The Black Twins
Slamming into the ground, Naruto coughed violently spitting out the dirt built up inside of his lungs. Inhaling deeply he rolled suddenly to his right narrowly avoiding another slash from the Claymore sword of the Warrior, Alicia. This woman was clearly on the mark as always with her blade, the shinobi felt like he'd been played in some sort of way. A game of cat and mouse were he was the mouse. Which was not the greatest feeling in the world, also it plainly hurt. The intensity of the battle only grew from there on.
"Shit, she's behind!"
Then the other warrior, Beth, almost removed his head as the blond male took another shoulder roll getting onto his feet before blocking the most powerful warrior's weapon again. Slashing before almost twisting out of the way, Naruto sent Alicia into the side of the building crushing the stone as her eyes snapped open from the sheer force behind the swing of the Nodachi.
Beth appeared crouching sending sword stroke after stroke, leveling him onto the ground as the shinobi snarled angrily trying to find any way to cease this attack. Literally images of the weapon appearing in and out caused his Sharingan to flare up in sudden pain from the speed alone. This fight had been dragging out for nearly half an hour, at the most.
Golden Slit eyes narrowed onto their target: him…
Just as another wave of Youki literally 'appeared' around the Claymore since the sheer amount became visible. Just golden eyes, no veins bulging or anything remotely close to that appeared which meant he had hardly 'scratched' the surface with these two. Tracking another strike, Naruto slammed his blade down onto the upper pommel area of the Claymore literally forcing it a foot into the ground itself. Earth cracked under the pressure as the forces issued onto it made it crumble into pieces.
Again Beth looked puzzled since she lost some grip on her blade before being forced onto the defensive.
Naruto delivered a set of powerful punches into her sternum causing her to gasp out in apparent pain, blood literally starting to leak from the sides of her lips. Smashing an elbow into her jawline, the Akatsuki lead spun around sending a roundhouse kick, sending the woman airborne to crash headfirst into the street away from him.
Panting heavily with sweat dripping in front of him, his nodachi kept him steady to perform the close quarter maneuver as sweat dripped down his chin. The showering rain did little to cool him off, as steam lightly drifted from his clothing alone. Watching the two women calmly get themselves up, they either peeled or removed themselves from their positions ahead of him. Idly the crunching sounds of stone, rock and wood getting louder didn't even phase the fact that the two Claymores were in buildings at some point during this war-zone.
"How much can these two take? Hell I bet even normal awakened beings would've at least been injured at this point, I need to use jutsu but at the rate these two come at me, hand signs are a liability. Even Chidori can't help me since it uses speed to pierce a target…"
Breathing steady Naruto had to gamble, as much as the word seemed similar to desperate, a ploy to at least get one of these two females out of commission for a good amount of time. If he could injure one of them severely, he knew he could take on one of them without too much of a hassle like the bind he was in now. Fighting an enemy that didn't give you the time to prepare your jutsu arsenal wasn't common in his experiences, so the point here was too find an opening.
Basically the dilemma here: Jutsu with the least amount of hand-signs, what did he have?
Sighing deeply the blond thought on what the answer could be, as he prepared his Nodachi to be on the defensive once more. Defense, a word he hadn't used with his fighting style in practically never since fleeing the village. Just then he noted the amount of time that these two Claymore needed to heal their recent batch of wounds.
Just sixty fucking seconds, nothing more or less!
And that's how long he had when these women healed their freshest wounds.
Only a slight delay when they ramped up their Youki usage. So in truth he honestly didn't have an idea in what amounts they could sustain themselves with, or could use fully. In retrospect he did travel with a series of Claymore and had never asked them directly what amounts they could release, he knew without a doubt 'slight' increase were their pupils turning into golden predatory slits.
And going from that, more amounts meant veins or body parts increasing in size.
What was scary, it took a lot of effort to get them to go golden eye on him.
That familiar cold spine tingling feeling came back: these two would only get faster and stronger in the long run of things. Naruto couldn't say honestly to himself if he could keep up with the Claymore together without resorting to last release of his seals implemented on his body. Where did the line have to be crossed in order to stand on equal footing with these two Warriors?
Also add the fact he still had the Mangekyō Sharingan techniques to pull out but would it be worth it?
If he went with that route then might as well say every building was fire bundles covered in oil, on some dry hot day in a desert. Hell add the fact he as the match, would certainly love to light everything in an inferno. Even Hell would applaud the heat potentially being mentioned in this type of situation, demons enjoyed carnage so why did he feel no different?
"It's because you've fought against your destiny."
That familiar whispering spoke from nowhere making shivers form from nothing. Naruto felt his heart stop as those words froze the very mixed blood running inside his veins. He tried to shut out the damned but fighting the dead only provoked them in order to see their tormentor in agony. The whispering damned, they haunted him, unyielding in their quests to see him within the confines of hell's fire itself.
Gulping down his hesitation the blond felt a wave of agonizing fire rip into his brain, the past was striking back from the dead who demanded their killer join in them in eternal damnation. Gasping out as tears slowly formed again, the past once more demanded him to relive the very fabric of his actions in betraying the world as the 'savior', destined to lead against the calamity ready to destroy it.
But instead, this road of defiance nearly drove him to commit seppuku in the most violent fashion.
Naruto got thrown back into a building, dragging dirt and parts of a wooden vegetable stand with him. Coughing the blond tried to get his bearings before widening his eyes as his Sharingan saw the tip of the Claymore sword get closer towards him. His heart beating the shinobi instinctively went with the most basic technique any genin could master.
He 'substituted' with some random log that been smashed from his body.
Wincing in pain, the Akatsuki felt that his right arm had a small gash to gush out a prominent flow of blood. Struggling to remain calm, Naruto had doubts whether could go toe to toe with these woman without resorting to destroy the entire city, yet the prospect was all the more tempting to end it. But the amount of causalities would be enormous, hell it'd be a massacre of the ages if it got worse.
"Rot in hell you traitor."
Naruto blinked as blood leaked across his vision, he shakily got onto a knee before looking to see the visions of the past continue to damn him. Maybe due to the fact he had the Senju blood mixed within his Sharingan eyes of the Uchiha, consequences were not unheard of when the two met in the same body. Memories from his earlier years were coming back, when the need to get stronger had been the priority and the lack luster effect of having no Wars being fought. The blond felt his mind pull back into a memory that stirred something other than peace, a more personal determination grew forth from this dilemma that he had been pressed into. It also brought forth a reminiscence of how the world could work at times, strange but often worked out.
Even the Sage of the Six Paths couldn't predict the outcome of his children once they strode forward into their lives.
Descendants had their ways of shadowing the future.
"Naruto, how'd you get the Sharingan?" Sasuke asked the older blond who was standing upside down on a tree dance focusing on control with his eyes shut. They had been in Nami no Kuni for a few days now, ever since encountering the Demon of the Mist Zabuza Morochi things had been tense in Team Seven, more so than usual. The recent battle that had gotten their sensei knocked unconscious had an immediate effect on the elder genin, who the Uchiha had noticed when they had set up within the Bridge builders home. His eyes hadn't deactivated the eyes that he had wanted to awaken, badly.
For several moments, the elder genin didn't speak though he opened his eyes staring apathetically at the young Uchiha who had vivid chilling memories of his elder brother having that gaze that night. Shuddering the blond, who wasn't the most social able person around, did genuinely care about Sasuke to an extent. Open affection had been a taboo for the blond to express; it tended to let the world know of a new target that was close to his heart. The two were on amendable terms when it came down to training together, the only regret was that the younger Uchiha didn't understand the motivations of the elder blond.
Sasuke particularly didn't mind that little orphan, Emiko if he recalled mentally shaking his head.
"I trained to get it."
But she seemed normal, as would be to comparing her father.
The term wouldn't be the first he'd call the blond, which was an oddity in itself.
And more so it was at times: frustrating.
The blond always had been quiet, very patient and at times infuriating with word play to make any person feel, inferior towards him. Sasuke had to question this gift or curse that had been rightly given or executed onto the world. He could only stand so much, this reminded him of his elder brother which gave him nightmares of that night no matter what pills or mental technique's to calm his mind. Naruto seemingly knew how to stall him at times, then more so when to give him a piece of advice which he'd reluctantly listen too.
"Stop fucking with me! I'm at a loss in what I should do."
Sometimes being honest could have its way with people and to the elder genin who breathed into some sort of sedative state. Quietly inhaling, and then exhaling with practiced fortitude to calm him down. Probing for information, the blond pointed some obvious clue that sensei once slipped lose due to a certain Biju.
"Didn't you read the tablet in your clan compound?"
Naruto questioned while lifting a leg to stabilize him similar a crane did while resting. This required more chakra control in order to use a single leg while on a surface to support the shinobi or kunoichi themselves. The young Sharingan wielder took the standard control exercises into a more complex one in the process.
Yet his control never got so atrocious that one could say a negative thing about it.
"Yeah but it said, I needed to use my anger or the thrill of a fight. Before with those two demon-brothers, I only felt fear…" the Uchiha recalled bitterly clenching his fists, Naruto looked on curious but as usual, stoical face still in place. Inhaling, fear had been natural enough for him to use as strength in order to become stronger, to protect and to defend himself from the villagers.
So the blond couldn't relate in a sense to the Uchiha but again, using anger was a double edged sword.
Anger alone made a person blind; they rushed into situations without thinking things through. With no control, how did a shinobi expect them to dominate a fight or overturn an ambush situation? Critically speaking if you have control, you decide on the way you chose to move forward in both war and life itself. What good was power, if you had no control over it? Where it'd make a shinobi understand his purpose in life itself?
However, the blond did owe his sensei, Itachi, to help his younger brother in order to ultimately kill him in the end. Finding the right method was what made him incredibly wary; Sasuke didn't actually strike him as the social type nor the forgiving one.
But who's to say he wasn't either?
Wincing internally, Naruto still felt the heart ache when he considered Itachi, as a father in all truthfulness, go rouge for apparently 'testing his capacity' to slaughter his clan. It hurt, to see the glares of all the villages turn to him since public knowledge had been leaked of him being tutored under the Uchiha Prodigy up that point. More stigmas placed onto him, this time due to his own choice at trying to become a better person.
Yet why did he feel as though, something was wrong?
Control, perfection, order and loyalty were what Itachi had taught him so why go against it?
Sighing heavily two jade orbs locked onto the onyx of the younger Uchiha.
"You're afraid of dying and it's going to happen no matter who you are." Sasuke lent against the tree glancing up at the blond who shifted legs again. So this time going with his left leg, while his right bent back at a perfect ninety degree angle holding steady. "Fear just proves your human, in order to unlock your Sharingan you simply have to let it embrace you. Find strength in your ability to feel fear in order to become angry to unlock those eyes. Nothing is ever given to you Sasuke, you create your strength to accomplish your ambitions."
A soft breeze picked up making Naruto close his eyes, enjoying the serenity nature provided to them.
"That's easier said than done, I need those eyes in order to advance myself. I need to catch up to him." Sasuke referred to Itachi, who in a sense could never be caught up to in the first place. The elder Sharingan user who fled, had so much experience in wars, missions and straight up ANBU training that flat out killing himself to reach a suitable level was the only way possible. Even then, Sasuke knew deep within himself that he had limits and quite frankly didn't know where to set the bar at.
"You'd never catch him the way he did it, unless you start a war and somehow survive it all." Naruto remarked stoically, though he did smile a bit at the amusement. Sasuke even snorted, that impossibility had its fun to imagine about. Bird calls came about from the forest, the cool weather making the two shinobi relax from their mission for a bit.
However, an awkward question penetrated the sweet silence.
Naruto raised an eyebrow once his ears picked on it.
For a moment the blond didn't speak before crossing his arms looking at the other boy.
"Isn't Kakashi teaching you, I'm hardly the one to be talking too? He has much more experience than me or you when it comes to the Sharingan, the only reason why you'd be asking me are that you're under the impression I found a shortcut."
If this were the case, then the blond had that urge to get up and leave the clearing. He honestly couldn't help Sasuke in the traditional sense where a person showed another an answer to the problem. The 'problem' to activate the kekai-genkai would be for the user to experience an emotional breakdown. The lines were vague but often straight forward enough to get the idea of it all.
Anger, pleasure or even fear would do the trick in a life or death situation.
Naruto had experienced trauma on a scale that would've made anyone else go insane from the agony of their original eyes being cut out while conscious. Not a great way to respect others, he hated them with a passion: humans never thought things through.
"Or maybe, that's the problem: pain. He has to experience something extreme in order to have a shot at unlocking those eyes. Itachi-sensei would've said to meditate to find a solution to that problem, relax your mind in order to see all possibilities. So I'll do that…"
Breaking his thoughts, Sasuke spoke somewhat bitter but honest which got the elder blond's attention rather interested. Even in the brief past with his sensei, Itachi had never really placed much time for his younger sibling to meet him; Naruto honestly thought his sensei had some ulterior motive for the lack of meetings.
Motive: the word had its moments to mix with mystery and suspicion in a bundle of confusion.
So maybe Itachi wanted Sasuke to approach him, not just to train but to befriend?
That possibility alone made sense; he was what a year elder of Sasuke? Not to mention Itachi had made no qualms in him approaching the younger Uchiha if they were in the Academy. Seemed almost convenient really but hell if it made his life easier, so be it. If life didn't want to reveal its secrets, then he'd have to find a way in order to break that cycle that humans went through.
"Kakashi hasn't taught me anything related to the Sharingan, just teamwork exercise's and basic chakra control tips at some point. I think he's just stalling me before I even unlock my eyes, I just want to get somewhere to stand on some ground with him."
Again, trying to reach Sensei's level in a short amount of time was practically impossible to the blond's irritation. He wouldn't last five minutes against the Rogue Uchiha, even Naruto couldn't say how far he'd last against his sensei. Fear unknowingly griped his heart to actually consider that possibility. A part of him knew in the distant future, would he be ordered to kill the man he considered a father despite all the horrors he had committed. The gap between their skills were vast, vast in the sense that his sensei had all the aces if it came down to a fight at this moment.
Naruto knew his sensei to a degree but trying to kill him in the near future?
Fighting a prodigy considered to be a Hokage Candidate at the age of thirteen, Kami must've had it out for him since day one. Sighing deeply, perhaps focusing on the present would ease his mind away from the future, however near it seemed. More likely seemed more possible to understand, what a nuisance to deal with. Trying to stand on equal ground with a Hokage, it just screamed insanity.
"Just train on what you know and be able to perform it flawlessly, even the weakest jutsu has its greatest strengths." Sasuke didn't look happy much to the growing annoyance, Itachi had instilled the idea of 'control and perfection' when it came to Shinobi-Arts, what good did a person have when wasting or screwing up hand signs for powerful jutsu without practice?
During a battle, instinctively any person will do something immediately out of muscle or physical memory when using Jutsu.
So why not be able to train yourself to use a substitution without hand signs or vocalize it so an enemy could counter it? Small things made the biggest changes in everyday life, control always made it worthwhile to see the flow of battle. A shame Sasuke wanted to bull rush everything in his or whatever way that came onto him. Patience had been beaten into him, Itachi found it amusing to see how much punishment he could take in order to get efficent at a problem. The smug expression while not open, was hinted at during his time with the man.
But comparing that to Sasuke, well...
Naruto blamed the village for pampering the younger Uchiha.
Since he considered many of them to be fucking miscreants.
"Fucking amazing, that's easier said than done." The younger genin walked away much to Naruto's own disappointment. Patience was always the best thing if one didn't understand a problem yet why did he feel the younger Uchiha believed the whole word as against him? That idea alone wanted the blond to put the sibling of his sensei into the ground to prove a point, time was what all shinobi needed to get stronger! Sometimes being patient could pay off in the long run of things, the calmer mindset often trumped the battle.
Inhaling to make sure his growing irritation didn't boil over towards anger, Naruto did say one thing to make his teammate look back in interest.
"Sasuke, I never did say I wouldn't help you, I just don't know the right way to help. Give me a day or two to find a method to unlock your own Sharingan, believe it."
He spoke calmly and eye smiled at the younger Uchiha who nodded smirking in agreement.
Naruto got punched in his ribcage, causing him to gasp out blood violently which dripped onto the black suited warrior, Beth. She tried to aim a strike towards his knee possibly to get him handicapped but the Shinobi quickly countered locking the limb with his free hand, he glared right at her with blood leaking down his mouth. Snarling lightly he flipped himself over the woman, getting her back to bend into an arch, he tried to palm strike her face.
But instead his urge to put the woman into an illusion tempted him.
Sharingan orbs flared immediately locking with her own eyes, the blond Akatsuki finally leaning towards a more aggressive form of mind attacks with his kekai-genkai. He couldn't use the Mangekyō in this enclosed street, he needed somewhere more open so to limit civilian causalities due to the fact he didn't want the blame. Akatsuki in its infant stage couldn't have any sort of negative publicity, letting the obvious Claymores take it was the lesser of two evils for the moment.
And the blond had something more personal at stake in the outcome of this battle.
To prove he wasn't a monster, not here, not again and not certainly wishing to revert back into one!
Flipping over the woman, he blocked the second sword from her sister with his own weapon. A stinging sensation cracked into his wrist, he felt it loosen slightly before applying chakra to force her down. He was rewarded with the hybrid female grunting as she got forced to her knees, Naruto just uppercut her with a free hand in order to back off. Relentless, these two were relentless in the sense as weapons they would never cease to yield against a target. They were smart, forcing him to be unable to use Jutsu if that was there intention, because it was working. He felt his body wain in protest from blocking so many strikes, he swore this was like fighting those Edo-tensei bodies during the war. He knew first hand how much carnage and destruction they could do, which made this fight have all the more reasons to avoid it if possible.
Panting lightly he had to make a choice, regardless of his feelings if he wanted to survive the next day. "Fuck this, I'm not dying here. I will not be defeated, not by them, nor by anyone in my way to fight the evil in the world again. I will never yield to anyone, ever again. I will do what I must do to see another day, god forgive me for these people in this city if they suffer from my actions. I beg for them to live."
Getting onto his two feet, the shinobi gathered his chakra to levels into his eyes as the two Claymore paused in their movements feeling that pressure being released off the man. The two Claymore looked to each other questioningly feeling the very air quake around the blond man. Wind and rain alike twisted away from the prone form of a man who had lost everything in his life, in order to change a world that took it all always in the first place.
Only to be forced to confront that he had to save another world, to find his own peace that forever eluded his grasp.
He had lowered his weapon, feeling as power radiated off his body in waves that crashed against their own Youki, causing turmoil in the very rain. Water practically sizzled away from the blond, even between them the rain droplets exploded into tinier water droplets giving an appearance of popping. The sight made both Beth and Alicia narrow their eyes in concentration as a massive weight gripped their bodies, nearly forcing them to their knees. They grunted in sync movements, as the shinobi stared at them with a cold yet emotionless gaze.
A gaze that could freeze hell in itself and not waver against demons beyond mortal means.
The whispers of the damned, the ones who he had slain would never release their unholy anger at his decision to kill them. Decisions were made, consequences were given for such actions and the feelings of hundreds who were dead, lived on. Lived onward within the gaze of two eyes whose cursed origins were not meant to be within his body. Defying fate, defying the will of the gods would never go unpunished nor would it be lifted without just cause. The eyes of the Sage, the one who incarnated to be a savior was a destroyer and it was the fault of the world he had been birthed from that would incinerate the evil within this one.
He stepped once, as his hands went through signs that granted him the speed of legends and he did not once falter in his movement. The two Claymore were gritting to themselves as the wind howled with a ferocity that no living creature could command it too. The stinging droplets of water blinded their vision as the shinobi uttered his signature technique that made all awakened beings in the Northern War whisper of black cloaked man that could move beyond any sight. He was more than a man, yet not a Claymore warrior that most males tended to have originated from.
He was a ghost, a mystery and now once more a killer.
"Futon Style: Shi-Furasshu Suteppu."
His body flared as black markings, seals that were written within his flesh using his blood as a median to transfer that amount of chakra and pressure from the environment to make him lighter. He felt the chakra within him surge as the force crushed the ground he exerted. The rain above avoiding him as the control over his main element came to life, as it howled with the ferocity of a lion that demanded blood. His lungs took in air as he adjusted to the powerful form and stared right at the Claymore twins who were feeling an uneasy feeling creep within their spines. Those eyes of his, were literally starting to peel away their souls or what was left of them.
Those eyes, they made the two Claymore feel nauseous for a better lack of a word.
"As I once said before this battle began, it's impossible to take me alive and I never yield to your organization." Naruto spoke in a way that would make any man realize the truth before him, there was no boasting nor was there any cocky attitude. He said with the calmest face possible, no lies were in that face nor in his voice. He spoke it as it were the truth, no more, no less.
"If I survive this, I will never back down from a fight ever again. I will not lose here, I still have so much to do and I will never fail in my promise. Believe it."
With that in mind, the shinobi went to his weapon that was stabbed into the ground. He pulled it out without an issue, it slide through the granite like butter as the familiar grip came into his mind. He exhaled as his body adjusted to the seals that did their workings within his flesh, now was the time to settle this fight. He couldn't be captured, nor could he die but instead he had to fight the two most powerful Claymore that his adversaries sent after him. He couldn't hold back, not for the people of this city, not for his past and not for his future. But for the present, he had to move onwards past the shell of a shinobi that he once was.
He had to fight, to live and to live, was to die eventually.
Naruto smiled, death would claim him in time but he'd do what he could to make the living regret in not trying to kill him again.
Moving one step, the earth shook violently as his form disappeared. The two Claymore in his path felt the hairs behind their necks lift gently as he appeared behind them, with his sword across his shoulder. This was the only warning he gave them before turning to face them from the corner of his eye, his Sharingan spinning slowly almost in a hypnotizing pattern to make one of the two Claymore warriors feel nauseous for a better lack of a word. Flipping the blade into a ready position, the shinobi just stared at them as he felt his body strain from the speeds it enhanced itself in order to accomplish. Every sort of power had its limits, it came at a price in order to be done.
Alicia looked over at her sister as the pressure from their target settled, the twin looked at her with an expectant expression that few could notice. Naruto could tell to a degree that the two were conversing, to an extent but other than that he did not realize something. When powerful foes met in battle, it wasn't the technical human vs human concept. No, this was something more extreme and far more dangerous to assume. Nothing normal could be placed within the parameters of this conflict, powers beyond normal humans who had not a clue as to what had been unleashed within their homes. This battle, would either sire despair or rage.
When a man fights a monster, he has limits to overcome but in this type of situation.
This was were monsters fought other monsters...
And limits were just a mute point.
Youki energy just suddenly exploded making the entire area shake from its released state, as reddish vapors seemingly formed within the air. The sudden increase of power made Naruto narrow his eyes in preparation, they were releasing their full potential and it was all due to the fact that he took it to the next level. They were serious and intent on capturing him alive, or at least within a state for their superiors.
The sheer amount of spiritual energies released from Claymore and Shinobi made the storm above grow in strength as lightning flashed cracking the skies in a show of bluish, purple. This did not even make the three below on the earth flinch, they just stared at each other. Measuring, gauging and awaiting in who would make the first move to prolong the battle that would tear the city of humanity into shreds. What more did a battle of monsters give out to those who could not withstand their limits being poured into the area?
Nothing, not a damned thing on the world could stop these three.
And the Claymore made their move as Alicia looked to Beth who nodded before back peddling.
He watched her disappear over a room top, clearly had him on edge. Perhaps she were trying to get behind him? No, he it wasn't a stupid plan but he kept a vigil since he an opportunity to whittle down the two warriors. He needed a chance and it seemed like they just gave him that ticket. If there had to be one thing he could capitalize on, it was them trying to underestimate him. And so the Akatsuki lead grinned in response, time to kick this up a notch.
Naruto blasted forward as Alicia took him on, their weapons clashing together as sparks highlighted their faces. His Shi-Furasshu Suteppu style could give him the edge in speed, but the power behind his strikes would be all natural for the next moment. Moving at the speeds that no being could see, he came behind the Claymore as she barely parried his strike to her ribs, it nicked her thigh instead making her wince from the biting agony of flesh being split.
Blood spilled momentarily before her healing instantly sealed the wound.
Using his right foot to kick off the ground, the shinobi disappeared as the ground underneath him cracked into pieces as he stabbed forward, intent on beheading the Claymore who panicked slightly enough to shoulder roll away. She just barely again brought up her weapon to defend against the insane speed of the man she had been sent to capture. Her eyes could see traces of a foreign energy that radiated off the blond male, her senses had meant to be sensor among her kind but she had enough aptitude to witness Youki in other beings. She could see this wisp of energy, blue in nature but held an emotion long since forgotten to her own-self.
She felt this man radiate loss.
A thickened sadness...
And an utter despair that trailed in his wake.
Naruto flash stepped into a series of zig-zags as he sliced at the Claymore who got nicked more than once as her own reflexes were kicking in, as sonic booms roared into the stormy skies. It made the absence of thunder not missed, as lightning hissed and cracked into bluish purple delight. Rain wiped violently into the faces of the combatants as their bodies moved at speeds the droplets smashed against. Tremors rocked the street that became a war zone. Granite got thrown into the air, where the silhouette of the shinobi made the random pieces of rock into a deadly projectile. The speed from his body moving within the windy atmosphere literally took the momentum of his body and used the wind itself to hurt themselves at the Claymore who were clearly uneasy.
Alicia parried another strike, but cried out in alarm as a massive laceration appeared at the base of her knee leading up her thigh. Red liquid quickly poured out as she fell to her knees as her flesh stitched itself back together. She hissed angrily now, as her Youki energy condensed to increase her own already insane healing ability to be instant regeneration. Her laceration disappeared almost immediately as she found herself being pushed back towards a bridge of sorts, her mind in a panicked state as she caught glimpses of those red eyes of that man's.
And the said blond man just smiled, "You see it? Don't you, Claymore?"
His voice calm and leveled despite the injuries he sustained, almost a mocking tone that made the near emotionless woman tilt her head in alarm.
Two Orbs of red.
They were just continuously appearing in her vision as her mind fought more attacks beyond the physical plane. Images were being placed into her head, painful and unmerciful predictions if she were to slip up, then death would be upon her body. She took a daring move in order to get into a more suitable stance, as Naruto capitalized on the woman's posture. He started to channel more chakra into his eyes clearly using Genjutsu, the more capable of illusions to break a person's will as idly they started to become something more dangerous. Reality could warp to the will of a genjutsu master, where the line blurred to the powers that the supernatural were dominated for.
The Mangekyō pupils were spinning, slowly forming as the urge to use the most powerful of illusions were making the blond smile.
That thirst for battle, that unending need to dominate an opponent who wanted to end his life and the blood of the Uchiha that were mixed within his Senju's natural body made an unorthodox creation. Naruto loved battle, only when an opponent clearly wanted to kill him and would only resort to such when encountered. Otherwise he was a calm and rather solitary peaceful man by nature. That was why the destiny given him had cracked, he lost his eyes to the world that wanted him dead for reasons beyond his birth. An ignorance that had sealed the fate of his old home, he wanted justice, or could it be called revenge? Most would say so on the later, or what could be justified in order to sate the need his eyes held within him?
Alicia was being besieged from forces her experience had no answer too, those two eyes were making her heart beat faster despite the fact the Youki within her moved in circulation. Her own body started to slow down against her will as those two red orbs spun ever so calmly, that blond man's smile taunting her to strike him down fatally. She winced as a pain hit her temples, her sister wasn't near her at the moment and facing a shinobi of Naruto's caliber had started to show in a solo-duel.
One on One, Naruto felt he could take on a Claymore but these two's capabilities had forced him on the defensive and he would make them pay dearly for allowing him a moment to turn the tide of the battle. And so his illusions grew in numbers and chakra usage as well, he had to at least incapacitate of these twins immediately. For whatever reason why they parted, he'd make them pay for their lapse of judgement. His eyes burned as the demand to finish this fight came stronger than any urge before him currently.
"You feel your body slowing? Don't be concerned, it just means you are understanding what I could do to you. Alicia?"
These questions made the woman tilt her head curiously, despite the uneasiness her mind told her otherwise. However before she could even remotely understand, a scream erupted from her lips as the man seemingly moved behind her cutting deep into her spinal area. Sending the woman down to her knees again as more cuts appeared slicing the woman apart, piece by piece.
Behind the knees...
Shredding her ankles, as the sword with a coated amount of chakra sliced her Achilles tendons...
Her elbows got sliced deeply making her limbs hang loosely, similar to a puppet...
And he cut into her thighs, sides of her neck as primary targets for the body to move its blood supply. Naruto methodically took it all in, making her regeneration try to heal specific points before he simply sliced her up even more. He took no pleasure but alas a muted satisfaction within the battle as he felt that instinct to finish her off.
He would in time.
Along with a mental technique so powerful: she'd lose any amount of Will power to continue.
But a question struck him: Did this woman feel anything?
"Her eyes hold nothing, its like seeing a bland mirror. I feel like I'm fighting those Root-Shinobi that Danzo had under his command. I can't help but ask her if she even feels remotely human or does she even think for herself? What is power without a means to drive yourself for your goals? What is the point of living if you can't feel to be human?"
Flesh started to shred as blood leaked from her arms, as another sword cut sliced into her wrist making her limb drop her weapon. The wind whipped into her eyes making her clench her teeth as her healing tried to keep up with the amount of injuries, yet it didn't come close. The speed of this man had accelerated as all she could see was those two red orbs watching her. Gauging her bodies adaption to his weaponry's strikes against her flesh. Slowly she fell to her eyes as multiple lacerations, cuts and stab wounds made her body a literal training dummies worst nightmare.
Red liquid started to pool at her knees, as her heart fluttered from the increased ability to get more blood from a lessening amount from within her body.
"You have not said a word, are you a mute? Or did they make you into a warrior with no sense of will? Just a tool that has no will, nothing remotely humane about you? Are you a monster?" Naruto asked as he stopped his frenzied attacks, as the woman felt herself gasping for air as his nodachi did its work on her flesh. Coating it with Futon Chakra made the metal even sharper as her flesh was akin to butter as he had methodically cut arteries, veins, muscle and even ligaments in order to bring the Claymore to her knees. He knew with a given amount of time, she'd be able to heal her body but with this next technique he'd hoped to break her mentally.
To break her orders to stop her from fighting, since anything more prolonged and the city would be at risk.
Panting, the Claymore composed herself as her skin visibly paled from the lack of blood circulation making her head dizzy. She watched as the pain from the strikes of the man's blade ceased immediately, her eyes unfocused a bit as Naruto stood in front of her. Gauging her reaction, he seemingly put his blade to the side as it dripped blood...
Her own, staining the earth as her body worked on itself.
"Kage no Bunshin. No need for her to get any ideas. I'm not risking her to move, and I need her to look at me in the eye in order to do this. Let's see if I haven't lost my touch in using this..."
Almost with a gentle reprieve, the Claymore felt at ease.
Until her body froze from the shock of two stabbing agonies on her shoulders.
Alicia suddenly screamed out loud as two figures appeared behind her as she felt her shoulders suddenly get impaled by a sharp blade. Wincing as tears spilled at her eyes, she looked up to see two cloaked males that were the same as her target. Each one of her arms had been pulled back as two black knives of sorts had been drilled in between her shoulders. She was being pinned, extensively and the agony of having to move her shoulders just made her grit her teeth to the point where they cracked. Her tongue nearly got nicked since the pressure being exerted went beyond normal means.
And yet, she didn't say a word.
Much to the Shinobi's interest as he walked towards her, now kneeling to view her in the eye.
"You know, years ago. I could have been in your place, being an emotionless soldier who believed to consider themselves a monster. Ironically, a real monster can feel and still do the things that an emotionless drone does. The difference between the two..." Naruto spoke up quietly, his experiences re-surging forward as various whispers started to come back from beyond the veil of death. Comrades, Friends, people who cared for him and only for them to die at his hands. Because of the fact, he was tired of giving people chances to hurt him, to hurt those he loved and in order to become a real monster: he felt the need to let go of everything. He let go of all his repressed rage, all of his need to kill and strike back had broken the dam that held it back.
A dam called hope...
Alone it could turn the fate of a man around. But what if hope had all been forgotten since the man had hoped for change, change for the better? And the world just threw back into his face in the most painful ways possible? Naruto could only ignore the damning whispers, they reaped they sowed and for that they had the audacity to haunt him again. Until his very death, when Hell came to drag his soul away: the shinobi would give hope to a world that deserved more than his own.
"You're a Murderer! You Betrayer! Rot in hell! It's where you will go!"
More voices of the damned, he heard them as his eyes closed as chakra built up in their pathways beyond his lids. He inhaled as the damning accusations came forth, from all those who considered him to be a person and only to see in horror: at the monster that lay within. Naruto let go of his feelings, as the subtle burn of a Sharingan technique could used only for the breaking of an another person's mind.
"You were the child of prophecy! You had the power to change for the world! And you betrayed everything your parents stood for Naruto! Your friends and now the world itself! What in the hell are you now? A tool, just another monster in this cycle of hatred? Answer me, why!" The Toad Sage, the teacher of his father who tried desperately to move the blond off the path of destruction. Why? For the sake of a village that wanted itself to be the trigger of the world's change, so let it. He didn't try to attack the shinobi village, not once did he make any aggressive turns to them and tried to live out his life. But in the end, as paranoia within a shinobi's mind took hold they acted out of fear more so than anything.
His heart slowed down slightly.
Konoha, feared him and what his intentions were.
And they triggered their own demise, by killing a part of him that made him a man.
"Betraying those who were your comrades. I'm ashamed of being your teacher, even I couldn't tell you how much your Father would hurt to see you like you this. And your mother, she'd have died of grief a long time ago..."
Tremors racked his own frame, Naruto scowled as he spoke the words of a technique that all Sharingan users had instilled fear into. None escaped its gaze, a gaze so powerful that even it had the means to control a Biju within his homelands. The eyes of the Sage, whose power lingered in his descendants had survived into their present time. Only to become the weapons that humans had made themselves to be in, all for the glory of a system that should have been destroyed decades beforehand.
" Mangekyō Sharingan: Tsukyomi."
His eyes spiraled into designs that made the Claymore gasp in horror as her vision went black.
So began the battle of wills.
But Naruto wouldn't realize until too late, that he would inadvertently awaken a monster that had trained since birth to hunt down those who killed mankind. The shinobi had no idea, as descended into the depths of the Black Twins minds, who connection was second to none. No one could have predicated the repercussions of a shinobi invading a shared link between Twins, who lives would a turn for the better. Although, the road to hell was paved with good intentions would the ends justify the means to turn the clocks of fate for two Claymore destined for death?
It is said, hell can be held back.
But only after that hell is unleashed.
Miria stood firm within the forest that she had come to train in for the past week or so.
Time seemingly had flown by without a care, her training into condensing her Youki energies had proven to be effective when using her 'Phantom' techniques. So much control and physical labor to increase her power, it took effort yes but at the expense of a clear sign of progress her behavior was stellar. She felt almost human, in a sense that improving herself was beyond any feeling of joy that could be expressed. Controlling her body was second nature, training as an initiate within the Organization had proven her aptitude to control herself in order to become a far more effective Warrior in her life-span. Control was what made Power so feared, in order to become stronger she had to train herself beyond what she already knew in order to stand against her enemies.
Enemies that cost her the life of her sister, betrayed because they refused to inform her and ultimately used her to kill her without even realizing until the blood stained her hands. Shuddering angrily, she felt that sickened desperation that she killed her family, a sister in all but blood and had the audacity to realize that it didn't faze her at first. Clenching her fingers together, the demonic urge to trail a path of destruction tempted her. The demon within, the other side of her life wanted blood repaid in full and more so than usual.
Her life had been a constant battle, it still was and now: her partner was on her mind now more than ever.
A 'shinobi' called Naruto.
Naruto Namikaze, the 'Prince' Rouge of Konohagakure no Sato.
What the hell did that meant? Was he royalty as in heir to a kingdom? No, that didn't sound remotely right comparing a nobleman to him. It was like comparing a cat to a lion. She sat there in a meditative position near a lake, quite content to muse on her next course of actions. She wanted to know more about the younger man, whose very existence was a contradiction to everything she knew about the humans in this continent. Inconsistencies involving the young man were literally everything she could identify with a person his age, at least as a male.
Miria exhaled sharply as her blade lay next to her side, "Where to begin?
The guy walked on water, for one.
That alone made the half breed warrior claim at the God of a religion was forth coming to send his messiah to the earth. Oh she had learned of such tales from the churches from the main cities she had visited in her youth, well earlier time as a Claymore. She often prayed to God as a child, when her life wasn't as frequented from such horrors she faced now. What in the hell could make a human have the capacity to walk on water? Of all things to ponder, it was the single most inexplicable reason to believe that the man wasn't even mortal. Were Shinobi, as Naruto had claimed to be, gods in the sense that made her question if being a Claymore were to be compared too?
It seemed like a massive gap had formed in her own knowledge of the world.
Mortality: in short didn't give credit to those who could make others seem grateful to run at super sonic speeds.
Her camp site wasn't much to look at, she had made a decent sized fire pit that gave out little warmth. It was more of a trivial matter in order to make her seem human. She didn't wish to explain to a passing person that she was a half breed, then again her appearance would be a dead giveaway. Maybe she was just preparing for an encounter that could have happened, she was well off from the main city that her partner was in. The man hadn't really been sociable in the since to offer light as to what he was doing, beyond the whole information gathering.
The Claymore just sighed to herself.
All in all this trip gave her revelations that sent shock into her core more so than the trouble that came with it.
So she trained, extensively to wear herself out as the days went by trying to keep her mind occupied in order to become stronger. Control, her Youki even further would advance her stamina to maintain her speeds that made her the 'Phantom' and for that, she had to get faster. Despite her resolve, she had doubts as to how fast she could truly go. Irritating enough, her mind went back to her blond companion who had proven without a doubt: he was fast.
She barely remembered the fight in Pieta, how he literally appeared taking on the Silver Eyed Lion King without a moments hesitation. According to her fellow warriors, the man had just taken a passive aggressive and approach to let Clare take him out. It meant he could have but chose to allow the Claymores to get their piece of vengeance against the Northern Army at the time. Rolling her neck, the half breed sighed to herself while watching the skies above, pouring rain as she stood there with her gear off the side.
Flipping her massive blade easily, she went through motions of fighting against an Awakened one clearly trying to picture the enemy in front. It worked, at the expense of her sword techniques becoming less refined on ability to more of brute strength. Pulling her hair back into a pony-tail of sorts, the woman continued her practice in the pouring rain.
The weather didn't effect her negatively, it just made it more of a challenge in order to train.
"I might have to part ways with Naruto soon anyways, I have to check up on the others. Not to mention to see if I can get more inside feeders about the Organization. This trip has been a mixed bag, perhaps splitting up would do us some good. This Akatsuki business can only assist us, not hinder. Patience, girl just be patience and train yourself up."
Her thoughts plagued her consciousness, questions and assumptions were running rampant in order to soothe her uneasiness. This past day hadn't helped her worrisome mood, she felt something stir in her gut that today had an ill intent behind its scenes. The way the air trembled, it shimmered with an unnatural warning to those who could feel the supernatural forces of the world. As with the rain marked change, a dangerous one if a storm formed at its epicenter within the skies and the lightning signaled the wrath of nature itself. So Miria felt very tense, this past day didn't settle well with her in the slightness.
Moving through the rain, her blade cut the droplets of water in a near pristine fashion. Her eyes unintentionally focusing on them to slice with the razor sharp edge of her weapon, she could see things that no human could ever dream off. Well, almost all humans as a certain blond male appeared in her vision quite solemn. Gritting her teeth, the woman violently went faster going through her training in order to get her mind off the as she might, her mind couldn't help it. Finding a new aspect of strength wasn't something that a being in her position could ignore; her every demonic instincts wanted a bout with the younger man.
And more so, the challenge excited her which brought unwillingly thoughts with this emotion.
Why? Just why did she have to continue to be thinking about this man? What made him so special that it got her to get angry with? Despite her past experiences in mental conditioning, these newer emotions were a result of her rebellion against the Organization itself. She wanted to feel more, she wanted to experience being human despite this vengeance that gnarled at her twisted soul anymore than necessary. What would Hilda think of her now? Her human family had long since rejected and removed her from their own lives, ages ago.
So many questions, too many what-if's and what got her even more scared. Was this growing need to fight this Shinobi, he had powers that made nothing she had seen in her pass come to mind. Even the Awakened Ones had been cut down by him, effortlessly at times and even going toe-to-toe with the most infamous of the them. What drove a man, a human to reach those aspects of power and not be able to suffer consequences of such a life? Did he have such things hindering him or was it just, that he could ascend into a state that no human could have? It just didn't make sense, nothing did with him and for that: her intrigue was peaked.
Absently she stopped her movements, flipping her Claymore back over her shoulder into its sheath as the rain pelted down her hair. Concealing her vision as she stood there, watching the outlining forests with a vacant gaze as her mind kept streaming ahead. Going beyond her current state, the Claymore warrior went back to the conversations that she had with her partner, or Naruto in this case. Somethings weren't adding up. Details, small things that just didn't settle well with her. Perhaps she needed to eliminate the pointless theories and questions first off, so that she could focus on more pressing matters in the long run of things.
Starting at the basics, it was his attire and her own now.
He looked like a handler, more so than anything now that she tried to place it with something she knew. Initially in that town, she thought of him as a Handler at first assigned to over-watch their mission but that was thrown out the window. He had the sly personality of a Claymore Instructor more so than a field operative, it just made her feel like an apprentice swordsman than a Half-Breed Warrior. It was infuriating at times but at the same time: humbling, he could hold his own against her which was no small feat.
"Didn't Clare say that Riful, had a hat of his? Yes, I recall it since Jean wanted to strike Naruto down or at least harm him due to her past torture. I can't imagine how he was able to find her yet alone talk."
And now that she thought about it, he had fought possibly Riful the Abyssal One of the West. The mere idea of a man fighting the greatest of the awakened ones, well one of the greatest, just screamed insanity at its finest and to walk away from it all was frightening. Inhaling slightly, this was puzzling since that fact unnerved her but another thing also got her to wonder. Clare's travels with her younger companion Raki, well had encountered that bitch of a fourth ranked Warrior.
Did he fight Ophelia?
According to Clare, he had stayed behind and had fundamentally mentally screwed with her, hence the aggressive battle she got into before her arm was chopped off. Wincing from that thought, Miria rolled her shoulders to ward off an lingering stiffness. The rain increased as lightning and thunder cracked overhead bathing the clearing of hers into a show of bluish light. Normally she'd have found a lodging to ward off the rain, but she wanted to get stronger: hence her current actions. Looking to the skies, they seemed so bleak, unyielding and stern most of all.
But in a way, the coming of a storm brought change.
She had to hide a smile, perhaps change was coming and it started with the arrival of that blond shinobi, Naruto.
An odd name, but rather welcoming as her thoughts became slightly eased.
"A danger foreseen is only half avoided."
If there was one thing that the Claymore could understand as advice, then that piece of information could dictate if she lived or died. Pondering on whether she should heed it was one thing, but to trust this man was going to stretch her already thinned social outlook on humans. A few individuals had honestly surprised her on travels with the Akatsuki lead, the merchant family, the Blacksmith whose 'mission' for the blond was bittersweet considering the circumstances and she had discovered a potential ally to destroy the Organization. She just didn't know whether to trust this man or not, time was on her side in order to determine that future.
A word that couldn't be used in her line of work, nor in her life. Even amongst Claymore, that word wasn't used easily nor would it come to their own lives. What was the point in being human if you couldn't trust a comrade, a friend and a person you counted on? She had few of those, the six survivors of Pieta were the only ones she could trust and for that, she'd lay down her life in order to protect them if need be. To be a leader, you had to become something beyond what those expected of you in order to accomplish the goal at hand. She just seemed a bit off, alone for the sake of understanding if she would willingly go through with this too the end.
And she would.
Miria just smiled to herself, quite content as the rain dripped down her bare neck. She had removed her cloak and was left in the leather gear that Naruto had given her. Looking up the skies, she felt her need to sigh out in bliss to feel that she was alive, feeling the rain going down her skin didn't make her a monster nor did she doubt her goals. For once, she just enjoyed breathing and found a liking to the feeling of water.
Yet she suddenly stiffened.
What the hell?
"This Youki signature? But these levels are..."
Miria looked to the direction in where the massive city was at, the levels of demonic energy were being exerted monstrously. She felt her spine curl when the amounts were explosive to anyone would sense the energy, there was a battle occurring! Her senses weren't like those of Galaeta, whose abilities could give her a miles worth of coverage quite easily. But she had the training to sense the blatant surges of a fellow Claymores energy, it was just that: these were huge! Hell who the fuck was she kidding, these were literal monsters! The sheer scope of what she was just sensing, made her body tingle with a cold fear since she knew what was generating it.
Two of them...
And she paled, as her heart thundered in her ears.
"The top ranked warriors Alicia and Beth. But why the hell are they this far South from the Head-Quarters? Does this mean that their soul-links have been completed." Questions, were quickly forming insider her mind as she felt that urge to flee the area. Even she didn't dare to fight these two together, less so to reveal that she survived the Northern Campaigns as well. The storm intensified as she went to her cloak, hanging under a tree near her fire pit which was lightly still burning despite the wet climate. Inhaling sharply, her eyes narrowed since something didn't add up here.
How did the Organization track her? Did this mean they knew of the survivors?
"Calm down, calm down. No, they sent all of us to the North to stall an army that wiped almost everyone one of us out. Its unlikely, more so not even true they know of us and considering, they were desperate. So, they're not after me. But who else is..."
Miria trailed off whispering as a revelation hit her, "Naruto."
It made sense and the possibilities with him, were frightening.
A person who looked similar to a handler, not apart of the organization which had openly wanted the said person within its ranks. Of course, the way the shinobi had acted and proceeded to kill off Yoma in his own ways had attracted their attention. The Organization was desperate enough, to get power on their side to maintain control of the island continent and had sent in the heavy hitters to secure all assets they deemed 'imminent' to get back to the East. Her skin paled even more so than it was, Tina's Handler had reported to the Higher Ups about the events in that village in where a larger than average Yoma had been killed.
Hell, even Galatea knew of this man from his exploits as the Organization had sent her to inquire about the man's activities time to time. He didn't exactly advertise his appearance nor did he even conceal it, Miria just felt like a weight had been tossed onto her. Another hellish prospect had occurred to her, one that threatened to make her quiver from the daunting aspect.
Naruto was fighting both of them?
At the same time!?
He had to be either insane or extremely confident.
"If any of those three release their potential inside an enclosed city as that. The destruction would be unreal. A battle of titans, if I had guess..."
The spikes in their signatures went up as distance 'booms' were heard, making the Claymore sweat nervously as the battle had already started. Staring off towards that direction, the warrior faced a dilemma in the sense that she had to choose. A choice had to be made but before she could do that. Until then she had to take care of a recent event, something that required her attention at the present. Her hands twitched as a sign that another Youki signature had appeared near her position and it wasn't a Claymore either.
The former warrior took out her blade before pointing it directly to her left...
"I do not have time for pests."
Another problem just appeared, a Yoma of all things was stalking her apparently. Scowling to herself, perhaps a quick warmup would get her body into gear. Watching the tree line as the rain pelted the canopy above, a shuffling occurred before something large came out from the clearing as a humanoid winged Yoma of all things had come out. Clearly uneasy as her face settled into a scowl, she didn't have time to deal with this pest and she nearly moved to decapitate the beast before her. At least it had the sense to make itself an open target.
The humanoid creature just shuffled its wings, as if adjusting them.
"Esfandiar get your ass out here. I dare not try to speak, or else my fucking head is going to be on the ground."
Within a moment, a second person appeared within a priests robes? Miria looked between the two, clearly not sensing a Youki signature from the human male. He looked younger than Naruto, which was saying something but the woman shook her head. This Priest and Yoma were traveling together? What in the hell did they want with her? Better question now that she was clearly interested: why the hell was this man even alive?
Didn't Yoma just eat people straight out?
The Priest spoke up with a look of disgust on his own face, as the humanoid demon moved towards a more open area clearly uneasy in looking at Miria's own gaze. His form was tense, clearly not comfortable with a half-breed such as herself in close proximity and for good reason. Even the ex-warrior had that urge to slay this creature without a moments hesitation. Her old rules were binding her to commence, but her recent travels made her stay her hand off the blade.
"Please forgive this devourer of mankind. His presence is within thy Lord's grace to be amongst the living and even I most take heed of my actions. Thou must be curious as to I and this beast have come before thee?" Miria raised an eyebrow at the man's accent, he wasn't from this region clearly and the fact that he hated the sight of humanoid said something. The Claymore looked between the two, the Yoma gruffly commented to the Priest, who seemed more anxious than anything.
"Get on with it. Time is against us Assassin, or are you not aware? I can feel our masters power grow and the storm is brewing above them. Hurry!"
The Claymore spoke the word out warily, did a greater Awakened One come around here?
She wasn't aware of any Awakened Beings that inhabited this part of the region. Hell even the Abyssal ones had their own wars going on, so why was this creature trying to tell a human to hurry up? Whose master was in danger here? She sighed annoyed, time was already getting wasted by this conversation! Controlling her growing temper, the former Warrior did what she could to maintain a level tone that both of species picked up on. Either through experience or resignation, the point remained: she could kill them both within a matter of seconds if need be.
"Please forgive me Claymore, the Lord doesn't give thy myself an answer to speak amongst your kin. I have few experiences." Gabriel admitted hesitantly as Hale, snorted clearly annoyed with the human. Miria didn't have to say a word, as her eyes narrowed ever so slightly to make the Holy Assassin speak up quickly else he'd have to contend with fending off a half-breed which was quite problematic. For the better lack of the word.
"The Messiah is in great danger, I know not His will be done for him. We seek your aid in assisting and possibly rescuing, the Messiah, which is that beast's master as loathe I'm to admit. If thou wishes to ask questions, I can only pray to thy Lord to explain." The Claymore winced, this man's accent wasn't per say bad it was just he was religious. She wasn't much herself, but in the idea that the words Messiah and Master were mixing made it all the much more difficult to not sigh. The battle within that city only grew in intensity as she felt the Youki Signatures flux from a low output into a more intensified manner.
Time was growing short, for whoever.
"Messiah? As in God's true son, the savior of the lands and its people?" Miria hoped to clarify right, as her temple throbbed. "Is this any way to be of my time, I don't have the luxury of it." Gabriel tried to speak again but Hale grunted, irritated with the human Assassin. He spoke up despite the danger of his head meeting the earth in a timely manner, he didn't want to dally here any longer as his master was in peril danger from the black-ones. Time was key, after all.
"Blond hair, black cloak and of the Red Clouds Witch. Does that ring a bell in that small brain of yours?" Miria held her temper in check as her silver eyes bore into the elder Yoma who shifted again, as if preparing to move away. Her eyes didn't turn into golden slits, but her aura crashed upon the creature that she sworn to kill. Renegade or ex-warrior, killing Yoma always did good to the world so her patience was limited.
Wait, she went over the words that the Yoma spat out.
But the description meant...
"Oh no, don't tell me. Messiah and Master?"
"Please we are not here to do battle over the coloration of your life blood. For the Lord's Messiah, as thy will is his grace for we must assist him! I beg of you Claymore, the Messiah needs your assistance!" The Claymore looked from human to Yoma, the two were clearly together and not food or hunter. Her curiosity in Naruto just went from unique into unbelievable! How the hell did the man, or shinobi get a human and Yoma to work together! What exactly did she miss while training out here? So many more questions were just forming and add too boot, it seemed her partner had contacted these two directly from some time ago.
"Naruto? You're talking about Naruto right?"
Hale snorted, "My master never gave me his name, but the description gets an immediate response. So I assume so since he's in battle with those Black-Ones Witch, if you haven't sensed it now, but if not. Then I doubt how you have stayed alive." Miria simply drew her blade keeping it level, aiming it at the Yoma who stood firm now knowing he couldn't escape. If he had to die, he'd go done fighting as best as he could. Trying to agree with a half breed was next to impossible for his kind, it just didn't happen ever. The last time he ever heard or witnessed something of that caliber, torture was involved mainly.
Before things could get out of hand, Gabriel stepped in physically in between the two mortal enemies.
"Enough! The Messiah, Naruto as is dueling with mortal danger! Please, we need your help in getting him out of the city for if the Lord will's it. If I must, then I will do it myself in order to protect the faith of His children within its walls. I have naught the time for a petty squabble amongst us!" The young Assassin stared down both creatures who merely stared at him before at each other. It took several tense moments as Hale raised both of his hands up, a sign of placation or in this case, non-aggression.
"Never see the day, a meal becomes confident to stand up to his predators. Fine, if I can be civil the Witch can be as well." The humanoid stated rather snobbish, clearly not at peace with the truce. His instincts were screaming at him to cut down, or even flee the area with a half-breed at this close of a distance. Hell he could smell the scent of his master all over this female, while a good looking one as always he wanted no part in the flesh of a brutish personality. Snarling slightly he backed down as Gabriel sternly looked at the Witch who seemingly looked more puzzled than anything.
In other words, being stupid in the Yoma's opinion.
"He actually listened to you? Did you two make a pact with each other?" Miria questioned suddenly as if she were having a hard time processing these new events. Actually believing in the co-existence of Yoma and human was one thing, truly a lofty goal at best. Normally any other warrior would call it an insanity to wish for peace to a natural food chain. However, in this case: it was truly shocking! For a man to bring about an impossibility, spoke volumes of awe-inspiring recognition.
But to be seeing this in practice, it just blew away the Claymores experiences about the two species.
She'd have some choice words with Naruto in the future as to how in god's name he could do it. She watched as the human male sighed, clearly trying to find a common ground for her to agree to come with them.
"I pray to the Lord to give me a sign, for thou wishes to test me." Gabriel muttered mentally to himself, as a headache came about as the woman didn't ease her own supernatural powers. Try as best as he could, he felt as though his efforts were in vain. For did not the Lord extend his patience to those unwilling to see his light? The Assassin just tried to deal with it, as best as the Lord willed.
"The Messiah offered me as his Right-Hand within a group called 'Akatsuki' not a night or two ago. Thou wishes to ask of me why, but I know not what to explain of this group. The savior spoke of co-existence which if need be the Lord's will amongst us. To see peace on the Land as children of God and between the devourers of man. But please my lady I beg of your aid to assist him in his hour of need, we came to seek it of our own will." Again the Claymore really felt off about these two. She didn't trust them, not by a long shot from hell and the matter of Naruto in trouble was spot on. In that city, monsters were awakening in more ways then one and the civilians were going to get caught in the crossfire, it was only a matter of time before the real horrors were unleashed. Her mind didn't agree with the two in front of her.
But, they were being honest.
Which coming from her, was a quite the accomplishment.
She didn't detect a lie, nor even a wavered vocal cord. Naruto was in trouble, her partner was fighting against the most powerful Claymore of her generation. Something few on the continent could ever dream of doing, trying to kill them was insanity at its finest. Still she placed those thoughts aside to stare down the young Assassin who fidgeted under her silver eyes. Gazing into his own as the man felt himself sweat under her stare.
"How do I know you are speaking the truth? About the Akatsuki and my partner, not to mention how would you even get into the city without the others noticing?"
The question was meant to be a compromise and a warning.
But unfortunately, Gabriel had to groan loudly as Hale spoke up grinning savagely.
"We wouldn't be here otherwise Witch. I guess flying doesn't get by you does it? Or maybe it does, so I can sneak around."
The tension could be cut with a knife as the Claymore now made her eyes become golden slit as Hale stood there smirking at the half-breed's lack of self-control to cut him down. He felt fear, fear knowing his life would be over but alas, he kept his word to not raise a hand against her. It was amusing to the elder creature that with a few words, a potential prey's emotions could be their crutch and rush into their death. Laughter echoed from his rotting vocal cords, to entice his amusement further as Miria took a prepared stance to lunge.
Only for Gabriel to finally shout in sheer absolute grievance to stop this ancient feud amongst hunters and prey.
"Hold that blade, Claymore! Thy beast has not raised his hand towards your life! So cease your actions for thou must see the problem at hand! The Messiah is fighting! NOW! In thy city of the Lord whose grace is dissipating cause of the ilk of folly that the devourers of man have within!" Hale laughed out loud as his comrade stood up to the half-breed Witch who looked literally dumbfounded. The Yoma just adjusted his wings to stop them from beating against the tree, as his laughter echoed in the clearing. This was quite the day for him, it certainly sparked his interest to remain loyal to his master now.
Immediately Miria stopped in surprise: did her ears just suddenly stop working?
Or was this man was defending this Yoma?
"A Human defending a Yoma? Oh, I swear to god this is just impossible. But the fact it just happened, means that this is his work all over it. Who else could do something like this out of the blue and make it so that it's been for years? Where did he find this insane man? And didn't the creature mention he was an Assassin, too?"
She had to stop, this was definitely Naruto's doing since the man's devotion to the Akatsuki warranted him to risk his life or sanity. Just the sheer effort these two were committing to stay in her presence warranted an explanation, an answer to to the mountain of questions that were falling off the cliff face within her mind. It was so much to take in already and she had yet to see the real plans that the shinobi had in store. Inhaling slightly, she finally decided to stand down as her aura retreated inside her body as both males in front of her relaxed.
"I'm not going to lie, I do not trust either of you. But the way that battle is occurring, you are speaking the truth about him being in trouble. So I ask now, why do you plan on doing to get him out? Don't lie, or I will make you regret it when I have your heads on the ground. Human or not, you'll be sorry." That last part of the sentence, at least to Gabriel spoke volumes to how close the Claymore seemingly wanted to resort to violence. Either through her own sorrows or the weight of her past, the Assassin could see the coldness of her eyes give way to a numb anger that didn't wish to stem away. Almost with a passive smile, the man lowered his head to the half-breed in respect and gratitude for her own will to go along with them.
The act of respecting a fellow person, was a sign of peace through the Lord in Heaven.
"Thank you my lady. To be honest with you, I know naught of a way to assist the Messiah." He admitted this quite anxiously and the recognition was recognized. Gabriel didn't exactly know of way, the sudden request from the beast not ten paces away from him brought him out here on this folly of a quest to assist in a battle titans. Being human had the peace of a mind that one accepted they had limits, however beyond normal men were beings of power that were worshiped. In essence, being human had its follies as those made in the Lord's image.
Both Miria and Gabriel looked to Hale who still kept grinning, as if enjoying their misery. Fortunately for them, he could think and do it very well, if need be.
"Lord in Heaven help guide thy path. But what is your plan, beast."
The Assassin spoke up, as Miria went over to her cloak and gear. She decided to get all her things together before moving to assist Naruto within the war zone of a city. Securing her outfit together, the Claymore listened in as Hale took it as a sign that the Witch wouldn't take off his head. Shrugging his massive shoulders as veins bugled, the elder demon looked to the direction of the battle grounds clearly pondering a way to assist his master. The problem wasn't how to help his master, but more of along the lines of when to get him out.
Hale felt his body pulse when that battle continued, as enormous amounts of energies were put out into the air and eventually one party would be defeated. Though another question came up, who would die if that were the worst case scenario? Looking to the skies, the eldest amongst the trio decided upon a rather passive aggressive plan if things got too bleak for his blond Akatsuki master who he doubted would enjoy being interfered with during the battle at its present time.
"The problem at hand, for our Master is not 'how' to assist him but merely when to do so. For that too occur we must be close in order to seize a chance to edge the fight or end it. Whereas this aligns a problem of when to ambush our prey." He stopped himself as Gabriel looked disgusted since he was using methods to stalk humans, the Yoma shrugged it off. As the half-breed didn't care to stop his musings, so again the creature figured to press its luck in staying amongst the living for the next day or so. After a few minutes of silence, the Assassin was about to speak and based on his facial expression.
Hale just cut him off, annoyed and rather bored.
"Save your holy threats Assassin, do me a favor since I care enough for you to just shut your mouth. We have to get into the city as fast as possible, without alerting anyone of the three battling within its walls. Not easy, is it?" The Yoma asked somewhat rhetorical, his teeth showing the grim within as neither human or half human enjoyed the sight. Seeing rotting pieces of human organs tended to make those rather queasy or enraged, so for them to be rather neutral was an accomplishment to be praised. Hale considered this entire conversation one means to an end for him to antagonize the two, without suffering repercussions from it. After all, he had the plan here which was rather ironic in his mind.
The mindless beast, who was thinking of a plan.
"You're suggesting we go covert on our way back."
Miria stated as she slid her cloak over her body, leaving her hat on a branch that Naruto had given to her a ways back. Rolling her shoulders she mentally went over herself since potentially fighting the top ranked Warriors wasn't a walk in the park as it were. Her anxiety and uneasiness were palpable, as most would have been in her situation. Few warriors within the ranks wanted to fight the top spot, unless they were the former spot themselves or were taken down a notch by the stronger Claymore. It was a common occurrence for the top two to fight amongst themselves to be the best.
Hale mockingly clapped his hands, as if impressed as would an owner had a pet that did a new trick.
"You got it right, so I'm impressed. I guess you can use your brain after all."
And nearly the two limbs were sliced off...
Just as Miria reflexively used her weapons to prove a point.
"That is no small feat. Unless thou remembered the time it took to find, our lady. Thy Lord has grace to be given but His will can not undue time itself, beast." Gabriel spoke up, curious as to how they would pull this off. The Holy Lord in Heaven could hear their prayers, but in the end they had naught to prove if to save a single life, as the Messiahs took priority to see the new light. Even the Holy Assassin himself, the Right Hand of God wouldn't wish to willingly duel a Claymore if thy good Lord would permit it.
"Time is a mute point, if our Master is dead or captured. I know how to get there quicker, it is the same method you and I have used to find the Witch here. The 'Phantom' of Mirages, as my kindred have spoken of her." At the Claymore's alarmed and surprised expression, Hale just smirked disturbingly smug about the underground Yoma rumors. "You are not a ghost, you travel with the mark of the Red Clouds so we have had an eye on you two for several fortnights. Witch." The mere idea of Yoma stalking her and Naruto, had a very unappealing need for her to scan her surroundings more acutely form there on. She hadn't sensed any wandering demons, so how in the hell did they manage to keep track of them? Miria pushed aside those questions once more, a lot of them were forming within her mind and she had a feeling: this was just the tip of the ice-berg.
"You suggest we fly back? Surely you can't hold two?"
Gabriel guessed as Hale retorted, "You are not a lump of lard nor even lead Esfandiar. Do not mock your own vows to sin into gluttony. I'd find that rather amusing in truth, but alas we must be serious." The Assassin withheld his retort at the cheek against his honor, and life-style. As the Claymore slipped her own head gear on, making the rain unable to hit her face as she moved towards the two male beings. Preparing herself mentally, the former Warrior finally started to contribute to the plans of the make shift rescue party that would be assisting Naruto.
Absently she felt the tremors from the city grow in numerous quantities which got her to have a cold sweat.
What in the fuck was happening over there in that city?
"Suppose if you do fly us in there and covertly drop us in, what's to stop you from trying to kill me or the human there? How can we be so sure, that you can even get us there within the city since it's getting worse. Worse as in up in the air and in case you haven't noticed this filth. The wind has picked up substantially." She lifted her eyes to the eye as Gabriel followed suite, looking quite ill at the daunting prospect of a demon fighting the wrath of God'. The storm that symbolized changed to to the world had the power to stop them in their tracks, literally. Regretfully the rain also increased in its tempo, with gusts of wind now howling in full sway of the powers at work in the skies.
"I agree. Thy will of the Lord is pure but its all for naught if you can't come through beast. So I ask this question, how can we hope to get there in time to save the Messiah?"
The Yoma just had to speak three words.
Although those three words that held the course of a fate of a land and not to mention, with the implications that were near to impossible to accept. It wasn't something so trivial to understand, nor to be given. In the case of both of the Claymore an the Holy Assassin their faces were set in stone, as the prospect of what Hale answered made their souls cry out in pain. Pain knowing they had no choice, no choice to see if what he said was merit and to absolutely be within their powers to accept.
But in the end...
They bitterly swallowed Hale's answer.
Whose grin just didn't go with what he said.
"Just trust me..."
And again, they had no choice.
But to trust a monster, to help them to save a life.
"I didn't expect this."
The moment when Naruto entered the mind-scape of Alicia, something was terribly wrong. He felt the hair on his arms and neck stick up in alarm, as a trembling sensation coursed its way through him. The darkness that his eyes foresaw within this woman made his own mind seem like an enlightened sanctuary. He felt his heart shudder within the confines of his chest, coldness just seeped into his skin as he continued his way forward into the never ending darkness. No noise, no light, nothing was here within the mind of a woman who was the strongest Warrior his enemies through at him. To capture him and eventually, subdue his own will to their cause.
Nothing was here, his usual cross and chains weren't there pinning the woman down in front of him.
So what was wrong?
Why did it feel like he just entered the den of a lion? Where was the source? What caused the need to feel afraid of walking within this mind of a Claymore? He felt so utterly numb, his eyes didn't pick up on any movement around him. Endless pits of the Abyss were what he witnessed, just a straight line forward through the darkness of this woman's mind. Naruto stopped in mid stride, taking in his surroundings as details started to emerge from around him.
Subtle shadows were moving...
Objects, faces of people, her desires, dreams and what not were all shaded. Narrowing his vision the Shinobi knew something didn't go wrong with making eye contact with the woman, he was inside her mind forcing his will over hers to remain entrapped within the illusion. Normally he'd have his target strung up to start breaking their mental fortitude to continue a battle, or dive them insane to get information. However this was something he hadn't expected, due to the fact he believed that it would normal for someone to go deep within a half-breed's mind whose mental stability was already lowered as it were. In this case, a mentally conditioned soldier who was supposed to feel nothing but the continued numbness of living a life of killing.
To kill, but to never feel.
On some level even a drone, an emotionless human still held their humanity within a few choice anchors that held their sanity. It could have been an object like a book, a memory of someone and other such things in order to remain sane. A human couldn't become a machine, emotions could be condensed or even suppressed for a time but in the end: they needed an outlet in order for the person to continue their mental conditioning. Human nature dictated that they express themselves in order to feel at ease with their lives, so Naruto just didn't just understand how a person's mind worked, he understood it because he went through it.
During the Wars that ravaged the Elemental Nations, he acted similar to a drone when going through Missions and Missions in order to bring about the end of the Shinobi Villages. He suppressed his emotions, but time to time he had to grieve and shed tears for those he had lost. Suppressing emotions didn't really follow his own way of coping, but if anything he just condenses his feelings for periods of time in order to fight more effectively. He never claimed to be emotionless, more apathetic near the end of things despite a few cases stacking against him otherwise.
But everything within this Claymores mind, at first glance didn't add up.
"This is not normal, I didn't expect a Claymores mind to be vastly different from a persons. As far as I know, no one has deviled this deep into a half-breed's mindset before, so therefore anything I'd have done in the past is a mute point. Damn it all..."
Moving into the darkness, Naruto faintly heard something within the deep recesses of distance. Intrigued he made his ways towards the sound, absently witnessing images of shadows and faces move around him as if they were memories of sorts. It made sense, certain people could organize their memories if they were proficient enough when interrogating enemy shinobi. His former home could do that to enemy sleeper agents if discovered early enough and any spies within the ranks. But then again for all he knew, this was an effect of him being there within this woman's mind.
And that got the Akatsuki lead quite uneasy.
In theory, she could fight him here if her will were more dominant and the lack of chakra made this incredibly unknown in the long scheme of things. Any person could do that, but often that was not the case so the margins were slim to none. Then again, neither his sensei Itachi or anyone for that matter had to do something as ridiculous as this. Exhaling to ward off the chill within his lungs, the blond continued on his trek into the deeper shadows that this noise originated from. A familiar feeling of uneasiness crept back into the pits of his soul, his nerves were alive and tense. The blood rushing from head to feet were fluent and his heart pounded as the experience didn't exactly make him feel right.
Seemingly for an eternity, he followed the faint noises until a small light appeared in front of him.
Curious in the ever most rapt fashion, Naruto moved towards this sight only to stare in stunned horror as to what his eyes were witnessing. It just didn't seem possible, but to his utter fascination the sight before him really made him wonder if venturing within this woman's mind was truly a wise decision. From a tactical standpoint, sure he could agree with breaking this woman's will to battle but he hadn't counted on the fact this woman was already broken...
"What the hell?"
Naruto could only speak out in shock, his Sharingan recording the images that were seared into his own mind forever. He felt sick, not only that but disgust at the effects of having this woman perfected into the top Claymore since the methods were giving this sight off. He could only hold back his burning rage to hunt down the Handlers who did this to a person. Even Danzo had more pity to his drones than this, if this was the representation of this woman's mind then her soul was so twisted he didn't dare to consider what in the fuck were the real monsters.
Were Claymore Monsters, truly?
Or did the ones who them?
It brought a daunting prospect that the people of this land didn't consider, it was that were the real monsters human?
Because in front of him, was a naked child.
A female with chains binding her hands overhead, her small body frail and quivering from whatever phantom pains that rocked her core. Her skin tone seemingly pale from the lack of sunlight, with a blond hair marring her face as the shinobi looked up into the dim lighting to see the chains hanging from somewhere in the upper darkness. It didn't see to be pleasant, not in the least as the chains seemed to be rusting and cutting into the wrists of the child who barely moved since he had come across this...
Naruto didn't have a word to describe it, seeing children tortured or maimed struck a spot within his heart that made his rage seemingly boil his blood.
Continuing to step forth, he stood not ten paces away from the strung up child. Silence permeated the surroundings as the shadows that he had witnessed earlier where seemingly melding together beyond his sight, the two red orbs of the Sharingan couldn't pierce the veil that this images were creating. That alone made him wary, his uneasiness grew into uncertainty after witnessing his path behind being blockaded off by something. Chancing a glance behind, he heard a faint 'hissing' which remarkably sounded like a snake, which brought back bad memories of his earlier years.
A chain shifted bringing his attention forward again.
The past could stay in the past, as it refused too do.
The child spoke softly making Naruto narrow his eyes, so could this be Alicia? If this were true, why did her mental representation to be a child? Did she consider herself a child or an adult? If then, what could be the purpose for this sight? The shinobi needed answers, now.
"You are trying to kill me, so do you not think I'd allow you too? To hurt another, you will be hurt in the process."
The child who hung there with her hands bound overhead, didn't speak for a moment.
Naruto chuckled making the girl shift, she tried to look up but her body prevented her. The chains were so close that her arms were making the ability to move her head vertically impossible. All her efforts were made out to make the chains shift slightly.
"I'm the bad man? Aren't you angry at the ones who made you and your sister into this? I'm just a person living his life and others want me under control. Just like you." The child, Alicia he assumed now to be crying. Witnessing droplets of water drop effortlessly onto the ground, or the plain of her mind-scape as the chains rattled again as she wanted to wipe them away. However the chains that were binding her were rusted as he noticed before, they were cutting into her wrists to see red blood being released from her pained efforts.
Naruto felt his stomach lurch, violently: the Mangekyo Sharingan technique Tsukyomi wasn't the cause of those chains. No the way they seemingly were rusted, it was a sign of time and how much that they had been through. Wear and tear, the Claymore's mind had already been broken long ago as a child. Training her to kill, training her to become nothing but an asset, a tool to whatever means.
These chains were already here.
And he was witnessing the struggle of a Claymore on a more perceptive plane of sight.
Those were the conditioning of the Organization that made her into this existence. His eyes had entered the mind of a trapped child who knew nothing about the world. The emptiness of her mind wasn't natural, it was man-made. The Handlers or whoever made her into this, just created a drone intent on completing tasks without the need to be a human. Without emotions, a person would crack and eventually implode on themselves on going insane.
The shinobi felt the tug of his heart, as an image of a small blond boy laying in his bed with hands covering his eyes. The distant past, came back to haunt him and mock him as one who had experienced the solemn confines of humanity's worst. He wanted to help this Claymore now, more so than to kill her and the reasoning was the same.
To make her understand: they didn't have to fight...
"I wonder if I can cut those chains, if her will is already broken. Then I have to, make her have will to stop herself from fighting. An irony I;m sure of. I'm the one who broke myself to become what I am and I must try to heal one who has never been given a choice."
Stepping closer, he looked to his side to see his weapon still with him.
His hand went out to reach the girl, his hand touched the center of her chest. Where her heart beat, slow and seemingly without any sort of life within. Frowning he understood, this child who was a woman on the outside had never been allowed to live freely. Nothing could be forgiven for what a man did to this girl, he absolutely was resolved to end that pitiful Organization that dared to call themselves 'Protectors' of humanity.
They were nothing but sick, twisted men who had ulterior motives.
Closing his eyes, he channeled chakra into his body as the darkness started to fade into a more brighter detail. The shadows were receding, as his power made the dim light within this bleak existence. Alicia within her mind felt a subtle warmth flow into her body, as the shivering stopped as the chains slackened above in order to make the girl look up. As the shinobi had stimulated the power within his own flesh, it had been transferred a bit into the bound Claymore who couldn't understand the depth of what she was experiencing.
Something caring yet understanding on a level that her sibling could express.
For the first time, she felt relief in having someone help!
Even her sister, couldn't do this but they loved each other all the same.
A single word, one question that the woman or child herself wished to know. Why did this bad man, try to make her feel good? To feel happy? To feel safe? Why did he do this? All of these questions were within the locked confines of her mind, that had been broken at birth when her beginnings had occurred. Nothing could be said to explain, she knew it within her body and her mind had started to process a word that had been long since removed from her being. It was a feeling that all humans held, no matter their origins, no matter how much of them weren't a human they all had the same basic concept.
Alicia felt hope, in this stranger.
This supposed bad man, in which she felt hope surging within her but for what?
"Why, huh? Now that's an answer that would make you confused, Alicia right?" At his questioning and gentle voice, the girl looked up to see the face of Naruto Namikaze whose eyes were of a lineage not his own. But the softness of his face, that warmth of a parent, the conditioned Claymore could see the waves of hair, wit the compassion that held his soul and as his smile made the girl look on in wonder. Sheer wonder and awe-inspiring confusion, she wanted to know why? Why!
The shinobi honestly didn't have an answer yet, he just felt the need to help this woman who was but a child in mind. But in body, not even human.
Naruto raised a hand, using both his middle and index fingers to poke the girl on the forehead, causing the girl to make a small 'ow' sound. Nostalgic feelings of when Itachi used this on Sasuke brought back memories, as he had passed on for Naruto do the same thing to the younger brother of a man who he considered as a father figure. Perhaps fate had a sense of humor, to help this girl, no this woman: to become what she could have been if the world wasn't so cruel. Trained all her life to kill, to become a soldier or a warrior for a cause she didn't understand. Maybe, he had a chance to help those in need within these lands.
And maybe, he just started with helping the strongest Claymore regain her humanity.
"Don't ask a question that I can't answer but do this: just trust me. I'm not a bad man, I won't hurt you if you promise me not to hurt me? Can you do that, Alicia?" The illusionist smiled gently, as he once did to his daughter Emiko on numerous occasions when she had gotten angry or sad. That subtle shift of his attitude made the chained girl start to tear up, not from pain, not from sorrow and not from utter despair of her life.
But genuine affection since this man didn't feel like a bad man.
He felt like a...
That one word.
One word, could mean a thousand possibilities that which no man alive could ever dream of understanding. So many choices, for so many futures that could have been and would have been. In order to change a fate, one man had to choose what to do with himself in order believe in those he gave hope too. For Naruto Namikaze, he never fully grasped what he could do in world that never gave him hope to believe in it. What separate monsters from humans, what gave a man a right to choose while others never gave people the choice to make?
"What did she say? Oh No, no, no please don't tell me. It's just not, right..."
Naruto just stood there in shock as the girl looked at him in a light that Emiko, once looked at him back in Konoha. That hope, that affection and trust as she looked at him with silver eyes that were watering with emotions that were long since suppressed. Blinking in confusion, the shinobi then drew his blade before literally cutting the chains that bound the girl above him. His Nodachi once a symbol of death and despair became a beacon for hope, hope that a Claymore had no chance of ever achieving on her own. In another time, she had have died on the battle fields alone and utterly devoid of life itself.
Gently he caught the girl as she fellow onto the same level as he did.
And immediately rushed into his chest, crushing her head against the clothing that had shielded him from her weapon in the physical world. Feeling at a loss, the shinobi didn't understand what he did nor did he understand what he should do. Memories of what a similar man could do in this situation could only be resolved in one manner. One way, an answer that he had used on Emiko back within the village and when he felt the need to express his own hope.
His arms came up, placing the sword next to his side.
And for the first time in years, he gave a warm hug to a girl who was a woman that was a Claymore.
"Hey, its alright. You are not alone, you have me and your sister. Don't cry about something that is real and true. Do you understand me, Alicia?" The words came out whether he admitted them or not, that natural parental instinct to comfort a child had all but surged forth. Within a battle of will, a hope had been given and taken to those who had no such thing in their lives. Naruto felt compelled to hold this woman, or child in name that had be understand something about living. In being a person, in being a human and lesson that was denied to her.
She had a choice to live.
This was a choice, in order to have hope and to understand the world.
"Yes. I do..."
For several minutes peace reign until...
Naruto looked up in alarm as cracks started to from in front of him, the landscape within her mind had suddenly shook violently. Grunting as a massive weight crashed onto his shoulders. The shadows came back swirling violently as the darkness surged forward making the Shinobi grab his blade while channeling his chakra into the length. His power surged instigating the pressure again, as the child within his arms cried out in pain. Her hands went onto her head as the shinobi shield her from whatever influences that were damning this Claymore's mind.
But it didn't matter, the link that the twins held had been made once more.
As Alicia was yanked from his arms, as Naruto cried out as something sliced into his back causing his to hunch forward. Chains came back from the top of the darkness itself, dragging a crying Alicia into its upper depths as the light within this mind-scape suddenly turned a blood red. Naruto panted as his body struggled to understand what in the hell was happening. Reddish crimson stained his vision as he winced trying to figure out, where was this pain coming from?
He stood up, looking right into a pinnacle of purple energy that surged forth as he stared into the shifting darkness.
His eyes witnessed a figure of something, large and had multiple limbs with two white orb-less eyes stare at him. Nothing but a bale existence was within those eyes, they were targeting him and he'd have not a chance to stop this.
A blade stabbed into his stomach, making the shinobi scream out in agony...
As his vision turned to black, he witnessed the Awakening of Alicia the Number ranked Claymore.
Two words, were spoken to him viva this creature as it reared its head upwards roaring its announcement to the world.
Naruto exhaled deeply as he looked down in alarm, Alicia's form shifted violent as his Bunshin were thrown back within a matter of seconds. Blinking as blood ran down from his eyes, the shinobi felt something hot and sharp pierce his abdomen, gasping for air. Almost with a terrified expression he followed the source of the agony, to witness something that was stuck in his nightmares for years to come.
A black blade, from the former hand of Alicia had morphed to strike him dead on.
As the rain crashed onto his back, the water brought the first of many blood droplets onto the ground...
And his Sharingan took in the changes of the Claymores face as her skin darkened and twisted violently, as something surged forth. Her body shifted into a grutest shape that just looked like something out of a nightmare. Although nightmares were nothing but an irrational fear that mind picked up on, this wasn't so. Blades blacker than his own past and weapon formed along her limbs. Her neck had stretched into something out of a hellish picture, a crown of blades amongst her skull and down onto her back. Nothing could be said of what was in store, Naruto felt his body protest as blood leaked from the corner of his lips along with a pained exhale that his lungs forced off.
In just a few moments time, he'd have to fight for another breath.
Naruto stood face with the Awakened form of Alicia, whose size towered over him.
And he still had her bladed limb stuck in his abdomen, as a surge of Youki erupted bathing the entire street in a coloration of magenta. The storm above cracked in fierce discharge as lightning gave the illumination a more sinister appearance to those viewing the spectacle. Thunder boomed over head with the echos of a battle, that had been taken up into the realms of monsters whose full powers would scare the landscape forever. His eyes watched as the expression of the Awakened Claymore could only be described as enraged.
Just one subtle shift, was all it took as Mangekyo Sharingan met an endless orbs of white.
The real monsters took stage now.
Only one thought went through the Akatsuki leader's mind when he witnessed the two orbs move onto his hunched over form.
"Oh this is really going to hurt, a lot."
End Black Twins
Author's Notes: Well another one is done.
Before you flame me, or even remotely curse me into oblivion for this built up moment: this was incredibly hard for me to write out. Truly this had to be the top spot of a frustrating part to write out. I haven't touched on many Characters in fair while but at the same I did what I could to have them develop. It seems a bit odd, but that's my piece on that part of this chapter.
I will admit, this last part of the chapter really dug me in. So many scenes were playing in my mind when I tried to understand what I wanted to go with this. It comes to an older question, that people have asked me about this story. Despite the series of time it takes for me to post, when I do, I happen to deliver in my opinion something to make you as readers enjoy this.
"How can I incorporate Alicia and Beth into Akatsuki?"
To me it's not as easy as some people make it out to be. I honestly wanted to go a route of an epic clash, which is not saying this isn't its the level I'm trying to get it up too. But again, I had to make sure that a line wasn't crossed between 'Realistic' and 'Fantasy' if such a partnership has to be made. It took me ages to try to work about somethings but in the end, I had to go with a little leap of faith on the Out Of Character for the Twins. Then again the magic of fanfiction can do wonders, not even the moment of them in the manga hasn't flushed them out somewhat.
Since in the Manga they aren't really portrayed as people, methodical drones for sure and at the last moment they were given extreme emotions for the loss of each other.
It's a challenge, to get the idea of them of too...
Alicia and Beth have been give the seeds of doubt, that way out into independence that makes them become real fluent people. As Claymore, they are quite the duo but they were just literal conditioned soldiers. Their Will was already been broken; which brings me to a point about the Mangekyo Sharingan techniques. With Tsukyomi the user is able to invade the mind of a target, to force their Will onto them. Naruto has never done an ultimate eye illusion of this degree onto a Claymore before, there's too many unknowns involving them and until this point: he'd only had used it on shinobi.
His own people, not Claymore.
But in the case of Alicia and Beth, their Soul Link is what is going to make the attempt unique. In that regard of the last part of the chapter, their link is what is going to make Beth eventually agree with her twin since she feels the same feelings once they are together. Naruto went into a broken woman, or child's mind that had the abilities to kill Yoma. Similar to Priscilla in a way, which I'm trying to avoid but the reasoning is the same: both sets of characters never had a formal education or life before the Organization took them.
Naruto didn't break Alicia's will, to extension Beth but he gave them the means to do it. The seeds are there, in Seven Years to the canon of the Claymore that is plenty of time to make progress. I hope you understand this story is not just about fighting, yeah its fun to write but the message here in this chapter if it's not obvious for a situation like this to work. It goes to being human, we are flawed but in that we have something that makes us a stubborn species. We become a force to be reckoned with due to this word.
We are flawed, but when we have hope and trust in a cause. We will go into hell and back to do it right, we won't back down. In this case, Naruto has given Hope to the Twins who had nothing to live for. He gave them, unknowingly the means to become independent. To become full people, in the sense that they are not just emotionless drones who go on and on about living, in a bleak existence. Which in short is going to make the chapter even harder for me to write out, as in the series of Alicia awakening as a person while connected to Beth. An irony that is not lost on me, awakening into a monster to be a human.
This chapter was a ride, an emotional series of rides that are ending with you cringing or reading rapt attention.
As for the voices, it's a side effect of Naruto having the Sharingan despite being in Senju in blood. Its something that is not explained through circumstance but feeling, he betrayed the world he was supposed to save. However the world never gave him the chance to hope that it could be a better place, for all Naruto could understand is that the 'voices' are those he had simply had enough off.
Until next time, the conclusion to this battle occurs.