaked with light-blue markings. A pair of yellow eyes glared out at her.

She swung an instant later, watching as hit held up two clawed fingers and stopped her blade effortlessly. It continued, "You're quite strong, for such a small Shinigami. I didn't expect you to defeat so much of my horde by yourself. In fact, you probably would have finished them off if I hadn't intervened."

"An…" she whispered, horrified, "Adjuchas…"

"And clever, too," the Hollow remarked easily, "but this is where it ends. You're simply not entertaining enough to be of any more use."

Before she even knew what had happened, his free hand had come forward and driven itself through her midsection and out the other side, shredding her stomach. As he withdrew the deadly appendage, she crumpled to the ground lifelessly, gasping for breath. Her zanpakuto clattered uselessly, returning to a normal-looking katana as her life's blood steadily fell onto the pavement.

The Hollow sneered behind its mask, lifting a single finger up as a glowing red ball formed on it, "Like I said. You've lost your entertainment value."

There was a lightning-fast flash and the Adjuchas' hand went flying, cut off from its arm. Beneath the mask, eyes went impossibly wide as a man appeared, sword drawn and standing defensively in front of the dying girl. He held a beautifully crafted katana, the hilt made of black wood with three golden studs and an amethyst gem attached to the bottom.

"You!" the Adjuchas snarled. "Who are—?!"

"What good will it do you," the man began, then he was suddenly standing in front of the Hollow. His blade pressed lightly up against the mask as his free hand rested on the dull of side of the sword and he looked the lizard-like creature in the eye, "to know the name of your executioner?"

Before the Adjuchas could even properly register the statement, he had been mercilessly bisected and vanished into black mist with a scream. The other Hollows, mindless creatures who had followed their dead leader out of fear, roared in hunger and delight, moving to attack him and overwhelm him from all sides.

He turned cold blue eyes to them, then held up his left hand as white energy gathered in his palm. An instant later, as the beasts began to converge on him, thin spears of that same white energy lanced out in all directions and pierced through the masks of each and every one of them. With a cacophony of desperate howls, they all vanished.

Sheathing his sword, his expression softened as he kneeled down by the dying girl, taking her gently into his arms. Her eyes opened weakly and a soft smile made its way onto her face. In a broken whisper, she said, "Hi, Ojii-san."

A similar smile, stronger but still soft, reached his own lips, "Hi, Hikari-chan."

"I-I couldn't become Hokage," Hikari offered as an explanation, "so I found another way…to protect the village."

Naruto brushed a strand of hair out of her eyes, staring into them lovingly, "And I'm proud of you, Hikari-chan."

She let out a sigh, "I'm sorry I couldn't—"

He shushed her softly, "There's nothing to apologize for."

"I-I'm glad," she said, gasping weakly for air, "that I got to see you…one last time, Ojii-san."

"As am I, Hikari-chan," he whispered back, hugging her to his chest. And he meant every word of it. It was terrible that the last time he saw her would be on her deathbed, mere moments before she joined the collective soul and was reincarnated, and it tore at him to know that this was good bye for good. "Now, let go. It's your time."

With a final sigh, Namikaze Hikari vanished into a blue mist, slowly dissipating into the air. With a sad smile, Namikaze Naruto stood straight and looked up into the lonely sky. Time seemed to trickle on by, and hours passed before he knew it as the morning slowly bled into noon.

He was a terrible grandfather, truly, to have abandoned her when he did. For the sake of his deal with Yamamoto and because life had become boring, dull, and cold, he had left her all to her lonesome in a tower that had been recreated to replace the original. Truly, he was a despicable man to be so selfish.

But what was done was done. He could not change the past (had not yet found a way) so there was no point in dwelling on what could have been. Hikari would have wanted nothing more than for him to live on, to carry her in his heart and live every day where she could not. And that was what was important.

Finally, he spoke, "The ones we love are never really gone, as long as you keep them close, in you heart."

He let out a sigh, closing his eyes, then disappeared. His last words floated on the wind and carried themselves to the ends of the earth, where all who could hear them listened.

"Good bye, Hikari-chan."

— o.0.O.O.0.o —

Three: Crimson Impact

Midsummer of 1200

The sun shone brightly down on what should have been a cheerful, happy day. The blue sky was clear and unclouded, the wind was cool and refreshing in the comfortable summer heat, the trees and a multitude of flowers were in full bloom, and several animals were anxiously singing their joy to the open air. Overall, a good day.

Or rather, it should have been.

Big gates stood tall and imposing, ready and capable of warding off a large-scale assault and could, in fact, withstand a siege. The doors were closed, the symbols on the front painted in a bloody, angry red. The normally busy streets were empty and quiet, their occupants and usual bystanders hidden away in the mountain for their own protection.

In front of the gates was a young man, his spiky blonde hair flying all over the place as his intense blue eyes scanned the area in front of him. Three whisker marks were etched into each cheek, giving him an almost vulpine appearance. Beneath a short-sleeved white jacket with flames sewn into the bottom, he wore all black, from the vest to the sandals on his feet.

This was Namikaze Naruto, ninja extraordinaire, and one of the most feared people in all the land. His posture was relaxed, but, at the same time, possessed a sort of tension that spoke of his preparedness to leap into battle. His hands hung loosely at his sides, black leather gloves seeming to glisten in the midday light.

Before him stood a massive army, thousands upon thousands of bloodthirsty and very powerful warriors, all leering at him like he was a piece of cattle to be slaughtered. At the very back, if one looked hard enough, the Raikage and his brother, Killer Bee, stood apart from the rest, as if watching and waiting for him to make his move.

What a move it would be, at that, though they were almost blissfully unaware of what it would be. That was his surprise, one that may just end the battle an instant after it began. He had to give them a chance, though, or else he would be in the wrong. It was what Jiraiya would have done to an obviously hostile enemy that hadn't yet made any hostile movements or said anything that would imply such.

Finally, he spoke, lifting his voice up so that it could be heard across their assembled mass, "My name is Namikaze Naruto, Shinkiri, Konoha no Ryûjin, Sensôshin, and Jônin of the Hidden Leaf Village. You have come here in a serious violation of current national treaties between the Five Great Countries. If you retreat now, this incident will be overlooked and all of you will leave here with your lives."

There was a pregnant pause and nothing broke it for several moments, save the animals and their own natural noises. Then, it started, quietly, at first, only to steadily gain momentum as the impact of his words finally settled in amongst the large gathering. Laughter. They were laughing at him, at his statement, as if it were some cosmic joked that deserved such.

"Leave here with our lives?!" one of them cried uproariously, trying to get the words out through his own chuckles. "What, you think you're some kind of one-man army?!"

"We outnumber you," one of the ones in front sneered in between snickers. "Even with all of those people in that village behind you, we still have a serious advantage! And you're telling us that we'll die if we don't retreat?! Hah!!"

Naruto sighed, unsheathing his sword as he raised his free hand up. They all tensed, "So be it."

He snapped his fingers, the sound echoing throughout the suddenly quiet field. From the gates, a blur shot into the air, slowing to reveal a brown-haired woman. She spun, opening a scroll with her momentum and flinging thousands of kunai into the mass of ninja. As gravity grabbed her, Naruto reached out and grabbed her arm, spinning on his heel and throwing her back overtop the gates. She never touched the ground.

There was more silence, then the laughing started again, "That was an attack?! She didn't hit any of us at all!!"

Naruto's eyes flashed dangerously as his sword gleamed in the sun, "She wasn't supposed to."

And then, he was gone. There was no warning save for the reflection of the sun off his blade and into their eyes. All of them felt dread churn in their stomach and, an instant later, the screams started. First, it was just one, a dying man's scream as his chest fell one way while his legs fell the other.

Then, it was like a chorus. More and more joined in, all singing a melody of agony and crying their own requiem into the stale air. The blonde wasn't visible for more than a moment, those scant few seconds where he reappeared and launched a lightning-fast attack that ended another life and sprayed more red liquid to the ground.

It was a symphony, a symphony of blood, death, and chaos, of despair and fear. Their once invincible numbers slowly began to dwindle, and those who were close enough to catch a glimpse but not be struck down could swear the man they were fighting wasn't a man at all, but a god delivering upon them his divine wrath.

One by one, the shinobi fell and died, then two by two, and three by three. Their enemy was so fast, so incredibly fast that no one could lock onto him long enough to use a technique and fight him. He was like lightning, untraceable, unpredictable, and undeniable. No defense could be raised in time to survive, no man was capable of following him. It was not a battle, not in so much that it was a slaughter, a massacre.

It would be called a battle, would be designated by the history books as such and called the bloodiest, largest, and greatest battle of Namikaze Naruto's lifetime. But it was not a true battle, was not nearly even-sided enough to be as such. One man, one singular man, took on a whole army consisting of thousands of ninja, each one of which was at least Chûnin, and won with ease.

Finally, Naruto reappeared again, standing in front of the last surviving ninja. The man stumbled backwards, muttering fearfully as he crawled towards the forest with his eyes glued on the warrior in front of him, "C-can't be! I kn-know he died! The Yellow Flash is dead!!"

"Then know that the man before you," Naruto said calmly as he walked forward, "is not the Yellow Flash, but the Calamity sent to pass judgment on those such as you."

Naruto raised his sword, his eyes and voice cold as ice, "And you have been found wanting."

Steel sung as it fell, ending the life of the final warrior amongst the mass of shinobi. A flick of the wrist purified the silver of red, sending it cascading down into a splatter on the already maroon earth. The blonde stood tall, turning sharp eyes onto the final two men who had come with the army.

The one was a tall, muscle-bound man with dark skin and white-ish hair, complete with a goatee and mustache. He wore sparse clothing, nothing but pants, chest armor, and a scarf. He also had seven different swords sheathed on his person, but their presence didn't seem to hinder his movements at all.

The second man was similar to the first in appearance, save for the fact that he looked more like a samurai than he did a ninja. He was a boar of a man, with a muscular body and his Kage robe hanging open to reveal his chiseled chest. He too had dark, dusky skin and possessed an air of power, though he also seemed to possess a sort of naïve nature.

"My turn, yo!" the first man grinned, standing. "I'll sting ya, wring ya, and to the brink of death I'll bring ya! Ho, yeah!"

"Fine," Naruto said quietly, then appeared behind the man, hand settled on his shoulder, "but we'll be fighting elsewhere, so as to prevent casualties, Hachibi no Jinchuriki."

Before the man could say anything a strange sensation overtook him and he was standing atop a tall, rock statue. A waterfall was in front of him, cascading down into a steep valley and the lake that laid at its bottom. The area was eerily quiet, as though the world was waiting for something to happen.

The moment Naruto's hand left his shoulder, the blonde had moved again at what seemed the speed of light. He stood atop the other statue, the one that existed on the other side of the waterfall, sword held cautiously at his side. Killer Bee took a steady breath and reached for one of his swords, only to freeze as steel pressed against his throat.

"Too slow," Naruto said, then relaxed his threatening pose, only to go back to the other statue as if he had never left. "Take this seriously, more so than you might normally. If you intend to fight me with your swords, I can guarantee you'll lose here and now. If you have any intention of winning, you will unleash your full power from the start."

"Tch," Killer Bee scoffed, wiping away the thin line of blood that had formed as violent energy erupted from his body. It wrapped around him, morphing him at a rapid pace. It bubbled and solidified, growing and growing and growing, until it was easily large enough to dwarf the statue it had been standing on. Then, it was revealed. A giant ox with tentacle-like tails and a missing left horn. "You asked for it."

"Ryûjin," Naruto responded with a soft smile, "Reigen Indô."

What appeared to be black fire leapt to life on him, slowly peeling away to reveal a man with long silver hair and striking, cat-like teal green eyes. He held a nôdachi, brandishing it silently as a smirk curled on his lips. The giant beast's own eyes narrowed, then it let out a roar as one of its tails shot forward.

Deftly, the silver-haired man dodged it and cleaved the tail right off, leaping atop the remains as the appendage was swiftly retracted. At the right moment, he jumped off it and ran up the creature's foreleg. He took to the air as he reached the shoulder, swinging in a seemingly wild way. As he landed back on the ground, the remaining horn crashed behind him, severed from the demon's skull.

The beast's eyes gleamed and it opened its mouth, energy swiftly gathering between its jaws. Moments later, a ball of black power had formed, spitting ominous sparks. With a roar, the giant ox released it towards the ground and its prey, a sense of triumph filling it as the orb of destruction descended unhindered.

Seconds after it had eclipsed the silver-haired man, however, it stopped moving and held steady. Beneath it, sword poised in a block with both hands pressed against the steel, was the silver-haired warrior. There was a concentrated frown on his face, his brow knit as the orb slowly pushed his feet into the ground. Tightening his grip, he freed his left arm and held it down at his side, slowly gathering his own energy.

A blue orb began to form, steadily gaining size and power. It collapsed in on itself several times, and every time it did, another bead of sweat formed on the man's brow. Finally, when it seemed either his arm or his knees would give out on him, his hand jerked forward and pushed the blue orb into the center of the black one.

Nothing seemed to happen at first, then the blue orb took off like a bullet, punching straight through its enemy and zipping off towards the Eight Tails. The black orb dispersed harmlessly, but the Eight Tails could not concern itself with such, as the blue one had hit its mark: the demon's face.

It expanded, quickly growing exponentially until it consumed the beast in its entirety. Then, just like that, it imploded and vanished, leaving a massive crater in its wake. The silver-haired man let out a sigh of relief, stabbing his sword into the river with a hiss of super-heated steam.

"Now," he said, voice slowly returning to Naruto's, "it's over. Raikage, you shall join your brother momentarily."

— o.0.O.O.0.o —

Within the Dragon's Land, the Ancient One slumbers.
The Immaculate fruit marks the place he lays.
The ground is churned, the sun lights at night,
And precious is all that's near him. But be warned,
Those who seek his wisdom, the journey is filled with grief.
You must always remember, "Look underneath the underneath."

— The riddle detailing Naruto's location, locked away in the Shinigami Archives

The first line is in reference to the territory that used to be the "Land of Fire", as it was nicknamed "The Dragon's Land" when Naruto became Hokage.

The second line is about the Kyakko Whites, the white apples that bloomed only in Konoha, and says that you will find them near where he is.

The third refers to the cave in which he is hidden and the artificial light caused by the gemstones inside it.

The fourth line references the gemstones again, as "precious gems", much like precious metals. It leads into the fifth line, which is basically saying that you have to search hard to find him.

The sixth and final line is warning that anyone looking for him has to look closely and that not everything is as it seems.

— o.0.O.O.0.o —

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Bleach

Welcome to the first installment of the Agito side stories. Well, you've heard of what happened to Hikari and Sasuke so far, as well as Naruto's battle with Killer Bee and the Raikage, so, for the moment, I'm out of ideas. What more do you want to read about within the Sit Upon the Frozen Heavens universe? How about some of Naruto's battles when he was the Rikudô Sennin?

I regret to inform you that Chapter 3 of CCTAM won't be out till Sunday at the soonest and next weekend at the latest.

Blessed be the little ones…

James Daniel Godric Alan Fawkes

James Daniel Godric Alan Fawkes(Signature best viewed in Wendy Medium font style)