I've had this story planned for a long time, and was meant to publish it after I completed Something Tangible (and the final part of The Last One), but I decided to release it earlier to give readers a chance to feedback to me about the concept, as this will be my main project on here after I wrap up the others. It's inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Hades and Persephone; with Sasuke as the ruler of the underworld and Sakura as the spring-maiden he glimpses and falls in love with. I've always loved that particular myth, and thought it would be fun to rewrite it with a modern, Naruto-twist. Sasuke's dark, brooding persona fits the image of a dangerous and seductive underworld king perfectly, and Sakura is very much associated with innocence and spring.
This will be an AU story as a result. I will be trying to work in as many characters from Naruto as I can. If you favourite this work, I'd really appreciate it if you could kindly take a few moments to leave your thoughts about it. Reviews are gold and inspire me to write new content.
Synopsis: When first he laid eyes upon her, he thought her the very personification of spring. She was of warmth and light, a pure thing so unfamiliar to his cold, bleak existence. For two years he has watched her, from the depths of shadow; waiting to claim her, to steal her away from the land of the living. Waiting to make her Queen of the Dead. /Hades/Persephone retold. SasuSaku.
Disclaimer: In case anybody forgot, I don't own Naruto, and am not profiting from writing this in any way. Believe it, people.
1. Discharge or release from debt, obligation, or office
2. Death or something that causes death, regarded as a release from life
3. Anything that serves to quiet, suppress, or end an activity
A keeper of souls, devoid of my own,
One starved of warmth and ravenous for it,
I watch, from the clutches of despair,
From depth of shadow, that world above,
The land of the living, which mocks me so,
Taunting with a vision of shimmering light,
Of loveliness so fair that I might seek to pluck it,
As a fruit just ripe from its motherly tree,
Though no deathly claim have I to it,
Naught but my own desire and need,
My craving to consume the air she breathes.
In loving memory of:
February 8th 1937 - September 24th 2011
May his soul be accepted in peace unto heaven.
The words engraved into the slab of granite held no semblance of meaning to him. They were the sentimental inscriptions of ignorant humans who knew nothing of the afterlife. Humans, who above all else, were masters at postulating theories to account for the things they didn't understand, in a futile attempt to hide their fear of the unknown. The wedge of rock bore a name that would eventually, over the merciless flow of time, be forgotten. Why, then, did mortals still insist on carving identities onto tombstones? He did not understand such superfluous human customs. The dead were precisely that - dead. And their souls did not always pass into heaven with the same ease that humans liked to make themselves believe. He knew it. After all, he was the governor of the dead, whose job it was to ensure that every soul was accounted for and ushered to its correct destination.
He could see the soul of the deceased man for whom an entire throng of people had gathered to pay their respects. It shone with a weak essence, but that particle of light was enough to dictate the soul's fate.
This way, he silently willed, and at his wordless command the essence of the man looked up to gaze upon him. Instead of being frightened, or overwhelmed, or any of the other things the majority of the newly-dead experienced, the man simply looked saddened and weary – as though he understood precisely who the raven-haired entity standing by the lone tree, invisible to the rest of the crowd, was. The old man instinctively knew what he was – and with one final, heavy look about the tear-stricken faces, drifted willingly forward. A blink and the soul dispersed silently in the early autumn wind before it reached its caller. Time was of the essence. It had a boat to catch.
His work here was done. Dark, steely eyes, the colour of onyx, surveyed the pale, distraught expressions huddled about the grave with clinical detachment, a last, parting look at the swarm of mortals, as he silently speculated which amongst them would be next to depart the land of the living.
That was when he glimpsed it – a flash of colour amongst the bleak, shapeless blurs of grey and black that caused a strange and sudden stillness to befall him. Standing between a pale-blonde haired young female and a brown-haired young male was a girl, just coming unto the bloom of womanhood, with a creamy complexion and the largest, most captivating eyes he had seen on a human face in centuries. Eyes framed by lashes so long they seemed to tangle in places. Her dusky, shoulder-blade length hair was a peculiar shade of pastel pink, a hue he had never before spied amongst mortal women. She was clothed in the same black as the others – and yet something about her was vivid and unequivocally different.
He could see it, radiating so gently from her small, slender form - an aura of purity so apparent that it practically formed a tangible glow about her.
Her soul, he realized, unable to tear his gaze away from her; her soul was unblemished, untainted.
The prayers were coming to an end, and the crowd was beginning to disperse from its outer fringes. Soon she was the only one left standing by the grave, a single, white-rose held in the clutches of tiny, fragile fingers. Without warning, her sorrowful eyes lifted, looking straight in his direction. For a transient moment time suspended, and he had to remind himself that she could not see him – not unless he willed it – when her gaze lowered again and she placed the flower on top of the freshly covered grave.
Her head turned, startled at the call, as if she had forgotten herself for a moment. After casting one final lingering, mournful look at the gravestone, the young girl turned and hurried away.
He watched her go, her name reverberating deafeningly through his mind with all the chaos of a mighty battle drum summoning foolish warriors to their impending dooms.
She was named after the spring.
Thoughts so far? Interesting? Complete fail? Not sure? Let me know! Next chapter is more than half finished, so it hopefully won't be too long before an update, although I will do my best to wrap up Something Tangible first. Thank you for reading.