Shinigakure no Sato
by Lord Dragon Claw
Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto. The Legend of Zelda and all related characters belong to Nintendo.
Chapter One: Life in Death
Four brown-robed individuals sped through the forests of Fire Country on their way home from a mission in Lightning Country. Their target had been the daimyo of Lightning; their objective was his death and to make it look like the ninjas from Kumogakure no Sato, the Ninja Village Hidden in the Clouds, had stabbed him in the back. Their mission went off without a hitch. The man was dead, Kumo would be blamed by the populous, their ninja program would be downsized by the next daimyo, and Konohagakure no Sato, the Ninja Village Hidden in the Leaves, would probably take the blame from the Raikage (Lightning Shadow), the leader of the Kumonins.
All-in-all, the robed ninja would never be suspected, and neither would their home country.
As they neared Konoha, they had to resort to their best stealth efforts to avoid being detected by the small crowd of ninja yelling about some monster about six kilometers from Konoha's south gate. The robed figures stopped to observe; as they watched, their rage began to build as they witnessed the angry Konohanins beat on a blonde-haired, blue-eyed child. They kept themselves in control and waited for the Leaf ninjas to leave - it only took about twenty minutes.
The leader of the group, who, instead of wearing a brown hood like the others, wore a helmet, alighted on the forest floor to check on the status of the child - no, boy. The poor child had both of his legs broken mid-shin, had broken thumbs, a broken nose, a black eye, and was missing some teeth. But, through all the blood and bruises, the helmeted being saw what appeared to be birthmarks on the boy's cheeks. Realizing that the boy was still breathing, despite a punctured lung, the being lifted the boy's tattered and bloody shirt to check the stomach for wounds... but found a containment seal that was glowing red. As the being watched, the boy's wounds were slowly being healed by the red chakra leaking from the seal.
The helmeted being nodded, and used hand signs to tell one of its companions to carry the boy back to their country.
Hours later, Konoha ANBU were unable to find any trace of the boy beyond some blood, a few teeth, and the smell of grave dust in the area where the small group of ninja had been. Court marshals ensued, and many ninja, including one Mizuki, were publicly executed.
"Tell me, Shiro, Master Garo, why did you bring the boy?"
"Sire," began the helmeted being while standing in a single ray of light. "He was a Jinchuuriki. I thought that our strength could be improved - especially if Konoha did not want him."
"Are you certain that your... humanity wasn't bleeding through?"
Shiro sighed. "It very well may have been surfacing... I apologize."
"No need to apologize, Shiro. Regaining your humanity is a step in the right direction."
"Thank you, Sire." Shiro bowed.
"Now go, Shiro. Train the new Garos and train our ANBU as well."
"By your leave. Hail Igos du Ikana!"
The ray of light extinguished, causing total darkness to befall the room.
Uzumaki Naruto, six years old, could feel pain in multiple places - including a few he didn't know he had! He groaned and tried to sit up, but only felt even more pain. However, he could feel a weight on his forehead as it gently pushed him down again. He could hear strange noises, but then he recognized them as voices.
"Aha! See Koume! I told you my salves and medications would help the boy!" said the shrill voice of an old woman.
"Shut up, Kotake! I had to set his bones before you could apply your meds!" commented another shrill, old woman voice.
Quite frankly, their voices made Naruto's head hurt, and he grunted in protest.
Another old woman's voice, this time much more calm, interrupted the shrill pair. Also, she spoke from next to Naruto's head, making the boy guess correctly that she was making him lay down.
"Quiet, the both of you!" she admonished. "We're in a hospital, for Nayru's sake!"
Both of the other old women made a grunt or harrumph or whatever, and were silent. Naruto finally managed to open his eyes without feeling skull-splitting pain, and saw a woman with dark brown hair, silver strands hanging evenly throughout, a long nose that appeared to have been broken at some point in time, pointed ears, and piercing green eyes with pupils as slits, much like a cat's.
"Hey there, little man," began the calmest of the three old women. "I am Doctor Aganth. With my help, and the help of my assistants, Doctors Koume and Kotake Twinrova, we brought you back from the brink of death. Also, you seem to naturally heal very fast anyway. You're a very lucky little boy!"
The blonde turned to see the other two old women. They were almost identical. They had long noses, making them look something like cranes. They had rounded ears and tanned skin. Where one had red eyes, the other had blue, and they each wore a gem hanging from a brown headdress, the colors of which matched their eyes.
"W-where am I?" asked the nervous blonde.
"Shinigakure no Sato, nestled deep within Ikana Canyon, the center of Ikana Country." (Village Hidden among the Dead)
"Ikana? Where is dat? Is it anywhere near Fire Country?"
"Let me explain," said the red-eyed twin. "There is Fire Country. To its west is River Country. To the west of that is Wind Country. Southwest of that is Wheat Country. South of that is Paper Country. Southeast of that is Ikana. To the east and north of Ikana is the ocean."
"Thank you Koume," said Aganth.
"So... I'm a long way from Konoha?"
"Yes. And far, far away from anyone who might ever try to hurt you."
Naruto allowed himself to smile a little before he realized that he might never see the Old Man, the Sandaime Hokage, ever again. He began crying, and Aganth held him close, trying to comfort him, thinking that he was flashing back.
"Sire," said a ninja wearing a yellow fox mask as he bowed.
"You summoned me?"
"That I did. You and Anju have been married for a couple months now, correct?"
"That we have."
"Have you ever thought about having children?"
"By your hesitancy to answer, I can see you have. You've been trying, haven't you? No. Don't answer that. But that brings me to the reason why I called you here."
"Sire?" Kafei cocked his head.
"We have come across an orphan who needs a family. I feel you will find him to be quite to your liking in temperament, and your summons might just find a liking to him, both yours and Anju's."
"Are you so sure about Anju's feelings on this matter?"
"She said if we were unable to have children of our own, that she would want to adopt."
"Sire, if I may ask a question..."
"Usually you have the orphanage handle the situation. Why take such an interest in a random orphaned boy?"
"Because he isn't just some orphan - he's a Jinchuuriki."
"... Does he have contact with his tenant?"
"No. And I hope to keep it that way. You still accept?"
"Of course. I will still try to treat him like a normal child though."
"Good. He will be taking my name, however."
"Kafei, you may return to your wife."
"By your leave. Hail Igos du Ikana!"
"Good morning Naruto!" chirped Aganth, as she brought in a tray of food. Naruto had told her his name the night before, when he was getting ready to sleep.
Naruto greeted the old woman with a foxy grin. Then, he noticed a small little cat following her in.
"What is dat?" the blonde asked. Naruto noted that it had orange and white fur with black stripes.
"Hmm? Oh, he's Saber, the runt of a tigress's litter."
The tiger cub leapt into the blonde's lap, and Naruto began to pet him. The blonde smiled as the small cat began to purr.
"He's cute," commented Naruto.
"I won't be for too long," retorted the little tiger.
Naruto froze up. Did that tiger just talk?
"Awww. Why'd you stop?"
"Well, yeah. I'm a tiger summon, after all!"
It was somewhat amusing how Saber puffed up his chest and held his head, showing how proud of that fact he was.
"Yes, Naruto," responded Aganth. "When a ninja makes a Summoning Contract with a tribe of animals (or other sorts of summons), that allows them to be summoned to aid in battle. My family, the Stockpot family, has been the holders of the Tiger Contract for generations. The tigers live in the Lost Woods, which lie on the eastern cliffs of Ikana among the Goron Mountains. East of those mountains is the ocean."
Aganth set the food tray down in front of Naruto; Saber scampered off to the side, but not before stealing some bacon from the tray. Before Naruto began to eat, there was a question on his mind.
"Where are da other two old ladies?"
Aganth chuckled at Naruto's bluntness. "The Sisters Twinrova were asked by our king to investigate some goings on in the Gerudo Desert to our west."
"Yeah. Konoha has a Hokage, but Shini has a king. In fact, he's the king of the entire Ikana Country."
"Like a daimyo?"
"Kind of like that, but we also have a daimyo to fool the other countries."
"Why do ya want ta do dat?"
"You'll find out when you meet the king. Now eat up."
After his breakfast, Aganth declared Naruto fit enough to leave the hospital.
"Now Naruto, my grandson-in-law will be coming to pick you up in a couple of minutes. You'll know him by his golden fox mask. He's one of our premiere ANBU, but he and his wife, my granddaughter Anju, will be taking care of you while you stay here in Shini."
"What's his name?"
"Kafei. Kafei Wolfsbane."
"Such strange names ya guys have here..."
"I suppose they seem strange to you. The fact that in the countries to the north the family name goes first is a little odd to us."
Naruto nodded in understanding, his mouth forming an O shape.
Kafei did not keep them waiting for much longer. He suddenly appeared in a puff of smoke, wearing his golden yellow fox mask. He had blue hair and was built lean and lithe. He wore a black, skin-tight shirt and green/gray pants with a camouflage pattern. He also had a dark gray jacket with many extra pockets for scrolls and weapons. Strapped to his back was a single sword. Around his left forearm was a hitai-ate (forehead protector) bearing the kanji "shi", meaning death.
He lifted his mask from his face showing a pale face, pointed ears, a small nose, and a strong jaw-line with softened cheekbones. His eyes were red.
"Uzumaki Naruto, I presume," said the man.
At Naruto's nod Kafei smiled. It was a smile that was full of mirth, but also promised mischief. It was a smile that Naruto found familiar - comforting even.
"Are you ready to come to your new home?"
Naruto nodded. Kafei brought his golden mask back down to cover his face and they began to trek their way through the village. Naruto saw civilians, but the town wasn't as crowded as Konoha had been. He saw ninja too, but they didn't seem too much out of the ordinary apart from some women with dark skins and rounded ears who looked a little out of place amongst the pointy-eared majority. He even saw a few ninja in brown robes with the kanji shi on their backs. Unlike Konoha, people greeted him with a smile or a friendly word. Kafei was also greeted, but usually with an honorific of one kind or another.
As they turned the corner, they came across something that nearly scared Naruto out of his skin - a real ghost! It was tall and slender, and robed in white with a hood. Its face looked like a semi-deflated head with devilish teeth. Its eyes glowed and it carried a lantern of some kind.
Naruto had to resist the urge to scream - especially since no one else seemed to care; in fact, a fruit vendor was discussing the recent weather patterns with the ghost.
Realizing that his charge had ceased following him, Kafei turned around to see the young boy standing stock-still, mouth agape, an expression of both fear and curiosity plastered to the rest of his features. The blue-haired man cocked his head, and then turned to see that the boy was staring at a ghost. Kafei shook his head and approached the blonde.
"Naruto-kun," said the ninja gently.
Said boy turned his head and closed his mouth to look at his new guardian.
"That's what is called a Poe. They are the spirits of warriors who refused to stop fighting."
"That's right. Here in Ikana, the dead fight alongside the living."
Naruto was still a little troubled by it, but he started to contemplate the idea as Kafei ushered him through the bustling marketplace.
Just short of the village gates, Kafei grabbed Naruto by the back of his shirt, preventing Naruto from absentmindedly walking into someone. The blonde looked up to see two identical men juggling kunai between them. One wore a blue shirt, and the other red, but both had tan pants and black heavy boots. Both had the common pointed ears and had their red hair parted down the middle, flaring it out on the sides, with a thick and bushy mustache. They had green eyes.
Naruto couldn't tell if they were ninja or not. But he watched them and listened to them talk.
"Dear brother," said the blue-shirted one. "I do believe we have an audience."
"Why, brother, I do believe you are correct. The little one's got blonde hair..."
"... and round ears..."
"... and tanned skin..."
"... but not as tanned as a Zuna or Gerudo."
"He could be part-Gerudo..."
".... except that Gerudo always have daughters."
"Right you are, my brother."
"But he's too short to be a Zuna."
Naruto was beginning to feel dizzy from all the motion from the kunai, and the fact that he had to whip his head from one side to the other to watch the two men as they talked about him.
"Actually," began Kafei. "He's from up north."
"A north man, eh?"
"Dear brother, I do believe you mean 'north boy'."
"Of course! How silly of me!"
"And to think that we haven't introduced ourselves yet!"
"How rude of us! Ho ho ho ho!"
"Ho ho ho ho! We are the Twin Brothers, Geran and Hytuu Pierk..."
"... but you have to guess which is which! Ho ho ho ho!"
"Ho ho ho ho!"
"Twins! Stop picking on the kid!" yelled another man from a nearby bench.
The twins immediately stopped juggling, catching all of the kunai by their rings and bowed as one to the man on the bench.
"Yes, Mr. Gorman," they answered in unison.
Kafei nodded to the man. "Nice to see you again, Ingo."
"Heh, bring the kid over here."
As Naruto was herded to the man known as Ingo Gorman, he noted that the man had a fairly large nose, pointed ears, green eyes, a long, pointed, bushy mustache, bushy eyebrows, and a small mop of brown hair. However, the thin-ish man also seemed to have a permanent scowl on his face.
Ingo examined the blonde for a minute, then smirked.
"You've got a good soul, kid. Planning on becoming a ninja?"
"Maybe. I always wanted ta be da Hokage."
"Heh. We're a long way from Konoha. How about being a super elite ninja? That's like being the leader of a ninja village except without as much paperwork."
"... I guess..."
"Heh heh. No need to decide your career path right now, kid. But if you do want to be a ninja, Kafei can train you up strong. And if you need any help with anything, my ninja squad, the Gorman Troupe, will be willing to help you."
"Speaking of which," said Kafei. "Where are the others?"
"Oh? The Rosa Sisters, Kamaro, and Guru-Guru? They're training a ways from here. The Pierk Brothers and I were just trying to entertain what few travelers come in today. Anyway, the real show starts tomorrow, as it is market day."
"Well, good to see you, Ingo. Geran. Hytuu."
"He correctly guessed which was which..."
"... even though we sometimes swap clothing..."
"... and suppress our chakra!"
"... back to juggling."
After they left Shini, they followed the river (called the Hylia River, the source of which was a lake to the south named Lake Hylia) on its east bank. Eventually, they found a path leading out of the canyon (and away from the main road) and behind a waterfall called Wolfos Falls, fed by the Kokiri River and pouring into the Hylia River. The path lead through the solid rock, before emerging into daylight on a forested plateau. Naruto noted the vast differences in trees - in Konoha, they had around six or seven different species, but this forest had at least twenty different kinds of trees. There were some that had needles instead of leaves. Some had blue leaves. Some were very tall and had red bark. Some were twisted, had thorns, but no bark - and were thoroughly green. The more common trees were massive, vine-and-moss-covered behemoths, oaks, maples, and fir trees - on most of the deciduous trees, the leaves had turned brown, red, yellow, and/or orange. Regardless, trees were in abundance.
Little softly glowing lights fluttered around the forest, resembling fireflies. Some of them chased eachother, and others circled Naruto and Kafei.
"Naruto-kun," began Kafei. "You do not want to get lost in this forest - most who get lost die. Stick close to me, and if you do get lost, pray the Kokiri find you."
"The Forest Folk. They're a friendly lot, but they can't leave the forest, else they'll die."
"I promised I wouldn't tell anyone that secret. That's why they let me and my wife live here. Now come; we must follow the river. If you see a wolf, tell me."
Naruto swallowed nervously, especially since Kafei kept looking around and had his hand resting on the hilt of his sword above his shoulder, his left hand firmly gripping Naruto's right.
Suddenly, seven large wolf-like beings leapt out of the underbrush, surrounding Kafei and Naruto on all sides but the river. Naruto looked to the water to see six more standing on the water like it was solid ground. All thirteen wolves were snarling.
"Shit! Wolfos!" was all Kafei had to say.
The largest of the Wolfos began barking, sounding a bit like a laugh, while the fox-masked man drew his sword, which appeared to be made of gold. With his off hand he picked Naruto up by the waist.
Just as the pack began to crouch in anticipation to attack, the leader yelped, and fell forward. An arrow was protruding from the back of his skull. The other Wolfos began to quickly look around, sniffing the air. Two more fell, one with another arrow between the eyes and the other with one sticking out of her ear. The remaining five on the water began to retreat to the southeast as the five left on land went northwest. Three of the water walking ones yelped as something suddenly pulled them underwater. The remaining two were felled by more arrows. The five on land made it into the forest, but then howls and yelps could be heard with the wet sound of metal or claws on flesh before all was silent again.
"First time I've seen Kafei need our help," called a young girl's voice from the forest.
"And to think he's supposed to be the best living ninja in Ikana," said a young boy's voice from where the sounds of a short skirmish occurred.
Another voice, this time loud and gravelly, also chimed in from the same direction. "Seems the Wolfos have developed a new jutsu to mask their smell though."
"Huh," began Kafei as he placed Naruto back on the ground. "Sounds like two Kokiri, a Goron, and possibly a Zora Summon."
A soft splash brought Naruto's attention to the Kokiri River, where a fishy head was poking out of the water. The scales were beautiful, and the large black eyes were as well. The facial structure also looked fairly attractive. When the fish-person spoke, it sounded singsong and melodious, but definitely male.
"Not much gets past Kafei, does it?"
Hearing a rustle in the trees, Naruto turned to see a young girl in a green dress with a leather belt around her hips and knee-high, brown boots on her feet, holding a bow while perched on a branch. She also had pointed ears, but they seemed to be even longer than most of the people in Ikana. She had blonde hair tied back into a ponytail with a green ribbon and blue eyes.
"You wouldn't have needed our help if you didn't have an innocent to protect, though."
"Your help is appreciated," responded Kafei.
"Not a problem," said the boy to the left, whom Naruto saw was sitting on a boulder that wasn't there before. That boy also had blonde hair, yellow eyes, green shirt and shorts, brown boots that reached mid-calf, a green hat, and a wicked-looking short sword, and a wooden shield.
What surprised Naruto was when the boulder spoke in the gravelly voice heard earlier. "We've been hunting that pack for a few weeks now, especially since they tried to attack Dampé over in Kakariko."
Upon further inspection, Naruto was embarrassed to realize that the "boulder" was actually a living creature. Brown in color, it had a wide mouth and beady black eyes. It appeared to have rock-like growths on its back and on its chest. It had large, meaty arms and legs, ending in four fingers and an opposable thumb and four toes, respectively. On each of its forearms was tattooed three triangles and a kite - the kite shape was pointing down with its longer side while the three smaller triangles were arranged in an arch above it. The creature also had a small rock-like substance resembling a beard. The Kokiri boy was sitting atop its head.
"What happened in Kakariko?" asked Kafei.
"The Wolfos tried to attack him in the graveyard, but Dampé bashed the first one's head in with his shovel and broke another's neck with the backswing. A few Sheikah arrived to his aid and chased the remaining ones off. Brother Impa contacted Elder Darunia, and I was sent to hunt them down after getting the help of our Kokiri brethren."
"Ah. Good to hear. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Lady Impa is a fine leader."
Naruto was confused. "Lady Impa? But didn't he say... ?"
Kafei chuckled. "Gorons call everyone that they like 'Brother'."
The Goron looked confused. "Isn't that another Kokiri there?"
"Naw," responded the Kokiri on his head. "He's got darker skin than us and he has rounded ears."
"Oh. Excuse my poor eyesight, Brother."
"Not a problem. That's why we work with your people on hunts, Brother."
The girl Kokiri giggled. "Hey Soldo!"
"Yeah Rela?" answered the male Kokiri.
"That kid's cute!"
Naruto wasn't sure why, but he was a little embarrassed, though Kafei seemed to think it was funny. He could also hear the lilting laugh of the fish person in the river. The Goron grinned, showing his plethora of flat teeth.
Soldo shook his head and hopped down from his perch atop the Goron. He walked over to the river.
"Thanks, Evan, for the help."
"Not a problem," responded the Zora. "Sometime, my friends and I should visit the Kokiri Village and play some songs for you. Well, I'd better be getting back to the Bay. Summon me again sometime!"
With a loud pop and a little bit of smoke, the fish man disappeared.
"If you don't mind," said Rela. "We'll escort you to your home, Kafei."
"Thanks Rela. This is Naruto, by the way."
"Naruto?" asked the Goron. "Sounds like a northerner name."
"Well, he is from the north. One of our Garo squads brought him back with them."
The Goron nodded as he lifted Soldo from the ground and placed him on his left shoulder, then helped Rela onto his right. Then, he extended his massive hand to Naruto.
"I am Gor Harrun. Nice to meet you, Naruto."
The blonde hesitantly extended his hand and grasped the Goron's index finger, giving it a small shake. Gor Harrun smiled again, then grasped onto the boy's torso and picked him up, quick as lightning. Naruto gave a yelp of surprise, but soon found himself perched atop Gor Harrun's head. Soldo smirked while Rela giggled again. Gor Harrun and Kafei began walking along the river again, making small talk.
"So," began Soldo. "What country you originally from?"
"Ah. Largest of the northlands. Not quite as large as Ikana, though."
"No other country is as large as Ikana," stated a voice that sounded like bells.
"Oh! We forgot to introduce our fairies!" exclaimed Rela.
"Yeah," said Soldo, removing his hat.
What appeared to be an orb of light with dragonfly wings was resting on his head, hidden by his hat. When Naruto looked closer, it appeared to be a small woman wearing clothing made from leaves. She glowed golden.
"Hi!" she exclaimed in the same chiming voice Naruto had heard before. "My name is Bell!"
"Bell is my guardian fairy," stated Soldo. "Rela, my twin sister, has a fairy named Mondo for her guardian."
Naruto turned to see a small purple fairy lounging on the back of Rela's dress. Mondo waved.
"Yo!" he said in a lazy voice like a gong. "Bell is my twin sister. I enhance Rela's arrows so that they are poisonous to enemies but will not harm allies."
"I help Soldo find the holes in the defenses of his enemies!" said Bell happily.
"Can I put my hat back on?" asked Soldo.
"Oh! Okay!" Bell fluttered down to his shoulder and out of the way of his hat.
"Hey Rela," began Mondo. "You've been quiet. Whatcha thinkin' about?"
"Well?" teased Soldo.
"... just what Naruto might look like in a few years."
Now it was Naruto's turn to blush.
"Aw! How cute!" exclaimed Bell while Soldo smirked again.
Mondo shook his head and leaned back to watch the clouds through the trees as they went.
Kafei's villa was on the edge of the Kokiri Village. Anju was outside, playing with some tiger cubs; and they were also playing with a number of Kokiri. Naruto noticed that no Kokiri looked older than fourteen, though there were some younger ones. Each Kokiri had at least one fairy with them as well.
The houses were made of wood, but it appeared as though they were built inside of trees which were still living. He'd have to ask about that.
Kafei pushed his mask up his face to the top of his head mere moments before Anju looked up. Naruto noted that she was a beautiful woman. She had blue eyes and brown, shoulder-length hair. She was not as pale as Kafei, but she still had the pointed ears that Naruto was learning to associate with Ikanans and Kokiri. She had brown ninja sandals with two-inch heels, a pleated blue skirt over her green leggings (which stretched down to mid-shin), a white V-neck shirt, with a brown vest over it. Her weaponry was interesting: aside from the kunai pouch on her right leg, she had a boomerang in a holster on her left leg, and a spear strapped to her back. Well, it was more of a halberd or pike with how long the blade was.
Anju smiled, making Naruto feel warm inside, and she moved a tiger cub from her lap before setting it down and leaping towards Kafei. Naruto was unable to track the movement, but it appeared that Kafei was standing next to Gor Harrun one moment and pinned between the ground and Anju the next. Also, Naruto couldn't see their faces due to Anju's hair having fallen like a curtain around them, but the blonde boy had a feeling that they were kissing.
Suddenly, Anju was standing and helping Kafei up from the ground. A goofy grin was plastered on the blue-haired man's face, a secretive smile adorning his wife's face.
Anju then turned to the others who were with Kafei.
"Hello, Brother Gor Harrun. Welcome back, Rela, Soldo, Bell, and Mondo. And who is this?"
"Anju," began Kafei. "Allow me to introduce Naruto - we are to take care of him as if he were a child of ours."
"Naruto Wolfsbane," said Anju, trying out the name on her tongue.
Naruto playfully scowled before saying, "My name is Uzumaki Naruto."
"Actually," said Kafei. "You're both wrong."
Everyone, be they Kokiri, Goron, human, Ikanan, fairy, or tiger, turned to Kafei in order to find out what he meant.
"Our king has declared that Naruto shall be registered as a member of the Ikana Family. His name is now 'Naruto du Ikana'."
"Wait," said Anju as she realized the implications. "Doesn't that mean that Naruto is now considered royalty?"
"Royalty? Ikana Family? Whaddya mean?" Naruto was clearly confused.
"Our king is named Igos du Ikana. He conquered the entire Ikana region a long time ago, naming it after his family. He's one of the last ones left, and he's adopted you into the Ikana Family, but wants Anju and me to take care of you."
Naruto nodded. He didn't quite understand it, but he knew he was somehow someone important now.
"Okay Brothers," began Gor Harrun as he crouched. "Everybody off!"
The Kokiri and Naruto hopped to the ground - a short distance now that the Goron had crouched.
One of the other Kokiri approached. He had blonde hair and blue eyes, like most of the Kokiri, and wore a green hat and clothing. He had a simple sword strapped to his back, but he carried himself with an air of importance.
"Uh... yeah," answered Naruto nervously.
The Kokiri extended his hand, and Naruto hesitantly took it. They shook hands.
"My name is Mido. I'm the oldest Kokiri here, which makes me the boss."
"Twenty-six isn't that old, Mido!" called one of the other Kokiri.
"Shut up!" snapped the self-appointed boss.
"Twenty... six?" asked Naruto, confused.
"Yeah. What's the matter?"
"Ya look fourteen!"
Mido blinked, and then turned to Kafei. "Is he stupid or something?"
"Hey!" growled Naruto.
"No," responded Kafei, irritation showing in his voice. "He's from the north, so he knows almost nothing about this region. If you could go up north, you would know nothing of what's up there."
"Hmph." Mido walked off, annoyed.
Soldo put his arm around Naruto's shoulder, causing the darker-skinned boy to look up at him. "Don't mind him - he thinks he's really important because he's the son of the last village boss."
"Why does ev'ryone here look so young?"
"That's the Kokiri for you," replied Soldo. "We appear to be children or teenagers. We start off as babies when we're born, but we simply stop growing around age fourteen. Some stop earlier, and some later."
"Why isn't dere any older den Mido?"
"Spider attack about ten years ago - they killed most of our older ones before the Gorons could arrive to help."
"Yeah. Spiders the size of bears."
Naruto wasn't sure he believed it, but lots of other weird things had been happening lately.
"Soldo," said Rela. "You forgot about the Sages."
"Yeah. He forgot. Every so often, a Sage is born amongst the Kokiri. They are born with a holy symbol over their heart. They age until they are twenty-four, and then they stop aging. They also live for about two-hundred years, though we Kokiri usually live for only seventy. The last Sage died when those spiders attacked, but a new one was born recently - in fact, she's your age, Naruto."
"Uh huh," said a nearby blue-eyed Kokiri girl who looked fifteen. "I, Fala, am her mother." She stepped to the side to reveal a blonde-haired, purple-eyed, six-year old girl. "This is Saria; today is her birthday!"
Naruto thought about it - today was the thirteenth of October, wasn't it? He put on his best foxy grin. "Happy Birthday!"
Saria blushed a bit, and tried to hide behind her blonde-haired mother. "Th-thank you..."
"So cute!" exclaimed Rela.
Kafei and Anju laughed with mirth, and soon most of the Kokiri joined in.
That night, the Kokiri were throwing a party to celebrate Saria's birthday. Kafei had baked a large cake (especially since Anju couldn't cook) for the whole village. Once Soldo learned that Naruto's birthday had been only a few days ago, he gave a toast dedicated to the boy and promised to find him a present later.
Saria's fairy, a blue one named Navi, would occasionally circle Naruto's head before returning to Saria and whispering something in her ear, causing the Kokiri Sage to giggle. Naruto ignored both of the girls as he tried to eat as much food as he could.
Eventually, it was time to dance. The Kokiri used drums and flutes and ocarinas and violins to play their music. Soldo had an excellent singing voice, as did many other Kokiri. Fala had taken it upon herself to teach Saria and Naruto how to dance like the Kokiri do. Saria was a natural, though Naruto was no slouch either.
Naruto was seriously enjoying himself when the music suddenly stopped, and strange laughter permeated the forest village. Several forms leapt from the trees and surrounded the fire. They wore straw hats and had raggedy clothing. Their bodies were dark in color, and they wore leather gloves. In the place of a face, it appeared to be a scarecrow's face. They had large eyes and wide mouths. The one closest to Naruto and Saria smiled a face-splitting grin. Thinking it was an enemy, Naruto stepped between Saria and the strange being and scowled at it. It peered at him and took a few steps closer.
Naruto could hear the sounds of weapons being unsheathed, but the strange creature merely laughed the same laughter heard before, and placed it's gloved hand on top of Naruto's head and mussed his hair.
"You've got guts, kid!" it said in a high-pitched voice. "I like you."
"We've come to party!" said another of the strange creatures.
"Why should we let you party with us?" asked Kafei.
"Majora is dead," responded one of the creatures, wearing a skull-like mask on his face. "We skull kids want to bury the hatchet with all of you! Extend an olive branch! All that stuff."
"Also, we've come to pledge our allegiance to King Ikana!"
"Well, the celebration's not going to have itself!" said another skull kid.
Several skull kids brought out trumpets, drums, and flutes and began to play. Seeing that the skull kids really did mean to have peace, the Kokiri musicians joined in.
Shrugging his shoulders, Soldo resumed singing.
"You're really going to pledge allegiance to Ikana?" asked Kafei at the food table to the skull-masked skull kid.
"Yup. We're hoping that with his protection that once we finally go Stalfos, we won't be feral and have to be put down."
"Huh. Well, how did Majora die?"
"Well... the one who wore the mask had been dead for a long time. The evil mask, however, had been controlling it like a puppet. With the help of the Deku, we managed to trap it in a box. A part of my tribe then took the box to the Great Deku Tree, who told us to deposit it in Death Mountain. We snuck it past the Gorons and threw it in. The recent eruption was the mask's death throes."
"Hmmm... Interesting. So, you're going to try and join Shini's ninja forces?"
"That's the plan."
"Hoping to put your former Kokiri training to good use, Fado?"
"Heh, yeah. You always seem to know what's going on."
"Except that Wolfos attack earlier."
"Stupid mutts. Well, they're clever though. Good to see you again, Kafei."
"Nice to see you too, Fado. Anyway, two masks?"
"Well, all skull kids wear a mask to hide the decay of their faces, but my mask wasn't really all that scary, so I made a skull mask from a Stalfos I defeated."
Kafei nodded. He could understand the warped logic that the skull kids had - all undead changed in one way or another once they had been raised. Amongst the skull kids - the scarier your face, the better leader you were. That was probably how Majora remained on top for so long.
But it was good to see Fado again, even after all these years he was still a kind young man.
Unfortunately, unknown to all involved parties, Majora's destruction wasn't exactly complete...
End Chapter One.
Next chapter: Music box.
I blame all those who have tried their hands at necromancer!Naruto (and have failed horribly) for this. There were a couple of good ones, but they were discontinued. And, instead of going the D&D, Diablo, or Warcraft route like all those others have done, I decided to do something truly unique to the necromancer!Naruto sub-genre...
So, I read up on various different sites about the Zelda series, including the official site (partially translated by help of Babelfish and Denshi Jisho) and Zeldapedia, and I thought about what races I was going to place in Ikana no Kuni, or Ikana Country. Gerudo, Zuna, Sheikah, Goron, Zora, Deku scrub, Kokiri, fairy, and Ikanan all made the cut. The Ikanans take the place of Hylians and Terminans and any other "human" races that appear in canonical. All other "races" are forms of undead or monsters.
Naruto learning necromancy won't happen for some time, as the boy has to learn the control necessary to perform it. Also, magic will be the same as chakra in this fic.
More about the geography and topography of Ikana will come up in later chapters.
I will use any of the games as sources for names, or I will make up names as I go along.
They Pierk Brothers are the unnamed Twins from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. I took from their joking personalities from the games and patterned them loosely after Fred and George Weasley from Harry Potter. It made them much easier to write.
You may notice that I have a lot of sets of twins running around. I'm going to explore the idea that twins have powerful magic when working together.
Those of you who can guess what game Bell and Mondo are from will receive ten points.
There are no set pairings (except Kafei/Anju) in this fic at the moment. And it will not be a haremfic. Just thought I should get that across now. Plus, I already have a number of haremfics already up and running. Anyway, a number of females of several of races and from several countries will have the hots for Naruto, but only one of them will finally land him. Voting for or demanding for a paring will not sway my decision, once I finally make it, so don't bother. However, if you want to tell me what pairing you would like to see and list your reasons why you think such relationship would work out, then I'm all ears. Still not going to sway my decision, but I'd like to hear what different people like.
Cylon One is unable to beta at the moment due to medical reasons - hope he gets better soon! In the meantime, I wish to thank Vassago-Toxicity for putting up with me and my muse.
And it seems Igos du Ikana is not selectable in the character selection thingy when submitting a story. Hmmm... I wonder how to go about getting him added.