The Soul Reaper of Konoha
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Bleach. If I did...well let's just say that Naruto would be totally different but Bleach would be about the same. I only kidnapped them to put them in situations for your own entertainment.
A/N: Chapter 10 everyone. I am sad that TokyoTV canceled Bleach before the Final Arc and replaced it with a Rock Lee Spin-Off. WHAT THE HELL? Though if the reason is so the manga can get further ahead (Even though it has 9 – 10 years left) then that is fine but if not then SCREW YOU TOKYOTV YOU IDIOTS! Also, I have had severe writer's block with part of this chapter but I am on holiday on a canal barge and we have an internet connection so I can update when this is finished.
A/A/N: Again this is an update to get rid of any errors I have missed and to get me back into writing as well as to make my stories better. Updated 20/03/2017
On with the story.
"Yo" Demon Speaking
"Yo" Demon Though
The Chūnin Exams: Part 2 The Forest and The Tower
Morning came a little too quickly for some Genin that some of them were nervous about the next part of the exam. Finding out from their Jōnin instructors that they had to be at Training Ground forty-four at 8 am unnerved them because Training Ground forty-four had been given another name, 'The Forest of Death' and its reputation made it live up to its name. Well, one Genin was not worried about what he heard about the dreaded Training Ground forty-four because he would pass this and become a Chūnin. Naruto was at the entrance with his team and the other Chūnin candidates waiting for the test to start, though his meeting with the Hokage set his mind at ease about one thing. Learning that Kisuke and a squad of 8 ANBU would deal with the Hollows that would appear, if any appeared that is, for the time that he was doing this part of the test.
"This place…it really creeps me out." Sakura said as she shuddered.
"You should be creeped out by it. They do call it The Forest of Death for a reason. And pretty soon you are all going to find out why." Anko said with a sinister smirk on her face creeping out more of the candidates.
Naruto huffed before he did an impersonation of Anko which drew everyone's attention. "They do call it The Forest of Death for a reason. And pretty soon you are all going to find out why." Naruto looked at Anko with a stare as he spoke again. "YOU THINK THAT SCARES ME? THAT'S NOTHING! I AM NOT AFRAID!"
"Wow, you really are spirited just like Ibiki said," Anko said with a smile before she threw a kunai towards Naruto aiming to skim his cheek and draw some blood. Seeing at the last second though Naruto's new reflexes kicked in and he managed to dodge the Kunai, feeling the very tip of the blade brush past his skin so lightly that it did nothing but graze the skin very lightly. Anko did not realize this until she was behind him and grabbed him in a hold. "No blood? That is a real shame. I was looking forward to seeing what you tasted like but it looks like you have some skill so maybe you might just live after all." Anko said with a sick smile as she licked his cheek right where the kunai was meant to cut which creeped Naruto out. Her attention was taken away from him as she pulled another kunai out ready to defend herself when she saw a tongue holding a kunai extend a towards her.
"Here is your kunai." The Grass Nin said.
"Why thank you," Anko said as she took the other kunai and turned to look at the Nin. "But remember this; don't sneak up on me unless you want me to kill you," Anko said with a sweet smile but noticed that the Nin hid their face with the hat they were wearing.
"Noted but I just got excited when you cut my hair that I could not help myself, though if you had drawn blood from him I would have lost it." The Grass Nin said as their tongue slowly slithered back into their mouth.
"Well looks like we have some bloodthirsty candidates in this test this year. This should be fun." Anko giggled with what everyone thought was delight before speaking again. "Now then, before we start the second test there's something I have to pass out to you all." She pulled out some pieces of paper and started to hand them out. "You all have to sign these agreement forms as there will be deaths in this part of the exam and if you do no sign these forms…well, I will be liable." Anko said with an innocent and sweet smile on her face.
"So, we are allowed to kill in this part of the exam. This is bad we might have to kill people we know." Sasuke thought in horror.
"Now to explain this part, it is the ultimate survival test. There are forty-four locked gates all around the ground. The ground consists of a forest, a river that runs right through the ground and a tower in the center. From each gate, it is about ten kilometers to the tower or just over six miles. During the test in here, you will be asked to complete a certain task which is a no rules scroll battle. All of your weapons and Jutsu are allowed." Anko at this moment pulled out two scrolls to show everyone. The white one had the Kanji for Heaven on it and the black one had the Kanji for Earth on it. "You will be fighting over these two scrolls, the Heaven and Earth scrolls."
Naruto started to look at the others at that point. If this was going to be a fight for scrolls, then he would need to look for one thing. A weak team that was not from Konoha to take out so they can grab the scroll they needed from them.
"Now then there are twenty-six teams so half of you will get the Heaven Scroll and the other half of you will get the Earth Scroll. To pass you and your team must get to the tower at the center of the grounds with both scrolls meaning a minimum of thirteen teams will fail. Also, there is a time limit of five days on this part of the exam." She explained to everyone there.
"What about food?" Chōji shouted.
"Well, you will have to hunt for it," Anko said as if it was nothing. "Now if you do not reach the tower within five days with both scrolls you will fail. If you lose a teammate or one of your teammates is killed you will fail. If you open your scrolls before you get to the tower you will fail and there will be a…surprize if you do. This will test your trustworthiness. Also, you cannot quit in the middle of the test. Once you are in, you are in for five days. That is it, now sign your forms and hand them in for a scroll then head to a gate. I will give you one bit of advice though…do not die."
Naruto noticed that the hut they handed the forms in to get the scroll was covered with a curtain. "So, we cannot see which team gets which scroll or who is holding it. This just sucks. I wonder how we will play it, though?" Naruto thought to himself as his team picked up the Heaven Scroll. As they headed to gate twelve they stood waiting at the gate till it was opened for them. As soon as the instructor opened the gate Team 7 dashed straight into the grounds and picked up the pace. "What should we do first?" Naruto asked.
"I think the best option is to try and find a team as quick as possible so we can get the Earth Scroll. After that, we can head straight to the tower." Sasuke replied.
"Sounds good Sasuke-kun."
"What is it Naruto?" Sakura shouted.
"I need to take a leak," Naruto said before stopping and heading behind the trees.
"Hurry up. The quicker we can get to the tower and get a scroll, the quicker we can complete this part of the test." Sasuke shouted.
It was not long before Naruto returned, though Sasuke picked up on something as Naruto spoke. "Ahhh that's better. Sorry, I took longer than I thought," Before anything else could be said thought Sasuke punched him hard in the face sending him back a few feet. "What did you do that for?"
"Where is Naruto?" Sasuke said with a glare.
"I am Naruto!"
"Naruto's right handed yet your shuriken holder is on your left leg. You suck at this worse than he does," Sasuke stated.
"How unlucky, you have discovered me. No matter…which one of you has the scroll?" The Rain Nin said as he dropped his disguise and charged at them throwing kunai at them.
Sasuke avoided the attack as Sakura managed to get out of the way. Sasuke made hand signs before he shouted, "FIRE STYLE: PHOENIX FLOWER JUTSU!" Several fireballs flew towards the Rain Nin who managed to dodge them all with ease. As Sasuke chased the Nin down he noticed that the Nin was on his own before Naruto kicked the Nin in his stomach. Sasuke seeing his chance grabbed a kunai and saw that Naruto did as well before both plunged each weapon into each arm of the Rain Nin causing him to scream out in pain.
The Rain Nin managed to push them both away, making them remove their kunai in the process. "I thought I would be lucky if I came on my own. But it looks like it cost me." As he landed he ran off into the forest no doubt towards his group.
"Even if you are always late when coming to the rescue, it was nice of you to finally show up," Sasuke said with a smirk.
"Sorry about that, he got me when I was on my way back," Naruto said with his hands behind his head.
"Did you both really have to go that far, though?" Sakura asked.
"We had to Sakura; he was willing to kill us to get information. Just like Ibiki said so we must be willing to do the same…no matter who it is we face. Though it might be wise if we do not separate again, it would make us easy targets." Sasuke said as they started off again towards the tower again.
"Ok, then but what happens if we do get separated again?" Naruto asked.
"Naruto for once you brought up a valid point. Ok, we will make a code word then. When asked Nin Song 'Nin Machine' reply with 'A large amount of loud enemies is the friend of the Shinobi, hide and remain silent. A Shinobi must understand the proper time, when the enemy is tired and ill-prepared.' If someone gets it wrong, you will be treated like the enemy no matter what you look like. Ok?" Sasuke said.
"Memorized," Sakura said.
"Can you not make it just that little bit easier for me Sasuke?" Naruto pouted as they kept running.
"Sorry Naruto but that is the code word," Sasuke said. "I will hold the scroll." At this Naruto nodded and threw the scroll to Sasuke who caught it. "Next time pass it Dobe. Someone could have stolen it that way."
"Sorry, just nervous."
"We all are."
Sakura, however, felt that something was wrong. When she looked to her left an explosion right next to her blasted her away as well as Sasuke and Naruto. "Ouch, that hurt." Sakura slowly got to her feet, still dazed by the blast, and headed to where the explosion was. Luckily for her, she bumped into Sasuke almost straight away. "Sasuke-kun."
"Sakura…? Stay away. Nin Song 'Nin Machine'." Sasuke said with a kunai drawn. Sakura nodded and replied with the correct response which caused Sasuke to relax. "Good now we need to find Naruto."
"No need here I am," Naruto replied.
"Naruto, Nin Song 'Nin Machine'," Sasuke said quickly. Naruto correctly said the code word much to Sakura's delight but Sasuke threw the kunai he had in his hand at Naruto. "Who the hell are you, fake?"
"Sasuke-kun, what are you talking about? He got it right." Sakura said in shock.
Naruto dodged before dropping the transformation and revealing the Grass Nin from before. "Interesting, how did you know I was fake even though I said the code word correctly? Enlighten me please."
"I knew someone was listening to us as we were traveling, so I made the code word like that on purpose. The reason is simple; Naruto would never be able to remember a song that long so quickly. So, you had to be the fake." Sasuke said with a smirk.
"I applaud you then, 'Nether tired nor ill prepared' are we? Looks like I will enjoy this after all." The Grass Nin said in praise.
"Man, where the hell am I?" Naruto looked around as he sat up slowly. "Damn I really took a knock to the head." Naruto shook his head before his pager beeped. "What now?" As he opened it he saw an order. "Why does this have to happen to me?" Quickly he found a cave to hide his body while he was facing the incoming Hollow, took out his badge so he could switch and walked out of the cave while drawing his Zanpakutō. "Alright, where are you going to appear?"
"Behind you kit."
Naruto managed to dodge the attack and get a look at the Hollow. It looked almost snake like apart from the arms it was using to raise itself off the ground and the mask that made it look like it had a human skull for a head. His thoughts, however, shifted to the fact that he was lifted off the ground and a huge pressure was applied to his chest. To his horror, he saw that a giant snake had him in its grasp and was about to eat him whole. "Put me down damn it!" The snake however just did what it was told to do and swallowed Naruto whole but as it finished the Hollow attacked the snake and tried to grab its head. "Yuck, I need to get out of here." He tried to move his arm with his blade and ended up cutting into the snake's insides slightly making Naruto notice and smirk.
"I take it you want my Earth Scroll since you have the Heaven Scroll." The Grass Nin said before the tongue wrapped around the scroll and the Grass Nin swallowed it. "Come and get it than by fighting me to the death."
Suddenly Sasuke noticed the Nin's eyes seemed to…he did not know but suddenly his mind was occupied because he was frozen by fear. He managed to look at Sakura who was on her knees shedding tears filled with fear. "Sakura, she is lost in the fear. So much Killing Intent from just the eyes, I need to do something or we are going to die." Through determination, Sasuke managed to grab a kunai from his pouch, his arm shaking still.
"He is still able to move with this amount of Killing Intent? He is impressive." The Nin remarked before grabbing several kunai and throwing them right at the two frozen Genin. "Now stay still!" Sasuke managed to move just enough to stab himself in the thigh, activate his Sharingan to allow him to dodge the kunai and grab Sakura so they could get away to safety. "Well, well I was right about him, I will enjoy this hunt."
Naruto was struggling to position his Zanpakutō so he could gut the snake. "Just a bit more." Feeling the resistance suddenly give way a bit he smiled and could thrust the blade through the snake's skin. The snake flinched in pain as it finished striking the Hollow in the head with its tail and looked down causing the Hollow to stop and look as well. The next thing the snake felt was the extreme pain of the blade cutting through its skin like it was nothing, killing the snake instantly as the blade cut through the heart as well.
Naruto crawled out slowly covered in the snake's blood with a grin on him as he looked at the dead snake. "Nothing will stop me from achieving my dreams. Not this exam, not the other Genin and not a stupid snake like you!" The Hollow seeing Naruto was distracted tried to go for the killing blow so it could eat him; unfortunately for it Naruto turned around with a look on his face that he had the first time he became a Soul Reaper that scared the Hollow but this time his eyes started to glow red as his Spiritual Pressure started to surround him and was the same red as his eyes. "And that also goes for any stupid Hollows like YOU!" Naruto swung his Zanpakutō with all of his strength upwards through the ground and cleaved the Hollow perfectly in half. The Hollow flew back and hit the ground hard before it started to dissolve. Naruto then sheathed his blade on his back before shaking his head and looking at the damage he did to the ground. "Wow, where did that come from? I will worry about it later; I need to find Sakura-Chan and Sasuke-Teme." He got to his body and quickly went back inside of it before trying to find his teammates.
Sasuke was looking around to try and see if that Nin was following them before removing the kunai from his thigh and speaking to Sakura. "Listen Sakura, we need to find Naruto and then run away from this..this Nin." He was not even looking at her when he said this so he did not see what was starting to appear behind her.
Sasuke covered her mouth with his hand as he looked at her with a serious look in his eyes. "I mean it, this is too much for us to handle. If we fight we will die." Sasuke looked back behind her before Sakura moved his hand.
Sasuke managed to push Sakura out of the way before jumping up high to avoid the giant snake. Thinking he had outsmarted it his face suddenly dropped when the snake started to follow right after him. Thinking fast he threw several shuriken at the snake to pin it to the tree branch below before landing on another branch. "I got so caught up in looking for that Nin we nearly got taken out by a snake." The two Genin had a look of shock however when the snake seemed to pulse near the head.
The Grass Nin that had attacked them burst out of the snake with a sick smile on their face. "You should always keep your guard up. Prey should always be looking to run away when a predator has its sights on them." The Nin then slithered around and up the branch towards Sasuke before being abruptly stopped by several kunai and shuriken.
"Sasuke…" All three of the Nin looked up and saw Naruto. Sakura had a look of joy on her face at the sight of Naruto, Sasuke still had fear on his when he saw Naruto and the Nin just looked at him intrigued. "…sorry I forgot the code word. That and I had to deal with a giant snake that swallowed me whole." Naruto said with a smile on his face.
"Naruto get out of here right now! This Nin is too strong for us to handle and will kill us all!" Sasuke shouted.
"Wait a minute; this Nin looks like a snake. So, could that mean he sent that snake after me?" Naruto thought before he spoke again with a smile on his face. "Sasuke we won't know if we don't try, will we?"
Sasuke ignored Naruto and shut off his Sharingan as he said something that shocked his teammates, "I will give you our scroll in exchange for our lives. Take it and go."
"WHAT THE HELL?!" Naruto screamed.
"Clever…the only way for prey to escape from a predator is to give it a different meal." The Nin said with a smile.
"Take it then and leave us alone." Sasuke then threw the scroll but before it could reach its target it was snatched out of the air by Naruto. "NARUTO, YOU DOBE, DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM DOING HERE?" Sasuke was shocked again as he was punched full force by Naruto sending him flying. "Have you LOST IT?"
"Sasuke…you are an imposter."
"What the hell are you on about? I am the real Sasuke!"
"NO, YOU ARE NOT! The reason is because the Sasuke I know would not act like such a coward. I do not know how strong he is but how do you know if he will let us live after you give him our scroll? You are not thinking right because you are scared! Also, you told me never to throw the scroll or someone could steal it like I did before." Naruto said with anger in his eyes but with a huge smile on his face at the last comment.
"Naruto-Kun is right. I do not need you to give me the scroll when I can just kill you and take it." The Nin wiped some blood on his arm over some symbols before shouting, "SUMMONING JUTSU!"
"Oh no, you don't!" Naruto dashed off to try and stop him ignoring Sasuke and Sakura telling him to stop.
Naruto was suddenly hit hard and sent flying into a tree as he coughed up blood causing Sasuke and Sakura to both shouted out "NARUTO!"
The Nin was standing on top of a snake that was bigger than the others alone. "Eat him and this time; make sure that he does not escape." The snake darted towards Naruto who ended up dodging somehow.
"EAT THIS!" Naruto slammed his foot into the snake's lower jaw knocking it back but not before everyone saw that his whisker marks had darkened, his nails changed to claws, his canines had grown into fangs and his eyes looked animalistic.
Deep inside Naruto in a landscape that looked like a dull and destroyed Konoha, stood a single man on top of what looked like Naruto's Zanpakutō handle which was impaled into a building that looked like the Hokage Tower. "It is happening again Kurama. Please try and help Naruto or I fear that your dark half will try and take his body right now."
"I will try."
The man looked as a building collapsed and was removed from the skyline. "When you are like this Naruto or you are hurt by the villages, the buildings fall and the village gets smaller. I do not know if we can ever get back the true form of this world again but every time this happens…it makes me sad and angry." The man then lowered his head slowly.
"So, this is the…" The Nin thought as Naruto tried to get close to attack again but was blasted away by the snake. "He is the Jinchūriki of the fox."
"Naruto has lost it but he is so strong." Sakura thought as he landed hard but got right back up again ready to attack.
"This is the Dobe? But he is the Dead Last." Sasuke thought in shock.
The Nin seeing Naruto try again blew what looked like smoke and debris right at him, knocking him away further. "Now it is your turn Sasuke!" The Snake darted towards Sasuke who froze with fear and could not move.
The snake stopped dead before reaching Sasuke, as it was being held back by Naruto using his body and two kunai before speaking. "Hey, are you ok scaredy-cat?" Sasuke suddenly remembered he had said that to Naruto when he froze up on the Mission to Wave but what struck him the most was the eyes Naruto had that it scared him. Before anything else could be said Naruto was lifted off his feet by the Nin's tongue. "Hey, let me go DAMNIT!"
"Ah, so you are the Jinchūriki of the Nine-Tailed Fox then. When your emotions are heightened the Fox's Chakra overflows, very interesting." The Nin said barely above a whisper before using their tongue to lift Naruto's shirt up as the Nin's finger tips started to glow purple. "And there is the seal which will make this a lot easier. FIVE PART SEAL!"
Just as the hand was apart to connect Kurama released a lot of Chakra to try and disrupt the seal as did Yami Kurama who also did something else. With a sick grin, he implanted something inside the Chakra he released into Naruto to disrupt the seal that would only grow in strength. When the hand connected, the Nin noticed difficulty in completing the seal but what shocked him, even more, was Naruto's eyes shifted making the whites of his eyes black and his irises yellow with black pupils. He managed to finish the seal but Naruto broke out of his hold and managed to claw the Nin in the face while screaming in a high-pitched voice that scared everyone. As the Nin moved away Naruto started shaking before his eyes suddenly turned back to his normal blue. "What the…hell did you do to me?"
The Nin just smiled before the Nin noticed the skin on his face had a few tears in it. Thinking the disguise had lived out its usefulness the Nin ripped the face off and showed the three Genin what he finally looked like. He had an extremely pale-skinned face, amber eyes with slits in them and purple markings around his eyes making him look like a snake. His nose looked like it was flat from the front and the nostrils looked like slits which added to the snake like appearance. "So now you know what I really look like. Well at least let me tell you who I really am. My name is Orochimaru, one of the three Legendary Sannin." Orochimaru said with a smile.
"I don't care who you are, just tell me, what do...you want and what the...hell have you done...to me?" Naruto shouted as he started to get dizzy and stumbled a bit.
Orochimaru just looked at him before speaking. "What I have done to you is make you weaker by sealing your…tenant. As for what I want, well what I want…" His tongue then slowly licked his lips as Naruto clutched his stomach in pain falling to the floor. Seeing that Sakura and Sasuke were trying to find out what was wrong with their teammate Orochimaru made his neck stretch and extended it towards them shouting, "…IS SASUKE!" Sasuke not thinking straight, turned to face Orochimaru when he heard his name but regretted it when he was bitten by the Sannin on his neck.
As Orochimaru retreated back to himself Sasuke felt a tremendous amount of pain flow through his body as he dropped to his knees. Sakura went to him and saw that three symbols slowly started to appear right where he had been bitten. "What did you do to him?" Sakura shouted.
"I gave Sasuke a going away present. He will be seeing me soon." Orochimaru laughed as he sunk into the giant snake before it disappeared back to where ever it came from.
Naruto slipped into unconscious as Sasuke screamed in pain as the three symbols slowly became clearer and started to look like Sharingan tomes. Sakura looked at them both in horror as one thought passed through her mind. "What should I do?"
Naruto slowly opened his eyes and sat up and saw himself on top of the Hokage Tower in a dull world. He looked around and saw that it was Konoha but it was destroyed with most buildings in ruins and the Hokage Monument was nothing but rocks. He stood up slowly and spoke softly. "Where am I?"
"I see you have finally come to see me."
Naruto turned and saw that the man before him had a white cloak covering most of his body, a hood that covered most of his hair except a few bangs that were grey in colour, his eyes were solid coal black and his face had an aged look to him but apart from that Naruto saw not much else to him. "Sorry am I disturbing you?"
"You still do not know, do you?" The man asked.
"I thought so. Let me give you a hint." The man suddenly pulled out of thin air Naruto's Zanpakutō making Naruto get on the defensive. "Relax I am not going to hurt you."
"Then why am I here?"
"So, we can finally meet. The Kyūbi has already spoken to me but he wanted you to see me for yourself because…" The man threw Naruto his blade suddenly making Naruto struggle to catch it. "…I am your Zanpakutō."
"How is that possible, a blade having a soul?"
"It is the truth kit."
Naruto looked and saw Kyūbi in his cage on top of what used to be the Hokage Monument through what looked like a window. "Why did you not tell me?"
"A Soul Reaper has to find out about his Zanpakutō spirit themselves or they would not strengthen the bond they have with their blade. Although to be honest, I did not know Zanpakutō's had spirits until I found yours." Kyūbi said.
"The Kyūbi is right Naruto; if you had met me through your tenant you would not be as strong as you will be when you next go into your Soul Form. But now we will do this bit properly, so please tell me your full name." The spirit said.
"You know it already I am guessing but ok…my name is Naruto Uzumaki."
"My name is Kurama."
Naruto turned to Kurama and looked at him before speaking. "I did not think you had a name Ky…Kurama. I just thought it was Kyūbi." Naruto said sheepishly.
"Most do kit but I am used to it, so either Kyūbi or Kurama is fine."
"Now it is my turn. My name is ******."
Naruto looked oddly at the spirit before speaking. "I just heard a high-pitched noise and did not hear your name."
"A pity but understandable. While you have come so far in such a short time the chances of you hearing my name were still slim. However, I have a feeling you will hear my name soon Naruto Uzumaki. And when you do, you will know what a Soul Reaper can truly do." The spirit looked at Naruto in the eyes with what looked like a small smile on his face.
"What do you mean?" Naruto asked before he suddenly felt himself leave this world.
"Do come and visit me again soon Naruto." The spirit's last words caused Naruto even more confusion before Kurama spoke one last time.
"The seal that Orochimaru placed on you has been disrupted so I can still help, just not as much."
Naruto slowly woke up and saw Shikamaru and Chōji staring at him. "Guys he is waking up."
"Naruto, you had us worried you know," Chōji said.
"Is everyone ok? What about Orochimaru?"
"The Snake Sannin?" Shikamaru asked.
"He attacked us and did something to me and Sasuke. We managed to hold him off, though." Naruto said.
"Are you telling me that both you AND Sasuke held off one of the Legendary SANNIN?" Ino said with what looked like awe in her eyes.
Naruto slowly sat up but regretted that he did as he vomited. "Naruto, take it easy," Shikamaru said as he helped him to his feet.
"Whatever he did to me, it is disrupting my Chakra." Naruto strained to say before his legs gave out and all his weight went onto Shikamaru before Chōji came and took some of the weight.
"We can get someone to look at you, Sasuke and Lee when you get to the tower," Shino said softly.
"Lee…what happened to him?" Naruto said quietly.
"He defended me and got really badly hurt by three Nin from Oto. Though Sasuke managed to deal with them." Sakura quietly said as she helped Sasuke stand up.
Naruto looked over at her then looked confused. "What happened to your hair Sakura-chan?"
"Oh urm…I decided I needed a new look and long hair is not practical for a Ninja." She answered with an embarrassed look on her face but Naruto bought it.
Neji looked at Naruto with slight concern before turning his attention to Hinata with a look filled with hatred and anger but decided to keep quiet.
"We need to get moving, all of us. The tower is still a day or two away." Tenten stated before speaking again. "Lee needs to be fixed up and rest and you two need the same."
Sasuke who was quiet in all of this spoke up suddenly. "She is right. Do all of you have both scrolls?" Each team showed both the Heaven and Earth Scroll in their hands, though he did pick up on Neji acting strangely and looking towards Hinata but he dropped it before speaking. "Well we just got the Earth Scroll so let's head to the tower as a unit. The odds of being attacked for our scrolls will be reduced this way instead of going in just our teams."
Urahara looked around him with a worried expression on his face. He knew something was wrong but could not think of what it was that was causing it. Hollows come through all the time to feed but normally one at a time or a few at once but since the start of the second test, the numbers coming through were too many. As the ANUB finished off the latest Hollow and Urahara sheathed his blade he started to wonder what was making these Hollows attack. "Could it be a…no, why would it be a Menos Grande? Then what is it?"
His thoughts were interrupted suddenly by one of the ANUB. "Behind you Urahara-san!"
Urahara not missing a beat turned around quickly while unsheathing his blade and slashed right through the Hollow's mask and head killing it instantly. "Thank you for the heads-up Eagle."
Eagle nodded slightly as another member, Lion, spoke up. "What do you think is causing this?"
"Well, there are several reasons why this could be happening. Unfortunately, we will not be able to discover what is causing this until it is too late." Urahara said as he sheathed his blade again.
"Then how do we stop it?" Falcon asked.
"We don't. All we can do is prepare for whatever it is. I want you eight to stay in the village and take out any Hollows that might turn up before they kill someone."
"What about you Urahara-san?"
"I am going to inform our young friend Naruto of the situation. While this might affect the village, it could affect him as well. I would like for him to be as prepared as us." Urahara said before dashing off towards Training Ground forty-four.
They had finally all arrived at the tower with two days left to spare, after taking the journey to the tower very slowly due to Lee's injuries. Naruto and Sasuke could walk on their own again after a day and a half which made the journey a bit easier. After they arrived they headed into the towers main reception area and saw…nobody else. "Where is everybody? Are we the only ones that made it so far?" Ino asked.
Naruto shook his head softly before he thought of something. "Sakura get our other scroll and open it with me." Sakura had a puzzled look on her face before realizing what Naruto meant and got the Earth Scroll out as Naruto got the Heaven Scroll out. Before anyone could stop them, they had opened them up.
"Nothing. What the…?" Naruto said disappointedly.
Sasuke looked at the scrolls then had a look of shock on him as he spoke. "Naruto, Sakura drop the scrolls! They have a Summoning Jutsu on them!" Realizing it themselves they both dropped the scrolls and jumped back as the Jutsu completed itself revealing Iruka standing there.
"Well there is more of you than I expected but I guess this will make it easier for me, though I will say it looks like you have all been through a tough time," Iruka said with a smile.
"What are you doing here Iruka-sensei?" Shikamaru asked.
"Well at the end of the second test, it is set up so that the Chūnin can meet up with the exam takers and I was one of the ones allowed to greet you since you were all my students at some point or another. And you made it with two days to spare as well." Iruka explained before speaking again. "So, all twelve of you pass the second test, congratulations."
"WE DID IT!"
The rest of the Genin just smiled as Naruto jumped up and down at Naruto's antics before Sasuke spoke up. "So, if any of us had opened the scrolls before we got here what were you going to do Iruka-sensei?" As he asked this the rest of the Genin took notice as Shikamaru smiled.
"You always were the sharp one Sasuke, just like me. Since it is a summoning scroll I gather Iruka-sensei would have done something to us to disable us from the rest of the exam as it was part of the test to see if we could follow orders to the letter. Correct?" Shikamaru stated with a smile on his face.
"Those were my exact orders Shikamaru. There is no fooling you." Iruka said with a smile.
"Sensei I need to ask but what is the meaning of the words on the wall? It is missing a word, though." Tenten asked causing the others to notice the words too.
"It is the motto of the Chūnin written by The Hokage. Heaven refers to the mind while Earth refers to the body. So 'If you lack Heaven seek wisdom, be prepared' would, for example, apply to Naruto. If his weakness is his brain, then gain knowledge and prepare for them missions." Naruto pouted as some of the girls giggled.
"Not funny guys."
"Also 'If you lack Earth, run in the fields, seek advantages' So, for example, if Sakura and Ino both have low stamina then it is saying you must continue to train hard." Sakura and Ino blushed at this making Naruto smirk.
"And if you have both Heaven and Earth you can succeed in the most dangerous missions. So basically, all missions become easy and safe." Iruka said before continuing again. "The missing word is the word 'person' which refers to Chūnin. The last sentence is 'These rules will guide a person's extremes.' These five days of survival were to test the candidate's basic abilities to become a Chūnin. The reason being is that we are at the rank of Military Captain, and are responsible for leading a team. Everything you have done here is needed for your duties so I want you guys to take the next challenge with this motto in mind. That is all I have to pass on to you all."
Naruto was taking a much-needed rest after being seen to by the medics. The seal placed on him had been disrupted but no one knew how to remove it so, for now, Naruto would have to suffer. Lee was resting well and had been fixed up so that was one thing off his mind. Sasuke, however, refused to be seen as he said he was fine now but Naruto noticed he had taken a slightly darker turn. He could not put his finger on it but he knew he should be worried.
"Here you are."
Naruto smiled and turned around. "Hey, Urahara-san. What are you doing here?"
"Well can I not come to see you, the newest Soul Reaper?" Urahara said with a smile on his face.
"True but it has to be a problem or you would not have come to see me during the test. I was told you and eight ANBU would take over till the test was over."
"Ok, you got me. There is a problem and I have come to inform you of the situation. Since you have started this part of the exam quite a few Hollows have been showing up. Now they are weak ones and seem to be cannon fodder which, to me, means something is coming," Urahara said with a serious face.
"And I take it there is a possibility it will come after me whatever it is," Naruto said.
"Correct or it could attack the village so I am just covering the bases and making sure you know about it. After all, you are a Soul Reaper."
"Urahara before you go I need to ask…does a Zanpakutō have a spirit? I met someone claiming to be one."
"Was it inside you?"
"Yes, it was. Kyu…sorry, Kurama was there too and said it was true."
"Kurama…interesting." Urahara looked at Naruto with a smile. "To answer your question yes all Zanpakutō's have spirits. That is how Soul Reapers get stronger by bonding with their spirits."
"Great just wanted to make sure in case it was some kind of trick or something."
"Well don't worry about it. It is natural though it is rare to have met your own one so early. Anyway, you know about the situation now Naruto." Urahara smiled before he walked off. Naruto was left in the corridor as he thought of a plan to prepare.
"He is becoming more like Ichigo every day."
Two days had passed with a total of seven teams passing after the test had ended. "First, congratulations on passing this part of the exam," Anko said with a slightly disappointed look on her face. She was hoping more people would have been eliminated but she did say she would cut their numbers in half so that was a plus for her. "Now Hokage-Sama will explain the Third Test. So, listen."
"Thank you, Anko. Now before I explain that I would like to tell you all the true meaning of this exam." The Third said as he stood before the candidates and their Jōnin instructors. "'Why do we have all the allied countries take the exams together?' you might think to yourselves. 'To promote friendship among the countries?' Partly yes. 'To raise the level of Shinobi?" Again, this is partly true, however, I do not want to confuse you about the true meaning which is a replacement for war between the allied countries."
As the Genin started to mutter between each other after hearing this, the Third spoke again bringing the Genin to a sudden silence and listened once more. "What does that mean? If you go back in time all of the current allies were enemies fighting over who would rule. To prevent the pointless battles, it then became the stage for the Chūnin exams."
"Now one reason for this exam is to see which candidates are eligible in becoming Chūnin. There is another side to the exam, however, and that is each countries Shinobi put their lives on the line to protect their land's prestige. This is because watching the Third Exam will be leaders and influential individuals from all over the lands who make up the clients for the Shinobi." The Third then took a puff of his pipe before continuing. "Also, the leaders of the countries will also be there to watch each of your battles. If a country is strong they will gain more clients. The downside is if a country is weak then they will lose clients to another country."
As the Third was about to continue when a roar was heard around the room making the people who did not know start to become scared. Even Orochimaru, disguised as a Sound Jōnin, had a look of fear on his face. To the ones who knew what it was, mainly Naruto, they started looking around to see where it was coming from to attack. They did not have to wait long as a Hollow soon appeared right in front of the Hokage who showed no sign of fear on his face. As the Hollow was about to strike it suddenly stopped as Shinigami was behind it on one knee with his blade drawn. The Hollow soon split apart and began to dissolve as Shinigami stood up to his full height and rested his blade on his shoulder before turning to the Hokage. "Hokage-sama are you alright?"
"I am fine, thank you Shinigami."
"Hey, guys. Has anyone else noticed Shinigami-San's sword is bigger?" Ino spoke in a quiet tone so no one else but the Genin 12 could hear.
"I noticed but thought I was seeing things, to be honest," Neji said softly.
"Shinigami told me it is because he has gotten even stronger. But it is not a different sword, it is the same one but it just grew in size." Naruto said.
"You mean that depending on the size of Shinigami-san's sword shows how strong he is?" Sakura asked.
"Pretty much. I do not know how it is possible but that is what I got told."
As Shinigami was about to make his way out he suddenly felt a strong pressure on him. He had a slight difficulty in breathing but he noticed the pressure was not strong enough to make him drop to his knees. "Is this Killing Intent?"
"It is Spiritual Pressure also known as Reiatsu. It is very similar to Killing Intent but it uses Spiritual Power or Reiryoku. But this feels…wrong." The Spirit said.
"It feels like a Hollow. But…"The Spirit was cut off as a second Hollow attacked. Shinigami managed to dodge the attack in time and land a fair distance away from the Hollow to try and read what it can do.
"The Protector shows himself, and also my prey."The Hollow was built like a Tiger but had hands for front paws instead. Its mask resembled that of a bird of prey of some kind as well as having a fire like design around the mouth of the mask.
Shinigami looked at the hollow before he suddenly felt the Pressure again but this time with more force pushing him down to one knee. He tried to stand up again but failed to see the Hollow strike him hard in the stomach sending him towards the wall hard enough to leave cracks on the surface.
"Interesting ability I have. I am able to control my Spiritual Pressure like a normal Soul Reaper!"Shinigami struggled to get to his feet before stumbling slightly as the Hollow closed in on him.
"You can…" Shinigami suddenly felt a presence on his back before feeling something grip his throat. "I can feel something grabbing my throat like claws but there is nothing there"
"Time to die!"The Hollow charged at him but suddenly flew back from a kick. As the Hollow looked up he saw another Shinigami and the one he was about to kill disappear. "How?"
"Nice trick you have, but Spiritual Pressure and Killing Intent are similar. You just have to know how to get around it." Shinigami raised his blade into an attack stance as the mask showed off a smile.
"You will not stop me from getting revenge Soul Reaper!"The Hollow used his Spiritual Pressure again to try and freeze Shinigami but he moved quickly and tried to strike at the Head of the Hollow but was attacked by the tail of the Hollow which had a spike on it that just missed impaling him but did slash his left upper arm.
"What do you mean?" Shinigami hid the pain he felt from the cut as he landed and stood up again.
"It is simple. I want to devour Naruto for killing me in the orphanage."
Shinigami looked shocked but hid his reaction well enough to hide who he was as Naruto looked visibly shaken and scared. The candidates had moved towards the Jōnin and the Hokage but all of them had seen Naruto's reaction. "It…it c…can not be. Hiroshi?"
"So, you finally clicked. I have been given a chance to get my revenge and I will not die until I have achieved it!"
Hiroshi extended his tail towards Naruto as he was still frozen by fear. The rest of the Genin 12 had drawn Kunai and Shuriken and threw them at the tail to try and slow it down. When it did not they all stood their ground but some noticed Neji was acting strangely. The Tail was about to strike Sakura when it struck someone else. When Sakura finally looked after feeling no pain she looked in horror to see Shinigami facing her and had taken the spike right through his right shoulder.
"Damn it. I did not think to block with my blade. Are you alright Sakura?" As he finished speaking some blood came down the mouth of his mask and dropped onto the floor.
"Because all of you are important to Naruto, which means all of you are important to me as well." Shinigami suddenly screamed as the spike was roughly pulled out of his shoulder by Hiroshi and dropped to his knees.
"You can't win Soul Reaper. I will get my revenge!"
"That is where you are wrong," Shinigami said as he stood up ignoring the pain and faced Hiroshi. "I am going to beat you and do you know why?" Hiroshi narrowed his eyes at Shinigami before he spoke again. "I learned not long ago that my blade has a soul in it. And I am not going to die before I learn his name." Shinigami finished with a smile as he somehow had enough strength to hold his blade in an attack stance.
"Then one of us will die here today." Hiroshi glared before standing on his two back legs and his tail acted more like a scorpion's as the spike was above his head ready to strike when needed.
That is this chapter finally done with. Well, it is Day 6 on the Canal Barge and we are nearly back to the start which means the holiday is over. And the second day was hell because we did 41 locks in 8 hours. My legs became dead weight. I am sorry it took me so long to post this chapter but here it is now.
Here are the reviewer responses:
OBSERVER01: Short? Maybe to some stories but the chapters are getting longer with each chapter. (This one is over 8,500 words lol) but I think you mean, keep it up afterwards though I am not sure. Thanks anyway.
The-lazy-bum: Thank you for saying that.
Sang28: What grammar errors do you see? I have checked and I don't see any. Also, I think someone said Kon is in trouble if he appears and tries to go to Tsunade. (Btw that is how you spell Tsunade just so you know lol)
Goddess of Night Eternal Faith: Thank you and always like it when I get a review from you. And will anyone else be a Soul Reaper? I am not sure, to be honest. Though some of the other questions I hope got answered in this chapter.
AlucardBahamut: I had a nice chat with you over messages as it was fun talking to you and I am hoping you will review again.
Garuda 1 Talisman: Well I think you will not have to wait that long as my mind is running on overtime now lol.
stormingnight: Thank you for saying so.
swimmingintears: Orochimaru is still a major villain in this story but yes you will be seeing other Characters from Bleach but I am not sure how soon.
FSRally: It is because I had writer's block which is always a pain lol.
Anyway, guys, I will try to update my other stories as well as this one more frequently. I promise.
Until next time
Reven of Darkness