*Okay, for those of you in the know, my name is Kenchi618. Well, not really, but I'll be damned if I'm putting out my government on a public website, I have enough enemies thank you. However this is not the point. The point is this: New story attempt, and I hope it goes over well with the general populace. So here's hoping for knocking this one out of the park, I hope you all dig it.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Bleach. But how awesome would that be if I did? My pimptacular prowess would be matched by no one for all eternity, and my name would go down in the pantheon of legends as the greatest man that has ever lived! …In theory of course.
True Warriors Never Die
Chapter 1: Just Passing Through
Whoever said life is short obviously never had certain aspects of theirs all in order. What do you do when you've achieved everything that you've ever set out to do? Most people would say that doing such a thing would mean that it was time to rest and reflect on your life. Looking back at everything you've ever done, reveling in your victories and successes, dwelling in your defeats and failures. Pretty much just going over every part of your life, because if you've achieved everything you've set out to do that you saw as important that is all you can do at that point, simply reflect on the past.
Well what happens when you do that… and you keep doing that… and doing it… and doing it… until you've run through every facet of your life enough times to relive it ten times over? Eventually you get bored. Of course you're probably thinking, "But wait? Ten times over? Shouldn't you be dead?" Well yeah… I should. That's pretty much the point of this little tirade of mine. I'm not dead. Because of the things I did and a certain mixture of traits that I was born with/developed throughout the course of my very chaotic and hectic life I can't just die, not of old age. Not really of disease either, because my immune system is better than any kind of health care you could think of, ha! And not from anyone trying to kill me either; because I haven't had anyone worth talking about actively pursuing my life for… Kami, I would guess a few hundred years at this point.
Yes, a few hundred years. Apparently the two toads that taught me the way of the sages weren't bluffing when they told me of their ages, being well over 800 years old when I met them, and believe it or not they're still alive. Just like me. Add that to the fact that one of my greatest and most well-known traits; my unflinching vitality and ability to damn near regenerate any significant damage done to me if given enough time carried over into my lifespan as well. So despite the fact that I am undoubtedly the oldest old man alive on the face of the planet, I sure as hell don't look like it. It makes it very hard for people to take you seriously when you spout proverbs and important life facts, but you don't look a day over 21 years old, hell these days people think I look younger than that.
A blonde young man climbed off of a bus at a station, letting out a massive yawn and scratching his hair as he slung his bag over his back. Rubbing his eyes after awakening from a nap taken during the long ride, he scanned the crowd of people that had gotten off with him meeting loved ones or hurrying off to their intended destinations. He simply took his time before walking off going on his own way, he didn't have any living loved ones or anywhere in particular to be.
He had seen the world time and time again, but he had always missed coming to this little spot, "Karakura Town." Not a very assuming place, not very high at all on his favorite list of places to visit, actually pretty normal as far as he was concerned. Par the course for the cities and towns that populated the world in this era, not too big, and not so small.
So I simply go about my business, which is no business. I travel about, doing random things, whatever I can do to fight the still life. I've never been registered as a citizen of anywhere? How could I be, I'm more or less immortal. Eventually people would get suspicious when the same guy they knew as an eight year old was alive and kicking, still looking younger than they were when they were pushing grey hairs right? I'm more or less a drifter, making money to get to one place from the next, doing whatever interests me at the time. With nothing important to really take care of what else could I do?
The young man had his blonde hair in a wild spiky manner on his head, a pair of goggles on his forehead to keep his wild bangs out of his eyes to go with bright blue eyes and strange whisker-marks on his cheeks. He was wearing a pair of navy blue jeans, white sneakers, and a white t-shirt underneath an unzipped orange windbreaker jacket with a black stripe going down the sleeves. Around his neck was a blue bandanna with a worn, old metal plate sewn to it. If one were looking intently at it they could make out the symbol of a leaf on the plate.
Still I continued to cultivate the skills and abilities that I spent the majority of my embattled youth learning and living around, because you never know, right? The energy known in my time as chakra, the blending of spiritual and physical energies began to fade from use, and while I had seen people who had used ki or what I called Youton (Yang Release), the physical embodiment of the two, I had never seen anyone use both. But as I developed my skills with both I learned the extent of the spiritual half of chakra, Inton (Yin Release), but I had never heard of any common name from that due to the fact that I had never met anyone that knew of it enough to name it properly, it had so many names I just decided to call it what I knew it as.
Due to my more intoned affinity with Inton as time carried on I started seeing things. Spirits, specters, phantoms, poltergeists, spooks. Of course I'm talking about ghosts ladies and gentleman, the deceased embodiments of the dearly departed. But instead of being scared or anything stupid like that I was actually pretty fired up, and why wouldn't I be? I could see dead people now. The first thing I did when I came to terms with this was hightail it as fast as I could back to the lands that my people once inhabited back in my original era and see if I could see any old haunts around from back then.
Unfortunately I had no such luck. Everyone had passed on or weren't around anymore. It was for the best though, it would have been really selfish of me to want my friends and precious people to have hung around for hundreds of years with regrets, lingering all alone, bound to one place. So I kept travelling, eventually making my way to the here and now.
Why is this important? Why out of all of the abilities that I've amassed over my long, long, long, long life is this the one that I'm talking about the most? Because even if death never comes looking for you, and you never go looking for it, eventually whether either of you know it or not your paths are going to cross. And it might not be the meeting that you expected it to be.
The man walked through Karakura Town taking in the quaint sights. He had walked past a few groups of street punks that tried to leer him down, but he just walked on past them with a bark of laughter and kept on about his unassuming way. He didn't really mean to be a jerk about it, but he had faced down men with the power to destroy this city with a wiggle of their nose. A few kids with weapons consisting of at the worst, a pair of brass knuckles or a flimsy switchblade was funny to him, he was sorry, but he just couldn't take them seriously.
The fact that they had left him alone after he had done so was something of a compliment to him. Either they thought he looked like more trouble than he was really worth in the end, or he looked normal enough that doing anything to go after him wasn't really reasonable enough for a gang of delinquents. He found that the more time that had passed the more either one of his traits from his time as a shinobi stood out. His ability to blend in and mix with general populations was becoming the more prominent trait as opposed to having to show that he was the single most powerful person on the planet. If his face was getting too much attention that he didn't need or want he could either make tracks from the point of interest, or make a few hand-seals and in a puff of smoke he was somebody completely different. He didn't know how many bullshit aliases he had come up with over the years, but in more recent times he started getting lazier and lazier about it and transforming into people he had met at certain points in his life and using their names.
He reached into his pocket and fished out his wallet before pulling out current kinds of identification in case it came to that, "Alright, so we're back to using Uzumaki Naruto on the rotation for my name again? Works for me." He said to himself before continuing along.
There was something Naruto was sensing about this town that he just couldn't put his finger on. There was a feeling in the air about the place that felt familiar, he just never felt enough of the feeling that was making him antsy to be able to readily identify what it was. But it was definitely putting him on edge and it was something he wasn't ready to chalk up to paranoia, because at some point paranoia just means that your gut is getting better and better at figuring out you're in trouble before you ever realize it yourself.
Naruto looked up in the sky to see what he thought were… cracks? Yes, after waiting a moment and seeing them get bigger he could definitely say with full brevity and confidence that those were cracks in the fucking sky.
He looked around at the people, but kept his cool as when he heard the roar and saw the cracks he hadn't heard or seen anyone begin to freak out and run, 'So either this kind of thing happens all the time and it's not dangerous enough for people to really care-.'
Multiple roars sounded out through different areas while cracks of all kinds appeared in the sky all over Karakura Town's skyline. Making himself scarce so that he could get himself to the top of a decently sized building for a better look, Naruto sweatdropped when he saw dozens of cracks all over the sky… with gigantic monsters punching holes through them and entering, dropping from the sky into Karakura Town. He looked down and still saw people walking about as if nothing were happening, '-Or… the more likely of the two possible scenarios; no one else can see any of this happening… *sigh* I was really hoping that it wasn't the second one.'
"I'm too old for this shit." Naruto mumbled to himself before dipping into his power for a second, his eyes turning orange, "Man, these things are just radiating hatred and violent desires…" He picked up from his harnessed ability to sense negative emotions, "What are these things?"
Naruto looked up and saw a crack above his head shatter, dropping one of these creatures down on his position, forcing him to jump out of the way lest he be crushed or have who knows what happen to him. As the dust from the monster's landing cleared, Naruto got a good look at what exactly he had seen begin infesting the town. The massive green humanoid creature stood at least an entire person larger than Naruto with a massive hole in its chest where its heart should have been and had spikes jutting from its arms, legs, the back of its neck, and the top of its head. On its face was a white skull mask with a twisted expression. Once it saw Naruto its eyes glowed red, letting its intentions with him be known.
"Yeah okay, good… whatever it is that you are." Naruto said, slowly creeping back on the balls of his toes, as if he were talking to a rabid dog that he was trying to edge away from before breaking out in a run. The monster opened its mouth to reveal another one behind it, "Aww, now that's a pretty smile." The monster roared again and turned its entire body towards Naruto, "Yeah, you're going to stay there and I'm going to get the hell out of here.
Naruto immediately jumped from that rooftop to another a distance away in one bound, hearing the roar of the monster that was more or less demanding him to turn around. Naruto looked over his shoulder and smirked, "Yeah, you've got to get up pretty early in the late afternoon to put down Uzumaki Naruto! Don't you know who I am?" He stopped running and turned to face the monster that hadn't begun pursuing him yet in order to taunt it in grandiose fashion, "I am the-!"
Naruto slowly turned around to find three more monsters different in appearance behind him. All of them large and hulking, and each of them with a skull mask on with evil faces. Naruto sighed, "What the hell? Does anyone else have to deal with this kind of crap or is it just me like always?"
"Why is it always me that has to deal with this kind of shit?" A teen with spiky orange hair yelled to no one in particular. He was tall and lean-built with brown angry looking eyes… of course that probably had to do with the hoard of monsters that he was currently cutting through with his oversized sword. He was wearing a black hakama, a black kosode, white socks, and traditional straw sandals.
'I've been killing Hollows all day long and they still just keep coming!' He thought to himself as he quickly cut down the now identified 'Hollows', "This is all Ishida Uryuu's fault! After all this is over I'm finding Ishida and kicking his ass until he fixes this!" The picture of a black haired teen with glasses, a school uniform and an arrogant look on his face taunting him filled the orange-haired boy's mind.
The boy growled to himself and kept running down the street he was on, "I'm coming for you Ishida! Don't underestimate my instincts you bastard!"
An arrow of pure energy pierced the mask of another Hollow, forcing it to break and the body of the Hollow to fade into nothing.
The black-haired teen that had been cursed out by the other stood with a bow of energy in one hand, his other drawn back as if he had just gotten through firing it, with blood dripping off of his finger tips, "It's getting harder to kill them with one strike."
He thought to himself, 'The number of Hollows is far too high for the amount of bait I used. I can't seem to keep up with just my strength and ability… at this rate I'll-.' He violently squashed any negative thoughts he may have been propagating in his head, 'No! No whining, I can do it! I won't lose to Kurosaki Ichigo! I haven't made a mistake! I will avenge my sensei!' He then threw himself back into his hunt for Hollows.
"Hadou #4: Byakurai (Way of Destruction #4: Pale Lightning)!" A small, petite girl with violet eyes and black hair wearing a school uniform shot off a small bolt of lightning from her index and middle fingertips at a Hollow that simply bounced off of it harmlessly, prompting the Hollow to take a swing at her, forcing her to jump back in evasion.
She glared at the Hollow, 'Shit, my Kido didn't work at all, and this Hollow is just a small-fry. I've been in this Gigai for two months and my strength still hasn't recovered at all!'
The Hollow lifted its arm to smash the girl into the ground when all of a sudden it was kicked in the side of the head by an orange blur, 'Ichigo?'
"Rukia-neesan!" 'Ichigo' yelled as he attempted to latch onto the girl in a hug. At second glance, 'Ichigo' was wearing his own school uniform, not the combat-gear from his battles, "I've missed you!"
Rukia held him back from hugging her, "Kon? Damn it Kon, that's you isn't it?" She stopped him from advancing any further with her foot pushing on his face, "Wait, if you're here in Ichigo's body then that means he transformed into a Shinigami huh?"
"Yeah." Kon, the spirit in Ichigo's body said, "I think there was something I was supposed to find you and ask about, but I can't really remember what it was."
Rukia got a tick mark on her head and started mashing on Kon's head harder with her foot, "Really? Well I guess I have to Help you remember don't I?"
"Oh, well that's good. This place is safe at least."
Both Rukia and Kon looked towards the direction of the voice to see Uryuu standing there, "What the hell are you talking about?" Kon roared angrily at Uryuu, "This entire situation is your fault! You started all of this by trying to kill everyone in town calling all of those Hollows here with that bait!"
Rukia looked at Uryuu with a mistrusting expression, "I see… so this is your handiwork after all."
Uryuu smirked, "Well a pleasure to meet you is probably what I should say. This is the first time I've spoken privately to you like this Kuchiki Rukia." He spoke next, getting Kon's attention, "You there… the spirit in Kurosaki's body. You're correct when you say that I started the fight, however I won't let a single person in this town die!" He said, surprising both Rukia and Kon with his conviction, "Even if Kurosaki Ichigo dies I will protect the people in this town with my life. If I can't do that then this fight has no meaning."
"What are you trying to prove?" Rukia asked him, ignoring the Hollow that Kon kicked getting back to its feet to attack her and him again.
"Damn!" Uryuu quickly formed his bow to destroy the Hollow when its head was suddenly cut off.
"I finally found you, you son of a bitch!"
Uryuu turned his head and tilted his glassed back onto his face properly, "Kurosaki…"
Ichigo stood at the top of a flight of park stairs, "Hey there Ishida."
Naruto dodged another one of the Hollows chasing after him. He had finally gotten sick of running and turned to fight the ones that had been after him before, but that only seemed to draw more to him, forcing him into the decision to run again. "This is so stupid! Why in the hell do these things want to come and mess with me for? I just got here! Who could I have possibly pissed off to have them sic demons on me?"
Naruto quickly learned that the weapons he carried on him did next to nothing to these things. To even hit them he needed to generate yin chakra to his weapons before using them, if he didn't they would just fly on through them as if they were ghosts. His regular ninjutsu would barely leave a mark on them. The only things that were guaranteed to work out for sure were his own fists and feet. So he was pretty much fighting freaky monster ghosts? Okay, he'd bite. What were they doing coming after him? They didn't seem very pissed about him taking the others out, they just all seemed to want a piece of him for no reason.
Letting his thoughts sidetrack him, Naruto let out a very unmanly shriek before jumping over a horizontal swipe of one of the Hollow's tails before landing on its head in a hard stomp that wound up cracking the mask and shattering it.
Naruto stood in place as the dust settled, breathing heavily due to his impromptu combat session before turning to the sky and yelling defiantly, "What? Is that all you've got for me, a few ugly-ass horror movie rejects? Did you think that would do anything to me? I'm Uzumaki 'fucking' Naruto in case you haven't gotten the point yet after all of these years! I could have done that in my sleep!" He started walking around on the rooftop of the rather high building he had fled to in order to fight, "What else do you have for me? Come on, I honestly want to know! I've fought scarier stuff when I was sixteen!"
Of course after he finished his anger and adrenaline induced rant he noticed all of the cracks in the sky gathering to one spot in the park where every Hollow left in Karakura Town began swarming towards the crack. One of the Hollows swarming about broke off and flew towards Naruto trying to devour him.
Naruto grit his teeth and drew his right arm back, forming a pure black, almost translucent, orb of spiraling energy in his hand, bringing a loud suction noise from the attack, "Inton: Rasengan (Yin Release: Rasengan)!" Naruto slammed the ball into the mask of the Hollow and carved straight through the middle of its body, destroying it. Letting his guard down once more, Naruto broke into a short victory dance, "The strongest men of my time trying to take over the world couldn't kill me, nature couldn't kill me, and time couldn't kill me, I'm going to solve this too. You're going to have to send the Shinigami himself to put me down for good!"
The sound of the sky cracking grew louder than ever before a pair of massive bony fingers peeled back the sky to reveal a gigantic skull mask with a pointy nose bigger than any Hollow Naruto had fought thus far.
"Raahhh!" Naruto shouted angrily, stomping his foot and cursing to himself. Naruto took a deep breath and calmed himself down as he massaged his temple because of the headache this entire day was giving him, "Okay, I'll go deal with that too. Why not? I haven't gotten a place to stay while I'm here or even a bite to eat in like sixteen hours but who cares because the sky decided to rain freaky ghosts onto me for the hell of it." Naruto made a ram hand-seal with both hands, "Shunshin no Jutsu (Body Flicker Jutsu)!" His body was surrounded by a swirl of wind and leaves before he disappeared from the roof.
After a moment, a black cat hopped out from behind an air-conditioning unit and looked at where Naruto had once been standing before speaking in a masculine voice, "Hmm, it looks like Kisuke forgot someone when he was rounding those other kids up. And this one seems to know what he's doing at least as far as the fighting aspect of it goes… after all, he didn't black out and he's been fighting just as many Hollows as the Substitute Shinigami and the Quincy."
The cat the blinked and laughed sheepishly, "Oh right… I was supposed to help round up the spiritually aware for Kisuke wasn't I? Oops, I'd better go catch him before I lose him for the time being." The cat ran and jumped off of the side of the building.
Rukia stood staring in horror at the sky as the massive Hollow pulled its way through the hole in the sky. Kon came up behind her, looking at the exact same sight, "W-What is that huge Hollow Rukia-neesan?"
Rukia whispered her reply as if she couldn't believe she was seeing it with her own eyes, "Menos… a gigantic Hollow born from hundreds of Hollows piling and mixing together. But I've only ever seen something like this as an illustration in a textbook, the great Hollow; Menos Grande." Kon simply listened to her as she continued to explain, "This is inconceivable for that thing to come out like this. Those are under the jurisdiction of the elite forces. A lone Shinigami couldn't hope to oppose it."
The Menos Grande opened its mouth as multiple Hollows swarmed around it and fired off a massive red blast of energy that eradicated all of the Hollows caught in the range of fire. The few unlucky ones that got close to its mouth when it decided to shut it wound up being eaten.
"It's eating its fellow Hollows!" Uryuu cried out in disbelief. He wasn't aware that Hollows devoured each other like that, just humans.
Ichigo started laughing, "There's no way we can figure out how to fight that kind of monster. With this guy-." He started swinging his massive sword around like a lunatic, "-We'll cut, and cut, and cut, and cut until we take him down for good! There's no other way!" Ichigo then ran off towards the massive Hollow, "Come on Ishida!
"Wait Kurosaki!" Uryuu cried out as he followed behind him, not wanting to be left out of the battle.
Rukia saw Ichigo run past her towards the Menos, swinging his sword like a berserker, "Ichigo? Ichigo quit it! You can't fight that thing, it'll annihilate you!" Before she could try to go after him, a blonde man with a scraggly beard, bucket hat, a long cloak draped over his frame, and wooden sandals stood in front of her, blocking her from going after Ichigo, "Urahara, what's the meaning of this?" She asked him offensively, "Are you trying to get Ichigo killed?"
"Of course not." The man replied casually.
Rukia shoved him out of the way, "Then move aside! This isn't an opponent Ichigo can win against!" She was stopped when Urahara's hand held her back.
"Yeah, I can't really do that Kuchiki-san." He said calmly and coolly, "Please just watch quietly." Rukia's body dropped to the ground as if she were frozen, "This battle is crucial. As crucial to to you as it will be for him."
Ichigo drew closer to the Menos Grande and with a battle cry cut into the side of its leg. However his massive blade only made a small gash before the Hollow kicked him off as if he were an annoyance. Ichigo landed next to Uryuu on his back, "I told you that wouldn't work Kurosaki!" He fired an arrow at the mask that simply bounced off, "Shit! Just as I thought, I can't do anyt kind of damage at this rate." He looked over at the still downed Ichigo, "Are you alright?"
Ichigo popped right back up with a hearty salute and a smile, although he had a gash bleeding on his forehead, "Huh? Yeah, I'm not too bad off." He replied cheerfully.
"What were you thinking?" Uryuu asked him, not sure that he really wanted to know the thoughts that filled Ichigo's head, "How on earth were you going to take him down with that?"
"Well…" Ichigo said thoughtfully, prepared for his explanation, "I figured I could cut his feet and work my way all the way up to the head where I could start wailing on the mask since he's so big."
"Geez, were you dropped on your head at some point or something?" Uryuu asked as he grabbed Ichigo's sword from him, "Now get up. We need to rethink our battle strategy." However when he did, his bow overloaded with power, "What?" He then stared at Ichigo who was complaining that they didn't even have a plan in the first place, 'No way… This is Kurosaki's Reiryoku (Spiritual Power)? If this is the amount of power he releases unconsciously…'
Uryuu got Ichigo's attention away from his own mutterings, getting him to look over at him, "What do you wa-? Whoa, what the hell is that? Why is your bow so huge now?"
"That's not important!" Uryuu said in response, lying to Ichigo and himself unknowingly since that was exactly what was important at the time, "This may sound like a weird idea, but I know how we can beat him!
Naruto sat on a lower building surrounding the park quite a ways away from the Menos as he looked at it and tried to come up with some sort of strategy before running in and getting his ass kicked, "Okay, only my yin chakra will work on this stupid thing… and I don't think that the Inton: Rasengan (Yin Release: Rasengan) will be enough to put this giant S.O.B. down on the first try. *sigh* And I only thought it was useful to me for seeing ghosts. I never thought I would have to fight them. I guess I should work on that when I get a chance if I get out of this." Naruto punched himself in the head angrily, "How did the Rikudou Sennin learn how to use this crap? He didn't even have anyone teaching him, and neither do I! That's why I can only use it with the Rasengan damn it!"
Naruto growled to himself, "Fine…" He said, shutting his eyes before taking up a meditative seating position, "If that's how it's going to be then I'm totally game for it. I know exactly what to do."
Naruto let the feeling of the environment's natural energy fill him. There wasn't much to work with seeing as how he was in the middle of a city far more modernized than the ones that existed in his time, making it more difficult than before, but it would have to do for now. Beggars couldn't be choosers in this case. He cracked an eye when he felt a weight on his shoulder and saw that a black cat had perched itself there, looking at him curiously, "Well hey there little buddy." He said with a grin, "Are you going to help me out with this?"
The cat let out a meow as if it could understand him and rubbed up against the side of his head, getting a laugh out of him, "Well that seems like a yes to me. Just hang out with me for a while little kitty cat while I get myself all set up for this." Naruto shut his eyes and began meditating.
(With Ichigo and Uryuu)
"Okay preparations are complete! Now we can fight him!" Uryuu said determinedly and confidently.
Uryuu had managed to form an awesomely large bow, rippling with spiritual power. How did he accomplish this instead of having a regular-sized bow? Well-, "You really are an idiot aren't you?" Ichigo asked.
-He tied Ichigo's sword to the top of his head while having Ichigo himself hold onto it and subconsciously generate power for him to use, "Stop complaining!" Uryuu snapped at him irritably, "If I stay in contact with your sword and use your Reiryoku I can shoot an unbelievably enormous arrow! Now go ahead and unleash your power! Control it and max it out!"
Ichigo looked at him skeptically, "But I never control my Reiryoku."
"What?" Uryuu said to him in pure disbelief, "Don't be ridiculous, how else would you have managed to fight Hollows all of this time?"
"No clue actually." Ichigo said, completely honest, "And how should I know? Controlling this stuff is like unleashing it and stopping it right? It would be easy if I could control it like a water hose or something. If people keep saying my power is great isn't that because I'm maxing it out all the time?"
'That makes sense.' Uryuu thought to himself, 'But to constantly have his Reiryoku maxed out all of the time and not be exhausted? What a monster.'
The Hollow suddenly roared and opened its mouth, forming another of the red beams it had used before, taking aim at Uryuu and Ichigo.
"Cero…" Rukia said helplessly from the sidelines, "It's going to use the Cero! Ichigo run! If that thing hits you, you won't have a chance, you'll be killed!"
Uryuu pulled his bow up to take aim, "Come on Kurosaki this is the only way! Connect your sword to my body aga-!" He cut himself off when he saw Ichigo running at the Menos Grande once more to attack it, "Where do you think you're going?"
The Menos Grande fired the blast at the incoming Ichigo who lifted his oversized sword to block it. Ichigo grit his teeth and held out against the energy blast. Uryuu looked on in awe as Ichigo's power began to climb, 'What the hell is this strong Reiatsu (Spiritual Pressure)? Kurosaki's getting stronger.' He then realized what was happening, 'No he was never maxing out his power. If he had been then eventually it would have dried out. If he can't control his power it means he wasn't using his power to fight. His Reiryoku is always in its lowest state.'
'If any outside force makes him exert anymore energy…' Uryuu thought to himself as Ichigo countered and slashed back, greatly wounding the Menos Grande.
"He wounded the Hollow!" Rukia couldn't believe what she had just seen. A substitute was able to wound a Menos Grande greatly after only two months of being on the job and no formal training, "It's retreating!"
The Menos had torn a hole out of the air and was attempting to retreat by climbing back inside.
"Get back here! I'm not done with you yet!" Ichigo yelled at the Menos, "I still have to kick your ass!"
"No you don't you gigantic ugly bastard!" A voice unfamiliar to everyone in attendance called out aggressively. A yellow and orange blur ran past Ichigo and Uryuu towards the trees where it jumped up the sides rapidly before reaching the top of one and, using it like a slingshot, flung itself at the massive Hollow. At a closer look it was a blonde boy with an orange jacket on flying at the Menos. He formed a cross sign with his fingers in the air forming a copy of himself and held out his hand where the copy started generating power, "Eat this! Inton: Chou Odama Rasengan (Yin Release: Super Great Ball Spiraling Sphere)!"
A massive black spiraling orb twice the size of his entire body immediately formed and crashed into the face of the Menos Grande, bringing it down with a mighty roar as it died trying to climb into its portal to leave Karakura Town.
Ichigo and Uryuu ran over to where an incredible amount of dust was kicked up from the fall of the massive Menos where they saw the strange blonde dusting himself off with a huge grin on his face a strange orange pigment around his eyes and the eyes themselves strangely colored and detailed before they faded leaving normal bright blue eyes, "Man that felt good!" He shouted before sticking his arm out at Uryuu and Ichigo in a thumbs-up gesture, "We sure kicked that thing's ass huh?"
Ichigo and Uryuu looked at each other before blinking and turning back to him, "Um, yeah, sure." Ichigo decided to ask, "Wait, you can see me? Who are you supposed to be?"
Naruto blinked and changed the thumbs-up to an extended hand, "Well yeah I can see you samurai boy. My name's Naruto, how about yours?"
"Ichigo. How can you see me? I'm supposed to be just a spirit right now." Ichigo wondered to himself, not really expecting an answer.
Naruto kept his hand extended for Uryuu who didn't shake it, causing him to eventually retract it, "Well I saw those gigantic ghost things that were trying to kill me, so why wouldn't I be able to see you?"
"Hollows." Uryuu said matter-of-factly, "What you saw and fought were Hollows."
"Huh." Naruto said, storing this information, "You learn something new every day I guess… So what are you two supposed to be anyway? What is this, a cosplay group? Because I don't know what you two are supposed be if it is."
Uryuu and Ichigo face-faulted on the ground before the orange-haired teen stood first, getting in Naruto's face, "I'm a Substitute Shinigami! What are you supposed to be? How did you finish off that Hollow like that?"
"Because I'm awesome." Naruto said with a cheeky grin, "And you're a Substitute Shinigami?" Naruto squinted his eyes and looked long and hard at Ichigo, "Okay, I'll play along. Where's the real Shinigami then, because you look like some schoolkid." Naruto then dodged a punch from Ichigo, "A schoolkid with a temper problem. And if you must know and we're all telling each other our occupations here, I'm something of a drifter. A travelling sage if you will."
Uryuu looked at Naruto in a scrutinizing manner, "A sage? You don't look like any sage I've ever heard of or seen."
"Well how many have you ever seen in person?" Naruto fired back with a dry look on his face, "Let's see, you probably expected an old man peddling charms or something right?" He got a nod from both Uryuu and Ichigo, "That's a stereotype, and stereotyping is wrong. I simply roam about doing good deeds and seeing the world, doing what I can to make money and whatnot."
Ichigo pointed at him, "You just said you don't peddle charms."
"I don't." Naruto admitted.
"Then how do you make money?" Ichigo wondered, "You don't look like you can do anyth-. What's this?" He said as Naruto held an orange book out in front of him that Uryuu took to inspect.
"How I make my money." Naruto said proudly, "Yep, my sensei wrote those. I republished them and then wrote follow-ups. You can keep that one if you want." The book then connected off of Naruto's face.
Ichigo's arm was still extended from the throw while Uryuu was turned away to hide his undignified blush, "You wrote that crap?" He roared furiously, "My dad tried to get me to read that smut while he was trying to teach me all of that 'birds and the bees' crap! He said it would explain everything I needed to know!"
"And did it?" Naruto asked him, rubbing his face where the book had hit him.
"I didn't ever need to know that people were capable of some of that stuff!" Ichigo said, having flashbacks to the things he read.
Naruto nodded wisely, "Well I am a sage. I have a lot of knowledge on a lot of subjects and that just happened to be one. But those Hollow things… I would rather not have to deal with them again. I've been seeing ghosts for years and I've never had to fight with those things before." Naruto's stomach abruptly growled, "Ugh… I haven't eaten in an entire day. I guess I'll catch you around 'Shinigami' Ichigo and random guy with glasses."
Ichigo tried to move to stop him, "Hey wait, if you're not a Shinigami or a Quincy then what-?" Naruto suddenly vanished in a whirlwind of leaves, "-Are you?" He looked where Naruto had been standing before he suddenly lost his balance and fell to the ground, "W-What's happening?" Ichigo asked as his sword started changing shape.
Uryuu stared at the sword, 'The Zanpakutou is changing shape? No, damn it I can feel the power from here rushing into me without me even touching it and it's stronger than before! It's going to explode!'
Uryuu began firing arrows into the sky, 'I have to take Ichigo's power and stabilize it before giving it back to him until he can calm himself.'
Ichigo watched Uryuu take his power and fire off shot after shot, eventually his arm holding the bow started to break down from the stress put on it by overuse, "Hey what are you doing?" Ichigo asked him, "I know what you want to do, but don't overdo it, you'll lose your arm."
"Shut up Kurosaki!" Uryuu yelled as he continued firing arrows, one after another, "I told you already that I hate the Shinigami! And you said it yourself; if we don't live then we won't be able to fight. So you'd better live so that I can beat you!"
Rukia dropped to her knees after watching the events that had transpired today, "A Menos appeared and was defeated. Ichigo actually did a great job."
Urahara nodded in agreement, "Yes, but that other guy that showed up is a strange one. I don't know quite what to make of him." He said to Rukia as a black cat came nearby and made eye-contact with him. He grinned and pulled out a fan that he waved in front of his face, "Oh well, I guess it really doesn't matter right now. Right now I've got to fix that gigantic crack in the sky. I mean look at that thing, it's huge! All I do is own a candy shop, and I'm expected to fix this mess?"
Rukia sweatdropped and walked away from Urahara to go find Ichigo.
Naruto let out a sigh of comfort as he lay down on his hotel bed after a shower, "Man I didn't expect to get into a fight today… Maybe I should take that as a sign and move along faster than usual. Too bad though, I kind of like this place. If it weren't for the Hollow monsters that seem to swarm this place and the fake-Shinigami I'd say this place is pretty cool."
Naruto turned his head towards an open window where he saw the same black cat from earlier standing on the sill, looking at him intently, "Well hey there. I have no idea how you found me or why you would look for me but feel free to hang out for as long as you want." He laid down on his back and looked up at the ceiling, "I've got absolutely nothing important going on and I like animals."
The cat hopped down off of the sill and made its way over to Naruto's bed where it hopped up and lay down right next to him, "Very, very long day." He said to the cat and himself as his eyes began to close.
"I can see how you would think that. Still, you did quite well."
Naruto's eyes slowly opened at the sound of the deep voice inside of the room. His eyes looked around before settling on the cat next to him that had a single eye open, "Okay, I didn't sense anyone else enter this room and no one has properly snuck up on me in forever. I also don't sense any ill intent from you, so I'm going to say that you were the one that just said that."
The cat's eye rose as if it was questioning his sanity, "You don't seem surprised that a cat spoke to you." It said in the deep voice that he had heard, confirming his theory.
Naruto scratched his nose, "You aren't the first talking animal I've seen before, and the fact that you didn't try to slice me up or eat me alive before you said anything makes you cool with me. Like I said, I like animals." He finished, scratching the cat behind its ears, "So do you have a name talking cat, and what can I do for you today? If you think I can help then your resident travelling sage Uzumaki Naruto is at your service."
The cat got up and jumped onto his chest, "I wasn't aware that one of the abilities of a human sage was the ability to see and slay Hollows."
"I'm special." Naruto said with a grin.
"Well then." The cat said, "Urahara was only focusing on the humans that were around that Kurosaki kid. I know why he did, but he almost missed a diamond in the rough in you. My name is Yoruichi by the way."
Naruto nodded, committing the name to memory, how couldn't he? It wasn't like he met talking cats everywhere he went, especially these days, "Well then Yoruichi, you said something about me being a diamond in the rough. For what?"
"Tell me." Yoruichi said, "You didn't seem to really know what you were doing or what you were fighting, but you were neither surprised, nor caught off-guard when it came to the fighting itself. Do you know what you did?"
"Do you?" Naruto asked back, allowing Yoruichi to jump off of him so that he could sit up, "But I'll tell you what I did. I used something that humans don't acknowledge anymore called chakra… well not really chakra, one part of chakra. The spiritual half, yin chakra."
"Chakra?" Yoruichi said calmly. The cat sounded like it wanted to dispute him, but hearing that he really sounded like he knew what he talking about, prompted the feline to stay quiet and let him talk.
Naruto nodded, "Chakra is the combination of the physical and spiritual energies of the body. Yang chakra would be the physical portion, yin chakra would be the spiritual. I'm so in-tuned with my yin chakra that I could start seeing ghosts. I've never been attacked by a Hollow until today though, but I am very skilled at fighting. Not so much with just the yin chakra though."
'He's never been attacked by a Hollow before?' Yoruichi thought in disbelief, 'Then how does he know how to fight them?' "Well I have to tell you that what you call 'yin chakra' has a name. It's called Reiryoku."
Naruto took that information in with a smile, "Reiryoku, got it. I've been waiting forever to hear someone else come up with a name for yin chakra. They already renamed yang chakra. Ki is the most common name for that. But sorry, you were talking, keep going."
"Thank you." Yoruichi said before continuing, "But I have to say. You claim to be intuned with your Reiryoku but you don't exactly know how to use it?" Naruto nodded, "However that one attack you used on the Menos was incredible for one such as you." Yoruichi saw him giving a deer-in-the-headlights look and gave him a deadpan look in return, "The giant Hollow from the park." Yoruichi let off a sweatdrop once his face registered the reference and gave a thumbs-up, "Anyway… The amount of energy output from that one attack was staggering. You used just as much Reiryoku as a lieutenant and you seemed to be in incredible control of it."
"Lieutenant?" Naruto said in a puzzled manner, "Lieutenant of what?"
"Oh." Yoruichi replied, embarrassed at the slip, "A lieutenant level Shinigami. That's a very strong level." Naruto was now giving the cat a squinted-eyes look, "Oh now what's with that face? That was a compliment."
Naruto stared the cat down before scratching his cheek, "This isn't the first time I've heard this Shinigami stuff you know. Earlier today some kid with orange hair and a big-ass sword said he was a Substitute Shinigami, and now you're talking about levels of Shinigami. All of this implies that there's more than one Shinigami, and I only know of one." He looked around his room, lifting pillows and checking his lampshade, "Am I being Punk'd? Do they even have that in this country?"
Yoruichi watched the blonde dart about, looking for hidden cameras, for a few minutes before finally speaking to him with the utmost seriousness, "So how much do you actually want to know?" Yoruichi's words stopped Naruto as he dug through the drawer provided by the hotel so that he could look at the cat, "It sounds like I'm giving you a choice, but you can't just select and choose in this instance. You're already involved. You have been ever since you killed your first Hollow here. Even if you don't want to know anymore, even if you don't want to listen to another word I have to say you're already involved."
By now, Naruto was returning the hardened look that Yoruichi was giving him, something that surprised the cat greatly but did not stop the lecture, "All that's left is to deny it or embrace it, because you Uzumaki Naruto are spiritually aware, and there's nothing you can do about that now. Now you can either listen to what I have to say and accept everything that comes with it, or turn away from it, and everything that you would have found out about will still happen around you, you just won't be prepared for any of it. So will you listen, or will you send this poor helpless kitty cat out into the cold, cold night?" A sweatdrop formed on Naruto's head as Yoruichi made it quite clear that the serious moment was over.
Naruto stood, stroking his chin in thought before pacing back and forth, "Okay, let's weight the positives against the negatives here. Negatives would be; me getting into something that I have no earthly business learning anything about, me having to probably fight a ton more of those Hollow things, me probably having to stay around here until you say I can leave once I start getting involved, me making really strong enemies; something that I've done a very good job of avoiding for a long time mind you, and me having to… ugh… learn." He let out a gulp of fear.
"The positives?" Yoruichi asked him amusedly.
Naruto grinned at the cat and started listing things off on his fingers, "Positives; I was very bored until today, I'm a nosy bastard so I actually do want to know this stuff, I'll probably have to fight more of those Hollow things anyway no matter how I feel about it so knowing more about what they are exactly would be great, I'll have to stay around here but on the other hand I've been very lonely for a long time and you seem like entertaining company so I don't think I'll mind setting up shop for the time being." He saw Yoruichi give him a toothy grin in response, "I haven't had a good fight in who knows how long, and the enemies I seem to attract… well existence by and large would be better without them."
"So what do you think?" Yoruichi asked him, trying to hide excitement poorly.
Naruto gave Yoruichi a grave look that seemed to unnerve the feline slightly, "What do I think? A cat comes up to me and tries to intimidate/reason me into something weird like this and you want to know what I think? I think…" He said ominously before breaking into another grin, "I'm in!" He extended his hand to Yoruichi who placed a paw in it so that they could shake.
Yoruichi hopped down from the bed after the hand/paw shake was complete, "Alright then. If you are really 'in' as you say, then I'll find you to get started later at some point. Well now that that's settled, it has been a long day like you said before and I would like to clean myself."
Naruto blinked in confusion. Didn't cats usually just lick themselves and leave it at that? Well Yoruichi could talk like a human and he knew other creatures that bathed like humans, so why not? "Um…" He replied in an unsure fashion as he walked over to his travel bag, going through his things, "Go ahead. Do you need anything? Or do you need me to help you out?" He asked, trying to be helpful.
"No, that's not really necessary."
Naruto's eyes snapped wide open at the sound of a female voice filling his room. But he never felt Yoruichi's presence leave, nor did he feel anyone else enter the room. What the hell? He turned around and got an eyeful of a dark-skinned woman with long-purple hair walking into his bathroom. Oh, and she was naked as well.
Yoruichi looked over 'her' shoulder from the door at Naruto who had his jaw hanging quite slacked at what he was seeing, "Oh, in case you didn't know, I'm a woman. Good to know right?" She laughed when she saw Naruto nod dumbly, unable to take his eyes off of her, "Thanks for the use of the shower Naruto-kun." She said in a teasing manner. Naruto simply gave her a half-hearted thumbs up while still staring at her. She shut the door behind herself and turned the shower on, 'Yes, Urahara might have found all of Ichigo's friends, but I've got myself an ace-in-the-hole.'
Naruto stood staring at his bathroom door as the sound of water ran freely, letting him know this was definitely not a dream. It wasn't the transforming thing that shocked him, he could do that stuff himself. It was the fact that she transformed in front of him naked. Needless to say… it had been a long time for Naruto in a certain department.
He wordlessly reached down into his bag and pulled out a notepad before quickly scribbling down what he had seen inside of it, "This is going to sell me a million freaking copies, I swear to Kami. Hot cat-woman sneaking into the protagonist's hotel room for such and such… Man I can see why Ero-sennin did this. This stuff writes itself." A small trickle of blood came from his nose.
My name is Uzumaki Naruto.
Age: I forget.
Hometown: Konohagakure no Sato. Never heard of it? Don't worry about it, I can guarantee that you've never heard of it. It would scare me if you actually have.
Likes: Ramen, finding something cool to do, pulling pranks, coming up with cool new aliases to use, seeing if any of my old aliases are famous for anything, protecting the weak, the spots of true untainted nature that I can still find these days, freaking people out with any of my jutsu, and orange.
Dislikes: The time it takes to cook ramen (I mean you'd think by now they would have fixed that and made it instantaneous right?), fresh vegetables, people with superior attitudes for no reason, bigots… and I think spirits and overall spiritual things are starting to make their way onto this list. Shinigami, Hollows, pluses… whatever you want to call them.
Yeah, they're definitely working their way onto the list.
My name is Uzumaki Naruto, and I have no idea what the hell is going on. After being alive for hundreds of years, learning everything I could about life and coming to terms with all of it I am certain that I'm about to find out that I now know only one thing for sure.
For all I've seen and done, for all my knowledge and experience about life, I don't know shit about death. Believe it.
…Goddamn it, I thought I'd fixed that by now.
Chapter complete. If you don't know, I started from the point where Uryuu challenged Ichigo if you needed a reference point. Now for the record this will not be a Naruto super-fic. He has no idea what the hell is going on and is just about to find out this stuff for himself. Any questions that do not pertain to spoilers? I will answer them or attempt to answer them for you.
I have certain parts of this planned out way in advance inside of my head and I know what I want to do with certain areas of the story. Let's give this one a shot.
Now if you'll excuse me, it's 8 o'clock. Time for me to get busy. Kenchi out.