.~'As Twilight Fades'~.

By Aldor

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Bleach.

Summary: Peace finally reigns in the Elemental Countries, but at what cost? Now the land's greatest heroes fight on in their new adventure... the afterlife.

Chapter 1: Heroes of the New Age.

Silence… Pure uninterrupted silence…

It was a rarity for ANBU Team 4 as they each lay sprawled out on the ground. There were four of them and one large dog, three and the dog huffing silently at an attempt of regaining their breath if the rapid rising and falling of their chests was anything to go by, while the last seemed calm.

Each wore the typical ANBU porcelain style mask depicting different animals; the first one's was that of a hawk, with the only visible facial feature being his eyes, a piercing white color, and lacking any pupils. Black hair flowed from behind the mask to roughly the man's mid back. Second was the only female of the group. Her mask was that of a cat, with turquoise eyes under. Long blond hair streamed out much like that of a waterfall, tied high in a pony tail. Next was a young man with shaggy brown hair giving him the impression that he had a mane. His mask was that of a dog. Said dog masked man was also laying on a rather large white dog. Rather large would actually be an understatement as this dog on all fours easily stood to just below the breastbone. Finally was the last man. His mask was a fox, with cerulean orbs staring out from behind it. His hair was a sun kissed blond coloring which spiked back and was pulled into a long pony tail.

They relaxed while blissfully feeling the light breeze that kissed their bodies. At the moment, at least for them, all was right. It was a tradition so to speak that they would do after a tough mission. Although it wasn't much, it meant the world to each of them. It was in those few peaceful times in their line of work that they could be at ease, just happy knowing that their friends had made it out alive.

This went on for a few minutes until the heavy breaths of the majority of the team finally subsided, and they each sat comfortably leaning against pillars which with the coaxing of a few hand seals, were nice enough to lend them some support.

They each sat quietly looking over the horizon where smoke was belching out into the sky, slowly covering the peaceful blue with a smog caused by destruction.

"So, its finally over huh?" Said the fox masked man, his calm blue eyes running over his team, and giving a slight chuckle at the condition of the hawk masked man's hair.

"Yeah… Its hard to imagine though. We have been fighting for so long… How many friends have we lost since the war started all those years ago?" It was the blond girl. In her green eyes, images of the many people she had cared about flashed through her mind, eliciting a small tear to well up and drop slowly down her face, hidden beneath her mask.

"Well Ino-chan, just think of how many we've made in the process. Our friends who died each gave their lives for the protection of the village and in hopes that we could win this war, and through the destruction, rise above and usher in a new era of peace and prosperity." The fox masked man but his hand comfortably on Ino's shoulder.

"Ugh, Fox, we've told you time and time again to stop using our real names while we're on ANBU missions. There's a reason why we go through the effort of keeping these masks on you know." The hawk masked man stared at the code named Fox with a look of irritation and hidden humor.

"Bah, fuck that. The war is over, and I'm done with ANBU. I think I'm going to take on a genin team when I get back to Konoha." As if to prove his point, his right hand came up to his mask and he gently removed it, hooking the mask onto his belt. With his mask removed, a grin stretched across his face, showing bright white teeth complete with elongated canines. His face was tanned with a strong jaw line, and his smile infectious. On each of his cheeks were three thick black whisker-like tattoos. His age seemed to be around twenty. He wore the typical ANBU uniform, like all the others along with strange tattoos on his arms and hands.

That was the plan. For four years the team of four had been ANBU's top. Together with their near impenetrable teamwork, they had almost single handedly ended more battles then they could count. They were the only full ANBU team registered in the BINGO book, and were all ranked S-Class. When the war was over, they planned on hanging their masks.

Many good things had come from those which many people were now calling the 'Legendary Nine.' All had managed to make it to A or S-Class shinobi, and it was through their dedication and Will of Fire that kept Konohagakure no Sato from being leveled to the ground. Nothing however is a fairy tail, and it took a few severe injuries and deaths to make these shinobi see this war for what it truly was… hell in its finest hour.

The first loss of the group was heartbreakingly heroic. Akemichi Chouji, the heir to the Akemichi clan had given his life to protect and defend a small village in the south eastern part of the Land of Fire. It was his bravery and willpower that held of the large enemy forces who launched attack after attack at the village until reinforcements arrived. He passed away shortly after. It was after that that Team 10, the new age Ino-Shika-Cho team had disbanded, leading Ino into ANBU and Shikamaru into the role of Konoha's Head Tactician.

Next was the unfortunate demise of Hyuuga Hinata, heiress of the Hyuuga clan. She died while single handedly holding Konoha's east gate while a coalition of Iwa and Kumo shinobi attempted to storm the village. None got through, all falling to the internal strikes of her jyuuken. Once the last one was felled, she was soon to follow, after racking up too many wounds to count. None took the loss harder then Neji.

The last to fall was none other then Uchiha Sasuke, brought back by Namikaze Uzumaki Naruto. He was discovered at the Valley of the End, a rather symbolic place for Konoha where many great shinobi had fought and bled. Only weeks after he had been reunited with his old team and friends he was sent on a patrolling mission of the northern border where he encountered the Tsuchikage leader of Iwagakure. They battled for hours, neither breaking. For miles the battle could be felt, and by the time people came for aid, it was over. Both of them lay mangled against the rocky cliffs. Naruto destroyed three Iwa outposts in his dear friend's honor.

Now there were only nine. Namikaze Uzumaki Naruto, Inuzuka Kiba, Yamanaka Ino, and Hyuuga Neji joined ANBU, quickly rising. Nara Shikamaru making a name for himself as one of the greatest (albeit laziest) strategists in history, Rock Lee leading his team of genins fearlessly (and rather youthfully). Aburame Shino quickly became the Hunter Nin Commander with the aid of his chakra feeding bugs while Tenten became his 2nd in command with her weapons expertise. Finally Haruno Sakura began to put her outstanding medical skills to work on the front lines, taking care of the injured warriors on the battle field.

In all, without the help of these young shinobi, Konohagakure no Sato would be like the many minor villages that had gotten in the way of the coalition forces of Iwa and Kumo, who had been amassing their forces in secret since the last war and struck soon after the Akatsuki had left the village weak.

The four reminisced to the times before the war and smiled. It was so easy back then… The carefree D-Rank missions along with the occasional C-Rank. All of their friends together…

The other three grinned at the blond man and stripped their masks off, hanging them on their belts much like he did.

Hyuuga Neji, the tall man with the hawk mask looked majestic in every sense of the word. His regal bearing and sharp white-like eyes were a direct contrast to the long black hair that cascaded down his spine. On his back was a long curved dai katana, nearly the size of him with an ivory hilt.

Inuzuka Kiba looked even more feral with the mask off. His large grin showed elongated canines, while on each of his cheeks were the red tribal-like tattoos of the Inuzuka Clan. He bore no visible weapon with the exception of his kunai holster. Akamaru, the large white dog at his side licked his face sloppily which caused a light chuckle and a scratch behind the large ears courtesy of Kiba.

Yamanaka Ino had become the looker that everyone had predicted. Her heart shaped face crowned with long blond hair, full lips and green eyes, with a body which curves could be seen even through the ANBU armor was enough to make any guy's jaw drop. On her back was a pair of ANBU issued nodachis, one over her right shoulder, and the other horizontal across her mid back, coming out her left side.

The light snap of a twig spoiled the moment however as it echoed through the clearing they had taken to relax in. In less then an instant the four shinobi were on their feet scanning the clearing.

A familiar voice sounded in the clearing. It held more malice then any Naruto had ever heard, "So, the container is out in the open, miles away from his village, with only his three little friends to protect him…"

"Uchiha Madara…" It sounded as if it was almost spat out of Naruto's mouth as he closed his eyes for a moment. Upon reopening them, the golden iris of sage form was visible. "Come out and play with us, you can bring your two friends along too."

Slowly walking into the clearing were the forms of Uchiha Madara, with long black spiky hair that defied all laws of gravity, Hoshigame Kisame, the shark like ex-swordsman of the Mist and wielder of Samehade, the chakra eating sword, and Zetsu, looking even more inhuman then the other two, with what seemed like a venus flytrap encasing his head. His head was also two different colors, one being pitch black and sinister, while the other was of a pure white. They each wore the long flowing cloaks of the Akatsuki, black with red clouds.

"Hmm, it seems your senses have gotten better since the last time we met. I wonder… have your skills improved?" The cold sadistic voice sent chills down their spines as Madara and his two allies continued to walk closer until they were roughly five yards away.

After a quick hand seal, Kiba's hand shot into the earth and a dome of rock surrounded the three Akatsuki. By the time they broke through, there was no sight of Team 4.

Uchiha Madara ran a hand through his long dark locks with an amused expression, "Zetsu?"

The ex Kusa nin closed his eyes for a moment and stretched out his senses, "They have split up into two groups. One southwest 600 yards, the other went north about 800 yards. They are no longer moving. Can we eat them?"

Any normal human would have had chills crawl down their backs from the multiple personalities of Zetsu. Uchiha Madara and Hoshigame Kisame were anything but normal though.

"Good, they don't plan on running. Zetsu attack those to the south, Kisame… the north. Remember, leave Namikaze alive for the extraction of the Kyuubi. Kill the rest. And yes Zetsu, you may eat his teammates."

A feral grin stretched across Zetsu's face as he melded into the ground. Kisame gave a mock-salute, "Hai Mizukage-sama," before hefting his large zanbato on his shoulder and strolling towards the northern group. A tune was heard whistling from his lips.

Naruto and Neji quickly finished their plans and got into position. They hid in the wreckage of Kumogakure, each fingering the kunais in their hands. Neither made a sound as they crouched on high alert. They knew the diversion wouldn't hold the Akatsuki members for long.

A gentle tug on the chakra string attached to Naruto's left pinky alerted him to the coming of his opponent. In the middle of the destroyed court yard, the figure of Zetsu melded from the earth. A grin was smeared across his bicolored face as his pointed teeth grinded together in hunger.

'The arrogance of these fools…' Naruto thought to himself, 'this is just insulting.'

The Akatsuki member aimed his glance directly at Naruto and made eye contact with him even within his hiding place, 'Well, looks like hiding is useless.' Tightening his grip on his kunai, he launched himself into the air watching Zetsu's blood hungry face. A Rasengan formed within his right hand and he launched it at the Akatsuki member, who had the decency to look surprised.

'He can throw all of them now? This could be challenging,' he thought licking his lips. He dove out of the way, his hands immediately forming different seals proclaiming a jutsu as what remnant of plant life in the charred village grew exponentially and attacked the blond haired Konoha nin.

Utilizing the kunai in his hand and enhancing it with his sage chakra, a glow roughly four feet long extended from the hilt and slashed through the rampant growth with no resistance. He landed deftly on the ground before engaging the enemy in taijutsu.

Kiba and Ino finally stopped on the top of a charred hill and took up fighting styles. The area around Kumogakure had little to no cover which hide in, so they settled for an area which would give them the advantage of high ground. It wasn't much, but they would take anything.

After watching the area for several minutes they saw the large imposing figure of Kisame casually strolling in their direction.

"Are you fucking serious? He's whistling!" Kiba announced, a look of anger and annoyance flashing across his face. Ino simply took his word for it. Even Naruto with his enhanced senses from Kyuubi paled in comparison to the blood hound hearing and noses of the Inuzuka tracker.

"What tune?"

"It sounds like the funeral march, that prick."

"Well isn't he arrogant. Use it to our advantage, and keep your damn head down."

"Yes ma'am"

They watched patiently as Kisame began scaling the hill, batting the complex traps the two had set up without even breaking tune in his song.

Once he got half way up, the two ANBU launched towards him. Ino with her twin nodachis and Kiba with curved claws that promised pain. They froze in place however when they saw Kisame nonchalantly flip through hand seals and take a deep breath. Both braced themselves as torrents of water were flung in their direction.

It was almost never ending. A large lake began to surround the hill, coming to just below where Kisame was standing. The hill looked to be a small island.

"Now we can play!" he said with a murderous glint in his eye, 'Kyuubi must be with Zetsu, that means I can cut loose.'

Naruto wiped a small drop of sweat from him forehead as he glared at Zetsu.

"You know," the Akatsuki member said, "I thought Konoha preached teamwork, yet here you are fighting, while your other partner hides like a coward. What would your sensei say if they saw you now, eh?" His voice was toned as if he were scolding a child. Infuriating little prick.

Naruto re-engaged him in taijutsu, both of them becoming blurs to the average eye. He stuck to the basic taijutsu he was taught until he finally caught an opening within the plant-like warrior's stance, and quickly switched to the frog katas taught to him by the Toads. This unsuspected movement caught Zetsu off guard as sage chakra solidified and extended from Naruto's fist and collided with Zetsu's sternum. Upon impact he went flying. Naruto grinned and gently tugged on the chakra string on his pinky.

Neji flew out from behind a collapsed building and aimed a jyuuken strike to the criminal's cervical spine, but with an elegant mid air twist, the nin dodged the strike and once again sent plant life after the two.

At first neither of them were worried as the blades swiftly cut through the flora, but that quickly changed as soon as they realized that it just kept coming. As the blades of grass began to wrap around Neji's arms, he started spinning gracefully, as chakra was forced from each and every one of his tenketsu points.

"Daikaiten!" he yelled as a large blue spinning dome twirled around him, creating a crater below him along with tearing and shredding the plants around him.

Naruto just crouched down and spun low with his blade angled down. The sage chakra carved into the ground, uprooting and slicing through all that came around him. He dropped to one knee and pulled out a scroll and ink brush, "Neji, hold him!"

The Hyuuga nodded once, and immediately began his assualt on Zetsu. It soon became obvious that he held the advantage in taijutsu while he began to block off multiple tenketsu. Each time Zetsu grunted in pain, but they never lost their pace.


Neji instantly obeyed, back flipping gracefully away from the enemy while Naruto launched after him once more. With his speed being dramatically enhanced by pumping more and more sage chakra into his legs, he slapped a surprised Zetsu on the thigh with the now completed scroll and flipped back once more.

Zetsu's eyes widened in fear as he saw Naruto begin to form rapid hand seals. Towards the end of the chain, the symbols on the scroll began to glow with a bright blue light.

"Hiru Fuu!"

Almost immediately Zetsu's struggles began to wane. His eye lids dropped slowly, and after ten seconds of struggling, he slumped to the ground.

"Well that was anticlimactic…" Neji said with an amused voice, "Seal him, then lets check up on the others."


Kiba and Ino had their hands full. Kisame was no slouch when it came to fighting, and when the battlefield was instantly changed from what had been their strategic advantage to a large lake perfect for Kisame, they were naturally nervous.

Ino's hand flashed signals to Kiba who nodded in understanding and launched himself at Kisame in a cyclone of destruction. Kisame easily batted aside the feral ANBU with his taped zanbato, but a look of surprise struck his face as deep slices formed in on his arm, 'How…? Wind chakra. Tch… damn brats.'

Kiba grinned as he landed, his canines glinting in the sun, and threw a smoke bomb. Once it faded, there were duplicates of him, each one looking even more feral then before. They took off again, both in vortexes of claws, teeth, and wind chakra.

Kisame cursed and attempted to leap to the side, but was instantly assaulted mentally. 'Shit!' He quickly brought his hands up to the ram sign, "Kai!" and he felt the genjutsu fade, but the damage had been done. One of the Kiba's had hit him center mass on his back, while the other smashed into his taped Zanbato, tearing it from his grip and into the direction of Ino, who held a large scroll open in her hands.

As the large weapon hit the paper she screamed, "Fuu," and the sword disappeared into nothingness, while the kanji for Samehade appeared in bold writing on it.

Before he even had time to curse, he was assaulted again by the feral brown haired ANBU. Bringing his hands up to launch a jutsu at his offensive, he was instantly slammed with another genjutsu, tearing his equilibrium away and giving him the desire to hurl after watching the spinning vortex. He flung himself awkwardly away only to have his leg nailed, leaving nothing but mangled bloody flesh.


The genjutsu faded and he caught his balance before focusing on the blond illusion mistress. 'Brilliant… She's not even trying to hide them, just simply impede me while he hits me. If I wasn't the target I might even have applauded.' Bringing his hands up and facing her once more, he began the chain of seals for a jutsu he knew would finish her off…

Until another genjutsu slammed home, turning the world upside down on him. He quickly released it and attempted to dodge the attack he knew was coming, but his mangled leg made him too slow. He was hit again by the slicing claws of Kiba, this time removing his right arm completely.


Then ahead of him he saw the two Kibas… merge. A giant two headed wolf stood above him grinning with drooling teeth, before once again launching into a much deadlier vortex. As he went to throw him self out of the way of the towering beast, he felt yet another genjutsu slam home. The waters of Kirigakure lapsed the beach shore he was sitting on. It gave him almost a tranquil feeling, and this time, he made no attempt to break the genjutsu.

"Naruto, their battle is over. Kisame is dead." Neji said as they quickly ran through the hills to find their partners. Mere seconds later, they came upon an artificial island, with Kiba and Ino sealing Kisame into a scroll.

"Oh good, you both are alright!" Ino exclaimed happily as she rinsed the gore from her fingers before flipping a large gaudy ring towards Naruto, who deftly caught it and slipped it into his pocket.

"Zetsu wasn't all that built for combat. We both had plenty of ways to counter his plant jutsu, and I placed seals around the area with shadow clones so he couldn't meld again. How was Kisame?"

"He gave us a bit of a surprise in the beginning, but once Ino started launching differing genjutsus at him, he was easy."

"Good, I drained Zetsu's chakra at the end. Take some, I'm sure you two are exhausted." He tossed the scroll towards Ino and Kiba who graciously accepted. After replenishing their chakra, they looked up to Naruto who had his eyes peeled in the direction of where Uchiha Madara was.

"Guys, I want you three to go back to Konoha. I'll take care of Madara." Naruto said, with a look of resolution on his face.

A look which was immediately removed by a slam to the back of the head courtesy of Ino, "Hell no. We are not letting you fight the ring leader of Akatsuki alone. We are a team. We live as a team, we fight as a team, we die as a team. Remember?"

"She's right Naruto. You would do the same for us and you know it." Neji added

"But this is different." Naruto protested stubbornly

"How? He may not be personally after us, but if he gets his way… Konoha will be destroyed. Besides that, we are not leaving our Captain to the whims of some ancient creepy ass Uchiha." inserted Kiba.

Naruto sighed. He took a deep breath before looking into each of their eyes. Neji was obviously affronted that he would even think to ask something like this. Kiba was just as stubborn and faithful as Naruto, and Ino was always there for him, and would follow him even if he ordered them home. "There's no way I can talk any of you out of this?" he said with a voice of resignation.

"Nope," was the confirmed response.

"Be careful then, lets go."


Uchiha Madara grinned as he felt the ANBU team coming. While he was disappointed that Kisame and Zetsu hadn't thinned their numbers down, he wasn't worried. These were three children taking on one of the founders of Konohagakure no Sato. There was nothing they could do that he hasn't already seen and copied with his Sharingan.

As Team 4 shunshined into the clearing, Madara greeted them with a round of applause, "Congradulations young ninja. Your team has just defeated two of the most powerful nukenins who have ever graced the elemental countries. If it weren't for the circumstances, I would invite each of you to join the Akatsuki."

"Cut the shit Madara," Naruto interjected, "you know none of use would join with you, filth. Keel over and die like the rest of your organization."

"Now now Naruto-kun, that's not a very nice thing to say. I'll make you a deal. Come quietly, and I won't kill your teammates." Madara activated his Sharingan, both black eyes taking on red iris and the figure of an atom in each. "Surprised? Don't be. The powers of eight Bijuu is more then enough to simply restore my Eternal Sharingan."

Naruto quickly schooled his expression as he reached into his pouch and grabbed a kunai, "Before we start this Madara, tell me why."

"Why? Its quite simple really. I wish for Konoha to burn, then I'll destroy Kirigakure for daring betray me. Next, I think I'll take out Iwa. I never did like mountains. After that, I guess I can turn Suna into a pit of glass. I know how much you care about their Kazekage. And after that? Who knows. A village here, a farm there. Who really needs reasons?"

Naruto felt sage chakra pour into his coils instantly. A shadow clone popped into existence beside him as he formed a Rasenshuriken, and once complete, immediately threw it at the ancient foe. Madara stood there with a grin on his face as it passed right through him.

"You'll never win boy. Give up. I do love the look on one's face when they beg for mercy."

"You're a sick fuck, you know that Madara?" Naruto spat. "Team, beta formation!"

The team reacted instantly, Kiba, Akamaru and Neji in front, Naruto in the middle, and Ino behind him. Kiba and Neji instantly assaulted the Uchiha while Akamaru morphed into a duplicate of Kiba and soon joined the fray. Ino launched genjutsus towards the Uchiha but with each one that hit him, he simply laughed. None affected him.

Naruto quickly went through a chain of hand seals and whistled once. Kiba, Akamaru and Neji instantly broke off as a gale force blast of wind struck Madara head on and sent him flying in the air. A yell of "Impossible!," was heard after he was hit, and the team followed him closely.

They quickly found him getting out of a crater. His clothes looked worse for wear, and he was sporting several slices on his arms and legs. His chest and head looked as if nothing touched them.

"So, you can only use your space-time jutsu on parts of your body. You've grown far too arrogant in your old age Madara, and you've underestimated the wrong team." Naruto said with a smirk, as the team renewed their assault.

"Fool. You will die by my hand, along with your team. That I can assure you." The symbols in Madara's eyes began to spin, and before Naruto could yell for them to look away, he made direct contact with Ino.


A second later there was a blood curdling scream from Ino as she fell to the ground unconscious. In a burst of speed, Madara vanished.

The next scream came from Kiba as a fist pummeled him in the trachea. The sound of cartilage snapping under the force of the punch was audible, as was the labored breathing from Kiba. His face was quickly changing colors due to lack of oxygen.

Neji was next, as his skull was forcefully slammed into the pillar he had constructed earlier to lean on. A smear of blood followed as slid down the length of the stone and onto the ground.

Naruto stretched his senses, but not even in sage mode could he feel Madara. It was as if the man simply was not there. He could feel the rapidly depleting life of his three comrads, and it broke his heart. Before he even took a step, Madara appeared in front of him.

"Now where do you think you're going, host? I'm counting on the ability of the Kyuubi when I do this. I hope it's painful," he said with a mad glint of mirth in his eyes.


Black fire surrounded Naruto, and for the first time in years… he screamed. Red chakra surrounded his body in an attempt to heal him, but the fire would not leave. All progress was removed in seconds, only to be re-healed and re-burned. He felt his vocal cords melt, and he screamed soundlessly. He felt them regenerate, and his screams voiced themselves again. It was agony. Slowly, his world began to fade into black. He could hear Madara laughing, he could smell his burning flesh each time his nose was healed, but he couldn't bring himself to care.


Drip drip….

Naruto's eyes opened rapidly. Hands immediately going to his chest. "Its gone… how?" he said, marveling at his smooth skin that he had seen burn.


Drip drip….

His eyes scanned the area and his head fell. His mindscape… Maybe he was dying.

"Ningen, come to my chambers." He heard a powerful voice call. 'Kyuubi…'

He slowly got up and made his way to the demon which resided within him. Shadows of the flames aching within him every step.

As he entered into the large room, he was shocked. The large pipes had grown exponentially since he had been here last, and he could see the Kyuubi in his prison, pumping more and more chakra through them.

"Ningen, we are dead. Whether we die from these black flames or not, Akatsuki will finish the job afterwards. If I continue healing you, I will overload your body with demonic chakra, and you will die. If I stop, you will burn to death." Kyuubi announced it with complete and utter seriousness. Not one jab or threat. It was enough for Naruto to open his eyes.

"I have an offer for you. It will not save you, and it will not save me. It also won't save your friends."

Naruto looked at the Kyuubi carefully. An offering from the Kyuubi? "What is it?"

"Our souls are bonded until death. If the seal is lifted… we die. I have no wish to be locked inside yet another prison. I also have a vendetta with this Uchiha Madara, as much as you do, if not more. Rip off the seal, and in that instance, I will floor the area with demonic chakra. He will not escape death this time."

It was logical, it was simple, and Naruto agreed with it full heartedly. "For what its worth fuzz ball, leeching your chakra wasn't too bad," he said with a grin as he reached up and removed the seal from the cage.

"Why you insolent little…" The rest of his tirade was cut off as his power surged throughout Naruto's body. He collapsed in pain, but as he left his mindscape and took one last look at the world around him, he grinned to himself, knowing that Akatsuki was finally eliminated.

Madara laughed. He was purely ecstatic. For over sixty years he had waited for this day to come, and now he had finally done it. The Kyuubi no Yoko was the last of the Bijuu free, and now he would take it, seal it and use its powers to create world wide destruction. Konoha would finally pay for the slights made upon him, and then the world would burn, for the sheer pleasure of seeing it in flames!

He removed the flames from the Kyuubi host and breathed in the smell of charred flesh with a grin. "This is the smell that will bathe the world!"

His victory however, was not so sure as he believed. The welling up of demonic chakra around Namikaze's navel was enough to make him wary, but when it erupted out of him in the form of a giant fox, he realized his folly.

"See you in hell Uchiha Madara. I will feast on your soul!" The fox erupted in a crimson blast of demonic chakra, leveling the landscape for miles.

The blast was felt around the elemental nations, and many cowered in fear of the oppressive aura, but a few understood what it meant.

Five days later, at the battlefield.

It took five days for demonic chakra on the battlefield to finally dissipate into nothing. Once it had, Nearly the entire shinobi force of Konohagakure no Sato left the village to pay their respects.

The explosion left a crater three miles in radius, and over a mile deep. As the large party of shinobi made their way to the center, what they found made then gasp.

Four pristine white ceramic masks:

One depicted a cawing eagle with blue outlines.

One had a snarling dog with brown outlines.

One was of a bored cat with green outlines.

And the last was of a grinning fox, outlined in orange.

The Hokage of Konoha gently picked up the masks and held them against her chest with a sad smile on her face. "You did it, Naru-chan… You brought us peace. The war is over, the Akatuski defeated… Jiraiya would be so proud of you. ANBU Team Four, Konohagakure no Sato owes you a debt that could never be repaid. We will honor your deaths, and your names will never be forgotten… believe it."

Tsunade was shaken out of her monologue by a gentle hand placed on her shoulder. She turned to see the red hair and blue and white robes of Sabaku no Garaa, who held a sad smile that mimicked her own. "I know they would have loved to hear that, Tsunade-dono. Suna has a gift we wish to offer the fallen for the services they rendered to the shinobi nations. Please step back."

She looked in his eyes. She could see the pain on his normally stoic face as easy as she could tell day from night. He gave one last reassuring squeeze of her shoulder before facing the center of the crater with his arms raised.

The ground shook, causing shinobi to apply chakra to prevent them from falling. Slowly, a large portion of the ground in the center began to rise, and didn't stop until it stood over a hundred feet high. Etched within the stone as if done by a master was the images if Neji, Kiba, Ino and Naruto, each in their ANBU gear, with the exception of the masks they held in their hands.

Garaa bent at the mid section in an attempt to catch his breath. His eyes scaled it up and down and he smiled to himself. 'It's perfect.'

He turned to the gathered assembly of Konoha and Suna shinobi in the crater and smiled, "Let this monument stand as a memorial to honor the team who sacrificed their life to destroy tyranny. Mourn them, pray for them, remember them. They stood for everything that this new world of shinobi that they helped forge will stand for… Honor, Loyalty, and Friendship. It was here that the Akatsuki's reign of terror was ended, and here that Kumogakure's lust for power and strife was denied. As twilight fades for these heroes, remember their purpose, remember their actions, remember what they achieved."

He walked away silently. Nobody cheered for the end of the war, for they were too focused on the deaths of four Shinobi, who would live on for eternity.


"Ugh… where the hell am I?"

Hiru Fuu: Leech Seal. This seal leeches chakra from whatever it is attached to and holds it within.

Author's Notes:

First chapter down. Hope you enjoy the rest! Any contructive critisism would be much appriciated. Please no flames. If you don't like my story, don't read my story. Pairings are surprises xD

Until the next time...