Hello loyal readers! After much waiting, I'm finally posting the 4th chapter of Shinigami Ninja! But before you begin reading, I have something to say to all of you.
Regarding the many reviews I've gotten regarding Naruto's power level, for the last time, HE IS LEARNING A COMPLETELY NEW FIGHTING STYLE! No one starts off amazing, not even Naruto! And remember, this is an older version of canon Naruto. His growth rate is exactly as portrayed in the manga so far. Now, people, just think for a minute. No one is just instantly amazing. Nothing worth gaining can be obtained without some degree of effort. Naruto needs to work his ass off to get powerful, and he has.
I'm finally starting the canon Bleach storyline in this chapter. It may seem a bit rushed, like it's flying by, but it's not exactly a freeze frame. There is a time frame from him getting from one area to another, and that takes up time unless he uses Shunpo.
Also, unrelated to this story, I want you guys to review my stories beyond a simple "update soon" or "good job". This isn't about me getting more reviews, this is about my future as a writer. I actually DO want to do this for a living, so I need to expand my abilities as a writer. Please help me on this, guys.
Now that I've finished my rambling,
LET THE READING COMMENCE!
"Naru-kun, wake up." Unohana whispered lightly to her lover. Naruto opened his cerulean blue eyes and saw her laying atop his chest, her hair untied, hanging loosely around her. He kissed her on the nose.
"Morning, Koishii." she lifted herself off of her blonde lover. They got out of the bed, both nude, and grabbed their robes. It had been 8 years since their first time together, and they were now completely committed to each other. They lived together now, even sharing a bed. Naruto had moved out of the 2nd division barracks years ago, opting to live with her instead, and she was more than happy to accommodate the blonde Shinigami.
"Anything new happen today, Retsu-chan?" Naruto asked as they headed into the kitchen together.
"Rukia-san has gone missing. Yamamoto-Sotaicho sent Renji-kun and Byakuya-san to find her." she told her lover as he poured them both tea. She took the cup he offered her and sipped it.
"Really? She's not just dead?" she shook her head.
"No. They would have sensed her reishi disappear. It hasn't." she reminded. He nodded.
"So they're sending Renji and Bya-baka? Why both of them for just Rukia-chan? Renji would be more than enough." Naruto said in thought. Unohana nodded.
"It does seem a bit odd." shrugging, they continued to sip their tea until Isane came into the room.
"Good morning, Isane-chan." Naruto greeted.
"Good morning, Naruto-san."
"Is something wrong, Isane-chan?" Unohana asked.
"Rukia-san was brought back by Byakuya-Taicho and Renji-san!" she exclaimed. Naruto raised a brow.
"They're going to execute her!" now that got their attention.
"On what grounds?" Unohana asked, standing up.
"They say that she gave her Shinigami powers to a human." Isane reported. Naruto raised a brow.
"How is that even possible? And why would they want to execute her for it?" he asked, confused. Unohana looked at him for a moment, then remembered that he hadn't gone to the academy.
"It's possible to transfer a portion of a Shinigami's power to a human by piercing them with a Zanpakuto. They would then obtain a portion of the power, but it's only temporary. As for the execution, I honestly don't know." Unohana explained. Naruto stood up.
"It seems a bit odd. Why would they go for an execution so fast?" he said to himself. Unohana nodded.
"Regardless, it is the order of the central 46, as well as Yamamoto-Sotaicho. It must be obeyed."
"I know. I wonder how Renji's taking it…" he mused.
"They were close friends before she left the Seireitei. It's not an easy thing to watch a friend die." Unohana stated. Naruto nodded.
"I'll go and see how he's doing. You?"
"I'd like to find out a bit more on this. Like you said, something isn't right." she stated, following him into their bedroom to change. They came out a moment later, both dressed in their normal attire. Unohana left with Isane to their division while Naruto headed off to 6th division's barracks, intent on visiting Renji.
6th Division Barracks
Naruto peeked his head inside Renji's room and saw the red haired Shinigami was staring out the window, a frown on his face. He silently walked into the room, stopping right behind Renji.
"Sup?" he questioned, making Renji jump from the unexpected voice. He turned around and saw Naruto standing behind him with a small smile on his face. "I heard you brought Rukia back."
"They're going to execute her."
"I know." Renji stated, sounding a bit irritated.
"And? You're not going to do anything about it?" Naruto questioned.
"What can I do! I'm only a Fukutaicho! Besides, she broke the law!" Renji shouted, now facing Naruto.
"So what! She's still your friend, Renji! If you don't stand up for her, no one will! It's bad enough that Bya-Baka isn't going to do anything to save his own sister, but if you don't do anything, then what kind of friend does that make you!" Naruto shouted back, making Renji recoil. Naruto turned away from Renji, taking a deep breath. "Renji, my sensei told me a long time ago, 'those who break the rules are scum, but those who abandon their comrades are worse than scum'. Think hard about that." Naruto said before he walked out the door, closing it behind him. Renji looked down, his mind repeating what Naruto told him.
Naruto was making his way to the 2nd division when one of his subordinates ran up to him, out of breath.
"Sir, Omaeda-Fukutaicho ordered me to tell you the wall has been breached! 4 men, one woman, and a cat have infiltrated the Seireitei!" the man reported. Naruto raised a brow. 'A cat?'
"I see. Thanks. Report to me if you find them." Naruto ordered. The man nodded and shunpo'd away. Naruto headed to 4th division to see what Unohana knew about this.
4th Division Medical Facility
Naruto appeared via Shunpo in the medical area of 4th division. Looking around, he saw Isane. He ran up to her.
"Isane-chan, where's Retsu-chan?" he asked. Isane led him to a room where he found Unohana healing a member of 11th division.
"Retsu-chan, what the hell is going on!" he asked.
"We have Ryoka attacking. They seek to free Rukia-san. Their apparent leader somehow wiped out a great deal of the 11th division. He even defeated Ikkaku-san." she replied. Naruto's eyes widened. He beat Ikkaku? How strong was this guy?
"Any idea where he is?" he asked, only for Unohana to shake her head.
"No one does. This man moves fast, as do they all. They've proven themselves to be quite the powerful foe." she replied. Suddenly Naruto felt Kenpachi's Reiatsu spike. "Kenpachi-san must be fighting him now."
"I'm going to go find out." with a quick peck on the cheek, Naruto vanished via Shunpo, intent on finding the man who beat Ikkaku.
He reappeared next to Yachiru, who was currently watching the fight with great interest. It seemed that the orange-haired Ryoka wasn't even able to cut Kenpachi. Yachiru saw him next to her and jumped up to hug the blonde.
"Whiskers! Great to see you again!"
"Who's Kenpachi-Taicho fighting?" he asked. Yachiru jumped back down and looked at the fight.
"That's Ichigo." she stated. Naruto jumped down from their perch and landed just out of range from the dueling Shinigami. Ichigo turned and saw Naruto and grimaced. Kenpachi, however, grinned.
"Hey, Naruto. After I beat this weakling, how bout we have that spar?" he asked. Naruto smirked.
"Sure, Kenpachi. Have fun." Naruto said as he sat down. "If you lose, I'm gonna have to steal your fight." Kenpachi smirked.
"No chance of that happening, Naruto." Naruto watched with interest as they fought. This "Ichigo" clearly had very little blade training. His form was mainly instinctual, though quite effective. Even so, with the way he was fighting, Naruto could tell that he barely communicated with his Zanpakuto. That alone almost doomed him, as fighting Kenpachi required Naruto to use his Shikai. Kenpachi was simply too powerful to fight otherwise. In time, Ichigo managed to cut Kenpachi, then the real fight began. Naruto was slightly unnerved when he saw Kenpachi remove his eye patch, having been victim to that once before. Naruto watched as they defeated one another. Yachiru jumped down and took Kenpachi away from the battle, not even sparing Naruto a glance. Naruto watched silently as a black cat headed over to Ichigo, but stopped when it saw Naruto. Naruto smirked as he stood up. He headed over to the fallen form of Ichigo, but the cat jumped in front of him and hissed. He laughed lightly and bent down to the cat's level.
"I'm not going to finish him off, cat. I'm going to help him. I have a few questions to ask." he told the black cat. Who seemed to eye him warily.
"How can I trust you?" the cat asked in a masculine tone, surprising Naruto.
"I've seen dogs, I've seen toads, I've seen snakes and slugs, guess it was only a matter of time before I saw a talking cat." he said to himself, then looked at the cat. "Other than the fact that I didn't just kill you both?" he stated to the cat.
"I still don't trust you, but I don't have many options."
"Anyplace I take him will try to arrest him. You got any ideas?" he asked. The cat suddenly shifted into a beautiful dark-skinned woman with long purple hair and golden eyes. She was also nude, making Naruto go wide-eyed. Shaking his head to rid himself of any perverted thoughts, he lifted the bleeding form of Ichigo onto his shoulder. "So, you got a name?"
"Yoruichi." the woman stated, seeming somewhat disappointed at his lack of a reaction to her nude form. "I know a place they won't find us. Follow me." she said before running off via Shunpo, Naruto following closely behind.
Naruto laid down Ichigo on a futon that Yoruichi laid out for him. While she treated his wounds, Naruto looked around.
"Finally." Yoruichi sighed out, finally stabilizing his wounds. Naruto looked back at the dark-skinned woman.
"He gonna be alright?" he asked, receiving a nod in response. "Then can you please put some clothes on?" he asked, getting a smirk in response this time.
"Why? Nervous?" Yoruichi asked teasingly. Naruto shook his head.
"This isn't the first time I've seen a woman naked. Just put some clothes on before my girlfriend finds out. She'll kill me if she does…" Naruto said, shivering at the thought of what Unohana would do to him if she ever thought he was cheating on her. Raising a brow, Yoruichi put on some clothes that consisted of a black sleeveless under shirt with an orange overshirt that had two white straps on each shoulder, a long beige sash around her waist, black stretch pants and long beige wrist warmers, secured by bands, and long beige leg warmers. She also put her hair up into a ponytail. Naruto looked closely at the woman, making her look at him funny.
"Yoruichi Shihoin, right?" he asked.
"How'd you guess?" she asked.
"Soifon-Taicho." he answered.
"So you're under Soifon. What's your seat?"
"You sure? You don't feel like a 3rd seat." Yoruichi said, and it was true. He gave off the aura of a Taicho, and that was no easy feat.
"Rank doesn't equal power, Yoruichi-san." Naruto reminded. The purple-haired woman nodded her head. Naruto looked back at Ichigo's unmoving form.
"Who is that kid?" Naruto asked.
"One of the reasons I'm here."
"Care to elaborate?"
"How do I know I can trust you?" she questioned, making Naruto give her a blank look.
"Other than the fact that I haven't done anything to make you not trust me? The only reason you don't is that I'm technically your enemy."
"True. Before I tell you anything, I'd like to at least know your name." Yoruichi said after a moment of deliberation. Naruto grinned.
"Naruto Uzumaki-Namikaze, 3rd seat of 2nd division." he sated with a mock salute, making Yoruichi laugh.
"Alright then, Naruto. You've probably already heard the reason we're here, right?" she asked. Naruto nodded, now serious.
"To rescue Rukia Kuchiki."
"Right. Well, it's mainly this Baka's desire that made us go." Yoruichi explained. Naruto looked back over to Ichigo, who was still unconscious. "She saved his life after a run in with a hollow. She gave him her powers, turned him into a Shinigami so that he could save his family. Unlike she had planned, however, he absorbed all of her power, not just a small portion. As I'm sure you've sensed, he's got a great deal of Reiatsu. Too much for an ordinary human."
"Yeah, that much I could tell. So, what, he did her job for her until Bya-Baka and Renji came and got her?"
"Yes. But, stubborn Baka that he is, decided to go after her, in spite of the fact that he no longer had her powers. So a friend of mine awoke Ichigo's own Shinigami powers and trained him to prepare him."
"So, long story short, he wants to save her because she saved him, right? Well, what about the others?"
"They're friends of Ichigo's and Rukia's who want to help her. I trained them myself."
"Good to know. But does he seriously think that he can fight through all thirteen Taichos, Fukutaichos, and every other Shinigami of significant skill with his limited power?"
"Limited?" Yoruichi questioned.
"I saw his fight with Kenpachi. He barely knows his Zanpakuto. His fighting form is instinctual at best. All he's really got is raw power, and that can only get him so far."
"I know. How do you think he would fare at his current level?"
"Most of the Taichos would rip him to shreds. And there's Yamamoto to consider, Yoruichi-chan. I would never want to fight him."
"I agree, but he's too stubborn to listen, and we don't exactly have time to train him in what he needs."
"Can he perform Bankai?" Naruto asked, only to get a shake of the head from Yoruichi.
"No. Not even close. He can't even really use his Shikai. He isn't listening." Naruto once more observed the still unmoving form of the orange-haired Shinigami. 'He reminds me of me when I was a Genin…'
"I'd like to help you, but I'm still allied with the Seireitei." Naruto said. Yoruichi nodded as he stood up. "Good luck, Yoruichi-chan. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone where you are." he said before disappearing via Shunpo. Yoruichi sighed, looking at Ichigo, who was beginning to stir. She smirked before changing back into a cat. 'Time to mess with his head…' she thought, grinning on the inside.
Elsewhere, with Naruto…
Naruto was making his way around the Seireitei, looking for any of Ichigo's allies, when he felt Ichigo's Reiatsu near Byakuya's, and said Taicho's was currently prepped for battle. 'Shit!' Naruto thought, quickly arriving to the scene via Shunpo just in time to block Byakuya's blade.
"Namikaze-san, what do you think you are doing?" Byakuya asked Naruto, who currently had his sword pressed against the flat of Byakuya's blade, preventing him from releasing it without Naruto cutting his head off.
"Stopping you from making a big mistake, Bya-Baka." Naruto stated firmly. Byakuya narrowed his eyes.
"That's Kuchiki-Taicho to you, 3rd seat." he replied, clearly not happy with Naruto's interference.
"Cite our rank all you want. I'm not moving, Bya-Baka, and neither are you." Naruto said, glaring at the Taicho.
"What is going on here?" a sickly looking man with white hair wearing a Taicho's Haori over the standard Shinigami attire asked from behind Byakuya.
"I'm carrying out our orders, Ukitake-Taicho." Byakuya answered, finally pushing back Naruto, who continued to stand his ground, standing in front of Ichigo and the others.
"What are you doing here?" Ichigo questioned, remembering him from the fight with Kenpachi.
"Like I said, keeping you four alive." Naruto replied, not even turning around to face the confused Ichigo. Suddenly, Yoruichi appeared in front of Ichigo and knocked him out with a stab to the torso with her arm, forcing him to collapse. She lifted his body as if it were a potato sack and turned to the Shinigami. Naruto looked back slightly and smirked. "Go. I'll catch up." he all but whispered. Yoruichi simply Shunpo'd away while Naruto continued to hold Byakuya's attention. Ukitake decided to end the stalemate and stepped forward.
"Both of you, sheath your blades." he asked kindly. Naruto did, but kept his hand on the handle, ready to draw it again should he need to. Byakuya did after some hesitation. "Now, Naruto-kun, care to explain why you are impeding Byakuya-Taicho?"
"Regardless of my insubordination, Rukia-chan has been sentenced by the central 46. Byakuya-Taicho is not her executioner." Naruto stated, still gripping the handle of his blade. Ukitake nodded.
"True, Naruto-kun. But you did impede a superior officer." Ukitake commented. Naruto sighed.
"I may have done that, but it was to preserve the order of an even higher authority." Naruto reminded. Ukitake nodded again.
"True. Well, Byakuya-Taicho and I must report this to Yamamoto-Sotaicho. My 3rd seats will handle the prisoners. Carry on, Naruto-kun." Ukitake ordered before carting off Byakuya to 1st division to report to Yamamoto. Naruto sighed in relief, watching as the 3rd seats moved Rukia back into her prison and carted away the small Shinigami and the bleeding man. He vanished via Shunpo, intent on finally speaking with Ichigo.
Naruto arrived at the hideout that Yoruichi had brought him to when he was carrying Ichigo, only to find that neither of them were there. He reached out with his senses and found their Reiatsu below the hideout. Shrugging, he searched the hideout until he found a passageway that led him down. He reached the end of the passage and found a rather large area resembling a barren wasteland. It had several different types of swords planted in the ground, all of them bearing the blade pattern of Ichigo's Zanpakuto. He continued in and saw Ichigo wielding one of those odd blades as he fought a man who appeared to be in his mid-forties with long ragged black hair and unkempt facial hair. He wore a tattered black coat and narrow sunglasses. He too was wielding an oddly shaped version of Ichigo's Zanpakuto. Confused, Naruto looked around and saw Yoruichi critically observing the battle. He used Shunpo to get behind her, slightly surprising the dark-skinned woman.
"What are you doing here, Naruto?" she asked the blonde.
"I came here to talk to Ichigo."
"He's a bit busy at the moment." she commented, gesturing towards the battle.
"I can see that. Who is that he's fighting?"
"His Zanpakuto." she answered.
"There is no way he's capable of materializing his Zanpakuto spirit this soon." Naruto protested. Yoruichi nodded.
"He isn't. A friend of mine invented a tool that forcibly materializes a Zanpakuto spirit to learn Bankai."
"You think him learning Bankai and sparring with his Zanpakuto will be enough to beat Bya-Baka?" Naruto questioned.
"Yes. He is strong, in spite of his lack of experience."
"How long will learning Bankai with this method take?" Naruto asked, seeing Ichigo's blade get shattered, only for Ichigo to dash for another one and resume the battle.
"My friend managed to get it in three days, and that's what I'm aiming for with Ichigo." she answered, still observing the battle. Naruto looked around the area and saw Renji off to the side, training with his own Zanpakuto spirit.
'Looks like he made a decision…' Naruto noted in his head before moving over to the red-haired Shinigami. "Yo, Renji!" Naruto shouted, making Renji turn to face him.
"Naruto? What are you doing here?"
"I came here to talk to Ichigo, but he seems a bit busy…" Naruto explained, gesturing over to Ichigo, who was currently looking for a new blade. Renji nodded.
"So, are you going to be training here too, then? This is a great place to practice learning Bankai!" Renji stated. Naruto shook his head.
"I don't need to. I've already learned Bankai." Naruto stated, making Renji gape at him.
"H-How? You've been here for no more than a decade! Any you're only a 3rd seat!" Renji shouted, making Naruto grin.
"Renji, in my life, I was reputed for doing things considered to be impossible. I learned a technique that took my father 3 years to develop in a week, I perfected it in a similar timeframe, something he never could do, and he was a prodigy, reputed as the strongest in the world at the time." Naruto explained, making Renji gape at him again. "Besides, I had a lot of help from Retsu-chan." he stated, grinning. Renji nodded. Their relationship was well-known in the Seireitei.
"Then what are you going to do?" Renji asked.
"I'm going to talk to Ichigo first chance I get. I have a few questions for him. After that, I should probably get back to Retsu-chan so I don't get put on the couch…" Naruto replied, mumbling out the last part. Renji chuckled. Naruto looked back over to Ichigo and saw that the black-clothed man was nowhere to be seen. Seeing Ichigo relax and Yoruichi jump down from her perch, Naruto headed towards the orange-haired Shinigami.
"You again?" Ichigo said, remembering Naruto.
"Yeah. Good to finally meet you face to face, Ichigo." Naruto said, smiling slightly.
"Why are you here?" Ichigo asked warily. Naruto sighed.
"Right to business. Do you ever relax?" seeing Ichigo's glare, he continued. "Guess not. Anyway, you're here for Rukia-chan, right?" he asked, making Ichigo glare at him.
"What, are you going to try and stop me?" Ichigo said as he began trying to get up, only to have Naruto push him back down.
"Easy, Strawberry. As you are now, it would take little to no effort for me to wipe you from existence." Naruto stated darkly before continuing, his smile returning. "Anyway, I'm not here to stop you. Far from it, actually. Something just doesn't seem right to me about all of this. Call it me being paranoid, but even so, it just feels wrong. So, I'm going to try and help you." Naruto stated.
"Like I said, something just isn't right. Besides, my sensei taught me to never abandon a comrade. Sometimes committing a crime is the right thing to do." Naruto explained.
"How exactly are you going to help us?" Ichigo asked.
"You need to beat Byakuya. If I do it, they won't stop trying to kill her. You need to crush any hope they have of beating you. I'd imagine that a few of the other Taichos are against this, but I know that Yamamoto won't let it slide. I'll do what I can to slow down the other Taichos so you can get Rukia-chan away." Naruto answered. Ichigo looked at him disbelievingly.
"How can you think that you can fight that many Shinigami at once and still give me the time to get her away?"
"Let's just say that I'm a one man army." Naruto replied with a smirk. Renji, who had come up behind Naruto to hear the conversation, smirked at Naruto's cryptic statement. "But enough of that. Get some rest for now, then keep training. You'll need Bankai to beat Bya-Baka, I'll guarantee it. I've gotta get back to Retsu-chan." Naruto said before using Shunpo, vanishing from the training ground.
"With him helping us, we might actually stand a chance." Renji mused before continuing his training.
4th division (Unohana's office)
"Hey, Retsu-chan." Naruto said as he appeared inside Unohana's office to see her behind her desk. Said woman looked up from her desk and smiled.
"Hello, Naruto-kun." she replied, used to his surprise arrivals. "Were you able to find anything out?" Naruto looked around, making sure they were alone, then nodded.
"Yeah. I'm going to help the Ryoka and Renji."
"My sensei taught me well, Retsu-chan. I can't abandon Rukia-chan to her fate, not when I can stop it." he replied. She smiled.
"You never change."
"Isn't that one of the reasons you love me?" he replied, grinning. She stood up and made her way around her desk, stopping inches from him. She kissed him lovingly on the lips, smiling when they broke apart.
"Just one of them, Naruto-kun. Is there anything I can do to help?"
"Just don't interfere when I step in, alright? As confident as I am in my strength, I know for a fact that I can't beat you." he replied, a smile on his face as he said the last part. Unohana giggled.
"Alright. What exactly are you going to be doing?" she questioned her lover.
"Well, the kid who beat Ikkaku is going to have to beat Bya-Baka. I have to hold off the other Taichos until he can get her to safety."
"Naruto-koi, I've seen how strong you've gotten since you came here, but can you really hold off that many Taicho class Shinigami? And there's Yamamoto-Sotaicho to consider." Unohana replied, a worried look on her face. Naruto lovingly caressed her face, calming her slightly.
"I'm not stupid enough to think I can fight every single Taicho at once, but I won't have to. The kid's fighting Byakuya, you won't fight me, and Mayuri is out of commission. Soifon-Taicho won't be hard for me to beat. Ero-Taicho will be hard, but I have a feeling he won't fight me on this. Kenpachi-Taicho won't interfere. Crazy as he is, he does have a sense of honor. Aizen's dead. With them gone that makes this a hell of a lot easier." Naruto listed off. Unohana nodded, but still looked worried.
"But what about Yamamoto-Sotaicho? Naruto-kun, even if you defeat the other captains, how are you going to beat him?"
"I don't have to. I just have to hold him back. Besides, I can always use my Bankai if I need to." Unohana nodded. That would make a difference.
"But, still-" she was interrupted by Naruto placing his lips atop hers once more.
"Don't worry," he said softly as he broke the kiss, "I won't die. You're more than enough of a reason for me not to." Unohana smiled and kissed him again, their current trouble forgotten for the moment.
Well, what do you guys think? The climactic battles of the Soul Society arc will happen next chapter! Look forward to some badass fighting scenes!
On an unrelated note, As promised, I have resumed working on Fox Avatar, for those of you that still remember my first real story. I am going to rewrite the chapters and repost them, along with a NEW chapter. I hope that you enjoy my work, and are satisfied with this long coming chapter.
Also, there's a poll on my profile that is quite important, and directly relates to why I've been taking so long on my updates. Be sure to vote, guys! There will be consequences as to your decision to the poll, and I don't mean the usual internet threat. View the poll to understand.
Forever in the Sky,
The Red Star