Blood of Metal
by Lord Dragon Claw
Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto. Brutal Legend and Ormagöden belong to Double Fine Games.
Chapter One: "Heart of a Dragon" by Dragonforce
In the beginning, there was darkness. Demons, with hideous forms, sought the sanctity of the darkness so that they would not have to bear witness to their own twisted and disgusting shapes. But then, like a comet, Ormagöden - the Great Fire Beast - appeared, shedding light upon the ground, and revealing the forms of the demons. Angered by the light, the demons lured the Beast to ground with the voice of a captured goddess, Aetullia. When they got him on the ground, the demons tried to bury Ormagöden with mud to extinguish him. In a fit of rage, the Great Fire Beast detonated himself, creating a Sun with his Fire, the Wind with his Deathcry, the Oceans with his Blood, and Metal with his Bones, forever changing the world the demons lived upon.
However, Ormagöden did not die - he could not die. He only detonated himself because he knew he would reform elsewhere. Years passed, and he finally took shape again in the icy blackness of Space. Ormagöden then found another world to explore - one that happened to have its own Sun already. The Great Fire Beast then landed to explore, his feet leaving burning scorches on the earth, his very presence igniting the trees around him.
He sensed a great power nearby, and went to investigate, finding a giant fox with nine tails, growling at him. Ormagöden grinned, before roaring and leaping at the other beast, challenging the other predator's dominance.
Nearby was the Ninja Village of Konohagakure no Sato, the Ninja Village Hidden in Leaves. They weren't exactly sleeping that night (many ninjas don't sleep at night anyway) as a bright light to the south kept coming closer.
Faster than the ninja could track with their eyes, Ormagöden and the Kyuubi no Kitsune both landed, grappling, in the midst of the ninja village. The fox then kicked the Great Fire Beast in the chest, sending him out of the village temporarily. In a fit of rage, the fox's tails smashed into buildings. The Yondaime Hokage (Fourth Hokage) had anticipated the attack of the Kyuubi (being an excellent ninja, intelligence gathering was something of a strength for him) and had prepared a seal for its containment. Unfortunately, the object for the fox to be sealed into had to be an infant. The Yondaime chose his newborn son, born through cesarean-section when his mother died due to stress in the final stages of his development. Naming the child Naruto, who was born one month early, the Hokage performed the sealing process, summoning the Shinigami (Death God or Grim Reaper) to assist in the sealing.
Just as the seal was completing, and the Shinigami was reaching for the Kyuubi, Ormagöden tackled the fox, causing it that both giant Beasts to be sealed within Naruto. But, due to the brilliance and glory of Ormagöden's presence, all that the watching people saw was a bright flash of light slam into the fox, before disappearing with it, leaving behind only the dying Hokage and the screaming babe in his arms. None knew that two Beasts were sealed in Naruto, save the Shinigami.
Seven years later, young Uzumaki Naruto was a curious boy, though he had a rough life. The Sandaime Hokage (Third Hokage) had difficulty protecting the boy from the civilian populous who saw the boy as the fox he contained. Roughly one-third of the ninja forces were also antagonistic towards the blonde child. Still, the best of the ANBU Special Forces kept watch over him, and "discouraged" those who made attempts to attack him.
Naruto felt drawn towards a music shop one day. An instinct he had never felt before enticed him to enter it. The man behind the counter didn't like the child, but didn't actively hate him enough to prevent the blonde's entry.
Naruto spent about twenty minutes just admiring the various instruments on display, but an acoustic guitar caught his interest. Seeing no harm in letting a kid, even if he was the demon brat, play with the guitar for a bit, the shopkeeper helped him with the shoulder strap. Instinctually, Naruto immediately put his hands in the appropriate positions, plucking the strings a bit. Finding the sounds to be agreeable, he got ready to actually strum the strings. The shopkeeper was confused that the boy already knew how to check the tuning of an instrument; especially since he did it entirely by ear.
Naruto's fingers flew all over the frets and strings, causing a wailing, screeching, but harmonious noise to come out of the instrument. But then the windows to the shop blew out, instruments were damaged, the shopkeeper knocked off his stool, and the electricity shorted out.
Like ants swarming over a whole ice-cream sandwich dropped on their anthill, the ANBU rushed inside the building, trying to find explosive tags, check Naruto and the clerk for injuries, and attempting to locate any enemy ninja.
They found Naruto standing with his hands on the guitar, which was on fire, with a euphoric look on his face, obviously having no discomfort, much less pain, at the flames licking his fingers. The store owner seemed to be shell-shocked, but was otherwise fine.
"Naruto-kun," asked the weasel-masked ANBU. "Do you realize that you're holding a burning guitar?"
"Huh?" replied the young blonde intelligently. He then looked down at the guitar. "Is this what fire feels like? I was always under the impression that it hurts and is really hot, but this is just warm."
The various ANBU sweatdropped. Naruto then noticed something else.
"Oh. Fire ruins clothing! That's why people don't like touching it!"
"Uh... no, Naruto-kun. Fire hurts most people when they touch it."
"Oh," replied the child as he patted down the flames on his clothing. He then suddenly realized something. "OH NO! Mr. Shopkeeper! I'm sorry for ruining your guitar!"
The various ANBU turned with Naruto to the clerk who was grinning maniacally.
"That... was... F***ING AWESOME!!" he exclaimed, his ring and middle fingers curled inwards on his upraised arms while his remaining digits were fully extended.
Some of the ANBU actually facefaulted while Naruto also grinned like a maniac.
"YEAH! We gotta figure out how to do that again!"
"But I ruined your guitar... and your store," retorted the blonde, looking around sheepishly.
"So what!? I'll just make you a new guitar! But it can't be made out of wood... hmmm. Metal, maybe?"
"Sir," asked one of the ANBU who had assisted the man stand from off the floor. "Do you really not care about the damage done to your instruments? As I understand it, some of them are expensive, foreign ones..."
"Feh. As if those relics can compare to the quality of sound this boy made just now! Hey, Naruto, right?"
"You're going into the Ninja Academy soon, right?"
"I'm thinking of designing a metal guitar shaped and sharpened like an axe for you then."
"I know, right!?"
The owner of the store, whose name turned out to be Maiza Malisu, had to do several commissions for the parts necessary to make Naruto's battle axe guitar. In a fit of inspiration while Naruto began experimenting with drums, he decided to buy some electrical wiring and integrate it into the instrument of death. Malisu unwittingly invented an amp jack at this point, though no amps were to be had... yet.
Naruto's drumming experiments turned out to have an interesting effect on the air, sometimes making miniature dust devils, sometimes gusts, and sometimes vacuums. Still, Naruto did not feel as at home as he did when holding a guitar, so Malisu continued to work on the battle guitar.
Six months before the start of the next Academy year, Malisu finally finished the guitar/axe.
"Okay, Naruto-kun, I've got you a metal axe! And it's a guitar!"
"Thanks, Mal-dude!" Naruto said as he began to check the tuning, playing by ear and instinct.
A couple of customers who were in the music shop, and at their worst, indifferent to Naruto's presence, listened as the boy checked the tuning.
"What is that noise?" asked a kunoichi.
"It sounds like an angel singing..." commented a baker.
"Or a demon screaming..." retorted a medic-nin.
"It is a hammer pounding upon the anvils of time!" declared Malisu to the patrons.
"It's f***ing awesome!" replied Inuzuka Tsume, the head of the Inuzuka clan.
"It's the sound of Soranagi!" exclaimed Naruto.
"'Sky Cutter'?" asked Malisu, grinning.
"Cool name," commented Tsume.
A couple of weeks later, Naruto was merely messing with his guitar, learning what sounds he could make with it, when a mob of about thirty drunken civilians spotted him.
"Hey! It's the demon brat!"
"If we kill him, we'll be heroes!"
The four ANBU who constantly tailed Naruto made to interfere, when the unexpected happened. Naruto plucked a string, causing a sharp sound. A lightning bolt descended from the clear night sky, striking a handful of the inebriated idiots, burning their clothes and hair, and knocking them out.
Naruto could smell the ozone from the strike... it excited him. Also, he realized he could defend himself from attacks like this. He grinned toothily, showing slightly sharpened teeth. The remaining civilians took a step back, ready to run. The ANBU relaxed - the boy would be all right from now on.
Soon, the sounds of grown men screaming like little girls could be heard from the alleyway while explosions and lightning strikes made their prescience known in the area.
The Konoha Ninja Academy was much like most civilian schools - it taught skills useful to the ways of life that the students would be following. Those skills happened to be related to murdering a man or woman who was a hundred meters or less away instead of how to run a business, design a bridge, or whatever else it is civilians do.
Uzumaki Naruto, now eight years in age, found difficulty making friends, except for Inuzuka Kiba. The boy from the bestial clan had been advised by his mother to make friends with the axe/ax-wielding boy, though Tsume would not tell him why. Still, the two boys had a lot in common, including their annoyance at one Uchiha Sasuke for being so popular. The fact that Naruto had made a friend gladdened the heart of the Sandaime Hokage (Third Hokage), Sarutobi Hizuren, who was a grandfather-figure to the young blonde.
Time passed, and the young Academy students were not given their final exam until their second year. A rare few students managed to pass. Naruto had difficulty with the Bunshin (Clone), a genjutsu-type that projected an illusionary image of the caster, for distraction and confusion purposes. He also had difficulty with the Henge (Transformation), another genjutsu that projected an illusion around the caster, disguising them as someone or something else. His primary problem with both jutsu was that he didn't know they were supposed to be genjutsu, and all the additional problems he had stemmed from his ungodly amount of chakra and the fact that no one realized the boy was confused about the nature of the two jutsu.
Still, he got the Kawarimi (Body-Switch) right on his first try, an escape ninjutsu to avoid attacks by switching the caster with an object or person nearby, within reasonable limitations of size and weight.
Frustrated, Naruto practiced the Henge first, trying his best to find his own way of doing it. Annoyed at his host's silliness, Ormagöden secretly lent a small sliver of his power to the boy before returning to slumber, allowing the blonde to actually shape-shift into objects and people. Naruto still failed his second exam, which no one else in his class passed either, due to failing to produce a satisfactory Bunshin, much less three.
Regardless, Naruto's popularity began to increase when he practiced his guitar during the breaks, especially among the ladies. Soon, most of the kunoichi-wannabes were unsure whether to pine after Sasuke or Naruto.
Meanwhile, Kiba was finally allowed to have his own nin-dog. In celebration, Naruto played a few songs for the Inuzuka Clan, making many happy ninja and canines that night.
For his third exam, in the spring of his twelfth year of life, Naruto accidentally discovered something with his guitar, and so knew how he would pass the exam.
"Okay Naruto," began Umino Iruka, Naruto's favorite teacher. "All you have to do is perform the basic three jutsu, or superior derivatives of them."
"Begin with Henge, and then Kawarimi," instructed Mizuki, Naruto's least-favorite teacher.
Seallessly, Naruto transformed into Kiba.
"Very good," replied Iruka.
Naruto returned to his true form and then seallessly and smokelessly switched places with Mizuki with the Kawarimi.
"Impressive," said Mizuki. "I even resisted that." Closest thing to praise that the silver-haired Chuunin had ever given to Naruto.
They both then returned to their positions.
"Okay, try for a Bunshin now - you have to make at least three," commanded Mizuki.
Naruto slung his guitar around his shoulder, so that he could play it.
"What are you doing?" asked Iruka, very confused.
Naruto plucked two strings, while holding down a third. His fingers on the frets were as far from the base of the instrument as they could be. A distorted sound emanated from the ax/axe, and five Narutos shimmered into existence, each wielding their own identical instrument.
Both Chuunin were shocked.
"You invented your own Bunshin-type jutsu?" Mizuki half-asked, half-stated after moving his mouth wordlessly for a few beats.
"Yeah," replied Naruto. "The Metarubunshin no jutsu." (Metal Clone no jutsu; metal as in the music style, not the stuff from the ground.)
"We also can perform justu," stated one of the clones.
"And play any instrument the original can," said another.
"We're solid..." began a third.
"... and take several hits to dispel..." continued the fourth.
"... no matter how hard those hits are!" finished the last clone.
"What's wonderful is that they return pertinent knowledge back to me when dispelled," said the original blonde with pride. "Though I sadly can't have all of their experiences..."
"Congratulations!" exclaimed Iruka. "You passed!"
Mizuki's visage had an obviously fake smile plastered on it. "Yes. Congrats."
Naruto could practically hear the grinding of the man's teeth.
That night, Naruto was a bit perturbed by Mizuki's behavior, but didn't think much of it. Instead, he went for a walk through the woods, practicing his guitar.
He heard some commotion going on deeper in the woods, something about a traitor or some such, so Naruto turned and headed in the opposite direction. Not that he was scared, but he figured that the ANBU would get it or something. But why did the sounds of commotion continue to get louder?
"... dammit..." muttered the blonde musician as he realized why and tried to hide in the foliage of the trees.
Curse his luck, but the blonde hid in the wrong place; which he learned when Mizuki barreled straight into him, knocking them both to the forest floor. As they tumbled, the silver-haired traitor swore and kicked Naruto away from him, knocking the wind out of the boy.
The blonde hit a branch on his way down due to the change in trajectory, fracturing his spine just below the shoulders. One of the beasts within him awakened temporarily, raging at Naruto's debilitating injury. Ormagöden roared, and the blonde screamed as the blood vessels around his fracture swelled, red blood cells collecting around the vertebrae and transforming it, reshaping it to the way it was originally. The cells quickly spread along the length of his spine, transforming the entire thing - transforming blood cells and bone into an incredibly dense metal.
Soon, the boy landed on the ground with a thud (due to the added weight), his eyes seeming to burn in their sockets, smoke rising from the pores along his spine. Not knowing what happened, and not caring, Naruto lifted Soranagi like an axe, preparing to kill the silver-haired Chuunin. The blades heated with Naruto's anger, quickly becoming red-hot.
"Well, well, well," began Mizuki, suddenly seeing an opportunity. "If I kill you and use you as my scapegoat, not only will I not be blamed for the theft of the Forbidden Scroll, but I will be hailed as a hero for killing the Kyuubi!"
"Kyuubi?" repeated Naruto, hesitating due to his own confusion.
"Yes! Why do you think that most people hate you!? You are the fox! The Yondaime couldn't kill it, so he sealed it into the form of a child and erased its memories!"
Hearing this, and knowing it to be a lie, Ormagöden growled in disagreement. Feeling this instinctual encouragement, Naruto narrowed his eyes.
"I'm afraid, you little demon brat, that it is the truth!" replied Mizuki as he got one of the giant shuriken off of his back and prepared to throw it.
"LIES AND SLANDER!" roared Naruto and Ormagöden in unison, sending out a shockwave which knocked Mizuki over, causing him to drop both giant scroll and giant shuriken.
The blonde leapt to chop off Mizuki's head, but thought better of it at the last second. Instead, he cut off Mizuki's right arm just above the elbow, causing the man to call out in pain, passing out from the shock of the injury.
"Hey, let's check over this way!"
"Towards the scream?"
Four ANBU quickly appeared on the scene, just in time to see Naruto scramble off of Mizuki's unconscious body, leaving Soranagi stuck in the ground. The boy stumbled away a bit before vomiting a little on the ground as Ormagöden returned to slumber.
"You okay there, Uzumaki?" asked the rat-masked ANBU.
"Depends," replied the blonde, swallowing some bile. "Did I kill Mizuki-sensei?"
"No," replied the lion-masked ANBU. "He's unconscious. Probably from the shock of having his forearm amputated."
"Good. I tried to avoid killing him."
A couple of the ANBU glanced at eachother.
"Uh... why?" asked Rat.
"To prove to him that I'm not the Kyuubi."
Rat scratched the back of his head. "I think we need to get you to the Hokage."
Mizuki was taken to the ANBU DTI (Department of Torture and Interrogation) while Rat escorted Naruto and the Forbidden Scroll to the Hokage's office.
While Naruto waited for Rat to finish his report to the Hokage, he cleaned his weapon. Oddly enough, his back itched, especially around his spine. Just as he finished cleaning the blood from Soranagi, Rat opened the door and beckoned Naruto to enter.
"Sit down, Naruto," bade the Hokage.
"Am I in trouble, Old Man?" asked the blonde as he sat on the chair in front of the Hokage's desk.
Rat chuckled at the nickname the blonde had for the old Sandaime.
"No, you are not." He inhaled some of the smoke from his pipe, before exhaling slowly, allowing the nicotine to calm his nerves (despite the fact that he knew it increased his heart rate). "What do you know of the Kyuubi?"
"That the fox was defeated by the Yondaime. Whether or not the fox still lives... I do not know."
The Hokage sighed. "You were not going to be told this until you made Chuunin rank, but I suppose you should be told now. The Kyuubi is not dead, but the Yondaime did sacrifice his own life to defeat it and save Konoha."
Naruto nodded. So far, so good.
"The Kyuubi cannot die, it is beyond mortal bounds of life and death, but it could be sealed away. Using the aide of the Shinigami, the Yondaime sealed the fox within the strongest infant Konoha had available - you."
Naruto's breath caught. "S-so I'm..."
"Like a metal safebox, Naruto," interrupted the Hokage. "Locked within you is a very dangerous object; the seal used to hold the fox being the lock and key. Do you understand?"
"Why do the civilians and many ninja hate you? They are too blinded by their grief to see you as the safebox - instead they see you as your prisoner and take their hatred out on you."
"... why have I never heard of this before?"
The Hokage sighed again. "Back when the Yondaime sealed the fox within you, he told me that he wanted you to be hailed as a hero. Unfortunately, neither he nor I realized that our faith in the people of Konoha would be proven wrong, and so I announced you as the container for the Kyuubi publicly. Almost immediately did the crowd call for your death, and so I declared your status a Double-S-Class State Secret. Anyone who talked about you containing the Kyuubi to someone who did not know would be put to death, slowly, by the ANBU DTI."
Naruto swallowed, realizing how bad of a punishment that would be. Even the youngest of civilians knew that instant death would be preferable than being executed by ANBU DTI.
"Also, anyone who told someone of the younger generation who did not already know about you would receive the same punishment. I tried to make sure that you would have a fairly normal upbringing, but it seems that even the children of those who hate you also hate you. They seem to be imitating their parents." The Hokage sighed for the third time, putting his face in his hands. "Will you ever forgive a foolish old man his crimes against you?"
Naruto was silent for a bit, before he subconsciously played his ax quietly.
"Hey, Old Man!" The Hokage lifted his head, revealing tear tracks under his eyes to see determination burning in Naruto's. "Of course you are forgiven! And I'm going to prove to everyone that even if I have the largest Bijuu within me, that I am not the kami-forsaken fox! Besides, the Inuzuka and Maiza-san love me! At least I wasn't totally alone!"
The Hokage felt inspired by the slow, powerful but quiet music and by Naruto's determination.
Truly, he thought. This boy has the Will of Fire. No, stronger! He has the Heart of a Dragon!
The Heart of a Dragon... Naruto forgave those who deserved it, but was determined to prove to the ignorant that they were wrong and defend that which he found to be precious - no matter what!
End Chapter One.
Next chapter: Teams.
The good people down at Double Fine Games made a really cool, though very short, game. I blame them for this. Also, I blame Lord Shadner. And my parents, just because I can.
Chapter titles will be the names of songs that I feel best fit the theme of the chapter. They will not be limited to metal songs though, as I will throw in some punk and rock too.
The shopkeeper became an instant head-banger... lawl. Kind of like what happened when I first heard metal at the tender age of four. I may turn him into a roadie eventually... Also, similarly to how they changed Whytelyon into Lyonwhyte and Killmeister into the Killmaster (I may have gotten the spelling on those wrong, but you get the idea), you'll see some OC's who have names similar to actual bands and individual musicians. The clerk named Maiza Malisu is the first to appear in this story - if you know not what band he's named after, you lose ten points.
For this story, the spelling of axe will indicate the weapon/tool for chopping wood and ax will indicate a guitar - I know that's not how it actually is in the English language, but still. Naruto's is both an axe and an ax.
And here you thought I was going to do something other than have Naruto face Mizuki - one of these days I will start a story without ever mentioning that man. Instead, I decided against using the cliched "sealing scroll and kunai" argument to explain to Naruto Kyuubi's relationship to him.
I thank the ever-patient Vassago-Toxicity (now known as Mr. Fix-It-NAO) for beta'ing for me.
Now, as for how long it has taken me to update... I lost connection to the internet and got married. Writing has been slow, not due to a lack of inspiration, but to an overabundance of it. The time I could be using to write is usually taken by getting inspired, and then I am very sore afterwards. Take that as you will.
I am only posting this now because someone in my apartment complex has an unsecured WiFi network set up... can't guarantee that I'll be able to post all the time, but it is more likely.
Metarubunshin - superior in terms of combat potential to the Kagebunshin (Shadow Clone), but inferior in terms of training/information gathering. Still has a massive chakra requirement, though it doesn't split the chakra evenly between original and clones like the Kagebunshin does.
Seriously, Naruto's going to discover most things about his Ormagoden-given abilities through trial, error, and instinct.