Full summery: Naruto is a fox demon, once next in line for the throne of nin-tails, now a bitter exile because of his want to befriend the human race. Now he has a new family of Demons like him, who were banished for being different.
Sakura is a famed demon-hunter who has never failed to bag her prey, and she has now set her eyes of Naruto's strange pack. Naruto has never done anything wrong, but Sakura refuses to believe that good can come from demons like him. So then what is this strange sturring in her heart? And who is the figure in the shadows who seems dead set on pitting them against each other?
Major Pairings: NarutoXSakura, KibaXHinata, InoXShikamaru, TentenXNeji/Lee (conflict)
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, although I do really like the characters. Disclaimer's Disclaimer: There are certain characters who I dislike. Disclaimer's Disclaimer's Disclaimer: That was trying too hard.
Chapter 1: Who'd Have Thought?
It was a beautiful day, honestly. A cliche, perhaps, but there wasn't much else you could say about a day like today. The sky was a radiant blue, with just enough cloud to allow a person to look up into the sky without having to shade their eyes. The forest was lush and green, the birds all seemed content to flutter about without any care, it was pleasantly cool, and a light coat of dew rested on the leaves and flower petals from the night before. It was truly one of those days that made you feel good to be alive.
What appeared at first glance to be a young boy, perhaps 16 or 17, was laying out in a large clearing on his back, staring up into the sky. He was a decently handsome lad, although rather strange looking when you started to take in a few of his less common features. His hair was blond, thick and messy, but looked good that way. He appeared to be a good 6 feet tall, although that was hard to tell, him laying on his back. His eyes were bright blue and his features were kind, open and trusting. He wore no shirt at the moment, showing off a lean but highly toned physique, nor shoes for that matter, but did wear dark blue jeans. On a stranger note, he had a set of markings of three horizontal, curved lines on his cheeks, which looked almost like whiskers. Even stranger was that, though you couldn't see it given how his hair fell down the sides of his head, he had no human ears. Instead, a pair of golden, triangular fox ears stuck out the top of his head, just barely poking through his hair. To go along with this, he also had a long and thick, bushy fox tail, each of his fingers and toes ended in razor sharp claws, and if he were to open his mouth you would see a pair of long and very sharp canines.
As anyone should be able to tell by now, Naruto no Kitsune is no ordinary boy. He is what is commonly refered to as a demon.
Naruto yawned as he lazily watched the clouds roll by, taking note of their odd shapes and forms. Today was one of the simpler days for him, a day when he didn't have to deal with people hunting or chasing him, or running him out of some village. It was peaceful. It was tranquil. It was calming.
It was boring as all hell.
A pair of footsteps moving through the forest behind him caused him to look up. Standing just at the edge of the clearing was someone he knew well. A boy about his own age, with shorter, but just as wild brown hair, red triangles on his cheeks, somewhat tougher features, but the same canine ears and tail, though his fur was grayish and his tail was longer and somewhat less bushy, more like a wolves tail then a fox's.
"Hey Kiba, what's up? Anything interesting happen?"
Kiba rolled his eyes, "Nothing major. Lee and Garra are at it again, insulting each other like crazy. Chouji wanted me to get you to come and break it up, before things start getting out of hand."
Naruto smiled and flipped onto his feet, "Sounds more interesting then what I'm doing here." He said with a grin, "Let's go."
Naruto grabbed his red undershirt and dark jacket, slipped them on and began began dashing through the forest with Kiba.
"You heard the rumors about that talented group of hunters coming up our way?" Kiba asked as they ran.
Naruto nodded, "Yeah, but who cares? If they're reasonable we won't ever have to deal with them. If they're unreasonable, well send them packing like we always do. Heck, I could use a little fun. When was the time a group of hunters came up here?"
Kiba grinned a feral, toothy grin, "I agree, but some of the others are less thrilled. They are saying that the leader can take B-rankers. That tends to get people worried."
Naruto shrugged, "By others, you mean Ino and Choji right? If the hunter is that skilled, well that just makes it more fun for me. It's not like I'll let him get anywhere near my pack."
"Ha!, Just save some fun for the rest of us. Being the pack Alpha doesn't give you the right to fight everyone yourself. I've been achin for a good brawl myself."
Naruto smiled and nodded his agreement to his friend, "Just don't get yourself caught like last time." he said in a slightly mocking but still friendly voice.
Naruto laughed as Kiba began yelling out objections to his insinuation.
Haruno Sakura marched through the forest paths, a look of determination on her beautiful face. Her walk was strong and proud. Her clothes were designed for ease and efficiency in combat, from her slim pants to her sleeveless vest, heavy boots, and fingerless gloves. At her belt she carried multiple knives, a pair of scrolls, and a small satchel of smoke bombs. Attached to her back was a large cleaving sword which looked far too heavy for such a slim girl to even be carrying, much less swinging about. Even her bright pink hair couldn't hide the obvious fact that this was a serious and dangerous woman.
Behind her walked a small group of warriors, all geared similarly to herself, though with numerous variations. They all held the same aura of strength and determination, and they all seemed to defer to her as their leader.
From near the front of the group, a tall boy with long hair and bizarre, white (or perhaps simply very light grey) pupil-less eyes sped up his pace until he was walking beside her.
"Are you sure that Hinata is ready for this?" The boy whispered.
Sakura gave an understanding smile, "Neji, you know that you can't shelter her for the rest of her life. This is a dangerous job, I know. We haven't ever gone after an entire group of demons with her along before. But we'll all be there, and if anything happens, we'll protect her. You know that, right?"
Neji sighed and turned his head back to take a look at one of the other hunters who was second to the rear. She shared Neji's strange eyes, but was clearly younger, no more then 14. Quite frankly, although she was also heavily armed, with knives and scrolls on her belt and combat clothing, she didn't really look like she belonged. Her features were soft and she appeared to be unsure of herself, clasping her hands in front of her. A much more confidant looking, older girl with tight hair buns and who was carrying more weapons then the rest of the group combined, had her hand placed on Hinata's shoulder, obviously trying to perk the younger girl up.
"It's just..." Neji continued, "This is a big step for her. I don't want her to be overwhelmed. She is talented and wants to be a part of this, but doesn't have any confidence in herself."
Sakura raised an eyebrow, "Of course she doesn't. Any time she's ever failed at anything, her big brother has always been there to fix it for her. Now she thinks that she can't do anything and you can do anything."
Neji gave a short, curt laugh, "You're saying I shouldn't baby her anymore." He sighed in a way that showed that he wasn't committing to any particular course of action, "Anyway, whats the deal with this mark again?"
Sakura turned her head back to the group. "TAMARI!" She called out. Another girl, this one tough looking with three short ponytails looked up. "Toss me that scroll will ya!"
The other girl un-slung her traveling pack and took out a scroll, wordlessly tossing it to Sakura.
The pink haired hunter undid the thin ribbon which held the scroll together and unrolled it, "There's a small village up around here somewhere called Konoha. Really small, not much in the way of self defense against demons, or even common bandits. Apparently, they've been lucky enough to avoid any unpleasant run-ins with anything dangerous up until this point. But about a week ago, wandering coven showed up in the surrounding forests." She took a deep breath before continuing.
"Three people have shown up dead so far."
She said this last bit with equal parts anger and sadness. She hated demons, more then anything. They were killers all, indiscriminate, and heartless. She could still remember the day when...but no, there was no point dwelling on that now. That was in the past, and there were three dead people in the hear and now who needed justice. And she would make sure that they got it.
Naruto sighed. He always hated watching his family fight. But they were all strong personalities, and they were bound to clash occasionally. 90% of the time it was Lee as well. Sometimes he felt the need to pick a fight with Sasuke, sometimes it was Kiba, every once in a blue moon he even started something with Chouji.
Today it was Garra.
"YOU SIR, HAVE INSULTED MY GLORIOUS HONOR! NOW YOU MUST PREPARE TO MEET ME ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE!"
Garra, as usual, showed less emotion then a carved stone statue.
"Don't be ridiculous. You know that in a battle I would destroy you. Besides, you're overreacting. All I said was that you scared that village girl away with your insane antics."
Naruto could see a vain bulging just above one of Lee's freakishly enormous eyebrows, his long prehensile tail twisting about in anger.
"Look guys," The young kitsune said, "If you want to duke it out, fine, but take it somewhere where you won't be trashing everyone's houses."
Garra turned his head slightly to glance at his leader, "I don't care what this fool wants. Let him go blow off his steam on someone else. I'm not in the mood to teach him a lesson right now."
This was too much for Lee. In the blink of an eye, he went from one end of the room, to right on top of them, one of his legs shooting out toward Garra's head, screeching like the monkey that he partially was. Before he could come anywhere close of course, his attack was intercepted by a dense wall of shifting sand which had flown out of the enormous gourd on Garra's back. With increadible speed, Lee struck again and again, each time being effortlessly blocked by Garra's sand shield.
Naruto moved even faster then Lee, appearing behind the monkey berserker, grabbing him from behind and slamming him into the ground, "Calm down Lee. You know that Garra can be blunt."
Lee rubbed the back of his head and grimaced in pain, "I appologize Naruto-sama. But such an offence cannot go unchallenged."
Garra scoffed, "Don't be so melodramatic. It's unbecoming of a B-ranked demon."
Naruto rolled his eyes, as Lee's face turned tomato red with rage, "Lee, is it possible that you are only angry because the human girl ran away from you, and you want to take it out on Garra?"
Lee's angry face slowly transformed into one of shame and dejection. He turned his head to look at his hands and bare feet. Most of his body was human in form, but his hands and feet were both those of and ape. Along with his long monkey tail and heavy brown eyebrows and sideburns, Lee looked the most animal-like of the entire pack.
"People always run from me." Lee spoke, almost as a whisper.
Garra rolled his eyes, "Why don't you just change into a 100% human form like the rest of us do when we go into the village?"
Naruto glared at Garra, "That isn't fair and you know it." The words didn't need to be spoken, but it was common knowledge among the pack that Lee, for some reason, was incapable of holding a total human form like the rest of them could. The pack used a mostly human form when away from the village for convenience, but kept certain animal features out of a sense of pride, only transforming into a full human form when conversing with humans. But no matter how hard he tried, Lee couldn't get rid of all of his monkey qualities.
Lee shook his head, "No, Naruto-sama. Garra-san is correct. My failing is a weakness, and I must work hard to overcome it." Lee took a deep breath and clenched his hand into a fist, "I SHALL APPLY MYSELF RIGOROUSLY TO MY TRAINING IN ORDER TO HOLD A TOTAL HUMAN FOOOOOOORM!" He yelled out, more to the heavens then to anyone else around before abruptly swiveling around on spot and dashing off into the forest treetops.
Naruto sighed and turned back to his tanuki demon friend, "You didn't have to do that." he grumbled, "Now he's going to go off into the forest for about a week before totally exhausting himself and crawling back here on his knees. Then he'll have to stay in Chouji's healing hut for another day recovering, before finally spending another week moping around because he won't have made any progress.
Garra shrugged, "And after that he'll return to his typical boisterous self without so much as another thought. Don't worry so much. The fool will be fine."
Naruto crossed his arms over his chest and gave a light growl of aggravation, "Just don't be such a jerk in the future will ya." he growled before turning away.
Naruto began walking towards his own home, a large den in the mountain-side, well hidden from the humans, when he sensed another presence hidden in the shadows behind a large oak tree.
"You have something to say Sasuke?" he asked, turning his head to grin at his closest friend and second in command, "You don't hide yourself as well as you think you do."
A dark haired figure seemed to materialize out of the shadows, almost totally human in form at first appearance, though if one looked closer they could see a patch of snakeskin on his arms, almost totally covered by the sleeves of his kimono. His mouth twisted into a snide grin and one could see two freakishly long serpent fangs in his mouth alongside his more human teeth.
"I have to say I agree with Garra on this one. That Lee is a moron and if he doesn't get his transformation to work, he's going to blow our cover here...again."
Naruto glared at Sasuke. The guy was his friend, but he could be callous at times, "He works harder then you do. He doesn't deserve to be treated like that."
Sasuke shrugged, "And yet, I am the A-ranked serpent demon, while he is still stuck a a B-ranked monkey. He can work all he wants, he'll never be as strong as true geniuses like us."
Naruto twisted his head away in anger. Genius? If only Sasuke knew. But no, that was in the past. All that mattered today was that he knew that Lee could improve through constant hard work. He believed in him. He had seen people like him change themselves through incredible effort before, and he believed that Lee could do it as well. He was going to make sure that it happened.
Well, there is chapter 1 of my new story, "Of Demons and Lovers". I hope that it is well received. Because this is an AU story, I thought that my readers might benefit from a sort of lexicon so as that they know how this particular world works.
So, here are some terms to know,
Demon:A being of great power, almost always the enemy of mankind. The amount of raw spiritual power that demons are capable of generating are far more potent then anything humans could dream of. Most demons are based on a specific animal such as a fox, wolf, snake, falcon, ect. They have two "total" forms, a total human form, where they are indistinguishable from humans, and a total beast form, where they appear as large and powerful variations of the animal which they take after. They are also capable of transforming specific parts of their bodies, such as their hands or eyes, to one form, while keeping the rest in the other. Usually this means that they adapt certain small beast qualities, such as claws or ears, even while in human form. In fact, it is rare for a demon to ever change totally to one form or the other. For the most part they only become full human if they are trying to remain undetected by humans, and even then they retain certain unnoticable qualities of the beast, such as advanced senses and reflexes. Because of the convenience of a human body, they usually don't change into total beast form unless pushed to in the heat of combat.
Most different types of demons have common characteristics which suit the beast which they are based upon. Fox demons are known as playful in nature (with one extremely notable exception), dog and wolf demons are loyal, though in different ways. Monkey demons are known to be quirky and kooky. Snake demons are cunning and untrustworthy. Rabbit demons are amorous. Ect. Although a demon's diet does not exactly reflect their beast form, if the beast is a predator, they will almost certainly be as well, while if the animal is a vegetarian, so will be the demon.
Demons are ranked on a scale of power, F, E, D, C, B, A, or S. F ranked demons are barely stronger then animals and an ordinary human could kill one. S ranked are powerful enough to destroy entire forests and mountains in a single surge of power. The power is scaled exponentially, where a demon of each level is generally ten times as strong as the level which preceded it, and one tenth as strong as the one after it. Generally, with a few exceptions, a demon does not acquire the ability to take a human form until they are at least ranked C. The world is divided evenly into 5 great demon kingdoms, each of which is ruled by an S ranked demon (the only S ranked demons in existence) who hold power of all of the lesser demons in their realms. These are the Great Nine-Tailed Fox: Kyuubi, the Benevolent Sage Toad Master: Jirayia, the Ruthless Eight-Headed Serpent: Orochi, the Noble Warrior Dog Guardian: Sakumo, and the Terrible Falcon of the Red Clouds: Madara.
Demon Hunter: Demons are dangerous to people, often killing off entire villages either for sport or food. To protect the ordinary people, some great warriors have taken up the cause of being a demon hunter. These warriors come from all walks of life, some having been samurai or ninja before becoming hunters, some having been simple farmers. It is the job of a hunter to travel throughout the land, vanquishing demons wherever they go. They do this through many different uses, charmed weapons, special bloodline abilities, special training, and even simply incredible skill. Some are swordsmen orother weapon specialists, others are holy monks and priests. All are thought to use a special spiritual energy within their bodies called chakra, in order to increase their normally human bodies to the levels needed to match their demon foes.
Like demons, hunters are ranked F to S, however while demons are ranked based on how much destruction they are capable of, hunters are ranked based on the strongest level of demon that they are able to kill, one-on-one. If a hunter succeeds in killing a C ranked demon, but is incapable of handling a B ranked demon, then they are a C class hunter.
It was hunters which created the F to S ranking system for demons and hunters, but many intelligent demons have also adapted the system for their own use.
To this day there has been only one S ranked hunter in history, the legendary Flying Thunder God who matched Kyuubi is single combat. His name was Minato.
Samurai:Foot soldiers of the human kingdoms, who combat each other with katana swords. Although talented by human standards, they have no knowledge of chakra and as such cannot handle the more powerful demons. At most, a Samurai who has not had special training will be able to slay a D ranked demon, and even that is only the best of the best.
Bloodline limit:Some human families, such as the Hyuuga and the Uchiha, are have remarkable powers which run only within that family. The humans claim that these powers were a gift from Kami in to defend themselves against demons. Demons claim that the powers were given to the humans by the ancient demons of old as gifts for services, back when all humans were slaves to the more supreme race.
F rank: An F ranked demon is usually small, cannot transform into a human form, and is no more dangerous then any ordinary animal. An ordinary, non-trained human could kill one. A hunter who can only kill this rank of demon is also called F class. As such, most humans are technically capable of being F class hunters.
E rank:An E ranked demon is larger, more dangerous, and more intelligent. It is rare that an normal human can kill one, but a Samurai can usually get the job done. They often have basic special powers, such as enhanced senses or strength. An E class hunter can kill these demons. An example of an E class hunter would be Hyuuga Hinata.
D rank:A D ranked demon is significantly more powerful, often capable of destroying buildings and killing large groups of unarmed humans. A team of 3 or more Samurai is usually needed to slay one, although some of the most skilled Samurai in existence may be capable of slaying one alone. Demons from a particularly powerful clan, such as the Fox, Wolf, or Tiger, is usually a D ranked demon even at birth, and they are usually capable of some low level elemental control, such as shooting small fireballs from their mouths. A D class hunter is capable of killing these demons.
C rank:A C ranked demon is more powerful still. They are capable of destruction on a higher level, such as ravaging and entire village. They are reasonably rare, outside of the large clans. A demon must also usually be C ranked before they are capable of transformation into a human form, and must be able to make this transformation before they they are truly considered a rank C (the exception to this is Rabbit demons, who are capable of transforming at birth, and Rock Lee, who is powerful enough to be considered a B rank, but for reasons unknown, cannot maintain a full human transformation). Some examples of C ranked demons are the Rabbit demon Ino and the Butterfly demon Chouji. Some examples of C class hunters are Tenten and Nara Shikamaru (although Shikamaru is borderline with class B).
B rank:A B ranked demon is significantly more powerful then most. B ranked demons are capable of taking apart entire large villages, can often destroy trees and large boulders through sheer strength alone, and are known to down groups of as many as 100 samurai, alone. B ranked demons are very rare, and it is even rarer to encounter B class hunters. Kiba and Rock Lee are prime examples of B ranked demons, and Haruno Sakura, Hyuuga Neji, Aburame Shino, Temari, and Kankuro are all excellent examples of B class hunters (although some might say that Sakura is held back from A class only by a technicality).
A rank:An A ranked demon is exceedingly powerful, capable of taking on entire armies of 1000 or more samurai alone. They are capable of refined and large scale elemental manipulation, and can leave entire large cities burning in their wake. Generally, they are the best that there is and there are less then 50 A ranked demons in the entire world on record. Naruto no Kitsune is an A ranked demon, as are his companions the Snake demon Sasuke and the Tanuki demon Garra. Sakura's teacher, the great lady Tsunade, is an A class hunter, and there are very few others, such as the famed Uchiha Itachi and the legendary Senju warrior.
S rank:An S ranked demon has power which is nearly possible to fathom. With a single surge of power they are capable of burning down entire forests, crushing mountains, creating tidal waves or enormous lightning storms, and more. No army in existence is powerful enough to stand up to an S ranked demon. Thankfully, there are only five in existence, and each of them rule of the the 5 great demon kingdoms that this world is split into, Kyuubi, Jirayia, Orochi, Sakumo, and Madara, and there are no humans alive who know these monster's true human forms. There has only ever been one S class hunter, Minato the Flying Thunder God, who matched Kyuubi and survived. It is also worth noting that the Toad demons are the only demons in existence which are known to be kind to humans, and Minato was once great friends with Jirayia.