After a good long summer, (me not really writing a whole lot) I'm back in college.
So with some free time between classes comes some boredom, and with boredom comes inspiration! Behold! The next chapter!
A loud series of horns echoed from outpost to outpost, catching the attention of many Bulblins. Hunters, Fighters, Scouts, Grunts and Strategists all over the Bulblin hideout looked up to the sky, listening intently to the message. Quickly understanding the situation, each class rushed to their designated posts. It had been awhile since Gaara had been so bloodthirsty.
Naruto Uzumaki looked up to the sky as well, wondering what the sound meant. No doubt he was going to be in trouble soo-GAH! There it was, the memory lapse from his clone. Oh, someone threw a rock at his clone and made it dispell...well shit. He was supposed to have been able to sneak around the camp all night, looking for Midna and his weapons. Guess that was out of the question now. Sitting on top of a lookout tower, Naruto furrowed his brow, an unconscious Bulblin twitching behind him. His weapons were somewhere in the hideout, but he didn't have a clue as to how in the world to find them. Not to mention Midna was missing. Glaring up at the full moon above, Naruto tried to form a plan to figure out how to get everything back. Looking down at the ground, he saw numerous Bulblins running around, scrambling to their positions. Huh, this kind of felt like the time he went to the Blood Prison...
Naruto shivered, remembering the burns he kept getting every time he used a clone. Good thing he had Sage Jutsu with him!
...too bad he couldn't remember how to do it NOW...
Naruto scratched his hair furiously, the fact that he couldn't remember one of his most powerful assets irritating the crap out of him. Looking to his left, Naruto found himself staring at some large ruins. Looking up, he could just barely catch a glimpse of what looked like the Triforce.
Wierd...why in the world was the symbol of the Triforce way out here in the dessert? Wasn't it the holy symbol of Hyrule? He would see it every time he went to Hyrule Castle market, but never anywhere else. So obviously something important was out here. Naruto suddenly grinned, the hairs on the back of his neck standing up. He could feel something...just barely, but there was no mistaking it.
The evil energy Sarutobi had told him about.
And DAMN was it a lot! He could feel it from here! Maybe that was why the Bulblins had a camp here...were they exploring the ruins or something? Nevertheless, Naruto wouldn't be able to look there if he didn't find his stuff. Back to square one.
"Well, I'm not going to get anywhere just sitting around here all night." Naruto decided, leaping off of his tower towards a large tent away from the campfires and lookouts. Landing softly, Naruto spun around and looked out from behind the tent, watching as the camp went into lock-down mode. Look-outs were posted a few yards away from each other so that information could be passed quickly. He also noticed that some Bulblins had gotten on top of some boars, heading out into the desert. What, did they think he was running around outside the camp? Hah! He had finally found the damn ruins! No way was he going to be leaving soon!
Quickly jumping from tent to tent, Naruto soon found himself at the gap between the first and second outpost. It was a long stretch, what looked like two hundred yards. It was roughly twice the size of Asuma's ranch, and without the grass. Looking up, Naruto found a few Kargaroks were flying in the air, the Pterodactyl-like creatures carrying Bulblin's on their backs. So THAT was their secret. They could keep an eye on the gaps in-between posts, as well as use them as lookouts. Just as Naruto thought of running across the gap, the Bulblins riding the Kargaroks shot down some fire arrows, effectively creating an arrangement of beacons. Well there went that idea...how was he going to get across?
He couldn't run out of the camp or he would be spotted easily. If he could catch a ride on a Kargarok, he would be able to fly all over the camp, but he'd also have to land to find his stuff. Not to mention the stupid thing probably wouldn't listen to him. Naruto leaned against the tent, putting a hand to his chin as his mind started flashing through ideas. He should probably create a distraction...THAT would get all of their attention for a little while. Maybe during the distraction he could use his Chakra Dash to get to the other camp...
Naruto grinned as an idea formed in his mind. Running back into the outpost, Naruto began looking around for what he needed. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out the way he planned it.
"Well, beggers can't be choosers I guess..." Naruto sighed as he stared at the single Boar. He was hoping for a few more, that way he could scare them and have them run all over the place, causing wonton destruction. But shaking his head, he decided he would have to make due with the lone boar. Now, how to scare it...
Naruto caught site of a small set of bombs used for bomb arrows in a crate. Problem was, it was in the middle of the camp, and there was a beacon right next to them. How was he going to get them? Naruto looked around, trying to find something that could help him. Catching sight of a lone Bulblin standing near a beacon, Naruto cracked an evil grin. Sneaking around over to the Sentry, Naruto coughed a little, trying to make his voice as rough as possible.
"Hey, you, Sentry person." Naruto gurgled out. He seemed to catch the attention of the Sentry, who was too stiff to turn around.
"What? Can't you see me busy? Go back to post. Pack leader beat you for not staying at you post."
"What? You nervous or someting?" Naruto grinned. Oh how he was going to enjoy this.
The Sentry nodded.
"Yeah...me new to sentry job. Me should be back wid me old job, taking care of kids. But leader say no, so now I Sentry." The Bulblin shrugged.
"What you name?"
"Bad eyes? You no see gud?" The Sentry nodded.
"Yeah...me no see gud. Kids easy to take care of cuz they loud. Me no need to see much. Me just hear."
"So YOU Bad Eyes. Gud, gud. Dark Eyes say he want you to do someting." Naruto grinned even more as he saw the Sentry tense. It was a gamble, as he wasn't sure if 'Dark Eyes' was as powerful a figure as he thought since he had found Naruto out in the desert, but judging by the tenseness of the Bulblin, he was sure he was a higher up. "Dark Eyes no like bom crate next to fire over dere. He say if bom catch on fire, dey cause lotta trouble for him. He say he want Bad Eyes to move it to boar pen."
Bad Eyes seemed worried, and he was hesitant to move.
'One more push' Naruto thought.
"He say he want it done now or you be in beeg trouble." It seemed to do the trick, as the Bulblin tensed again before nodding and walking off towards the bomb crate. Quietly following him, Naruto made his way around and found Bad Eyes walking over to the boar pen with the bomb crate in tow. Naruto cursed however as another Bulblin walked over to Bad Eyes.
"What you doing man? You gonna be in beeg trouble if you leave you post!"
"No, me get in even beegah trouble if me no bring bom crate over to boar pen. Dark Eyes say he no want big boom boom to go off in camp. He say he get in beeg trouble, and that he den make beeg trouble for us."
"Where you hear dat?" Bad Eyes pointed over by his post.
"I heard voice talk. He said I be in beeg trouble if I no do job right." Naruto clenched his fist in victory as the other Bulblin nodded in understanding. His face fell however as the Bulblin pointed away from Naruto's planned destination.
"Why you going to boar holder? Boar Pen over by Dark Eyes. He talking to Wise Ass over in outpost." Naruto began cursing as Bad Eyes began walking away from where he was at. Dammit! What was with all of the weird-ass names? How in the hell could he know 'Boar Pen' was the name of a fricking Bulblin?
Growling in irritation, Naruto began following Bad Eyes from the shadows, keeping out of sight. He cursed as he saw the idiotic Bulblin go into the tent. Naruto snuck over to the tent, listening intently.
Bad Eyes walked into the tent, catching the attention of the three inside. Gaara stared at Bad Eyes impassively, silently wondering why in the world he was holding the crate of bombs. Boar Pen turned to Bad Eyes, confused as he was handed the crate of bombs. Bad eyes snapped a salute to Boar Pen before turning to leave and return to his post.
"Wait, why you geev me boms?" Boar Pen asked, confused. Bad Eyes turned around and explained.
"Me hear that I had to muv boms away from fire beacon so they no make beeg boom boom. Dark Eyes get in beeg trouble, and den he give us all beeg trouble. Me hear that me need to geev boms to you." Again, Bad Eyes snapped a salute to the three before leaving the tent. Naruto ground his teeth in fury as he heard Boar Pen put the crate of bombs down.
'Great...NOW what am I supposed to do?' Naruto growled as he sat next to the tent, trying to think of a back-up plan. He had to get across the set of beacons without being seen. Not only did he have Kargaroks in the air, but if he strayed too far from the camp, he would have nothing to hide behind. He would be wide open in the middle of the dessert. It was like walking into an open field in the middle of a war.
Naruto glared forward in annoyance. If he they had at least let him keep the medallion, he would be able to call upon the gale boomerang and take out the fires that way. But no...A speed dash was probably his best bet. But how would he be able to...
"All right. It's time to begin the hunt." A maniacle laugh broke out inside the tent, causing Naruto to listen. "That fool will pay for humiliating me. Wise-Ass, take the bombs to the boar holder. I want an extra set of explosives with me when I find him. Bonnie and I are going to go for a little ride."
Naruto's eyes widened as he recognized the voice.
"I WILL PROVE I'M THE STRONGEST! MOTHER WILL HAVE BLOOD!"
"YOU HAVE ENTERTAINED ME GREATLY, UZUMAKI NARUTO. I THINK I'LL LET MOTHER PLAY WITH YOU..."
"Gaara..." Naruto mumbled before putting a hand to his chin. "Did I hit him so hard he flew out to the desert?"
"LET'S GO!" Gaara shouted, exiting the tent. Naruto peered around the corner, watching as Gaara was heading for what was supposed to be his distraction.
"Aw shit...Think Naruto...THINK!" Naruto bashed his head, trying to think of an idea to distract Gaara. He needed a distraction to distract a distraction so he could use his distraction.
...his head hurt just thinking that.
A loud explosion averted his attention however, as across the dessert, a large flame rose into the sky. The members of the outpost looked up in horror as something black rose up into the sky. Gaara's eyes widened as a severed head bounced into the camp, stopping next to the main fire pit before disappearing in a puff of black smoke. Looking up, he glared, putting his money on who he figured was behind the catastrophe. His suspect however, looked on in horror as he saw Gaara running towards the next outpost. A cold chill running down his spine, Naruto's eyes flashed yellow, catching sight of something else falling towards the outpost. Naruto's eyes widened as he realized where it would land.
"GAARA!" Naruto jammed Chakra into his feet, bursting from his hiding spot in a flash. The red-headed psychopath turned his head just in time to see Naruto tackle him, a large explosion erupting where he once stood.
Shaking his head, Gaara looked up before glaring at Naruto, who was now standing next to him. Slowly sitting up, Gaara cocked a fist back, ready to unleash his rage before noticing something. Naruto, the foe that had beaten him senseless, was shivering.
"No...no no no no no...not now! Not when I'm so close!" The blonde grit his teeth in panic, his eyes focused on the black-haired Twili-user standing in the middle of the outpost. Sasuke looked up, not noticing his nemesis standing behind him, before flashing his bloody sword to the right.
"You fools have stayed here long enough. It's time I got rid of you." Sasuke started walking forward, readying his sword. Gaara, ready to fight, wasn't expecting his vision to blur. He shook his head rapidly after a moment before noticing he was now in the main camp. He heard a thud next to him and noticed Naruto wheezing, holding himself up only by his hands and knees.
"Wh-what? What did you..."
"You...can't...die..." Naruto rasped, slowly rising to his feet. Gaara glared at Naruto before kicking him in the side, the blonde skidding away before glaring at Gaara.
"WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I WOULD DIE?" Gaara roared in fury.
"BECAUSE HE'S A MONSTER!" Naruto shouted, motioning around him. Gaara's eyes widened as he took in his surroundings. The main camp, which he was in not long ago, was completely destroyed, many tents on fire, others missing entirely.
"Wha...what? What happened here?" Gaara looked around. His home...the only place he could have called home...gone.
"That man has strange, horrible powers. You can't fight him. You'll be obliterated before you could blink." Naruto said walking up to Gaara. "I didn't stand a chance against him the last time I fought him...and I had all of my equipment with me. I may be an idiot, but I'm not stupid. So I brought you as far away as my legs could take me." Naruto glared to the two outposts in the distance. "He did this in mere moments...what do you think YOU could have done?"
Gaara glared at the burning outposts in the distance, clenching his fists. "I would have fought." Naruto watched Gaara carefully, turning to look at the burning outposts in the distance. He could see Gaara struggling to move, to run towards the outposts.
"I can't see how you would want to help them..." Gaara glared at Naruto, the blonde smirking. "But judging by your eagerness, I think I understand where you're coming from." Naruto smiled as the image of a slightly grinning Kazekage appeared behind Gaara. "After all...we used to be friends." Gaara stared at Naruto in shock, wondering what in the world he meant. He did feel a connection, but it was a strange one. He felt as if they were bound by a thorny branch. But Naruto, though his hands bled, he continued to hold onto that branch, desperate for a friend. "I'll help you get rid of him, but I need my stuff." Gaara watched Naruto for a moment, hesitate to act. But the screams he heard in the distance hastened his decision.
"Very well. But I will kill you someday." Gaara glared before turning towards one of the burning tents. "Just hope that your equipment is still in tact."
"I doubt he could burn it...though I'm worried about the medallion..." Naruto mumbled the last part under his breath. Walking over to a metal box, Naruto watched Gaara undo a lock before opening up the treasure chest, revealing his equipment. Had he the time, he would be crying tears of joy, but they had a crisis on their hands. Putting his stuff back on, Naruto walked out and looked at the camps. He needed to not only distract Sasuke, but he needed to, dare he say it, help the monsters that had put him in a jail cell. Thoughts racing through his mind, Naruto suddenly grinned maniacally.
Even Gaara shivered.
The blonde turned towards the dark-eyed man, holding up a hand. "I need five things. A kargarok, a crate of bombs, a few fire arrows, a megaphone and some paint." Gaara stared at Naruto for a moment, confused.
"What is a 'megaphone and some paint'?" Naruto blinked before sighing.
"Oh well, can't make it as flashy as I want to, but oh well. Just get the first three things." Gaara nodded before whistling, a large Kargarok appearing next to the two. Speaking softly to the creature, Gaara turned towards Naruto.
"Lucy will take care of you...so long as you don't push her too hard..."
"You have some weird tastes in pet names..." Naruto deadpanned.
"You'd rather walk?" Gaara glared back.
Sasuke glared at the group of Bulblin in front of him.
"You never should have come here..." He said as he raised his sword. The group quivered in fear, burying their heads into each others shoulders. Before he could bring down the blade however, a large explosion erupted in the far distance behind him. Spinning around, Sasuke noticed that the mountain near the mirror had exploded, and when the smoke had died down, a series of lights and torches enlightened Sasuke to a series of messages.
Sasuke is a derp
Naruto is waaaay better
Good for nothing emo
Go lay some eggs Duck-butt!
Yeah stupid, I'm over here!
Energy burst around Sasuke as an orange glow surrounded his hand.
"NARUTOOOO!" Sasuke roared as he disappeared in a blur of motion, the Bulblins he was about to attack staring at the messages in shock. A quiet 'psst!' to their sides however made them tense. A blonde-haired boy stood next to them, grinning.
"It might be a good idea to leave...you know, before he comes back?"
"Who...Who is you?" One of the smaller Bulblins asked. Naruto blinked for a moment before grinning cheekily.
"Me? I'm not much. Just your imagination." He said before disappearing altogether. The group stared at the mirage, rubbing their eyes rapidly before they slowly began to evacuate, spooked by the ghost.
With Naruto and Gaara, the blonde was sitting in a relaxed pose at the front of what was called, 'The Arbiters Grounds'. Gaara watched him quietly off to the side, waiting for Naruto to inform him of the whereabouts of his group. Naruto had created a large number of clones, first to help him place the torches for the distraction, and another to warn the Bulblins to evacuate. The blonde suddenly opened his eyes, taking deep breaths.
"All right, everyone is safe. They're all evacuating, and I've still got a clone overseeing them escape on...Lucy..." Naruto sighed before standing up. "Now I just have to deal with Sasuke..." Naruto turned to Gaara. "As much as I'd like you to help, you should leave too. This isn't on your level." Naruto said, only for Gaara to glare at him in return.
"I just saw an entire village get destroyed...MY village. You think I'm going to run away? I'm going to kill him. And then I'm going to kill you..." Gaara stated coldly. Naruto watched Gaara for a moment before turning towards the entrance.
"Gaara...whether you believe me or not...you're not going to get anything out of killing me...or Sasuke for that matter."
"Oh I'll get something...the satisfaction of killing you with my own two hands!" Gaara glared at the blonde, who just looked back at him.
"Gaara...you don't understand...you're just like him." Naruto said jerking his head in the direction he knew Sasuke was coming in. Without looking back at Gaara's shocked look, Naruto entered the grounds, Gaara quickly running to catch up to him.
"What are you talking about? He killed an entire village of innocents! Most were children!"
"And what you just said about enjoying killing me is exactly what Sasuke told ME almost four years ago." Naruto deadpanned, turning to Gaara as he continued walking further into the grounds. "Gaara...Sasuke used to be my best friend...but not just in this world."
"What?" Gaara stared at the blonde in confusion as Naruto turned towards the ground.
"Gaara...I'm not like other people...I come from another world...a world where I've already lived my life to the fullest. I've accomplished my dreams, I was married, I had found people I cared about...and I had made so many friends..." Tears started to form around Naruto's eyes as he clenched his fist. "I met you, almost exactly like you are now...but in my world, you were possessed..." Naruto turned to the shocked Gaara. He hadn't realized it, but memories of the Red-haired Jinchurrikki were flowing into his mind. "We ended up fighting...I fought to protect my friends, and you fought to protect yourself and to become stronger...just like Sasuke did. But though I was able to save you...Sasuke..." Naruto quieted down, a loud rumbling noise making the two look around.
"He's here..." Gaara said turning to Naruto. The blonde's face showed a look of bitter struggle. Should he go and fight Sasuke? Or should he continue into the Arbiter's Grounds? He would probably get his ass handed to him, but he would be able to let Gaara escape. It didn't matter what he was like now, he was once Naruto's friend, and just like always, he would take the blow for a friend.
A glow began resonating around Naruto's neck, though he didn't notice it, too upset at the choice he had to make. Gaara however, DID notice it. A glowing hourglass floated up from around Naruto's neck and floated over to Gaara, the necklace disappearing before reappearing around Gaara's neck. The red-head touched the necklace before a flood of memories invaded his mind. Holding his head in agony, he barely caught site of Naruto nodding before turning around, not noticing Gaara's new necklace.
"All right, I'm heading further into the grounds." Naruto pointed towards a split in the path in front of them. "I'll take one way, you go the other. Hopefully if I blast my energy or cause enough racket, you'll get the chance to escape." Naruto put a hand on Gaara's shoulder. "Gaara..."
An image flowed into the red-head's mind. An image of a young Naruto running and calling out his name. When he finally caught up to him, the blonde's eyes were filled with joy at having caught up to him. "Gaara...I'll always be your friend...and you can count on me to help you get back on your feet if you ever fall...but, if you can..."
"Good luck." Naruto turned around before dashing down the path. Gaara slowly began to move down the other path, the voice of the young Naruto still speaking into his mind.
"But, if you can...will you do the same for me?"
Gaara shut his eyes tightly, clenching his fists. He glared at the darkness in front of him before running into it headfirst.
Naruto wheezed as he finally entered another clearing. Numerous statues surrounded him, but the floor was what concerned him. Ever since he got caught in that first sandpit, he had been careful not to touch anymore. Yeah...this was going to be difficult with almost the entire Arbiter's Ground covered in Quicksand...
"I wish Midna was here..." Naruto sighed.
"WAAAAHHH!" Naruto screamed, latching onto a nearby statue. Looking behind him, he found Midna smirking as she floated over a pit of quicksand. "M-M-Midna? Where? When? How?"
"I've been with Psychopath since you passed out. I remembered you two once fought before...for that Inari kid. And when he picked you up from the desert, I figured I'd follow him." The imp shrugged. Naruto blinked rapidly. Wait, so that 'Dark Eyes' guy from before...that was Gaara?
"Well then I guess that makes sense as to why he was called that...and that bad-eyes guy...but why was one named Boar-Pen?" Naruto mumbled to himself, confusing the crap out of Midna. The imp watched Naruto carefully.
"Yeah?" The blonde turned to the imp, getting off of the statue.
"You know what that means...right?"
"What what means?" Naruto cocked his head to the side, wondering what she was getting at.
"I said I've been with Gaara...so when you told him about coming from another world..." Naruto's eyes widened before they lowered to the ground.
"You heard..." Midna nodded. "I'm sorry Midna...I know you told me your biggest secret, but..." Naruto clamped his eyes shut. "I..."
"It's okay. You weren't ready yet..."
"It's not just that..." Naruto clenched his hands together tightly. "It's just...I'm still getting memories...and there are still more that I havn't remembered yet...I'm sorry..." Looking up, Naruto found Midna picking her ear before looking at it. "Eh?"
"Oh! Sorry, were you saying something?" The imp couldn't help the smirk that played on her face. "It's just your speech was so boring, I couldn't help but try and get the wax out of my ears. Then again, you could already be halfway through this place if you weren't crying over the past." She said putting her hands behind her head. Naruto stared at the imp for a moment before beginning to chuckle.
"All right, I get it." He smiled brightly. "No point in worrying about the past, just got to worry about the present!"
"And speaking of the present, I'd better run." Naruto's smile suddenly seemed forced as the blonde turned and started running on the side of the wall, effectively running past the sand traps.
Kenta: So here we are! It was a lot of fun with some of this chapter, but I'm not quite sure how I want the next chapter to look like.
I'm going to end up doing almost three 'boss battles' in the next chapter, but at the same time, I don't want to do all three. The Arbiters grounds was a pretty freaky place for me, what with all of the ghosts and poes and stuff. I wasn't that big a fan of the place...though Stallord was freaking awesome!
The Bulblins were actually a lot of fun to portray in this, though at first I wasn't sure how I was going to. When I think of Bulblins, I think of lower grade-intelligence than humans and elves, kind of like Steven Pastis' Crocodiles from the comic Pearls before Swine...which gave some pretty good inspiration for how they would talk. XD
For those of you who think this story's chapters are too short, sorry. I'm not an author of any books, and though I have a game 'guiding' me, I'm not trying to make it the exact same game. Obviously with elements like Gaara, Naruto getting captured at the bandit camp, The Cave of Ordeals and Sasuke becoming Zant's apprentice. So you guys understand that it takes time to plot, re-write and come up with new plot twists, right? Right.
Gaara runs off into the darkness with Naruto's charm...but don't worry, he'll get it back. What is Gaara going to do? You'll have to wait to find out! And Sasuke is right on Naruto's heels! (His scream didn't really help) Will Naruto get out of this predicament?
TUNE IN FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER!