Author's Note: Well, here I am in my first story, so go easy on me, please. This isn't actually the first story I've put down, but it is the only one I've really laid out, as the rest of them I haven't figured out how to go about them. I will put those out in time, though.
Well, as you can see, I'm putting out a Naruto/Bleach Crossover, which is already common. However, this story will feature Naruto as a Hollow, instead of a Shinigami.
Out of all the time I've been reading fanfiction here, I have seen two very well written Hollow/Arrancar Naruto stories(Antagonist and Cracked Mask). My plot line will differ almost completely from those two, but I may have some overlapping concepts thrown in my story. I am not however, trying to copy.
Pairings: Like most guys, I can't stand yaoi/shounen-ai/etc. Do NOT ask me to put any yaoi pairings into my writings, because its not happening. Ever. I tend to avoid pairings altogether, as they don't really have a place in the type of stories I write. Don't get me wrong, I think many successful stories utilize pairing to their fullest, but I don't see it happening in my story.
As for this story, I have already decided against any pairings. Sorry, but I've made up my mind on this, and its not changing.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Bleach.
Chapter 1: Hueco
Naruto's fingers fiddled with the strange chain links that were protruding out of his chest. He closed his eyes, noticing the slight pain in his chest that occurred every time he aggravated the chain. The pain wasn't what was bothering him, though.
No, instead, Naruto was focused on the exact copy of himself that lay on the ground unmoving. He hadn't used any clones, so there was no reason that there should be two of him. Besides that, the "clone" seemed much more solid and defined than Naruto himself, and he wasn't packing a bizarre chain. Naruto took a look at his hand; it seemed, well, hazy for some reason. In the back of his mind, he knew what had happened, even if he didn't want to believe it himself.
He felt a little dizzy. Was that normal? Ninjas weren't supposed to have emotional breakdowns. His legs in particular didn't seem to be responding.
His legs finally gave out on him, and his eyes glossed over. He knew he was as dead as a doornail. He could remember his death in clear detail, and knew that the "clone" laying over there was his corpse. But what really got him was the implications of what dying meant for him.
He placed his hand up onto his face, digging his nails into the flesh. That was the worst thing about it; the fact that he had failed to protect his village.
With previous actions, it would seem Naruto was invincible, but death is a cruel thing. It can turn the most bright and confident individuals, in this case Naruto, into very gaunt and pessimistic people. Naruto was a particularly extreme case, considering his personality, and the way he had died.
Because his death was pathetic.
"You give up..." Naruto roared as he used the last of his clones to create a Rasengan to use on the temporarily weakened God Realm. "Thinking I'm gonna give up!" he finished as he rammed his Rasengan into the last Pain body.
The Pain body grimaced as the deadly ball of chakra ripped into his body. The Shinra Tensei technique had left behind a multitude of rocks behind him, and the deadly attack had sent the dying God realm directly into them.
Naruto moved shakily toward the Pain body, attempting to take out one of the metal rods...
He collapsed to the ground no more than one second later.
What had killed Uzumaki Naruto was not Pain. It was not Akatsuki, or any high level jutsu. It wasn't even a jutsu. In fact, Uzumaki Naruto had just died from one of the simplest and unlikely ways.
"How is that even possible?" was the only thought that ran through Naruto's head as the spirit finally collected himself. The Yondaime... no; his father, had apparently replenished his chakra while restoring the seal. So, just what went wrong?
"What the hell is this thing?" cried Naruto. He was still messing with the chain on his chest, and he couldn't see any clear purpose it had. He yanked on the chain, and an extremely sharp jolt of pain rocketed through his body. He dropped it like it was a venomous snake, resolving himself to not touch it. The chain was giving off a very ominous aura, and Naruto was tempted to touch it anyway. Luckily for him, something would come along to distract him for the time being. Unfortunately, it couldn't exactly be considered a blessing in any way, shape, or form.
This was because people were beginning to enter the secluded clearing where he had died.
During the course of a few minutes, Naruto's heart sank more and more. People who he cared about were showing themselves, clearing looking for him. He could see Katsuyu perched on Lee's shoulder.
He gasped when Sakura entered the area. Not noticing sets of teeth appear on the chain, Naruto watched the pink-haired Chuunin and the rest of his friends make their way to the area where Katsuyu pointed them to...
Sakura, along with Team Gai, and a newly healed Hinata, walked over to where Naruto and Pain had finished their battle. Katsuyu mentioned that Naruto had fallen unconscious, and Sakura immediately decided that enough was enough. Naruto was to go back to the village in order to receive medical aid.
"He's over here," stated the miniature Katsuyu. She didn't know what had come over Naruto when one of her smaller selves was suddenly dispelled, apparently by the blonde's own volition. Granted, the slug summon had just assumed that Naruto had defeated Pain, and that he was merely exhausted.
Sakura breathed a small sigh of relief, the feeling of anxiety disappearing from her mind. Hinata looked at the collapsed Naruto, before she breathed a sigh of relief.
"N-Naruto, thank God..." she stated. Sakura smiled at her reassuringly, and performed some quick handseals. Her hands glowed with a soothing greenish chakra, which she then placed over Naruto's chest.
Sakura was beginning to heal him, but she was suddenly overcome with a sense of panic and fear. Something was wrong with Naruto. He looked cold and clammy, and upon closer inspection; he wasn't breathing, a clear absence of life. She didn't know why she hadn't noticed this before. In a desperate motion, Sakura focused chakra to her ear and pressed it over Naruto's heart, praying for the presence of a heartbeat.
There was none.
"N-Naruto," she managed to get out, the chakra fading from her hands.
"Sakura-chan," whispered Naruto. It broke his heart to see her like this, and despite the fact that he was the victim, he couldn't help but feel guilty. Guilty because he had failed her alongside Konoha.
"Oh, God," murmured Naruto when he saw Sakura break down in tears. He didn't register the small, but noticeable reaction his chain gave while he was watching the spectacle. But, he didn't cry, not even after watching Sakura unleash a blood-curdling scream to the sky.
The others were startled as they heard Sakura scream to the sky, yelling questions and curse words to God, apparently. Naruto couldn't really tell; she was pretty much blubbering at this point.
"S-Sakura-san, what's wrong... why are you screaming these.." Lee stopped in mid-sentence as he saw his friend, collapsed in the dirt. His eyes widened.
Sakura ignored Lee's rabid questioning as she began pumping more and more medical chakra in Naruto, desperately praying that he would revive. "No. ... NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!" Sakura screamed in her mind as her last ditch effort in helping Naruto had failed. Sakura then buried herself in his lifeless chest.
But, now was a time for confusion. What exactly had killed Naruto? From her perspective, there were no signs of a battle. Only small wounds littered his body, nowhere near enough to cause death. Intrigued against her will, Sakura focused on internal causes. What she found shook her to the core. His chakra coils were strained, almost like they were using too much chakra.
"Chakra exhaustion?" she screamed in her mind.
If someone told Haruno Sakura that her teammate and friend Uzumaki Naruto had died from chakra exhaustion, she would initially react with disbelief, followed by anger and a nasty punch to the poor guy. But, despite seeing Naruto's dead body in front of her, she still acted with disbelief. She focused her hands in a Genjutsu release seal... there was no reaction.
True to her word, the second thing she felt was anger. Anger particularly directed at her now deceased blond teammate. "Why! You were supposed to get much stronger with this Sennin training, and HERE YOU DIE OF FUCKING CHAKRA EXHAUSTION!"
"YOU IDIOT! I HATE YOU!" Sakura screamed as she rained down heavy punches on the helpless corpse. However, despite her actions, her mind told her that she did not hate Naruto, but that his loss was simply causing her anger. Of course, this made no difference to the newly dead Naruto.
"S-S-Sakura-c-chan." Naruto's heart broke right then and there. An overwhelming torrent of despair was about to hit him. But, he was Uzumaki Naruto; he had been through a lot worse, and he turned out okay.
"Shit, this is too much." Naruto's attempt to hold back his death and Sakura's rejection failed. Naruto's chain had began to corrode again. The noise of teeth greedily munching away at the metal drew his attention to it.
"Huh?" Naruto said intelligently as he noticed the corrosion of the chain for the first time. He immediately pulled on it, but the pain was unbearable and it only seemed to hasten the process. Thirty seconds later, and the chain was halfway gone.
"S-S-Shit, n-no, I have to stop this thing," Naruto thought as he started choking. He gasped for breath, coughing and wheezing as his lungs continued to scream, no matter how much air he gulped. Naruto fell to his knees, and then...
Naruto remained to his knees, still gasping for air. He had finally gotten the chain under control, but the chain's action was bothering him. What the hell kind of chain tries to eat itself? And why was it here in the first place? The chain was now two-thirds of the way gone, but it didn't seem like it was going to eat itself again.
Naruto frowned. He had finally gotten over his previous depression, and was starting to look at the bigger picture. What was going to happen now? Was he doomed to forever wander the Earth as a wandering soul? Was he being punished by God? Or was this a regular occurrence? And how did the chain fit into the equation? More and more questions exploded into Naruto's head, and he was graced with no answers.
"I'll never get anywhere like this," he said out-loud. "I suppose I'll head back to the village for now." He shakily climbed to his feet, and vaguely wondered what good going to the village would do. He stared out at the massive wreck that was once Konoha... and began to walk toward it.
Naruto had just begun his short afterlife of being a Plus.
"D-Died?" spluttered out Lee. "That can't be true Sakura-san. Tell me it isn't true!" screamed Lee.
"It's true Lee. He died from chakra exhaustion," Sakura said quietly.
"Chakra exhaustion?" asked Neji. "Naruto died from something like that? How?" asked Neji.
"I don't know," said Sakura meekly, her anger finally subsiding into depressed sobs. "Maybe he just overdid it like he always does. I swear. . . he's always... such... a pain." Sakura smiled sadly, her wracking sobs overcoming her speech.
Hinata broke down again beside Sakura, her lavender eyes pouring with tears. Why did he have to die? Why was it always him!?
Sakura blinked, before thinking. Just where did Pain go? She had come to the conclusion beforehand that with his target dead, he had retreated. But, now she was having second thoughts.
"Well, the best thing we can do now is bring Naruto's body back to the village," said Sakura. She motioned to Lee and Tenten, who moved to pick up Naruto. Neji, while restraining his suicidal cousin, lead her back to the village.
By this point in time, Naruto was now wandering mindlessly through the remainder of the village. His eyes were not focused on any particular thing, but rather just taking in all he could at once. He paused, and then started to stare at one of the only still standing structures left in the entire village.
The Hokage monument. He had once dreamed of getting his face up there along with the rest of them, but that was nothing more than an empty dream now.
Meanwhile, Naruto's friends had now made their way back into the village, carrying his corpse. He felt an abrupt surge of anger at them. He didn't know why; it wasn't like he occupied the body anymore. That particular anger faded away when he saw Hinata being lead by Neji, bawling her eyes out. It must've been tough, proclaiming your love to someone only to have them die.
By that time, the rest of his friends had come up to ask what had happened. The shock and disappointment on their faces was one of the worst things Naruto could see at that moment. He turned away from them in shame, as if he were still visible to them.
"Geez, what happened! How could Naruto lose?" yelled Kiba, when the now Konoha 10 had congregated in the village to discuss their predicament. Kiba himself was both sad and angry at the deceased blond. Akamaru yipped in agreement at his side.
"Kiba! Naruto was capable of taking on Pain, who could take on the entire village! And thanks to him, Pain cannot attack the village anymore. Shouldn't Naruto's effort count for something?" argued Chouji. Naruto smiled at the thought that Chouji was defending him.
"That is correct," stated Shino. "We should not slander our deceased comrade's efforts over something as trivial as losing." Another smile from Naruto off to the side.
"But he left the village to gain power to take on Pain! He shouldn't have died. He should be right here with us!"
"Kiba..." whispered Naruto. While he usually fought with Kiba a lot, it... wasn't pleasant to hear those things.
Ino happened to join the conversation at that point.
"Maybe his death meant it was all he could do..." she said sadly.
"DON'T BE DISRESPECTFUL TOWARD NARUTO-KUN!" yelled Lee in anger. Even in mourning, Lee was always hearty.
Ino glared at him. "And were you being respectful when you just handed him off to the ANBU just like that?"
Naruto stiffened. They gave his body to who? The ANBU specialized in assassination and torture, not burial rites or anything of the matter. Unless they were just bringing his body to the morgue, they couldn't be doing anything pleasant...
Naruto looked at his friends one last time. He bowed his head in what looked like a half-hearted apology, before he turned to the village. The ANBU were a top priority for him.
A few minutes later, Naruto floated through what was left of the ANBU headquarters. For the first time since he died, Naruto grinned. He had found one of the advantages to being a ghost. It was something, at least. But that grin faded when he saw that there was no one in the entire building.
For the next hour, Naruto wandered around the rubble of the HQ looking for anything that might resemble his body. While he was sifting through some rubble near the western wall, he heard what appeared to be a squad of ANBU entering.
"So they're taking his body where?" asked one of the male members. Naruto's ears perked up as he inched closer to them to listen.
"Well, apparently Danzou wants his body so the Ne units took it. What that man wants with the demon's corpse is beyond me," replied the squad Captain.
Naruto ignored the poison the Captain put in his words. The demon was obviously him, but what did Danzou want with him? Shouldn't Baa-chan be stopping this?
Naruto grit his teeth. Unknown to most, Naruto had met Sai's superior several times throughout his life. He was originally one of the many council members to propose his execution, but that morphed into wanting Naruto for the Ne organization. He had approached Naruto several times when he was a child, hoping to sway Naruto's opinion. At first, he had used the hatred of the villagers to try and control him, but eventually these turned into outright threats towards Naruto. If it wasn't for the intervention for the Sandaime, he probably would've been part of Ne organization a long time ago.
Whatever Danzou wanted with his body couldn't be good. But, Naruto didn't even know where Danzou was. How was he supposed to find him?
"The Godaime is in a coma. No one knows when she'll wake up, if ever. I hear that the Daimyo is going to make him the Rokudaime Hokage."
It was like a rock dropped itself into Naruto's stomach. "Baa-chan is in a coma, Baa-chan is in a coma," Naruto repeated over and over again. But Danzou was becoming the Hokage. If he knew anything about that man, it would be that he was the polar opposite to the Sandaime, and if he played his cards right, he would reduce Konoha and the Hi no Kuni to a totalitarian dictatorship, with himself in control.
Naruto clenched his fists. As a spirit, there was nothing he could do now. It was painfully tempting to just walk right up to Danzou and put a knife in his skull, but he didn't know if that would work. Naruto slumped against the wall. If he were still alive, he would be screaming about how he'd do something to stop Danzou, and then he's proclaim that he would be the one to be Hokage, and how he would save Sasuke, but now he was dead.
None of those things. Becoming Hokage, saving Sasuke. They didn't matter anymore.
Naruto stopped his train of thought. Tsunade had been very lenient on Sasuke's retrieval, but now that she was out of commission, Danzou would...
"No," Naruto told himself. "I'm dead. Sasuke doesn't matter anymore. But.. I can't just let that guy become the Hokage like that. I have to do something!"
Naruto, for the first time since he had died. . had found a goal to work with. Maybe there was something that he could do in death after all.
Two weeks later, and Naruto had tried everything. He had screamed himself hoarse at the people of Konoha, and he had even attacked Danzou himself. Only to find that his words couldn't be heard by living people and he just passed right through Danzou.
All his skills and all his hard work to get those skills had come crashing down on him in an instant, as he found out. What was worse that he seemed to be getting weaker over time. The chain had progressed at a slow, but noticeable corrosion, but only one chain link had disappeared over the last two weeks.
Naruto had gone to just wandering almost zombie-like throughout the center of the ruined village. He didn't need to eat; that at least was a little reassuring.
A dark, cloudy veil had settled itself over the village, something rare in the Hi no Kuni. The weather had cooled down immensely, and a biting wind coupled with rain pelted the repair workers. It was ironic. The unusual weather had hit Konoha on the same day as Danzou's initiation. It was as if the world itself was in stark protest to the tyranny about to take place.
Naruto was there during Danzou's initiation, lurking in the shadows as he saw the absolute worst possible choice become Hokage. Overall, Danzou's initiation hadn't been all that similar to Tsunade's. The ruined village reflected the opinions of the shinobi, who looked that they had just eaten something bitter. Danzou was flanked by the still standing Hokage monument, clothed in the full mantle of the Hokage, making him look quite intimidating and powerful.
The civilians however, not knowing of Danzou's history, were holding him in high praise. Their public opinion of him had soared in recent years, and they were all too eager to make him Hokage.
Danzou looked down on the village. His village would be a more accurate term. He smirked, before raising a gnarled hand to take off his hat. "I am the Rokudaime Hokage! I will now govern the Hidden Village of Konoha!" Danzou declared to the crowd.
The civilians erupted into cheers, and even some of the shinobi softened as Danzou gave his proclamation. There was something about his speech that seemed... sincere?
"Inu, Tora. Let me hear the progress on that experiment," said Danzou from his open office. It had been around a month since Danzou had taken the mantle of Hokage, and repairs were now underway in the village of Konoha. Although the village was nothing compared to its former glory, they have managed to set up a few small buildings, and were well underway towards a new Hokage Tower.
Right now, two ANBU were reporting in on the progress of some experiment.
"Yes, it seems as though the Jinchuuriki's body has left trace amounts of the Kyuubi's chakra. The beast itself has clearly died. How we can utilize this chakra has yet to be seen," declared Inu.
Danzou nodded. "Yes, I would imagine that the ability to harness that chakra would be a difficult feat. But surely there is some way to use it properly,"
"We have already performed a number of experiments. It appears that the chakra reacts violently with its host, causing an almost instantaneous death to the user," continued Tora.
"That shows just how powerful the fox's chakra actually is. It took all of the masterful seal knowledge of the Yondaime to prevent the Kyuubi's chakra from harming the boy." Danzou clutched the end of his makeshift desk firmly. He narrowed his eyes, showing a strong hatred for something long past. Oh, how he'll show them. He'd show every one of them...
While the village leader planned in his office, the village of Konoha was in a happy mood. Repairs were well underway, and with the new Hokage instituted, the village would be back on its feet in no time.
Sakura smiled lightly as she wandered around the area. She didn't believe that Konoha was capable of recovering at such an alarming rate. Stands for businesses had appeared, and even some small buildings had begun to pop up. The smells of familiar foods stood out, and the laughing of children pervaded the village as they played. All in all, it looked like a Konoha without its buildings, and nothing less.
Seeing such a remarkable recovery after such a devastating attack made Sakura thoroughly convinced that her beloved village would never fall. Yes, Konohagakure would never fall. The "Will of Fire" burned too strongly for that to happen. They were the strongest village in the world, and would never fall!
Sakura was torn from her patriotic thoughts by a sudden shout. The blonde Yamanaka heiress was standing a distance away, and was waving at the pink-haired Chuunin.
The Yamanaka began to move towards her, a smile lighting her face. "How've you been?" she asked.
Sakura smiled widely. "Very good, but with all these recent missions I've had to take, I feel like I will work myself to death."
Ino laughed loudly. "I hear that. But surely the village has come a long way thanks to those missions. I must say, our new Hokage is really something. Even Chuunins like ourselves have heard nothing but bad things about him before, but he's done such a good job!"
Sakura frowned substantially. She remembered that Ino didn't know anything about Danzou or his past actions. She paused, deciding to keep her knowledge of Danzou a secret. "I heard he's making a big announcement tomorrow afternoon. Anyone Chuunin and above has been scheduled to hear it," she said.
"Hmm, is that right? Well, I'm sure whatever it is, I'm sure it will be beneficial to Konoha. So I guess I'll see you at the meeting tomorrow; that's all I needed to talk to you about" Ino waved goodbye, leaving Sakura to think by herself.
"Hmm, never fall."
One and a half months of this. Naruto was damn close to losing his mind. His precious village had fallen to a tyrant, and he never even found out what Danzou wanted with his body. Hell, right now he even had trouble walking.
Today was the day the damned "Mummy", as Naruto so aptly named him, gave his stupid-ass speech about something useless to the entire village.
Not that Naruto actually cared about anything that bastard did anymore. Ever since his death, Naruto had astonished himself by his lack of concern towards the village. It could've well been that he had tried to convince himself that this was just some horrible dream. That he was asleep in his apartment. The village was still standing, Danzou wasn't Hokage; and most importantly, that he wasn't dead.
He looked up from his position, and saw that Danzou had make himself visible over the railway. A good sized crowd had gathered around the Hokage monument. Naruto noted that he was making an announcement over the entire village. It must've been something big then, if he was making this annoucement on top of the Hokage "tower".
Danzou cleared his throat. "Citizens of Konohagakure no Sato! Today, we have made a remarkable discovery! This discovery will make the village of Konoha roar throughout the world, as the world's top military power! No more will we be threatened by the barbarians of Iwa, Kiri, and Kumo, and not even the organization of Akatsuki will be able to phase us!"
Amazed voices washed throughout the crowd from both ninja and civilian alike. What their beloved Hokage was saying seemed too good to be true.
"With the death of the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki, Uzumaki Naruto, our researchers have managed to find residual amounts of the beast's chakra left inside the body. We have experimented diligently on the body and have managed a way to isolate the chakra. With this, our own shinobi are now capable of wielding a fraction of the chakra of the Kyuubi no Youko!"
A stunned silence permeated the area. Slowly, a few protesting voices rose, gradually becoming a torrent of rioting villagers. The villagers of course, didn't understand the situation, and were outraged that the source of their hatred still existed.
For the shinobi, it was a different story. They of course understood the capabilities of such power. As such, they were in full support of their Hokage.
They cheered, yelling praises and compliments at him. Naruto looked around, and his heart fell. His friends, Kiba, Shikamaru, Chouji, Ino, Lee, Neji, Sai, and the rest of them, stood silent. Some of them seemed too ashamed to say anything. While they weren't in support of the decision, they weren't exactly vocal in protesting it.
Naruto stood still, his hands clenched at his sides. "Those bastards. . . . Those bastards. . . They." Naruto couldn't finish his sentence. He attempted to think of Iruka-sensei and the rest of his precious people, and thought of the consequences of revenge. But no, it was too true. An insane surge of hatred for Konoha, even larger than the hate he held in his earlier life, began to emerge.
As Naruto's rage reached its peak, the chain on his chest began to erode for the first time in weeks. This time, Naruto paid it no mind, and actually embraced the feeling.
He never knew how... intoxicating it was.
The teeth corroded away the last of the chain, and Naruto's rage disappeared... in exchange for immense pain, as well as a deep hunger.
"Wh-Wha-What's happening?" screamed Naruto, as he fell to his knees. The former ninja hissed and roared as a hole began to open up over his heart where the chain once was. Gradually, it increased in size until it was as large as a basketball. Naruto desperately gasped for air, while clutching his head with his hands.
He bucked and thrashed around like a crazed lunatic, and he glowed with a soft white energy. In spite of this, Naruto was actually going through an excruciating experience, as he began to mutate more.
Eventually... his human body disintegrated.
Around 300 feet away, Naruto's body reformed. The only thing left unchanged was his head, but that was going to go too.
Naruto's eyes rolled to the back of his head, as he stood painfully straight. White material burst forth from his eyes and mouth, hovering in the air for a minute, before they began to cover his face.
The white material hardened, revealing a canine-like mask. From the two eye holes, two evil looking black and yellow eyes appeared. The beast roared, letting out an amazing shockwave that reverbarated all over Konoha.
If you looked at Hosokaya Masaru, all you would see is the plainest, most boring, and most average Shinigami in Soul Society, and this is right on the dot. An unseated Shinigami, Masaru was always looking for a seat in the Gotei 13's 10th Division. Luckily for him, he was one of the Shinigami sent to patrol the Elemental Countries. Considering the recent attack of Pain, he would be the one to purify every Plus in Konoha, an achievement that would surely recieve praise.
Right now, he was giving Konso to one Hatake Kakashi, who had apparently died in the attack. Masaru had to admit, he was impressed with the man's power. Freshly dead, and his reiatsu reading was already that of a seated-officer. If the guy became a Shinigami, he could easily become a Vice-Captain.
But, as the Shinigami noted, Hatake seemed very confused. He was all too aware he was dead, of course, but he seemed to believe he was under attack, considering he had a kunai poised for attack.
"Whoa, whoa, easy there. I'm not here to attack you," Masaru held up free hand in a compromising gesture. Kakashi wasn't convinced, and remained fully focused on the glimmering blade that was currently clutched in Masaru's hand.
"Then why have you drawn your katana if you don't mean to attack me?" asked Kakashi. Even if he already knew that he was dead, the man still was still a shinobi, and was able to deal with this situation in a very level headed manner.
The Shinigami scratched his head. This would take a while to explain. Not many souls had the audacity to attack a Shinigami. Usually it was just locate the soul, quickly give it a Konsou, and then move on to the next one. A simple process, and there was no time for chitchat in between.
"First of all, I must tell you that I... am a Shinigami," said Masaru cautiously. He didn't know why he would start out with that; any human in their right mind was unlikely to believe him.
Kakashi narrowed his eyes. "What kind of lie is this?" he asked.
Masaru rubbed his temples. "Whether you believe me or not, the fact remains that you have died, and have nothing left for you if you remain here. You can't stay here forever, so I'm here to escort you to Soul Society." Kakashi continued to look skeptical.
"What is this Soul Society place? And what does that have to do with a sword? I've never heard of any afterlife where the soul is transported via a sword."
Masaru held up a finger.
"First of all, Soul Society is what you people call "Heaven". You get sent there by a Konsou, which involves hitting the forehead with the back of this here Zanpakutou."
Kakashi relaxed slightly, but still didn't drop his guard completely. "Uh-huh," he said, still not believing the story. "You mentioned that I couldn't stay here forever. What did you mean by that? Why should I have to leave my village?"
"Because if you stay here too long you'll eventually turn into a Hol-". While Masaru was talking, he was cutoff mid-sentence by a guttural roar and a burst of reiatsu. The Shinigami's heightened senses focused in on the source, and he bit his bottom.
"Dammit! A Hollow. Now!" he screamed. Acting quickly, he performed the Konsou before Kakashi had any time to react, a surprisingly fast action, and sprinted to the source of the Hollow that had just been born.
Bleary from his transformation, Naruto still stood despite of himself. What was he doing again? Oh yeah, Danzou had dropped the bomb on all of Konoha, and all those years of hard work went down the drain. With resumed anger and hate, Naruto slashed a claw at the nearest object, and noted for the first time that his hand was different.
"Wait, claw?" Naruto flexed the canine-like claw in front of his face.
"WHAT!" roared Naruto. His eyes washed themselves over his new body, and the differences between it and his human body were truly staggering.
He was a four-legged creature, about eight feet in total. His body was much bulkier than he was as a human, with his entire torso covered in a coarse, red fur. On a face was a mask that was very canine in appearance, with two fox ear projections coming out of both sides, and completely non-human teeth. There were two parallel red markings that began at his cheeks, and then ran all the way up to curl around his forehead, taking a stop at each of his eyes. Out of his backside sprouted a single tail. There was something off about this tail though. It was extremely light, almost like there was no substance inside of it. It seemed almost. . . . hollow.
Being distracted and flipping out for the moment, Naruto barely had time to register the sword that was about to crash into his mask. He felt the sharp edge just touch his mask, and he forced himself to clumsily move out of the way.
"Who the hell are you?" asked Naruto, sneering at the Shinigami. An insane rage that Naruto didn't believe himself capable of surged through him as the asshole had the gall to laugh.
"You must be a new Hollow if you're asking me such a question. I don't know if I could get any luckier, getting only one greenhorn Hollow in all this mess here. But, I suppose I should answer your question. My name's Hosokaya Masaru, Shinigami of the 10th Division."
Naruto tilted his head, but otherwise didn't question the odd title in which Masaru addressed himself. "So, tell me Shinigami, why the hell did you just attack me?"
Masaru grinned cheekily. "Now that question... I have no reason to answer you."
Masaru wasted no time in pressing his attack on the new Hollow. He quickly drew his Zanpakutou, immediately going for a vertical slash on Naruto's mask.
The Hollow retaliated, moving his head out of the way, and swiped his hand sideways, catching the Shinigami off-guard. His large claw grabbed the Shinigami's face, and he then threw him with all the force he could muster. Masaru crashed into a building, laying prone for a few seconds before he shakily rose to his feet.
There was no longer any sort of grin on his face. Naruto looked at him, and realized something. This Shinigami was likely used to things just going his way. If something unexpected happened, he would have no way to react to it.
Masaru roared at the Hollow, the grip on his Zanpakutou tightening as he recklessly swung at the Hollow, who dodged all the swings.. Then, Masaru saw a second claw crash into him, sending him careening away.
"T-This is a new Hollow! His combat abilities and his reiatsu are unreal!"
Naruto gave him no time to retaliate this time. With a speed unmatched by his former ninja self, he was already bearing down upon the wounded Shinigami. Ruthlessly, he brought down his claw yet again. The abused Shinigami gave a grunt of pain, before a tail wrapped around his midsection, hoisting him up to Naruto's face.
Naruto eyed him thoughtfully, as if contemplating what to do him. After what seemed like ages, Naruto spoke.
"Now, you're going to explain to me nice and slow what's going on here."
So Masaru wove the same yarn he used on Kakashi. Almost like a skilled actor, he explained the afterlife fluidly, attempting to buy as much time as possible.
"So I'm a Hollow?"
"And Hollows eat humans?"
"And Shinigami from this Soul Society place come here to kill Hollows?"
Masaru nodded again.
"Okay, I think I get the gist of what you're saying, Shinigami." Naruto loosened the grip on the Shinigami, which was probably a foolish move on his part.
Masaru got up suddenly, a look of pure rage on his face.
"Yeah, but its not gonna help you much, Hollow!" he roared, as he used the last of his strength to swing at Naruto. Naruto tightened the grip on Masaru, forcing the Zanpakutou from his hand. It hit the ground with a clang, the last hope of Masaru now gone.
"You monster! Let me go this instant! I'll kill you! I'll kill all Hollows! All Hollows are evil, they must be purif-"
Masaru's hysterical ramblings were cut short as Naruto took his claws, and effortlessly slit the Shinigami's throat. The head fell limp, hanging in front of the body uselessly.
Naruto loosened his tail, and allowed the corpse to fall to the ground with a heavy thud. He looked at the corpse with a mixture of anger and hunger, the latter of which Naruto didn't expect to come over. An urge was poking at him in the back of his mind, and he couldn't resist.
He tore into the Shinigami's flesh, devouring the body with a surprising amount of relish.
When he finished, Naruto was feeling happier. The taste of that Shinigami was delicious. It was like a weight that had followed him since he died had been lifted. Perhaps this afterlife wasn't so bad after all.
He looked back on Konoha, a great hatred being formed in his gut. The villagers and Danzou. Even his former friends were on there for their support of Danzou's decision. But first, there was one person who trumped all of them. Konoha could wait for the time being; it wasn't going anywhere. But, there was one person who was first on his hit list.
First Chapter Done.
I suppose I should tell you now to expect a ton of character deaths in the future.
In other news, constructive criticism will be accepted with open arms, but any sort of flaming will be ignored.