Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto nor do I own Digital Devil Saga, or any part of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise.
The group arrived back at Muladhara, and in their meeting room, Naruto told everyone of the Angels, the Temple's new commandment, and about Shion.
"So, if we want to know about Shion, we just have to bring her to Nirvana?" Sakura asked.
"Angels? Atma? Demon? Warrior of Pugatory?" Yugito questioned. "I can't say I understand most of that stuff. But I'm curious. It sounds like the Temple is saying that they're the ones who sent out that light that gave us these new powers. But why go through all the trouble? Why not just issue a summons like before."
"Thats a good point. They could have easily distributed it that way." Karin said. "And why do they need us to find Shion? It almost sounds like they can't find her on their own."
"Its not just that. Theres a lot that just doesn't seem to add up." Gaara said. He then turned to Shion. "You really don't remember anything?"
"Like I told you all before; no, nothing but my name." she said sounding slightly annoyed, then put her hand to her head as she felt a slight headache.
"So, what should we do now?" Hinata asked, and everyone looked to Naruto.
"Isn't it obvious? Nothing has really changed, so its the same as before: We go to Nirvana!" Naruto declared.
Sasuke smirked. "So much for a 'new commandment.' They're just telling us to do what we were already going to do eventually anyway." he said. "Like he said, nothing has changed in the slightest."
"I have no objetions. As said, our goal remains the same." Sai said.
Killer Bee grinned. "The little lady is here, so we have that part. Compared to the other Tribes, we got a head start." he rhymed.
"I also agree." Shikamaru stated.
"So we're all in agreement?" Naruto asked, and one by one, the others all nodded in affirmation. "Great! We'll have this thing won in no time at all!" Naruto exclaimed. "First up though, we have to defeat the Stones. Kakko knows that we've got Shion."
"And whose fault would that be?" Sasuke said. "You're the one who asked them about her."
"Can it before it starts, you two." Sakura said sternly as Naruto glared at Sasuke, not wanting them to bicker back and forth like they... always did? Sakura shook her head in confusion at this thought. They had only argued before at the Stone's base, so then why did such a thought feel so... natural? Like it was common place for the two to act like that, and for her to stop them? She thought about voicing her sudden confusion, but decided against it.
"If the Stones know of Shion's presence here, it is imperative that we defeat them before they can circulate this information." Utakata said.
"Yes, it is." Shikamaru agreed. "It is to there benefit if they do not allow the other Tribes to know, however, if they are defeated by a Tribe other than ours, that Tribe would gain this knowledge from them, and we would then become their target."
"So we must insure that it is us to defeat them." Kiba stated.
"The question is, what plan of action should we take?" Sai asked. "If we wait long enough, the Stones will attack us to try and defeat us and take Shion from us, and we can set up a trap for them. However, such a course of action risks Shion to our enemies since we have no other place to keep her safeguarded outside of Muladhara."
"Our other choice is that we take the fight to them." Sasuke said.
"That plan also comes with its own risks." Shikamaru said. "Attacking them means we are the ones to run the risk of walking into a trap of their design."
"Sometimes you've gotta take risks if you want to do something! I say we attack first." Naruto said, raising his fist in front of him.
"I agree. I don't want to wait for them to come to us." Sasuke said.
"Just sittin on our asses waiting for them to come to us would be pretty boring." Killer Bee said. "I'm down with the boss's plan."
"If that is the case, I suggest we divide our forces." Shikamaru said. "We send a group to attack Svadhisthana, and keep another group here to protect Shion. Some us will attack them while the rest will stay with the bulk of the Tribe here."
"That is a very reasonable plan." Sai agreed.
"Sounds good to me!" Naruto exclaimed. "Okay, since I'm the leader, I'll head up the attack team!"
"Count me in to." Sasuke said.
"I shall stay here, as part of the group that will protect Shion." Shikamaru said.
"Okay, then who else is with me?" Naruto asked as he looked around.
"I'm in too. Someone has to keep you and Sasuke from arguing. At the rate you two have been going, you're more likely to die from eachother than another Tribe." she said with a chuckle.
"I do not understand. Why would they kill one another if they are part of the same Tribe." Sai asked.
"I was just joking, Sai." Sakura said.
"What is 'joking.'"
"Huh?" Thinking, she realized she wasn't completely sure either. "Well, uh, I think its when you're not serious..."
"I do not understand."
"Uh, well, I guess that makes two of us..." she muttered to herself.
"Attacking the Stones sounds like fun. I think I'll be the next to say 'I'll come.''' Killer Bee rhymed once more, than shook his head. "Man, that lyric sucked. I gotta work on it some more."
Shaking her head at his last comment, Yugito volunteered right after him, and Karin as well. "Only six of us seems too little for such an action, but we don't want bring too many of us." Gaara added in. "Naruto, I'll come as well. You should pick a few more, and the rest will stay here."
"Yeah, you're right." Naruto agreed, then looked around the room. "Okay then, lets see... I'll go with Hinata, Tenten, Fuu, and Utakata. You four join us, and that'll make eleven, and the rest of you guys can stay with rest of the Tribe." he said as he pointed to each.
Tenten, Fuu, and Utakata nodded in agreement, but Hinata wasn't as quick to comply. "Um, are you sure you need me as well?" she questioned. She had beed hoping to stay here, where Shion could keep her under control and she wouldn't have to turn into a monster again and be forced to eat someone to avoid the hunger she had felt earlier.
"Why are you questioning our leader's orders? Besides, your talents would be very useful in such a mission." Sai said. "I would also like to volunteer for this mission. Most of you have been acting irationally lately. I will come to keep an eye on you all."
"If thats how you want to be, sure, go for it. The more merrier." Naruto said. "Okay then, that leaves the rest of you here to watch Shion. Jiraya, you're in charge while we're gone." the blonde said as he pointed at their oldest member, who nodded in ackowledgement. Shikimaru then began to propose a plan for the defense of the base in their absence as the others left the room.
Inserting his Tag Ring into a slot in the wall, Naruto turned it, and several compartments filled with weapons and amunition came out from the walls. There was also a message that appeared on a screen. "The Karma Temple has begun to distribute anti-demon ammunition." Sai stated.
"Sounds good." Yugito said as she removed a rifle from a compartment. "Not all of us have transformed since the last battle, so I still don't know what my demon form is like since my memory of the battle hasn't returned. For now, a gun seems more reliable." she said as she loaded its ammunition.
"I disagree." Sasuke said, leaning against the wall, looking at his sword. "In my opinion, a gun just doesn't hold a candle to a demon's power. I'm not gonna waste any time carrying one."
'Oh Sasuke, you're always just so cool!' Karin though, looking over at the second-in-command. "Sasuke does have a point. Even with the anti-demon rounds in them, its possible that our enemies could prove to be too fast to hit. Even with most of us present, it was hard as hell to hit Juugo when he lost it earlier."
"Its still nice to have." Naruto said as he loaded his handguns and grabbed extra ammo.
"I agree." Tenten added. "I have also transformed, but a gun carries its own advantages over my demon form."
Meanwhile, Hinata reluctantly stood near the entrance of the Vendor, the room they stood in. She was still apprehensive about going on the mission, and wasn't even obtaining her own ammo.
Much later, the group stood at the edge of the Stones territory of Svadhisthana, which unlike before, seemed to be on full alert. There were guards standing outside the entrance of their base, and others patroling the perimeter, and around the city. "This isn't going to be as easy as last time." Sakura remarked.
"Nope. We're going to have to be careful." Naruto said in agreement.
"Agreed." Sai added. "It would be disadvantageous if our presence was discovered too early."
"So now what do you think we should do?"
"We should split into smaller groups to stay hidden for now, and search for a point of entry."
"Sounds good. We'll meet up back here in sixty minutes and report what we've found. And Tenten, you find some place to cover us, and keep a lookout" Naruto ordered, and everyone nodded.
"Sasuke!" Karin said as she approached him quickly. "You don't mind teaming up with me, do you?"
"Fine. Just don't get in my way." he said uncaringly.
"I'll stick with Naruto. With how hes been acting lately, someone needs to make sure he doesn't get too reckless." Sakura said.
"Aw, c'mon Sakura. I won't do anything stupid." Naruto whined.
"Somehow, I doubt that..."
"If she doesn't mind," Yugito started, looking over at Hinata. "I'll team up with Hinata."
"Hm?" Hinata said, having zoned out a bit since arriving. "Oh, sure, I don't mind."
"I'll keep an eye on Bee." Gaara said.
"Hey man, ya don't have to put it like that. You make it sound like I'm going to be like the boss, and do something stupid." Killer Bee said.
"Hey! Why do you guys think I'm gonna do something stupid?" Naruto asked.
"Like I said, If I'm not there, you're gonna be reckless, which is why I'm gonna keep an eye on you." Sakura said.
"All of you are acting so illogically." Sai shook his head as turned to the remaining members. "Since therer is an uneven number of us, I shall go with Fuu and Utakata."
"Then everything is set! We'll keep in contact through radio in case of emergency." Naruto said, and the groups all parted ways.
After separating, Yugito and Hinata made their way around Svadhistana, doing their best to keep out of sight. "Okay Hinata, I think we need to talk." Yugito said as she looked around a corner and saw no one was there. "Tenten, I need to talk with Hinata for a bit. Let me know if any Stones come near our location." she said into her radio.
"What do you want to talk about, Yugito?" Hinata asked.
"Its about how you've been acting lately." she said, placing her hand on her shoulder.
"What do you mean?" Hinata asked as she averted.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about. Ever since everyone started acting differently, you've seemed... depressed?" Yugito said, questioning the last word. "Now don't go asking what 'depressed' is, because I'm not sure either. I just have this feeling that its what describes you right now."
"...you heard me before." Hinata said. "I don't want to devour anyone."
"I figured thats what this was about." Yugito said as she placed her hand on the girl's shoulder, and looked her in the eyes. "But tell me, are you committed to not eat anyone? Even if it means that you become weakened by hunger again?"
"After thinking about it, I completely agree. I don't exactly want to devour anyone either. But at the same time, I understand that I have to. And I will."
"And you're okay with that?"
"No, of course not. Just like you, the thought of eating another person makes me sick, but I'm going to do whatever I have to do survive, because I've got another desire that far surpasses it."
"And what is that?" Hinata asked.
"I want to protect all of you. I want to protect those close to me, and to do that, I can't be weak. If I am, than that could mean that Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, Bee, you, and all of the rest could die, and the fear of that outweighs that of devouring others on things that I don't want. And if staying strong enough to do that means that I have to eat my enemies, then so be it."
"And theres also another thing." Yugito said as she removed her hands from Hinata's shoulders and started to walk away. "As long as we're alive, we can try to find a way to return to normal. Wouldn't you say that would be worth fighting for?"
After thinking about all that the woman had said to her, Hinata nodded. "Yes, that definitely would be."
"And thats why we'll do whatever it takes to survive."
Sasuke and Karin silently made their way down the streets of Svadhisthana, and Karin found herself paying close attention to her teammate. He was always just so cool, and she was glad that he had agreed to team up with her. Of course, she was still paying close attention to her surroundings, since she was the head scout of the Tribe, after all. "Sasuke, does everything look clear up ahead?" she asked as she glanced back the way she had come.
"Theres no one there." he responded.
"Good." she said before latching herself onto his arm. "I know nows not the time, but what are you planning on doing once we've taken care of the Stones?" she asked.
"Why are getting like this all of a sudden?" he questioned her, confused by her sudden actions.
"Oh, no reason." she said coyly. "Actually, I'm not quite sure either. Its just, for some reason, I can't help but be interested in you in a way I just don't understand."
"I see. You're changing like everyone else." he said.
"Maybe, though I don't really see it. But still," she said, moving her face closer to Sasuke's, and using her hand to turn his head to look directly at her as well. "That doesn't change the fact that I feel some strange feeling for you. You-" she suddenly stopped, and looked back, and then up ahead. Someone was coming. She couldn't hear anything yet, but she couldn't help but think, no, she knew that someone was coming. Almost as if she could sense it. She didn't notice that the brand on her navel was glowing red, and it began to spread slightly. Before he coud quetion her, she covered his mouth and quickly pulled Sasuke with her and took cover behind a nearby object. She also took this opportunity to press herself up against Sasuke, and could feel a strange, unfamilliar warmth in her cheeks.
A few minutes after, they began to hear footsteps, and watched from their hiding spot as a small patrol squad of Stones walked down the street. Lucky for the two of them, they remained unseen.
They waited a minute, until Karin was positive that they were gone, and remained like that few seconds after, since Karin didn't tell Sasuke right away. Her brand also stopped glowing and receded. "Okay, the coast is clear." she informed him, and quickly got up.
"How did you know they were coming?" Sasuke questioned.
"I'm... not too sure. Its like I 'sensed' them or something like that." she explained. She then looked around, then closed her eyes, and her brand began to glow once more. Opening her eyes, she turned to Sasuke and said "Follow me. No one is this way, so its perfect to look over there." she said as they started walking in a direction. She decidede that she'd pick up where she left off later.
Naruto and Sakura searched through the city, so far avoiding any contact with the enemy. The two of them hadn't come accross any members of the Stones, or seen anything that they could use to inflitrate the main base undetected.
"Hey Sakura, you get the feeling we've done something like this before?" Naruto said suddenly.
"Huh?" she let out in confusion.
"Oh, I mean, the two of us wandering an unfamilliar place."
After giving it a moment of thought, she did get that feeling. "Like we used to do it often?"
"Yeah! Like that!" Naruto said. "And not just us, either, but-"
"Sasuke, Karin, and Gaara as well." Sakura finished. "And strangely, Shion as well."
"Yeah! Thats exactly it!" Naruto said.
"It really is weird, especially since we only just met Shion." Sakura said, completely unsure of what to think. On one hand, she had never met the mysterious girl before she had appeared suddenly on the battlefield. But on the other hand, "But I get this strange feeling that the six of us would often end up in new places, and we would wander around. Just walking around-"
"Exploring a new place. I'm getting the same thoughts." Naruto finished this time. "I know its really strange, and impossible, but with this feeling of just how familiar these thoughts are, it feels like a real memory."
"Yeah, I know exactly what you mean." she agreed. "I'm get the same feelings. This is all so strange."
Before the two could contemplate these thoughts any further, there was a sound that alerted them to the radios. "We've been spotted." Sai said over it.
Avoiding the hail of bullets aimed at them, Sai, Utakata, and Fuu hid behind a corner. "We weren't careful enough." Utakata commented.
"It would appear so." Sai agreed.
"There are at least seven of them." Fuu stated.
"We're outnumbered, so we'll have to be extra careful." Sai said. "We should be ready for when they-"
Suddenly, a demon dropped down from above them. It had wings growing off of its arm, and resembled a giant bat. It let out a screech as it swiped at them with its clawed hand. "Hello, Foxes." the demon growled.
As Utakata and Sai attempted to quickly think of what to do, Fuu's eyes flashed, turning an orange color. On impulse, she charged at the demon, and as she did, the brand on her hip began to glow a shade of green that matched her hair, and she started to transform into her demonic form. Her body blackened as the changes took place and green lines branched off from her brand and covered her body. Her skin then began to harden and become armor-like, heilr arms began to shift and become slightly thinner and a second set sprouted out and her armor like skin formed what could be mistaken as large pauldrons with a single spike on each, and her legs shifted to resemble her arms. On her back, six bug-like wings formed and below them a protrusion that grew out into an insect-like abdome, asnd from it sprouted a thin, whip-like tail. Her head then shifted, her hair disappeared and was covered by the same hardened skin as the rest of her body, and a large horn grew out from her forehead, and she also grew slightly larger. As color returned to her, this new form of hers resembled that of a giant green beetle. She had no visible eyes, but a line of razor-sharp teeth below her horn.
Using her new horn, she rammed into the demon before them, and kept charging and forced it to slam into the wall of a building behind it. It struggled to force Fuu back, and appeared to be winning since its arms appeared to be much stronger than Fuu's. However, her new tail quickly whipped around, and slashed the demon in its face, showing her that despite how it appeared, it was actually very sharp. The demon recoiled in pain, giving Fuu the opportunity to release it and back up, and once again ram it with her horn. This time, it went through the demons chest, since it was unprepared for her attack this time. She then quickly turned around and stabbed it with her tail for good measures, and it fell down dead shortly after. She then used her wings to quickly fly to the other side of the corner, and Utakata and Sai used her armored body as a shield as they returned fire on their pursuers. The two shot and killed a few, and the last were taken out as Fuu yelled out "Zan!" and the remaining Stones were hit with her spell, and thrown against a wall, and she sliced off their heads with her tail before they could recover.
As their pursuers had been delt with, Sai pulled out his radio. "We have dealt with the ones who spotted us, but we should now proceed as if we are positive that the Stones are now completely aware of our presence here."
"Roger that." Naruto replied. "So then, why don't we just bust right through the front door, then?"
"That would be far too reckless." Sai said.
"Oh yeah!" Fuu suddenly yelled out excitedly as she threw her fist into the air in triumph after she had reverted to her normal form. "Did you guys see that? I totally just kicked that demon's ass! Not bad for a first timer, huh? Well, first time I remember, anyway." she said, then quckly snatched the radio from Sai and turned it back on. "Hey guys, guess who just turned into a kick ass demon, and saved the asses of the other two with her? Thats right! It was me!" she cheerfully exclaimed into it. "You guys owe me big for this." she said to Sai and Utakata with a grin.
"Give that to me." Sai said as he took back the radio. "We should not be using the radio to convey pointless information. Besides, we are in the middle of planning out our next course of action."
"Oh, lighten up. I was just having some fun. No need to get pissy."
"Hey guys, Karin and I found an entance into the main building." Sasuke relayed over the radio.
"And theres not a sngle guard." Karin said. "Turns out, its connected to a nearby building by an underground passage, and it comes up in a hidden panel in their base's basement. They aren't even aware of it!"
"Then lets meet up with Sasuke and Karin and head in there!" Naruto said.
"Wait, I have another suggestion." Sai said. "Since they know we are here, we should split up into two groups. One group shall infiltrate in secret, while the other group provides a distraction by attacking the main entrance."
"That does sound like a good idea." Gaara said. "But rather than just a distraction, the group attacking the front should also try to force their way in further, and take out Kakko, and even possibly back up the infiltration team."
"That sounds good." Sakura said.
"Sasuke, me and Sakura will meet up with you two, and infiltrate the base. Tenten, you join up with us as well. Not much use for a sniper when the battle will be indoors." Naruto odered. "Everyone else, meet up with Sai and attack the front."
"Roger." everyone replied one by one.
Meanwhile, in Sahasrara, a certain Tribe leader entered the chamber of the Dissemination Machine.
"Ah, you're back." the voice of the male Angel greeted him. "I expected you would return. After all, this is all just so fascinating."
"Yes, you do know me well enough." Orochimaru responded. "Tell me, do I have the pleasure of being able to speak with our other "Angel" as well?"
"No, shes a bit busy at the moment." the so called Angel replied. "Besides, shes still more than a bit skeptical on this matter. All she cares about is the recovery of Shion from this world and wants to be done with this matter."
"Yes, I would imagine so." Orochimaru replied.
"Now, enough of the pleasantries. What do you want to know, Orochimaru?"
"I believe you know the answer to that, Kabuto."
And theres the fourth chapter. I started taking liberaties with some characters here, namely Yugito and Fuu. We know very little about them(at least the time this chapter came out), so I decided to give them my own interpretations here. Using names from the infamous TV Tropes, Yugito is going to a "Cool Big Sis" character, while for Fuu, her appearance has always made me imagine her as an excitable "Genki Girl" type, so I'm gonna go with that. Please review and tell me your thoughts.