I do not own Naruto or Warhammer 40K
AN. This is fic is set immediately after the events of the novel "Lord of the night." by Simon Spurrier. It is not necessary to have read it to understand this fic, but it is an amazing book and I highly recommend it. For those new to the Warhammer40k universe there will be a glossary at the end of each chapter when terms need to be explained. This will be a darker Naruto than in canon. If you have any questions leave them in your review or PM me.
Heir of the Talon-Master.
Chapter 7. Champion
"How about option three." A voice rang out from above and behind them. Turning the fat man holding Naruto caught a kunai in the throat. Standing on the wall above them was Anko and the rest of the Konoha Genin their faces grim and weapons held in every hand.
"We save the brat and we kill all of you."
"Get them!" Another merc shouted as he grabbed Naruto, but his voice was cut off as a kunai bounced off his skull spinning end over end, eyes glazed over he fell to the ground dropping Naruto. Anko looked over at TenTen who grinned. Shaking her head Anko brought her hand down in a sharp chopping motion. "Lee, Neji grab the brat. Everyone else start chucking stuff." Putting actions to words she threw a spray of kunai at the mercs opening a gap for Neji and Lee.
The two older genin carved through the mercs with elbows fists and pure rage. Lee broke bones with every strike and kick sending men howling to the ground, Neji alternately in front and behind of Lee stabbed right and left with stiffened fingers, driving chakra strikes into muscles and nerves. Spinning almost delicately he reduced mercenaries into twitching nerveless lumps. The rest of the genin emptied their pouches into the mob, most taking care not to actually kill anyone. Sasuke however showed no such restraint aiming kunai's at eyes and throats, Sakura her eyes wet with tears followed his example.
In a few short moments Lee and Neji reached Naruto who was already starting to recover. Throwing Naruto over his shoulder Lee nodded to Neji and the two made their way back to the wall as quickly as they could manage.
As the three genin rushed towards safety Anko's hand's began to blur as she prepared a jutsu. "Move it brats, its about to get hot." Seeing the evil grin on the jounin's face Lee and Neji suddenly found a reserve of strength and sped up into a dead run. Jumping they landed halfway up the wall where the other teens had already formed a human chain that hauled them up the rest of the way. No sooner had their feet cleared the ground that Anko took an enormous breath and let it out in a huge torrent of flame. Moving her head from left to right she walked the flames across the courtyard incinerating everything in the courtyards. Some mercs managed to scream for an instant before the flames turned their hair to ash and their bodies to candles. Candles that writhed and danced in the hellish furnace that had been a courtyard.
"Everybody out of the pool, Back across the bridge kiddies." Anko shouted with a grin as she negligently picked off the survivors that had escaped the firestorm.
Nodding dumbly the genin hopped off the wall and began to run across the bridge. Naruto leaned on Lee's soldier as he ran back in the middle of the genin pack. Suddenly he felt his weight shift as TenTen slid underneath his other arm. Behind them they heard evil cackling and explosions as Anko did something... No one turned to look, if anything they began to run faster. By the time they reached the end of the bridge Naruto was running on his own though his breathing was still heavy.
Stopping at the end of the bridge the Genin all turned around to look behind them. Anko was casually walking up to the group, one hand in the pocket of her coat the other hand holding a stick with two dango still left on it. Behind her the entire keep was burning. Great sooty clouds of smoke rose into the air, wood snapped and exploded into flaming splinters as they watched. With a thundering crash the stone walls of the keep began to fall inward raising even more dust and smoke and sending a foul wind racing in all directions.
Now that danger was past and the adrenalin began to fade the genin let themselves relax a bit. All of them save one.
Face set in a disapproving mask Sasuke stomped over to where Naruto was standing next to Lee TenTen and Neji. His mask and cap were gone and his hair hung loosely around his face.
"What do you think you were doing!" Reaching out he spun Naruto roughly around to face him. "Hey listen I-" Coughing he suddenly fell to his knees holding his stomach. Neji's eyebrows rose fractionally, he had barely been able to follow Naruto's movement as he stepped in, punched Sasuke in the gut and stepped back out again.
Sakura rushed over to Sasuke. "Oh my god what did you do to him!" Growling angrily she cocked back her fist in preparation to punch Naruto who watched her with an all too calm expression. As her fist shot forward it was intercepted by a cheerfully smiling Anko who bent her wrist back and forced the pink haired girl to her knees. "Ah ah ah. You shouldn't go around hitting your superiors." Anko grinned cheerfully.
The rest of the genin began to whisper amongst themselves at her words. Sensing their confusion Anko let her grin widen just a bit more. "Tokubetsu jounin Uzumaki Naruto. Excellent job on the distraction. You let us approach the keep safely and without incident. Next time try not to get caught." Her grin was even wider as she took in the dumbstruck faces of the genin. "Uzumaki are you good?"
Shaking himself to settle his armor, Naruto rolled both his shoulders experimentally, there was a dull ache deep inside the muscles but it seemed to be fading. Not quite trusting his voice he simply nodded.
"Everyone get some cover in the trees." Anko began to shout command voice in full swing. "Aoba and the rest should be stampeding what's left of Gato's men right into our laps. What was that?" She suddenly shouted spinning around to face the island. All over the island red flares were being fired into the air. "That's the rally signal." Anko whispered to herself. It meant something had gone wrong enough that help was required immediately. And it was being fired from all over the island.
Behind her the Genin shifted uneasily. For the first time that day Anko looked genuinely nervous, she was biting her nails without realizing it as her mind whirled back and forth considering possibilities. Shaking her head once she began rattling off orders. "Listen up were going back over the bridge. Everyone drop anything you don't absolutely need. Were going to be moving fast."
She strode into the center of the genin. "Were going to be moving in a diamond formation!" She pointed at Lee Tenten and Neji. " You three are our rearguard. Hyuga activate your Byakugen let me know the second anything starts approaching our rear. Kurenai's team take point Hinata you watch our fronts. InoShikiCho, grab the left, Me pinky and Sasuke are going to be on the right. Get in formation! NOW!" She shouted again as the genin were slow to move. "Naruto stay in the middle. Jump in and offer support as needed." Looking around she made sure everyone was in position.
"Move!" As one they all hurtled back across the bridge. Crossing it in a few moments they passed the destroyed keep without a backwards glance. "Head for that red flare!" Anko pointed towards the nearest of the bright red flares that hung in the sky.
Behind them the fog that hung over the land of waves began to thicken.
They ran headlong into trouble. Literally.
As Hinata ran past one of the many corpses littering the ground she tripped over a fallen arm, hitting the ground and somehow managing to tangle herself up with the corpse. "Get if off! Help!" She screamed shrilly.
"You two get that thing off her we need to get going." Anko snarled out in frustration. She watched impatiently as Shino and Kiba tried unsuccessfully to pull the corpse of Hinata. "Hurry up!" The body had obviously belonged to one of the locals, the rotting rags that still hung off its decaying form were simple fishing clothes.
"We can't! Its fighting us. Somebody give us a hand!" Kiba shrieked angrily.
"What?" Dashing forward Anko tossed both boys aside and grabbed hold of the corpse herself. Her hands dug deep into rotting flesh as she tried to rip it off the pale eyed girl. It really is fighting us. What is this thing? Hinata had her eyes closed as she did everything she could to keep the monsters salivating jaws away from her face. Anko's eyes widened in horror as the damn dead thing fought her tooth and nail. Finally she summoned up all her chakra enhanced strength and tore it in two. Gasping in furious relief she tossed the two halves away.
Hinata collapsed into a heap crying. Her two teammates hovered over her but they too were shaking.
"Anko. What was that!" Sasuke shouted as he waved his arms around. "That thing was dead!" His voice was high and shrill with barely contained fear.
"I don't know! Everyone get back in formation."
"Anko." Neji's voice was too calm.
Stunned everyone suddenly spun around to look outward. More decaying corpses shuffled their way up and out of the thickening fog. Some were bloated with rot and gas. Others stumbled forward on shattered limbs, mouths distended into huge grins. A few more stumbled forward as little more than bundles of dirt and bone, others were still smoldering as fire licked at their limbs and clothes. With a growing sense of horror Anko realized that the burnt ones were the mercenaries she had burned, 5 no maybe10 minutes ago. They came in ones twos, tens dozens. Clawing their way out of shallow graves with skeletal fingers they came. With them came great swarming waves of flies. Dragging their shattered bodies with whatever limbs they still possessed they came. Fat and plump from gorging on undead, the flies circled their undead hosts. And with them came the sickly sweet stench scent of rot. Here in the land of waves the dead rose.
An in every grinning skull a pale green light shone from empty eye sockets. And they came in the hundreds.
All over the island the Konoha Ninja fought against a seemingly endless horde of undead. Ninken paired up to tear corpses to pieces, jutsus blossomed everywhere tearing trees apart in a storm of splinters as the veteran jounin unleashed their strongest jutsu's. And still the undead hordes came on. Tsume and her clan members fought as savagely as their Ninken using their hands to tear corpses apart.
Stepping back Aoba looked around, the area around him and his unit was still not clear but they were winnowing the foe down. They had tried to escape above the corpses but the ninken had refused to go any higher than ground level. Tsume had managed to push a scout through to him not long after that. The fog above them was toxic and they already had some men down coughing blood. They couldn't go up that only left them the ground.
He didn't know how it was being done but he knew they were being herded. Someone or something wanted them bogged down in this fight. A flicker of movement caught his eye. Just another damn corpse. Wait! Before his very eyes he saw the one armed corpse pick up a discarded arm and press it against the stump on its shoulder. A second later a two armed corpse began making its way towards the fray. They've been fixing themselves this whole time! No wonder we can't make any headway.
"Fall Back!" He shouted, waving his hand towards the north. Reaching into his pockets he pulled out every flare of every color he had, his hands blurring as he tied explosive tags around each. Finishing up he dropped the flares and prepared a jutsu. "One thousand Crows!" he shouted as he finished his seals. Crows erupted from his hands swarming around him. "Find us someplace clear." He whispered and fed more chakra into his hands creating even more crows, these taking off with every flare he had. Flying through the miasma above the crows exploded out into open air and began to flap higher and higher. Everywhere they looked a dark green cloud hung over the Land of Waves. Everywhere save one. A clear circle was visible around one place, Gato's palace. Wheeling down in a vast circle they circled the palace once twice before flying inwards.
The murder of crows crashed into each other pecking viciously at the explosive tags wrapped around the flares.
One tag finally exploded, shattering the flare in an acid green explosion. The explosion set of a daisy chain of multicolored explosions that lit up the sky like a harvest festival. The sharp cracks of the tags and the light show were powerful enough to send ripples through the fog surrounding the island. For a moment just a moment the sky was clear. And every eye turned towards Gato's palace. Where a few crows still wheeled before vanishing into inky streamers. Almost as one unit leaders began to shout and point. "Rally at the palace! The rally point is the palace!" The call was picked up and passed along from throat to throat. In the darkness beneath the trees it was a beacon of light to the Konoha Ninja.
Snarling in rage Naruto used his claws to tear into the rotting skull of one of the undead. Splitting it like a rotten melon he shook his claws to clear some of the gore from them. Spinning like a top he used his momentum to tear through rotten ribs and send corpses flying. Around him Anko and the genin fought just as viciously. Tenten laid waste to them in groups as she targeted them with explosive tags. Lee and Neji worked in tandem to break bones and liquefy flesh. Hinata stood between her team mates guarding their backs as they used their clan jutsus to clear the area around them. Ino Shikimaru and Choji worked together almost as well, Ino and Shikimaru guarding Choji's flanks as the husky teen methodically pounded into the ground any corpse that came nearby. Sasuke fought side by side with Anko and Sakura.
But for all their skill the teens strength was flagging. Only Anko and Naruto still fought at the top of their strength.
He could feel it... There was something in the air, and several times during the fight Naruto had felt a feather light touch on his mind. It left an oily stain across his thoughts. Choking back a snarl Naruto vented his rage by picking up the nearest walking corpse and simply tearing in two. He had lost track of his 'kills' but there was no satisfaction in this bloodless slaughter. Only the application of his Master's lessons kept him from flying off the handle.
Taking a swing at the nearest corpse Naruto plunged his talons into its eye sockets and pulled hard splintering its face. It fell off its feet with no resistance. Wheeling around Naruto was the first to spot the flares through the break in the fog. "Anko Look!"
Glancing over her shoulder Anko spotted the flares just before the fog closed in again. Somehow they had ended up only a hundred feet or so from Gato's mansion. The large buildings windows had all been boarded up and the huge door stood open."Thank god." She whispered to herself. "Get inside that building." She shouted, her voice almost cracking with relief.
Breaking off their assaults individually everyone ran towards the safety of Gato's palace. They tore through the doorway at a dead run. Once inside Lee and Naruto put their backs to the massive door and began to push. Muscles bulging they strained against the massive dead weight of the door, it moved with glacial slowness the hinges screeching in rusty protest. Anko stood dead center holding off the undead horde as Ino and Shikimaru helped an injured Choji through the threshold. With Choji inside Anko threw her weight in with Naruto and Lee throwing the doors closed.
"Where's the bar?" Anko shouted as she and the two boys struggled to keep the door closed.
"We got it!" Together Sakura Ino and Tenten, dragged a large beam out of the shadows beside the door. Limping a bit Choji reached out with his big arm Jutstu and took it from them slamming it onto the locking bars, securing the door.
"Were safe." There was almost a collective sigh of relief as all the genin slid to the ground.
"What happened here?" Kiba suddenly asked.
The inside of Gato's palatial home had been gutted. Every floor, every wall, everything had been crudely torn out to create one single enormous room. It looked like the floors had been torn away in a frenzy of violence leaving broken beams and wood scraps everywhere. In the center of the room a large fire burned away throwing smoke up in to the rafters. Light from the upper windows and the fire illuminated the area fairly well. There were spots of darkness here and there and a large patch of darkness at the far end of the room from them.
"Should it be so quiet." Sakura whispered the gloomy atmosphere making her quieter than normal.
As everyone looked around the unnatural gloom kept the group fairly quiet. Hinata helped Shikimara patch up Choji in the silence.
"No." Anko said her voice flat with certainty. "Kakashi stop screwing around I know you're there. Where is Gato, did you kill him already?" Damn it Kakashi you should be here...
A low chuckle came rumbling out of the darkness at the far end of the hall. Footsteps and an odd clicking sound began to approach from that shadows at the end of the room.
And then a figure came to view. A short squat man with a toadlike face, a pair of cracked black glasses sat on his face. The folds of fat on his face seemed ready to swallow them up. A sneering grin pulled his lips back and back and even further back until it seemed the top of his head would fall off. His expensive suit was covered in stains and rips. Jewels of every size and shape adorned thick stubby fingers. As he came closer he would periodically take a bite from the oddly shaped drum stick in his hand.
There seemed to be some kind of lump on his chest but it was hard to tell what it was. Large boils and great weeping sores were visible on every inch of exposed skin and judging from the stains visible on the suit they were all over the mans body.
"Welcome Konoha Ninja." he cheerfully rumbled out taking another bite out of his drumstick. Now that he was closer the lump on his chest was revealed to be a bloody stump embedded right above where the mans heart should have been. "I am the wave Daimyo and this is my home. You may call me Lord Gato." Sensing their gaze on his chest he looked down and smiled. "Ah this." He prodded the stump carelessly. "This was a little memento from another of your brethren. Unfortunately he left before I could share a gift with him." Gato then proceeded to laugh uproariously slapping his belly with his free hand. "Still he made me a fine meal. He shook the drumstick at them.
Naruto felt nausea briefly as he saw that the 'drumstick' was actually most of a forearm with the hand still attached. A hand wearing metal backed gloves. As he walked closer he brought with him the rotting stench of a old cesspool, and other unidentifiable smells. The genin's eyes began to water as Gato slowly rounded the fire until he stood in front of their little group.
Anko choked back some vomit and her own incandescent rage as she recognized Kakashi's gloves. But anyone that could kill and then eat the copy ninja was truly a force to be reckoned with. She needed to protect the genin and hold off or kill gato until relief arrived. She only prayed that Aoba and the rest of the Inuzaku clan would arrive soon.
Tsume snarled in rage as yet more of the undead showed up to block their path. It seemed like the closer they got to Gato's home the more undead showed up to block their path. Beside her Kuromaru coughed violently. Tsume knelt down beside him rubbing his fur. "Hey you OK?"
"Rotten, they're all rotten." Kuromaru rumbled out between coughs. "Some of us will die Tsume."
"I know." Tsume whispered. She couldn't lie to her partner.
"Kiba Naruto are they safe?"
"They should be. Unless Anko brought all the genin to help out." She realized that it was a distinct possibility. She couldn't keep it from her face.
"Then we need to move." Kuromaru looked at Tsume with one weary eye. Letting out a few sharp barks he rallied the rest of the ninken.
"Lets go!" Tsume rallied her clanmates.
Naruto stared at the short squat form of Gato. A concept had been tickling the back of his mind for a while. A name. Nurgle. And with that name a desire. Challenge. He wanted to call out this arrogant toad and beat him in single combat.
It mas more than a desire now. It was an imperative. It was in his blood. His blood called for him to fight and kill. His master called for him to prove his worth as an aspirant of the Night Lords. His pride called for him to prove himself to his peers. For once every part of him was in agreement. There was no conflict in his heart, only a bone deep certainty. He reached inside of himself and looked for that deep wellspring of power that came from his rage. It burned inside him sharp and jagged, like blood covered lightning.
For the first time he reached for that power unhesitatingly. And it responded in kind racing across and through his body. Under his armor his muscles became even more sharply defined as every bit of fat on his body burned away in the flames of his rage. His vision narrowed and sharpened until all he could see was Gato.
Gato shifted his attention away from the purple hair woman to the blonde haired boy standing next to her. His eyes took on the same shifting green light that had been visible in the eyes of the undead that had hounded them all the way here.
"Fight me!" Naruto shouted striding forward pushing past Anko. She grabbed his shoulder but pulled it back when she touched his armor. That brief touch had burned her hand and little sparks of red fire had been glowing underneath the blonde's skin. Naruto pointed with one armored claw. "Childe of Nurgle. Fight me!"
Gato's face split like a frog's showing off rows and rows of needle teeth. It kept opening until his mouth was the size of a barrel. Gato's mouth extended down past his neck and seemed to be hinged somewhere in his chest. His glowing green eyes focused on Naruto. The gifts his father had give him let him see past mere flesh and skin. What he saw pleased him. "Come child of Skarbrand. Your soul will make a fine trophy." Laughing with his enormous mouth he spat a length of rusty black iron onto the floor. Picking it up he fixed the end of it onto his cane. Somehow it became a 6 foot long glaive with a corroded jagged blade of black iron. Holding the glaive in his hands Gato swelled under his clothing until they tore. His limbs were thick with fat and muscle. Swollen with strength and power from his dark god, Gato towered over the blonde.
Naruto circled his opponent his claws twitching sporadically, his eyes focused and unwavering.
Gato laughed his horrible frog mouth flapping up and down. "I will show you the power of a true chosen of the ruinous powers. You are unworthy of your gifts." He growled out his piggish green eyes narrowing in fury.
Unworthy. The words stung deep. Naruto had dealt with those words in some way or another his whole life. His confidence quailed under the force of the chaos champions words.
And suddenly time...
Behind Gato a dark shape hovered. Tall and majestic wrapped in a cloak of raven feathers. Skin as smooth and white as marble with onyx eyes. A man with a face both beautiful and terrifying in its majesty. And upon his head a black crown set with a single red ruby. Konrad Cruze, the Night Haunter. The lord of the Night. His master his Primarch. His presence filled the room calm and dangerous all at once.
A single encouraging nod and he was gone.
Time began to flow again.
Tears streamed down Naruto's face. He knew he would never forget this moment, this day. Words came unbidden to his mouth. Deep within the armored plates of his armor sparks began to flicker.
"Ave DOMINUS NOX!" Lightning erupted from within his armor, incandescent bolts streaming across every armored plate. "Hail to the Lord of the Night!" Naruto thundered his voice shaking the rafters. A red flash of energy flew out his body passing through the walls and expanding outwards in a red wave, and for a few moments huge tattered wings hung in the air behind him.
The red flash swept over the land of waves, and where it touched the undead it slowed them down. The light in their eyes flickered and when it returned it returned dimmer than before. Its effect on the Konoha ninja and particularly the Inuzaku was dramatic. The red flash restored their chakra and drove them to greater heights in battle. The Inuzaku in particular exploded into action as their energy was restored.
As the wave hit him Kuromaru it banished the poison coursing through his body. The energy set his blood to boiling. Naruto. He recognized the feel of the energy coursing through him. He grinned in his own fashion as his long ago damaged right eye opened underneath his patch. Had anyone been able to see under the patch they would have flinched at the gold iris floating in a sea of blood.
Throwing back his head Kuromaru howled, and as he did a thick brass collar forced its way out from underneath his skin. It exploded outwards in a spray of blood and fur and where blood stained the collar, it steamed away in seconds.
All around the island the ninken picked up Kuromaru's call and raised their own voices in concert. A shared call that echoed around the island. A call for blood.
Back inside Gato's Mansion Anko and the rest of the genin could only watch paralyzed as Naruto and Gato faced each other.
"Come servant of the plague God." Naruto growled out to low for anybody but Gato to hear. "I am the Night Haunter's Champion. And I am coming for you."
AN: Thanks to my Beta's Whitedragon17 and Psudocode Samurai, without whose help and inspiration this story would never have gotten off the ground. Both are amazing authors and I highly recommend All of their fics. And thanks to all my reviewers. Also check Out 'PersonalFable' he just started a pretty amazing warhammer40k/Kim Possible crossover.
AAN: If you think I made a mistake or have a suggestion or an idea, Please PM me or leave it in a review.
Also For those of you who are curious about the Night Lords and the Night Haunter. There are links on my profile.