A Demon's Hunger
Written by J-Bones
Co-wrote by Ethan Darkcrow
Co-Authors Notes (Ethan Darkcrow): My brother's creative juices are flagging, but I'm helping as best as I can. It might not be much, but its better than nothing, right? Well, see ya!
After finding a quick snack that dissipated his building hunger, Naruto returned to the academy. What met his expressionless gaze was what he considered organized chaos,. Several classrooms worth of students were currently being examined all at the same time. The amount of noise and movement that they all made reminded him of a enrage group of ducks.
Running a hand through his hair, he muttered in disappointment, "What a joke."
"Maybe, but its best that we weed potential candidates out from the rest," sighed a familiar voice that made his jaw clench tightly.
Not giving his companion the satisfaction of acknowledgement, Naruto asked, "Are you expecting me to jump through hoops like the rest?"
His companion, who was none other than the Hokage, stepped out of his blind spot while drawing a deep breath of smoke from his pipe and blew it out as he answered the jaded teens question, "All who become ninja do so because they subconsciously have something they want to protect. They may want to become stronger to protect themselves, maybe its an ideal that they hold true to themselves, perhaps its their family they're seeking to protect, or it could be many other reasons. However, what I see down there are children who are working towards reaching that goal. I'm sure they don't see this little exercise as 'jumping through hoops'."
"Hn," scoffed the teen before he spat in a vicious whisper, "they're all soft. They know nothing of what life is truly like…"
Naruto jaw muscle tightened and twitched in anger as he watched the children laughing and talk with each other, he inspected one of his bandaged hands before balling into a fist, "…they're completely oblivious to just how cruel life can be."
Sadness once again made its appearance on the old man's face as he reached forward with a wrinkled, battle scarred hand, "Naruto…"
"Don't!" Naruto spat harshly, jerking his shoulder away and distancing himself from the elderly man. "I have a foul taste in my mouth as it is, and I don't need your bullshit making it worse."
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I have 'hoops' that need jumping through," removing his arms from his sleeves he allowed the upper part of his crimson kimono to fall loose at his waist. Old brown eyes watched the teen walk onto the field and begin his exams, his aura alone communicating that he was filled to the brim with resentment and anger.
"Sandaime-sama…" called out of the man's personal ANBU bodyguards.
"I know," nodded the old man as he closed his eyes. All these years, ever since the blonde had entered the academy, Sandaime had been hoping that he would learn friendship or discover something worth protecting, but like many things that are planned out by a being with limited power, it didn't quiet follow what he had in mind. Now, after having stopped several request to graduate him early from different sources, he was no longer able to keep the boy from advancing.
Watching the teen acing his test on weapon accuracy without any problems, the aging leader frowned as he thought, 'Such potential, yet so much anger…how much more…' Brushing such a disturbing question away with a dismissing hand, he sighed deeply before turning his back on the field and walking towards his office.
Passing the exams had been easy, he had flew through most of them displaying a skill level unheard of for a academy student. After he had finished his last test, he was asked to say after with the rest of the class to receive his scores. Of course, he didn't listen to his teachers instruction. Immediately after his last test, the blonde grabbed his small leather backpack and began his trek home.
Walking through the streets of Konoha he received all like of looks and glares. The majority of the looks were laced with fear and mistrust. Some rare looks had disgust and anger, while looks of open hostility were usually reserved for the shinobi of Konoha.
None of glares, stares, or sideways glances bothered the boy, at least…hew never showed any outwardly expression that they bother him. In fact, to the casual observer, he was completely unaffected by the people and their obvious dislike for him.
Walking up to outdoor market, he waited as everyone seemed to distance themselves from him before scanned the vendors product. Seeing several pieces of fruit that seemed very appetizing to him he snatched them up, and slowly made his way to the stand owner.
Standing in front of the large man, who seemed to be doing his best to ignoring the boy's presence, Naruto pulled out several ryo bills and carelessly dropped them on the cashiers counter before leaving without a word. As soon as they thought he was out of hearing range everyone began speaking about him behind his back. Little did they know that he could still hear them perfectly, and the only indicator that he had heard what they were saying about him was a clenched fist.
Walking his usual route, he finally came to the edge of the city where the meticulously groomed road became riddled with rock and grass. Following this road he soon entered a small forest with over gown brush, a thicket of bamboo trees, as well as all kinds of pines. Walking a path that only he, and a hand full of people, could remember, he came upon the remains of the old orphanage.
Its stone foundation still stood, but the wood that once made its rooms and upper floor had rotted away and collapsed into rubble. However, it was this rubble that signified the border to his house and property. Walking past ivy choked stone walls, he entered a large gravel paved courtyard. At the other end of the courtyard was a hut that seemed to have been put together by hand using a myriad of different materials.
Bricks lined one side of the hut, while the other sides seemed to made from a combination of wood and bamboo shafts. The roof was a mishmash of materials as well; clay tiles, stone, cut bamboo, and wood were all used on different sections. All in all, it looked like the hut had gone through several renovations, and through those renovations it had grown.
Walking into his house, he pulled out the fruit he bought while throwing his back pack to the side. Walking to the kitchen he cut up the fruit and got a fire going. Remembering that there was still a rabbit stuck in one of his traps, Naruto padded outside and circled his hut.
Hopping to his left the boy avoided a kunai that whizzed by his head and clipped his right ear. The wound on his ear almost instantly coagulated and within seconds the blood flaked off to reveal perfectly unmarred skin.
"I'm not in the mood to fool around," barked out the young teen keeping his back turned to his attacker. "If you insist on pressing this attack, you will not be leaving here alive!" yelled the boy as he undid one of the straps on his high collar causing it to open and reveal his monstrously sharp teeth.
Waiting in the dim light of the forest, Naruto listened for the sound of retreating footsteps or the tell tale burst of chakra that usually signaled the shunshin jutsu that most higher level ninja were wont to use. When he didn't feel either of those signs of departing he sharpened his senses with chakra and immediately jumped high into the air as a black colored blade exited out of the ground and almost stabbed him in the leg.
Feeling hot anger coursing through his veins at the attempted sneak attack, Naruto channeled chakra into his feet and stuck to the tree trunk closest to him. Eyeing the ground he knew his attacker had taken to hiding themselves in the earth.
Knowing that the ninja was no longer hiding in the spot where the sword stood, Naruto was now hard pressed to figure out how to flush the ninja out of his or her hiding spot. A wicked grin spread over his face as a plan came to mind. Closing his eyes in concentration, he opened them a half second later and began flipping through several seals. Releasing his hold on the tree trunk Naruto fell to the ground as he completed his jutsu and silently laughed, 'Doton: Tsumekomu no Jutsu!'
The ground around the teen shuddered slightly before it suddenly dropped several inches. A frantic scream was heard by the boy, as a ninja off in the distance could be seen desperately struggling to dig himself out of the compacted soil.
Not wasting any time, Naruto pumped chakra into his legs and covered the distance between the two with in seconds. The ninja must have been blessed with dumb luck as he rolled on the ground after getting free which save him from the crushing blow that Naruto had aimed at his chest.
"Wahh!" screamed the man as he pulled several kunai out and threw them at the teen. Only one of the kunai struck true lodging itself into the teens shoulder, the other two zipped past him harmlessly and embedded themselves into the hardened dirt.
An image flashed through the boys head when he saw the man's face, and in an instant he pulled out the kunai and used shunshin to make it to the other side of the clearing. As soon as his jutsu was activated the three kunai exploded in a deadly rain of shrapnel and fire.
Having shielded himself from the explosion and therefore not see the actually death of the blonde haired demon, the shinobi cautiously stood up with a kunai in hand and waited for the dust and smoke to dissipate.
"Tajibana Gaou," called out a deep monotone voice that definitely belonged to the demon, "demolition and explosive expert, long time friend to Ikouryo Higari…"
"…have you come to get your revenge?" asked the Naruto, his voice echoing around the clearing.
"You have no right speaking his or my name demon!" yelled Gaou as he shifted into a defensive stance. "You took his wife and child! I'm just finishing what he started!" yelled the enrage shinobi as he sensed a chakra signature behind him. Flinging his kunai into the forest the man made a one handed seal and watched as it exploded in a ball of fire while raining down shrapnel into the surrounding trees.
"You're a fool just like he was," whispered a dark voice next to the ninja's ear. Trying to spin around to defend himself he wasn't nearly as ready as he thought when a jaw full of sharp teeth latched onto his shoulder and ripped off a considerable chunk of flesh before disappearing in a shunshin.
"So shall he walk. Covered in crimson tide. Beckoning to the precepts of flesh. Forever must he abide," the dark voice spoke in wistful tones while Gaou clutched his shoulder and pulled out several seal tags. Placing the tags on his bleeding shoulder a greenish light erupted from the tags and the flow of blood, as well as pain that was throbbing through his body, stopped.
"Be one with me. Called out the song. Through gnashing of teeth. And crunching of bone," Naruto called out from his hiding spot in the trees and he swallowed the piece of flesh he had tore from the man's shoulder.
"And so shall he walk. With borrowed sword and shield…" said the teen as he began to remember the painful day this nightmare had started…
Looking down at the quiet little blonde boy sitting listlessly on the table, the old man felt something tear into his heart. Forcefully locking away his emotions he explained, "The experts call your bloodline Naimenteki Douka (Inner Assimilation). In other words…your body has the ability to absorb both physical and mental traits of any living thing you consume, which is then incorporated and adapted into your body. Also, because of the specific 'manner' in which your ability is triggered your body has changed to better suit your ability…"
The child was deadly quiet through the explanation, he had yet to smile, open his mouth or even say a few words. Seeing the once excitable boy in this state made the Hokage both heartbroken and worried. It had already been a week since he had dropped the bombshell known as Kyuubi on the little boy. Ever since then he had refused to talk to anyone, an instead seemed to be developing an extreme hatred to those who lie to him. On of those cases was a doctor that had lost several digits when he had lied to the boy about his physical status.
"When can I leave?" finally asked the boy in a mature tone of voice that shouldn't have belonged to the little boy.
Knowing better than to lie to the boy, since he was already hated for keeping the Kyuubi a secret, the old man scratched at his nose and explained, "Unfortunately, the doctors and my advisors have asked for you to stay longer to see the effects you new bloodline will have on your mind and body. So I should think that you will not be leaving anytime soon."
"Oh…" the boy responded as he slowly lifted himself off the table and began walking back to his makeshift bedroom, "…then we have nothing more to talk about, Hokage-sama."
The memory brought with it an intense anger as he finished his poem, "King of all. Until he is sealed…"
Closing his eyes, the young teen clutched his head as hundreds of memories and a years of information seeped into his head. The process took no more than a couple of seconds, but to the blonde it felt like a lifetime and his head ached as if it had taken a direct blow from a metal pole.
His attacker pulled out a tag with an intricate seal written on it. Naruto eyed the seal and was suddenly struck with the memory of an ancient jutsu that was used to demolish large tracks of land as well as structures. This memory was quickly followed another that held information of a new just that could cause massive destruction with in an area that had been sectioned off with other seal tags.
Knowing what Gaou was planning, Naruto quickly delve into the memory that had just risen as he searched for a weakness in the jutsu. Azure eyes popped open with an answer, and without wasting time he began stretching his senses outward trying to locate even the faintest hint of chakra. Luckily, he picked up on a faint signal just outside of the forest grove.
Pulling out a kunai, Naruto charged it with a large amount of chakra and then sent it screaming to the target that was several meters away from him.
"Burn in hell you damn demon! Fuuin Kai: Utsuri Haijin!" screamed Gaou as he channeled his chakra into the seal and awaited both his and the demon's death. Waiting for the world to go white with an explosion that should rock Konoha and the surrounding area…he would wait in vain.
"You go first," snarled the teen voice before it was swiftly followed by a blinding kick that struck the shinobi's head and sent him sprawling across the grove.
Trying to get his bearings he felt the world spin and wobble, 'My inner ear must be crushed. I can't…' The shinobi was lifted off the ground literally 'kicked' another couple meters when Naruto slammed his foot into the man's ribs.
Coughing up blood and feeling his consciousness slowly ebbing away, Gaou watched as furious blue eyes suddenly appeared above him. Feeling death's cold embrace surrounding him he watched as the boy slowly kneeled and grabbed his neck.
"…curse you…demon…" managed the shinobi even though his broken ribs had punctured through his lungs and his throat was quickly filling with blood, "…guh…never find…peace…"
Hearing the man's dying words, blue eyes hardened and narrowed becoming sapphire chips of ice. Roughly grabbing the man's throat with one hand, he twisted with all his might and a sickening 'popping' sound reached his ears, as the light in Gaou's eyes disappeared.
Feeling his hunger return to him in full force, Naruto fell upon the shinobi's dead body like a wild beast. When the teen was finished there was nothing left of the man called Gaou except the organs that Naruto refused to consume.
Sating his hunger and anger, the blonde walked to a near by pond to wash off both the stain and stench of blood on his clothing, face and hands. Finishing up his task he grabbed an old set of clothing and made his way to an outcropping of rock that over looked the large pond.
Laying on the rock, Naruto looked up at the moon in the night sky as a happy memory of two friends laughing and studying an ancient jutsu replayed over and over in his head.
Doton: Tsumekomu no Jutsu [Earth Style: Compression Technique] – compresses dirt, mud, and loose earth into a more solid form. If tunnels are with in the range of the ability they will collapse. Also certain Doton jutsu are rendered useless if this jutsu is used properly.
Fuuin Kai: Utsuri Haijin [Seal Release: Return to Ash and Dust] – a seal array that required several seal tags and a main tag. When set off a massive inferno will reduce everything with in the sealed area to ash and dust.