Hey Freinds! Sorry it took so long, my beta was a bit busy and she didn't have time to fix up my mistakes. In any case, here is the second part! Oh, and please, Read and Review. ...'Windows XP Sounds' by various youtube people
Disclaimer: I Do not, and shall never own Naruto nor Bleach
The Reaper's power
Student, and Teacher
~ Shino Institute for the Spiritual Art~
The Spiritual Arts Academy, or simply the Shino Academy, was a vast complex, composed of a great many number of buildings. Filled with a grand total of over one hundred class rooms, and well over a thousand dorm rooms, it is the educational center that almost all up and coming Shinigami must attend. In order for one to be admitted, they must pass a written exam, and prove that they have a usable amount of spiritual energy. Although, there are always exceptions to this rule. Naruto was one of them.
The student walked though one of the larger halls on his way to the dormitory area, to where his home for the next six years, or less, would be. He was still in his civilian garb, but he would be sure to change into the clothes he held in his hands once he reached his room. On his way, he caught the eyes of many of the passing students. All of them, were visibly older then he. Looks of mild confusion and surprise watched the young, and dead, blond boy as he passed them.
While the Academy accepts people of all ages, more often than not they received people who looked to be in their twenties, by human comparison. It was rare that they received a simple teenager that had any sort of a strong spiritual presence, and much less a young boy like Naruto. He had only recently had his twelfth birthday when he had died, and despite the time he spent here dead, he had barely aged.
Naruto wasn't entirely sure what to make of their looks, so he continued on his way, not stopping for anything. On his way, he passed though an open hallway, one that gave a clear view of a training ground where students were learning the way of the Zanpakuto. He stopped a moment, and watched as they all move in a graceful unison, under the direction of a man that towered over his students. Despite his immense size, he carried a small sword on the sash around his waist. It looked to be a rapier, though Naruto would not have known what a rapier was.
His eyes scrutinized over the movements of his students, and more then once had to correct one of them on their technique. The man wore an outfit similar to Renji's, and other Soul Reapers, likely signifying the fact he was a teacher, and not a student or a practicing Shinigami. Naruto had no idea of how long he had stood there, leaning over the railing while he watched them practice, but it lasted long enough for the man to announce the class to have finished. He bowed to his students, as they did in return, then they left.
The teacher stood, waiting for his next students, when he noticed Naruto's eyes upon him. He turned, and beckoned the boy over. While Naruto felt embarrassment for having been caught, he came over anyway, still holding his new uniform in his hands. "So, are you our newest student here?" He asked. Naruto nodded to him. "Uh huh, my name's Naruto, and I'm gonna become the best Shinigami ever!" He pumped his fist back for emphasis, but dropped his clothes when he did so.
The other man was quick to react, and plucked the uniform from the air before they even barely left the clumsy boy's hands. "Well, then, on behalf of all the teachers here, I'd like to welcome you to the Shino Academy. I am the chief swordsmanship instructor, Ryuunosuke, but all my students call me Ryuu for short." He held out his hand to the boy, who stared at it like he had done to Renji's. 'Everyone here is so...nice.' He thought to himself. Naruto smiled wide, then gripped the man's hand. "Thank you... Ryuu." The teacher smiled.
A thought came to Naruto, and he voiced it once he had let go of Ryuu's hand. "Hey, I thought class started next week, why are you holding classes now?" He turned his head slightly, out of habit from when he asked questions before at the Shinobi Academy. Ryuu smirked, and crossed his arms. "I'm holding classes, because they truly want to become Shinigami, and be the best they could be. This will also help give them a head start, before the new year begins. Perhaps, you'd like to come by tomorrow"
Naruto frowned, and looked at the swords on the waists of Ryuu's newest class, who were just now arriving. "But... I don't have a Zanapakato though..." Ryuu chuckled deeply, at the boy's mispronunciation of the Shinigami's most trusted tool. "Zanpakuto, is what you mean, Naruto. You used way to many A's." Naruto blushed from his embarrassment, and rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. "R-right. Still, I don't have one of those things yet, how would I practice without one"
Ryuu laid a hand on Naruto's shoulder. "Naruto, new students aren't required to have their own actual Zanpakuto just yet. You get to use one of the weapons we use to practice with, from over there." He pointed at a small stand, that held a bunch of plain katanas, all waiting for their next user. "Now, if you get dressed in some proper clothes and come by later, I can teach you some basics." Naruto nodded fiercely, and ran off in the general direction of the dorms. When Naruto had turned, Ryuu frowned. 'I can't believe... that he's supposed to be a weapon... he's just so... innocent.' He sighed, and put on a smile and turned to face his newest students.
Naruto slowed down after a moment of running though the halls, which were surprisingly scarce with students. He stopped, and panted. "I think... I'm gonna need to get back into shape... Ha... Ha..." He sucked in a deep breath, then stood straight back up, and started to walk rather then run, to the dorms. Over the past few years as a civilian, he hadn't been nearly as active as he had before. Most of his time was, A...looking for food, and B...trying to sleep. He hadn't slept very well for awhile, on account of those nightmares. He shivered at the memory of his most recent one, the one with Death reaching out to him.
He shook his head, he'd much rather not have to think about it. He sighed, and continued on, having to only ask for directions once, before he reached the dormitories. He walked up a set of stairs, that led to the male dorms, then waded his way though a crowd of students, who were excited about their first year here. Apparently, most of them had to share, due to this years large number of applicants. As he walked by, he could have sworn he saw an old man standing in their midst, also talking about how his first year would go. Naruto shook his head. 'They did say that people from all ages came here'
Shortly afterward, he reached his room. Dorm room number 666. "...You're kidding me?" He looked down at the paper, then back up at the small metal plate on the front of the door that held it's number. He couldn't believe how he hadn't noticed the number for his room. Grumbling, he took out a key from the folds of uniform in his hands, and carefully unlocked the room. Immediately, he was overcome with the smell of must, and was forced to shield his mouth from breathing in the dust from inside. The room wasn't used very often, apparently.
He walked in, and flipped the switch, happy to see that it worked, then walked further in. Inside, was a bed, with a window next to it, a small table with a chair tucked in, and a dresser. No bathroom. It would seem that he either got the short end of the stick here, or they simply just didn't put bathrooms in the dorm rooms. Regardless, he closed the door behind him, and began to change into the uniform given to him. While at the door, he took pause, and decided to explore his room a little.
As expected, must of the room was quite dusty, even the so-called clean uniforms in the dresser. While he knew that this was simply from disuse, because people must have held some superstition for this dorm, he couldn't help but feel a bit of anger, at the same time he recalled the memory of him receiving his first and last, home away from the orphanage. He had been so excited at the idea of him living on his own, but was given the most broken down room of an old apartment building, which had been in severe disrepair. Even the old man had it out for him.
He felt the sting of tears in his eyes, and wiped furiously at them with the sleeve of his clean uniform. He dropped to the floor, and did something he had at one point sworn to never do, but had done so only a few months prior to his death, on his first C-rank mission. He cried. Finally feeling the realization of his having died at the hands of his best friend. He didn't leave the room for a few hours, until he was absolutely sure that his eyes had expelled all of his tears.
He got up on the bed, and looked out the window. The position of the sun above told him of it nearing noon. He had missed his chance at a breakfast, and that led to his stomach complaining. At least, he'd be getting lunch, he thought. With a sigh, he turned back to the window, and ended up looking at his own reflection in the glass pane. His eyes were red, and puffy. Maybe he should stay in today.
He sighed, and lay down on his bed, trying his best to block out the sun, so that he could earn some much needed sleep. Faster then normally, he felt his mind blacken, as his thoughts blurred and drifted away, all this happening to signify the fact that he had finally, fallen asleep. And of course, no sooner had his eyes closed, that they opened. A drip was heard, and the sound of thunder seemed to rock the broken windows, while water seeped through them as well.
He was back. Naruto stood still, and silent, hoping with all his might that he would waken, and end the nightmare before it began. No such luck for him, as the sounds of a terrible storm leaked though the panes of barred glass. With reluctant feet, he moved slowly though the corridors, feeling the eyes of the dead upon his back. He shivered, and walked faster. It took him awhile to notice, but the water levels have dropped drastically. It only reached to above his ankles, instead of the waist deep waters from last night.
His feet made small splashes as he walked, and he never looked back behind him, for fear that those things would still be there, staring at him with cold eyes. "Naruto..." The sudden voice made him jump, and he stopped walking to listen closer. "Come to me... Naruto..." It came from all around him, and at the same time, from further down the corridor, to where the empty cage lay.
Naruto climbed over the thick, rusted bars that had fallen to the ground, and made his way to the iron door that stood open, with water still flowing out and down the hill that this building sat on, to the large gushing river below. He slipped through with ease, it having laid open exactly how he had left it yesterday, and waited for the image of Death to appear.
He heard a slosh of wet fabric, and turned his head to meet the skeletal man. He gasped, as he saw not what he had seen the night before. While the man was still in wet rags and held a large scythe in his hand, his bones now had flesh upon them. He stood as tall as the skeleton did yesterday, a little over six feet, with his skin deathly pale. His eyes were sunken, and gray, with a wet mop of black hair on his head. His lips were purple, a clear sign that he wasn't truly alive. The veins in his neck did not pulse with his blood, but lay still. His body was dead, just as it was before. Only, it looked much less scary.
"Naruto, You've come back." His voice was raspy, and he spoke without true emotion, while his lips stayed in a frown. "I had thought that you left for good. Does this form... look better then the one I held yesterday?" All Naruto could do was nod dumbly. "That's good. It was not my intention to scare you, but to simply talk." Naruto stared at the emotionless man, before finally willing his courage to speak. "Who are you"
The man cocked his head ever so slightly, and spoke in the same amount of emotion as before. "I thought you knew, Naruto, that I was Death." Naruto gulped, and found it difficult to speak. "D-Death? You're actually Death?" He looked at the boy with impassiveness. "The one and only. Well, at least the only one of this realm." Naruto furrowed his brows in confusion. "What do you mean in this realm? What are you talking about?" he asked.
Death blinked, slowly, as if he had never done so before, and said, "Did you not know, Naruto? That this is not your actual home? When you died, you should've gone to a your realm's afterlife, not ours. Your soul does not belong here, yet I fear that it can not go back." "I'm... not supposed to be here? Then, where am I?" Death's expression didn't change, as he pulled a chair from behind his back. He set it in front of him, facing him. "Please sit down, Naruto. I would much rather you not stand. You seem to find it uncomfortable, and I'd much rather you be as comfortable as you can be"
Naruto looked at the chair for a moment, then slowly inched his way over, then into it. It was comfy, despite being made of stone. "Why are you doing this? Why am I here?" Death seemed to have no problem with answering Naruto's many questions, and went ahead and did so. "First of all, Naruto, I'm doing this because for some reason, I am the spirit of your Zanpakuto. Secondly, I have no answer. You may have come here by accident, but I doubt this." He paused, and let the blond take in the information. "Also, you asked where you were. Currently, we are in your inner-world, but outwardly, your body is in a realm called the Soul Society, a place I myself helped create for the souls I had reaped"
He blinked again, still unused to the action, and turned to the river below. "I am also the first of the Soul Reapers, Naruto. The first to bring the dead to their paradise, their heaven. I am not sure of how or why, but some time ago, my soul died a true death, and I was replaced by other souls, and them by others, and so on. I... am not sure why my soul had not been reincarnated into a new human, but I ended up as a true spirit. Naruto I will not tell you more about myself at this time. Do you have any questions that need my answers"
Naruto sat still, wrapping his mind around the information being fed to him, before he felt ready to receive more answers. "Yea, what happened to the Kyubi, and what is that thing down there?" He pointed to the river, and Death gazed at it, blinking again. "Kyubi has died, and his soul was given back to your realm, but his strength remained behind. His spiritual energy, Naruto, is now yours. That river, is your strength, and mine. It is our spiritual energy given form in your mind"
Naruto nodded, somehow understanding. Naruto was about to ask something else, but Death raised his hand up to issue silence. A dull sound echoed through the gigantic graveyard, something like...knocking. "Naruto, I believe somebody wishes to see you. Please, do not yet tell anyone of our contact, and if you wish to say you have met your Zanpakuto's spirit, do not describe me. Goodbye for now." Cracks appeared in Naruto's vision, before they fell apart to reveal the blackness of the back of his eyelids.
He heard an impatient knocking sound, and yawned as he slid his feet over the side of the bed. "I'm up I'm up..." Naruto mumbled, as he groggily walked to the doors, then opened. Before stood someone shorter then he, a boy with snow white hair. His fist was up in mid-knock. "Finally. I've been here for an hour. Here, this is for you. Congratulations on making it to Class number one, I'll see you Monday." The boy shoved a letter into Naruto's hands, and very briefly, Naruto made contact with his skin. It was cold, very cold. Like ice, perhaps.
The other student walked back down the hall, and left Naruto standing in the doorway. The blond boy walked back in, and closed the door behind him. Tossing the letter on the desk, he yawned yet again, and made to get dressed in different clothes. When he did so, he saw the sun just starting to come up. He didn't think he had been asleep for that long, but then again, time seems to move differently inside his mind.
After he got the clothes on, he hesitated at the door and instead looked to the small letter on his table. He thought about just leaving to the cafeteria so he could get some breakfast, and explore the grounds and find all his classes, but, the letter might be important. What was it that the kid said, something about a number one class? He let his hand fall from the knob, and shuffled back over to his desk, and sat down.
Opening it, he found it specifically handwritten and addressed to him. "Dear Naruto, I am happy to welcome you to the blah blah blah, hmm... let's skip down a bit." Skipping over the man's long congratulation and reasons for why he was in the class, he went all the way to the bottom, and found nothing of real value. The only things that stood out, was instructions to the class from the dormitories, along with the man's signature, Gengoro Onabara. "Meh." Naruto tossed the letter further back along his desk, then left the room, locking it behind him.
~One week later~
His sandals hit the tiled floor, as he made his way though the crowd of students on their own ways to class. Breakfast was over, and the first day of the Academy had officially begun. Most of them, the new students, were going about with excitement on their faces, even that old guy looked happy to be here. But, Naruto knew, that their enthusiasm would die away soon enough, perhaps after a few weeks of being here.
Many, like Naruto, were glancing down at their schedules for the year, in order to know just where they needed to be. Naruto read over his, his smile faltering when he read the his third class for the day. In order from first to sixth, Naruto had 'Human and Shinigami History,' a class that likely focused on the history of Earth and the Soul Society, 'Zanjutsu,' 'Mathematics,' 'Calligraphy,' 'Kido,' and somehow, he had some sort of weird science class.
He noticed that most of the classes were being taught by Gengoro, except for Calligraphy and Combat training. Sighing at this luck, he made his way quickly to class. When he got there, he noticed that everyone was in a seat of some sort, and staying absolutely silent. He wasn't sure why, but he felt glad that the old guy wasn't in his class. Silently, or as silently as Naruto could, he made his way to a desk, one much like the desks in Konoha's academy, and sat next to the white haired kid from last week.
"So... What was your name, I never got it." He whispered this to the boy, trying to keep as quiet as all the others. The boy's eye twitched, and he turned his head slowly, to meet Naruto. For some reason, it got really cold. "Toshiro, now hush. Gengoro-sensei will be here soon, and I hear he doesn't like people-" He was abruptly cut off from his whisper, when a large man slammed his hands on the desk Naruto and Toshiro sat. "You will keep silent in my class, Hitsugaya"
Naruto and Toshiro seemed to shrink at his stare, before he walked back to the front of the class. 'How did he... I didn't even hear him!' Naruto thought, staring at him in amazement. The two boys kept completely silent though his orientation, and how they were all lucky to be in his class and how he held high expectations from his students for the next six years.
It lasted for almost an hour, and it seemed he had timed his speech perfectly, for as soon as he finished, the bell rang, signaling their need to get a move on to the next class. "So um... sorry?" Naruto spoke to the boy, who had been glaring at him for most of the speech, due to having gotten him in trouble. "...Whatever." He said, and picked up his things and left, as did Naruto.
Toshiro took another route, likely to a different class then he, while Naruto walked to the training grounds. He had been happy to see Ryuu as his instructor, and the period went without incident, as did his next. Calligraphy, however, was a bit different. Aizen, the captain of the -- division, was that classes instructor. Naruto was surprised at the number of students, and actually had to stand up due to a lack of seating.
As soon as Aizen's eyes were laid on him, the normally smiling man's demeanor changed entirely. His eyes narrowed at the boy, and a frown evident. 'What is HE doing here? I thought I had gotten rid of him...' A few weeks ago, Aizen had sent one of the Shinigami he had managed to turn to his side to attack Naruto. He hadn't heard from him since that attack, and neither did he hear of Naruto. He figured the man was simply captured shortly after having killed the boy, but now it seemed those were foolish beliefs, and he knew it.
Noticing the odd looks he was getting, and the whispers going about, he hid his feelings and thoughts with the normal mask he wore, and greeted his new students. Despite having looked completely fine, perhaps even happy to have so many students, he was raging inside at the fact an obstacle still lay in his way. Although, he wouldn't be able to perform an assassination while still in the Academy, it had to be somewhere else... Wait, in a few years, practice teams will be sent out from this class, he could get his Hollows to attack then.
Aizen smiled, a genuine one, not a fake one. Though, nobody noticed. He had a plan ready, and all he would have to do is wait, and be patient. The Soul Society would still be there in a few years, and his Hollows weren't going to get weaker. In fact, just the opposite was true. Every year, their numbers grew. 'Soon,' He thought, 'I'll finally get to destroy this place'
The next classes were incident free as well, though he didn't like the look of the science teacher that was there. He knew, that these years would be long, but would lead to a much better life then the one he had on the streets. And, as those years went by, he would show himself to be a genius when it came to the ways of the Shinigami.
~ Chapter End ~
Not much in the way of progresion, but don't you wrooy, will be skipping a head a few years in the next chap. Plus, we're going to have our first figght with Naruto as a shinigami! If you read carefully, you may have forseen what conflict is comming up... In any case, I'll see you all next week! Chao! ~Malsyn