Chapter 54- Reunions
Yes, this was a woman he had seen before, Kushina had shown him her photo many times.
The red haired woman turned to him, her face softening into a smile as she squeezed his shoulder gently.
"It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Uzumaki Naruto."
The blonde gaped, his lone eye wide while she continued to smile at him.
Her smile widened while Naruto continued to pant.
"Oh, it seems you know me. I never saw myself as the famous type or anything," she spoke gently while the blonde tried to stand up. Moving around him, she helped him stand as he staggered to his feet.
"Let's go somewhere else, we don't have much time. I sense another chakra signature wanting to meet you," she said, her expression becoming serious before looking over her shoulder towards Ayumi.
"Another chakra signature…?" the jinchuriki asked, a perplexed look on his face as she put her right hand on his stomach, from where the seal was dissolving into a black liquid steadily.
Mito's eyebrows rose in what seemed to be momentary surprise as his mindscape changed from the sewer- the duo standing in a three-dimensional empty white space now.
"Wow, this seal is quite the upgraded version as compared to the seal I used on myself. If I had to say…this must be the work of Kushina-chan," Naruto watched as her hand glowed green for a second when the seal on his stomach stopped dissolving.
"There, this should hold you up for a while," her smile radiant as she looked into his eyes. Naruto just averted his gaze, his cheeks lighting in an embarrassed flush.
His eye was downcast as he noticed his limited field of vision- he had lost his right eye, the Rinnegan- and that too to none other than Orochimaru.
Great, things were just looking great for him.
'But oh well, at least it gave Mikoto-chan enough time to take Sasuke from under their noses,' he thought, his expression that of sadness.
Mito continued to observe him, a soft smile on her face while he kept looking at his feet- deep in his thoughts.
"I have to say, I have never seen a blonde Uzumaki. It's kind of weird," she grinned lightly, resting her right hand on her waist as he looked at her- managing a weak smile.
"Did I die?" her grin turned into a warm smile as she shook her head.
"No, you're not dead. You did promise others that you were not going to die didn't you?" she winked while he looked down, his shoulders slumped.
"Does it…matter now? To them I might as well be dead now. I lost my right Rinnegan…" he whispered, a faint chuckle escaping his lips as he shrugged lightly to himself.
"I can just imagine everyone's reactions…the lecture Kaa-san is going to give me…yeah, might as well not go back," the blonde muttered as he looked up to see her frowning at him.
"This…is not the Uzumaki Naruto I knew," Mito spoke, looking straight into his lone oceanic pool- which widened for a second as his expression grew bitter.
"Yeah, I guess I changed for the worse. Don't know when, it just happened over time. Maybe the burden was too great for me," he sighed as she stepped forward- waving her hand slowly in mid-air in front of the blonde's face.
"Where is that abundant positive energy that always surrounded you? Your chakra has lost its warmth. There's so much negativity emanating off of you that it's suffocating. Where is…Naruto?" she asked, her expression solemn. The jinchuriki just turned his head away from her, his eye closed- an expression of pain on his face.
"I…don't know," he choked out, gritting his teeth as she rested her hand on his right shoulder.
"If I had to pin-point two things you're feeling right now above all else- it would be hurt and frustration, mix anger in t-"
"BECAUSE I AM FRUSTRATED!" Naruto screamed as he slapped her hand away- his lone eye wide open with teardrops flying off in random directions.
"I am so fucking frustrated at this world! At EVERYONE! This is just not fair! Nothing's been fair so far! Everything is so fucked up! I never asked for this seal! I never asked for the Rinnegan! These were not my choices! People fucking expect so much from me without even considering what I'm going through! Lecturing me always! This! That! Naruto-kun you should do this! Naruto-kun don't do that! Well why won't you just leave 'Naruto-kun' the fuck alone and LET NARUTO-KUN MAKE DECISIONS FOR HIMSELF! FUCKING 'NARUTO-KUN' HAS BEEN LIVING ALONE AND MANAGING ON HIS OWN JUST FUCKING FINE SINCE HE WAS BORN! NO MATTER WHAT I DO IT'S ALWAYS 'NARUTO-KUN'S' FAULT RIGHT?! I ABSOLUTELY HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE THIS WORLD! I ABSOLUTELY FUCKING LOATHE IT! GODDAMMIT THIS IS ALL SO FUCKED UP DATTEBAYO!"
Mito just blinked several times as Naruto glared at her, panting harshly before his legs gave up- the blonde falling on his butt.
"O-Oh my…" she choked out before the redhead burst out giggling loudly making the jinchuriki frown at her.
"What's so funny! I didn't crack a joke!" he yelled in anger as she held her stomach, waving her other hand in a 'no offence' motion. She too slowly sat on her toes, just in front of the blonde who was glaring at her- the redhead's laughter now slowly dying out.
"Get out!" Naruto was seething now as he glared while she just smiled at him- making him avert his gaze as he huffed in frustration.
"Fine then, I guess I'll just go and take care of things out th-"
Just as he was about to stand up, Mito leaned forward to take him into a warm hug- wrapping her arms around his head.
"I guess you needed to let all that out didn't you Naruto?" she whispered, his lone eye wide before they narrowed.
"Let me…go," the blonde tried to push her off but she just didn't budge, holding on to him tightly.
"Naruto, it's okay. I understand what you're going through," Mito spoke gently while he slowly stopped struggling, tears streaming down his lone eye.
"How old are you Naruto?" she asked, her warm and gentle voice soothing him as she applied her green chakra to him- comforting him.
"I…I don't know, fourteen maybe," his voice croaked. Mito gently rubbed his back, holding the back of his head with the other hand- her eyes closed as she hummed to herself.
"You are still quite young, there's so much in life you still have to see. The world is cruel yes, but it's still so much beautiful too. I know you've been through a lot at such a young age, and that's why you are special. People who have to bear extra difficulties in their life as compared to others are truly special people, because those difficulties are preparing you for something big in the future- something really beautiful and decisive," she paused, her eyes still closed while the blonde just stayed quiet.
"Hope, you have to have hope. You can never lose hope Naruto. I know you believe in yourself, but equally important is having faith in the world too- that things will turn for the better someday. You can't blame your loved ones too. You always wanted someone to be there when you were little didn't you? Don't be angry at your loved ones just because they care for you. You can be reckless sometimes and they don't want to lose you, which leads them to sometimes take desperate measures. It may frustrate you, but don't say hurtful things to them in your anger. You never know how much you can hurt people with just your words. Misunderstandings can happen, and unintentionally hurting your loved one can happen, and that's part of being close to someone isn't it?" Mito smiled as Naruto nodded, still quiet.
"Well, I want you to replay…replay all the beautiful things that have happened in your life so far. The number of those events may be small, but I'm sure you know best how important they were to you."
Naruto closed his eyes as he took a deep breath- he was strangely, suddenly feeling at peace- a feeling that had become quite foreign to him the last couple of days, even when his own chakra was supposed to calm him down.
He remembered it all- right from the first time he had met Anko, Kurenai, Hana and Yugao in their disguised forms, then Mikoto, then Iruka at the academy. Of course, Hiruzen was always there for him since he was born. Then team seven was formed. He had met Kakashi and Sakura. Sasuke was more of a rival for him, but they were on good terms.
And then finally that day, the day that changed his life drastically. The day he got the Rinnegan in the Forest of Death, the day he met Itachi and Kisame. Those two minutes of Tsukiyomi training were probably the most important two minutes of his life. He remembered meeting a naked Ayumi the first time, and connecting with Hinata later. He remembered Kurenai showing him how his beautiful mother looked like- and to this day that was an image he still remembered quite vividly.
Then the golden moment where he finally met Kushina, and the instant attraction he had felt towards her. Him making tons of friends after that, helping save the village, saving Hiruzen, resurrecting Mikoto- those were some good moments. Then the fresh feeling of something new he felt when he achieved the second level of Rinnegan.
Yes, good memories, they soon brought a smile to his face as Mito and the jinchuriki stayed still.
"So, aren't they beautiful?" Mito asked gently as he slowly opened his eyes, a sad smile on his face.
"They are, they…really are, I really cherish them. But you know…" he trailed, averting his eye as his lips tugged down.
"…the bad memories far outweigh the good ones. But still, I can't help but smile when I recall those moments."
Mito leaned back slowly as she offered the young blonde a warm smile.
"That's right, since the bad outweighs the good right now…you've got a good reason to look forward to the good ones in the future. I'm sure they're gonna come soon. But they will only come if you continue to hang in there through the tough times. If you lose yourself, and give in to the negativity, there's nothing left but darkness for you," Naruto stared at her as she cupped his whiskered cheek.
"The reason I came here, is just to tell you that you've done a remarkable job so far given the burden you've been carrying since you were born. You are an amazing child Naruto, an amazingly special child. So sometimes it's okay to cry, sometimes it's okay to be stupid, and sometimes it's okay to make mistakes. But the most important reason your loved ones love you…" she held her index finger up before touching the tip of his nose lightly, making him blink.
"…is because you are Uzumaki Naruto. So make sure that through all of this, you don't change. Just stay as you are. I already told this to Kushina-chan once- to counter the hatred of a bijuu, you have to fill yourself with love…you have to love yourself first. And for you Naruto, to counter the world's hatred, all its frustrations, pain and sadness…you have to fill those around you with love," Mito finished as she kissed his forehead before leaning back, giggling as the blonde's cheeks reddened.
"So…do you feel better now? Three minutes earlier I met you, you looked like a volcano waiting to be erupted," she grinned lightly making him smile as he rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment.
"It's strange, talking to you makes me feel as if I'm talking to myself. I can so imagine myself saying all those things to someone else, but hearing them for once really gave me an awesome feeling I just can't describe'ttebayo," he grinned with his lone eye closed making her giggle lightly as she covered her mouth.
"You are really cute with those whiskers and that verbal tick," Mito pinched his cheek making him smile.
"So how did you manage to pop out here?" Naruto asked making her shrug.
"I had sealed some of my chakra into Ayumi just for the purpose of seeing any future jinchuriki after Kushina. Being a jinchuriki is not an easy path, and I'm sure I could help them when they were on the verge of breaking down," this made the blonde smile hesitantly as he looked down.
Well, he was about to break, and losing his eye was the last straw.
Sensing his mood, Mito held his chin as she gently made him look at her.
"Don't be sad, everyone needs to be held once in a while, no matter how strong they are. I'm just glad I could help you. It made me feel like I filled you with love today," a bright smile on her face, her eyes closed while the whiskered blonde blushed lightly- yeah, this woman could say the most embarrassing things way too easily.
A sigh escaped his lips as he smiled back at her, looking at her through his lone eye.
"Yeah, but that doesn't change the fact that I lost my eye. That bastard was waiting all along for me to let my guard down," his expression bitter as he clenched the fabric of his violet shinobi pants on his thigh.
"As I said, whatever happens…happens for the better. You lost an eye, and maybe that happened for a bigger and a better reason. You never know, you're only living in the present after all…no one knows what the future holds. So stop worrying about it," the red head stood up as her body began to glow.
"What's happening?" Naruto asked as he stood while she just smiled at him.
"Well, my time's up…that's as much as I can afford this time. I have to save some for the next jinchuriki too. Tell Kushina-chan and Ayumi-chan that I love them," Mito stepped forward as she hugged him again.
"And I need you to know that I love you too Naruto. Thank you for protecting Konoha all this time. And no matter what anyone else says, you are a truly special and a brave child. So keep your chin up, and live your life the way you always dreamed of when you were little…sayonara," her last word was barely audible as she vanished completely, the blonde standing still- still feeling her warmth covering him.
He just didn't know how to describe what had took place the past five minutes or so- out of nowhere she had come, and had changed his perspective on several things in a matter of minutes.
Mito Uzumaki…she was truly something else; there was this dignified air around her, but she could completely make you feel at ease with her gentle and warm personality.
He looked at his hand, smiling to himself as he wiped his left eye- 'kinda' feeling fresh right then.
'Alright, time to go and take back what's rightfully mine!' he thought with a narrowed eye as the blonde clenched his fists.
The jinchuriki whipped his head back, his eye widening as he suddenly remembered Mito saying 'another chakra signature'.
A Little Far from Valley of The End: Forests
Sasuke groaned as his eyes fluttered open- trees soaring towards the pouring sky coming into his view while he blinked a few times to adjust his blurry vision.
Bolting upright, he fought a wave of dizziness as the Uchiha clenched his eyes shut for a few seconds.
"Easy there Sasuke-kun, you don't need to panic…" he snapped his eyes open upon hearing a familiar voice- turning his head to notice Mikoto standing on a nearby branch.
"K-Kaa-san…" Sasuke stuttered upon seeing her, she looked so…just like he remembered her. Not by a day did she look older as she smiled hesitantly at him.
"Sasuke-kun, I know you'll probably refuse to accept me, and I know you want to kill Itachi-kun for what happened that night…but I'm alive now," she took a deep breath while Sasuke just blinked, still coming out of his shock. He knew that his mother had been revived…still, standing in front of her, she really looked like his mother. It didn't look like she ever died at all.
"As your mo-"
"A-Are you really…my mom?" he asked, now standing on his feet, a look of anxiousness on his face. Mikoto smiled warmly at him as she put a hand on her heart.
"Of course I am," she replied, her eyes full of warmth as she gazed at her son. She had just sat for a few minutes just watching him, taking in all of his features, noticing how much her baby boy had grown.
And yet, still praying that Naruto was alright. He had so stubbornly asked her to put her faith in him and just meet Sasuke, it was in the spur of the moment- while falling down from the sky that she had to take a split second decision to meet her son. She most probably wouldn't have gotten a second chance to meet him.
"Then, if you are my mom…then, how do you view Itachi? How do you view him?" Sasuke asked, a serious expression on his face while his hand stealthily reached the hilt of his katana. This didn't go past Mikoto's eyes as she picked up the subtle movement.
"Both of you are my sons, and no matter what you do…I'll always love you," a smile on her face making Sasuke's eyes widen before they narrowed, his face morphing into a deep scowl.
"That's all? That's what you have to say in his defence for what he did?! Did you forget he killed all our members, everyone?! He even killed you and Tou-san! What kind of a twisted sick bastard kills his own parents!" he was yelling by the end, glaring at Mikoto as she looked down in sadness.
"That's true, it all seems weird doesn't it? Your big brother was always a level headed one, he grew up during the war time. He hated wars. Itachi-kun loved peace. So, even though all facts go against him, I'm his mother. I knew him, and I trust him for the decisions he made. He must have had his reasons. Don't be so quick t-"
"You…are not serious right?" Sasuke asked calmly, his eyes wide as he looked at her while she regarded him with a stoic countenance.
"I am completely serious. Don't be quick to judge Itachi-kun. There are several things we might not know. Itachi-kun has always been deceptive and clever. Besides, did you know that our clan was scheming against the sandaime hokage, against Konoha?" by now Sasuke was seething, his clenched fists trembling as he glared at Mikoto.
"Cut your bullshit! Even if what you're saying is true…that's the solution?!" he growled, his voice shaking in anger- his Sharingan staring into her eyes.
"You kill the whole clan?! IS THAT WHAT THE SOLUTION ITACHI HIMSELF CAME UP WITH?! WHY DIDN'T HE KILL ME TOO THEN HUH?! WHY TORTURE ME?!" he screamed at her as she stared back at him, a melancholic look in her eyes.
'Itachi-kun, what did you do to him…he's still traumatized.'
"He spared only you…because he loved you, more than us, more than anything in t-"
She stopped mid-sentence when Sasuke began to chuckle darkly before glaring hatefully at her.
"You know what, ! I'm throu-"
The sound of a resounding smack echoed throughout the area as now Mikoto stood in front of Sasuke- having slapped her son as he wobbled back a bit to regain his footing. The Uchiha matriarch had a deep scowl on her face, her eyes watery while her hand leaned back to her side.
"I'm done talking Sasuke-kun. You're coming back with me- back to Konoha. You'll get rid of that ridiculous ambition of yours to kill Itachi, and I'll force you if I have to," her voice stern as she fixed a glare onto the young Uchiha.
Inside though she was hurting, it pained her to see Sasuke like this- to hear him talk like that to her.
"You…" Sasuke growled as he turned his head back to glower at her.
"…are not my mother! My mother was dead years ago, and she was killed by my brother! My whole clan was wiped out in a single night by that brother! And I was tortured, and asked to hate him, to come after him! That's exactly what I will do! NO ONE'S going to stop me!" he unsheathed his katana in a blur, pointing it at her.
Mikoto averted her gaze, her expression softening as a tear slipped down her cheek. Wiping her cheek, she looked at him with cold eyes- her fully matured Sharingan now staring back at him.
"Who said that your brother was the one who killed me?" she asked calmly making her son's eyes widen. Just as he was about to speak, she interrupted him.
"You can say whatever you want, but the fact still remains that I'm your mother. And it's my duty that I stop you. You're so lost in your revenge that you don't see anything else at all…starting today, I'm going to put you back on track. And then, I'm going to settle this with Itachi-kun too," she spoke resolutely.
"I'm not going anywhere, this is the path I chose willingly. You are just a pale imitation of my mother, just a fake revival," Sasuke spoke, a smirk on his face while Mikoto's eyes widened as black curse marks began to spread on his skin.
"Sasuke-kun, what…happened to you?" she asked in surprise when the young Uchiha frowned at her, the three tomoes in his Sharingan spinning.
Firing chakra to his feet, he leapt towards her- creating a crater in the wood of the branch- his katana charged with lightning streaks. Mikoto however just sighed, closing her eyes.
"I will never accept you as my mother!" Sasuke growled as he brought down his katana towards her head in a blur. His eyes however widened when within the blink of an eye, she had vanished- his katana slicing through a leaf in mid-air.
He landed as the two pieces of the mentioned leaf floated away with the slight gust of wind. Looking around with a confused expression, he snapped his head upon noticing something through his peripheral vision.
'How did she…it definitely wasn't shunshin no jutsu!' Sasuke gaped, staring at Mikoto who was standing on the branch where he was a few seconds ago.
"How did you…" he trailed, narrowing his eyes.
'It couldn't be pure speed! My Sharingan didn't catch anything!' he thought, clutching his katana tightly.
"This is useless Sasuke-kun…" Mikoto whispered in his left ear.
This time the world around him slowed down as now his mother was standing just behind him, her right hand on his shoulder with her other hand resting gently on his head. His eyes were widened, also noticing that he longer had the katana in his hand- further increasing his shock.
'What…is this?' he was having difficulty in comprehending what had happened just now.
"I had temporary stopped taking missions so I could take care of you when you were little. So of course you never saw me in action. Your mother wasn't just an average housewife Sasuke-kun," her voice soft while the raven haired Uchiha just stood still, rooted to his spot when he noticed his katana lying exactly where Mikoto was standing a moment ago.
His eyes narrowed in recognition.
"It's just substitution, what's so special about it?" he muttered before puffing into smoke, shunshin-ing to where his katana was lying.
Mikoto smirked as she put a hand to her waist while her son picked his katana warily.
"Is it? 'Just substitution' huh? Can you do this then?" Sasuke just stared at her, in front of him with a flabbergasted look on his face.
However, there was one glaring difference- Mikoto was standing with his katana in her right hand- an amused smile on her face. Her son gritted his teeth in annoyance as he glared at her.
"My katana, did you teleport it?" his frustration was evident, his Sharingan wasn't picking up on anything!
Mikoto smirked as she pointed the blue-ish blade of the katana at him.
"Really? I didn't do anything to your katana? It is where it was. Why don't you look at where you're standing right now?" Sasuke looked down for him to freeze in shock upon noticing where Mikoto was standing- on the small sized crater he had formed in the beginning.
She had substituted with him! Before, she had substituted with his katana to appear behind him. But this time, she had substituted with him to appear in his place, holding the katana just like he was a few moments ago.
'Such clean and perfect execution…how is this even possible?' the raven haired Uchiha thought, a perplexed look in his eyes while Mikoto's expression turned serious.
"It's futile to resist against me. You're coming with me to Konoha, right now!" her chakra levels rising to kage level while Sasuke took a step back, a doubtful look on his face.
'I have to get away from her, I can't go back to that place!' he growled mentally as the curse mark on the back of his neck began to glow.
More black curse marks began to spread across his skin which slowly turned into dark grey, a black four-point star-mark present between his eyes and across the bridge of his nose. His sclera was now black with his lips having turned blue- hair growing to his waist length. Another noticeable feature was the growth of large webbed hand-shaped wings on his back.
Mikoto was sporting a horrified look on her face, her expression slowly turning from that of shock to anger.
"Did Orochimaru do this to you?" she asked, her voice cold while Sasuke just 'Tch'-ed in response.
"It's none of your concern…go back to Naruto, he might need your help after all. Or maybe he's dead already," he shrugged, flapping his wings to take flight.
Just as Mikoto was about to use her 'kawarimi', her eyebrows rose in shock along with Sasuke's as the younger Uchiha was pushed back onto the surface of the branch- from which he had just taken elevation.
An arm was lazily slung along his neck, over his shoulder.
"No need to be in such a hurry Sasuke-kun…"
Mikoto just stared at the newly arrived figure while Sasuke too found himself looking into another pair of Sharingan. His eyes soon narrowed in hatred and unbridled rage as he gritted his teeth.
Valley of The End
It was still raining heavily, the area dead silent except the pitter-patter of the downpour. Kabuto was standing on the cliff-side behind Madara's statue, staring at something down on the lake- his visage serious as he adjusted his glasses- his eyes closed.
"Get rid of him for Orochimaru-sama! GO!" he ordered about a hundred or so remaining Oto shinobi standing beside him. All of them raged shouts of war before jumping down, their target- the lone standing figure of Naruto- who seemed to be unconscious.
The blonde's head was dipped down, his eye closed while he stood with his shoulders slumped. He had been in this condition for the past five minutes- apparently he had suddenly transformed from his eight-tailed state- back to how he was now.
Kabuto had no idea what had happened, but this was their opportunity to get rid of the troublesome jinchuriki. And if the kyuubi went on a rampage thereafter, it was Akatsuki's problem to capture the beast then.
"Kill that bastard!"
"He killed most of our comrades!"
The group of sound ninja dashed towards the lone standing jinchuriki- looks of fury on their faces as all of them brandished their kunai.
"Make sure this fucking asshole dies a painful death!"
"We'll torture him to death!"
Several nin threw their kunai as few dozens of projectiles neared Naruto at whizzing speeds.
The resounding sound of kunai bouncing off a large ice wall echoed amongst the pitter-patter as the Oto shinobi skid to a halt- their eyes wide.
"Did…did he do it?"
"But he didn't even do any hand seals! No way can someone use ice release without any hand seals!"
All of them stared, clenching their kunai tightly as the wall crumbled down to reveal a hooded figure standing in front of Naruto.
"Sorry to disappoint you folks, but I can," from the voice of the figure, it was clear that it was a 'she'.
"Who are you!?" one of the sound ninja demanded as she just giggled in response.
"I'm just a friend of Uzumaki Naruto here! You guys can attack him when he's awake, but until then, I'm sorry to ruin your fun!" she spoke rather cheerfully when one of them stepped forward.
"Who do you think you are you bitch! Now step aside before I fucking cut off your ni-"
"AARGH! W-What the fuck!" one of the others exclaimed in response as a thin ice shard had blurred out from the water below to pierce the guy through the bottom of his jaw- all the way in before bursting out through his skull- large globs of blood splashing on those standing nearby as well as some mixing with the water.
"Now now, that's not the way to talk to a lady is it?" the hooded lady said in an amused tone while some of them gulped, standing still in their places.
'Who is this? I think I've seen her before…yes, during the invasion! She had interacted with Naruto for a brief time during the invasion. I remember her using ice release,' Kabuto pondered, narrowing his eyes at the new arrival.
"And that's how I lost my eye. I'm sorry, I should've been more careful, just didn't expect him to come out crawling from his own mouth though," Naruto muttered, his lone eye looking down when Minato laughed as he put a hand on his head.
"It's okay Naruto, nothing to fret over! With the Uzumaki blood running through your veins, I have no doubt that you would get it back," an encouraging grin on the yondaime's face while the blonde looked at him in surprise, his lips tugging into a smile.
The past ten minutes or so, the father and son had talked about a lot of things- especially what was going on in his life recently and how he had gotten the Rinnegan. Any anger that he felt regarding his childhood was immediately wiped out when Minato had begged him for his forgiveness on his knees. And forgiving someone was something that always came naturally to him.
He had thought on several occasions on what he would do if he were to miraculously meet his father. The jinchuriki had already come to terms with the fact that Minato had to do it for the sake of Konoha- Kushina after all had told the whole story to him. Although his mother detested Minato for sealing Ayumi into Naruto, he couldn't bring himself to do it.
"So, I almost forgot to ask, you told me that Kushina was teleported to the future where you met her a few months ago. Ayumi did that right? So how is Kushina?" the ex-hokage asked making Naruto nod as he smiled at his father.
"She's super awesome as always. And you wouldn't believe who actually succeeded you for the seat of hokage!" he had a wide grin on his face while Minato's eyes widened immediately.
"Oh you've got to be…" the elder blonde trailed in shock making his son snicker to himself.
"Nope! She is the freaking fifth hokage! And somehow, she even has the Sharingan now!" Naruto exclaimed, clearly excited while Minato blinked- clearly stupefied.
"Yeah! And even Mikoto-chan is alive!" he further spoke while his father looked at him in confusion before a look of realization dawned on his face.
"Oh right, you told me the Uchiha clan was massacred in a single night by Uchiha Itachi, her elder son right?" he muttered making the jinchuriki nod seriously.
"A lot of things have happened, but we are managing…doing our best. The whole of Akatsuki is after me, an organisation focusing on capturing all the tailed beasts- consisting of S-rank international criminals. But I've been training seriously under Kaa-san and have gotten really strong," Naruto said with a smile as he flexed his bicep making Minato laugh.
"I have to admit that sometimes I'm under a lot of pressure and do stupid things, but I always try to give my level best! I also unintentionally hurt others sometimes by my actions, but again…I try really really hard not to! It's just that circumstances get too much," he sighed at the end, the blonde clearly anxious to tell a lot of things to his father while Minato just smiled at him as he put his right hand on his head.
"You truly are Kushina's son, a motor mouth just like her," he grinned as Naruto averted his gaze in embarrassment.
"Yeah, I guess so. But Kaa-san really misses you, she always keeps talking about you," he said with his closed-eye smile while Minato looked at him in surprise
"Really? I thought Kushina hated me?" he questioned, now making Naruto look at him in surprise this time.
'How does he…'
"What are you saying? Why would she hate you?" he asked, his eye softening as he noticed a brief flash of pain and hurt in Minato's eyes before his father smiled at him hesitantly.
"She was really pissed off at me during the moments I was sealing Ayumi into you. Before dying, I'm sure she hated me with a passion. I don't blame her though, she's a mother. And no mother would want to bestow a fate of a jinchuriki on her child. I could have let her seal Ayumi back in herself and die, saving your childhood in the process. But…" the yondaime hokage averted his gaze as he rubbed the back of his head.
"I wanted you to control Ayumi-chan's powers, I knew you would become a great shinobi someday. That masked man is sure to strike the ninja world again, and at that night, while sealing Ayumi into you…I just came to a realization you were the child of prophecy Naruto. Call me crazy, or maybe I'm just making excuses for my decisions. But I chose the decision that seemed best to me at that moment. Maybe I was wrong, and for that, I'm so-"
"It's okay Tou-san. I told you already! I understand, and I'm serious when I tell you this that Kaa-san really misses you. She doesn't hate you at all! Yeah she was angry at you when she met me, but seeing me alright melted her anger and she regrets making you think that she hated you! She loves you and really misses you!" Naruto kind of yelled in the end, his eyes narrowed while Minato looked at him with wide eyes.
There was no way in hell he was going to reveal to his father his relationship with Kushina. He couldn't do that to Minato. Nor was he going to reveal that how Kushina still hated him. His father didn't deserve that.
"R-Really? I guess…well, I have to say I'm relieved! Haha! Kushina was the love of my life, I never meant to hurt her," at that moment, Naruto's heart constricted in a painful way when he heard Minato say those words.
He just smiled hesitantly while Minato laughed to himself in relief.
"But Naruto, will you do something for me?" he asked with a smile. The jinchuriki shrugged with a light grin.
"Tell your mother that I really love her. But I want her to move on. Tell her to find someone, someone who makes her happy. I don't want her to stay alone for the rest of her life. She's too beautiful and deserving for that," the whiskered blonde's smile faltered for a second before he composed himself- masking sadness in his eyes.
"Of course, I'll tell her. I keep telling her that but she says she isn't ready to move on. She still misses you a lot ya know," he finished with a soft smile as Minato rubbed the back of his head- a sheepish expression on his face.
"Well I'm flattered but you make sure she finds someone. And make sure you find a beautiful girl too alright?" he winked at the end, elbowing his son playfully.
"Well, I have already repaired the seal back to its original state. Ayumi-chan should be back to normal too," Minato informed as his form started to fade.
"Looks like I'm out of chakra. Be strong Naruto, and remember, I have faith in you. That, and I'm proud of you too for how you've held your own despite everything," his voice now getting hollow while Naruto started to feel something of an itch in the back of his empty eye-socket.
"Yeah, I will remember that. I love you Tou-san," he smiled, waving lightly when Minato's fading form dispersed into small glowing chakra particles.
It was silent now as the blonde sighed to himself, holding his heart as he closed his lone eye.
"That…was hard," he muttered to himself, wiping a single tear from the corner of his left eye.
'I'm sorry…Tou-san,' he said to himself mentally as the itching behind his eyes began to increase.
Opening his lone eye, he was not so surprised to see himself standing back in his sewer mindscape- in front of the large cage.
"Ayumi-chan! Are you alright?" he yelled, rubbing his right eyelid to get rid of the irritation. Not getting any response, he walked closer- kind of intimidated by the silent darkness within the cage when a jolt of pain flashed through his empty eye socket as he slid to his knees.
"Sh-Shit! Now what?!" he exclaimed in frustration, his head bent down- both eyes closed with his right hand over his right eye.
'Is this…like before during the invasion?' he thought, intense pain coursing through his right empty socket while his heart beat began to increase like before during the attack on village.
Was his Rinnegan ascending again?
Did it take him to lose an eye to ascend to the third level this time?!
'This is weird though…why now all of a sudden?' his eyes clenched shut, beads of sweat trailing down his skin, mixing with the thin trail of dried up blood from his right eyelid.
Kirigakure: Mizukage's Office
"…for the organization. I guess we have to take in consideration of the fact that not many people are fond of us shinobi who possess kekkei genkai. Still, I ho-" Mei Terumi, the fifth mizukage stopped abruptly as she looked at her right palm, her delicate features morphing into a frown.
"Is something wrong mizukage-sama?" one of the three elders sitting in front of her spoke.
"No it's…" Mei trailed as she kept looking at her right soft palm- the swirling sign of the Uzumaki clan on her hand surrounding which were nine tails of red colour- was glowing a bride shade of yellowish-orange.
Her expression was that of concern as she pursed her lips.
'Naruto-kun…did something happen again?'
Valley of The End
"W-What's going on?!" an Oto shinobi exclaimed, his eyes wide along with the others. Right in front of their eyes, Naruto's form had started gaining a white-ish hue.
Soon his skin had started to glow white, the intensity of the luminescence increasing by each passing second while the hooded female standing in front of the blonde too was looking at him over her shoulder.
If anyone could see her expression through the darkness of her hood- it would be that of surprise.
'This…does not make sense. Is he ascending again?' she thought, the glowing increasing slowly as now she had to shield her eyes- same case being with the other sound ninja.
Kabuto however was gritting his teeth, his eyes wide as dashed on the lake- towards where about a hundred of sound forces were standing in front of Naruto.
'This…is just like before! During the invasion he glowed like this before his doujutsu was upgraded!'
"DON'T JUST STAND THERE! KILL HIM QUICKLY BEFORE HIS REMAINING EYE UPGRADES ITSELF!" he yelled, nearing the sound nin as they looked back at him in surprise.
"I'm sorry but that is out of the question," the ice female user spoke calmly as she turned back to face the sound nin.
"Grrgh! Let's go you bunch of pussies! She's just one fucking kunoichi! Kill her and get that bastard!" one of them yelled as they all began to charge collectively. Most of them began to go through hand seals as they fired several water techniques in the form of water bullets, tendrils, pillars and dragons- it was an intimidating sight as the combined monstrous water attack neared the ice user at blurred pace- completely shadowing all of their forms due to the achieved height.
"My, that is indeed scary looking, but you're fighting me at the wrong location…" she whispered to herself, bending down as she dipped her hand in the violently moving water.
Soon, water began to turn into ice as the effect quickly travelled to the approaching water attacks just before they hit her- freezing them completely.
Meanwhile, Naruto's form had taken a full ethereal white glow- his head now slowly lifting as the blonde came to consciousness. His left eye opened lazily as he looked down at the water.
Large amounts of water erupted upwards as Kabuto jumped out through the water surface behind him, a kunai clenched tightly in his right hand.
'NOW YOU DIE!'
'Shit!' the ice user thought in alarm as she turned her head while the kunai approached the back of Naruto's head in slow motion- when the jinchuriki whispered to himself-
"Shinra Banshou (All of Creation Covered by God)"
The approaching kunai stopped just centimetres away from the back of his head- its tip grazing his glowing hair while Kabuto had his eyes widened.
'I can't move…' the medic thought, floating in mid-air, his body still like a statue as if someone had paused the live action just before him stabbing Naruto with the kunai.
Even the ice female had her eyes widened in surprise.
"My God…this jutsu…." Her voice barely above a whisper.
Her mouth however opened a bit in shock when she noticed Naruto's face, especially his forehead.
"This can't be..."
'It's too early' she thought to herself, not believing her eyes.
Naruto slowly turned, now looking at Kabuto when the silver haired medic too noticed his forehead, much to his surprise.
"What…are you?" he muttered in disbelief, struggling against the invisible force which was still holding him up in mid-air- the kunai in front of the blonde's closed right eye not moving at all.
A third vertical slit had opened in the middle of Naruto's forehead to reveal an eye- a Rinnegan to be exact. However, it was red in colour- unlike the blonde's Rinnegan in his left eye which was purple. Another major difference was that it had about four lines (the fourth one barely visible) in the form of concentric circles surrounding a black dot pupil- a total of nine visible tomoe surrounding the pupil- three in each line.
The jinchuriki just stared at Kabuto as it continued to rain, his third eye slowly closing until it showed nothing but clear forehead.
Fear was evident in Kabuto's eyes as he continued to struggle effortlessly against some invisible force.
"Let me…go," he growled through gritted teeth, his eyes squinted due to the glaring glow emanating from the whiskered blonde.
Naruto just stayed quiet as he stared at Kabuto with his lone left eye. His right eye now began to open, surprising Orochimaru's right hand man in front of him- to reveal the same red Rinnegan in his right eye socket.
'What is going on here?!' Kabuto thought wide eyed as he gazed at the combination of a glowing purple and red Rinnegan, the first one having two concentric circles like before with the second one looking as if it was already fully matured.
A sigh escaped the blonde's lips as he kept staring into Kabuto's eyes.
"Yakushi Kabuto…or should I say, Shimura Danzo?"
This time the medic's pupils zoomed out in shock as Naruto spoke-
"Where are you hiding by the way?"
Well, I'm quite sure you guys were probably expecting to wait another year for this chapter lol. :P
I was supposed to update 'The Burdened Deathcake' instead of this chapter this time, but I guess given the way most of you guys reacted, more like panicked after reading the previous chapter, I had to write this quickly.
It's kind of sad though- how quick readers are to jump to conclusions and take their frustrations out on the writer. Just doesn't gives enough freedom to the author to write what he wants- in fear of whether the readers will like it or not.
Anyway! Hope you like this chapter! :D
Thanks for all the reviews and PMs (I'll respond, just wait!) in the previous chapter. I greatly appreciate your support!
Next update is for 'The Burdened Deathcake'.
See you next time guys! Cheers! XD