Final Chapter – Victory & Loss
Shukaku and Gaara faced off against Naruto and Gamabunta. They just looked at each other, each with their own objective. One wanted to destroy, the other wanted to protect. With a roar, Gaara threw his arms forward. Big balls of sand were shot toward Gamabunta. The large toad ducked and dodged as he got closer to the large tanuki. Like lightning, Gamabunta removed his blade and lashed out at Shukaku. Gamabunta struggled to cut into him, giving the beast time to counter.
"Jump back!" Naruto called out. The toad listened and jumped away from the Shukaku. They landed away from the Shukaku and faced him.
"That sand is very hard to cut through. I will need an edge." Gamabunta said. Naruto jumped off his head and landed on the blade.
"Trust me boss, I've got it covered." Naruto said.
"Alright kid, hang on!" Gamabunta charged at the Shukaku. He launched several more balls of sand at Gamabunta. Again he dodged and swung his blade again. As he did, Naruto focused his wind chakra into the blade. He learned about his affinity before the exams and worked on it during his month with Jiraiya. The blade hit the shoulder blade and it easily cut through. The arm flew off and landed a distance away. Gamabunta jumped away and landed behind him. "Kid, you are the best summoner ever."
"I figured that would work. Let's gets wild!" Naruto said.
"Get on my head and do the same thing kid!" Gamabunta shouted. Naruto flipped onto his head and focused his wind chakra and touched his head. "Suiton: Teppōdama!" The toad shouted and fired two high pressure balls of water at Shukaku. The balls of water were moving faster than before. When they hit, they blew chucks off the sand demon. Gaara couldn't believe what he was seeing. He quickly did a seal. Gamabunta saw this and quickly fired another Teppōdama. However, he was not fast enough.
"Tanuki Neiri no Jutsu! (Feigning Sleep Technique)" Gaara shouted. As the ball of water neared, three walls of sand popped up and protected Gaara. That's when a crazed cheer was heard all over the village.
"I'm free! I'M FREE!" Shukaku shouted. Naruto looked on with some worry.
"I take it that isn't good?" Naruto asked.
"No, it isn't good. The boy has given control over to his demon. His full power is now being released." Gamabunta explained.
"What's the plan?" Naruto asked.
"We have to wake the boy or we are going to be in for a really hard fight!" Gamabunta shouted. That's when they saw the damage they caused begin to restructure. They also saw the gut of Shukaku expands. "Hold on!"
"FUTON: RENKUDAN!" Shukaku roared and fired a ball of compressed wind. Gamabunta jumped high in the air to avoid it. Naruto watched as the area behind them just disappeared. Gamabunta landed and dodged another Renkudan. Gamabunta fired back with his Teppōdama but the Shukaku dodged. Gamabunta jumped into the air and Shukaku fired two Renkudan, with a delayed third one. Gamabunta countered with two Teppōdama but it blocked his view from the third one. Naruto saw it though and quickly did some hand seals.
"Futon: Senpū Kauntā! (Whirlwind Counter)" Naruto shouted and blew out a large tornado in front of the toad. It took a lot of chakra for him create one that size. It did the trick though as the third Renkudan was batted away and sent back at double the speed. Shukaku barely had time to dodge as the attack nearly took him out. Seeing that was covered, Naruto quickly came up with a plan. Summoning several clones, Naruto had them all spread out. "Boss, I need some oil!"
"Got it!" Oil began to fill Gamabunta's cheeks and Naruto did some hand seals.
"KATON: GAMAYU ENDAN!" They both roared and fired their flamethrower attack. Shukaku fired another Renkudan but it was countered by the combined attack. It even made it stronger. Shukaku protected Gaara as the jutsu hit him. The two continued to blow until they could no longer. The fire was still burning and Naruto could see that most of the Shukaku had instantly turned to glass. This what he wanted. With a loud shout, Naruto had his clones attack. Each of them launched a jutsu that they had in their arsenal. They hit the glass and shattered it. The Shukaku began to tip over due to losing most of its side.
The clones attacked, running up the heavily damaged body of the Shukaku. The demon was still aware and swatted or crushed the clones. What he did not see was the charging Gamabunta who ran his sword through the sand thanks to Naruto. The blond jumped off and charged. He pulled out his staff and launched it like a javelin. The sand caught the sand but Naruto expected this and launched himself pass it. He reared his fist back and threw it forward, connecting with Gaara's jaw. Gaara awoke with a start and looked at Naruto with surprise. Naruto wasn't done yet.
Two clones survived and held Gaara at bay. One revealed the seal that he had and Naruto quickly threw his other arm forward. His fingers were glowing with characters on his fingertips.
"Gogyō Fūin!" (Five Elements Seal) Naruto roared and slammed his hand into his stomach. Gaara screamed as he felt something burn. Once it was done, the rest of the Shukaku fell into nothing but sand. Gamabunta pulled his sword out and waited for the dust to settle. When it did, he let out a sigh of relief because Naruto was okay. He was probably out of chakra now but he was impressed by the boy's ability. This fight went a little smoother than his father's.
"Naruto, I am tired. I will be returning home." Gamabunta said to him.
"I got ya. Thanks for your help boss." Naruto said. Gamabunta nodded before disappearing in a cloud of smoke. Naruto sat down and watched Gaara as he laid down on the ground. Naruto just rested his head against a tree. He closed his eyes and aloud the fatigue to claim him.
It has been three days since the invasion. It was dark and it was wet, as the rain just fell over Konoha. Everyone was gathered in black to send a final farewell to the Sandaime Hokage. Naruto stood with his teammates, the Sarutobi family and Iruka. Naruto eyes were downcast as he looked at the coffin of his teacher and surrogate grandfather. He was very sad when Anko broke the news to him. He actually broke down in tears in the hospital room.
He wasn't left alone. Yakumo had him stay with her family at the compound. Jakken, when he was cleared of the poison, also stayed with the Kurama clan. They would sit and talk about the old man. They would joke and reflect about the impact that he made in their lives. If it wasn't for the Sandaime, Naruto would not have the strength he needed to defend his friends. If it wasn't for the Sandaime, Yakumo and Jakken would not have gotten a second chance. Each of them had something to thank the old Kage for.
Each of them put a white rose on the casket and made a promise to the old Kage. They all swore to continue to improve and to protect the village that he died for. This was a promise that they all made.
After the funeral, Ibiki confronted team Anko. He told Anko that he needed Naruto for a second. When she asked why, he explained that Gaara wanted to speak to him. This surprised Naruto but he suddenly understood why. He agreed to see Gaara. They arrived to a room where Gaara was restrained and seated. Naruto stood before Gaara and looked at him. Gaara faced him as well. The two were silent for a while before Naruto spoke.
"I guess you called me here to ask about our similar past?" Naruto asked.
"So we have had similar past? However, you seem to have not given in to the darkest. You have friends, people that you care about and at the same, they care about you. I have not had that luxury. I have been feared, hated and lonely. I believed that to prove my existence, I needed to kill. However, here you stand the victor, my reason for existing shattered. I do not know what to do." Gaara explained sadly. Naruto looked at his fellow jinchūriki with a somber expression.
"When I was five years old, I lost control of my anger and I killed a group of people. The stupid fox whispered words into my head and I acted on it. I could have gone down that road but the Sandaime Hokage; he found me and showed me love. He trained me and showed me how to rise beyond the hate I felt. I then made friends and teammates. A few people that use to scowl at me actually said 'hi' to me. I guess, the thing that you have to do is to not give up. If you do, then you are proving them right. If you don't quit and show everybody that you can change, things get better. I guess the first thing you have to do is to find people who love you." Naruto explained.
"I don't have someone like that in my life." Gaara said.
"What about your siblings? Maybe that's a place to start." Naruto said. Gaara looked deep in thought at that suggestion. Ibiki then led Naruto out of the room and Gaara back to his cell.
Midoshi stepped out of the healing pool and placed on a robe. She walked toward a steaming area where her team was sitting. She sat next to Kagerō and checked on her.
"It seems that the pool is doing its job. The steam will further your healing." Midoshi said.
"Thank you Midoshi-sama. I am sorry that I am so weak." Kagerō said.
"Don't worry about it. I blame your sensei for that." Midoshi said with a smirk. Guren just glared at her and rubbed her arms. She could still feel that sword strike that nearly took her arms. She decided to get something out of the way.
"So what are your plans Midoshi?" Guren asked.
"What makes you think that I have any plans?" Midoshi asked.
"Don't bullshit me. You have never cared about anything but your own amusement. This connection you have with us isn't going to last and I know that. Yet, you invite us to the home of the serpents and take care of us. You must have some sort of plan." Guren stated. Midoshi looked at Guren with some seriousness before grinning.
"I can't get anything pass you. You are right about the fact that I do have plans. However, you are wrong about my feelings toward you three." Midoshi said.
"What do you mean?" Kotohime asked.
"I have grown attached to you three. The months that we spent together were the most fun that I have had in years. Not to say that you are interesting but I would feeling something close to sadness if you were to disappear. Besides, you and I both know that you have fallen out of favor with the snake due to your actions." Guren had to admit that. "I need you three to stand at my side. I might be cruel and uncaring but I know that I will need my team for the future that I want to create. So, what do you say?" Midoshi asked after a lengthy talk.
"I will stand at you side Midoshi-sama." Kagerō said.
"As will I." Kotohime added. Everyone looked at Guren who had her arms folded. She then sighed and gave the girls a grin.
"Very well, I will be your ally. However, if you try anything, I will kill you." Guren said seriously.
"I look forward to watching you try and fail." Midoshi joked. Guren just chuckled at her. A new force was formed.
Konoha was back in high spirits. Everyone was working to rebuild their home. They were still hurt over the loss of the Hokage but they dusted themselves off and continued forward. They would rebuild their village to be stronger than ever. The genin were also helping in the rebuild and doing well. However, in the distance, two men watched the village. While they could not see the work that they were doing, they were looking at the village with evil intentions. Enough with just looking at the village, the two robed figures made their way toward Konoha.
A new chapter was about to begin in the life of Uzumaki Naruto.
Authors' Notes – Yes, this is the final chapter of the story. My reason for this being the last chapter is that I have about another fifty chapters to this story. I still have the original plot plus several other things that I want to put in the story. The new story will be written by the end of the week. I would like to thank everyone for your reviews, good or bad. Anyway, enjoy this finally chapter and look out for the new story.
Shout out to the original author, Sarutobifan45, for his idea. Hope I did you proud.