'East...' Naruto thought, moving in the direction. He walked through the dead wasteland the slight vision of a forestry on the horizon. 'It's a bit of a wide range to use as a starting point for searching for Cyclione, I have no idea where he could possibly be. So what should I do? Just search around until I can find some idea of where he is?'
Naruto sighed loudly, his sigh filling the silent wasteland, he was the only moving thing within sight. Naruto pulled his arms behind his head, resting his head in his hands as he walked, contemplating on his next course of action.
'I guess there's nothing else I can do...' He thought in his mind. 'I'll just have to search around until I find something. Someone must have seen Cyclione anyway, he's pretty hard to miss.' He thought more optimistically, dropping his relaxed body stance he took off at an impressive speed, a dust cloud forming behind his feet as he ran east, towards adventure, towards hop, towards Cyclione...
"This is the country of Basco?" Naruto looked around at the scenery in surprise, he had passed over the border of Fiore and Basco a few minutes ago and had been running well into the country.
He looked around, the entire time he had ran he had seen nothing, heard nothing but the sound of his breath and his feet pounding against the ground. The land was just a continuation of the wasteland in Fiore, if only just a lot hotter. For miles ahead there seemed to be no sign of civilisation anywhere. "How can this be called a country?" Naruto asked aloud.
He didn't waste anymore time pondering the situation of the land. He wanted to find Cyclione. He began walking through the desolate, barren wasteland.
And it wasn't long before the heat began getting to him, every few minutes or so as he walked, he would see glimpses, glimpses of a younger him, running or fighting or alone. 'Mirages, hallucinations caused by the heat.' It wasn't hard to guess what was happening, the heat was unbearable. Even for a mage, they couldn't escape the natural hardships of extreme weather.
He heard a massive roar to the left of him, instantly the blond's face lit up.
"C-Cyclione..." He whispered in overwhelming happiness. There stood the massive beast, his scales were a dark sky blue, with a white egg shell coloured underbelly, large impressive wings, that looked like feathers rather than scales, with spikes at the tip of his wings. The bright blue eyes were staring away at something. "Cyclione! It's been so long, but I finally found you!" Naruto shouted, running towards the massive dragon.
As he ran towards the Dragon he failed to noticed how the scenery was changing, going from a barren, dull brown wasteland to a vibrant green forest.
"Cyclione!" Naruto stood next to the Dragon, which did not respond, he moved around to get in front of the Dragon, but stopped as he found what the dragon was looking at.
Lying on the floor was a couple, a man and a woman, both bloodied and lifeless. One with remarkably long red hair, the other with blonde spiky hair similar to himself. Both had warm, content smiles on their faces, despite blood seeping from their lips. They were both dead, cradling each other and something in between them.
But it wasn't silent, in fact the cry of a baby broke all the silence there could possibly be. Naruto stared at the small baby wrapped in bundles, then towards the dragon staring down at it. 'Is this... the day Cyclione found me? Are those... my real parents?' Naruto looked towards the happy, yet dead couple, smiling towards the small baby, their heads tilted forwards so their baby would be the last thing they would see in this world.
"So this was what was making all the racket." The dragon spoke out, for a Dragon, although deep, his voice sounded particularly young, Naruto always remembered Cyclione as young sounding, but he was always so wise. "A poor thing like you, now alone in the wilderness, you're parents taken from you in the cruellest of ways. But now what to do with you?"
Naruto smiled, this would be the moment when Cyclione would take him in and raise him like a son.
"You're surely going to die anyway from starvation, which will be a slow, torturous death. Perhaps I should ease your passing." Cyclione pondered, lifting his claw up and positioning the tip above the baby Naruto.
'What?' Naruto stared in horror at the scene in front of him, all those years ago, Cyclione intended to kill him.
As Cyclione was about to strike, his baby self stopped crying, looking up at the massive claw he only giggled as purely as babies do. It's small hands wrapped around the tip of the claw, shaking it slightly and playing with it, all the while his baby self laughing loudly. Naruto looked towards the Dragon, who looked at the small baby in confusion, but his mouth eventually morphed into a warm smile.
"I can't possibly harm one as weak and defenceless as you. Come little one, let's find you somewhere better to rest. But first, let's allow your parents to rest peacefully." Cyclione smiled, digging his claws into the ground he made a deep hole, gently lifting the baby Naruto out of his parents embrace he lifted the entwined bodies of the man and woman and placed them in the hole, using some bark of a tree to act as a lid to protect their bodies from the earth he covered the make shift grave back up with dirt burying it back up.
"Come." He spoke to the baby, holding it carefully in it's cupped hands of it's front legs. Cyclione took off into the air, with Naruto looking up from below.
Naruto didn't feel the hallucination fade, rather he felt as if he was fast forwarding through time, landing in a new place, still within forestry, but Cyclione now lay in front of a large moss govered cave, looking as if he was trying to sleep.
Naruto looked over to his right, a small blond bundle them himself was sneaking up on the dragon with a mischievous grin on his face. It was himself again, but he must have been around the age of six.
As the younger Naruto got closer he was about to jump in the air and pounce on the Dragon's back. "Don't even try it." The Dragon's eye opened slowly and lazily, raising it's head.
"How did you know I was there?" The young Naruto moaned out, he was sure Cyclione wouldn't have caught him this time.
"You're still making too much noise when you walk, Dragons are one with the Earth, we feel things more easily than you humans do." Cyclione explained, stand up right and flapping his wings just the once to click out all the aches.
The young Naruto pouted, losing his game of trying to sneak up on the Dragon again. Suddenly a large victorious grin grew on his face. "Look dad, I finally got it down!" He ran a few steps away from Cyclione before taking a stance. "Fūryū no Surudoi Bi!" His younger self shouted, releasing a crescent shaped blade of wind from his arm, it cut through several trees before dissipating, Naruto cringed with each tree crashing to the ground.
"Good, good. Tomorrow we'll get started on your first Dragon Slayer Secret Art." Cyclione looked at the small bit of destruction with approval.
"Hey dad, why are teaching me a magic that can kill your species?" The young Naruto asked with a confused look on his face, looking up towards the Dragon for an answer.
"Because one day Dragons might not be here, we need someone to be able to pass on our legacy." Cyclione explained briefly. "Also maybe one day you might cross a Dragon so evil, so terrible no normal magic can kill it. I am giving you the tools to protect yourself and defeat that monster. I am putting my faith in you, Naruto. As other Dragons around the world are putting their faith in their children, to master the art of Dragon Slaying, and to protect this world."
'This is a year before I lost Cyclione, I remember this. It was the first time Cyclione ever mentioned anything about Dragons not being there.' Naruto watched the scene from afar, the scene began fading out as his younger self and Cyclione walked into the cave together. Suddenly, just like before he felt himself getting transported across time and space, but he knew he was still in the Basco wasteland.
He landed in a rather elegant looking corridor, with large windows allow light to break in and hit the gleaming white walls. 'I recognise this place...' Naruto looked around, eventually he found what he should probably be looking for in these hallucinations. Naruto saw himself, about nine years old, crouching behind the door of the slightly opened council chamber. He walked over and stood next his younger self, listening to what he was listening into.
"Fairy Tail is a disgrace!" He heard the council member Org rant about Fairy Tail again. "Just look at what they've done now! Destruction of a tower, destruction of a bank, destruction of a 500'000'000J rare artefact. And how does Makarov respond to this? By posting us a letter of himself mooning the camera!"
Naruto chuckled at the memory, looking down, he found his younger self giggling like crazy. "Boy, what a fun place Fairy Tail must be." He heard his younger self giggle out quietly. His laughter suddenly faded, his whole body trembled, getting goosebumps, his face vibrated violently, as if he was trying to repress something.
And Naruto knew exactly what it was, he remembered those days at the council. How he would try to repress the screams of anguish and torture from his targets on his missions, the terror in the eyes of those he had to use Debility on.
His younger self crawled up into the foetal position, his head resting in his arms, small, almost silent sobs were heard faintly. "I have to get away from here, no matter how hard it will hurt Uranai-jii-chan."
"I think I got it!" Naruto smiled widely, his clones staring back at him with equal smiles. "What do you reckon, Itachi?"
"I think you're training is complete. You asked how to use less magic in each Clone, as I do with Crow, and I think you've mastered it, you're using almost three-quarters of the magic you were originally using in each one." The older raven haired Itachi smiled down towards the blond.
'I remember this,' Naruto looked at the memory hallucination from afar, he remembered him asking Itachi about it after he undertook a job with the S-Class mage. 'It was a few months before Itachi's death.'
"Can I ask you something, Itachi?" His younger self looked up to the raven haired elite. "Why have you taken such a interest in me? I mean you don't have to, yet you help me with any problem I have, you're always looking out for me, yet I never really see you communicating with other members."
Itachi's lip pursed out, as if contemplating the question. "I see a great destiny in you, Naruto. You will do wondrous things no matter what, your actions will change the world, I just want to make sure I'm giving you a push in the right direction." Itachi's onyx eyes closed as he smiled. "Plus, you're the same age as my brother, Sasuke. And I'd like Sasuke to make a new friend, I'm hoping you will be the friend Sasuke so desperately needs."
Naruto smiled back, both Naruto's did. "I promise Itachi." Naruto spoke with his younger self simultaneously, remembering the words as if he had spoke them yesterday. "If Sasuke and I ever meet, I will definitely be friends with him."
Naruto found an older version of his younger self running through the green hedges of a maze. His own body felt as if it was floating. These hallucinations were becoming more and more vivid, more realistic. As if he was actually stepping back in time to relive these events.
'I know this place.' Naruto looked around at the surroundings. 'This is the S-class Trial Exam when I was fourteen, the year I became a S-Class Mage. It's also the final test. From what I've seen so far, I've been reliving important moments in my life, what's so significant about this moment?' Naruto wondered as he watched his younger self run.
"Bad luck, Naruto!" Naruto saw his younger self skid to a halt, looking, they both found a younger nineteen year old Laxus standing in a large square arena within the maze. "You took a wrong turn and ended up in a Very Hard Battle, only by defeating me can you continue ahead and collect one of the three crystals Makarov has left for winners to obtain. But the bad news isn't that out of the ten of you in this final task only three of you have the possibility of winning. It's bad for you because I've got problems with holding back, the biggest one being I don't like to!" Laxus grinned in anticipation for the battle. "You were really unlucky, Gildarts might have gone easier on you!"
"I'm just glad I didn't get Mistgun, I know nothing of his abilities. He just showed up one day at the guild, hid for a while and next thing we knew he was a S-Class Mage and never had to be in the guild. I'm surprised he even agreed to take part in this task." Naruto informed a now annoyed looking Laxus. "But as you said, I can't afford to waste time here, I've got to collect one of those crystals." Naruto crossed his arms over his chest, the familiar red wind circling around his body quickly, wrapping him in a vortex of red wind before seeping back into his body. His skin turn a dark red, while his eyes turned blood red with slitted pupils. "Disphoria: Schadenfreude!"
Naruto watched as his younger self slipped into that psychotic form. 'Is that what I really look like when I use that magic?' It was honestly quite frightening, he could understand the opponents fear when they saw it, but apart from Laxus and Gaara, he had only ever had to use Schadenfreude against Sasuke.
He looked over to Laxus, who was clipping off his cape whilst grinning like a maniac. "I always knew you were strong Naruto, and you don't flaunt your power like that idiot Natsu. That's a good style, I respect that and your power." Laxus spoke quietly, he hadn't heard it before, but now Naruto could hear what Laxus said, and his reason for reliving this became clear.
'It's when I first won Laxus' true respect, something he doesn't give out to too many people. I always thought it was because I beat him in this fight...' Naruto looked at Laxus, who was charging himself with an electric current enveloping his body.
"LET'S DO THIS!" Naruto heard his younger self screech madly with laughter, rocketing towards the scarred blond.
"Bring it on!" Laxus roared in return, lunging towards the younger Naruto, white flashed before his eyes moments before they clashed, and suddenly Naruto felt himself move to a new place.
Naruto stood alone, as he had done most of his life. Fairy Tail had given him a place to belong to, but since the death of Itachi his contact with others was minimal, he was not confident enough to approach them first, he was scared at how easily they would judge him if they knew his past.
But here he was, standing before them in the spotlight. Makarov suddenly climbed the stairs to the stage to the right of him, on his left were Erza and Mira, standing a few metres away from him on the stage and closer together. Throughout the wait for Makarov the stares of admiration had remained solely focused on Mira and Erza, as if Naruto was not even standing up on the stage in the eyes of the other Fairy Tail members. Makarov came and stood at the front of the stage in the middle, clearing his throat before addressing the listening Fairy Tail members. The members eyes fixing on Makarov now.
"The past few years for Fairy Tail have been hard, our number of S-Class Mages had dropped to just two, myself and Gildarts, following the deaths of Raikiri and Itachi and the excommunication of Ivan. Over the past years that number has increased, with Mistgun and Laxus both rising to S-Class level. But this year... this is the year when Fairy Tail's luck turns around. THREE of our mages have shown they have what it takes to become S-Class mages this year in the trials." Makarov spoke proudly to the members standing below him.
He quickly turned to the three mages stood on stage, moving towards Erza. "In third place was Erza Scarlet, showing marvellous Skill and Strategy in Task 3: Co-ordination through the maze." Makarov smiled, handing Erza something out of Naruto's vision before moving to Mirajane.
"In second place was Mirajane, who showed ferocious Strength and Courage in Task 1: The Battle Royale." Handing something to Mira like he did Erza, Makarov smiled widely at the white haired girl before moving finally over to Naruto.
"And finally, the over all winner of this year's S-Class Mage Promotional Trial, Naruto Uzumaki! Excelling in all three of this years tasks, particularly Will and Determination in Task 2: The caves of truth. And with a special recommendation for a promotion from our own Laxus Dreyar. It is a privileged honour to award you with this; your S-Class Mage Identification Card!" Makarov held his hand out, in the palm of his hand. In his palm was an Identification Card, the usual style for Fairy Tail was Red ink on white card, but this card, while still white paper, had gold ink instead of red, with designed and unique S's in each corner of the card.
As Naruto took his card Makarov allowed the cheering and applause to commence. As Erza and Mira basked in the applause and adoration, Naruto's face was still fixed on the card, ignoring everything else in the world. A small smile grew on his face.
'I did it, Itachi...'
"On your knees!" Naruto arrived just at the end of a fight, he was wondering when he'd see one of these. He and Sasuke battling it out once again, going full out, but what was so important about this fight that he came back to see it again. He saw himself standing above Sasuke, who was forced to his knees by the blond's hand pressing down on his skull.
"Well for once you win Naruto." Sasuke smirked cockily even in defeat, he looked up at the blond, who was staring back down impassively.
"This isn't over yet." Naruto replied sternly. "You're constantly gaining power, you're becoming a danger not just to Fairy Tail but to the world. I have to do this, Sasuke. I promised Itachi I would look after you, I can't do that if you continue to take on the world. It's a fight you can't win."
"So what are you going to do, kill me? That's not really protecting me, is it?" Sasuke replied with a humoured chuckle, completely finding the situation rather entertaining.
"No, I'm not going to kill you. But for Itachi's sake, I will take away what gives you strength, you will live out a normal life. Something Itachi wanted." Naruto closed his eyes, focusing intently. "I'm sorry, Sasuke. Disphoria: Debility."
"Naruto!" Sasuke's eyes widened in horror, his body shot up, one of his hands grasping Naruto's head as well. Glaring madly at Naruto his Copy Wheel Eye activated, the tomoe spinning madly in
each eye. His mind allow information to pour in. "If you take my strength away, I will make sure you lose yours as well!" Naruto's eyes widened as the tomoe suddenly stopped spinning. "Disphoria: Debility!"
They both felt the drain of their strength, of their magic leaving through their head and into the hand of the other. Their magics funnelled out of one and into the other, they felt the draining feel come to a halt, pushing each other away.
"I feel fine..." Sasuke spoke quietly, thinking as he stared at his hand, flexing it then tightening it into a fist. "I don't feel weak at all. So shall we continue?" Sasuke smirked with new energy. "Thunder Make: Lightning Strike Sword!" Sasuke built up magic in his arm, yet nothing happened, he tried again and again but nothing happened. "Why can't I use magic?" He screamed in frustration.
"Looks like I was successful." Naruto smiled. "Fūryū no Hōkō!" He attempted to blow Sasuke away with the wind roar, but like Sasuke nothing happened. 'What's going on?'
'Ah I see...' Naruto watched the scene from afar. 'This is the day me and Sasuke truly understood what each other were going through with our magics, the pain we both felt through Disphoria and Euphoria.'
"Maybe, because Debility sucks out the magic of the target and pulls it into the magic stores of the user to be broken down and destroyed. Because we were both pulling out each other's magic stores at the same time, that instead of our magic stores being broken down in each other's body, they filled the empty hole within them, effectively making us swap magic." Sasuke deduced, he smirked cockily once again. "Let me test it, Clone: 50 Hard Fists!" Sasuke muttered, on queue, 50 bubbles of magic boiled from Sasuke's body, before transforming into full clones of the raven haired boy. "Interesting, they took my appearance, I was sure they would still look like you, no matter, attack!" Sasuke roared his order, the 50 clones began running towards Naruto, while the real Sasuke stood back, in haling deeply. "Fūryū no Hōkō!"
'Shit, looks like I've got no choice. I've fought with Sasuke enough time to know his magic better than he does!' Naruto frowned, slipping into a battle stance. Pressing the edges of his wrists together he opened his hands like a bowl, spreading the fingers as far as possible. "Fire Make: Salamander Cannon!" An explosion of fire shot from his hands, enveloping the clones in flames, engulfing the blast of wind Sasuke fired at him, pushing it back towards Sasuke.
Naruto watched as the fight faded further and further away, as if he was being pulled away from it, after the scenery from the fight left so did the bright white light. 'What's going on?' Naruto wondered in confusion as all the light faded from his world.
All of Naruto's world was black, looking around there was absolutely nothing but a dark abyss.
'Another hallucination...' He concluded quite easily, still waiting for something to happen.
Out of the darkness a set of large eyes appeared, the eyes were a bright warm blue, glaring down at him with a look Naruto all too well.
A scornful look, filled with fear and rejection and hate. He also recognised whose eyes they were as well. They were Mirajane's, the kind Mirajane who never judged anyone, her eyes baring down on his back just like everyone else.
More eyes appeared, filling the walls of the darkness with angry stares, circling him, trapping him, locking him in their cage of stares. Fixed upon him with hate.
Naruto's chest heaved, his body flickering around on the spot, his eyes trying to meet every other set of eyes. Sweat rolled down his body. "I'm sorry." He muttered quietly. "I'm sorry!" He then screamed at the top of his voice.
He took off, running at his fastest, he could feel himself run, but the eyes followed him no matter which way he turned, never getting closer nor further.
"I was only doing my duty as a mage, to protect the people!" Naruto justified himself, shouting again at the eyes.
'We don't care.' Naruto recognised the voice, it was definitely Erza's.
'You are a freak of nature, destined for darkness and evil.' That voice was Mira's.
'You're scum, you take away people's strength and power, yet you act like the victim!' Natsu.
'You're just a monster, unwanted by us, unwanted by anyone.' That voice was Makarov's, the man who saved him from the darkness.
Naruto went into a panic as the voices all began talking at once, their harsh words cutting into as did their eyes. He had tried running, that had failed. "Stop!" He shouted once again, clutched his head, and closing his eyes to avoid everything coming at him. "STTTTOOOOOOPPPPP!"
Light broke back into his vision, as did the feeling of hard, dried ground underneath his feet. With his chest heaving, Naruto dropped to his knees, sitting on his feet with his back arch forwards so his head hung loosely. He stared at the brown ground below him.
'Each hallucination sucked me of energy and willpower. I can't believe after everything I've been through, every obstacle I've had to overcome. It's heat that's going to kill me.' Naruto looked up at the sun burning over him, he prayed for clouds to block it out, he prayed for rain to rejunvenate him.
But something did come block the sun out, it's enormous wings flapping overhead. 'A Dragon?' Naruto looked up in surprise, he recognised the shape of the massive creature, the strong build, the enormous wings and large tail flying behind it.
He realised that the Dragon was coming downwards, suddenly it crashed down in front of him, kicking up a dust cloud with it's decent.
Naruto closed his eyes to focus his vision through the cloud, he heard the beast snarling. Two blood red eyes gleamed through the cloud, and a large black scaled hand slowly revealed itself out of the dust cloud, cracking the ground underneath it's weight, large black claws digging into the ground.
As the dust cloud left Naruto found himself surprised. This beast was certainly larger than he had ever seen Cyclione, it stared at him with such malicious intent, fangs baring towards him. 'A Black Dragon, huh?'
A/N: And we'll finish there for now. Yo! Rinne-Kami here, proudly presenting the Dark branch of Fairy Tail Utopia I like to call; Fairy Tail Utopia: From The Darkness, what path will Naruto take? Where will it lead him? How is it all going to end? These are the questions that none of you will be asking, but you'll still stick around for the ride. I am working on the next chapter of this and Fairy Tail utopia, as well as Three chapters of To Become A Master. So things are a little hectic, plus I have college again, and college work to do at home, plus a social life, plus a little part time job. My life doesn't revolve around Fanfiction you know? Anways, you'll here from me again when I have some new chapters for you guys.
Next time on Fairy Tail Utopia: From The Darkness - Chapter 2: A Darkness Plunged Destiny
Til Next Time,