Outside, the sun shone brightly on the arena, which was surrounded by water on all four sides. A single clear path allowed contestants to walk to the stage. On each side there was a crowd of people, watching and waiting. Close by, and on either side of the path that led to the stage, there were seats set up for contestants to watch from.
"And now to start our tournament, we have on one side Evangeline McDowell, AKA the Doll Master, the Gospel of Darkness and countless other names, feared by those in the know!" Asakura held out one arm widely as she presented Eva to the slightly confused crowd.
The spectators began to mutter to themselves, surprised at the age of the two combatants. Sure, they muttered, the blond guy was one thing, but the little girl? She was going to be crushed.
Eva preened under the attention Asakura was giving her favourite titles, causing Naruto to roll his eyes.
"On the other," Kasumi gestured to Naruto, "we have Sage Uzumaki Naruto, a man known in some circles as Kamigari, or the God Slayer." Naruto smirked, and Eva returned his earlier eye-roll with a sneer.
"Or, as they are better known around here, Eva-chan and the Mysterious Hotty."
"Don't call me that!" both blonds yelled at the same time.
"Jinx!" they continued in tandem. "Damn it!" the bickering continued, and the crowd began to laugh a little at their antics.
Asakura interrupted them with a chuckle. "Here they are, giving off a feeling of being very close. As expected of housemates."
"In what way am I close to that buffoon?" Eva cried out, pointing a shaking finger at the shinobi.
Naruto sniffed as though he was going to cry. "What, don't you like me?"
"Of course not! You're an idiot of the highest order and stubborn beyond belief; every other word that comes out of your mouth is nothing but a joke."
"Love you too Chibi-chan," Naruto blew her a kiss.
"ARGGGHHHH," Eva screamed at the top of her lungs as her blood pounded in her ears.
"Are we ready to begin?" Asakura, their referee, asked them.
"Not quite. I want to get our bets straightened out," Naruto said.
"Good idea," a panting Eva agreed. "When-"
"If," Naruto idly corrected.
"-I win, you will do whatever I say for the whole of tomorrow. Furthermore, you will refer to me as My Mistress at all times, as well as allow me to drink your blood at my whim," Eva stated imperiously. "And remember, you are not allowed to use chakra. If you do, you have to forfeit."
"And if I win, you have to call me Onii-chan and fulfil one of my requests. Deal?" Naruto returned boastfully.
"Ready?" Asakura asked, backing away from the two and giving them space.
Both blondes nodded.
"Now, let the first match BEGIN!" the red haired announcer signalled the start of the battle.
Naruto didn't waste a moment as he charged the vampire, who simply smirked in response.
Closing in, the shinobi searched carefully trying to determine any tricks, looking for the slightest telegraphed movement as he threw a right jab.
Just as his fist began to close in, she side stepped slightly to Naruto's right, one arm coming up to deflect his arm, and throw him off balance. Her other arm impacted heavily with his chest in a palm-thrust as Eva took a single step forward.
Naruto was quickly sent flying back, but recovered quickly as he rolled backwards and landed on his feet.
The crowd gasped at this shocking turn of events – it was the exact opposite of the quick finish they had been expecting.
"No hesitation," Eva continued to smirk. "No holding back. You came at me full force. I'm glad you did."
In response, Naruto flashed a simple grin.
"Impressive," a voice from the stands announced. More specifically, the voice came from the speakers set up around the gallery, and the origin was one man with his black hair twirled into a pompadour. Beside him sat Chachamaru, also commentating.
"It seems our resident martial art expert, Gotokuji Kauro has some insight into Eva-chan's skills," Asakura announced.
"Yes. It seems to be a type of Aiki-Jujitsu," he explained with a small grin.
"You mean the type of skill which uses the opponent's own strength against them?" Chachamaru asked for the good of the audience.
"Exactly. No matter how strong, if you can turn the enemie's own strength against them, it's meaningless. But to find so young a practitioner, I really am surprised."
"Oh, so that's it?" Naruto asked, having been listening to the commentary.
"CAN YOU PLEASE NOT GIVE AWAY HOW PEOPLE'S TECHNIQUES WORK TO THE IDIOT!" Eva screeched.
Gotokuji shrank back into his seat. "Sorry," he mumbled.
"No need to get that angry, Chibi-chan."
"SHUT UP! I've waited too long for this opportunity to utterly, publicly humiliate you," she pointed at the orange clad ninja. "Far too long to risk letting it go because the COMMENTATOR," she wildly gestured to the stands where Gotokuji sat, "couldn't keep his mouth shut!"
"Thank you," Naruto told her sincerely.
"What for?" Eva broke out of her rant to ask, honestly puzzled.
"For thinking that that little bit of information would make a difference in our match. You must respect me a lot for you to think that," he said softly.
"Shut up!" a red faced Eva retorted, crossing her arms with a pout.
"Then again, you seem to think I wouldn't have figured it out on my own…" Naruto said under his breath as Eva took out a folded up metal fan.
In the end, Naruto simply shrugged.
"Surely you have more than Aiki though?"
Eva smirked. "You'll just have to come at me and see."
Naruto took that challenge head on as he once again charged at her. This time he was ready though, and as she counter attacked, he ducked, changing his punch to a tackle.
Still, Eva side stepped, casually jumping over one of Naruto's flailing arms, bringing down her iron fan on his exposed back.
However, before the blow could land, Naruto slammed one hand to the ground hard, turning the tackle into a rolling overhead kick, which Eva was forced to dodge.
With a flip, Naruto landed on his feet, his back to Eva.
The undying Mage was quick to capitalise on the brief opening available to her by closing the distance while his back was turned, and when Naruto tried to turn with a punch, she was already guiding it to miss and throw him completely off balance.
With his side left open, the vampire jabbed her fingers into his body. She hit Naruto twice before he swiped at her, forcing Eva to jump away.
"Pressure points?" Naruto asked rhetorically, favouring his right side slightly.
The only answer Eva gave him was a snort.
With a final shrug, once again Naruto went on the offensive with a right jab, which she re-directed, and then when he tried to knee her, Eva used the leg as a springboard to put some distance between them.
Naruto didn't let up for a moment and leapt after the vampire, giving her an over head spinning kick which she deflected with her fan. Landing awkwardly on his feet, Naruto aimed a punch to her stomach, but was once again deflected. This time however, Eva diverted his wrist downward, and, using his own momentum, grabbed the back of his neck and forced it downward. At the same time, Eva continued the movement of his arm, flipping Naruto fully so he landed on his back.
Twisting Naruto's wrist to distract him, Eva aimed a strike at the downed shinobi's throat.
However, Naruto pulled his arm back, simultaneously releasing a kick aimed at Eva's exposed ribs, forcing her to back away again.
Again Naruto attacked, this time with an elbow strike which was skilfully redirected; using his leftover momentum, Eva used one leg to trip him up, grabbing his arm and pinning him as he fell, his forehead impacting with the wooden floor heavily.
However, before Eva could get the leverage to properly pin him, Naruto twisted his body hard, throwing Eva off balance and forcing her away.
"Whoa, this is incredible!" Gotokuji gasped on the sidelines. "This young girl really is a master of the art!"
The ninja stood quickly and chased after her.
Over and over again, Naruto continued to throw punches and kicks, only for the vampire to throw him around with his own momentum, attempting to twist him into painful pins which he barely managed to escape from.
The girls, Negi, and Kotaro observed the match from the contestant seating, watching as Naruto was thrown around the ring.
"I was expecting a little more from Naruto-sensei," Mana stated with a frown.
"It's not that Naruto-sensei is unskilled-aru," Kuu began, "but Eva-chan is a master."
"Why does he keep attacking?" Asuna asked.
"Because he'll lose if he doesn't-de gozaru," Kaede answered. "If he refuses to attack, then either Eva-san will go on the offensive, and he'll be the one forced to counter attack. Considering what she has shown us so far, that does not seem favourable. Or, neither will attack and time runs out; in that case, Eva-san will be declared the victor for sure-de gozaru."
"Eh? But why?" Asuna continued to question.
"Because, in Evangeline's case it is 'choosing not to attack,' while in Naruto-sensei's case it is 'unable to attack,'" Mana answered.
"Eh, really? Do you really think he's thinking that far ahead?" Naruko asked.
"Ga! When did you get here!" all of the girls asked all at once.
"A minute ago. Why, didn't you notice?" the blond girl asked. Her long blond hair was in twin tails, and on her head were two black horns. She was wearing black long sleeved gloves and thigh high black stockings. Her shorts were similarly black, with a devil tail sticking out the back. At the front, the top of her shorts curled up and out into a crescent shape, the points of which fell an inch short of her navel. Her top consisted only of a black top which hugged the outsides and middle of her breasts, leaving the bottom of her breast, and her cleave almost completely exposed. A thin strap held the top together at the front.
"Don't sneak up on people like that!" Asuna yelled.
"Besides, isn't this a competitor only area?" Mana asked.
Naruko answered silently by pointing at Naruto. Mana could only shake her head at that.
"But Master really is amazing," Negi gasped. "To not use any magic, and still be this strong."
"Mummy can use a little magic," Zero corrected the red haired boy. "Thanks to the World Tree, I can move; it won't be until tomorrow that I'll be able to dance in a rain of blood freely though," Zero giggled. "Right now, mummy is still only on par with a middle school student physically, and her spells are really limited. But then, Master has promised not to use chakra, so…" Zero trailed off.
"Hey, Zero, who do you want to win?" Chamo asked.
"Oh, Albert," Zero looked at the white ermine she called drinking buddy. "Don't ask me to choose between mummy and Master," the puppet looked conflicted.
"Eh, don't worry too much," Chamo handed over a glass of wine. "Let's just enjoy the show."
Back in the ring, Naruto continued his relentless assault with a left back hand, which Eva once again deflected. Her eyes followed the movement reflexively, and by the time she realised her mistake, it was already too late.
Distracted by the left feint, a right hook was already heading for her cheek. With one arm busy redirecting Naruto's left, and the vampire's other arm already moving to create on opening, there was no time for Eva to redirect his fist or even dodge the blow.
Eva's fingers twitched.
Naruto grit his teeth in pain, his fist mere centimetres from Eva's face. Wrapped around Naruto's right wrist were nearly invisible threads, the blond noticed with surprise. They bit deeply into his skin, causing blood to seep out around the wires; the blood trailed off along the wires, giving the deceptive appearance of blood suspended in midair.
Smirking evilly, Eva moved one finger sharply, and Naruto felt even more threads wrap themselves around his arms, legs and neck.
With a flick of her wrist, the shinobi was sent flying into the air. When he landed, Eva immediately yanked her hand back, and Naruto's body contorted. His hands were pulled away from each other while his legs felt as though they were tied together and pulled in a third direction. With his body hovering an inch above the ground, the Jinchuuriki was stunned.
"It seems contestant Naruto is having some major problems, while contestant McDowell is tossing him around like a rag doll!" Asakura announced.
It started as a light pressure on his right shin, and then his left thigh, and then his stomach. Looking down his body, Naruto found Eva standing on his stomach, looking down on him with a sneer.
"I am the Doll Master. At full power I can control up to 300 dolls within a three kilometre radius," Eva boasted.
"Cool," Naruto complimented, memories of Kankuro surfacing. He and the other puppeteers would never be able to pull anything of that scale off. From what Sakura told him, even at the top of his game, Sasori cold only control 100 puppets.
With another twitch of the Doll Master's fingers, Naruto's bonds tightened.
"I don't suppose you're going to give up?" the mage asked rhetorically.
"Nope!" Naruto continued to grin.
"Well, that's good. It gives me longer to humiliate you. One way or the other, you will respect me. Whether I teach your mind or your body is of no consequence to me. Now, lick my boots," Eva said, pressing one foot into Naruto's face.
"It seems contestant McDowell has finally trapped her elusive opponent, and is taunting him ruthlessly. Shall I begin my count?" Asakura asked the clamouring crowd rhetorically.
"No!" Sayo shouted, emerging suddenly from behind Askura. "Go Naruto-sensei!" the transparent ghost girl shouted.
In response to Eva's actions, Naruto opened his mouth and bit down on Eva's boot with all his might.
"AAAAAHHHHHHHH," Eva screamed, hopping back and cradling her toes. Naruto had bitten right through her shoes to get at her toes.
In this moment, the wires loosened; Naruto wasted no time in breaking the threads that bound him and launching a strike at the distracted vampire.
Her eyes widened as the clenched fist sped towards her and landed a devastating blow to her face. She was sent flying back, and skidded before coming to a rolling stop.
"You're not the only one with sharp teeth," Naruto told her downed form, giving a grin that showed off his super sharp canines.
And then with a puff of smoke her small body transformed into log, causing the spectators to gasp.
"Wha?" Naruto's eyes widened.
"Well, that was a close one," Eva wiped a bit of imaginary sweat from her brow as she reappeared in the far corner of the arena. "You almost had me there."
"Tha- that was Kawarimi no Jutsu," Naruto accused. "How the hell do you know that?"
Eva smirked. "Those chakra scrolls you showed me… I'm very grateful for them."
"Bu-but I only gave you those two weeks ago!"
"That was all it took, especially with my resort," she told him matter of factly. To her, this wasn't an achievement worth boasting about. What took most children years of hard work to accomplish, the activation and utilisation of their chakra, Evangeline did in a fortnight.
"Yeah, but why would you even try to learn it?"
"What a stupid question," Eva scowled. "There is no such thing as useless knowledge, and this chakra stuff definitely has its uses. Well, I'll admit that when I first asked, I wanted to know simply to sate my own curiosity. However, since the bet and this tournament, I decided to use it against you. What better way to prove how beneath me you are than use your own power against you? And the best part? If you try to match me, you'll be breaking your vow. But don't let that stop you…" she finished with a malevolent grin.
"I always keep my word, Eva-chan, you know that," Naruto replied, his eyes hard. Reaching behind him and under his cloak, his hand went into the weapons pouch he kept on his belt. When he withdrew his hand, he was holding a length of ninja wire and four explosive notes.
"You need chakra to activate those," Eva immediately pointed out.
"That's only when they are set to remotely activate. These ones have a timer," Naruto corrected.
"You still need chakra to make them," Eva insisted. "That makes them off limits."
"Well, let's ask our ref, shall we? What do you think Kasumi?"
"Eh? Me?" Asakura was stunned.
"You are the referee, aren't you?" Evangeline asked contemptuously. "Hurry up and decide. I'll even spell it out nice and clearly for you. Is something made with the use of chakra, and that uses chakra to activate count as Naruto using chakra in this match-"
"-Even if I'm not using chakra to activate it," Naruto finished for Eva.
"Er, let me think about it?" Asakura half asked and half stated.
Seeing her confusion, Naruto approached the red headed girl.
He subtly moved the microphone away from their mouths and said something to her, too quiet for Eva to hear.
She replied in kind, causing Naruto to grin.
"Well, it seems she's made her decision!" Naruto exclaimed loudly. "And it was a good one too!"
"Bloody hell Asakura, don't side with him just because he's good looking!" Eva yelled.
"I'm not!" Asakura retorted angrily.
"Let's see, I think a one second time-limit is good, don't you?" Naruto stated, biting his thumb and smearing blood over the explosive notes. With that, Naruto began to charge forward.
Eva's fingers twitched, but Naruto was already expecting the threads. With his own wire, he sliced into his left palm and with a wave of that hand, his blood splashed onto the wires.
Able to see them now, Naruto could narrowly dodge and weave through them.
Noticing this, Eva immediately changed tactics and created four Bunshin, which split up and headed to the four corners of the arena.
Only one of them had a shadow, so Naruto immediately focused on that clone, ignoring the others without hesitation.
In close range now, Naruto aimed on open palm strike at Eva's body, but she deflected it easily and flipped him away.
However, Naruto simply cartwheeled using his redirected momentum; where his hand had hit the wooden floor on the way past he planted two explosive notes, one on top of the other.
"Boom for the boom god!" he cackled as Eva closed her eyes and jumped back, bracing for the blast.
'Oh no! I should've used the Kawarimi Jutsu!' she thought to herself suddenly. 'Too late now.'
However, the expected blast didn't come. Still in the air, Eva made a small sound of surprise as her eyes opened cautiously, only to for one of them to be hit by the fist of one Uzumaki Naruto.
Eva flew through the air and landed harshly, her iron fan slipping out of her hands and flying into the water. When she got up 5 seconds later, she was clutching what would rapidly become a black eye.
"How come there was no boom?" Eva asked dumbly.
"Eh, Kasumi said that, yeah, explosive notes would be using chakra. She was agreeing with you," Naruto informed her.
"But, but, you- You tricked me!" Eva thundered.
In response, Naruto stuck his index fingers in both corners of his mouth and stretched it open in an obnoxious grin. "Of course I did! I'm a ninja!"
"DIE UZUMAKI!" Eva screeched, yanking her wires and directing them to bind the orange ninja's arms and legs. That done, she pulled him into the air, his limbs splayed in a star shape. Even his fingers were forcibly opened, forcing the blond teenager to drop his dud explosive notes.
Eva approached slowly, savouring this. No more games, no more plying around, this was it. She was going to finish him, and this match.
When she stood before him, it was to find the blond boy signalling to his right, as though having a silent argument with someone.
The vampire turned in that direction, only to find the peanut gallery made up of the boya and his friends. "You'll get no help from there," Eva told him coldly.
Blue eyes locked on blue eyes, and Eva scowled. "No," she stated more to herself than Naruto as the vampire noticed she had to look up to meet the Jinchuuriki's eyes. "You will bow," she ordered, forcing Naruto to his knees.
Double checking, Eva visibly made sure that there were threads binding his neck and all four limbs.
Only when she was satisfied did she get within reaching distance of him.
"You've caused me quite a bit of trouble, but now, now I'll get my proper respect. Say it," Eva put all her might, both as a former Lady and as one of the most feared practitioners of magic in the world, into this command.
"And once again contestant Naruto has been trapped by contestant McDowell. Does this spell the end for the Mysterious Hotty!" Asakura speculated. The audience was screaming, some egging Eva on, others encouraging Naruto to rip free and finish the bout.
Wriggling in embarrassment, Naruto mumbled something too quietly for Eva to hear.
"What was that?" she asked loudly, relishing the humiliation she was inflicting upon him.
He looked at her with pleading blue eyes. "It's embarrassing," he blushed.
"Say it. Call me by the name you promised."
"Can I at least try and get used to it in private first?" he whimpered.
Enticed, Eva leaned closer. "Then, at least the first time, whisper it in my ear," she told him.
She was cheek to cheek with him now, and still he continued to wriggle feebly. She was unworried about any possibility of retaliation what with the wires around his neck, but she couldn't help but check on it anyway.
'Now, which one is the neck?' she asked herself, looking at the wires wrapped around her fingers. 'Wait, I don't remember putting one around his neck!'
"I don't know about mistress, but how about my Magistra Magi?" Naruto whispered as the smoke bomb he'd been trying to jiggle loose finally came free.
"Eh?" was all Eva could say as she and Naruto were engulfed in smoke.
Then, she felt a warm sensation on her lips as a magic circle bloomed to life around her.
"Pactio!" the voice of Chamo announced, the light of a magical circle flashing to life briefly beneath them.
For Naruto, it felt like fire was burning through his veins, as his entire body was filled with a burning heat.
The Doll Master was so shocked at the contact, Naruto felt his bonds loosen and he slipped free quickly. His hand immediately shot out and caught the card that materialized from out of midair.
He didn't even look at it before calling out "Adeat!"
The card instantly transformed into a dull staff. The shinobi gave it a single twirl as Eva looked on, stunned. The smoke still obscured them from the crowd, but not each other. "This kind of tingles!" he laughed.
That was when he smacked his foot with his new staff.
"OW!" Naruto yelled loudly, hopping up on one foot, causing Eva to laugh as she awoke from her shock.
"Chance!" Naruto yelled as suddenly hit her in the stomach with the butt of the staff, which he only just realised was metal.
Eva doubled up and flew from the smoke.
"Wow! Eva-chan's just come flying out of the smoke. Oh, it seems contestant McDowell is down! I'll start my count!" Asakura announced. "1."
"Ah! Abeat!" Naruto de-summoned his new weapon as he hurriedly limped out of the smoke, worried about Eva. He hadn't meant to hit her that hard.
"You bastard!" Eva cursed from on the ground, clutching her stomach. "That fucking hurt!"
"Sorry, sorry," Naruto apologized, bowing his head slightly.
"You just-! Ga!" she vomited up a little blood. "I'm going to kill you for that!"
"What, for hitting you or the other thing?" Naruto asked.
"That match should've been mine!" Eva whined. "Wait, that smoke bomb…?"
"Made without the use of chakra and used without the use of chakra. It was legal," Naruto answered.
After that, Eva could do nothing but stew in impotent rage, too injured to really continue.
"9, aaaand 10! Winner, Uzumaki Naruto!"
Victorious, Naruto threw his left hand into the air in celebration as the crowd erupted into wild cheering.
"I think you should both head over to the infirmary," Asakura suggested to the two as the crowd screamed their praise, covering her microphone with one hand.
"Probably," Naruto muttered, staring at the rapidly healing cut on his palm. With a shrug, Naruto began to limp off.
"Damn it Uzumaki, don't just leave me here!" Eva shouted as she stood up weakly, wiping blood from her lips.
Naruto turned to her with a grin. "Is that how you should be addressing me?" he wondered aloud. "I could have sworn you promised to call me something else."
"You- You-" Eva growled. Then, she audibly swallowed. "Take me to the infirmary… Onii-chan," Eva ground out.
"Too cuuuute!" Naruko squealed as she suddenly appeared, tackling Eva into a hug without another word and nuzzling her cheek to cheek.
"Hey, got off me!" Eva rebelled, trying to push the larger girl away. "Help me Onii-chan!"
Eva's eyes widened. She hadn't meant to say it that time. With mechanical eyes, she turned to look at Naruto.
The blond boy's eyes were sparkling. "Too cute!" he too squealed as he joined his clone in nuzzling Eva's other cheek.
Not far behind Naruko, the others had come to offer their congratulations. "That was quite a display," Mana complimented Naruto, her eyes narrow at the way he was still affectionately rubbing his face against Eva-san's, despite her protests.
"You did very well turning that around," Kaede agreed, nonchalantly pulling the male blond away from Eva.
"I don't know," Kotaro retorted. "Seemed a bit cheap to me. Not enough fighting."
"I'm still trying to figure out how you won," Asuna added. "I mean, were did that smoke come from and how did you get out of the wires?"
"Eh, you didn't see?" Naruto asked as the tall kunoichi dropped him back on his feet.
They all shook their heads.
"Oh, well, I…" Suddenly, Naruto felt a chill. A strange premonition came over him. It would be a very bad idea to show his Pactio card right now. "I-I'll explain later," he told them, scratching the back of his head.
"Oi, clear the stage!" Asakura told them, making shooing gestures with her hands.
With that, the two blondes made their way to the infirmary, the girls throwing apologetic glances as they decided to stay for Kotaro's match.
Naruto was limping as he moved, but still stooped down to sweep Zero into his arms as the puppet wobbled over to them.
"That was so cool!" she cried out in delight. "My favourite part was when you flung your blood all over the place!" she told him, mimicking Naruto's earlier actions.
Naruto just gave her a bemused smile as he made his way over to Eva.
The blonde vampire was current being helped along by Naruko, at least until Naruto relieved her of her task.
"Go watch Kotaro's match," he told her. "Watch carefully," he whispered.
Naruko nodded as she headed back to the contestant area.
"What was that about?" Eva asked as Naruto began to help her along, Zero hobbling along beside them.
"Nothing at all," he smiled back.
After arriving at the infirmary, the two had their injuries tended to. Naruto merely had a slashed palm and wrist, both of which had already started to close, and a bruised foot, which wouldn't take long to heal at all.
Eva's wounds were slightly more serious; the black eye was nothing, but Naruto had caused severe damage to her stomach and that would take time to heal.
Sitting on her bed, Eva was pouting at her loss. Meanwhile, Zero was waiting outside nearby on Eva's orders. The Undying Mage had something she wanted to talk to Naruto about in private, and Zero was only to come in when Naruto left.
"Are you gonna be alright?" Naruto asked, sitting at the foot of Eva's bed.
"With the magic of the World Tree flooding the area, I'll be fine by tomorrow," Eva dismissed his concern contemptuously.
"Oh, that's good then," Naruto replied somewhat lamely.
"You made a Pactio with me," Eva accused.
"Yeah. I was actually going to ask for one if I won; that was going to be my request. Now my request is that you let me keep it."
"Fine… I suppose you earned it. It is a surprise that you didn't just make one with Negi though."
Naruto made a disgusted face. "I refuse to kiss a ten year old boy."
"Then why didn't you just use the blood-pact method?"
"What blood-pact method?"
"You're kidding, right?" Eva asked, deadpan.
With that, Eva began to laugh. "You-You didn't know? You can make Pactios with a blood exchange just as simply as with a kiss!"
"What! Why didn't that stupid ermine tell me!"
"Who knows!" Eva continued to cackle. "Well, let's have a look at it then," Eva stuck out her hand after she'd calmed down a little.
Silently, Naruto handed her the card, their proof of contract.
Most prominently on display was Naruto himself; he was wearing the clothes that he was wearing at the moment, Sage robes and all. In front of him and in his left hand he held a dull looking staff. His other hand was making a handseal. He proudly faced forward with a large grin on his face; the normal magic circle directly behind him.
Eva glanced at the top left hand corner and found the number IX. 'Just as expected,' she thought to herself. In the top right corner was the word Tonus, and above that the word Luteum; as a backdrop was an orange circle. In the bottom left corner was the word Astralitas, and below that the symbol for male. Directly below the symbol was the word Mars.
In the lower middle of the card, Naruto was written in large flowing letters. Above his given name, written in the same style but much smaller was the name Uzumaci.
Directly beneath his name were the words Propugnator Improvisus.
By the picture's feet was another section.
First the word Virtus, and below that in large writing, the word Fides.
Similarly, the next line had the word Directio, and beneath that, the word Centrum in larger letters.
However, the card was all too pale. A normal Pactio would be brighter or darker in colour; this card's colours were a pale shadow of what it should be.
Shaking her head, Eva duplicated the card and handed him the copy. "We'll need to do the Pactio again," she told him simply
"Eh? Why?" Naruto asked. "What's wrong with it?"
"Nothing's wrong, per se. It'll work just like any other Artefact card, except… It won't work as well because of the seal. If we do it again later, when my powers are more fully awakened, it will work better."
"Fine," Naruto moaned. "We'll do it again later." Naruto frowned after a moment. "But why did you give me this," he waved his pale Pactio duplicate lamely, "if we just have to do it again?"
Rather cheery, Eva answered. "That card is not just a tool. It is the proof of our contract; it symbolises that we are Magistra Magi and Minister Magi."
"Well then, my Magistra Magi, I think I'll be going now," Naruto stood.
"Wait," Eva suddenly ordered. "Don't you have a present for me?" she asked expectantly.
"Later," Naruto grinned back, causing Eva to pout.
However, Eva suddenly grinned evilly. "But really, I had no idea you were such a monster."
Naruto frowned. "You know I don't like being called that," he reminded her, but Eva simply waved the complaint away. "What do you mean anyway?"
"From the start, you didn't pull your punches at all, did you? Every word was meant to manipulate my emotions, every act a deliberate movement to further your plan. Physically, emotionally, psychologically, it was all perfectly planned to manipulate me and get you the win. That entire match was designed by you completely."
"Nah," Naruto dismissed her praise completely. "If you had kept up with pure thread work and Aiki, you probably would've won. It was only when you started using chakra that I figured out a plan. Now, I'm going to go and watch the matches. Do you want to come with?"
"No, not right now; come get me when the boya's match starts. You can use the Pactio," she suggested, knowing he wanted to play with his new ability.
"Sure thing," Naruto grinned as he left.
After he was gone, Eva couldn't help but sigh a little. "To come up with a winning strategy on the fly; now I really do have to praise you." Suddenly, Eva's smirked evilly as she gazed at the Pactio card. "Just what I expect from my newest servant."
As Naruto left, he spotted Zero watching a butterfly flutter past her, and she tried to catch it in her arms. However, she gave up her pursuit of killing flying insects when she noticed her Master's exit. Moving toward him as quickly as she could, the blond shinobi patted the top of her head when she got close enough, and told her to keep mummy company for the day. With a single nod, Zero slipped into mummy's room.
When Naruto arrived back at the arena, Kaede was already battling an eighteen year old man named Yoh, armed with a wooden sword.
"Huh? Kaede-chan's match already?" Naruto asked.
"That's right," Mana agreed.
"I blew right through my enemy," Kotaro told Naruto simply, before turning his attention back to the match. Negi stood beside him, equally attentive.
Glancing to his right, Naruto spotted Mei and Takane, the latter wearing a long dark cloak.
"What happened?" Naruto turned to his female clone.
"See for yourself," she giggled. Both blond ninja formed a cross-shaped hand seal.
A poof of smoke briefly obscured Naruko, and when it dispersed, nothing had seemed to change.
"What just happened?" Asuna asked.
"Naruko popped herself and I replaced her," Naruto answered with a shrug. "Gotta keep up with the memories; I don't want to overclock it and have a repeat of yesterday... Or would that count as this morning?" Suddenly, Naruto grimaced. "In fact, it was kinda weird anyway... The memory transfer never usually takes that long or is that painful."
"Why is she even here anyway?" Asuna couldn't help but ask. "No, wait. How many clones did you even make today?"
"Well, Naruko's here because otherwise it would be suspicious. It's cause my stupid clone just had to transform into her that she now has an identity here. If she suddenly stopped showing up, it might make people suspicious."
"Isn't that a little too paranoid?" Mana asked.
"Well, all those reasons plus you can get away with a lot when you look like that!" Naruto stated with a florish, indicating Naruko's body.
Asuna and the others gave him a look as if asking 'Are you serious?'
"What?" Naruto asked in response.
"It's just that... yeah, Naruko is attractive, but she's not that great," Asuna told him.
"Lies!" Naruto shouted back. "Naruko's a masterpiece. I spent years perfecting her," he declared, grabbing said blond girl by the wrist and pulling her to him. "Everything from her shapely legs," Naruto bent down and stroked those legs as he stood, "to her tight ass," he squeezed said ass, "to her beutiful hips," he continued by running his hands over her hips, "to her waist and breasts," he ran his hands over Naruko's sides and then ended by cupping both her breasts, "all of it was designed to exude sex appeal! She's a work of art I tell you!"
"Geez Boss, you're embarrassing me," a blushing Naruko told him.
"Well, don't be. Your body is magnificent and you know it," he told her with a sincere smile, his arm wrapped around her shoulders in a half-hug.
"Boss..." Naruko said softly, her eyes sparkling as she looked into Naruto's own bright blue gaze.
"Are you sure you've never even thought of sleeping together?" Asuna deadpanned.
"Hell no!" both Uzumaki's shouted together. "How could you even suggest that, you pervert!" Naruko continued.
"I'm a pervert!" Asuna shouted back. "You're the one wearing such a showy outfit!"
"Yeah, I am. You going to do something, you Paipan?" Naruko smugly replied, using a half remember insulted that caused Baka Red to lose it the last time Uzumaki heard it directed at Asuna. Naruto couldn't help but wince. Naruko shouldn't have said that, her male self knew.
With an angry roar, Asuna unleashed a punch at Naruko, who nimbly dodged, slipping behind Asuna's guard with ease. Placing a gentle hand on Asuna's cheek, Naruko leaned in so her hot breath could be felt on Asuna's lips, and the blond whispered in her most sultry voice, "Don't touch me so roughly, Asuna~chan~. Otherwise, I'll just," she shuddered, "explode," the blond finished with a long drawn out moan, her eyes pleading with the red head with such intensity that Asuna couldn't help but blush, her earlier anger forgotten as she back-pedelled.
"Wha! Ga!" Asuna was rendered speechless.
"What's wrong, A~su~na~chan," Naruko once again closed the distance between them. "We were just getting to the good part," the blond licked her lips sensually.
"Stay away from me!" Asuna screamed as she turned tail and ran from the female ninja, who immediately began to chase after her.
"See," Naruto grinned in triumph. "Pure sex appeal."
"That's sex appeal -aru?" Kuu questioned blankly.
"But I'm surprised," Mana told him. "To think that you could act like that?" she half asked half stated.
"Naruko's just playing up a role; it's easy when you're transformed. Especially when you don't have to copy someone else." Naruto explained. Then, he suddenly frowned. "Naruko! Don't do anything too bad!" he shouted, just before the blond could disappear around a corner.
Naruko responded with a pout, but nodded before resuming the chase.
"Asuna-san isn't going to forgive you for this," Setsuna told him matter-of-factly.
"I know," Naruto replied, a waterfall of tears on his cheeks. "I know."
"And 10!" Asakura shouted from the stage. "The winner is Nagase Kaede!" Kasumi continued by raising the kunoichi's arm to signal her victory.
"Eh? What, Kaede-chan's match is over already?" Naruto asked.
"Well, if you'd of been paying attention to the fight...," Mana offered with a shrug.
"Instead you spent the time feeling up Naruko-san," Setsuna finished with a grimace.
"It was a good fight -aru," Kuu added with a shake of her head, disappointed that the ninja hadn't been watching.
"Ma, ma," Naruto embarrassedly waved it off. "As long as she won, I'll get another chance to watch her fight. Who's up next?"
"I am," Takane declared, taking a step forward.
"And you are?" Naruto asked, causing those around him to look at him in shock.
"Wha?" Takane gasped. "You-" the blond shadow user cut herself off as she remembered the words of her underclassman.
'He just wants to start again and pretend that the next time is your first meeting. I...' Mei hesitated. 'I don't he'd be mad if you told him to stuff it, but... I think he doesn't know what to do, so he just wants to forget about it. It's up to you if you'll just let it go.'
"My name is Takane D. Goodman. Nice to meet you Naruto-kun," the shadow mage bowed her head slightly in greeting.
"Nice to meet you too, Takane-chan!" Naruto grinned back.
"Are you flirting with girls again-de gozaru?" Kaede teasingly asked as she suddenly appeared.
"Waah!" Naruto screamed in surprise, before spinning around and pointing an accusing finger at his fellow ninja. "Don't sneak up on someone like that! And I wasn't flirting!" he snapped.
"If you'll excuse me," Takane said somewhat tersely as she stalked by the two towards the stage.
"Now, onto round 5 of our tournament!" Asakura declared loudly and happily. "On one side we have Tanaka from the university engineering department, and on the other Takane D. Goodman."
The two stood facing each other in the arena; Tanaka was a giant of a man, with long with spiky white hair, a hard angular face and dark sunglasses. On the other hand, Takane, while rather tall for her age and gender, was dwarfed in size.
Takane gave a quiet laugh as she stared him down, before suddenly turning away from him. "Finally!" she shouted out loud and pointed into the competitor's stands. "Negi-sensei! You shall truly understand my strength. I won't let you slack off on your duties anymore..." she suddenly trailed off as she noticed the intent stares of both Negi and Naruto, who were paying her their full attention.
With a pleased, if slightly red face, she turned back to the hulking behemoth before her. "It's regrettable for you, but I'm going to have to use you to prove my point. All those muscles of yours don't matter to me," she told the man haughtily.
"Understood," came his robotic reply.
"Alright, begin!" Asakura signaled the start of the match.
Tanaka-san's mouth opened wide, and out slowly slid a wide pipe. "I shall begin with my maximum power," he said with an almost electronic voice. As soon as the words left his mouth, a beam shot forth, and Takane struggled to dodge it, only just jumping to the left in time to avoid the strike.
"By the way," a new, if familiar, voice came from the speakers; a new announcer had joined the group temporarily. It was Hakase of class 3-A. "Tanaka-san stands for T-ANK-Alpha-3 – hence Tanaka-san, -san, as in third. He's a prototype weapon built by the engineering club." She cheerfully announced.
This news caused a small stir among the spectators, who soon found themselves perfectly fine with this. The one exception…. "What the hell! Robots! And not one of you finds this weird! Is such technology even available in this day and age! This is a major deal here!" came from Chisame, who was sat in front with a clear view of the matches, her laptop out and open before her.
"GO TAKANE-CHAN!" Naruto yelled out proudly, pumping his fist into the air encouragingly.
"Hmm, I thought you two arguing?" Mana asked.
"Yeah-aru. You pretended you didn't even know each other," Kuu commented.
"Yes well," Naruto began uneasily. "It's complicated. No need for you guys to worry though."
"Is that so –de gozaru? Kaede asked, but Naruto said nothing more on the subject.
"Speaking of arguments," Kotaro suddenly piped in, "have you and that scary girl made up?"
"Eh? Scary girl?" Naruto asked. He was still carefully watching the match, but was listening to those around him with half an ear. "Do you mean Eva-chan?"
"Yeah, her," Kotaro answered.
"Huh? Master and Naruto-nii-san were fighting?" Negi asked. Then, realising his poor choice of words, tried to correct himself with a light flush. "I mean having a fight, not fighting as in the match just now."
"We weren't fighting," Naruto told the dog boy simply. "What gave you that impression?"
"You two were really going at it in the bath last night," Kotaro replied easily, unaware of the reaction around him.
The girl's eyes widened and they stared at Naruto in shock.
"I mean, you were shouting each other's names and everything," the brunette boy continued.
"Nah, we were just fooling around," Naruto told him.
"Yeah, Master and Naruto-nii-san are always like that," Negi agreed.
"I thought you were asleep anyway," Naruto pointed out with a small frown.
"Oh, you guys were so noisy that it woke me up. When I went to check it out, I found you two wrestling in the bath. I thought I shouldn't disturb you, so just went back to bed," Kotaro answered with a small glare.
"Sorry, sorry," Naruto mumbled an apology. "I didn't think we were that loud."
"It's fine," the half demon brushed his apology aside. "Why do you even play around like that anyway?"
"Hmm," Naruto hummed as he tried to think of a suitable answer. The blond didn't think that Kotaro would understand Naruto's enjoyment of teasing people, especially those that held onto a fake high and mighty attitude. Naruto much prefered it when they were completely honest with themselves. Instead, Naruto just absentmindedly patted the boy on the head as he told him "Maybe one day, you'll understand."
"Certainly, Kotaro-kun may have misunderstood," Mana whispered behind them, "but you don't really think…"
"Eva-san is much older than she looks, and we know Naruto-sensei has experience in these matters- de gozaru," Kaede argued her point in equally low tones. "It is indeed possible Kotaro just didn't truly comprehend what he was seeing, and attributed it to wrestling. He is only ten years old, after all."
"But Eva-san and Naruto-sensei?" Setsuna's voice came out in a shaky whisper.
"They are rather close-aru," Kuu Fei added, much more loudly than the others.
"Who's close?" Naruto asked, turning around slightly.
The girls jumped in surprise. "No one-aru!" Kuu yelled out.
Naruto gave the girls a strange look, but turned his attention back to the match as Takane continued to narrowly dodge laser beams and rocket punches.
"Quietly, Baka yellow!" Mana hissed.
"Sorry," the Chinese girl bowed her head.
"You don't really think that Naruto-sensei and Eva-san were-" Setsuna cut herself off with a blush.
"I don't think this debate is going to get us anywhere," Mana told them. "We should just ask him directly."
"What?" Setsuna barely restrained her shout into a strangled whisper.
"Is a good plan-aru," Kuu agreed with a nod.
"No, I have a better idea –de gozaru. Follow my lead," Kaede instructed. She turned to the dog boy with a smile. "Kotaro-kun," she called to get his attention.
The half demon turned to face the ninja. "Yeah Kaede-nee-chan?"
"Have you ever been taught the birds and the bees?"
"Wh-Wha!" Naruto choked out, Negi right beside him doing the same.
Mana, Setsuna and Kuu Fei face faulted in surprise.
"No. What's that? Is it an awesome technique?" Kotaro asked.
"Oh, you could say that," was Kaede's cheeky response.
"Cool! Will you teach it to me?"
"Well, I could… but I think Naruto-sensei would be much better at it than me. He has real world experience, after all."
Kotaro immediately turned to Naruto. "Will you teach me Aniki!" he pleaded.
"No!" Naruto shouted out his gut reaction.
"Listen, Kotaro-kun, it's not a technique," Negi tried to warn his friend, but…
"What! You know it Negi? Who taught it to you?" Kotaro asked.
"Well, my Onee-chan mostly, and Naruto-nii-san told me a little too," Negi explained bashfully.
"Hey, you taught it to him, but you refuse to teach it to me!" Kotaro angrily accused. "I'll just have to learn it from Kaede-nee-chan then!"
"Like I said earlier, I only know the theory; I've never had any true, hands on experience myself-de gozaru. And Naruto-sensei has done it with how many people was it?" Kaede asked with a sly smile.
"What are you talking about now? I've only ever done it with one person!" the thoroughly flustered Jinchuuriki shouted.
"I see," Kaede said with an air of victory about her.
"Not bad," Mana complimented her rival.
"Thank you-de gozaru," Kaede nodded her head in acceptance of the praise. "But really," she once again addressed Naruto. "Now we now Kotaro is ignorant, he needs to be educated."
"I agree," Setsuna added.
"But-but," Naruto fumbled.
"UZUMAKI!" the voice of a familiar red head roared, suddenly appearing in Naruto's vision.
The blond didn't even try to dodge Asuna's fury filled punch, and he was sent flying back and away from the horrible conversation he had been dragged into.
Skimming the water lick a rock, once, twice, Naruto landed on the outer area of the arena, where Asakura stood, looking down on him in surprise.
Holding the rapidly forming bump on his, Naruto got to his feet with a groan. "Aww, that hurts Sakura-chan!" Naruto whined.
"It's what you deserve!" Asuna practically growled, her hair messed up, a fine sheen of sweat covering her body, and a flushed red face. Beside her stood a glum looking Naruko. "And I'm not this Sakura person!" Asuna finished.
"You're not supposed to be up here," Asakura whispered to Naruto, prompting him to take a better note of his surroundings.
When his eyes locked with the wide eyes of Takane, he immediately shouted, "Focus on the match!" prompting the blond high school girl to twist around and try to avoid another laser beam.
However, it was too late, and the blast hit her directly.
"Waah, Takane-chan!" Naruto shouted. "Are you okay?" he called worriedly into the smoke that the last blast had created. A guilty feeling caused his stomach to twist up into knots. If she lost now, it would be because he distracted her.
"Don't worry," Hakase told the frenzied if worried audience. "There is no danger of her losing her life. Power out put still sucks."
One of the two super geniuses of 3-A was proven correct moments later, as he smoke began to clear and Takane was revealed to be more or less okay.
Her body was still mostly obscured, but her face showed only anger as the mage glared at the robot. "I'll show you not to mess with me!" she shouted as the rest of the dust cleared, revealing her damaged clothes. Only the very top of her chest was still covered, revealing a good deal of her breasts exposed. Luckily for her, a small piece of fabric covered her crotch, but that was it. Standing directly behind Takane, Naruto had an unobstructed view of her pale ass cheeks.
The poor girl looked down on herself and immediately reddened in embarrassment. That embarrassment quickly turned into fury though, as a dark shadow surrounded her arm and Takane punched the robot out of the ring and into the surrounding water, where it began to sink.
Very soon, Asakura began her countdown, though there was little expectation of a comeback.
Meanwhile Takane crouched over in a feeble attempt to hide her naked body from the crowd. Her eyes met Naruto's, and he immediately began to take off his red Sage robe, ready to offer it to her when she could leave the stage.
She didn't even wait that long, and, without hesitation, bolted to Naruto. The blond hadn't even taken off his coat yet when Takane arrived. Crashing into him, she used the ninja's body to cover herself, and then with a twist, wrapped his robe around herself as she turned.
In the end, Takane used one hand to hold the rather tight robe closed, her back pressed against Naruto's front.
"You couldn't of waited a few seconds?" a slightly red faced Naruto asked semi-jokingly.
"No!" the blond mage snapped. "I will not expose myself one second longer than necessary!"
"That's fine," Naruto agreed readily enough. "I'm just surprised you trust me so much."
Takane frowned. "I don't think you'll try anything; after all, I know you, if only for a little while. And if it's you…" she whispered the last so quietly not even Naruto could hear it.
"Takane-chan…" Naruto began.
"We met a couple of weeks ago, and have seen each other a few times since then," Takane declared. "If you want to ignore certain things, that's fine, but I refuse to ignore the fact that we have met before now. Is that clear!" she asked sharply.
"Yes ma'am," Naruto answered crisply, a small grin on his face.
"10!" Asakura finished. "And with Takane-san at six, the match goes to the girl taking refuge in contestant Naruto's arms!" Kasumi fanned out one hand to gesture at the two.
"Lucky bitch!" was shouted out from one of the girls in the audience, prompting a few chuckles.
"Now, how do we get out of here without exposing my body?" Takane asked herself, her mind racing.
"Leave it to me," Naruto told her. Making a hand seal in front of Takane, they both simply disappeared in a swirl of wind and leaves.
"And now, it's time for a short break in proceedings while the stage undergoes repair," Asakura informed the people watching, pointing out the five foot hole in the arena, as well as the other smaller holes dotted on the stage. "See you soon!" she waved.
A/N: Hmm, perhaps I wasn't clear on something. When I say Naruto wasn't abused, I mean physically. Emotionally? Most definitely suffered abuse. Any confusion on that point is my fault.
On the Eva vs Naruto fight. I don't think I have to explain anything, but I acknowledge some things are implied, but not actually stated. For example, when Naruto got out the wire and explosive notes, he also got out a smoke bomb and stuffed it down his sleeve, or that the wires wrapped around Naruto's neck were his own, and had done it when Eva was down from his punch. Oh, and that Eva is still a novice when it comes to Jutsu, so hasn't got used to them yet. Stuff like that. If anyone really needs a standard shounen step by step how-why-when, I'll try to sort one out for next chapter, but I thought it was pretty simple, so didn't bother.
I've been using the term for awhile, but just realized I've never gone over it/them.
Magister Magi is a male master in a Pactio, while Magistra Magi is a female master. Minister Magi is a male partner, while Ministra Magi is a female partner. A canon example of each would be Nagi, Cocone, Rakan and Asuna.
Naruto's Pactio - Tonus - colour
Luteum - Orange
Directio - direction
Centrum - Centre
Astralitas - astrology sign
Virtus - Virtue
Fides - Faith
Propugnator Improvisus - Unpredictable Defender
The artifact and its abilities will come later. I'd like to thank Daughter of ether (again) for the help with translations.
Kawarimi no Jutsu - Body Replacement, or simply Substitution
Bunshin - Clone