A/N: And here I go with another story. Sigh. Actually, I'm not sure if I will continue this. I just wanted to write something new to work on using the scene by scene style I used in my latest 'Akatsuki Horror Series' story ('Duke Hoshigaki's Madness') so I was looking through my documents when it hit me.
One of my most loved animes uses the scene by scene style beautifully, why can't I do something with that? Said anime is called 'Mononoke' (not like the Miyazaki movie) and it's a beautiful 12 episode (I think that number of episodes was an injustice) anime that I recommend wholeheartedly to anyone and everyone.
The main character in this fic is Kisame, but he will be going by the name 'Mr. Fruit-Merchant' until further notice.
Kisame- You're taking my name?
TG- Hey, in Mononoke the main-character's only given name is 'Mr. Medicine-Seller', deal with it!
Kisame- Why couldn't Sasori do this? His Japanese VA actually voices Medicine-Seller in the anime.
TG- Because I said so, now go study your script.
Like I said, I don't know if I'll continue this, but I just wanted to write something new. Please let me hear your thoughts!
Disclaimer- Tyranno's girl Productions does not own 'Naruto' or 'Mononoke', just her thoughts and a laptop.
Edo, most populated city in the land of the rising sun, Japan, back when its borders ad ports were still closed off to the rest of the world. It was currently raining, people rushing here and there to get out of the freezing waters.
All except for one man.
He stood, taller than most of the men in the city, with a broad stature; thick muscles hidden under his vibrantly colored robes. His head was currently hidden by the umbrella he was carrying, its persimmon design intricate, beautiful. But despite not being able to see his eyes, he seemed to be looking at the building near the center of town.
An inn. Covered in paintings of small dolls.
He slowly walked forward.
Inside the inn, at the check in counter, a young man sat smoking a pipe. His long hair was gray, tied behind him in a pony-tail, and dark, condescending eyes were hidden behind round, thin glasses. He was barely watching all the drunken commotion going on in the lobby of the inn, but after a moment he noticed a presence at the door. He quietly turned, the door opening to allow him a look at the newcomer.
His skin was pale, but his messy hair was a deep, cobalt blue that was partially hidden by a bandana of sorts. He carried a large case on his back that seemed to have many different compartments in it, each drawer and door decorated with a colorful engraving of some sort of fruit.
The grey-haired young man smirked before calling out, "Mr. Fruit-Merchant, we don't want any." The Fruit-Merchant seemed to be muttering something that was just beyond the sense of human hearing. "You'll scare off the customers, standing there like that." Inside the lobby, the owner of the inn, an elder man with long, charcoal hair, paper-pale skin, and the golden eyes of a snake, sat. He was about to pour himself a cup of sake when he heard the conversation at the door. "I'll have to ask you to leave." For a moment, quiet. But then the Fruit-Merchant spoke, in a deep, sensual voice that spoke of the sins of paradise,
"No, no. You misunderstand…" He lifted the umbrella a bit, revealing a strong chin, "I'd like a room for the night…" The umbrella moved up more, showing more of the figure's strong, handsome face. By this point in time, both the clerk and the innkeeper's attention had been grabbed. Finally, the umbrella was high enough so that the Fruit-Merchant's face could be seen completely: his cobalt hair nearly hiding his predatory black eyes that were surrounded by black make-up; almost giving the appearance of gills. "Yes… Please."
"Oh my…" Both the clerk and the innkeeper muttered, blushes growing on their faces.
Outside of Edo, on a wooden bridge that led to the center of the city, a young figure sat crouched down on the ground. They had a strange charm tied to their arm, it looked like a little person with a Yin and Yang symbol as a face. The figure rubbed their large stomach before whispering, the majority of their face hidden by their large orange umbrella (to match their kimono), "It's really cold tonight, isn't it?"
Rub. Caress. Rub.
Rub. Caress. Rub.
The innkeeper, a man by the name of Orochimaru, smirked as he sat at a private table, examining the blue-haired Fruit-Merchant's wares, "But it's bitter, isn't it?" He was talking about a group of black berries that he had picked up, the Fruit-Merchant chuckling,
"Well, it is from China."
"Hm…" Orochimaru hummed, "Do you have anything else?" The Fruit-Merchant seemed to ignore him, looking around before he asked,
"Sir, do you own this inn?"
"Yes indeed," The snake-like man smiled, "I've had this place ever since I was young."
Outside the inn doors, the figure in the orange kimono had made it to the inn.
"What was it…" The Fruit-Merchant's voice asked, "Before you made it into an inn?" The figure, who had a bit of blonde hair peeking out from underneath their hair scarf, looked down and saw what seemed to be a yellow porcelain doll standing there.
"What was it?" Orochimaru hummed, "I can't remember. Guess old age is setting in." He laughed as he looked at the red berries the Fruit-Merchant had. The bluenette hummed, slowly looking over towards the door before a young voice asked,
"Excuse me!" The clerk, Kabuto, raised an eyebrow as the orange-clad figure walked in, asking, "Please, do you have a room for the night?" They were dripping wet, but Kabuto huffed,
"Sorry, we're full up. Go look somewhere else."
"You're the only ones open!" The blonde insisted, Kabuto retorting,
"There are no vacancies—"
"Money isn't an issue!" The young blonde begged, "You can even have my umbrella!" As the bickering went on, the Fruit-Merchant hummed,
"Could it be..?"
"That's right," Orochimaru chuckled, "You took the last vacancy… Oh, this looks good." He reached for a soft, firm peach just as the blonde cried out,
"Please!" They panted for a moment before calmly stating, "Actually…"
"I'm being chased…" Outside of Edo, a rough-looking character with a dog-decorated umbrella stood; having a vicious wolf-like creature sniff the area, especially the charm that had been abandoned. "If they find me… I'll be killed for sure!"
"Oh, that's quite the story!" Kabuto whistled. Then, the blonde reached up and undid their scarf, allowing soft spikes of golden blonde hair to fall. His eyes were a beautiful sky blue and he had three peculiar scars, like whiskers, on each cheek.
"It's the truth." He stated. Kabuto stared at him for a bit before sighing,
"Well, it is raining… And usually we wouldn't turn away such a fine, young beauty—" The blonde choked, burying his nose into his scarf, whispering,
"That's a western favorite," The Fruit-Merchant explained as Orochimaru picked up a shiny green apple. But Orochimaru was frowning as he listened to the commotion at the front desk.
The blonde had kneeled down to the floor, rubbing at his swollen stomach. "If I stand out in the rain anymore…"
Rub. Caress. Rub.
"My child will surely die."
"What?" Kabuto screamed, jumping back nearly two feet, "You're pregnant? I thought you were just fat!"
"Kabuto, I can't believe you!" Orochimaru hissed, walking away from his purchases and towards the desk, all the female workers of the inn watching the scene. "Why haven't you kicked him out yet?" He gave a pointed look at the young blonde before speaking, "We don't want any trouble. Get out of here!" The blonde narrowed his eyes before whispering, gently, menacingly,
"If I do…"
"If I do leave this place," The blonde began again before pointing towards the door, "Come morning, the corpse of me and my unborn child will be littered in front of your establishment." Blue eyes glared at the innkeeper. "Wouldn't that get you in a world of trouble?"
"I don't take kindly to threats, young man." Orochimaru hissed, the blonde screaming back,
"This isn't a threat!" He wrapped his arms around his stomach, as much as he could in his condition, whimpering, "I just want to raise a healthy baby! If I stay outside, I can't protect him!" The blonde's begging was getting a lot of negative attention so, finally, Orochimaru walked over to Kabuto and whispered into his ear,
"Take him upstairs—"
"WHAT?" Kabuto screamed, "You can't possibly mean that room!" The blonde looked up, tears in his eyes that were slowly abating at the aspect of getting a room. Orochimaru huffed,
"It can't be helped. I'll take him up and you get a bed ready."
"Thank you!" The young blonde bowed, "A million thank you's!"
Later on that evening, Kabuto was busy locking up the inn for the night. "There we go." He latched up the heavy lock to the main door before turning and sighing, "He would have been better off staying in my room."
He turned off all the gas-lamps and went upstairs.
When he was gone, three more of those clay dolls appeared on the front-desk.
The red-painted stairs that led upstairs creaked and groaned as Orochimaru led the blonde up, "This room is usually a secret to everyone, so don't go blabbing about it!"
"Yes sir…" The blonde nodded, covering his face in his scarf when he smelled the smell from earlier again.
"Just try not to make any trouble."
"Yes sir." They walked for a few more minutes before the blonde muttered, "Sir?"
"I don't care what it is… But we'd really like something to eat." As he spoke, they passed another clay doll; this one dressed in green.
Then another dressed in blue.
They walked and walked, up the winding stairs. The sound of a laughing child running down the halls could be heard—
"Hm? What's this?" Orochimaru wondered aloud as he noticed slips of holy paper that had been plastered to the hallway walls. "Who did this—Oh well, Kabuto will take care of it in the morning." He began to walk up the stairs again, explaining, "I couldn't make more than a bit of rice."
"That's fine…" The blonde nodded, covering his face as they passed a pile of the clay dolls. He had to stop, however, when the laughter of children thundered in his ears; loud steps and jumps.
And, all at once, it was gone.
"What are you doing?" Orochimaru hissed, the blonde smiling,
"They're up awfully late," Before he stroked his stomach, "You'll be able to eat all you want soon…"
Rub. Caress. Rub.
"You really want this child, don't you?" The dark-haired man asked as they crossed a small bridge that crossed a small man-made pond.
"Yes!" The blonde nodded.
"I'm obviously not privy to all the details," Orochimaru asked as they walked down a new hall, "But can you really raise it on your own?"
"I intend to."
"Well, at least you're young." The older man hummed as they passed through the upper lobby where, coincidentally, the Fruit-Merchant was sitting with a cup of tea. "Seems a bit naïve though. You don't even have a steady supply of food!"
The bluenette in the room discretely placed a slip of holy paper on the wall behind his chair, the paper glowing for a bit before fading.
"Are you sure that you're not giving birth out of spite?" Orochimaru asked as they stopped at another staircase.
A loud shrieking, like that of a child, could be heard just beyond the plane of human ears.
"I…" The blonde whimpered, kneeling down to catch his breath. "I want him to live."
The doors slid open, revealing an elegant room: the walls painted with the images of beautiful figures and animals. The blonde gasped at the room's beauty, carefully avoiding the table in the center. "Such a strong-willed person…" Orochimaru stated, "Almost to a fault."
"I could never do anything as irresponsible as that…" The snake-like man hummed as he started a fire in the fireplace.
The Fruit-Merchant slowly walked down the halls until he quickly turned, hearing the laughter and cries of children; their feet padding down the halls. The sound seemed to clash with the noise of raucous partying and feasting.
The blonde male lay down on the ground, smiling, "So warm…" As he wrapped his arms around himself.
"Your bed will be here soon." Orochimaru stated as he walked to the door, "Oh, that's right. You need food too." The older man left before the blonde could offer a sleepy thank you, drifting off into sleep.
Abruptly, there was the sound of something falling. He opened his eyes to see a clay doll dressed in yellow lying on its side on the floor. "A doll?" He asked.
Raspy breathing could be heard as something walked up the stairs, following a peculiar scent.
"Mr. Fruit-Merchant," Orochimaru asked as he saw the bluenette sitting on the hallway couch, "What are you doing there?"
"I was heading to the lavatory," He replied, "I guess I got a little lost."
"Oh, it's at the end of the hall."
"Thank you." The bluenette replied, his eyes looking at the ceiling, "Are there any rooms above here?"
"Preposterous!" Orochimaru laughed, "It's just a storeroom! But oh, that reminds me! I should pay for that fruit!"
"No…" The Fruit-Merchant shook his head, standing to his feet, "Tomorrow will be fine. Good night to you." With that, he walked down the hall.
"Oh no…" The blonde whispered, rubbing his wrist in anxiety, "Where did my charm go?" He was holding the doll in his hand, it somehow made him feel safer, but his missing charm was scaring him. "How could I—"
"You give that back!" He flinched as he saw the source of the tiny voice. It… looked like a toddler. If not for its weird-shaped head and its yellow coloring. It also didn't have any clothes except for the red bit of fabric tied to its neck, leading towards the blonde. The young male blinked, looking towards the still closed door.
"Where did you—"
"Give it back!" The blonde blinked again.
"Give it back!" The blonde was quiet.
"Give it back!" Finally, the blonde noticed the doll in his hand.
"Is it yours?" The toddler nodded,
"I'm sorry. Here." The toddler placed his hands on it, the blonde smiling, "There. My name is Naruto, what's yours?" The toddler's eyes narrowed, looking towards the door that had slowly opened; a raspy sniffing noise coming from it.
"Hey, are you pregnant?" It asked, Naruto smiling,
"Yes. It should be no more than three months now…", he rubbed his stomach just for good measure as he spoke. However, if you looked inside the room, it seemed like the blonde…
Was talking to himself.
"Hey, let's go over there." The toddler pointed to the other side of the room, Naruto shaking his head,
"No, it's late. You should get back to your own—"
The toddler was gone. "What the..?" Naruto looked around, only to find that the doll was back on the table. He shivered, "So cold…"
The door had been closed.
Later on, after his bed had been delivered, Naruto laid slumbering by the fireplace; his body more than appreciating the warmth.
The door quietly slid open, a raspy breathing soon being heard from behind Naruto's sleeping body. A foul smell caused Naruto's nose to twitch, rousing him from sleep. His eyes shot open when he noticed the door was open. Though he was terrified, he whispered, "I'm not going home… Leave me alone!"
A man with shocking silver hair stood above the blonde, dressed in the dark attire of a ninja with a katana at his side.
"Do not give birth to this child…" He whispered, "If it ever came back for its birthright, the master and mistress would be in quite a bind."
"I've cut myself off from the young master!" Naruto whimpered, the ninja chuckling,
"That little fool doesn't concern me," He then unsheathed his sword, resting it against his neck; causing the blonde to shiver.
Neither noticed that the doll started to shiver as well.
"I just want to give birth!" Naruto yelled, "That's all!"
The doll fell to its side, distracting both parties.
The ninja was distracted for a bit, but he noticed when Naruto tried to crawl away and threw two kunai: both pinning to the wall besides Naruto's head, stunning the young male.
"I can't return home empty-handed, not after coming all this way."
"Don't kill us!" Naruto screamed, turning around with tears falling from his eyes as he covered his stomach with his arms, "Please! Please!"
"Ready to die?"
"Think of my baby!" Naruto sobbed,
"Your time is over!" The ninja roared, surging forward with his sword.
"PLEASE THINK OF MY BABY!" Naruto screamed, his voice echoing through the room and out into the hall.
A sickening crack filled the air. Naruto didn't see, still trying to defend himself and his unborn child, but the ninja had been forcefully turned around. Once…
A few of his bones broke from the force, his eyes wide and his chest heaving as he was pulled towards the ceiling. The blonde flinched when he heard the sword fall to the floor, but he slowly turned around.
The ninja was gone. Blue eyes were wide as they looked around for the man, not seeing hind nor hair of him. But he jerked when he heard another crack from the ceiling. He looked up, screaming in horror at what he saw.
In the inn, all of the holy scrolls that had been scattered about became covered in blue symbols of protection. The Fruit-Merchant was strolling down the hall when he saw them all activate. He smiled before turning and stating, "There it is."
The silver-haired ninja was howling in agony as he was spun around the ceiling by only his head and neck, the weight of his body creating a wretched, pulling pain. His screams echoed throughout the inn until, with a loud crack, they were abruptly halted.
Naruto had passed out in the room, lying near the fireplace, but the blue-haired Fruit-Merchant was standing on the table; examining the space.
"What the hell is going on up here?" Orochimaru's voice yelled as he rushed in from one side, Kabuto rushing in from another; the inn clerk screaming as he looked up at the ceiling.
"Just what is this?" The bluenette asked himself as he looked around, Orochimaru screaming,
"Did you do this?" All the yelling had caused Naruto to rouse from sleep, wiping his sleepy blue eyes. Kabuto was still screaming,
"It's all because you let him stay in here!"
"Did it protect him?" The Fruit-Merchant asked before smiling, razor-sharp teeth visible, "But why?"
"Kabuto!" Orochimaru hissed, "Go to the castle and get the authorities!"
"That won't be necessary." The bluenette shook his head, Orochimaru snapping back,
"Of course it's necessary! Only a criminal would object to getting the authorities involved—"
"He didn't do it!" That cry came from Naruto, the blonde trying to get to his feet. "I saw it… He wasn't the culprit."
"Oh?" The Fruit-Merchant hummed, getting a close look at the blonde, "What then, did you see?" Naruto flinched, eyes looking around before he whispered,
"It took him and pulled him up… Then they spun around and around and around and around."
"Oh?" The bluenette smiled, "Around and around and around and around?" The room was quiet after the testimony, but then Orochimaru had to ask,
"Fruit-Merchant? Just who are you? What are you doing in here anyways?"
"The culprit here was not human," The Fruit-Merchant stated, ignoring the innkeeper's question. There was a clicking sound from the bluenette's case before a cabinet opened, revealing a long, crushed blue velvet box. It slowly opened up on its own, revealing a sword resting in a golden scabbard which was decorated with diamonds and sapphires. It was covered in pure, sacred bandages.
"Why in the hell would a Fruit-Merchant be carrying such a ridiculous blade?" Orochimaru yelled with nothing but confusion in his voice.
"Simple." The Fruit-Merchant smiled, "I came to kill."
"Kill what?" Kabuto yelped, the larger man chuckling,
"The demon here, of course."
Looking up at the ceiling, he muttered, "Something must have killed him." But the charcoal-haired innkeeper snapped,
"Don't be stupid!"
"But as we can all see…" The bluenette insisted. Everyone looked up, Kabuto not noticing the wall behind him suddenly covered in red fabric, to look at the body of the silver-haired ninja. His torso, arms, and legs were now hanging from the ceiling lantern, like a morbid decoration. "He was obviously killed. Could any man do this?"
"Not." The bluenette completed Kabuto's sentence for him. Orochimaru would never admit it, but he was shivering. Until he heard Naruto whisper,
"There there…" Rub. Caress. Rub. "It's okay…" The innkeeper jerked when he saw the clay doll on the table, yelling,
"Where did that thing come from?" Naruto tilted his head, replying,
"It's been here since the beginning." The walls behind Orochimaru turned red for a moment before Naruto added, "A child came to get it."
"A child?" Orochimaru and Kabuto asked, Naruto nodding,
"Mm! Surely there are some here."
"What nonsense are you speaking?" As Orochimaru denied the claim, the Fruit-Merchant looked at the table. Every few seconds, a drop of pinkish-colored water would drip down from the ceiling to the center of the table. "I don't allow children into this inn!"
"But…" Naruto gulped, carefully looking around, "Surely someone must have-! The voices! And the footsteps!" The blonde stopped as he heard laughter from outside the room, "There!" Then the sound of bouncing balls and footsteps from the other side, "And there! A group of children are playing out there!"
"What is he talking about?" Kabuto whispered, he and Orochimaru not hearing anything. Naruto looked up, speaking,
"They're playing above us as well."
"Fool," Orochimaru shook his head, "This is the top floor!" But Naruto wasn't listening, his eyes had keyed in on one factor of the ceiling.
"The body… It's—"
"Gone." The Fruit-Merchant nodded. In Naruto's ears, the laughter and cries of children got louder, the blonde pointing to the left side of the room,
"They're coming from there!", then the right side, "And over there!" The areas of the room where Orochimaru and Kabuto were started shaking, the blue-haired merchant reaching into his sleeves and pulling out more holy scrolls that floated in a circle around him.
"That's as far as you'll come!" He called out, sending the scrolls flying to the walls; forming a border around the area where Naruto was sitting. As soon as they all set, the scrolls all glowed in those blue protective symbols.
The walls of the room that weren't covered by the scrolls were soon covered in red strips of fabric. When the fabric touched the scrolls, they recoiled; the cries of infants in pain ripping through the air before they vanished entirely.
Orochimaru and Kabuto screamed.
The Fruit-Merchant quietly knelt down, inspecting the watery substance that kept dripping down from the ceiling. "There is a demon bound to this inn." He rubbed his finger into it, finding it sticky and watery at the same time, "Children, the cries of babies, and…" He sniffed his finger, "Birth water? Yes… This is a Zashikiwarashi, a house spirit."
The sword in the case purred.
"Certain conditions must be met for me and my sword to be able to perform an exorcism." The Fruit-Merchant explained, standing to his feet, "We must find the Form, the Truth, and the Regret of this being. Otherwise, it will not leave."
Kabuto looked like he was about to piss himself out of fear, and Orochimaru shook his head, not wanting to hear any of what the blue-haired man was saying, "The fates and decisions of men give demons and spirits their Forms. Truth is the natural state of all things. And regret is something that we all have in our hearts." Naruto shivered at that, holding his stomach tighter. "And so, my friends!" The Fruit-Merchant announced, holding up his arm. The sword in the case floated up, the bandages falling from it before it rushed into the bluenette's hand. "I would ask you this evening to tell me…
The truth and regret of this creature!"
On the staircase, a group of men all sharing the same appearance stood laughing.
Thanks for reading! Tell me what you think? Please?