Title: Dramatic Irony
Category: Anime/Manga » Naruto
Language: English, Rating: Rated: T
Published: 01-11-09, Updated: 08-07-09
Chapters: 4, Words: 12,334
Chapter 1: To Flee
This is a major adaptation of Shippuden, what might have happened had naruto's training been interrupted by war.
It had started with that bastard's betrayal. That fucking bastard. That fucking bastard who was willing to give up himself - life, soul, admirer - just for power. Fucking power! He could've gotten that in Konoha! But whatever, he'd betrayed them, and Naruto was forsworn to bring him back.
True to plan, he left with Jiraiya on his training trip, and began working on the new Rasengan to no avail. He fought, trained, and became strong. He learned everything from Jiraiya that he knew about sealing in just over a year.
It was kind of difficult to out-train shadow clones, after all.
Of course, before he'd had no idea his clones could be used for training. Not until one was popped by some random bandit a while out of his sight, and all the memories returned to him. From that moment onward, he'd trained like a maniac, taking in knowledge faster than Jiraiya could teach him. Many a clone had perished from failed 'big boom' self-made explosive tags. Plus, he'd learned the exploding clone echnique and invented one of his own: the kamikaze clone technique. A variant of the former, it required a clone to make the handseals, and then it would explode in a great flurry of vicious windblades that would cheerfully slice anything nearby apart. The more chakra in the clone, the more destructive.
Jiraiya himself had to occasionally make a few clones, when he was teaching something smaller that didn't require the attention of five hundred clones to master. With those things, Naruto's learning speed was downright scary. The main downside was that, as a result, Naruto suffered chronic migraines, and so it was required that there always be painkillers on hand. If there weren't, he would be in a bad mood.
Training went as normal, until the rough one year mark passed. Then the two travellers received a hawk from Konoha, informing them that Sound had allied with Rock, and they were moving in a suspiciously war-like way. There was nothing confirmed yet, but Tsunade urged them to tread lightly.
Naruto trained twice as hard from there on out. When the disastrous 'four-tail' incident occured, his will was too occupied by staying strong for Konoha to ever be controlled by that fox. He retained his mind, he retained his power. But there was no doubts that the four-tail form was fucking painful. He tried to avoid using Kyuubi's chakra - aside from the obvious reasons, it gave him something that felt like the mother of all hangovers, on top of his freaking migraines.
His progress speeded ahead even faster, and the Oodama Rasengan was under way. Of course, it still mutilated his arm when he tried it, but meh. It was getting there. He just had to figure out how to get the wind nature crap to agree with him more.
Six months later, Jiraiya certified him capable of being called a sealing master. His progress and skill in that area surpassed all of his progress in other areas, put together. It was like a gift. Naruto basked in the glory, immensely pleased with himself, then the letter arrived.
That fucking letter. It'd ruined their lives.
It said, basically, in no difficult terms, that Sound and Rock had declared war on Konoha. Officially. He and Jiraiya were called back to defend the village from imminent attack.
The next days passed in a flurry of passing landscapes, exhaustion, and soldier pills. For three days they ran, no sleep, no rests, with nothing but chakra keeping them going. Nothing but nutrient bars, hastily consumed in mind-jump, to sustain their hunger. Nothing but the meager water condensed from the air to quench their thirst. But it didn't matter. They ran.
They ran, and ran, but they still didn't make it on time. When they saw the gates of Konoha, it was awash in battles. Despite their exhaustion, despite everything, Naruto and Jiraiya flung themselves into battle, each like a one-man army. Naruto's main priority was finding his friends and huddling them into a spot where he could keep an eye on them. He found pretty much everyone.
Except one person.
She'd come with the medics, a front-line healer. She'd been hastily knitting together the bicep of some unlucky jonin, messily in her haste. Then some fucking Iwa-nin had shoved his kunai through her throat.
He hadn't been in time to save Sakura.
Naruto understood, he understood with horrible, shaking clarity that humans couldn't survive blows to the throat. Normal humans died that way.
Sakura was dead.
With the realization of such a simple fact, he utterly lost it. The minute the red chakra exploded from his body, Jiraiya called a retreat into the walls. it was a good thing, too.
He completely skipped the one and two tail stages. Rather than the usual slow bubbling, it exploded into the thrashing tail-shapes, a third gouging its way in soon enough. he screamed, the sound more like a roar, sinking to his feet as the fourth came forward for the second time in his life. He took up the power again. He took on the inhuman, hybrid form of the four-tail transformation. For a few short moments, moments filled with blood and death and burning bodies of the enemy, that was all. Then, for the first and last time, the fifth tail formed.
It was not well known that humans, not even jinchurriki, could survive channeling more than four tails of a demon's chakra. It'd rip them apart. In any normal case, Naruto would have gone on a bloody massacre all the while his body sizzled and melted away around him. But, as it was, the Kyuubi's chakra was designed to heal they who commanded it, so Naruto stayed alive long enough, just long enough, for the balance between human and demon in his body to change.
In the next minutes, instead of his blood boiling it gathered and formed tissue, skin, and entirely new bone structure. That stage was rather awkward, because it wasn't exactly easy to go on a rampaging blood slaughter while your spine, legs, and pretty much everything changed shape. he stumbled and fell several times, snarling destructive blasts of youki at anyone who tried to take advantage of his unsteadiness. The watching allies, especially the Sannin, were exceptionally alarmed. Jiraiya had hastily explained the violent effects of the four-tail form, and the sight of the fifth tail was enough to utterly terrify both of them at the thought of the consequences.
When they saw Naruto stumble, fall over, they immediately assumed his body was decomposing and it was the cause of his stance. The thick red youki cloak hid the real changes. How new skin stretched across his muscles, stronger than ever. How, slowly, fur grew over it, sticking immediately down from the downpour of blood staining through it with every slit throat, every claw brought over the belly of a helpless human. So soft, like butter. it was laughable.
The fur was oddly blended, as if it couldn't decide what colour to become. The combination of Kyuubi's red and Naruto's blond, brought together masterfully, made his new pelt look like a flame, flickering as the fur moved. It sprouted over the five tails too, like long tongues of fire that hissed and waved from the main blaze.
For a moment, there were no enemies near him, other than the corpses. He smirked, blood coating his sharp new fangs, running along the black gum beneath his new muzzle. Then he let out a triumphant, terrifying roar. It didn't sound like a tiger's, a lion's, nor any large summon. It was like a canine's snarl, curled into a rough proclamation with hell's embrace.
The Konoha nin shuddered behind the gate, and beside the rookie nine atop the wall, Kiba shuddered. Akamaru whimpered.
"God. Kami." Kiba groaned. "What the fuck?"
"What is it, Kiba?" Jiraiya was instantly alert.
"He's fucking speaking fox!" Kiba clenched his teeth. "He smells like a fox, and he's fucking speaking like one!"
"What's he saying?" Ino cut in, eye wide with amazement.
Kiba focused. "The roar was basically a sort of arrogance thing. It pretty much meant: 'Fuck you bitches, you're all gonna die.' Now he's basically snarling along the lines of 'I'll kill you for what you did', or something like that." Kiba looked perplexed for a moment. "What did they do?"
Tsunade's jaw clenched, her eyes hardened. She'd been the only one to spot the corpse before the youki had washed it away. "....Sakura."
Ino near choked, horrified. "They-"
"-Killed her." The Hokage confirmed, not allowing grief to overcome her. This is a battle. She repeated it to herself like a mantra.
The enemies were unsure now, fearful of advancing and being murdered like the rest. So Naruto went looking for them. He was faster, fiercer, and stronger than anything they'd seen, aside from the Kyuubi of course. He bubbled with demonic energy, a thick bank of bloody mist around him.
No invaders survived that day. Naruto tracked them down and killed them, he allowed none to escape. Not a single chunin. He came sniffing around the clearing before Konoha, where the battle had taken place. He'd devestated the landscape, many trees were eaten away or felled, and the very edge of the Konoha wall was slightly crumbled. The earth was a muddy bog of the blood, with great puddles that were squelched down into every time Naruto took a step. After confirming there were no more scents he hadn't already pursued, the Kyuubi's cloak dwindled to near complete transparency, hanging instead like a faint aura around him.
"...He fucking has fur." Jiraiya breathed.
"He's a fucking fox!" Kiba's eyes shot wide in alarm. Tense, full of unease, they watched Naruto for his next move. The fox stood in the bog, and turned its head to face them. it was around the size of a large wolf, easily bigger than Akamaru, and five extremely long tails stretched from his backside, flicking and twitching by reflex. They were all longer than his body, and rather thin at the base.
Naruto watched them, the look in his bright cerulean eyes slightly wary. It was a somewhat hard look....resigned. With a twitch of his whiskers, the bloodstained fox headed for the forest before anyone could say a thing about it.
Tsunade spread the word that Naruto had died from overusage of youki, though of course he hadn't. It was merely to protect him from the villagers' reactions if they found out what he'd become.
Unsure, taken aback by the sudden loss of their forces, the Oto and Iwakages did not move again for a long while, and when they did, it was four weeks after the original incident. In the midst of that attack, Naruto returned, in full human form again. Aside from how his opponents mysteriously died from four strange gashes across their necks, very clawlike in appearence.
Both assailant and assailed were very surprised to see him- he'd supposedly been dead after all. The attackers called a retreat - they didn't want a repeat of the previous attack. Naruto was given a hero's welcome, even by the villagers. He'd slaughtered over a thousand nin in the first battle, and more than two hundred in the second. No one, aside from the rookie nine and their connections, knew what he'd become.
Apparently, the five tail state had permenantly shredded Naruto's connection to humanity, and he was now a demon. He was still capable of generating regular human chakra fortunately, even though he had no shred of human left in him. Foxes were shapeshifters anyway, so Naruto had assumed his previous form. But he now wore gloves. One thing he was unwilling to change was his new claws - like a cats', but much larger and sharper, less delicate and more deadly. They retracted, and had sort of replaced his fingernails, so the gloves were nescessary. Konoha issue: of thin, easily stretched material that allowed easy maneuverability in them. They had the traditional knuckle plate, imbued with the symbol of the leaf.
Naruto enjoyed his new acceptance, drinking it in like a man starving. It was nice to be loved for a change, and he was thouroughly satisfied.
Until this 'Sai' character betrayed them. He approached Naruto, acting all friendly, with the most obviously fake smile. He'd found it quite insulting. Apparently he served under Danzo, or something. He sort of stuck around, and it was very irritating.
Then the third, and final, attack came. All of Iwa and Oto's best - and fuck it, they had Kumo and Kusa with them. Sand had come to aid Konoha, of course. Naruto had been ecstatic to see Gaara again, and had explained his new 'condition' to the Kazekage, which was met with thoughtfulness. Apparently, the situation was intruiging. But even with Suna, their chances didn't look very good. There were fucking thousands of ninja out there, maybe as many as ten thousand. Honestly, they were relying on one of Naruto's spontaneous massacres to pull them through.
But Danzo, that double crossing bastard, was a Konoha traitor. And consequently, so was ROOT. Furthermore, Sai. He slapped on a seal behind Naruto's back, and Naruto found himself suddenly unable to pull upon his demonic chakra. Even his connection to Kyuubi was blocked. He couldn't pull the seal off, neither could anyone else. Apparently it was time delayed.
But with it there, no matter how shoddily done, Konoha was screwed.
In eighteen hours, the Konoha and Suna nins in front of the gate had to fall back behind the main walls. Four hours later, the enemies got in and began their pillage of all they came across, mainly focusing on living entities rather than buildings. In another eight hours, the battle fell silent and Naruto was motionless upon the floor, chakra sealed but not gone. He couldn't die because he was a demon. Demons couldn't die until all of their youki was gone. Naruto couldn't fight because he didn't have access to his youki. So he stayed, half dead and half alive, among the burning ruins of Konoha, and the enemy left with a victory in their hands. Their only purpose had been to kill.
Naruto had four days of sleep. Nightmarish, disturbed sleep. But sleep nonetheless. He woke up, injuries gone, and figured the seal must have stopped functioning while he was sleeping. He stared around, and created shadow clones. He sent them out to search for any survivors.
There were none.
Konoha had fallen.
No doubt Suna's civilians existed with a meager guard, too pathetic to be called a shinobi village anymore. No doubt they'd hear the news soon. Their warriors would not be returning.
In a strange, deadened state, Naruto began salvaging what he could. As Konoha's last survivor, the village belonged to him now. And he couldn't ever stay here, not with all these painful memories. He sent out clones, and they wandered through desolate homes, finding what was of use to them and sealing it away. Money, scrolls, books....He sealed the entire Konoha library away, and it too a damn while too. He discovered the Uchiha's jutsu library, and took that as well. He took the Hokage's private scrolls, the classified stuff, he rooted through all he could find, attempting to bring as much of his village with him as possible.
He found things that had belonged to his friends, just minor belongings, and sealed them into their own scroll. Remembrance. He made his way to the Inuzuka home, hoping to find something of Kiba, and was shocked.
Many animals in the Inuzuka kennels were still alive.
Of course! Not all of them would have been allowed out, some were too young, others too untrained. Most of them were like wolves, lacking the floppy ears that Akamaru had had, which was probably credit to how they hadn't been able to be trained properly. They were too wild, too untameable.
"Dogs of Inuzuka." He spoke quietly, respectfully, and he had the attention of every pup and dog in the place. "Konoha....has fallen."
Instantly, there was chaos. Anguished howls, agonized barks, snarls of denial. There had been humans they loved, family they loved.
"Your masters are not returning. Sound, Cloud, Rock, and Grass attacked together. We didn't stand a chance. The only reason I survived is because I'm a fox, and because I was unconscious enough for people to think I was dead. I'll let you out of here. You'll have to make a living on your own. there's plenty of forest: return to it. Be wolves. Live as a pack. There's nothing else to do." As he spoke, he tore doors off of the pens, leaving dogs who uncertainly stepped out, eying their companions with sadness. " Go on. Live. I have to leave, away from the painful memories. But I'm not going to let anyone enter Konoha again, I'm not risking that someone might take down the monument or something." the thought made him feel ill. "I'll leave a youki barrier, supplied by seals. It should last for five years, maybe more. Then I'll come back to renew it. It should incinerate anyone that touches it, so be careful. I'm trusting the care of our village to you all."
They blinked, and dipped their heads slightly, in semblance of respect for an alpha.
"We will wait, Hokage-sama."
Naruto blinked. He supposed, as the only leaf nin, he was the most powerful.....huh. So he was Hokage. Oh, the irony. He was the leader of a dead village. "Thank you." Then he left. He supposed he already had a reminder of Kiba: an Inuzuka honorary pendant he'd been given, declaring him an ally of the Inuzuka. He still wore it now, beside Tsunade's necklace. he sniffed at the thought of her: the closest thing to a mother he'd ever had.
He continued his search, covering the areas his clones hadn't, and before long he'd stripped Konoha of anything that could be used. He'd taken the village funds especially, he might need the money. There was a damn lot of it too. He took thousands of weapons: kunai, shuriken, katanas, all sorts. Not that he'd ever learn to use them all. But he didn't believe in wasting anything. They wouldn't rust or age within the seal. He packed all sorts of ninja clothes: Anbu gear, civilian getup, various types of armour....and all sizes. He got larger sizes since he'd be growing and smaller sizes since you never knew if you might be shrunk. Things happen, especially with jutsus around. And he packed a hell of a lot of food. Canned food, nutrient bars, fish, steaks, everything he could get his hands on. Not to mention chakra pills of all sorts, countless bandages and other medical things he found, and a few futons. Some tents, varying in size, and he even found a few summoning scrolls. He noted that the turtle scroll seemed to have belonged to Gai. As with all the houses, he treated the belongings respectfully, but continued with sadness.
In person, he went to Ichiraku, bracing himself for what he might see.
The place was crumbled at a corner, partially collapsed, but still overall standing. He could smell blood.
He swallowed: there was a lump in his throat. Nothing else, as far as he knew, was useful in the village. Now.... now, he had to bury his friends.
Of many, he did not find the corpses. It was to be expected. But of those he did, he gathered them in the burial grounds with the help of his clones, and attempted to make them more presentable. For a while, it was like he was numb to everything. He was deadened to the world. But then he looked at Tsunade, her dead face, eyes unclosed, staring vacantly at nothing. He clutched the necklace....
....and he broke. It all bore down on him, he was surrounded by the bodies of the only people he'd ever loved. The only people that had ever loved him. Iruka: who had been like a father and if not for those damn elders would have adopted him. Tsunade: like the mother he'd never had. Kakashi: his first teacher. Lazy and bastardish, but he'd accepted him.
Naruto didn't think he'd ever cried so much. All of his friends were dead. Everyone he loved was gone. He was alone. And if Sasuke - that fucking bastard!- was still alive, then kami help him he'd erase that himself! If not for that stupid avenger, all of this may not have happened! He was an enemy. A goddamned, detestable enemy. He'd kill him if he had the chance.
He hadn't found Gaara's body. For that, he was truly regretful, because he deserved a burial. And he'd been one of his closest friends. And of course there was no chance Gaara was alive: demon or no demon, he'd defend his allies and his people until the end, and wouldn't stop until every last one of those enemies were dead. The opposition had walked away, thus, Gaara had fallen.
He felt like something died in him then. His purpose had been to protect. His strength had been to defend the lives of those he loved. And now he had failed, that part of him was dead as they were. He was a demon now: and goddammit he had a demon's sense of self-preservation, so it was unlikely he'd be commiting suicide any time soon, though he certainly could if he wanted to. Besides, he guessed that Tsunade-baa-chan would eat his soul if he killed himself.
He'd live on. But he wouldn't be alive. He fought for himself now. He fought for memories: silver, broken memories.
And he was angry. He was angry, he was weary, he was defeated. He couldn't fight now if he wanted to.
He needed to hide away, until his enemies thought him dead or until he was somewhere they'd never find him.
With that thought in mind, he buried his loved ones, without the help of clones. They deserved personal attention. They wouldn't be dealt with by clones, like he dealt with chores. At a funeral, or whatever pathetic semblance to one there was, usually there was someone to speak of what the person had meant to them. But Naruto couldn't do that. As if it would bring it home with its certainty, he couldn't accept what they had been to him. They would always mean the same to him. Dead or alive, memories and emotions didn't die for him, and they were alive and grieved with him. In his heart, in his godforsaken mind....they were alive with him.
As soon as he was done with the burial, he used a simple doton jutsu to create gravestones above them, already imbued with names. As for the other, faceless victims of war on the streets, he was sorry, but they would not get a burial. Treating them like a chore, and using shadow clones to bury them, was more disrespectful than leaving them to rot. Plus, such an intimate thing as burial was herecy for someone unknown to the dead to be doing. He created six shadow clones, and sent them to their posts on the edges of the village, and began grafting their seals.
It wasn't long before they were complete, and every clone fed chakra into their seal until they dispelled. The seal would activate in five hours, and no one would be able to enter Konoha without his permission. However, due to the dogs inside, they could freely leave if they wished to.
Then he turned away, took fox form, and began running.
He ran without any sense of direction. He ran without knowing where he was going. He ran because his world was falling apart and burning, and he wanted to run forever.
Grief and despair flooded over him, and the sensation of being truly alone. He howled mournfully, letting his echoes of melancholy ripple for miles. Inside, the Kyuubi howled with him, because to some extent they were one now, and the fox felt his pain. In minutes, Naruto handed himself over to his animal instincts....trusting them to take him away, and take him far. Then it was like he was in a state of blurry focus, half formed grief, and torrents of red chakra flaring around him. His own five tails were joined by the Kyuubi's remaining four, and behind him there were nine tails, four steadily forming into lengths of flesh and blood. Slowly. Naruto wasn't even aware of it happening. He ran several miles a minute, darting across the world like a jolt of lightning through the sky. He just wanted to keep on running.
Distinctly, Naruto was aware that they came to some mountains. Something in the back of his mind warned at the unknown centered around it, but he ignored it. He dodged around rocks and went around rather than over the mountains. At some point, they came to a block. It was an incredibly powerful block, preventing any passage beyond it. Some sort of powerful, weird genjutsu. If he were a mere human, it would have worked easily. But as it was, he was a demon. With a rush of youki, he broke through the shield, and it began reforming much weaker behind him. And he kept on running. He ran through fields, over startled cities and their rooftops, observing the disgusting smell of the place. He leapt through meadows, over rivers, across waves.
He ran and he ran. Millions of miles passed under his paws for hour and hours on end. Finally, he came to a halt in a dark forest, curiously a part of a smaller and weaker kind of shield which he'd broken through with ease. It hadn't reformed: it was too weak to. He was tired, so tired. He'd run continents. He'd gotten very far away. He closed his eyes, weary, and settled with a sigh to sleep in the half cover of a sullen oak. His last thought before sleep was the question of exactly why there was a gigantic castle situated just outside the forest, within his sight.
Naruto had a rather rude awakening the next morning. There were people squabbling outside the forest. Loudly. And since he was a demon with sensitive senses, it was not a very easy thing to wake up to. He growled, and lowered the youki activity around his ears to muffle the sound a little, then listened.
"-broke the wards! Smashed through them, just like that! The founders made those wards, it shouldn't have been so easy to get past them as such!" The voice was female, a bit aged, and flustered. A quick sniff confirmed it: an old woman. Plus an old man, and some human that didn't smell quite human.
"I know, Minerva." The old man sighed. "I called in some aurors to help repair the wards, but apparently there's also been a disturbance of the Great Ward."
There was brief, shocked silence. "The Great Ward?! Albus, do you realize what this means?! Those barbarians- they could be running amock at this moment!"
"Barbari'ins?" The man-but-not-man questioned, bewildered. He was ignored.
The man apparently named 'Albus' opened his mouth to reply, and suddenly naruto realized something.
They were not speaking Japanese. They spoke in another language, but somehow he understood them. What the hell?
"It's simple, kit. I've lived for thousands of years. At the dawn of the shinobi nations, the world of these people endeavored to seperate the elemental countries from the rest of the world, and their barrier was nothing a human could break. We demons remained, however, because there was much more space on the other side. But the humans here were foolish, they still are. They poisoned their land and made it unfit for living, so we returned to the elemental countries. By the time we did so, we had learned all the languages that had existed then. This dialect is slightly different from my memory, but understandable nonetheless. My knowledge is your knowledge now."
Huh. That makes sense, I suppose. I get what you meant by the poison - I remember how those cities stank. This place....it's different, though.
"Yes, yes...few of the humans here could wield chakra, you see. They had rejected the ways of the shinobi so fervently that they never allowed their coils to develop, and they are all civilians. There is, however, a small majority of those people that are more open-minded than the others, and their coils develop. But they are still crippled. Their chakra cannot leave them without a crutch to draw it out, and they are weak. As they continue to rely on these pathetic crutches, they become weaker yet. But though they are weak, they are different, and they hid parts of the world away in the confines of time. These hidden places will be frozen in one age forever, like the shinobi world. And rightfully so."
Hmm. Naruto, curiosity satisfied, turned his ear back to the conversation.
"Peace, Minerva. They do not come here. The ministry say that it was one individual, not followed or accompanied. Not human, either."
"Heh. They're talking about you, brat. How you broke through their precious barrier. they must be having a fit....thinking the shinobi are gonna come and kill them all."
"Not human?" The man-but-not-man asked, almost eagerly.
"Hagrid! Now is not the time to be creature-obsessive!" The woman-Minerva-snapped. "Albus, what could it be? Vampire? Werewolf?"
"No variety of half-man, Minerva, that much is certain."
"Then what?! Merlin help us all!"
"....Currently, the best guess they have....is a demon."
Silence reigned. Naruto smirked.
"What type?" The man-but-not-man asked, definitely sounding happy.
"Oh for-" The poor old woman seemed quite exasperated.
"We don't know. We can only hope that Voldemort does not get to it."
Naruto wondered who this 'Voldemort' was, and why their name provoked instant fear scent from the other two. Interesting. Pfft. No one gets to me without dying, especially in this craphole of a village.
"Actually, I believe this is a place of their education. Like an academy, but more weak and pathetic. They call it 'magic', if I recall."
Naruto snorted, amused. Interesting. But enough of that. I think I'd like to go dig a den now. He heard the Kyuubi's murmur of approval, then he stood and wandered, searching for a good location. He sniffed, and smelt water. There's a water source? A....lake, I think. He sniffed again. Yep, a lake. And just on the edge of the forest. Perfect location.
His nose was proving to be very trustworthy. At one point next to the giant lake, the forest was literally right on its banks. Unfortunately, said location was regrettably near to the school, but oh well. Under the cover of a large tree, Naruto dug a hole among its roots. And being a fox, a demon fox no less, he dug extremely quickly, obliterating the dig-out earth into nothing with a quick burst of youki. Mainly, he did a mixture of digging and dissolving, mostly dissolving. He sent great blasts of youki ahead, carving out a nice sized tunnel. Once it was deep enough, he flared the youki and created a large space, roughly ten meters in diameter and five meters high.
Naruto noticed something strange. ....Kyuu? Why do I have the urge to rip out my fur?
the nine-tail chuckled. "You're a demon fox, kit. And ripped out fur just grows back. So you can tear it out as bedding and not lose your coat. it sort of stings, but weirdly enough doesn't really hurt."
Oh. With that, Naruto turned his jaw, clamped down on a mouthful of fur, and pulled it out. It did sort of sting....but didn't hurt. Huh. He deposited the clump on the ground, blinking at how it had already grown back. To save time, Naruto increased his size via demonic method, and the mouthfuls of fur he pulled out were far bigger. Soon, the entire den was carpeted with a nice floor of soft fox fur. Naruto briefly wondered if he should unpack, and something odd occured to him. Kyuubi? How come when I take my fox form all my bags and clothes and stuff disappear, and reappear when I turn back?
"...." Kyuubi was momentarily silent.
Well? The new lord prompted.
"....Honestly? I have no fucking idea. Just take it as a blessing."
Naruto snorted, then padded around on his fur to get it more comfortable. I should probably genjutsu the den, so the humans don't notice.
"Might as well. It won't need to be a good one, they're only humans. Really pathetic humans."
Good, since genjutsu isn't exactly my strong point. Naruto morphed into his human form, crouching a little. He made some hand seals for the simple disguise genjutsu, something all academy students were taught. his held up indefinitely because of the huge amount of chakra he put into it. Satisfied, Naruto settled down, and slept again. Considering he'd only just woken up, it might be considered extremely strange, but demons were pretty much capable of falling asleep anywhere and whenever they wanted to. They woke up by subconscious decision.
And, by that fact, Naruto slept for five days before he started getting hungry. He woke up, and handed himself over to his instincts. It was easier that way. No mourning, no sadness, no emotion at all. Just base animal instinct.
Effectively, Naruto's human mind went into a voluntary coma. Meanwhile, his fox nature carried him through the life of a simple animal. Hunt. Kill. Eat. Sleep. Survive. He learned that it was best to watch out in the day, because the stupid students felt some obtuse need to 'hang out' by the lake and chatter stupidly. He learned how to swim effectively using his tails, and how to regulate his chakra to breathe underwater without actually going through the process of inhaling. Fish weren't bad, really. Mainly, he'd started hunting them because rabbit was getting a little dull. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, he mused that he missed ramen.
Naruto was in his instinctive repression state for roughly five months. At this point, he had a brief break from that, which happened by chance. He'd gone into the lake one morning, to find a bare minimum of fish, plus four random humans tied to the bottom. he swam around them warily, trying to figure out exactly why there were humans around and why they were alive. He water-hovered for a while, lazily drifting around the humans, tasting the tang of modified chakra on them. Apparently the false-nin of nearby had put some type of jutsu over them, and that was why they were still alive. Losing interest, Naruto swam away, feeling rather hungry and in the mood to kill something.
After finding no fish worthy of his appetite, the new Kyuubi was becoming desperate. At which point he decided to go nosing about in the long-weed there, in search of the shrieking octopus child things with clenching fingers. He'd never eaten one before, but there was a first time for everything. As expected, they came flying out of the weed tactlessly. He chose a quarry, and shot it down with a well-placed tail swipe. He bit into the stunned creature's neck, and that was that. He had begun swimming up, and head back to his den to eat, when he heard a horrific din. There were great platforms of screaming humans sat on top of the lake. the idea of surfacing was promptly abandoned, and he swam back down again, dragging with him the corpse. He returned to the site of the floating humans, because it was currently the most interesting thing around, though not much so. He placed the octopus child creature under a rock so it wouldn't drift away, and began inspecting the humans again. After deciding that they were quite unremarkable, he started flicking around the area, warning off any nearby water-people with a threatening glare of 'd learned before to leave him well alone.
Suddenly, something very odd happened. A human-but-not-human swam past, ridiculously slow and unbalanced. It appeared to be a human with the upper half of a shark. He was confused for a moment. Was it Isonade? No, couldn't be. This was too human, too slow, too tailless. The half-shark paused to stare at him incredulously, then rushed on as quickly as possible, maybe trying to escape him. Curious, Naruto swam after the half-shark. There had to be a reason it was fleeing. Sharks rarely fled, they were predators. The half-shark, upon realizing it was being followed, appeared to panic a little and its ridiculous splashing became a little frenzied. Naruto was getting impatient. it was so strange. He swam up, in a sharp burst of speed, to float in the half-shark's path. Naturally, the half-shark turned to flee a different direction. Naruto let him. He'd had a look. it was just a human, using some fancy henge. He hated that his nose didn't work underwater. Indifferent, Naruto swam a path back to the the floating humans. He wanted to check on his kill.
His kill was there, the four humans were there, but something else was there too. A human. It was a human, but it had web-feet and gills. It was eying his kill with confusion, perhaps wondering why it was there. The human then turned back to the other humans, appearing to run its eyes over them.
Suddenly, Naruto was fed up. There were unnatural part-humans all over his lake and he wanted to know why. The frustration and curiosity were far too human an emotion for a fox to have, and Naruto Uzumaki was brought to the surface for the first time in months. To him, it wasn't as if there was some drastic change, like waking up. Nothing like that. he'd been there all the time, after all, he'd just been slightly below the surface. With new purpose, Naruto water-glided up to the human in a second, startling the frail little thing. He....Naruto supposed....had black hair, and very green eyes. They stood out almost as much as his blue ones did. there was an odd scar on his forehead. Huh.
The human, evidently frightened by the sight of a horse-sized nine tailed fox appearing, tried to scramble away. But Naruto wasn't having any of that. He skirted in front of the human, inspecting him again. The human, again, tried to get away, this time reaching for a curious stick in his clothing. It bubbled something loudly, and a light shot out of the stick towards him. Some sort of fake-nin jutsu? Kyuubi had said they needed crutches. The light hit him, and Naruto got a mild tingly feeling before it completely dissipated without effect. How pathetic. he eyed the human with a frown, pertubed. The human looked quite fearful that its jutsu had failed so badly, and resumed its escape attempts. Growling, Naruto rushed upwards, and thwhacked the human with a tail, lightly. Very lightly. It was still enough to send the human 'falling' to the sand at the bottom, as was his intention. Naruto slunk down, and placed a paw upon the human's chest to prevent it...him... from moving. It....he....seemed terrified. Understandable, he supposed.
Naruto looked it over. It- he! - seemed young, perhaps the same age as his human form. But far more innocent. Certainly not like a naive child, but obivously this one hadn't seen the horror of the battlefield. With a nod, Naruto finished his inspection and moved off, allowing the human to continue with whatever he was doing. Ugh. After so long in fox-mode it was going to get difficult to stop thinking how a fox did. Specifically, in referring to humans as 'it'. The human, a tad warily, flipped his foot-fins, drifting a safe distance away. he seemed to understand that Naruto wasn't going to hurt him, that much was clear by how he was still alive. But still. He was wary. Naruto gave a small nod of approval, and watched the human.
Still keeping an eye on Naruto, the human headed over to the floating humans, and began tussling with the rope of one. Apparently, he was trying to free the other humans. Naruto wondered if he should help out. After an instant of speculation, he decided yes. Why not, after all? He drifted over quietly, barely disturbing the water, and made the poor human jump again. Naruto shot the human an exasperated glance. If he;d wanted to eat him, he'd already be dead. Naruto opened his jaws, and sent forth a trickle of youki. It latched around the retraints and dissolved them in seconds, and the human began drifting away. The Fin-human appeared startled for a moment, sending him a surprised glance, then reached for the drifting human's foot. He hesitated, then moved to a different human. Before he could even start, Naruto chomped down on the restraints, his youki-coated teeth eating away it it instantly. and exposing the little human to the sight of his fangs. The human gave him an uncertain nod, then reached for the one he'd just freed.
Suddenly, he convulsed, making choking noises. Concerned, Naruto noticed that his fins were disappearing. Whatever jutsu the boy had employed, it was failing. He needed to get to the surface. Naruto, with a small sigh, extended three of his tails, each grasping the wrist of one human. The conscious formerly webbed one struggled for a moment, then sagged helplessly.
It was harder swimming with only six tails, but he managed. With a powerful surge, he hurtled upwards, stopping five or so meters below the surface. he didn't want to be seen by the hordes of humans. He released the three, at this depth they should be fine. As per predictions, the conscious human dragged his companions to the surface with ease, exploding for breath in the air. Naruto returned to the other two, wondering why no one had retrieved them. He was proved wrong, since another odd human with a bubble over his head had released one, and was pulling it to the surface much more successfully. He appeared to catch sight of him, and swam much faster. Stupid humans. He looked at the remaining one, and then cocked his head at the fact that the half-shark was making for it. Surely its messy jaws would damage the human trying to free it? Naruto decided to help the half-shark out, and dissolved the rope from a distance. The startled half shark carried its human up.
The nine-tail decided he'd figure out what was going on later. In the meantime, he settled on the lake's bed beside his kill, waiting for the humans to take their leave.
Well, first chapter. You should be able to identify this past scene as the second challenge of the triwizard tournement. While it's currently the fourth book, Naruto won't have any real activity until the fifth. Review if you like it, and I'll continue. On another note, don't expect all the chapters to be this long.
Chapter 2: To Know
I've set up a forum, if anyone wants to ask some questions.
To School Failure: Thanks for pointing out my mistakes, but I'd like to point out one of yours. In paragraph 24 the world colour is spelt correctly. I am English, and that's how we spell it, with a u.
It was a while before the noise died down, and even longer before the humans actually left. Being underwater muffled all of his senses, and he hated it. The instant the odd floats were cleared away, he slipped silently out of the water with his prey and deposited it in his den for later use. Right now, he was more interested in that green-eyed human he'd assisted. How would he react? What would he tell the other humans? He wanted to know, so he sniffed around a while. Honestly, the only reason he could even know the scent was because he'd had brief contact with the boy, and even in water it left a strong enough scent for him to smell. Humans, or even dogs, would not have been able to smell anything wet, but they weren't demons.
He followed the damp scent trail until it was evident it led towards the castle. At that point, he shrunk himself to the size of a normal fox - the smallest he could get - and laced a fox illusion on himself that made him invisible. It was useless for fooling the other senses, but he was quiet. Naturally, he was a little jumpy about entering the castle, but there would be no harm unless he was caught. The one thing that most unnerved him was the sheer number of students walking around. On the occasion he passed an animal, it would eye him with wary respect. He slunk along the corridors, allowing his nose to guide him. Picking out the boy's scent among the countless others was difficult, very difficult, but he was a demon. He'd manage. One of the most freaky things were the paintings - they moved, for Inari's sake!
And he did. The other scents dwindled a little at the stairs, making it easier to follow the scents...but seriously, moving staircases? How ridiculous. He warily set foot to the top of the relevant staircase, and waited until it circulated to the location the boy had gotten off at. That path was seldom walked, and Naruto guessed it was a teacher's chambers or something. The boy's scent disappeared before a stone gargoyle. If a password was needed, he was pretty much screwed. He pawed at the statue, unsure, and wasn't really surprised when it looked around in alarm. He prodded a little youki its way, wondering what it would do.
A look of understanding passed over the gargoyle's stony face, and it looked quite nervous as it spoke. Spoke! "Ah....right. Erm...uhm, password?" It asked feebly.
Naruto sent a lot more youki out, allowing it to surround the statue ominously.
"Right!" it squeaked, frightened, and slipped out of the way to let him pass, to the guarded stairway.
The office at the end of it was....eccentric, to say the least. Papers, furniture, unidentified contraptions everywhere. Naruto stared incredulously at a very fiery bird, sat lazily upon its perch. That was a phoenix!
"Think of these fake-nins as this world's ninja. They live apart from the civilians, and unlike shinobi, many believe they were weak and pathetic for being unable to use chakra. Think of animals like dragons and phoenixes as this world's demons. Like animals, but more advanced. Hm?"
I guess that makes sense. Naruto thought back slowly. Thanks, Kyuu. The demon huffed, not usre how to deal with friendliness. Naruto looked to the humans in the room: the old man, 'Albus', and the green eyed boy from the lake. He made sure to take in the scent so he'd know it later. He listened, eaers pricked.
"-My boy, are you sure that's what you saw?" The man asked. "Cedric and Victor reported it too, but..."
"Yes, Professor." The boy muttered, frustrated. "I didn't just see it. The thing came up to me and tackled me to the lakebed!"
The old 'professor' appeared quite alarmed. "You're not hurt?"
"No, Professor." The boy sounded confused about it. "I just sort of saw it. It was in the water, using its tails to swim, staring at me. Then it swam up, and I tried to get away because the thing has huge claws." Naruto smirked. "And it chased me. I think I annoyed it or something, because it sped up then and pinned me to the lakebed with its paw."
"And then?" Albus listened intently.
The boy shrugged. "It just stared at me for a bit, and let me go."
"Just like that?" The man sounded astounded.
"I guess." He nodded. "Then it helped me get through the ropes. And when the gillyweed's effects started fading, it helped me get to the surface before I ran out of air."
"Interesting." The old man mused. "Why ever it came here, we can assume for now that the nine-tails has no malevolent purpose towards us. I certainly hope that is the case..." He suddenly appeared troubled, but it vanished in an instant. "Thank you, Harry. Perhaps you should return to the common room, it's late and doubtless your housemates want to congratulate you." Hs eyes twinkled.
'Harry' frowned a little, but nodded. "Thank you, Professor." And he left. Naruto moved out of the way as not to be discovered, and wondered whether or not he should now go. He noticed that the old man was looking around suspiciously.
"...Whoever you are, you may as well reveal yourself."
Naruto started, and felt a glimmer of respect for this 'Albus'. That he was able to sense him, even while he wore a kitsune disguise, was impressive. Of course, he was an ultimate rookie in the demonic arts, so it wasn't a very strong illusion anyway. Combined with his utter failure at doing any genjutsu well, it made for a poor disguise. But that one of these fake-nins could actually sense it....either they'd gotten stronger since Kyuubi had last been in their world, or this one was particularly sharp. Well, there was a bare minimum of risk, no matter how good this one was....shame, really.
He grinned, enlarged himself to his usual size, (that of a large horse, perhaps a shire) and threw off the illusion, sitting on the floor with all his nine-tailed glory. He stood up, it was only polite. "Sharp, aren't you." Naruto remarked. "Though if I'd had a greater affinity for the illusions you wouldn't have sensed me for years."
The old man grimaced. Naruto inwardly chuckled. Oh how stressed the poor man must be.
"May I ask what your buisiness here is?" He queried tiredly.
"Certainly." Naruto grinned, but it probably wasn't the best idea considering how many sharp teeth it showed. "I recently moved into the area, dug myself a hole, you know how it goes." He paused. "Or you do now, at least. I've been here for quite a while, actually. Not sure exactly how long, you sort of loose track of the date when you're a fox. Rabbit got a bit boring, so I started hunting in the lake....imagine my surprise when one day, a great flock of screaming humans is there when I try to surface, and there are man-but-not-men swimming around the lake searching for humans that are tied up. Afterwards, I simply wanted to see what the green-eye would say of my encounter with him."
The man looked calculative. "You won't harm any of the students or personel on the grounds?"
"No reason to." Naruto shrugged. "They're only human kits, after all. I don't allow myself to be seen, but should they get lucky and throw rocks or those stupid little lights...I'm not going to simply stand by. I don't like harming kits, so I'll probably just scare them until they run away. Not difficult." Naruto settled down, getting a little uncomfortable.
The man seemed considerably more at ease now. "Thank you. It would not suit us very well were the legendary nine-tail to massacre our students. May I ask your name?"
Naruto considered it. Title or actual name? He decided both. "I'd prefer, if you happen to mention me to any other people, that you refer to me as Kyuubi no Kitsune, or simply Kyuubi. But my name is Uz-" He paused, remembering that these 'Engrish' people said their surnames last. "Naruto Uzumaki. You?"
The man smiled, the twinkle back in his eye. "Albus Dumbledore. Feel free to drop by occasionally."
Naruto raised a foxy eyebrow, then rolled his eyes. "Sure. If you want to get a hold of me, it might be a little hard to actually find me. If you do, bear in mind I'll probably be in mental hibernation, and I'll have relinquished control to my fox instincts. They have restraint and are intelligent, but allow me to effectively survive without surviving. If you find me and wish to talk to me, not a fox, then do something odd or noticeworthy and I might surface. Ja!"
It could be safely said that Albus Dumbledore had no idea what 'ja' meant, but decided he didn't need to know, and watched with astonishment as the fox shrunk, nosed open a window, and jumped out of it. When Dumbledore made his way over to look down, he saw the tiny, distant figure of the fox disappearing into the forest. He blinked. Well, that was interesting.
As promised, Naruto went back into 'hibernation' shortly after finishing the strange octopus-person-thing, which turned out to have quite a different flavour. It was enjoyable, and he'd probably be having it again.
His instincts would remember. He didn't want to be 'conscious' for too long, lest the pain return when he was unfocused.
A few more months came and went without trouble, aside from that odd flare of chakra at one point. It was remarkable for the power level of these fake-nins, but still pathetic. You couldn't even make a henge with that amount of chakra.
It was roughly early July when the normalcy of Naruto's lifestyle was quite promptly uprooted and destroyed. Apparently his genjutsu wasn't good enough when people were really looking out for it, and apparently that's exactly what people were doing. Naruto's fox instincts forced him to attention within his den as he felt the illusion disspate, and he immediately registered a threat, on his guard. He growled loudly, and heard whoever was there stumble in surprise.
"Merlin!" Someone exclaimed. "Something's in there after all. Reckon it's Dumbledore's so-called fox?"
"Dunno." Someone else replied. "We won't know until we see it. Flush it out, hm? A light stinging hex." With that, a bright light shot down the tunnel, but there was more than enough room to maneuver within the hole to get out of the way. On the other hand, they'd attempted to invade his den in some way. They were territory threats. He roared a great battle cry, and stampeded out of the hole, knocking down three of the five humans outside. He turned and snarled, exposing his rows of sharp fangs. Gradually, he increased his size to that of a large elephant and saturated the air with demonic killing intent, he would attempt to scare them off first.
"Shit, it's actually the fox." One whispered, cowering. "Shit."
They all trembled, at least slightly. "You understand human tongue, r-right? Albus Dumbledore asked us to f-find you..." Another informed.
That tugged at something in his dormant mind. The name. The name required attention. With that brief impulse, Naruto came to the surface and allowed his fur to lie flat, and the killing intent to mostly disappear from the air. He didn't change his size at all. Intimidation purposes, of course.
"And what made you think you could just burst into my den like that?" He growled. "Couldn't you just ask like normal people?"
"But what the fuck, I did tell the old guy he could look for me. He in his office?"
"Y-yes." One offered timidly.
Naruto gave a growl of annoyance. "Mrh. Asstards. Fuck off and I'll go see him." He turned around, eyes glowing luminescent blue, and cast a stronger fox illusion over his den. Then he abruptly ran at full speed (aka too fast for the fake-nins to see) and wall-climbed himself up to the old man's office window, sufficiently shrinking himself to get into it. "Alright, old man, what is it you want?" He growled at the highly astonished Dumbledore. "And couldn't you have told your lackeys to be more polite?"
"I apologize for disturbing you, but you must understand that many people do not hold great regard for the old legends, and find it hard to believe in you and your intelligence as an individual." The man explained regretfully. "As for why I've called you here, that will require a background story." And he gave one. A freaking long one too. About dark lords, the most recent dark lord, prophecies foretelling the fall of dark lords or saviors, magic, Harry Potter, tournaments, and dark wizards returning to life. Naruto's irritation died down a little with interest over the story, and by the time it ended he was thoughtful. "So now we have a dark lord on our hands, and the Ministry are refusing to believe that he has returned, opening themselves to attack. My organization, the Order of the Phoenix, is the only thing standing against him now, and we need to be as strong as we can possibly get." He fixed Naruto with a meaningful stare.
Naruto have a hollow chuckle. "I see. You want to recruit me."
"It would be unwise for us to not try." Dumbledore agreed. "You have been living on our grounds for these months, are we so wrong so demand rent?"
Naruto was taken by the irony. The fucking irony. So much so he broke down laughing on the spot. "Heh. I used to say that same thing to the resident demon, and look where it got me." He laughed again, but the sound was bitter. "Just tell me one thing, why should I help you? I'm the most powerful demon lord there is, at full power I can destroy a mountain with the flick of my tail. You little human mortals are below me, why should I pay any heed to the buisiness of ants?"
Dumbledore smiled. "Other than the company, good accommodations, and food? You must be quite bored, just hunting all day. I'm offering a chance for battle."
Naruto's laugh this time was genuine, the old man had truly amused him. "You got that right. Well, I suppose you got me then. But I'm sure as hell not doing any blood oaths, I'd rather not risk my life on chance thanks." Then, to Dumbledore's astonishment, the fox before him shifted to a human form before his eyes. Roughly fifteen or so. The weapons, the clothing, the hitai-ate...it all pointed to one conclusion.
"Shinobi..." He whispered. Naruto looked at him in slight surprise.
"Yeah, gramps, shinobi." He affirmed, cricking his neck. "I've been a fox for too damn long, gah."
"This may be much better than I'd expected." Dumbledore mused. "Tell me, my boy, how did a powerful demon lord such as yourself turn out to be a shinobi?"
The temperature in the room seemed to drop dramatically at Naruto's expression, with was dark and cold. "I was born on October the 10th, fifteen years ago, on the day Kyuubi no Kitsune attacked my birth village of Konoha." Dumbledore stared in confusion. He was born on the day he attacked his village?
"Many ninja died facing the demon, and eventually their beloved Hokage, the Yondaime, came forwards. He, with an ancient sealing technique to use to power of the gods, made a sacrifice. He sacrificed himself, and he sacrificed me." The old man's eyes tightened. "I grew up in my village hated. It wasn't until my graduation from the shinobi academy at the age of twelve that I found out why. Kyuubi had been sealed inside me as a prisoner, and they saw me as the demon himself. Despite their hate, I grew with my team. I wanted to be Hokage, the leader, one day. Then my best friend betrayed our village, and everything fucked up." Naruto's expression was hard. "I went on a training trip with one of the most powerful ninja in the shinobi continents. Half way through, it was interrupted by the enemy's declaration of war. We returned, but not in time to prevent my other loyal teammate from being killed." Naruto, understandably, looked dark and bitter.
"I went beserk, drawing on more of the demon's energy than ever before. Turns out it would have killed me, if not for the healing properties Kyuubi's chakra has on its body. Instead, it turned me into a demon myself. I hid away until I could master the tranformation back into my human form, and returned. My transformation was classified among my friends. Even so, the fact of me being a container was known by many, and a spy used a seal which blocked me from my demonic energy. I fought as well as I could without it, but the army that came was catastrophic. I was knocked out and thought to be dead, and by the time I woke up the ninja were gone and my village in ruin."
"I'm sorry." Dumbledore spoke genuinely, feeling grave pain for the poor boy's loss. Evidently, he wasn't as old and all-knowing as his nine-tail status might suggest. Naruto inclined his head slightly, but didn't respond to his words. He continued.
"I let loose the dogs of the Inuzuka, who were a particular clan of shinobi who grew up with a close bond with those animals. Some had been left in the kennels, and I set them free so they wouldn't die. I took what I needed, and then put a barrier around Konoha. Things could get out, like the dogs, but would die if they persisted in trying to get in. I buried my friends before I left, but with some I never found the bodies. Some were nothing but bloodstains on the walls, and shredded flesh. I ran away from my memories, and I absorbed the final four tails of Kyuubi's chakra as I ran. I became his 'successor', so to speak. I haven't gained all of the memories yet, they would destroy my mind if I tried to process them all at once. Hundreds of thousands of years worth of memories is a lot to take in, after all. Bastard fox still lives in my head, but he's got no power aside from his memories now. While I was running, I broke through some kind of pathetic barrier thing. It might have been enough to turn away a human, perhaps, but to be sure baa-chan could have gotten through it if she'd wanted to, so it wasn't gonna stop a demon. This world is fucking putrid by the way, I stopped here because it was the first place I came to that didn't stink my nose out."
Dumbledore nodded weakly. "You've suffered a great loss. I confess to knowing very little about your people, but what I've heard is that you are samurai who threw away their code of honour."
Naruto's face twisted in a sardonic, bitter grin. "More than that, gramps. We learned how to combine celestial and physical energy within our bodies to do things that no other human could do. You have a small amount of physical energy when you're born, and celestial energy is theoretically endless. Thing is, chakra can only be made when you combine equal amounts of both type. It can't be diluted by one or the other, so you only have as much chakra as you have physical energy. Which means you have to train like hell from a young age, because the older you are the less potential for physical growth you get. Any later than ten and your career is doomed, you'll never even be able to mold enough for a freaking bunshin." Albus chose wisely to not inquire as to what a bunshin was. "But as long as you train, and keep training, for your whole life after that, you'll slowly get more chakra. As long as you don't stop training for too long your potential for growth never goes down. Technically, all the running and swimming and shit I do to hunt counts as training, so I'm still safe. Once you're an adult, your chakra grows slowly. Really slowly. But still, it grows. As for me, I'm a demon so it doesn't apply. I'll keep up the same rate of growth until the world ends or someone kills me. I'm not going to age at all for as long as I live."
Dumbledore's eyes were wide. It wasn't everyday you got a lecture on such things, and it was extremely interesting. "And what about us? We never train physically a day in our lives, or at least until we are over ten years old. Yet we use our own energy." Naruto inspected him calculatingly.
"Give me an example, and I'll see." He ordered.
Albus drew his wand, and performed a simple expelliarmus at the wall. Naruto took in the feel of the energy, 'hmm'ed, and looked at his wand. "Can I have a look at your stick thing?" Reluctantly, it was handed over, and Naruto inspected it and conferred with Kyuubi until he had an explanation. He handed it back, and began his explanation. "That stick thing contains physical substance of this world's equivalent to demons. Anything of a demon's is saturated with its energy, and depending on the type of demon once away from it, the material's power fades at a certain rate. I'd guess that the stuff you use to make these things is from a creature whose power takes a very long time to fade. This one, I think, will be starting to deteriorate in five to ten years, and it'll slowly lose power until it can't be used anymore. Until then, it will take energy from its surroundings to keep it saturated with power. My theory is that the physical nature of the substance takes the form of a shinobi's physical energy, since you obviously have so little of it. So effectively, your stick things pull out some of your celestial energy and combine it with its own physical energy, creating an extremely bastardized form of chakra. It feels...off. Even though it's technically physical energy in these sticks, it's converted to that and isn't natural. It's not nearly as latent in pure power. And your celestial energy is all fucked up too, it's been diluted and 'muddied' by reliance on these things over the generations. You lot couldn't use a jutsu to save your life."
Dumbledore beamed, despite the fox's proclamation that his magic was a pathetic replicant. In bare minutes, this boy had discovered more about wands and magic than wizards had in centuries! "You're amazing, my boy. No wizard has ever known so much even after studying magic their entire lives."
"Hmph. Is that what you call yourselves? Wizards?"
Dumbledore nodded. "But females are known as witches rather than wizards."
"Hn." Naruto appeared to consider something. "And you want me to help you losers out. I suppose you've kept some parts of your world clean, and that stands for something. Tell me about this world, and your 'magic'. Tell me exactly what I'd be getting into if I said yes."
Dumbledore was only too happy to oblige. He relayed the relevant history, such as the stories of Merlin and the Founders, then explained the uses of modern magic, both dark and light. He haeavily emphasized the taboo on dark magic, something which seemed to amuse his guest. He explained the second most recent Dark Lord, Grindelwald, and his involvement in a war which shook the world. He also modestly included the little fact about it being himself who'd defeated the tyrant, gaining him an unofficial figurehead position as the icon of light. Dumbledore went into great detail about the rise of Voldemort, giving the barest detail to his past, and mainly focusing on what applied. His conquests. His methods. His views. All that would give the powerful child before him an idea of exactly how dangerous Voldemort was to their society. It seemed to Dumbledore that the harming of innocent children and 'civilians', aka muggles, was what Naruto detested most about the dark lord's campaign. So his subtly enforced the detail in those areas. Subtly. He went on to explain the prophecy, how it had been said, and repeated it word for word. He explained how the Potters had been forced into hiding, how their friend had betrayed them and framed another, and how Harry Potter got his scar. He shortly told Naruto of the living arrangements he'd made for Harry, and summarized the recent years and their key details. Mainly, how Voldemort had returned and the Ministry was establishing themselves as incompetent morons.
"Lord Voldemort is laying low, and we have no idea when he'll decide he's ready for war. My organization, the Order of the Phoenix, is doing all they can to find out about his plans. But with the Ministry as they are, there is only so much we can do. We need all the help we can get." He gave Naruto a meaningful look.
The boy sighed heavily. "So that's what it comes down to, huh? I guess I've got nothing better to do, old man, so I guess I'm in. But I'm not like any normal member of your little club, so I want some freedom. No binding promises or oaths or shit. I'm no one's bitch. I'd say, actually, that the world minus the gods is my bitch."
Dumbledore's smile, accompanied by the accursed twinkling, was able to successfully convey his triumph. And gratitude.
So that's it, I guess. I don't ever get a break, do I?
This story is a resubmission of Darktayle's story. Any replicas found elsewhere have been stolen. This has been posted with full approval from Darktayle, who wished to clear her profile while still allowing readers access to her previous works. This story will not be updated--again, if it is found elsewhere and has been updated, then it is a stolen idea and a stolen story.