Naruto the Black Blade

Disclaimer: I do not own the Naruto series in any fashion, including stockholding. The following is a mish-mash of 'borrowed' concepts and mad creativity drawn from the ether of insanity. I do however acknowledge the rules as set down by MrWriterWriter for the purpose of this challenge.

Behold what we have done…

"Regular Speech"


"Heavily empowered speech. Yokai wielding Jinchuuriki or Celestial Gates user"

"Telepathy/mental speech"

In the dim moonlight that filled the forest on the outskirts of Konoha, a child-sized and shaped figure darted among the bases of the time-scared trees. Despite abundant undergrowth the small figure moved without a sound disturbing its surroundings no more then a faint breeze. For all this incredible skill, the figure was easily spotted given it's choice of eye-searing bright colors for clothes and natural hair and eye pigments. Berating this figure for it's, His, fashion taste would have no effect though. He was far too concerned with garnering attention then ruination of his stealth.

This male figure, a young boy, was named Naruto Uzumaki.

He was known by many other names though, precious few of them positive. He heard the muttered insults of 'Demon child', 'Fox beast', and 'Monster brat' far more then the kindly stated 'favorite customer' and 'friend'. A lifetime of loneliness, a decade of hateful looks, and endless curses had left their mark on this child's mind, far too many emotional scars to be healthy for any person.

It was these scars that lead to an early choice of a dark career and a bright dream.

It was these scars that lead a young man to sabotage his own hopes in favor of fleeting recognition.

And it was those same scars that would forever drastically change his life for good or ill.

As the flaxen-haired youth settled into the small clearing where he'd been instructed to study Lady Luck rolled her fickle dice. Studying the result, the Lady smiled…and blessed her favorite son once more.

Twitching nervously, an excited Naruto Uzumaki reached for the ties holding the infamous Sacred Scroll of Sealing shut. When the ninja-in-training had heard that all he'd have to do to finally graduate from the Academy, it'd taken all his limited self-control not to laugh out loud. The blond had been in and out of the Hokage's tower since he'd been just a toddler. The contents and ways of the supposedly secure tower had long since ceased to be a secret to him. The most difficult part of the entire 'graduation mission' had been finding the right scroll in the cluttered mess that constituted the Hokage's personal library! Laughing loudly at the memory of dodging ANBU and making the legendary God of Shinobi faint with a nosebleed, Naruto grabbed the ties to the Scroll and whipped them off with a flourish. Suddenly equal parts calm and super excited, Naruto looked down to peruse just what super cool technique he would learn to finally become a ninja of the Leaf.

Kage Bunshin no Jutsu

Naruto twitched, seeing that the first technique was a clone variation. There just HAD to be something better then that.

Bunshin Bakuha no Jutsu

Naruto twitched again. While the idea of exploding doppelgangers sounded awesome, he still couldn't do clones for some reason. Pass.

Kage Shuriken Bunshin no Jutsu

Twitch, twitch. Again, awesome sounding, but requiring that damnable clone technique! Growling in frustration now, Naruto decided going one by one was taking too long and with a snap of his arms, unrolled the whole scroll. Standing up, he walked the length of the Sacred Scroll. To his growing horror however, not a single additional technique could be read. Each and everyone of them was blurry and indistinct, the instructions surrounded by odd kanji and ink patterns that screamed just one thing at his sharp, if sporadic survival instincts.

Back the fuck off!

Groaning childishly, the ninja-trainee listlessly continued to the end of the scroll in sheer pig-headed stubbornness, hoping to find just one more technique that wasn't impossible to read. Then, finally, just as he was about to give up and try his hand at that stupid Shadow clone thing, he caught just the barest hint of color where the scroll was supposed to attached to a central wooden rod for support and ease of carrying. Seating himself at the end of the scroll, Naruto grasped the end the scroll paper and the exposed part of the rod before giving it a tug. When it didn't come loose, he gave it a harder tug. When that didn't work, he scowled and just gave the damn thing a great big heave. Hell, they could always just glue the thing back together right?


Naruto was distracted from sudden thoughts of just how much trouble even he'd be in for damaging the Sacred Scroll by a sudden flood of color from what appeared to be the single most complex piece of artwork the young boy had ever seen. Having never been the artsy type, he had no clever words to describe the image in front of him and even the notoriously dense young ninja-trainee knew that just saying 'awesome' and 'super-cool' was just not going to cut it here.

The basic pattern reminded him of a spider web, if an unusually complex one. It was, spread out, covering almost the entirety of a 3' by 2' area. Pearlescent lines of the 'web' were overlaid but not concealed by an assortment of something that looked awfully similar to the kanji he was familiar with. Whatever this writing was though, it was far less graceful then the Elemental Nation's written language, possessing a more angular set and some unnamable quality that brought to mind ancient times. The frame of the web was strange, a jagged oval pattern the almost looked to be as blurry as the hidden instructions on the Scroll of Sealing. The whole of the pattern might have been enough to hold his flighty attention by itself, however, the entire thing was drawn in precious stones!

From the simplest of black lines to most intricate of pearly whorls everything was drawn in clinging powered gems. Naruto didn't really know anything about geology but he was pretty sure there were diamonds, rubies, and a bunch of other really expensive rocks apparently glued to the paper. Scratching his head, Naruto couldn't help but wonder why someone would spend so much money on a pretty but seemingly useless piece of art and then hide it in the least seen and most heavily guarded Scroll in the village. Shrugging away the weirdness of it, Naruto reached out and brushed his hand over the gemstone pattern, curious about what it would feel like.

"I bet I could get the Old Man to let me keep this. It's not like it's dangerous, and if anybody owned this there's no way they'd just leave it here." Even as the boy's words left his lips his finger caught on a shard of gemstone that jutted invisibly out from the pattern. There was a brief pinching sensation followed by a couple drops of blood smearing on one of the odd kanji. The academy student swore out loud, annoyed at himself for already managing to dirty the art work that he'd planned on talking the Old Man out of. Any further action was stalled when the pattern glowed. Gaping, the blond watched shocked as the glow increased to a brilliant shine, spiking up to blinding briefly before fading away. Dropping the pattern and scroll, Naruto frantically rubbed his eyes, trying to get rid of the sting of losing his night sight. Blinking away the last of the spots in his vision, Naruto looked around for the pattern. He didn't find it though. Instead, where it should have been, was a sword.

It lay flat on the forest floor, at first resembling a thin shadow. Forged heavy and straight, a more weapon savvy individual then Naruto would have recognized it as a western long sword, meant to cut down armored opponents. The blade was a simple, plain affair despite being made in a light-eating shade of black, reflecting not an ounce of illumination. The hilt was far more ornate and colorful. The cross-guard was made of a dull silvery metal, thick and strong enough to catch and stop even a heavy blow. Sweeping up towards the tip of the sword, the sides of the guard were engraved with images of smoke banks and clouds of shadows, all inlaid with grey opal and obsidian. The handle was made of the same metal and wrapped with woven silk the color of dried blood. Even more of the silvery metal made up the pummel, encasing a flawless transparent diamond. Compared to the rest of the sword, the polished stone positively gleamed, drawing Naruto's fascinated attention. Entranced, the young blond slowly reached out and laid a single finger on the gem, not quite sure why he wanted to.

"Because…I wanted to see what sort of person had released me from my imprisonment."

Naruto froze. "Released…from prison? Um, what were you doing in prison?" He asked nervously, his mind struggling to wrap itself around what was happening. It was not a speedy process.

"The same reason that anyone else would be in jail, really." The sword chuckled, a somewhat rough sound that made Naruto think of the Old Man's time and smoke scored voice. "I misbehaved and society slapped me on the hand, saying 'don't do that'. To be more accurate, my previous wielder got a little…rowdy."


"You're a little too young to hear just what he was up to, though if I understand what a 'ninja' is, you will be worldly enough to hear about his activities soon." Naruto frowned. He wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he'd learned to sense mood shifts in people through exposure to grumbling crowds.

"You sound like you don't know what a ninja is, sword."

"You ninja weren't around the last time I was free, boy. Forgive me if I am a little behind on modern knowledge. Perhaps you care to tell me about it in detail? I can only see so much in a person's mind at a time."

"I can't. I've got to learn one of these techniques off the scroll or I'll-wait, see into my mind? Are, are you reading my mind!" Naruto blurted out, jabbing a finger at the sword. "Get out of my head you stupid hunk of metal!" The sword's voice snarled in Naruto's head.

"You should have let go of me before spitting that insult, boy! You will regret insulting the Black Mirage Blade!" With that, Naruto felt a horrendous stabbing pain covering all parts of his brain right before passing out. Face down and fully clothed, there was no way for anyone without a Byakugan to see an entirely colorless copy of the pattern Naruto had admired earlier appear on his chest.






Eyes snapping open, Naruto sat up, hearing the echo of a footstep over the splashing sound. Looking around, wondering how long he'd been out for water to have gathered, the blond was stunned by his surroundings. Instead of the quiet forest clearing, he was now in a dreary underground passageway. Dim, unevenly spaced lights provided more gloom then they dispelled, leaving most of the passage shadowed. Still, Naruto could see the worn bricks that made up the surfaces of the area, as well as the dank-looking pipes that clung to the edges of the ceiling. Shaking his head in amazement at the sheer dismalness the tunnel seemed to exude, Naruto stood up and brushed himself off. Deciding to follow to splash in hopes of finding someone capable of leading him out here, Naruto took a steady ground-eating stride. As minutes passed, it was only tiny changes in the colors of the bricks and pipes that assured the now worried ninja-trainee that he was actually going somewhere. Finally, though, Naruto could see the light increasing ahead. Moving faster, Naruto headed straight for the light. Seeing a corner coming up, Naruto quickly turned around it expecting to see the person he heard earlier or maybe a door out of the tunnel.

He sure as hell wasn't expecting an enormous bronze gate with a strip of paper instead of a padlock.

"What the Hell! Why the Hell is there a big-ass gate in the middle of a tunnel, sewer, whatever this is!"

"Here already, human? You must have a devil's luck to have gotten here before that weapon spirit did."

Naruto stared, dumbfounded, at the sight of a gigantic set of predator-sharp teeth and cat-slit blood-red eyes hovering well over a hundred feet in the air behind the gate doors. "Eyes…teeth…what…what's going on?"

"How am I to know human. I do not pay attention to what you humans do. Something as insignificant as a little human sword would not have caught my interest."

"Oh." Naruto managed, still not sure what was going on.

"Still, given the circumstances, I cannot help but be intrigued. Who knew there existed in this world a blade with such tricks? This Black Mirage Blade though, it seems to have a mind of it's own, a true sentience. That, I have never heard of nor seen in all my long years." The eyes and teeth lowered much closer to the ground, barely hovering above it now. "That fact, boy, is why I have decided to take an interest in you. Be grateful human, it has been a very long time since I have offered assistance to any of your species." An deep unsettling feeling finally pushed its way past his stunned numbness and kicked his mind into gear.

"Help me? What are you supposed to be helping me with.?" The eyes behind the gates didn't answer, instead the grin widened and a wave of red energy pushed out past the gates and picked up Naruto, carrying him like a rushing tide. Bricks and pipes raced past him blindingly fast, turning into it all into a blur. Luckily for Naruto's stomach, it didn't take long for the wave to slow and then stop, depositing him on the floor as the red energy faded away. "Stupid thing, just because it's bigger then me doesn't mean it can just pick me up and throw me around like a toy. You can't do that to a future Hokage!" Shouting back down the tunnel, Naruto waved his fist for emphasis.

"Considering that I find you yelling at a Demon Lord, being called a hunk of metal seems so much less important." Naruto whirled, recognizing the abuse-roughened voice.

"You!" Naruto shouted, pointing. "I thought I told you get out of my head, sword!" The avatar of the sword smirked, stepping into the low light offered in the tunnel. Standing 5' 7", the avatar was on the low side of average height for the westerner he appeared as. He was very fit though, athletic rather then bulky. A full head of short black hair and deep brown eyes blended well with his dark tan. The plain and functional clothes added to the overall appearance, giving the smirking figure a very militaristic air. Crossing his arms and leaning against the wall behind him, Black Mirage chuckled.

"I honestly can't tell boy, whether you are utterly fearless or too stupid and ignorant to know you should be terrified. You yell at a Demon lord. You insult and harangue me, even though I could have crushed your mind like an egg had it not been for the Hell Lord you were just screaming at. Tell me, Naruto Uzumaki, if I were to just break you, would your resident defend you?" Naruto straightened, gaining focus as stepped into a familiar situation; the mockery and scorn of others.

"It doesn't matter." The boy started quietly, his voice steadily rising in volume and passion. "It doesn't matter what you do or say. It doesn't matter what tricks you try! I'm Naruto Uzumaki, future Hokage of Konoha! I gave my word that I'd be the respected and honored leader of this village one day, and I will never give, never die until I've completed my promise! Bring on your worst scrap metal, I'm not afraid of you!" Naruto crossed his arms and glared right back at Black Mirage. He might not fully have understood what was going on here, and he had some serious questions for the Old Man but Naruto Uzumaki never backed down!

"Heh. Hehe. Bwa-hahahahah! A promise? You risk life, limb, mind and soul because of a promise? I suppose that settles my question boy; you're a bigger fool then any of my previous wielders ever were!" Laughing hard, Black Mirage didn't see Naruto's eyes light with an inner fire as it seemed there was yet another person laughing at his precious dream. He did however hear the boy steps as he charged and looked up in time to be slugged in the jaws with all of the ninja-trainee's strength. With a meaty thwack the blade's avatar flew down the tunnel and tumbled to a painful stop. Naruto bounced on the balls of his feet, ready to fight, hands up and loose. The avatar moved slowly, raising to his feet without a word. Still not speaking he wiped his mouth with one hands, raising it to look at the thin crimson smear on his palm. Naruto jerked his head when the avatar finally looked up and stared him in the eyes.

"Whenever you're ready, scrap metal!" Naruto taunted. "I'm ready to kick your ass!" It started small, a little twitch of the lips, but the 'man' began to smile and finally, grin manically, showing all his teeth.

"You really are a little fool. But, from now on, you're MY fool, boy. I, the Black Mirage, the shifting sword of Illusions and Trickery, accept you as my wielder. Till the end of your days, Naruto Uzumaki, you shall bathe me in the blood of your enemies and together we shall be legends!" The avatar of the sword faded in to smoke, carrying the scent of sage and other unidentifiable herbs. "Our partnership starts now boy. I look forward to fulfilling my purpose once again."

Naruto looked puzzled, as the walls of tunnels around him darken and began to fade. "You have a purpose? What kind of purpose?"

"You'll find out soon enough. Now, get up."

"Get up."


"GAH! What the Hell, who's yelling!"

"I AM DUMBASS!" Naruto swiveled, spotting the source of the voice.

"Iruka-sensei, what are doing here? How'd you even find me! How do you always manage to find me!" Already worked up, Naruto ranted about the unfairness of always being caught by one's teacher no matter whether or not a prank was involved. Patiently waiting for his most troublesome student to wind down, Iruka allowed himself a smile. Naruto seemed to be his normal self, and he didn't seem to be worried about the scroll, so the Academy teacher concluded that the blond prankster hadn't done this maliciously. But that left the question of why he'd done it.

"Naruto, I have a minor chakra sensor talent."


Iruka chuckled. "You wanted to know how I've always found you. I have a very small gift for chakra sensing. It takes me a few weeks to tag someone's chakra, but once I do, I can find them from over a mile away. It's a very useful skill to have on rescue missions. Now that I've answered your question Naruto, perhaps you'd care to tell me just why you felt it was okay to steal our village's most important jutsu collection." The tone was calm enough, but the look in the older man's eyes was enough to make Naruto spill his guts quickly.

"Mizuki-sensei told me that if I stole the scroll and learn a technique from I'd graduate!" Horror began to filter over Naruto's face. "But…I forgot to learn a technique! I-I got distracted by the sword!"

"Naruto!" The teacher shouted, grabbing his student's shoulders. "Calm down! What was that you said about Mizuki?" Iruka never heard the boy's answer as he felt a familiar chakra nearby. Killing intent spiked from it followed by the whistling of thrown weapons. Pushing Naruto away, Iruka tried to get clear himself but he wasn't fast enough and several kunai punctured his body. "Mizuki! What do you think you're doing?"

Grinning evilly, the silver-haired chuunin landed on the branch of a nearby tree, an over-sized shuriken spinning on one hand. "When I saw you find that brat, I thought I'd have to come up with a convincing lie, but seeing you treat him like he was a friend even after he stole the Scroll…well, that changes things. This whole thing was my idea, Iruka! I knew the demon would fail again, like he always does. But this year, I decided to take advantage of it. Thanks to the Fox, I have the scroll, and all the power the comes from it!"

"What kind of moron are you!" Naruto shouted, moving next to Iruka. "Most of that scroll can't even be read, and there isn't even a Fox here!" Mizuki's grin widened and Iruka felt a chill go down his spine. He wouldn't! He couldn't! But Mizuki was already betraying the village, he obviously felt no qualms in revealing an S-class secret, especially not if he could hurt the Demon Child while doing it.

"Tell me Naruto, have you ever wondered why everyone hates you? Why no one in this village cares for you at all?"

"Don't do it Mizuki, you'll make your sentence worse!" Mizuki ignored the other man.

"The truth is Naruto, that you are the greatest disaster this village has ever seen! You are the Kyuubi no Youko!"

"Damn you Mizuki!"

As the two men started screaming at each other, hurling threats and accusations, Naruto fell into a stunned silence, not hearing a word of the men's exchange. The young blond couldn't believe it. He was the Kyuubi? The 9-tailed living natural disaster who seemed to exist for the sole purpose of laying waste to everything. If he was the demon, though, it explained so much. Why the villagers hated him. Why he was always so alone. Why-

"Please. If you are the Kyuubi, then I'm a teapot. This DOES tell me which Demon Lord is trapped inside you though. I would suggest being careful if you plan to approach him in the future. No demon becomes a Lord without a great deal of power and cunning, and I would not be pleased to see my first wielder in centuries die because he didn't say the right thing."

"Black Mirage?" The whispered words didn't register with Iruka and Mizuki who were now fighting viciously across the clearing.

"Yes. It doesn't seem that the Kyuubi has the ability to speak with you as I do. I wouldn't expect him in the near future. So, boy, what are you planning to do about this? It seems that the one who hates you is winning." Blinking, Naruto drug himself out of himself of his stupor to see Iruka-sensei get knocked into the base of a tree with a grunt of pain.

"Iruka-sensei! Get away from Iruka-sensei you bastard!" Mizuki paused in his next strike, shuriken still spinning.

"Oh, and what are you going to do about it Fox?" Naruto shook furiously, fists clenched, ready to go over there and just pummel the traitorous bastard into the ground.

"HEY! You seem to be forgetting something?" Naruto blinked, wondering how the sword was speaking to him, even though he wasn't holding the blade right then.

"Fight first, explanations later." Feeling sheepish, Naruto turned and marched to blade laying on the ground. Both chuunin stared curiously as he walked to something, bending over to pick it up.

"N-Naruto, where did you get that sword?" Naruto smiled weakly.

"I'll explain later Iruka-sensei. First I gotta deal with Mizuki." Using both hands, Naruto lifted Black Mirage, noting that it was still pretty heavy. "Alright jerk, you're going down!" Mizuki snorted.

"We'll see about that Demon Brat. Die!" With that, Mizuki hauled back to throw.

"Run Naruto! Grab what you can of the scroll and run!"

"Time to have fun! Lets see him find you in a Mirror Image!"

Milliseconds before the throw, the air around Naruto shimmered and 9 flawless copies of Naruto appeared, each quickly jumping apart from each other including the original, acting on a strongly worded suggestion from Black Mirage. The chuunins gaped. No only was Naruto not supposed to be able to perform the Bunshin technique, the images were too far apart for the technique. They should have faded! Growing angry, Mizuki threw the shuriken anyways, aiming for the Naruto he thought was the real one. Buzzing, the weapon flew straight and true through the Naruto, who promptly disappeared into short lived motes of light.

"Damn you Demon! I'll find you sooner or later, and you'll die all the same!"

"I don't think so, Mizuki." The stroke was clumsy and poorly aimed, but the Black Mirage was a very sharp sword and Naruto was strong for a 13 year-old. With a scream of pain, Mizuki went down in a spray of blood. Trying to not to stare too hard, Iruka hobbled over to his student, clapping a hand on his shoulder.

"Congratulations, Naruto. You stopped a traitor from stealing the Scroll of Sealing and captured him in the process." A sly smile snaked across Iruka's face. "Was that a Bunshin technique I saw?" Naruto flushed in embarrassment, one hand scratching behind his head, the other leaning Black Mirage against his shoulder.

"Um, no, not really. It's called Mirror Image. It works a lot like Bunshin I think, but it's not the same thing." Naruto sighed sadly. "I guess this means another year at the Academy. At least you'll have time to time to teach me how to use Black Mirage, right sensei?" Iruka's smile turned mysterious.

"Not quite, Naruto." Moving quickly before the comment sank in too deep, Iruka removed his own headband and tied it around Naruto's head, putting the removed goggles into one of Naruto's pockets. "Congratulations on graduating, Naruto. I know you'll make me proud."

It might have been a bit girly for a newly minted genin, but Naruto had always been one to buck tradition. Crying in relief and joy, Naruto hugged his now former teacher until the man complained that he couldn't feel his legs anymore.

Being ushered into the Hokage's office not a half an hour later, Naruto wondered how the Old Man always seemed to know where to send his ANBU whenever the blond got into trouble. As the door opened, Naruto decided that this mess rated him using a trick that he'd overheard Ino tell Sakura about once. Stepping past the ANBU guards, Naruto flashed his brightest smile and opened his eyes to their widest.

"Hi Old Man!"

Sarutobi frowned ever-so-slightly. "I had a daughter of my own once Naruto; nice try." Gesturing to a chair set in front of his desk Sarutobi said. "Sit down Naruto, we need to talk. And for future reference, looking adorable to get out of trouble only works for young ladies." Grumbling, Naruto did as he was bid, leaning an unusual sword against himself. The Third Hokage eyed it curiously, having never seen anything quite like it in his lifetime. Despite it's decorations, it was a very functional weapon and the ANBU would have normally confiscated it had not the Hokage already told them to let it pass. His curiosity and faith in Naruto's loyalty easily silencing his paranoia. Slowly, the aged 'Professor' packed himself a pipe.

"Tell me Naruto, do you know why you are here?" Naruto flinched.

"I stole the Sacred Scroll of Sealing."

Sarutobi nodded. "Rather adroitly my boy. Had this been a sanctioned exercise, you would have scored very well." Seeing the boy start to smile, the Hokage cleared his throat, catching his attention. "However, this was not an exercise, but a very real crime. Luckily, Mizuki was rather lacking in self-control when he was detained and admitted to far more then he should have. It's clear to me that you were deceived by a very conniving traitor who had fooled ninja far more experienced then yourself. Therefore, you are clear of any charges. In addition, Iruka has informed me that you finally managed to perform the Bushin technique. In light of this, I'm allowing your battle-field promotion to stand." Seeing the boy cheer and dance in his seat, Sarutobi smiled happily. The Hokage knew Naruto's dreams well, and had been saddened each time he failed to graduate. Still, perhaps those failures were blessings in disguise, allowing the socially-starved boy to be grouped with his age-peers. Letting Naruto vent his euphoria, the Third waved for the boy to be still. "Now that you are a ninja, Naruto, why don't we have your first debriefing and you can tell me what happened out there."

Listening patiently, holding his questions, Sarutobi took Naruto's rather well told story with gentle draws on his now lit pipe. Wincing as he heard about the damage to the Scroll and again at the meeting of the three minds, Sarutobi's thoughts whirled, wondering what sort of questions Naruto would have for him. He was not long in waiting.

"Old Man, they were telling the truth right? That I'm not the Kyuubi?" Sarutobi nodded.

"They weren't lying Naruto. You are not, and never will be the Kyuubi. You are the warden of his prison, and I have complete faith that you will always be able to keep him contained." Plowing on as Naruto smiled again, the Hokage waved. "Any other questions?"

"Just one Old Man; do you know anyone who can teach me to use a sword?" Sarutobi nodded, gesturing with his pipe.

"There are quite a few ninja in Konoha who could tutor you in kenjutsu. Tell me Naruto, you said that the sword came out of something that looked like a seal, that it could talk to you?" Naruto nodded quickly.

"Yeah! I haven't seen him do much, but with a name like his, I bet it has awesome powers!" Sarutobi eyed the blade.

"Naruto…do you think I could speak with him?" The blond blinked.

"Um, I could ask." Twisting in his chair, Naruto grabbed the sword's handle. His expression growing dim, Naruto was perfectly still and silent for a couple of minutes before his face brightened back up. "He says no, that he only talks to his wielder. He wouldn't say why, something about Standards and Practices." The Third's eyebrows hiked up, but he continued on.

"That's alright then. Naruto, do you think your sword…"

"The Black Mirage Blade." Naruto supplied helpfully.

"…Black Mirage Blade could explain his abilities? I will need a personal record so that I can properly gauge what missions you will be able to undertake." Naruto fell quiet again, the silence lasting longer this time. When he finally started talking, it was a little slow, obviously thinking about it.

"I don't understand a lot of what was talking about 'cause he's using all these weird terms, he said something about being a focusing device. That he makes it super easy for his wielder to create illusions, so easy you can keep swinging him AND create 'illusionary constructs' at the same time. He did say that he worked best in lower light conditions because its harder to pick apart flaws in the construct." Naruto's head tilted for a moment. "Ooh! He also said that I can channel chakra through him. That's good right?"

Sarutobi chuckled. "That's actually a very impressive set of abilities Naruto. There are a great many ninja in this world who'd pay an arm and a leg for a weapon half so powerful." Sarutobi actually thought that most ninja would actually pay with someone else's arm and leg, but the elderly leader didn't want to say it quite like that to a boy he thought of as his grandson. A thought occurred to him. "Naruto…the Black Mirage Blade wouldn't happen to posses some sort of self-defense technique, would it?"

"Let me ask Old Man." This time, after he was finished speaking with sword, Naruto grew paler. "Yeah, Old Man." Even with his well-trained ears, Sarutobi could barely hear the boy's horrified whispers. "Everyone he's ever considered 'unworthy' of wielding him has died screaming in agony, begging for mercy. He also said that I should be very proud; I'm one of less then 10 people who has ever picked him up and lived." The Hokage flinched noticeably. Being told something like that could have only been terrifying, and the wily ninja doubted he could say or do anything to discourage the sword from saying things like that in the future.

"Yes, well, you should be proud. I know that I'm proud of you. Why don't you head home, Naruto? You've had a rather long day, and tomorrow is team assignments. You want to be well rested for the start of your career don't you?" Getting a shaky nod from the boy, the Third gestured subtly for one of the ANBU to escort Naruto home. Another gesture assured his privacy. Sighing, the world-weary leader packed himself another pipe. He had a great deal to think about tonight, about Naruto's new gift and how to impress on various interested parties that the sword would be staying with Naruto until proven dangerous. He could think of no one better suited to keeping an eye on the potentially dangerous sentient sword then an ex-captain of the ANBU.

Barely noticing his escort parting at the door to his apartment, Naruto marched inside, preparing for bed on auto-pilot. Eventually, dressed in full pajamas and his much loved sleeping cap, Naruto staggered to his bed, drained from the stress and shock of the day. Black Mirage remained silent, not bothering to protest being left in the living and so far from hand. In the future the intelligent weapon planned to speak up about being left behind, but his newest wielder was a child, and allowances had to be made. Probably, anyways. Black Mirage had never really dealt with children outside some very dark circumstances and was left to deal with the situation as it unfolded. That was fine, the blade thought to itself, before activating one of several powers it had yet to reveal to it's newest wielder. Transforming into a prismatic colored mote of light, Black Mirage drifted into the bedroom and promptly sank into Naruto's chest, causing the colorless pattern embedded on the boy's chest to regain all the shades of brilliance it had had before being moved from the scroll to its new residence.

"Dream, wielder, and show me what you really desire. Reveal your true nature to me…"

Author's Note: Hello. Thank you dear reader for sampling what I hope to be a scintillating work of fan fiction literature. As you've certainly noticed, this a challenge based fic, as proposed by MrWriterWriter. If you don't know the rules of this particular challenge, he posts here on FFN. I saw the challenge on his bio after reading his Naruto/Incredible Hulk cross-over and decided to take a 'stab' at it. Ok, so I'd best explain who/what the Black Mirage Blade is. The Black Mirage Blade was originally created for a very high level RPG campaign.

The Black Mirage Blade, commonly known as the Black Mirage, is an artifact-level, sentient weapon. A +6 Longsword of Epic Spell Storing and an enchantment, called metaline as riftdragon sent in, that lets said enchanted weapon overcome nearly every form of damage reduction. It doesn't add any additional damage, but you can basically hurt anything. It's mental abilities are highly developed, and it has numerous illusion-based powers that it or it's wielder can use. I'll be tweaking some of it abilities, and removing others to make it compatible with the Naruto universe(I'm not going to go through the trouble of explaining it's passage to the Naruto universe). As for the Black Mirage's disappearing act, it's an adaptation of it's original storage/concealment method.

For all you fans of Ranma Saotome Doesn't Miyah, don't cry, I'm still going to be working on it!

See ya all later.