A Fox Among Cats

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Naruto x Cheetara

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Story Start

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His fingers formed together in a cross. The familiar gesture sent a rush through his body as his hands began to warm. The energy circulated through his body as the familiar words finally left his mouth. "Kagebunshin no Jutsu!" Two Naruto clones sparked to life across the area as the smoke dissipated. "You guys know what to do." He said as the two used the headhunter Jutsu to travel underground.

The Serpent's body curled and its tails shot forward. The appendage attempted to crush Naruto, but the blond maneuvered out of the way. Leaping up to the sky Naruto countered the creature by driving his fist into the serpent's head, causing a shockwave that resulted in most of them being destroyed. The creature recoiled slightly, but recovered from the attack.

"You have stretched my patience far enough Fox!" The snake opened his maw, attempting to sink its fangs into the shinobi. Naruto found himself on the defensive as the serpent was striking at him with new found speed. It was becoming evident that for some reason the Serpent was avoiding killing him, but had finally lost its patience. That also meant this kind of battle was far too dangerous to continue.

Naruto began with the Boar seal then transition into Tiger. "Doton: Yomi Numa." The ground in front of Naruto ruptured along with the two points on the other side of the serpent, one of them bordering the lake. Naruto's massive reserves allowed him to cover a vast amount of ground that turned into mud. Naruto jumped back with a yelp as the serpent's mouth clamped a mere few feet away from him. Though the serpent found he was now struggling against the adhesive, chakra-infused causing it to waste its energy on struggling and preventing it from gaining strong footing.

The two Naruto clones erupted from out of the ground. With their aid Naruto began forming the Rasenshuriken. The hide of this creature may have been tough, but there was no way it was going to survive this. The Wind Rasengan formed and slowly four large points extended from the sphere forming the appearance of a giant fuma shuriken. The loud-bell like screech filled the area as the technique came closer to completion. Right before the technique fully formed the Kagebunshin maintaining the shape transformation had dispelled.

Panic began surging through Naruto. Shortly after Sage Mode ended as well, long before the five minutes had ended. Did he make some sort of mistake? He cursed himself as he struggled to maintain the attack. Damnit. Of course he did. While he was sure this was in fact still his body, it was still different. Not to mention the energy of this planet. He had simply jumped into the situation without thinking just how this body would adjust to his techniques. The other clone dispelled and Naruto reacted, throwing the technique at the Serpent.

Slowly but surely he could see the technique destabilizing. It had missed its mark, landing in the swamp and the Microscopic blades expanded. The Vortex had slice into the Serpent's body, swamp muck, cells, and Byzantium colored blood was being splattered about.

Naruto quickly went to where he had set Cheetara down earlier and scooped her up. He quickly made his escape, glancing back to where the creature was slithering away. The Rasenshuriken had caused most of the swamp to scatter, making a mess of the once beautiful area. Hopefully that creature would no longer pester them. After all, what predator would attack something that could create wind vortexes? Thankfully the distance to the camp wasn't all that far, but the journey might as well been several miles. He was tired, injured, not to mention feeling rather nauseous.

He walked through the foliage, moving through the thickets of the tree where camp was set. The fire was flickering with life; crackles erupted from the campfire orange flames and smoke. The twins had already finished their swim and were huddling along the fire for warmth.

Lion-o and Tygra seemed to be having some sort of disagreement or the other with the latter holding a map and Panthro was working on the Thundertank. Though, their activities came to an end when Naruto entered the campsite with an unconscious Cheetara.

He could see the various reactions. Fear from the twins and Lion-o, concern from Panthro, and a mix along with anger from Tygra. That accusatory glance was quite familiar.

"What happened to Cheetara? By the Spirits if you're the reason she's hurt!"

"It wasn't my fault!" Naruto angrily encountered. "We were attacked by that damn Serpent. I was able to trap it long enough to escape! There wasn't anything I could do!"

"Maybe if you had finished off that snake the first time this wouldn't have happened." Tygra Snarled.

"That's enough Tygra!" the Lion King protested. "Anyone one of us could have slain that Serpent, but we didn't react. While we're wasting time we could be treating Cheetara." Naruto had lain Cheetara down on one of the makeshift beds.

Kit looked on as she petted the Snarf and asked, "Cheetara, s-she's going to be okay right?"

"Yes, she wasn't poisoned or anything. She was just knocked on unconscious, maybe some possible fractures. I need to assess her injuries." Naruto explained, doing his best to keep his emotions bottled. He didn't want to alarm the kittens.

"You can stop you know!" Naruto suddenly said as he craned his head to glare at Tygra. "I'm not the kind of creep who would do that sort of thing." He vaguely remarked, not wanting to bring up certain matters in front of the kittens. Panthro immediately got what Naruto was insinuating though it took Lion-O a few seconds. No one would have considered Naruto to be that sort of person.

"For someone who isn't that kind of person you're awfully defensive. Then again, you Kitsune are known for your…"

Panthro walked up and clamped his strong arm on Tygra's shoulder. "Give him room cats. Naruto is trying to tend to Cheetara and if we're all bugging him he won't be able to finish his exam. If there's anything I learn on the battlefield is that you don't disturb the medic. A moment's hesitation can mean the difference between continued servitude and retirement." Panthro was a fighter, he knew little about medical training, but he had been injured more than enough times to know something as simple as a scratch could be a lot more serious. If there was even a chance, then they needed to make sure nothing like that was overlooked. Especially in regards to one of their medics and also there was something different about Naruto. The old Naruto would have merely shirked back, but this one had far more spine. On one hand, it was about time the boy started to grow some hair on his chest figuratively speaking, on the other hand if he was pushed too hard this could prove trouble.

"We need to secure the perimeter in case the Serpent attacks. General, you're far more experienced with the wildlife. What would be your suggestion?" Lion-O had picked up on what Panthro was trying to do. On one hand he was really worried about Cheetara, but he was sure he could trust Naruto to make sure she was ok. There was something different about the fox, that much was sure. Fox. An exhale escaped his nostrils; he was no stranger to his brother's distaste for the other species. It was this sort of Elitism that resulted in the strife between the various species.

Naruto blocked out what was happening. Naruto checked Cheetara's pulse and placed his ear against her chest. She was breathing and her heartbeat seemed normal. He continued checking her head, neck, spine, and stomach to make sure there are no other injuries. Once he was sure Cheetara was fine, he silently sat at her side as he monitored her condition.

A Cleric must always remain calm. A Cleric must always find a state of serenity. A Cleric does not seek conflict. A Cleric only seeks to diffuse. He chanted the mantra as he finally began settling his emotions. He kindly rebuffed the kittens offer for berries they found and began to fall into a trance of sorts.

"You've finally returned!"

Elsewhere in a village sat a tall, older set Bipedal Kitsune. He was dressed in robes befitting of a cleric with an elaborate hat, in stylish bourgeon and gold colors. The stitching was that of an old style, stern and mastered after long hours of practice. The Kitsune held in his arm a bible of sorts as he stood in front of an intricate arrangement of crystals.

His red slit eyes drifted to the door for the fifth time in the last hour. Disappointed that no one had come through. His eyes fell away from the door and casually browsed along the crystals that suspended from the ceiling.

Soon a figure entered from the door. Another figure entered, Kitsune, lively and youthful. She was dressed in white silk garbs showing off an attractive figure. "Head Mystic Kiindo!" the vixen greeted.

"Evening Ka-ne," the Head Mystic greeted her.

"Is it true?" The vixen asked, her eyes blinking as she continued her questioning in a hushed whisper. "Are the Bakemono on the move?"

"I'm afraid so my child. Lord Tokala believes they might be making their move."

"Surely they cannot hope to overcome our warriors or defenses? Are they that desperate for their sacrifice they are willing to sacrifice countless of their own?" her ears flattened slightly in sadness. Sad memories came to mind at the people they had lost.

"There are rumors floating around. The home of the Cats, their city has fallen. The Lizard army has enslaved their people with the exception of a few survivors. Among the survivors is crowned prince who now takes the title of King in the wake of his defeated father. Among the band of survivors is a Kitsune."

Ka-Ne's eyes widened in shock. "Head Mystic Kiindo, do you believe that this survivor is the lost child without origin?"

"That may be my child. Lord Tokala is forming planning a covert mission. The Bakemono must not be allowed to get their paws on the lost child if that is the case."

"And what if he doesn't want to leave them?"

"We must do 'whatever' we take to protect ourselves. Dealing with the Bakemono is bad enough. If the lizards turn their sight on us, our kind will be wiped out. Ka-Ne, I would not ask a child of Inari to do what I'm asking you to do unless our situation was desperate."

A sad smile formed on the vixen's face. "I understand Lord Kiindo." The vixen bowed. She hesitated for a minute. "Excuse me Lord Kiindo. I, I need a moment to collect my thoughts." The vixen bowed once more before leaving the temple.