Shades of Grey
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Silence drifted over the bridge as both sides contemplated this new development for a moment.
"What just happened?" Sakura asked, blinking.
"He used the master control switch." Naruto explained. He was looked at as if he had grown a second head.
"He pushed the off-button." he explained a bit more. Suddenly his face lit up as he realized something.
"Wait a minute, this means I beat a Jonin! I'm awesome!"
"Actually, he knocked himself out Naruto, so it doesn't count." Kakashi told him.
"So my enemies rather knock themselves out than face me!" Naruto swerved to face Haku. "How about you, are you going to give up as well or not?"
"My speed is to great a factor for you to overcome by pure chance." replied he.
"Did you say something? I couldn't hear for all that hot air you were blowing." Naruto said.
"Your infantilism astounds me."
"And she still won't shut it."
"…I have this strong sense of deja vu right now."
"You too?" he asked. An 'ahem' drew their attention to the now clear end of the bridge, the fog having lifted with Zabuza's K.O. A short man was leading a large group of burly, scarred men armed with a wide variety of sharp steel implements of death. Mercenaries by the looks of them.
"How disappointing. Seems the Demon wasn't all he cracked up to be." the short man said, looking at Zabuza disdainfully.
"Do not disrespect Zabuza-sama in my presence if you value your life. You may be paying us Gatou, but I guarantee you your death will be painful." Haku said in that same polite voice, twirling needles in each hand.
"Sorry boy, but the plan has changed. Well actually, I planned this from the beginning. You and Zabuza will die here, as well as those Konoha rats. You see, village shinobi are expensive and may betray me, so I get missing nin who are easy to, ah, clean up afterwards. I simply have the ninja's battle each other and when they're weakened I finish them off with numbers, costing me far less and leaving little chance for betrayal." gloated Gatou. He glanced at the standing members of team Seven. Kakashi was still out of it after getting hit by the forcefield from 'Eadchoppa, leaving only the four children to face the coming onslaught.
"Oh, and as a little extra insurance, you Konoha Shinobi are to stay out of this. You see, I have taken the precaution of sending a few of my men over to Tazuna's house to procure his lovely daughter and darling grandson. If you surrender, I may let you see them again." Gatou said grinning confidentely. Sasuke and Sakura glanced at each other, but Naruto only grinned.
"Don't worry! I didn't remove all of my defenses, they'll be fine!" he said confidently.
Some time earlier, Tazuna's house.
Tsunami was trying to comfort Inari, crouching behind the sink where she was doing the dishes until the two men arrived. Until 'it' began. It wasn't visible, thank god, but the sounds alone were sickening. The roars, the screams, the clash of metal against metal, and the horrific tearing sound when blades found purchase on soft flesh. She cast a glance at the third occupant of the house, who was watching the goings on through a nearby window with a smile of parental pride on his face.
"Um, Kogs-san, shouldn't you stop him now?" she asked.
"Nah, 'e'z 'ad a rough life before I put 'im in dat Killa Kan, let 'im vent a liddle." the Mek said.
"But surely those men are dead now?" she replied.
"Well I ain't sure 'bout-" Kogs was interrupted by a thunderous boom shaking loose flakes of paint from the ceiling. The other noises quieted down in it's wake.
"Um, yeah, dey'z dead now, really, really dead. By da way, ya need a new bridge fer ya front door." Kogs said.
"Again." he added, as an afterthought.
Still, his designs worked perfectly. That Grotzooka was even blastier than he had anticipated. Kogs portable radio shook him out of his musings. The device was linked to an identical unit inside the boss' trukk. It sounded like the boss was in trouble, and he subconsciously cringed when the trukk apparently crashed.
"Gork, sounds like the boss has problems." he muttered, and prepared to leave. Inari saw him.
"Where are you going?" the boy asked.
"Well, it sounds like da boss has a problem, so I'z gonna go out and give 'im a hand!" Kogs replied.
"Why? If Naruto has problems, and he's stronger than you, what makes you think you can make a difference?"
"Da boss is only wun boy, 'umie. Even da strongest Ork needs his mates sometimes. Alone, ya can't make a WHAAAGH!"
"What is that?"
"Wait, wot? Ya dunno wot a WHAAAGH! is?" said Kogs, visibly amazed.
"Not really, no." said Inari.
"Well lissen up, and lissen up good, 'cause I iz only explaining dis once! A WHAAAGH! is wot every Ork lives for! It's da time when ya done mucking about, when ya see all dat's wrong wiv da world, da time when all dat's needed ter set things right is a good and propa stomping! It's da time when wot's right and wot's left is crystal clear fer ya, da time when you and all da boys gather together, ya choppas are ready, ya shootas are checked, and ya all gonna fight fer wot's right! Fer wot's good! Fer wot's worth fighting for! Dat is a good! And! Proppa! WHAAAGH!" Kogs shouted the last part with nigh on religious fervor. Fortunately Kogs had neglected to explain that to an Ork, 'right and proppa' was defined as 'never ending war', or he would probably not have sounded as inspirational. As he calmed down, Kogs grinned.
"Now wot are ya gonna do? Join me WHAAAGH or stay here sniveling like a little wimpy grot?" he asked. Inari looked at his mother for a second. She smiled.
"Go ahead. Time to be a hero." she said. Suddenly a shadow fell over them, and Kogs was lifted by the neck by a great mechanical claw.
"Wot woz dat about Grots?" asked the Killa Kan threateningly.
"Er, nuffink!" replied Kogs nervously.
Rousing the villagers had been easier then Inari thought it would be. Granted, a large green monster was backing him up, and that had inspired even the most cowardly of men. Spirits soared even higher when they caught sight of the great clanking form of the Kan. A force of nigh on five-hundred angry men, led by a small child sitting on an Ork's shoulder was soon on it's way. They arrived just in time to see the army of mercenaries face off with the ninja present. No blows had been exchanged yet, a small man was holding a speech about something or another.
"Hey! You lot!" Inari shouted. Heads turned and mouths fell open. The mercenary force, which had been filled with impatient whispers and anticipatory banter fell completely silent. Gatou trailed off mid sentence.
Naruto waved cheerfully.
"Hey Inari. Good to see you finally decided to do something." he said. Inari gave him a grin.
"It was worth doing." he replied sincerely. Even though it had to be his imagination, he felt Kaiza's eyes on him, looking on proudly as his son was finishing what he had begun.
Meanwhile, Gatou was busy rallying his demotivated forces.
"Come on! You still outnumber them, and you're better fighters than them! What is there to be afraid of?" he said.
"They have ninja with them!" replied a mercenary.
"Only some kids barely out of their diapers! The adults are out of it, what is there to fear?" Gatou shot back. He could see the hesitance slowly vanish.
"I'll even double your pay." he offered. That did it. Greed overrode common sense, and ranks reformed.
"Allright, this is the plan! Me and the other ninja will attack the main ranks, and you make sure none of the sneaky ones get by us into the villages!" Naruto ordered loudly to the Wave militia.
"Um, dobe, not to douse your fires or anything, but that's a lot of men." Sasuke remarked, taking position on the right.
"Naruto! What good will charging in do us? Have you been sleeping through all lectures on tactics?" Sakura said, next to Sasuke.
"Uzumaki-san, I know and respect your abilities, but I fear your comrades are right. This force outnumbers us too badly." Haku said politely, on the left.
"Have you not been paying attention?" Naruto said smiling a 'I know something you don't' smile. His hands formed a seal.
"I am Konoha's number one surprising Ninja, da small scary Gork-form, and the future hokage." he said, and in a huge cloud of smoke the bridge deck filled up with over a hundred of his infamous summons. "WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM?"
"DA BOSS!" answered the green menace as one.
"Alright lads! You know the plan!" Naruto shouted, as he picked up 'Eadchoppa and pointed to the mercenaries.
"WHAAAAAAGH!" roared one hundred and twenty-six throats in unison, and the Orks charged.
Gatou's mercenaries were all street fighters, men and women who learned to kill before they could walk. All had at least a decade of combat experience, not just surviving but thriving in the poorest, most worn down parts of the cities where letting your guard down for just a moment would get you robbed, raped, and killed (not necessarily in that order). These troops did not fight fair, honorable, or with mercy for the weak. They didn't care about morality, they were in it simply for the money and the plundering they could do afterwards. They were more than capable of holding their own against nearly anyone not a ninja.
The ork mob tore through the mercenary army like a hurricane through rice paper. Limbs flew, as the boys did what they did best. Naruto was at the forefront of the fray, 'Eadchoppa living up to it's name as none could stand before him. The blade swung in wide arcs, eviscerating anyone within reach with devastating blows that ignored armor and blocking attempts. The mercenaries lasted all of five seconds before they broke and ran before the onslaught.
So caught up in the WHAAAGH was he that Naruto only stopped giving chase when liquid spray blinded him temporarily. Annoyed he wiped the stuff out of his eyes, and froze. His hand was covered in blood. So was 'Eadchoppa, steam rising as hot systems boiled the liquid away. So were his arms, when he took a moment to look at them. It didn't require a lot of imagination what the rest of him looked like. None of the blood was his. Realization hit him like a sledgehammer. He had killed. He, Uzumaki Naruto, had taken the life of another human being. He knew of course, as a ninja you had to sometimes, but it was nothing like what he had expected it to be. He had expected it to resemble his dreamscape, where death was just a regular, if slightly unpleasant experience. It wasn't anything like it at all. The creatures of his mind, for all their nightmarish qualities, never begged for mercy or screamed in fear. They hadn't prepared him for the sight of a man torn apart while trying to run missing half his leg.
"S-Stop." he whispered, feeling numb. Caught up in looting, three orks were arguing over a cleaver, the owner of which was surrounded by his own entrails but still quite clearly alive, groaning in a tortured manner.
"Stop." Naruto said a little louder. Someone screamed in fear as she was swamped by gretchin and ripped to pieces.
"Stop!" he shouted. A few heads turned in confusion. Why would they want to? Shakily his hands formed into a seal.
"STOP!" shouted Naruto at the top of his voice, and dispelled the orks. Only a few were left behind, all burna boys. They stared at him in surprise.
"Um, boss, wots going on?" asked one.
"C-Clear up this mess." Naruto ordered shakily. "Burn it, burn it all away!"
The burnas gleefully obeyed.
Even as the billowing flames wiped his sins off the face of the earth, it wasn't enough. He spun around, looking for a place where he could clean himself. A flask, left behind by one of the workers during Zabuza's morning raid, caught his eyes. It took him three tries to unscrew it due to his shaky hands, and even then, no matter how long he scrubbed the feeling of disgust just wouldn't go away.
In the meantime, at the end of the bridge, something else was going on. The Orks were gone, and so were the majority of Gato's thugs. What was left of his army was hardly in any mood to fight. They were piling on to the transport that brought them, some of the more enterprising mercenaries forcing the ship's crew to get them out of there. Slowly, the rag-tag bunch of survivors disappeared over the horizon, leaving one of their number behind. The short man wasn't fit enough to keep up with his more athletic employees, and was currently standing at the very end of the bridge, shaking his fist at the rapidly shrinking dot that was his ship.
"Wait for me you cowards! Hey, you're leaving your employer behind!" shouted Gatou as the boat sailed away. Nervously, he realized he was surrounded. From one side, the villager mob came. From other sides came those accursed ninjas. Only one option remained open to him: there was nobody between him and that truck thing wedged halfway through the bridge railing. As fast as his legs could carry him he ran for the trukk, praying to whatever deity was willing to listen that it would still function. As he settled behind the steering wheel he frantically searched for the ignition, randomly stabbing at buttons. He didn't see that several sparky bits had been severed by the crash, hanging less than a centimeter over the go-juice that had begun to leak out of the pierced gas tank. As any mek will tell you, sparky bits and go-juice make for a rather bad mix.
A giant fireball engulfed the trukk from below, blasting off the roof of the cabin and vaporizing the nearby concrete. A smoking crater was all that was left of the crime lord. Realizing they had nothing to target anymore, the villager mob ground to a halt.
"We… We did it! WE'RE FREE!" shouted one, as realization hit them. The entire mob burst out cheering, slapping each other on the back and generally being jovial. The fact that they hadn't actually had to do anything was forgotten, just by being there they had taken the steps to freedom by themselves.
"Come on guys! For the Orks and their leader! Hoorah!"
He slowly came to. The last thing he remembered was Zabuza pointing his blade at him, then darkness. Groggily, Kakashi looked around to see everything was over. He walked to Sasuke and Sakura, noting the amount of carnage on the bridge. The bridge was covered in the charred remains of a battlefield.
"What happened?" Kakashi asked them.
"Naruto happened." Sakura said, looking a little forlorn. Kakashi sighed, he could have guessed.
"How is he taking it?"
"Don't know. Haven't talked to him yet." Sasuke said.
"Is- Is it always like this?" Sakura asked after a short pause.
"Killing? Well, you just have to remember you did it to protect those who you care about. It gets easier over time, though if you ever stop feeling bad about it, tell me immediately." Kakashi replied. 'One Itachi was bad enough.'
Leaving them to their thoughts, Kakashi made his way to where Naruto was feverishly scrubbing his hands raw.
"Naruto." he said. Naruto ignored him.
"It won't go away. It won't go away. It won't go away…" muttered the boy. Kakashi gripped him by the shoulder and forced him to look into his eye.
"Naruto, listen to me. I know taking a life isn't easy, especially the first time, but look around you. That's a freed people you're looking at, and if it wasn't for your sacrifice, their hands would be covered in blood for it. Even more, not all of them would be alive now. Think about that for a second." Kakashi said. Naruto relaxed a little.
"Sorry… You must think I'm weak now." Naruto grimaced.
"Nonsense. Don't confuse strength with bloodlust. Look, what would have happened if you hadn't done what you did? Maybe they would have done it by themselves, but a lot more people would be dead. Maybe they would even have lost. But that didn't happen. You saved them, and right now that's all that counts. It's good that you feel guilty, you should never enjoy taking lives, but you need to remember that it was for a good cause. Don't get stuck in the 'what if'-scenarios or laden yourself with guilt, you'll only end up losing yourself." Kakashi said. 'Believe me, I speak from experience.' he added in his mind.
"Heh. I'm overthinking things?" Naruto asked. "You're probably right."
"Now I believe the village is going to throw a party in our honor. Coming?"
Will there be ramen?"
"So, what are you going to do now?" asked Sakura. She and Haku were sitting on the newly constructed front bridge of Tazuna's house, lazily watching Zabuza chase Naruto around for the possession of 'Eadchoppa.
("It's mine! I even gave it a custom paint-job!")
"I do not know yet, Sakura-san." Haku replied, "It would appear that Zabuza-sempai enjoys spending time with your comrade."
("I DON'T CARE IF YOU PAINT IT LILO AND CALL IT STITCH, IT'S STILL MINE!")
"That is his definition of 'a good time'? Looks kinda painful to me."
"Can you not tell? Sempai is smiling underneath that mask." Haku said in all seriousness.
("If you want a blade so badly, I got other ones for you!")
"Hm, not really." Sakura said squinting. Between Naruto's stamina and usage of clones (both regular and green variants), and Zabuza's speed and agility, it was a pretty even match most of the time.
("WHY WOULD I WANT A CHEAP KNOCK-OFF?")
"Look carefully, you can see the wrinkles. Granted, I do have the benefit of experience when it comes to reading sempai's moods, but can you really not tell?"
"How long exactly did it take you to learn how to read your sempai's mind in battle?"
("Cheap knock-offs? shadow clone technique!)
"...Okay, so it might be a little harder than I make it seem.
"You can say that again."
Zabuza ducked underneath a crude axe, using his forward momentum to roll forwards before jumping over a couple of worn dirks. The last half hour had seen him dodge all kinds of projectiles that Naruto insisted could replace his Cleaver. Nothing had even remotely caught his interest. He scoffed as he sidestepped a mechanical glove that seemed as dangerous to the wielder as it would be to the victim. What kind of second rate swordsman did the kid take him for? He needed a worthy weapon, something like… the blade impaled in the tree in front of him.
It was a two-hander, undecorated except for the cross-guard, which was made of two leering skull faces on either side of the blade. An ethereal light shone in each eye-socket, one green, one red, one blue and one purple. The blade seemed to whisper sweet promises of carnage into his ear. Drawing the blade he was rewarded with the sight of a jet-black, razor sharp edge, as if he was wielding a piece of the night sky itself.
Zabuza sensed something from the blade, a gentle caress at the edge of his consciousness.
Release us for power man knows not…
"How?" he asked.
One drop of your essence, and you will see…
Not believing what he was actually doing, Zabuza made a small cut on his hand with the blade. Immediately, sensations flooded him. He was standing on a misty lake, brass pillars in the distance carrying enormous chains stood tall in the distance. There was no light source, yet he could see everything in detail. Sounds of battle were carried along by a harsh desert wind. Before him a colossal brass figure rose out of the water, flames leaping out of the noise in an angry imitation of breath. A large axe was held in a battle ready stance, and it's voice was loud, brash and filled with rage.
"KHORNE ACCEPTS YOUR SACRIFICE MORTAL! YOUR SKULL FOR HIS THRONE!"
With that, it swung it's axe in a decapitating horizontal arc. Reflexively Zabuza ducked under it, and became aware of the Decapitating Carving Knife's comfortable weight in his hand. Swinging it overhead the brass giant roared as Knife bit deep into it's thigh. Thick streams of blood were gulped up by hungry maws spawning on the brass, and not a drop reached the ground.
"BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! DOESN'T MATTER WHERE IT'S FROM!" it bellowed, and charged again.
"YOUR SKULL FOR THE SKULL THRONE!"
The giant was interrupted by a rose sprouting out of the sand, wrapping itself around the giant's legs, it's thorns leaving deep gashes in the bronze skin. Bellowing, the giant struggled against the small plant, but more sprouted and wrapped themselves around the figure.
"I'm afraid I cannot let that happen. You see, I also desire something after that long imprisonment." said a new voice, soft and husky. It filled the air with a warm fragrance, driving the harsh desert air away, but not completely. A part of the desert air lingered around, diminished but still threatening.
Zabuza became aware of two gentle hands softly stroking his back and chest, and half turning he caught a glimpse of a surreal beauty straddling him.
"Care to take a guess as to what those desires are, noble warrior?" she purred seductively. With a supple movement, he twisted out of the dream woman's grip and pointed the tip of his blade at her throat.
"Sorry, you're not my type." he said. Shocked, she looked up at him, winking her eyebrows seductively. At the same time, a trail of sickly looking skin wove it's way up her body.
"Are you sure?" she said through rotting teeth, holding up her pale flabby hand towards him, a piece of maggot-bitten flesh falling off. Zabuza cocked his head to the side.
"Damn sure. I don't do corpses, sorry." With a shriek, the aberration vanished, swallowed up by a stream of rose-petals.
"You puss-filled sack of maggots! Don't you dare touch me that way again!" came a shout from the roses that had sprung up in roughly a quarter of the lake. A male's voice, infinitely gentler than the voice of the brass giant, chuckled softly. Large swathes of stinking algae and other disgusting lifeforms sprouted from the water as great swarms of buzzing flies swarmed through the air.
"What's the matter, cannot take a jest?" said the newcomer, and Zabuza whirled around to come face to face with a most disgusting looking figure looming over him. A pair of antlers stuck out of a bald plate of a head, the rotund body vibrating in synch with the chuckles. "Ah, but I must say, it feels good to finally be free again. Do not fear mortal, unlike those other two I come bearing great gifts."
"Oh please. Those great gifts you keep rambling on about are, at my last count, a pair of maggots and a mushroom. Whoop-ti-doo. I on the other hand, bear some actual 'great gifts'." came the woman again. She had recovered, becoming a figure of pristine beauty again, and did nothing to hide her indeed quite ample assets. A victorian style bench had sprung up for her to lounge on floating gently over the lake.
"It would seem that we have reached a bit of an impasse, my esteemed colleagues." said a fourth voice warmly. Zabuza couldn't determine wether it was a male or female, mostly because the pitch and volume bounced up and down like a hyperactive grasshopper on a caffeine drip. The water in the final quadrant cracked open to let a multicolored cloud rise up as a woman in a multi-colored robe stepped into view. Her outline was hazy, and there was no telling where the woman ended and the cloud began. Two bright sapphires formed the eyes. Where she walked, crystalline structures sprouted in a plant-like fashion, forming beautiful geometric patterns
"Great. I order a sword, I get a freak-show." Zabuza complained. "What the hell are you?"
"We are, or rather were, representatives of four separate powers, each seeking the same thing. Recognition from our respective patrons. Power. Souls to play with." said the cloud woman.
"Well you're not getting my soul. Wait, what do you mean by 'were'?" Zabuza said.
"Well, all of us here-" the woman gestured towards herself and the other three figures "-are in a bit of a pickle at the moment. You see, until recently we had contact with our superiors 24/7, but then something strange happened. I take it you've already met our esteemed hosts?"
"Those green things or the blonde kid?"
"Those green things. Their souls unfortunately prove to be quite bad sustenance for us. 'You are what you eat' applies rather literally for us, and frankly none of us desire to become trigger-happy axe-crazies. Well, maybe Thraxidaminus here, but that's because he's already axe-crazy to start with."
"THERE IS NOTHING CRAZY ABOUT THE HONORABLE WAYS OF KHORNE!" shouted the brass giant, having freed himself from his rosy prison.
"So you claim, but I have yet to see the evidence. Regardless, something happened that severed the connection between us and our patrons, and that means we're either dead or somewhere where they cannot reach us. Since none of us seem dead, I assume this is someplace they cannot reach us, which would mean that somehow we are no longer in out own universe. You see, where we come from feats such as walking on water or that little fog trick of yours require a person to draw upon a power known as the Warp, a mirror universe composed of the emotions, thoughts and souls of any sentient being. This is not without it's risk, as the Warp is where beings such as ourselves reside. It is also a constant, no matter where you go the Warp will always be with you. Except, apparently, here. Where 'here' is I have no idea, all I know is that suddenly I'm forced to bunk beds with this lot and no way of returning to where we came from. Then you came along, and released us into your mind."
"So now what?" Zabuza asked. The woman shrugged.
"Well, normally we would tear your mind apart and feast on your soul, but because we are severed from our main source of power we're actually too weak to pull that one off."
Zabuza muttered a silent prayer of thanks to his former sensei who had taught him about Yamanaka mind techniques.
"As it stands, we're at a bit of an impasse. We're not willing to let go of our only chance of freedom, eg. you, but you're to strong to be completely possessed by us. So it would seem we have to make a deal of sorts."
"What kind of deal?"
"You were looking for a replacement for that toy of yours were you not? I assure you, the blade you currently hold will be more than adequate. It's capable of cleaving through any armor without making a whisper, it never needs maintenance and it only you will be able to wield it. On top of that, you will get all four of us along with it as a bonus." the woman stated.
"WHAT?" bellowed the giant.
"I don't remember me saying that darling…" the voluptuous woman said.
"Okay." the rotting man said shrugging.
"Good to see at least one of you sees reason. As for you two, well you're more than welcome to going back to being Nob Drufka's personal 'toofpick'."
"Why is having four freeloaders a 'bonus'?" asked Zabuza.
"Ah, but each of us will confer an advantage to you. I, Seres, will grant you insight beyond mortal comprehension." said the woman.
"I, THRAXIDAMINUS, WILL GRANT YOU STRENGTH TO POUND YOUR ENEMIES TO DUST."
"I, Mirage, will grant you charm and beauty to woo any mortal to do your bidding."
"I, Sumuc, will grant you resilience to endure any injury."
"What's in it for you?" Zabuza asked, still skeptical.
"Food for us. The souls of your victims."
"I can live with that. Deal."
And then there was darkness.
Zabuza blinked. He was back to where he was before, still holding on to the possessed two hander. Before his eyes, the blade warped, becoming nearly fluid before reshaping itself into a black version of the Decapitating Knife, although the skull decorations remained constant. Small tendrils of arcane power seemed to wrap themselves around his wrist, and he could feel the power surging in to him.
"Hey kid." he called out, "You got yourself a deal."
Some distance away Naruto appeared, eying him suspiciously.
"You'll stop chasing and torturing me?"
"Do you want to learn how to use your new weapon properly?" he asked innocently.
"Hell yes!" Naruto said enthusiastically.
Two weeks after the great battle, a rather battered and bruised team 7 stood at the new, finished bridge. Kakashi had given Zabuza permission to go all out with training Naruto, and in the interest of keeping things fair he had made sure Sakura and Sasuke kept up. Painfully sure.
A small party had assembled to say goodbye to the team. Inari, Tazuna, Tsunami, Zabuza and Haku stood beside them.
"Take care kid." Zabuza said gruffly, but he was clearly smiling a bit as he said it.
"I hope we meet again, under better circumstances. Goodbye." Haku said, polite as ever.
"I won't cry… I won't cry…" muttered Inari as he tearfully hugged Naruto.
"Don't worry. It's alright if you're sad." Naruto said smiling.
"Besides, I'll come back, so don't be sad! Simply look forward to my next visit!"
Sniffling, Inari let go. "Promise?"
As team 7 finally left wave, a thought struck Tazuna.
"We still have to name this bridge."
"Well, I have a perfect name for it!" Inari proclaimed.
"Why not after the boy who changed everything for us? Won't that be super perfect?
"Heh. The great Naruto bridge? It's certainly got a ring to it…"
To be continued…
Before filing a complaint about Naruto angsting here, keep in mind that a clash between ideals like this had to occur if I kept both him and the Orks in character. Don't worry, this won't be a big issue later on, nor will it recur often, but every now and then the Orks do need to be reminded that you "Don't touch da civvies!". Among other things.
The tzeentch daemon might seem out of character, but think about this: why would the servants of tzeentch, the God of Change, follow a specific temperamental template? If anything, that would go completely against their nature. A true tzeentchian would be whomever he/she needs to be in order to move people along in their schemes. Right now she's amicable in order to come into Zabuza's good graces, this is by no means her true nature. Right, and now on to the reviews!
To Hammerchuckery: Can I ever have enough?
To darthridian: Naruto already has the industrial base to build mechas. It is a space hulk he's absorbed, a fusion of ships that individually are already big enough to house an entire city.
To Karthik9: THANKS. (seriously though, all-caps are not necessary to catch my attention)
To NecromancerX69: I hope you like the serious bits of this chapter as much as the lol's of the previous ones.
To Skelo: I hope this chapter answers that.
To Tzeentch: I'm still in doubt about the paint job (it'll get one, no doubt about that, just the color I'm not sure on). Naruto is nicer than most warbosses, yes, but that's because he sees the Orks as a surrogate family. He'll smack 'em around when they cross the line, but until then he treats them as his friends rather than as his subordinates (this is one of the reasons he's so popular as boss).
To Psudocode Samurai: It's an actual rule for Ork looted wagons that if you roll a one on a movement dice the vehicle will essentially run out of control, disabling most of the weapon systems and catapulting it forward (possibly grinding any troops in the way to a bloody paste). Name of the rule? 'Don't Press Dat!'
To Lucaris: Well to be honest I didn't describe the training marathon because I had no idea what it would look like… The ? and the ! are a bit of an issue, I've seen several writers complain about it as well. All-caps will have to do I'm afraid, not the most elegant solution but it works.
To DenimGiant: Lootas don't mind it if someone loots their gear back. From the Ork Codex: "A typical Loota has a very open-minded viewpoint about his possessions. If an Ork is skilled enough to steal from a loota, the Loota will not claim his possession back (at least not whilst the thief is still looking); he has stolen it fair and square."
To Snowskeeper: It's karma: kill your classmates and you will lose your sword :). Oh, and as for the moon thing, it's not part of the 'official' continuity, so don't worry (you are correct about it having negative effects though, maybe usable as a form of indirect planet killing).
To lol: Didn't know they blew up the moon in DBZ. Dang, and here I thought I was original :P.
To Sithking Zero: Too bad the omake isn't part of the continuity.
To ukiyo nishiyori: Well, guess this chapter answers that eh? (nice name by the way, mean anything?)
To Lord Sia: Maybe next year. (I like the idea though)
To hydrianwaqy1013: To actually answer any of that would be spoiling too much. You'll just have to read to find out!
To LoPe21: I'm still deciding what color Naruto will wear. To be honest, I think I'm going to stick with orange.
To Cre A. Tor00x: Killa kans are present in this very chapter, and they'll appear in later ones every now and then as well.
To Josher: That will certainly be… interesting *grins*.
To Mysterious Old Guy: Zabuza and his new weapon will feature in later chapters as a recurring character. The how, when and why are secret though.
To No- I'm not on Facebook: I feel flattered, but then again this is also the only orky Naruto crossover.
To yarra: Good to hear I'm also attracting people who haven't heard of the franchise.
To Kurtulmak: Compromise: I'm moving them down and clearly mark where the chapter ends, 'kay?
To T-B-R: That little nugget wasn't made by me but by Charles Bephin (another writer on this site, I can heartily recommend him). I still enjoy the compliment though.