Yokai no Oto: Sound of the Demon
Part 1, Chapter 5
A Demon's Path: The Journey's True First Steps
Ryanshadow19:Thanks for the compliment, and I've decided to redo my writing process, which should increase speed, add some semblance of order to these uploads, and should drastically increase chapter size. So you'll get your wish for reading more.
TigrezzTail:The main reason I was struggling was lack of a beta, as well as trying to force myself to write in order to not feel like I was letting you guys down. That has now been cleared up, due to me being diagnosed with ADD, and getting medicine that helps me to focus, which will allow me to write much better. Also, the original idea came to me from seeing the large amount of fics where Naruto would join Oto, only to be manipulated by Orochimaru. I didn't like that, but the only way to fix it is to alter Orochimaru at such an insane level, I had to go back and change the entire line of Naruto pretty much. Most people are heavily influenced by what happens around them. Canon Orochimaru was influenced by Konaha's peacefulness in a very bad way, becoming the warped and twisted individual most now see him as. Yokai no Oto Orochimaru saw Konaha's corruption, and utter evil, and was life-changingly altered by it. The two Orochimarus have only a few similarities, and more differences than I can name, for instance, Yokai no Oto Orochimaru doesn't have Canon Orochimaru insane resistance to damage, but as a bit of a trade-off, has more powerful offensive Ninjutsu, as well as his own Hebi Senjutsu, which is removed from and different than the Gama Senjutsu Jiriaya and Canon Naruto made famous. And this somehow turned into a bit of a rant, so on to the next review…
Dayfox96:The reason Pein fled will be revealed in this chapter, but is totally based on canon knowledge… Pein was willing to sacrifice a body to protect his Deva Path in canon, and I'm willing to bet that he wouldn't be willing to risk having a 2-on-1 battle against a lower-Kage-level ninja, and a full-on-Kage-level-without-counting-Hebi-Senjutsu ninja. As I say in this chapter, Pein would most likely kill/fatally wound one of the two, but his Deva Path would be taken out in the process.
Adrigo714:I made the text bigger this time around in hopes to fix the problem, let me know if there's still an issue. Also, as I've said before, Naruto will not be with anyone from Konaha, this is a done deal, and as the author of this story I have the final say-so. If this is a problem for anyone, please feel free to press your browser's back button one or more times, depending on whether you skipped to this chapter or not.
Honorwolf1:As I've said before, the main reason I wasn't satisfied is because my muse was not working with me on that chapter… Also, I don't really know that much about Shion, so I'll need to look her up before I do anything about that.
Author's Note:Due to the suggestions of my muse…*looks at muse, who seems to be a cross of Subaru Kujo and Rikaritta Aries from Sakura Wars:So Long, My Love, and who has a small kodachi. She is slowly drawing in order to… Discuss how the story should go with me.* I will be expanding the initial harem of 3 to an indefinite number… So pretty much almost all the suggestions will be included somehow, although whether they are major or minor, and whether they feature in the harem will be left up to my muse… She's the one who really writes this story… Also, the current harem is Tayuya(my friend's choice)/Fem Kabuto(My Choice)/Fem Gaara(Poll leader by a full 4)/Fem Kimi(tied for second/Muse's insistence)/Guren(same as Fem Kimi)/Iwa OC(Muse's insistence/begging/whining at me until I agreed.) Also, from now on, I will not be translating the techniques unless I already know what they mean/can find an easy translation.
Pein appeared on top of a building in Amegakure, his Beast Path on his knees before his with his hands against the ground. He had not anticipated not just one, but two Kage-level ninja being there. Gongo Shiriji, the Deadly Shadow of Kusagakure, and Orochimaru Yakushi, who was the Snake Sage in addition to being a member of the Dentetsu no Sannin, the Legendary Three Sage Ninja. He had not expected them, and so had sent his Deva Path alone. While it could have defeated one of them, for certain, it would've been rendered unusable by doing so. He did not make false assumptions about his own power, and Orochimaru was not a man to underestimate, having mastered Hebi Senjutsu, as well as having attained mastery in all five central elements, and was believed to be working on a new level of Fuuton Jutsu. He had tom mobilize immediately if he wanted the Kyuubi.
Orochimaru and Shiriji, as well as most of the more elite ninjas, and Naruto, Kabuto, and his new friend Kimimaro, sat in the Council Room, as Orochimaru laid out his plan, as well as the reasons why it was a good idea, "With ninja of that caliber aiming here as Naruto's last known location, you would be destroyed in short order. As it stands you must leave, or die. If you leave with me, I can help you get back on your feet, and in return, you can help me to create a place where life's outcasts are accepted. It's your choice." Shiriji nodded gravely as he voiced his own opinion, "I may not like it, but your words have truth in them, my old friend." Other ninja threw their approval on top of his, as seeing their appointed leader choose to accept this proposal had emboldened them to do the same. Naruto grinned, an action mirrored by the others, knowing that the preparations for the move to the nearby mountains would soon begin.
-Time skip, 2 weeks later, in the newly established Otogakure no Sato base-
Orochimaru glared at the pile of paper and ink before him; ever since accepting the position of Kage of the newly-christened Otogakure, he had nothing but stack after stack of paperwork to get everything they needed set up, the current pile being what was necessary to establish them as a Hidden Village in the eyes of the Daimyo. Even using Kage Bunshins to help just barely allowed him to keep up. He noticed the time and smirked, leaving while making a Kage Bunshin to take his place at the desk. It was time to continue Naruto-kun's training in Kenjutsu.
Naruto roared a battle cry as he brought his practice blade down, only to have it effortlessly parried by a saber made of bone. Kimimaro gave a playful grin as she swiped at him with her sword, Naruto barely blocking it, and being knocked off-balance to do so. Naruto had turned out to be a very quick learner when it came to Kenjutsu, soaking up knowledge like a sponge, but he still had a long way to go, as his muscles still had to be built up, and his body had to be able to fight without his constant focus, meaning he had to master Kenjutsu and its katas until they became a reflex. As it stood though, it wouldn't be long until he was Genin-level, and with diligent training, possibly Chuunin-level within a few months. Every day for the past two week, he had trained until he couldn't move, then forced himself up and continued to train through sheer willpower, his desire to reach his goal overcoming his body's desires. His one goal was to become even stronger than Otou-sensei, so that he could protect him, and all of his precious people, and even if it took almost killing himself with training to do it, he was gonna reach his goal someday, dattebayo!
Kabuto and her adopted father watched the young Jinchuuriki as he sparred with all of his skill against the one-girl-Kenjutsu-wrecking-team known as Kimimaro Kaguya. His weapon, a dulled metal odachi, was pockmarked with cracks and areas where the edge looked serrated from where the Kaguya's bone sword had cut into, and nearly shattered the blade from the force. Her blade was harder than steel, a sign of her natural skill with her Kekkai Genkai. The girl wore grey robes tied with a belt made from a deep-red cloth, a carry over from Kusagakure that many of the ninja of Oto ninja now wore. Naruto, on the other hand, wore a deep blue jacket with a red swirl-like symbol on the chest, while beneath it, he wore a ninja mesh shirt, and a pair of pants lined with chakra-reinforced metal. It was a far cry from his previous outfit, and one which Kabuto and Orochimaru had convinced to accept only by say it would help him as a ninja. Orochimaru walked out onto the training field, stopping the sparring match instantly. Turning to them, he smiled, while saying, "Well done. You two, in only a few weeks, have come far, especially you Naruto-kun. Now, it's time for you to learn more about a ninja's greatest art… Ninjutsu. Naruto, you will be starting with the basic leaf floating exercise. Kimimaro, you will be learning the wall-walking exercise. Naruto, take this leaf and place it on your palm, then focus your chakra to make it float over your palm. Be careful not to use too much, or you'll shred it. Kimimaro-chan, focus your chakra to the soles of your feet, then attempt to us it to stick to the wall. Don't use too much, or you'll blast yourself off the wall, use too little, and you won't stick." He then handed a leaf to Naruto, who attempts to make it float, only to instantly shred it to pieces. Orochimaru sighs at this, knowing that it would take a lot of training for Naruto to get his chakra control to the point where it wouldn't overpower any Jutsu he used.
-Time Skip, 2 years later, Otogakure Stronghold Training Room-
The sounds of steel meeting bone resounded throughout the room as Naruto and Kimimaro met and disengaged repeatedly, appearing to almost be dancing an intricate dance with death. Naruto was now capable of keeping up with Kimimaro, evening the playing field and keeping her from being able to overwhelm him with raw power and speed as she had been able to before. He was still not as good at Kenjutsu as the pale, white-haired Kaguya prodigy, but the gap was slowly closing between his level of power and skill, and her level of power and skill within the area of Kenjutsu. When it came to Taijutsu, his abilities were sub-par at the very best, barely rating low-Genin, where hers were in the area of mid-Chuunin. His Ninjutsu abilities were truly incredible though, already at low-to-mid Jonin, which in a 7-year-old child was only heard of in the rarest of cases. Unless you were a Jinchuuriki with chakra to burn, and a willing teacher who was hailed as one of the greatest masters of Ninjutsu in history. Naruto could now use a total of 15 Ninjutsu: The Academy Three, which he could now use almost instantly, and without handseals; His Kage Bunshin, which now only needed one half-seal and only the barest minimum of forewarning; a small assortment of 5 Fuuton Jutsu, including Fuuton: Ripping Winds, Fuuton: Vacuum Void, Fuuton: Daitoppa, Fuuton: Pressure Damage, and Fuuton: Devastation; two Suiton Jutsus, which they had found to be his second element, which were Suiton: Suiheki and Suiton: Mizukibadan; and finally, his prized Ototon Jutsus, created by his adoptive father/teacher as an advancement to Fuuton. In order to use two of them, he had to use special gauntlets known by the R&D boys as Melody Arms, and for the other two had had to under go surgery that placed wind pipes into his arms. The surgeries were experimental, and he had volunteered to be the first due to his natural healing factor allowing them to test it on a subject that would be exceptionally hard to kill.
Naruto was dragged back to the present by Kimimaro smacking him upside the head with the flat of her blade. With a growl, he launched into a blinding flurry of attacks, using all of his high Chuunin-level Kenjutsu skill, but to the mid Jonin-level prodigy, his attacks were fairly easy to dodge. Noticing a flaw in his stance, she dashed in and knocked aside his sword, before flicking hers up to his throat. With a small smirk, she dug it into his skin a little, before saying, "That makes it 16-2 for today Naruto-kun…. Do you need a break to nurse your wounded pride?" The joke was delivered with her usual calm tone, which somehow seemed both caring and cold at the same time. Naruto blushed slightly at her, the 10-year-old girl laughing slightly at the sight. It was well-known to the older ninja that the two had a crush on each other, as obvious as the one he also had for Kabuto, which was mutual as well.
A soft sigh got their attention, as Kabuto walked up to them, admonishing, "Kimimaro-imoto… You know you're not supposed to injure him on days we might go on missions. Otou-sensei has something for us, a C-rank this time. We're going to be escorting a bridge builder home." The two immediately separated, Naruto going to his gear by the wall, switching out his practice Zanbatou, the weapon he was currently working on mastering, for his trusty twin odachi. Once so equipped, they headed towards the Otokage's office, which was in the sturdiest and best-defended area.
Upon arriving, they saw Orochimaru giving his final orders to Shiriji, who took his place as Kage when ever he was away on a mission. Turning back to his students and Genin team, he spoke quickly and efficiently, like a true ninja, "Out client will be meeting us at our Southern Outpost, seeing as he contacted us through out only public outpost. We move out now." The Genins nodded, knowing that this C-rank mission presented them a chance to prove themselves. Kabuto and Kimimaro disappeared for a moment to grab the traveling bags they kept on standby in a closet in the office. They then set out on the 4-hour journey to the Southern Outpost, led by a man known as Shiron of the South Gate.
-Scene Shift, Southern Outpost-
Orochimaru and the young Genins arrived at the Southern Outpost, where they were met by Shiron, as well as a group of 3 Jonin and 2 Chuunin, a basic guard in the absence of the ANBU Corps, the first of which were still undergoing training, and who would be ready in about 2 years. Shiron bowed respectfully to Orochimaru, knowing him by his reputation even if he was currently disguised, his skin now more tanned, his facial structure modified slightly to become even more lean, his eyes now a dark green, and lacking the slitted pupils marking him as a Hebi Sennin. He had also placed limiter seals on himself, restricting him to only Upper Jonin-level chakra and skill. Naruto was also under and illusion that hid his slightly-slitted pupils, as well as his whisker marks, changed his eyes to a deep red-brown, similar to the color of dried blood, as well as changing his hair to a slightly more red shade, now appearing crimson, and making him appear to be 4'9". Kimimaro's illusion had tanned skin, hid her forehead clan marks, and gave her black hair. As a ninja that had yet to make any real waves for her origins or skills, Kabuto's only difference was in the body armor she wore to protect herself in case she was drawn into combat, as well as three additional pouches on her belt, and her traveling pack.
After Shiron guided them into the meeting room, they saw that their client was a very tanned man, with a rope tying his hair back, and multiple scars, apparently from his work, on his arms and hands. As he sees the group, he frowns, before saying scathingly, "I paid for a team of ninja to protect me, and I get two girlies, an older-looking faggot, and a kid who looks like he needs to go suckle from mommy. Are you sure I'm getting what I paid for!" Suddenly, the three Genin were gone from his sight, and instead he had two swords at his throat and a chakra scalpel in front of his face. The man shut up, as they went back to standing behind to the left of Orochimaru, as the Sannin says, "Well Tazuna-san, my team is the most elite Genin team in all of Otogakure, which focuses on personal excellence for all our ninja. Not to mention, I am Sunsori Takeba, third-in-command and one of the top ten members of Oto. My team consists of Shinjiro Taiga, Sagitta Aries, and Subaru Kujo, Shinjiro is the boy with the odd eyes and the twin odachi, Sagitta is the girl with the swords made from bones, and finally Subaru is the rather androgynous girl with the medical skills. Rest assured, we will protect you, even if one of us has to give our lives. Oto is founded on the principle of leaving no one behind, and even if you're hurt, Subaru should be able to heal you, unless it's instantly lethal."
This reassured Tazuna, and so the five of them set out for the man's home country, Nami no Kuni, which was relatively famous for being a trade center. It was also known as a place where Samurai used to be trained, even boasting the strongest Samurai in history, such as Oda Nobunaga, a powerful Samurai who fought the Shodaime Mizukage to a near-draw, the Shodaime only winning by the timely awakening of his sword's, Hyorinmaru, true form and power, allowing him to gain the edge needed to defeat Nobunaga. At first it appeared to be a peaceful trip, with a few bandits here and there, easily dispatched by the three Genin. However, after passing into Hi no Kuni, the group ran into trouble.
The group was now only two days from the boat that would take them to Nami no Kuni. However, the four ninja noticed something off, as in spite of the noticeable lack of rain, there was a rather large puddle on the side of the road. Orochimaru immediately recognized it as the Water Hiding Jutsu, a Kiri-nin-original technique that allowed someone to dissolve into water. It was originally developed in order to allow sneak attacks in the perpetually watery regions of Mizu no Kuni. Orochimaru seallessly created a Mud Clone in the thicket nearby, then seallessly, smokelessly Kawarimied with it. He then sat back to watch how his students performed in a true battle, a life-or-death situation.
Meizu and Gozu slowly returned to their normal, physical forms after the team of Oto shinobi went by, knowing that they had to take out the Jonin first. They brought their bladed chain, which connected their clawed gauntlets to each other, around the older ninja, before yanking the chain, causing it to rip into him, cutting the ninja into small pieces. However, their chain was almost immediately split by a hand glowing a light blue, Kabuto's powerful Chakra Scalpel cutting through the un-reinforced metal like butter. Meanwhile, Naruto had drawn one of his two odachi, and had closed with Meizu, the younger of the two brothers, while Kimimaro had chosen to engage the older brother, Gozu, in close combat.
Naruto bellowed a battle cry as he swung his blade in a diagonal arc meant to cut the Kiri nukenin in two. Meizu blocked with the side of his gauntlet, before attempting to drive his gauntleted hand into the young blonde's chest, only for the blonde-turned-redhead to block the attack with his own gauntlet, the Genin grinning as he used his Ototon: Reverberating Distortion, which used the vibrations caused by the impact to cause damage to the nerves of the person touching the Melody Arm besides the user. Meizu felt his arm go numb and jumped back, holding the affected limb for a moment, before his eyes widened as the redhead approaches the Chuunin-level nukenin. As Meizu stared in horror, he swung his blade towards the ex-Kiri ninja's neck. Unable to block with a numb arm, and his reflexes dulled by the same technique, Meizu could only close his eyes and hope his Nii-san could avenge him.
-With Kimimaro, same time as Naruto's Fight-
Kimimaro blocked Gozu's frenzied attacks, the older brother the more skilled, and with better equipment, as his gauntlet couldn't be cut by the young Kaguya's weapon. Kimimaro growled at this fact, but grinned lightly as Gozu faltered for a moment. Seizing her chance, Kimimaro began to launch a frenzied series of attacks, Gozu's blocks becoming more and more desperate as she pressed him. Finally seeing an opening, Kimimaro focused her chakra into the fingertips of her off hand. She grinned as she said in a small voice, "Digital Shrapnel." The bones of her fingertips fired off at the nukenin, piercing him through the chest multiple times. As Gozu looked down, seeing the mortal wounds, and knowing that even with immediate medical attention he would've been hard-pressed to survive, and so as the pain hit, he could barely make out the girl's sword coming at his head, and grinned ruefully as he thought, "Well, I had a good run of it, shame we didn't get to fulfill our dream."
As the two finished removing the heads, they returned to the group, to the sound of applause from Orochimaru as he stepped from the thicket where he had been observing the fight. He praised them, while also judging their skills, making sure to use their aliases, "Subaru, good job on cutting the chain as soon as the battle started, it helped your teammates to separate the enemies, and engage them alone. Shinjiro, great job with your fight, excellent use of the Melody Arm's ability to allow you to both attack and defend at the same time. Sagitta, good job keep your enemy pressed, as well as tricking him into thinking your blade was your only mode of attack. Now, Subaru, you need to improve on the range of your Chakra Scalpel, as you needed to get much too close to cut the chain, had that been a more skilled set of opponents, they could taken you out while you were overextended. Shinjiro, you need to work on the power of your Melody Arm, most Jonin could've shrugged that off as easily as surging their chakra; you also need to work on your Kenjutsu skills, as your opponent's superior strength allowed him to knock aside most of your attacks. Sagitta, you need to work on the speed and power of your Digital Shrapnel. It was entirely too slow for anyone above mid-Chuunin, which was these two's level." Ending his teaching moment, Orochimaru took the head of Gozu and used a technique he had picked up during his stay with the Konaha Interrogation and Torture Division, the Dead Mind Walking Jutsu, which allowed a person to gain the most recent memories of the freshly dead, how far back determined by ones skill.
Orochimaru now employed it on Gozu, his skill with this technique incredible even when limited by the limiter seals. He watched a memory in which Gozu received his orders from Zabuza, as well as when he discussed the reasons for the mission with Meizu. The memories confirmed that they had been hired by Gato for the purpose of taking out Tazuna. Ending the technique, Orochimaru returned the head to Kimimaro, who sealed it into a scroll as Naruto had with Meizu's, and turned to Tazuna. Seeing the older man sweating nervously, Orochimaru spoke in an almost light tone, "You lied about the mission, Tazuna-san. You knew that there were ninja hired to kill you, but given what my sources tell me, I can understand why…. However, it will be up to my students whether or not we continue this mission." The bridge builder's jaw dropped, although he quickly turned to the Genin, who were quickly and quietly informed by Orochimaru about the bad economical situation, and how Gato had abused it to take control of all of Nami no Kuni's wealth, and how he was using it to abuse people. Naruto growled upon receiving the information, an action mirrored to a lesser degree by both Kimimaro and Kabuto, before all three enthusiastically agreed to continue the mission. Orochimaru insisted, as they started to head towards the boat they would take to Nami no Kuni to help take down a tyrant, that Tazuna and Nami pay for the mission's full price over time, when the nation got back on its feet.
-Within Nami no Kuni's Forest-
Zabuza Momochi, Akaoni no Kirigakure, stared indifferently at the short man in an expensive suit before him, who was ranting about how the Demon Brothers had failed. He ignored the man until he questioned Zabuza's skill, and threatened to withhold payment. Zabuza lifted his sword, the Kubikiri Hochi, which was more akin to a slab of steel with a sharpened edge than a true sword, and placed the point to Gato's throat faster than either him or the Samurai wannabes he used as thugs could even follow, before intoning almost lazily, "Quit your complaining, Gato. In order to be sure that the old man dies, I will be taking Kenji with me, and will be taking the job personally." At the mention of his name, Kenji Yori, a Ronin who had been trained by a Samurai who had himself been above ANBU-level by ninja standards, woke up and got to his feet. The Ronin glared at the two thugs, scoffing at the weaklings who dared to call themselves Ronin. Kenji may officially have been known as a Ronin, but he had been taught to follow the way of Bushido, unlike the fakers, who would go against the Bushido as easily as they would breathe, such as killing innocents or hunting beasts without needing to eat the meat of the animal. The two knew though, that they stood no chance against the Ronin, as he was not only well-trained, but was in possession of a very powerful sword, the weapon Kazeshini. The blade's first release, even without the true form or power of the blade, was terrifying to those who had seen it and lived to tell the tale, and was said to reap lives like farmers reaped wheat. As Gato and his flunkies left, Kenji and Zabuza left in order to set up an ambush along the road coming towards the town from the coast nearest to the mainland.