A/N: As promised, here's the next chapter. Nothing to say, really, except to enjoy.
The sky was clear in Higashiyama-ku. Of the eleven wards of Kyoto, this sleepy little district houses the smallest population as well as being mostly of elderly people. Because it was so small, practically everyone knew one another in something along the lines of a large family. Therefore, it was easy for the many working the stalls and stores in the area to immediately noticed the group of three that stood out amongst the rest.
The one leading the group was a man dressed in in a long black coat over a dark blue dress shirt. His pants seemed of the standard business attire and every local there could immediately see the polish on his black leather shoes. He had long white hair that reached to just below his shoulders, along with a seemingly refined face. That, along with the way he walked gave him the appearance of somewhat of a regal appearance.
Just by sight alone, many of the locals found themselves disliking the man. He looked too much like one of those corporate people that had once expressed interest with turning their beloved land into some type of metropolitan junk yard.
The two behind him, though, appeared to be exact opposites of each another.
The first one they saw was a tall male, dressed in a black, form-fitting shirt with a cartoonish skull sporting a crescent mustache and a pair of baggy jeans. On his feet were wide, thick shoes that some of them wondering as to the design. They were of the same design as the normal tennis shoes most people wear but were much too wide. At the same time, they barely went above his ankles so they certainly weren't boots. Only the more younger and trendy inhabitants could recognize them as skate shoes.
He too had a aristocratic face but his eyes were covered in a pair of black shades and unlike his companion in front of him, this young man had long, messy blond hair that spiked out in every direction. It too reached past his shoulders but were braided in three separate locks. Also, unlike the other man, he sported a healthy looking tan and while both he and the corporate-lookalike were quite thin, the form-fitting shirt that he had on did a good job of showing off his muscles nicely.
The last person had her arms wrapped around the blond's elbow. And any straight man, young or old, immediately found themselves oggling at the beauty that had suddenly entered their district.
The entrancing young girl had silky smooth pink hair that reached all the way down to her seductively round hips. It framed her beautiful face nicely and was an incredibe compliment to those vibrant green eyes. She was dressed in a simple white shirt that molded her lithe body nicely like a second skin. On her neck was a black choker, or collar, with a rather large silver rosary dangling down to the top of her luscious bosom. Below, the girl wore a red miniskirt ending above mid-thigh. A pair of black stockings came after to accentuate her elegant long legs. Finally, she had on a simple pair of boots reaching up to about mid-calf, creating a teasing end to the full view of her legs.
Altogether, they made for an odd and obviously foreign group to the locals. What possible reason could they have for showing up? If they were tourists, then they certainly picked an unusual stop. There was hardly any famous landmarks and even those that were had only localized appeals.
What were they up to?
Suddenly though, all the lights that illuminated the streets faded out. It came so suddenly that many of the vendors dropped their merchandises out of shock. It only lasted for a moment but it was laced with a strange eeriness that had the populace shivering. It was those types of chills one would get from watching the most horrifying or brutal movies possible.
The lights flashed back on quickly, returning the night streets to a visible level.
But those three strangers were gone.
It wasn't just a type of disappearance one could attribute to running. If that were true, then there would have been a feeling in the air, a rush of wind or something to attribute their retreat. But nothing. No slip of the wind, no rushing of feet, not even the faint sound of a breathing one could hear as people pass by them. It was as if they had vanished completely, like spirits.
"Quite impressive there, Kuyou-kun. A fine show of your illusionary prowess." Naruto chuckled as the three of them stepped out of stone wall. After the absent light show, Kuyou had guided them to a dead end alley, only to press his body and melt into the wall itself. It was revealed that the wall was one of many openings leading to the kitsune village, sealed in powerful archaic spells. The blond was impressed with the seals used to bind the room. It showed a great deal of skills and knowledge in seals array.
"Thank you my lord." The taller individual bowed his head in thanks. "Coming from you, it is a praise above praises."
"Hmph." Kuyou turned his head to glare at the vampire, who was meeting his angry gaze with a pair of green, slitted eyes. "You're certainly one to please. Just yesterday, you were convinced that Naruto-sama was a weak human."
"A test of cunning that I admit to have failed. But surely one can't blame me for losing in a battle of wits against my own progenitor."
Naruto chuckled and held out his hands lest a fight break out between his two companions. While he would love to see who would come out stronger now that both had a good grasp of the other's skill, he was growing rather anxious to start what he came to do. "We can settle this some other time, I hope. Now how much further is it to the Kitsune village?"
"We are already in the outskirts of the village, my lord." Kuyou gave Moka one last glare, which she responded by sticking her tongue out, and turned his gaze to the grassy meadow in front of them. "I'd wager that we should be seeing some of the more adventurous kitlings soon."
The blond arched an eyebrow at this. He may have completely assimilated the Kyuubi's memories but he had never actually seen young foxes in person. His village of Konoha, having faced the destruction caused by his past self, had made it somewhat of a vengeful sport to hunt down foxes to the brink of extinction. Because of this, the only foxes that he had ever encountered in his youth were no more than pelts displayed proudly in some sneering villager's home. It was the one of many things that had left a bitter taste in his mouth to remember such senseless slaughter to innocent beings.
But of course, human vengeance and cruelty knew no limits. Once they sought to deliver their so-called 'Justice', nothing related was spared.
It was alright though. His own vengeance was just as absolute. By the end of that Day of Judgment, his ears were ringing with the melody of human children dying, of their mothers screaming for help, of the entire village begging for a reprieve from the horrific extermination.
Just like Pain, just like the only human whom he would ever respect, he had brought complete and utter ruin to his enemies.
"Naruto-sama?" He looked down and smiled when Moka gently tugged on his arms, her eyes expressing a degree of worry for him. He shook his head and gave her a reassuring grin. It was warming to have someone worried about him. He certainly didn't love the vampire in the sense a human would understand. But he was definitely fond of her presence and having her warm body pressed against him at night gave him a soothing feeling.
Also, being the only female so far to not break after satisfying his lust certainly didn't hurt either.
"Kyuubi-sama! The village is just below this hill!"
Naruto turned his gaze over to where the four-tailed was calling from. Kuyou was standing on top of a gentle slope, pointing down to whatever it was down below. The blond arched an eyebrow and felt a moment of excitement wash through him. It would be the first time he would come face to face with a whole village of individuals similar to him. He looked down to Moka, meeting her warm green eyes from the cover of his shades.
"Shall we go?"
Moka smiled radiantly and nodded. The two took a to a leisure pace in following Kuyou, much to his displeasure. When they finally made it next to him, the four-tails nodded to the large expanse below them.
"Welcome," he declared proudly, "to the Kitsune Village."
It was a marvelous sight, in a pure and untainted sense. The moon high above was shining with absolute brilliance into the grassy fields below, illuminating a natural world of grassy meadows. In the very center, large mounds old enough to have grass covering their exterior were spread about, ranging in many different sizes. Because it wasn't that late yet, there were still plenty of foxes wandering down below. Foxes large and small could be seen frolicking around the grass, playing with one another or possible looking for some snacks.
To him, it was a strange sight to behold, as he had never once seen something like this. The blond silently looked on and saw that some of the foxes began to morph as well, taking on human appearances so that they could pick up herbs.
"They seem to be doing well."
Kuyou scoffed at Moka's attempted praise. "Of course. Unlike you vampires, we have never entered wars where we knew victory was impossible."
The young vampire glared at him but again, Kuyou paid her no mind. It wasn't until he felt a hand placed on his shoulder did he feel fear, that perhaps he might have overstepped his boundaries. Yet when he turned his gaze to the great fox before him, all Naruto did was jerk his head down to the village's direction.
"Are we going to stand up here all night or are you going to lead me down there?"
"Oh! Of course, please excuse me!"
The trio made their way down the hill and towards the village. Their trek down had immediately caught the attention of all the foxes outside and upon recognizing one of their own, some of the kitlings raced forward to meet him.
"Look, look! It's Kuyou-san!"
"How are you? Eh, you're covered in bandages!"
"Quite the popular figure here, Kuyou-kun." Naruto raised an eyebrow but the four-tails merely shrugged. Two kitlings morphed into their humanoid forms and were pulling on Kuyou's sleeves eagerly. The rest were scrutinizing his companions.
"Um, this one isn't a kitsune." A young fox sniffed at Moka once before backing up and tilting his head in confusion. "Smells like blood."
"She's a vampire. Careful or you'll get bit." The young fox turned his attention to the blond next to Moka, who grinned and tapped his nose in a knowing manner. The kitling didn't know who he was as he had never seen him before but from the scent that the person gave off, he was sure that this blond stranger was a kitsune as well.
But they were only interesting if they had anything to offer.
"My name is Uzumaki Naruto. What's yours, little fox?"
The young kit turned looked at the hand that was offered to him, sniffing around his fingers for any sign of a threat. When he found none, the fox eagerly jumped into his palm and raced up his arm to settle onto Naruto's shoulder. There, he settled onto the blond's shoulder and raised his head in a triumphant gesture to the other kitlings below. he then turned his attention to the blond and nudged his cheek with the top of his head.
"I'll tell you if you have a treat for me."
Naruto chuckled and reached into his pocket. The young kit watched with interest as he fished around until finally pulling something out. At the sight of what was in his hand, the little fox flattened his ears in disappointment.
It was a ornate looking arm guard small enough to fit on his front leg.
He had been hoping for some meat.
"Sorry but you can't expect me to have meat right away would you?" Naruto grinned and reached up to tie the guard around the fox's front left leg. "Besides, meat is something that disappears when you eat it. This will stay as long as you don't lose it."
He pawed at the guard, feeling a bit strange in having an object hanging off of his leg. But the gesture was not lost to him and he knew to at least show some gratitude.
"The elder fox named me Genkuro." He finally answered. "And everyone else calls me it so that's what I go by."
"What about your parents?"
Naruto tsked and was about to apologize when Genkuro straightened up and puffed out his chest in pride. "I never knew my parents but everyone in the village talked highly of them. My father, Kuromaru, was a powerful kitsune warrior who sacrificed himself in battle to ensure our village's survival. My mother, Tsukiko, was given a fatal wound from that same battle but survived long enough to give birth to me. I am proud to be their son."
Obviously, the feelings one would associate with lost was different between monsters and humans. Naruto shook his head but decided to not pursue the subject. He glanced over to Moka, who was kneeling down and playing with the rest of the kitlings. The vampire met his gaze and stood up as well but not before allowing the young foxes to hitch a ride. Two also climbed up to settle on either side of her shoulders while the last one was picked up and hugged underneath her bosom. Seeing their relaxed expressions along with Moka's fondness for all things fluffy amused the blond and he chuckled at the sight.
"Well then, Genkuro-kun, perhaps you can help us? Kuyou-san seems to be a bit preoccupied so I think we'll have to rely on you for the time being."
"Sure." The small fox lazily adjusted himself to a more comfortable position. "What do you need?"
"I'm looking for the elder fox that you were talking about. There are a few things that I need to ask."
Genkuro immediately raised his long tail to point up ahead. "Akihime-sama lives in the largest of the homes. She's usually inside or near so that shouldn't be any trouble."
"You have my thanks." Naruto scratched the young fox's head gently, earning a sound of contentment from Genkuro, and began his trek towards the elder fox's home. Moka was about to follow her lover when the blond turned and grinned in her direction.
"Why don't you go and have some fun with the foxes? The conversation shouldn't be too long and I'll join you after it's all done."
"Are you sure?" Naruto nodded. Moka looked like she didn't quite believe him and her body language clearly said that she wanted to follow him. But the young vampire eventually relented and with a heartfelt glance to his direction, she headed off to a different direction at the urging of the three kitlings. The blond followed her form for a bit, simply drinking in the sight of his lover's perfect form, before reluctantly returning to the path set before him.
"By the way, who is that vampire anyways? I just noticed it now but she had some of your scent all over her and vice versa."
"Moka's my lover." Naruto shrugged as they continued making their way to the largest mound. "I guess you can say she's my mate."
"Does that mean you're going to do the ritual to her?"
"What do you think?"
As the two chatted, Naruto noticed that just about everyone in the open had their eyes on him. The blond could hear the whispers going about as the older, more experienced foxes noticed the immense power pulsing from just beneath the surface. At the same time, his scent as a fellow kitsune was easily noticed and many were wondering as to just who he was.
The blond paid them little attention for the moment. There would be plenty of time for him to immerse himself into the kitsune culture. But at the moment, he had more pressing matters to attend to. The largest of the grass mounds finally came to view and once he neared the entrance, Genkuro jumped off of his shoulder. The small fox landed lightly on his feet and ran in, with the blond casually following from behind.
"Akihime-sama! This foreign kitsune wanted to meet you. He says his name is Uzumaki Naruto. Do you know him?"
The moment Naruto saw the supposed leader of the fox, he came to the conclusion that 'elder fox' was an incredibly misleading term. Akihime, in her human hybrid form, was one of the most beautiful individuals that his eyes had ever seen. She looked to be in physical youth, with a body that looked no older than early to mid-twenties. Her face, while youthful in its beauty, held a mature air, a refinement of someone with great wisdom. Her hair, a rich auburn in shade, flowed down the back of her head like a blanket, disturbed only by the seven fox tails behind her and the two fox tails above of equal coloring. Akihime was dressed in a relatively conservative looking yukata but the front of her robes were loosened just enough for him to see an impressive cleavage.
Naruto could say without a doubt that Akihime was one of the most beautiful individuals that he had ever seen. But he was more interested in her reaction to his presence.
The moment he had walked in, he saw that the wise kitsune knew something was strange. Her posture, though hard to see to any normal individual, belied naked fear to his experienced eyes. She was scared of his presence and that was enough for him to know she possessed knowledge of his being.
Surprisingly, Akihime reeled in that fear and plastered a warm, motherly smile to the little kitling that had announced his arrival. "Thank you Genkuro. Now, please go out and play with the other children while I entertain our guest."
Genkuro gave an excited 'yip' and bounded out of the mound eagerly. The moment his form left the home, Naruto felt the telltale signs of containment seals activating. Again, it was an impressive show of seal works and he would have loved to study them more but his attention was focused to the kitsune leader, who had now stood up to face him.
Akihime parted the lower half of her yukata to reveal a pair of long, smooth legs. While Naruto would have loved to simply stare at them, the blond knew that she was actually setting herself for better mobility. The proof was in how her golden slits for eyes began to glow with power and the seals becoming visible to hide her energies from the outside.
"Well I'd say that you're certainly hostile."
The kitsune narrowed her eyes and replied in a cool voice. "Your presence as a kitsune may have fooled the rest of the villagers but my eyes can see what others cannot. You have the shadow of a crimson fox, bathed in blood and whirling with nine burning tails."
"Indeed?" Naruto smirked condescendingly. "Seems your sight is pretty accurate then."
"Who are you? You have the presence of a fox and a power greater than what I have ever felt before. You bear the look of a young man yet the rage in your power has seen thousands of years." Akihime brandished her tails, which had sharpened to deadly points. "You are not of this world. Why have you come here? What is it that you seek?"
Naruto remained silent. He gave no indication of having even acknowledged her accusations. But the elder fox was no foolish. She knew that he was much stronger than her and that any attack must be given with the utmost care. So she watched as the blond surveyed her home, surveying the numerous seals that now pulsed with the energy she reflexively provided. He seemed to have been contemplating something, perhaps wondering if he should take her threat seriously.
Finally, the blond finally met her gaze and smiled. The curve of his lips was an immediately warning but before she could do anything, the room became engulfed with raw, burning rage. Akihime's eyes widened in surprise at the sight and her body collapsed back to the ground.
In an instant, Naruto had flared out of his human form and took on the same hybrid look as herself, releasing so much demonic energy that it wrapped around her body like magma. All around, the glowing symbols that made up her containment seal flared with more light than she had ever seen before in trying to suppress the sheer weight of this stranger's youki. She didn't even know if the seals were completely successful. Just the sight of them working so hard was enough to confirm what her body already knew.
"You know, I'm grateful that you made this containment field as strong as it is." Naruto smiled and looked down on her, his blond hair now blood red and his eyes now glowing with a violet flame. "Because I can show you this form without fear of the entire world finding out."
The demon fox chuckled and took his seat across from her, using his tails as a chair. "Now, I will answer all of your questions truthfully but in return, I expect you to do the same. Are we clear?"
Despite the benevolence coming from his smile and the lightness of his tone, Akihime truly felt pressured from all side, if only because the aura surrounding him screamed for blood. Still, she tried her best to regain her composure and at his request, nodded in confirmation.
It was all Naruto needed.
"Good, good. Now, where should I begin?"
Moka smiled at the antics of the three small foxes. The four of them had gone off a bit away from the main village and near a large pond. There, the kitlings had immediately jumped off of her and began pouncing on one another. She would have been content simply to watch them have their fun but the three also jumped on her as well. The young vampire had been caught by surprise and fell to the thick grass below. It was all in good fun and she laughed as well. Now, the small foxes were allowing her some time to rest while they went and continued their mock battle.
The vampire girl laid her body against a nearby tree and sighed, feeling her body relax. It was peaceful here, with the natural beauty untainted by human pollution. There was just something in the very air that soothed her being and made her want to just spend the day relaxing.
Was this how everyone felt when they entered?
Before she could mull over that thought, an unexpected weight suddenly plopped itself onto her thigh. She opened her eyes and saw one of the small foxes lounging on her thigh. Despite how cute and cuddly they looked to her, she had to frown at the action and reached out to pluck the child from her lap.
"No claws." She admonished. "I don't want my stockings to tear."
The small fox growled and struggled, much to her amusement. Her body was so small that even though she tried swiping at Moka with her claws, it didn't even reach her wrist. Finally, the child gave and simply slumped seemingly in exhaustion. Moka, satisfied with this, gently laid her onto the grass besides her.
Only for the kitling to swipe at her with a tail.
Moka looked on in amusement as the fox scampered out of her sight. A trickster in blood and history. She shouldn't have expected her to accept admonishment so gracefully.
"Ne ne, vampire-neesan."
She looked down to see the same fox that ran away now sitting next to her with its playmates next to her. The young vampire arched an eyebrow and made a gesture for them to continue.
"Are you Kuyou-san's mate?" The fox tilted her head in confusion. "Because Kuyou-san's an strong yonbi kitsune and you two look like you'd be great together."
Moka stared at the fox.
She kept staring.
Finally, she gently held out a large rock in her palm for the foxes. The three looked at it quizzically, wondering just what was it that she wanted them to see. It was just a plain old water rock with a smooth, flat surface. Nothing special about that.
The answer came when suddenly, that rock was crushed in an instant. All three of the kitlings stared as the vampire opened up her hand again and shook it to dust off the small rock bits. She smiled brightly and gently tapped the terrified kitsune in the nose.
"You're a cute child." She answered sweetly. "But if you mistake me for Kuyou's mate again, I'll crush that head just like I did to this rock. Understand?"
The foxes nodded, scared senseless by the strength displayed. But Moka wasn't satisfied with it and continued on. "For your information, the blond that I came with is my lover. He's much stronger than Kuyou will ever be."
"You mean Naruto?"
All eyes turned to the new arrival and Moka immediately recognized the fox from the arm guard given to it. "Oh, Genkuro-kun. Did you take Naruto to where he needed?"
The small fox scratched his ear with his back leg and nodded. "Yep. Akihime-sama seemed to have wanted to speak to Naruto about something so she told me to go play. I knew you guys would be here."
"Well, it's the best place to get some snacks."
"You're a glutton."
"You know you love me."
"Like a sore on my front paw."
The two foxes and Moka in the sidelines quietly watched the verbal spar between Genkuro and the kit that had asked her such a daring question. They looked like they were having fun when Genkuro suddenly growled and pounced on top of the other.
"It's a lovers' quarrel." One of the foxes commented. "Trust Ume to annoy Genkuro like that."
The brief fight ended with the slightly larger Genkuro holding up Ume's tail in his mouth triumphantly. Moka applauded him for the show and he spat the tail out, much to his opponent's displeasure.
"So you're that Naruto's mate huh? When are you going to enter the ritual?" All attention was now focused onto her again and Moka honestly didn't know what to say. She had no idea what this ritual was. But it seemed obvious that it had something to do with one's mate. Did it mean a wedding?
Ume seemed to have picked up on her confusion and readily supplied an answer. "The ritual is a strong seal that is used for kitsune mates from other species, turning them into fellow kitsunes. My mother was a water nymph and she came out of the ritual as a kitsune. Also, I hear that you keep some of your old powers as well so it's an amazing piece of work."
Moka mulled the thought over. From what she could gather, the ritual would transform her into a pseudo-kitsune. That would explain how the small kitlings seemed so open to the idea of a mate from another species. What better way to stop hybrid off-springs than by converting those mates into fellow kitsune? It was practical and yet genius at the same time. The young vampire had to wonder why the other monster species did not follow in the same footsteps.
"If Naruto-sama wishes it then I will accept." She replied easily. "I don't really have any misgivings with being converted into a fellow fox."
"Naruto-sama? Is he some powerful fox demon?"
The young vampire smiled and winked. "Something like that."
Akihime stared at the being in front of her. The story spoken by this stranger seemed almost impossible to believe. But the matriarch of the Kitsune village had been alive for nearly a thousand years. She would have easily been able to detect a lie. Everything that came out of Uzumaki Naruto's mouth had been nothing but the truth. Even if she did not want to believe, the sheer presence of this being would have left her no choice.
It explained everything about his appearance. The reason why he was nothing like Kyuubi-sama was because he really wasn't. Uzumaki Naruto was a denizen from another world, a world dominated by humans wielding elemental techniques strong enough to tear through countries. In a world like that, where the average soldier could kill many through spells, it would not be unbelievable if the demons were far stronger as well.
The elder fox sighed and idly rubbed her head. Across from her, Uzumaki Naruto, still in his hybrid form, looked at her plight with amusement in his eyes. The brat found her predicament funny. If he wasn't leagues stronger than herself, she would have struck him for his cheek.
"I believe you." She dropped her hand and went back to her formal sitting position. "As per our agreement, I will answer any and all questions you might have concerning this world."
"Good. Then we can begin immediately." Naruto crossed his legs and settled into a neutral expression. "First, you can explain to me as to why the monster races are hiding in shadow realms. Assuming that you all have been alive when humanity was still in its primitive stages, lording over them should not have been trouble."
He was sharp. The young fox knew that something was strange with their current lives. Of course, she shouldn't have expected anything else. He had told her that from the first day of his arrival, he had immersed himself in gathering information. It would have struck him as strange immediately if the school he entered turned out to have been made for coexistence rather than pure domination.
"The Golden Age of us monsters was rooted in ancient times. You can still read about those mythical tales of beasts strong enough to devour nations and challenge gods. Those were the times when we lorded over the humans and treated them as nothing more than toys and food." Akihime folded her hands on top of her lap and bowed her head sadly. "But they soon disappeared when humans began to discover strange abilities. Magicians began to appear nearly two thousand years ago and with them, came the strength to combat us. Because our ancestors did not originally see them as a threat, we allowed them to populate numerous areas and grow in numbers. With the growth of humans came a growth of magicians as well. They became overwhelmed by numbers alone and were beat back into the shadows."
"And it was like this ever since?"
"No. We monsters of the East experienced a renewal in strength over a thousand years ago. That was the time when Kyuubi-sama appeared to us. Its power was like a beacon and we grew in strength to rise once more. Under Kyuubi-sama's guidance, we fought with the humans and very nearly won against them. But that was until the foreigners came." Naruto arched an eyebrow but she did not allow him time to retort. "Eastern magicians focused on the abilities to curse and summon servants. Because fighting them became more conventional, we easily defeated most of their diviners and summons. But when the foreigners came and began spreading the ideas of those Western spells, we too were beat back and Kyuubi-sama was sealed. Without that beacon to give us strength, we fell back into the shadows. It has been that way ever since."
The young fox mulled over her words. "And what of those magicians?"
"They have since consolidated power with their patron god. To this day, they still seek for any chance to wipe us out completely."
"A patron god?"
"The so called 'Holy' God of Christianity." Naruto's eyes widened in surprise. He had not been expecting one of the world's most influential religion to have magicians in their employment. He thought the religion abhorred any type of witchcraft unless...
"Exorcists." Naruto narrowed his eyes as he dug up some obscure information gleamed weeks ago. "A secret order that has its own hierarchy."
The elder kitsune nodded. "Indeed. And they're presence on this island have been gaining in strength and popularity over the years. Pretty soon, we will be driven to a corner."
"You don't have to tell me that." He knew full well just how popular it was getting. Hell, some of those damn manga books left in the dorms had been considerably influenced by the Christian religion. Even the headmaster was...
"Akihime-san. What can you tell me about the headmaster of Yokai Academy? I clearly felt the youki of a monster from him but he was dressed in the garbs of a priest." At the mention of the headmaster, Akihime snarled and flared her demonic energy.
"That fool is nothing but a traitor!" She spat in disgust. "A pathetic mongrel who sold himself to the exorcists in exchange for a position of power. To think that he was once one of the respected Dark Lords! Now he is nothing but an agent of that order, with the sole purpose of weakening monsters and 'aiding' them to live peacefully with humans!"
"Why isn't this common knowledge?"
"There were few of us that knew of his betrayal from the beginning. And after, the order sent their hunters to kill those that found out. Only a handful including myself remain. But I have passed down this knowledge to the village and ever since, we have been hiding carefully from the Exorcists."
"And Kuyou's position in school?"
"A position of trust meant to gather information. Only fools who hide in ignorance would not attempt to exploit hidden traitors."
Naruto was impressed with their skills regarding information. The kitsune seemed well immersed in the field of intelligence. They would make for the perfect spies and scouts. And judging from the brief display of power from their matriarch, he could see that they were quite strong in combat as well.
Good. He'll be needing their abilities in the future.
"Two more questions and we'll call it a day, Akihime-san." Naruto grinned and tapped his forehead. "You wouldn't happen to know where your Kyuubi is sealed, would you?"
"Of course. We all know where Kyuubi-sama sleeps but we simply lack the strength to both combat the exorcists and destroy the barriers." Her eyes suddenly widened and her body bolted upright. "Don't tell me you mean to-!"
Naruto's grin only widened. "The location, if you please?"
She slumped back to her seat, struck dumb with his unconfirmed intent. Only when he began waving his hand in front of her, did she remember his earlier question. "E-Ezochi, or what is now known as Hokkaido. There is a small kitsune shrine near the Asashikawa prefecture. It is housed in a large cave by the moutains and heavily guarded by the Exorcists stationed there."
"Now see? That wasn't so hard." Naruto chuckled and stood up. In an instant, his body morphed back into his human form, displaying a fluid control of his incredible powers. The now blond demon returned his gaze to her and lightly scratched his head in an almost sheepish manner.
"And that last question: What the hell did Genkuro mean by a ritual anyways?"
Hours later, Naruto was resting in a luxurious bed, within a suite from one of Kyoto's most expensive hotels. While his body relaxed, his mind was working through the information that the kitsune matriarch had provided for him.
It would seem that the Exorcists and their 'holy' spells would prove to be an annoyance. It didn't take much to figure that whatever powered their spells would be the exact opposite of youki. His lover's own rosary should be proof of that. Still, it shouldn't be too difficult to pursue his goals here. All he needed was time and that was something he had in abundance. Patience is a virtue he knew all too well but of course, all of it would be for naught if he cannot free this world's Kyuubi.
"Is something on your mind, Naruto-sama?" The blond turned his gaze to see his lover, fresh out of the relaxing bath and clad only in the complementary yukata. She smiled at him and climbed into bed as well, making a deliberate show of her swaying hips. Naruto watched her silently as she climbed the bed and mounted herself on top of him. Her legs were parted, allowing her to gently grind against him, earning a appreciative groan from him.
"I'm just going over some plans." Naruto reached up to her sash and easily loosened it, allowing the fabric of her robes to slide down her body. Moka didn't see the need to part with the clothes completely and merely shrugged off the sleeves as she continued the slow, arousing dance on top of him. "How do you feel about going to Hokkaido?"
Moka leaned down and laid herself fully on top of him. She pressed her head to the side of his neck and bit with a bit more force than usual, earning her a chuckle from him. "Guess you don't like it."
"Of course not." She replied lightly. "What sane person would love the cold? Especially when it's winter time?"
"If all goes well, we shouldn't be there for more than three days."
"What is it that you're planning?" Moka blinked when she felt him tap the back of her head. She pulled herself back and grimaced when she saw him grinning cheekily. "Patience. You'll know everything soon enough."
That would be the most she could get out of him, as unsatisfactory as it might be. Nevertheless, she accepted it and returned to feeding. Moka shivered in ecstasy as the warm ambrosia drained into her mouth. She could never get enough of the taste, texture, and quality of her lover's blood. That with the flood of power into her body only made it that much more enticing. It was so good that she couldn't help but moan in pleasure as she sucked on his blood and even when she was finished, her tongue would slide over his puncture marks slowly, to savor the flavor.
Naruto laughed and caressed the back of her head when she was done. "Is my blood really that amazing? You sounded like you were already having sex with me."
Moka lifted her head and indeed, the drowsy, satisfied expression on her face was as if she had just made love to him. The young vampire smiled and leaned forward to kiss him, gently parting his mouth to slide her tongue in. They played like that for a while, simply allowing their tongues to lick and fondle one another.
Then, she unexpectedly ended the kiss and pulled back. Naruto raised an eyebrow at the sudden end but refrained from saying anything when she decided to press a finger to his mouth. "Naruto-sama..." Moka said his name quietly and with more humbleness than usual. "I have a request to make of you."
"Oh?" She hardly ever request anything from him specifically. "What is it?"
"I... I want to take the ritual." Moka licked her lips, building up the courage for herself. "I want to be a kitsune, just like you."
The blond sighed, having expected something like this. The kitsune matriarch had given him a general idea as to what the ritual was about but truthfully, he didn't really care either way. But he knew that Moka would definitely see this as an opportunity for herself. He and gave her an exasperated look and said clearly. "You know that I don't care if you're still a vampire. It's not like it'll make that much of a difference if you take it or not."
"It might not make much of a difference to you but it does to me! I... I want to stay as your loyal mate. There's nothing that can show my devotion more than that." Moka gave him a pleading expression. "Please accept this. I want to stay with you and remain at your side forever."
Naruto searched her expression silently, quietly seeing if she was truly earnest in this request. All he saw was pure devotion to himself and a desire to have her way. That had him amused and since there really weren't any drawbacks to the ritual itself, he had no opinion in the matter. The blond sighed again and reached up to tap her head. "Idiot." He replied lightly. "If you're that intent on doing this, who am I to stop you?"
Moka's eyes lit up in happiness and she embraced him joyfully. To her, his permission was the single greatest moment of her life. It wasn't just about the ritual that had worried her. She took a huge gamble on her part when she proclaimed herself as his mate. She knew all too well that a being as powerful as Naruto could have easily denied her as his mate and saw her more as a warm bed to satisfy his lust. She was somewhat expecting that as well and to hear him admitting her as his mate in his own way was just like dream.
"But." She yelped in surprise when he unexpectedly thrusted his hips upward. "The mission and a little history lesson comes first."
"Naruto-sama... thank you." The blond waved her thanks aside, preferring to indulge himself in the finer aspects of 'mating'. Pretty soon, the only things going through the vampire's mind were pleasure and fatigue as he saw fit to sate his desires on her body.
Yet even through the roughness of sex, one thing nagged at Naruto. The headmaster of the school was a youkai and yet he took on the robes of an exorcist. While he knew nothing of their structured hierarchy, the blond had a feeling that the headmaster was perhaps at the very bottom in terms of command.
That meant that there were potentially numerous other exorcists stronger than the 'Dark Lords'. And if they had the strength to even seal away a Kyuubi, even one far weaker than himself, then perhaps they would prove to be the challenge his darker self desired.
Just the thought of a worthy battle had him filled with anticipation.
How big of a fish lurked in those waters? How tempting of a bait will he need to lure them in?
And how big of a knife will he need to gut them?
A/N: And that's it for this week. I'm already working on the next chapter though I can't promise when it'll be coming out next time. Earliest will probably a week and a half from now and latest will be a month, if nothing else comes up. Things have been getting busy around here and my internet isn't going to be regular anytime soon. But know that I haven't abandoned this story, nor do I plan to.
Well everyone read this chapter and leave a review. Thoughts and inputs would be very much appreciated.