FINALLY! I managed to pump this one out. It took me forever, locked up behind fifteen other stories (One of which is a new Clone Wars cross I've been cooking up, and it should be a good one. Starts in the Season 3 two parter finale 'Padawan Lost' and 'Wookie Hunt' Gonna be...Fantastic.)
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto nor do I own Star Wars.
"So where's your suit?" Naruto looked up at Jiraiya as they exited the village gates. The Sannin was referring to the fact he was currently wearing a set of black Jedi robes rather than his Vader suit. Walking along with them, keeping pace easily, was Neji, wearing the same robes, with his hood up to shadow his face.
"Sealed in a scroll," the blonde replied. "As most of the mission requires tracking Tsunade, I feel that it would be too conspicuous. I'm keeping it sealed until we find our wayward Hokage candidate." Jiraiya just shook his head.
"Why? Is it too bulky, or something?" he asked, and Naruto shook his head, looking up at his master with his yellowed, sith eyes.
"In a sense. The suit is actually very comfortable, and I can definitely fight in it, as I proved to everyone during the exams," he said. "However, for traveling, I believe it would bee more of a hindrance in the long run. I'm not nearly as fast with it on, as I am without, and that can make all the difference in getting to Tsunade." Jiraiya nodded.
"Good point," he replied. "I hadn't thought about that. You alright there, Neji?" The former Hyuuga nodded.
"Perfectly fine, Master Jiraiya," he replied. "Thank you for your concern, but just because I'm blind does not mean I am handicapped." Jiraiya shrugged before turning back to the path. "Master, I sense something," continued Neji, this time referring to Naruto.
"Yes, I sense the disturbance as well," Naruto announced. "Be mindful, my apprentice. I feel that very soon you will receive your first test as a Sith." Nodding, Neji stretched out with the Force, trying to pinpoint what exactly the disturbance was. Off in the distance, two cloaked figures stood, looking out at the road, before following the trail of the Tsunade Search-Party.
"I am interested in this Tsunade woman, Master," Naruto continued. "I've heard she's strong...very strong." Jiraiya shook his head, remembering the countless times he had been on the receiving end of the woman's fury. The results were never pretty. He rubbed his jaw, phantom pain shooting through it at the very thought.
"Oh yeah. One punch could knock you all the way across the village," he replied, his mind drifting to his old teammates. "Back when she, Orochimaru and I were students of the Hokage, we were almost undefeated. With her strength, Orochimaru's skill in Jutsu, and mine in sealing, we were a highly formidable team. But eventually, we fell apart..." Naruto nodded, knowing what Orochimaru had become in recent years.
"Orochimaru and Tsunade were both touched by death once too often over the years," Jiraiya continued. "Tsunade lost her little brother and her lover. It broke her. She eventually left the village."
"And Orochimaru?" Neji asked, his sightless eyes looking out from the shadow of his hood. The Toad Sage just sighed.
"Orochimaru started on his downward spiral much earlier, with the death of his parents. I'm no expert, but I would be willing to bet that it's their death which spurred him on his quest for immortality, among his other endeavors," he replied. Naruto just looked to his apprentice, nodding sagely as he knew the darkness that could overtake one's heart from the death of a loved one. Perhaps if Orochimaru, even armless, ever gave him any further trouble, he could use this information to his advantage. After all, Naruto's revenge wasn't complete. Naruto had lost each of his limbs, where Orochimaru had lost only two. When the snake man had lost his arms and his legs, only then would Naruto be satisfied, though the thought of the sannin dead did wonders for his mood either way.
The three decided to stay at a hotel in the first town they encountered, and while Jiraiya went off on his own to 'get information' from a woman, Vader and Tyranus stood on the roof. Naruto would use the Force to spin shuriken around the Sith apprentice, at random periods causing one to hurtle at him. Using his Katana, even blinded, Neji was able to deflect each of the shuriken. Had it been blaster fire, he may not have been so lucky, but the shuriken were slow enough that even with his limited Force-sight, he was able to react in time.
Feeling cold steel on his neck, Neji's sightless eyes widened as he felt a few drops of blood leak down from the light cut he received. "Be mindful, Tyranus," his master said with an icy coldness that always seemed to enter his being during their training sessions. "You must always be ready to react to anything. Don't let yourself become distracted, don't think that because you are doing one thing, another won't present itself."
"Yes, Master," Neji replied, before an all too familiar feeling overtook the boy. "Master!" he announced. Vader's eyes narrowed as he turned to the roof access door.
"I sense it too," he replied, watching the door open to reveal the two cloaked figures who had been following them. Vader carefully looked them over. The first though mostly concealed by his black, cloud decorated cloak, could still be seen as rather scrawny. There was something very familiar about him, but he wore a straw hat that also covered parts of his face. The other was larger, with blue skin and a fish-like appearance. Leaned against his shoulder was a large, bandage-wrapped sword, and both Naruto and his apprentice could practically see the Force wildly swirl around the blade. It wasn't natural.
"Naruto Uzumaki." Vader's eyes narrowed. So these two were after him, it seemed. "You can either come with us willingly, or by force. Either way, you will be coming with us." Vader laughed at the veiled threat. These two knew him, but they obviously didn't know just who they were currently dealing with. Though he again eyed the bandage-wrapped sword. Something about it felt...off. His eyes narrowed and the two suddenly felt Katana's at their throats, two clones of Naruto stepping out behind them. The two stood motionless, before the clones erupted into smoke, surprising Vader. Two clones of the smaller man had come into existence behind his own.
"Your use of Shadow Clones is impressive...but ultimately useless here," the man said, tipping his hat up as his own clones disappeared and Vader growled. The man had an uncanny resemblance to the village's last Uchiha. Tyranus took a step forward, holding his hand out at the two. Force Lightning arced from his fingertips, catching the two off-guard. It didn't matter how fast they were, both her hit and knocked back. While the larger, blue man writhed on the ground, the Sasuke look-alike disappeared in a burst of smoke, revealed as a clone. The sith apprentice leaped backward, narrowly avoiding the strike from the real one. Allowing the Force to flow through him to aid in his fight, Vader went for a decapitating blow, only for the cloaked man to dodge with surprising speed. He came in to throw an elbow into the ribs of the blond, but Vader was able to redirect his blade and deflect the strike using the blunt end, leaping away to put some distance between them, dropping into his Soresu form, deciding to play the defensive until he knew what he was up against.
"This kid is full of surprises, Itachi," the blue-skinned man announced, standing back up. "Just let me cut off a limb or two, then we won't have to deal with this shit."
"So, it's Itachi Uchiha...So this is the man Sasuke is determined to kill," Vader thought, before channeling the Force to allow his mind to sync with his apprentice. "Leave Itachi to me, Lord Tyranus. His partner is yours to handle, but watch out for his sword. The Force is screaming to me that it's dangerous."
"Yes, Master," he replied, settling into Makashi. The fish-man just laughed, slinging his sword across his shoulder.
"You wanna go against me, little man? Do you even know who I am?" he asked, his sword pulsating oddly, and Tyranus narrowed his sightless eyes.
"Your name won't matter soon enough. You'll be lying dead at my feet shortly," he replied, and his opponent roared before swinging the massive blade at the blind-boy. Tyranus blocked, but was forced back slightly. He cursed his mistake. While Makashi was created for blade to blade combat, it wouldn't be as effective against the larger sword, and so he shifted to Form IV, Ataru, using the Force-enhanced senses and physical abilities to acrobatically weave through the strikes of the, by-comparison, slower and more clumsy weapon.
Weaving in, he got a good hit across the man's chest, causing him to stagger back. But the Sith Apprentice was feeling like something was wrong, and stretching out with his senses, he delved deeper into the layers of the Force than he had ever gone, and began to realize what was happening. First, the blade itself was no mere sword, it was sentient. It allowed it and its wielder to work in sync and be far more effective than ordinary steel.
Second, the blade was becoming more and more saturated with chakra, while Tyranus was tiring quickly, leading the ex-Hyuuga to believe the blade was somehow draining him of his chakra even with only coming close. And third, his Force-allowed vision was beginning to fade, and he knew the sword had something to do with it. While he wasn't sure exactly how, the weapon was actually interfering with his connection to the Force. He had to end things quickly, or he was going to die.
Vader swung his blade but hit nothing but air, Itachi disappearing in a blur of motion, his face expressionless. He wasn't even trying. Another slash was easily blocked by a Kunai, and Vader growled as he tried to better focus his anger. With a lunge, he once more missed the man who had single-handedly killed his entire clan, who leapt up and balanced on the end of the Force-user's katana. "Cocky bastard..." he thought. "Let's see you do this when my Lightsaber is finished."
"Why are you here?" he asked, dodging a swift kick at his head, holding up his hand and blocking a stab from a kunai. It hurt, thanks to his nerve seals, but it wasn't that bad. Mechanical arms were good for a lot more than picking things up. "What exactly is your endgame?"
"You shouldn't concern yourself with trivial matters," Itachi replied, clones appearing, five of them surrounding blonde. "It's not a matter of why, merely a matter of when." Vader closed his eyes and sighed. Had he not known better, he would have thought that the chuunin was ready to give up. However, from his research on the boy, he knew that wasn't the case. Though to be fair, the reports weren't fully up to date. He had expected to be dealing with an idiot child that wore bright orange, not the skilled, yet young, warrior. He quirked an eyebrow as the air surrounding the blonde began to get almost hazy. He activated his Sharingan but saw the blonde expending no chakra. Obviously though, that didn't matter, as he and all his clones were forced back by some sort of shockwave. This was one jutsu that he had never seen, and one he couldn't copy.
As his clones dispersed, Itachi looked up to be hit by the invisible shockwave again, forcing him off the roof and onto an adjacent building. It was such a surprise that Itachi actually hit his head, disorienting him. Up on the roof of the Hotel, Tyranus still holding his own against the shark-man behind him, Naruto pulled a scroll out of a pouch on his belt, and unraveling it was engulfed in a burst of smoke. Rubbing his head, Itachi looked up at the plume of smoke and the figure which stepped out. It was the first time he ever saw the Vader suit. Even at the distance, he could hear the raspy breathing, and he could physically feel the change in the boy. It was as if a totally different person was inhabiting the dark garb. And though he knew it was still the same child, a cold chill overtook him as he gazed into the soulless eyes of the mask.
And then he turned, instead choosing to watch his apprentice fight. He motioned, and Itachi realized he was...inviting him to watch as well. Leaping up, Itachi moved next to the Hakumei Grand Master, unsure of what he was supposed to be seeing. Kisame was one of the feared Seven Swordsmen of the Mist. He could handle a simple blind chuunin. "You can't win, even with your Sharingan." Itachi's expression did not change, even noticing the change in voice. He watched Kisame make a wild swing at Tyranus, only for him to duck under and muster his will into a might Force-Push, shoving the fish-person into the wall of the roof-access door. Itachi did nothing to help his partner as the Sith apprentice leapt in, determined to pin him to the wall with a sword through the throat. Luckily, he managed to dodge, slamming his knee into the ex-Hyuuga's stomach. Tyranus was sent reeling from the blow, but managed to regain his footing, panting like a dog, exhausted at having not only his chakra drained, but fighting half-blind.
"Your friend isn't doing too well, it seems," Itachi said, noting the condition Vader's apprentice was in. The same raspy breathing continued, even as Vader began to speak.
"Don't count my apprentice out just yet. All of your powers combined are nothing compared to the power of the Force." The Uchiha was intrigued, but said nothing, merely remaining content to just watch. He began to notice something different. Whereas the brown-haired boy once had milky, blind eyes, the eyes he now bore were the same ones he had seen in the blonde jinchuriki. A sickly yellow color with visible pupils so black they looked like the pits of hell themselves. His breathing came more under his control and he stood up straighter. Kisame laughed darkly.
"Still some fight in you, huh?" he said, taking a step forward. "Let's see what Samehada has to say about that one." As if responding to its name, the sword began to pulsate even more, the bandages working themselves off the blade a bit, revealing a scaly appearance beneath. But Tyranus had been pushed to his limit, and he was making it known, his tone icy, his fingers twitching dangerously. Beneath his mask, even Vader was impressed at how well the boy was channeling the Dark side of the Force. It swirled around him with the ferocity of a storm.
"Enough with that damned blade," he growled, and with a mighty Force Push, once more sent him into the roof access door, but this time, breaking him through it, knocking Samehada from his hands and causing the sentient sword to skid across the roof. Before Kisame could make a move to retrieve it, Tyranus pulled him back and into the air, choking him with the Force. Itachi looked on with curiosity in his sharingan eyes, but made no move to help his partner. Taking a step forward, the Sith Apprentice began pumping the Shark man full of Force Lightning, his cries of pain forcing the air from his lungs that much faster.
Turning, Itachi decided to take his leave. "Impressive," he announced. "We'll meet again soon. I was caught unprepared. I assure you it won't happen again." As he disappeared, his body bursting into a flock of crows, Vader merely sneered in disgust within his mask.
"No loyalty among the group, it seems," he announced. "Lord Tyranus, I believe it's time to end this. I'm curious about his sword, but we don't need him to tell us its secrets when we have Kurama. I'm sure he'll be pleased to have a specimen to dissect."
"As you wish," the apprentice announced without letting his eyes leave his victim. With a sharp flick of his wrist, the two heard the bones in Kisame's neck snap, killing the missing-nin instantly. Letting the body fall to the rooftop, Neji made to pick the blade up, but the handle forced spikes into his hand, forcing him to drop the handle. "It appears the Samehada remains loyal to its master, even in death." Vader nodded, pulling out his holo-comm.
"Indeed," was his simple reply, as the holographic images of Kyuubi and Grievous appeared before him, Grievous bowing respectfully. "I need you both to come to this location as soon as possible. I have something I want studied, and I want to know everything about it by the time we return, with or without Tsunade," he said, and Kurama nodded, already tracking Naruto's device. As their images disappeared, Naruto and Neji just looked at the scaled blade, determined to discover what was siphoning chakra, and interfering with Force-sensitivity.
Well, it's official. The new chapter has been made. You have no idea how long it took just to become inspired to write this chapter. As always, I hope Ninja Bat Master likes, this was inspired by his fic, and I encourage you all to read his.
Peace to all my Fans
Fan of Fanfics