After almost two years I'm back boys and girls! Yes it's been a very long time and I apologize for that. My real life was a mess and I had to sort it out. Writing stories on FF just didn't fit in.
I want to thank everyone who remained loyal and frequently pm'd me, I tried my best to answer most of you guys. Also because I'm short on time I can't respond to the reviews but I want to sincerely thank you all!
I have to warn you guys though that I will try my best to update this story as often as possible but I can't guarantee updates very frequently due to my work. But I made a promise that I would finish this story and together we will cross the finish line ;)
Let's get this show on the road!
Disclaimer: If I owned the story I would've made Naruto a super badass! But unfortunately I don't own Naruto; I just borrow the Naruto universe for entertaining purposes ;)
I Will Become a Ghost Chapter 24
~Chapter 24 – The new cyclops ~
Naruto regained consciousness long enough to notice they had escaped the village and were making their way through an area filled with hills and rocks, a desolate place. "w-where are we?" he muttered.
"We're almost at the rendezvous point. "Hinata answered who was walking to his right.
Naruto glanced down toward his chest and noticed that they had bandaged his wound.
"We did what we could to slow the bleeding but we're no medics." Itachi said when he saw that Naruto was looking at the gash.
Naruto wanted to nod but decided against it, knowing it would increase his already throbbing head. "Itachi…" he began, the name he spoke came out in a slur.
Itachi looked at him with curious eyes. "What's wrong?"
"I-I lost the K-katana you gave me…" Naruto whispered, unable to look Itachi in the eyes.
Itachi gave a small smile. "What are you talking about? Hinata has it."
Naruto slowly looked to Hinata, who was supporting him as well.
"You were grasping it so tightly when I saw you in Kumo, I thought you'd never let it go." As to emphasize her point, she held out her other hand which held the katana wrapped in clothing.
Naruto gave a nod of thanks before he focused his gaze to his front. He could see faint lights in the distance.
"So, does this mean, you will give us a chance again?" Hinata hopefully asked while a small smile slowly formed on her face.
"No…" Naruto began, causing Hinata's smile to drop. "I'm w-willing to give you a chance…"
She shook her head and smiled. "I guess it's a start, before you know it you'll be having laughs with everyone from the group again."
Itachi snorted while Naruto coughed. "Now you're being r-ridiculous, Hinata."
Micheru rubbed her face what seemed like the 100th time in the past hour. As the hours passed by her fear of losing Naruto grew.
"It's time for you to head home. I'll make sure you guys can escape." A lone tear made its way down her cheek.
"K-kuso" she cursed silently as she finally gave in and sagged down on the ground. 'Why do you always have to do this? Look where it ended' She gave a quivering sigh and laid down on the ground, looking up to the sky, unknown that Neji was watching her.
Neji looked at her with an intense gaze, but soon let it drop to the ground as he himself found his emotions getting the better off him. Not through tears, but in hatred. 'I'm going to kill every single one of them!'
Kakashi who was sitting up in one of the trees looked down at the both of them with a sigh. He didn't know Micheru very well, but he had spoken to her a couple of times, and apparently she was skilled in the medical department. He remembered when he had asked her about Naruto.
- Flashback 10 months ago.-
Kakashi was strolling around the village, with his Icha Icha paradise volume 3 in his hands. He had just gotten off the border defense. After Pein had shown his strength in one of the Reaver's latest attacks, they had pulled back for a while, giving them enough time to recuperate.
He arrived at the training area where he saw one of the Hunters leaning against one of the wooden poles. The grey haired jounin casually walked over and gave her a wave.
She looked up at him and gave him a small smile. "Hi, can I help you?"
"So, what's a Hunter doing out here?" he asked as he flipped a page.
The girl tilted her head slightly. "Do I know you?"
"Ah I'm sorry, the name's Kakashi Hatake I was Naruto's old Sensei."
She raised one of her eyebrows. "Alright…Well my name's Micheru Sun."
"Still haven't answered my question though."
"I was training but I decided to take a break. I got a bit lost in thoughts." She told him.
Kakashi leaned against one of the other poles. "What were you thinking about?"
She shrugged. "All sorts of things, the Reavers, Mirarca…Naruto…"
Kakashi glanced down at her. "What was he like? Before all this started."
"I've only met him once before all this. He was very nice and was always joking and pranking Rome," she gave a chuckle. "I didn't even know it was him until a while ago."
"Was it because he went by the name of 'Ghost'?" Kakashi asked, he had long since closed his book and was now intently listening.
She nodded absently. "That and I just forgot I guess, so many stuff going on lately."
"Well, he must have changed a lot since then."
"Yeah, but he's not all that cold towards us…just distant," with a sigh she stood up. "I think he just had trouble connecting after he went lone wolf for a long time."
"He went lone wolf?" Kakashi was a bit surprised. "Was that around 6 years or so ago?"
"Well during that period he was already going solo for a pretty long time. When we met up a couple of months ago to prepare for the invasion he had been going lone wolf for four years.
"That's around the time frame of the Irosa massacre then." Kakashi concluded.
"I'm still not convinced he did it." Micheru stubbornly said.
"He told it himself." The grey haired jounin said, remembering the words Naruto had said at the arena.
Micheru narrowed her eyes slightly. "I don't care what you might say, unless he tells it himself, I'm not believing it."
Kakashi shrugged before disappearing in a puff of smoke.
Was Naruto dead? Most likely. From the Intel they received he went up against the leader of the Reavers, alone. From what Kakashi heard no one ever survived an encounter against that man, except for Rome, and he only managed to do it once, after his second attempt he ended up in a coma and was likely to pass away.
"Friendlies incoming!" an Iwa shinobi shouted.
Kakashi turned looked towards the entrance of the camp, which was guarded by four squads of Anbu.
Micheru looked up as well, her eyes were red and her face was streaked with tears.
Naruto saw the camp getting close and for the first time he was happy to see something related to Konoha.
Itachi softly sighed. "I need a drink."
Naruto looked at him with an exhausted but surprised look. "T-t-that's new."
"Don't say anything to Kisame or you can walk from here." The Uchiha said, not giving Naruto anymore satisfaction.
"Hinata!" Kiba shouted as he ran from the camp, closely followed by a group of people. "Are you okay?" he asked as he pulled her in a hug, causing her to almost lose her grip on Naruto.
"I'm fine Kiba, just very tired." She said with her eyelids drooping ever so slightly.
Neji stood next to her, a smile formed on his face; he had to restrain himself from showing any other outward signs. "Glad to see you back and well Hinata-sama."
Naruto in the meantime had his eye closed. He was completely drained and wanted nothing more than embrace the darkness.
Itachi however shook him slightly. "Hold on we'll get you to Mayu," he looked at the newcomers who were now focusing their attention on them. "Naruto needs immediate medical assistance."
Before anyone could respond Micheru pushed herself to the front of the small crowd and saw Naruto being supported by Itachi and Hinata, standing there with his gaze looking at the ground.
Not wasting any more time she sprinted over and pulled him into a tight hug. "I thought you were dead!" she half sobbed.
Naruto let himself fall to his knees and returned the hug. "H-hey, its m-me your talking about…i-i-'m not Hawke y-you know."
"You know, I heard that." Hawke responded, standing next to them smiling as well, he too was afraid he had lost another friend, a very close friend at that.
Micheru slowly released him and noticed he still was trying to hide his face in his hood. She softly pulled his mostly ruined hood back and turned his head to look at her. What she saw made her gasp loudly. "What did he do to you?" She softly touched his cheek and stroked it.
"K-kick m-my ass…" was all the blonde managed to say.
"Who did?" Kiba asked as he walked over to the blonde, leaving Hinata in Neji's hands. "damn…who did this?"
"Alright we need to get you looked at, come on let's go." Micheru helped him back up and started carrying him into the camp, Hawke supporting the Blonde as well.
"He fought against the lord of the Reavers?" Kakashi asked as he joined in the crowd.
Itachi only nodded, keeping his gaze upon Micheru and Naruto as they entered the camp and decided to do the same.
A loud murmur of whispers could be heard coming from the shinobi that were present, voicing their surprise.
Kiba's eyes slightly widened. "Naruto fought the guy and ended up like that? Shit…"
Sasuke who had been watching from a small distance heard what Kakashi had asked. He remembered the encounter he had with the man. With a single strike he had been put out of fight. Granted, the attack was very painful it did not inflict a life threatening wound.
Sasuke gritted his teeth, he had trained a lot the past year to get where he was, but there were still people who made him feel like he was useless. He decided to follow Itachi's example and entered the camp again thinking on what to do next.
"You really went too far this time, Naruto." Mayu said as she tore off his ruined shirt and bandages, giving her a better view of the wound.
Naruto mumbled something incoherently.
Micheru looked at the wound and winced. "That's deep." While she said that she couldn't help but glance at the rest of his upper body. Small and large scars littered his chest and arms.
Hawke who had been watching from the side whistled softly. "What the hell has been in to these last years?"
Mayu shook her head. "I have no idea, something we'll ask him later. The gash is too big to heal with our medical ninjutsu," she told Micheru who nodded in return. "So we'll first try to at least reduce the size before we stitch it up. It won't be pretty but it's the best we can do."
Before Micheru could respond, Deidera came walking in.
"Hn, patch him up to the point he can travel."
Mayu looked at him questioningly. "What are you talking about?"
"Command suspects Reavers will be marching to this camp soon. We have to leave within three hours, hn."
"I don't think Naruto is up for travelling by then." Mayu muttered.
"It's not up for discussion, he either goes with us by then, or he'll be left behind." With that Deidera left the tent again.
"What about Rome?" Micheru asked, glancing to the entrance from the time to time.
"I will carry him personally if I need to" Hawke answered seriously.
Mayu gave a sad smile before focusing back on Naruto.
Two hours later.
Micheru wiped the sweat of her forehead. "I guess that's all we can do for him; we still have an hour left before we have to wake him up."
Mayu nodded. "I'm going to check on Rome, that pink haired girl is watching over him."
"Sakura" Micheru corrected her, while she gave her mother a glance.
Mayu only nodded and left the tent, leaving Hawke and Micheru behind.
"How are you holding up, Micheru?" Hawke asked as he walked up to her, noting her exhaustion.
She looked to the ground. "I couldn't do anything against him…"
Hawke let out a bitter laugh. "It's Kenpachi, that guy is most likely the strongest individual in the world.
"But I just sat there, watching everyone get killed," She whispered and gave a wave to Naruto. "Naruto had to save me…"
"Don't sell yourself short, I've seen you fight and you're good, just not good enough to fight against Kenpachi."
"I'll never b-."
"Would you shut u-up already?" they heard a voice say.
Hawke and Micheru turned to the origin of the voice and saw Naruto sitting up in his bed.
Hawke let out a humorless laugh. "Even Kenpachi can't keep you down for long."
Before Naruto could say anything else, he was pushed down by Micheru. "You shouldn't be up yet! Go back to sleep!
Naruto struggled, despite having almost no strength. "How do you w-want me to sleep when you are whining a-around? It's really depressing."
"Stop struggling, Kami, you're stubborn." Micheru said as she refrained from rolling her eyes.
Hawke stepped forward and gave him a stern look. "Rest for another hour, after that we have to move out."
"What about the s-survivors of Kumo?" the blonde asked as he stopped struggling and lay back down.
"We heard that the ones, who managed to survive, retreated into the Raikage's office, for whatever good that may bring." Micheru answered.
"S-so The-y're out."
"Quiet, go back to sleep you." Hawke warned him again.
Naruto weakly shrugged and slowly drifted off again, but before he could fully fall asleep again his eyes snapped back open. "R-Rome?"
Hawke winced while Micheru stared to the ground.
Naruto slowly pushed himself off the bed again, groaning in pain at the effort. "Don't t-tell me…"
Hawke shook his head. "He's still alive but in a coma, we can wake him up from it with the help from A Ymanaka, but it could very well kill him."
"The wounds already did too much," the female Hunter whispered. "He's not going to make it to nightfall, even in his current state."
Naruto heard enough and stood up, groaning and quickly grabbed Hawke by the shoulder to keep him from collapsing.
"Get back in bed, idiot!" Hawke hissed and tried to push him back on his bed.
Naruto feverishly shook his head. "I-I have to talk to R-R-ome"
"We'd have to wake him from his coma, and that will probably kill him. He is mentally and physically done."
Naruto hesitated but still walked towards the exit of the tent. "I n-need to know wha- happened with his first fight against Kenpachi." He left the tent, ignoring the cold wind hitting his bare scarred chest.
A couple of shinobi looked up when he left the tent but he ignored them. He pointed to the other medic tent. "That the o-one?"
Micheru nodded. "That's the one."
Naruto entered the tent and limped to the prone body lying on the field bed.
To say that Rome looked like hell was an understatement. Bruises and cuts littered his body. The most notable wound was the one on his chest, where the blade had exited.
Naruto crouched down next to him and grasped Rome's hand. 'What is his weakness? You've fought him before.'
He heard footsteps and looked up when he saw Micheru, Hawke and Ino enter.
Naruto tiredly stood back up. "Y-Ymanaka, c-can you enter his mind and s-see his history with Kenpachi, the leader of the Reavers without risking his life?"
She shook her head. "No, I would interfere too much and cause too much damage."
"If you do, he will die?" The Uzumaki asked with concern in his eyes.
"Without a doubt…I'm sorry Naruto." Ino sadly said.
Naruto looked from Rome to Micheru. 'I can't do this to her. He's like a father to her .I can't make the decision to end his life just for some extra information…'
Micheru looked at him with pleading eyes, begging him not to do it.
He sighed and started stretching, taking extra precaution not to rip open the stitches. "Fuck it, plan B. give m-me two food pills, now."
Hawke's eyes darted from the left to the right, trying to grasp the meaning behind his request. "What are you doing?"
The blonde gave a painful smirk. "S-Something stupid."
Micheru handed him two foodpills, giving him a worried gaze.
Without saying anything he swallowed the foodpills and picked Rome from the bed.
Ino's eyes widened slightly. "You're going to do that trick of yours, aren't you?"
Naruto merely nodded and exited the tent.
"You must've completely lost it, you're body can't handle the strain!" Hawke half shouted, trying to stop Naruto.
"If I d-don't, Rome w-will die."
Hawke didn't know what to say and watched as Naruto prepared his flashstep.
"Be careful; don't want to patch you up again." Micheru said with a worried gaze
"S-see? Even M-Micheru isn't trying to s-stop me." Naruto said as he carefully laid Rome over his shoulder and closed his eyes. He breathed out and took a step forward, and disappeared.
During his flashstep his gritted his teeth in pain; it felt like his body was being pummeled by Kenpachi all over again.
When he arrived at his destination he immediately collapsed in exhaustion.
"What's going on?" someone asked him as he arrived at the gate.
Naruto didn't even bother looking up. "M-medic..." Was all he managed to utter before he slipped into unconsciousness.
Four days later.
Kenpachi looked at the remains of Kumogakure. The battle was fierce and he had lost many men in conquering the shinobi village.
Now he could march on the capital without interference of Kumo's army. Once he had that out of the way and he had the land of lightning in his grasp he would invade the Sika country which had a small Shinobi village, Takigakure.
From there he had two options, attack the Land of Fire or move down to the Land of Wind.
"Sir, what are your orders?" Lasting asked as he kneeled down next to his lord.
"We'll regroup and patch up the wounded here for the next few weeks. Also, send word to the third fleet to move to Sika country and start preparations there. Do it discreetly, I want no more interference from either the Akatsuki or the Hunters."
"Understood sir" Lasting started to walk away but stopped when Kenpachi spoke again.
"Did you find Ghost's body?"
Lasting shook his head. "Not yet, but we will, no way he survived."
Kenpachi merely nodded and balled his hands into a fist. Killing Ghost wasn't very difficult. Admittedly the man was powerful but nothing he couldn't handle. His son's killer was gone, but that didn't sate his bloodlust.
-Three weeks later-
Naruto finished his push-ups and stood back up. He had recently snuck out of the hospital and started on an easy work out.
He had a black cover slid over his right eye, or where it used to be anyways. It had come as a shock for him when he first heard it wasn't there anymore, he still had to get used to it and he still often slipped and fell to the ground only to jump back to his feet, mentally slapping himself for his stupidity.
Rome was recuperating well, thanks to Tsunade and her healing abilities. Even though he was still in a coma Ino Ymanaka had told them she would be able to wake him up from his coma without risking his life soon.
So now there was only one thing left to do for the blonde hunter. Keep training until he was strong enough to face Kenpachi.
But at the same time he knew he needed to go to the source of this madness to find out why Kenpachi was this insanely strong.
When he came to the shocking revelation that perhaps Kenpachi had somehow managed to get into contact with the Shinigami, it explained a lot to say the least.
But how did someone meet the shinigami? His father and the Third Hokage were the only ones who knew, but they had paid it with their lives to meet the dreaded Shinigami.
"Naruto, are you serious?" a female voice said behind him.
Naruto turned around as he straightened his white shirt. "Hey Hinata."
"Why are you already out of the hospital?" Hinata asked as she looked him over.
Naruto shrugged. "I got better things to do then lie in a bed all day long." He cracked his neck and was about to leave when he was stopped.
"You're not going anywhere." Hinata said as she grabbed his arm.
Naruto grimaced and almost fell to the ground and hissed in pain, or so it seemed.
She instantly let go and supported him, "Are you okay?"
Naruto suddenly grinned and twisted himself out of her arms. "Didn't know it was that easy, talk to you later Hina-chan." And with that he disappeared.
Hinata's left eye twitched in annoyance. "Unbelievable! That man!"
And that's that. I'll try to upload the next chapter over the course of the next week!