A normal high school boy that has trouble talking to girls? Check. A not-so-secret crush that everyone except said secret crush knows about? Double check. A super hot, shape-shifting vixen whose soul purpose in life seems to revolve around getting into our hero's pants? Che―wait, what?
Follow the tale of Kevin Swift as he deals with all of the ordinary things that most sophomores in high school have to deal with...as well as a few not so ordinary things that you would only ever expect to see happen in a Shōnen manga.
I know you guys probably don't want to hear this, but my novel, A Fox's Love, is available on Amazon as both a Kindle eBook and paperback. The price of the Kindle edition has been lowered and is now $4.99 instead of $6.99, which was the original price. There is a link to each different Amazon on my profile. Please, if any of you would be willing to help me out, go to my profile page, click on the link to your respective country, and order a copy of my book. You're help would mean the world to me.
Chapter 33: Wrath of an Angry God
Naruto stood where he had been standing since defeating Karasuba in combat, his eyes wide, his mouth gaping and his mind desperately searching for something that was not there. His bond with Musubi, that constant feeling of warmth that let him know she was with him, why was it gone? Where did it go? What happened to it!?
He was so caught up in searching through his soul for the bond that had been there since Musubi became his Sekirei that he didn't even notice when Karasuba stood to her feet.
He also didn't notice the look she was giving him.
Karasuba had no clue what was going on. One second the man she'd been fighting was standing over her, the next he was staring off into his space with a wide, frightened look in his eyes. Still, this was a good. Now she had a chance to return the favor for the beating he'd given her. There was no way she was going to let this opportunity for some serious payback go to waste. Grinning like the madwoman she was, the Black Sekirei grabbed her sword from where it lay a couple feet from where she stood. Without much preamble or even a hint of thought, she rushed towards Naruto with all the speed her battered body possessed.
When she reached him, she thrust her blade forward. The sword sank into the soft, pliant flesh of his chest, right where his heart was located. She continued rushing forward, not only making the sword sink up to the hilt but also lifting Naruto right off his feet as the rest of her body crashed into him.
As Karasuba continued running forward at incredible speeds, Naruto was thrown backwards. Seconds later he was impaled upon the wall of one of the many buildings that had been toppled during their battle.
He didn't even notice. The sword had pierced right through his heart, and he wasn't even paying attention, could hardly even feel it. His mind was delving further and further into his soul, searching for something that should have been there but wasn't. As he continued to delve desperately into his mind he felt a sense of apprehension the longer he stayed there.
"It looks like the tables have turned," Karasuba's voice seemed to come from a great distance. He heard the words, but his mind was so far gone that he hardly paid any attention to them, only noticing that the woman had spoke in an abstract sense. "Now then, let's see what's behind that mask of yours."
He felt a hand grab his head none too gently. Felt the hand clench as it gripped a fistful of his hair along with the mask. Naruto was too far gone to really care. After searching through the reaches of his soul, scouring every corner he could fine, he was forced to come to a single conclusion.
The bond he had shared with Musubi, that small part of his soul that contained a never ending joy and happiness was gone. It was gone. It had disappeared. He couldn't feel it. He couldn't feel her. It had been severed. Gone-gone-no-more-it-was-no-more-why-was-it-gone-where-did-it-go-why-why-why-WHY―
The mask was pulled away and Karasuba took a step back, blinking in surprise as she saw who the person behind the mask was. "Well, this is a surprise. I never expected the one who gave me such a good time would be you...eh?"
Snapping out of his fugue, Naruto's head whipped up to snarl at the girl. "Out of my way!" He lifted his hands and pointed his palms towards her. "Shinra Tensei!" Not even a second later, Karasuba was hit with a force greater than anything she had ever experienced, like a large rocket had smacked against her only ten times more powerful. The woman with silver hair was not just thrown backwards, she was blasted away with so much force that her body blew a whole straight through nearly two dozen buildings before smacking the ground hard enough that she ended up leaving a mile wide trench in the pavement.
Naruto did not pay attention to the large scale destruction his plowing of Karasuba through several buildings caused. Yanking the sword out of his chest, he tossed the weapon away and took off running. His body moved so fast it looked like he had simply disappeared. He flickered out of his existence, reappearing only as a brief blur of movement when he leapt over a building or made a sharp turn. He would only be visible for a split second, less time then it took to blink, and then he would disappear again in a burst of pure speed. In no time flat he had reached the area where his soul had last sensed Musubi's location.
While this part of the city was not a complete disaster zone like the sight of his and Karasuba's battle, there was still an impressive amount of destruction. At least two of the buildings in this quadrant had been turned to rubble. The streets looked like they'd been ripped apart after a hurricane had run through it. There were cracks and pitfalls everywhere, like an entire horde of construction workers had gone to town on the place with a shit-ton of jackhammers and some TNT.
None of that mattered. The only thing his eyes saw was the figure lying face down in a small, human sized crater. With hundreds of cracks spread out from where she had obviously been smashed against the ground with an impressive amount of force was none other than the busty young woman whose presence within his life had been like a bright, nearly blinding beacon of light.
He rushed towards her, his form vanishing as he put on an intense burst of speed that had the pink-haired girl standing next to Musubi in squawk in shock.
"What the hell was that!? How did you get over here so damn fast!?"
Naruto ignored the pink ones blathering in favor of kneeling down next to Musubi. He gingerly turned her over and pulled her into his arms. Her eyes were closed and her breathing was even, yet when he placed two fingers against her neck to check her pulse he found nothing. There was no pulse. She was breathing, but she had no pulse. How was that possible? Why didn't she have a pulse?
Eyes widening Naruto turned Musubi over and looked at her back, which he had neglected to do in his haste, and saw that the Sekirei Crest that should have been located on her back was not there.
"Hey! Are you listening to me!? Who the hell are you!?"
Her crest couldn't be gone. Had she fallen in battle? That shouldn't have been possible. Musubi might not have been the strongest Sekirei on the planet, but according to the data he had collected on Benitsubasa, so long as she stayed in close and didn't give the girl time to use her more powerful earth attacks, she should have been more than strong enough to defeat the Disciplinary Squad member.
"Pay attention to me, dammit!"
Had Musubi not listened to him? Her crest was gone, so he guessed she had forgotten all the advice he'd given in her. She probably got over enthusiastic and let her lust for battle take over in place of her common sense.
"If you don't start paying answering my questions, I'm going to beat your ass!"
He couldn't believe Musubi was really gone. She had been such a strong presence in his life these past few months that even the idea of her no longer being a part of his life, of her presence no longer brightening his day, was not something he could fathom.
"Hey, asshole! I'm talking to you!"
Damn it! He should have kept more clones in the area. He'd only made a few for this mission, having focused more on the mission itself than keeping tabs on his Sekirei. Was this the result of not having people to cherish and protect for so long? Had he really grown so cold to others that the idea of keeping an eye on them from afar via shadow clones no longer even occurred to him?
If only there was some way he could bring her back. If only...
"God dammit! Listen to me when I'm talking to you!"
Ignoring the annoying pest trying to get his attention, Naruto went through a series of handseals. "Gedo: Rinne Tensei no Jutsu!" As he intoned the name of his jutsu, the earth around him began to shake. Benitsubasa squawked in shock as she stumbled, just barely managing to catch herself and falling to the ground.
"W-What the hell is going on!?"
Seconds later a large figure rose from the rubble of the destroyed street. It was an ethereal and demonic looking head that rose from a purple border just to the left of Naruto. Benitsubasa screamed in shock as the giant head with the large, gaping mouth rose up from the ground like some demon rising from the underworld.
"What the hell is that!?"
Naruto glared at nothing. He focused all of his attention on the King of Hell as he willed it to bring out Musubi's spirit and put it back in her body. He focused, and focused, and focused. It was only after nearly five minutes of unsuccessfully being able to revive Musubi that he realized something important.
Musubi's soul was not at the borders of life and death. Her body wasn't even dead. It was still alive, still breathing, but her heart was no longer pumping blood to the rest of her body. Not that any of this mattered. All that meant was that he couldn't revive her.
Naruto dropped the technique, allowing the King of Hell to vanish back into the realm from whence it came. He lifted Musubi back into his arms. His eyes landed on her face.
"I can't believe it..."
She was gone.
"I can't bring her back..."
What was the point of having all this power if he couldn't even use it when he needed it?
"Why can't I bring her back?"
It should have been easy. He had powers that rivaled even a god. Bringing back the dead was a snap for him, and he'd done it thousands of times in the past. Was it because Musubi was a Sekirei that he couldn't bring her back? Maybe the reason he couldn't bring her back was because she was from a planet that did not recognize his powers. Or perhaps it had something to do with that crest all Sekirei had. Dammit, if only he had more information...
"Hey! You fucking cumquat!" Benitsubasa shouted, finally getting Naruto's attention. "Who the fuck do you think you are!? Barging over here like this and ignoring me! Don't you know who I am!?"
Naruto looked at Benitsubasa for another second longer. He then tilted his head back down to look at Musubi. His long bangs covering his forehead cast the upper half of her face in darkness.
"You...are you the one who took Musubi from me?"
"Huh? Musubi?" Benitsubasa frowned at him. After a moment, she looked down at the half-naked girl lying limply in Naruto's arms. "Oh, you mean that big-breasted bimbo? Yeah, I'm the one who kicked her ass. What of it?"
"I see, I see. So you're the reason I can no longer feel her."
"So? What the fuck are you going to do about it?" Benitsubasa scowled, placing her hands on her hips and glaring at him. She obviously had no clue who she was dealing with.
'This girl, she took Musubi from you...'
Yes. This girl, this Sekirei took Musubi away from him...
"Hey! Are you ignoring me again!?"
'That makes you angry, doesn't it?'
"Yes," Naruto whispered too softly for Benitsubasa to hear him.
"The fuck! Listen to me when I'm talking to you, you fucking pussy!"
'You want to get revenge, don't you? Just like last time?'
"Goddammit! Who the hell do you think you are!? You can't just ignore a member of the Discipline Squad like this!"
'Then you know what you have to do. Destroy her. Make her suffer. Make her feel the pain you feel right now. Kill her.'
"Eh?" Benitsubasa looked down at the blond man. "Did you say something."
Naruto's eyes widened. A scream tore from his throat, unleashing with it all of the rage he felt. Chakra burst from his body in an explosion of power so great it created a shockwave that sent Benitsubasa flying away like a rag doll that had been caught in a maelstrom.
The chakra, a dark, vile looking purple energy, lashed out at everything around him. Large chunks of earth were gouged out of the ground as purple tendrils of chakra struck it. Soon, the dark miasma of energy began to swirl around Naruto like a tornado. It created a large pillar that reached into the very heavens, pushing far passed the atmosphere and Destroying a large number of MBI satellites that were in its path.
As the chakra shot into the air Naruto poured out the emotions that had been bubbling inside of him ever since he'd woken up in this God-forsaken world so many millennial ago. All of his despair, all of his rage, all of his hatred was unleashed upon the world for the first time in almost two-thousand years.
To Benitsubasa, who was staring in terror at the power raging around the blond man, and to every person living in Shinto Teito who had not already passed out from the overwhelming power and hatred, it felt like the world had come to an end.
Homura began jumping backwards, leaping at least one meter each time she jumped back. After each jump the fire user took a large trident would find itself embedded into the spot she had just vacated, penetrating the concrete with incredible force.
These tridents were being conjured by a young woman with short, boyish blond hair and blue eyes. The outfit she was wearing consisted of a red dress that was similar to a sailor fuku uniform. Around her waist, acting a belt was a golden band. She was wearing a tan, short-sleeved jacket that was left open to reveal her modest chest covered by a red dress. On her hands were a pair of black biker gloves, and wrapped around her thighs were black stockings. Her Sekirei uniform was finished with a pair of black shoes.
She had introduced herself as Sekirei number fifty-four, Kuruse, right before attacking Homura with great vigor.
She also happened to be the third Sekirei Homura had fought in the past hour. The fire user didn't know what was going on, but nearly an hour after their mission had started she and Akitsu had found themselves under attack by several Sekirei/Ashikabi pairs. It was beginning to get annoying.
Kuruse conjured sixteen more tridents around her, hurtling each one at Homura. Most of them were dodged as the silver-haired Sekirei moved backwards, but her opponent's aim was getting a lot better; the girl was even beginning to predict her movements and adjust her aim accordingly. That last thrown trident had managed to actually slice through her coat.
She really liked that coat.
Gritting her teeth as several spears homed in on her location, Homura's fists ignited in a blaze of fire. With nary a thought she sent several compressed balls of fire hurtling at the tridents. Her aim was dead-on and each tri-pronged weapon was destroyed in an explosion of flames. The lithe fire user glared into the brilliant blaze of flames before her, waiting.
She didn't have to wait long as Kuruse burst out of the fire seconds later, a trident in each hand. The blond Sekirei ran at Homura with speed, reaching her in a matter of seconds. As soon as she came into contact, the weapon wielder began a coordinated assault with both of her tridents.
Homura was forced to dodge the fast-paced and powerful combination of attacks. She ducked under a quick thrust towards her face, then stepped to the left even as she came up from her sudden crouch. Her left hand ignited and, just as the trident in Kuruse's left hand slashed at her, she dodged to the right by using some seriously fancy footwork and grabbed onto the trident. The entire weapon became ablaze in an inferno of orange and yellow fire, forcing the girl holding the butt end of the weapon to let go and leap back before she too was consumed by the flames.
Despite managing to avoid becoming a living torch, Kuruse was not able to dodge Homura's follow up attack, a powerful sphere of fire that struck her in the face.
The powerful blast of compressed fire detonated with concussive force, making Kuruse stumbled back with a yelp of pain. While the blond girl had her hands pressed to her face as she tried to somehow rub the pain from getting her face nearly burnt off, Homura rushed forward.
She jumped over the other girl, flipping around until she was standing behind Kuruse. Upon landing, Homura then proceeded to place her index finger on the Sekirei Crest located on the back of Kuruse's neck. "I am the flame that shall burn all of the enemies in my Ashikabi's path!"
Kuruse's eyes widened as the crest on her back disappeared. "N-No..." she whispered, her body trembling. "I can't lose...not...here...Ashikabi-sama..." With one last gasp, Kuruse proceeded to topple forward. She would have hit the ground face-firs had Homura not been kind enough to catch her. The trident user was gently laid to rest on the ground.
With a scowl, Homura stood up and glared at the young man who had made his Sekirei attack her. He was a very plain young man, black hair, dark eyes and boring features. He was the kind of man that could easily blend into the background.
"Why are you and all those other people attacking us!?" Homura demanded. When the boy didn't answer her, simply choosing to sit there on his hands and knees staring at his now deactivated Sekirei, she decided he needed a little physical reinforcement. Reaching down and lifting the boy by his shirt, the flame wielder brought him in close and glared. "I'll only ask this one more time, why did you and all of those other Sekirei and Ashikabi attack us."
"I-It...I received a message from the Game Master," the man stuttered as he stared fearfully into the blazing inferno hidden within the depths of Homura's eyes. "He-he said that there were a number of Sekirei causing trouble, and that if we defeated them we would be allowed to leave Japan and live the rest of our lives together without having to take part in the Sekirei plan."
Homura's eyes widened for a second as he listened to the boy's words. A second later they were frowning as she realized what this meant. Immediately thereafter she dropped the young boy, allowing him to scramble away from her as her body literally became encased in writhing, yellow and orange fire due to a loss of control of her power.
"Damn that Minaka!" She growled, the already white shade of the skin of her knuckles turning several shades lighter as she clenched her hands into tight fists. "Damn him to hell!"
The young boy, not wanting to stay there any longer, stood up and tried to run over to the body of his deactivated Sekirei.
He didn't get more than two feet before he was forced to his knee as what felt like a thousand fold increase in the earth's gravity crashed into him like the wrath of an entire pantheon of angry gods. Homura was also forced to her knees, but unlike the boy, who had passed out almost immediately after the feeling began crushing him, the lithe fire user was not only awake and able to experience the emotions associated with this incredible force, she also knew where, or to be more precise, who it was coming from.
Asama Miya smiled to herself as she watched Kusano pout. The little Sekirei looked so cute with her arms crossed over her chest as she sat in front of the table with her cheeks puffed up and her eyes narrowed as she glared at nothing. She really was quite adorable.
"What's wrong Ku-chan?" Miya asked, even though she already knew the answer.
"Ku-chan wanted to help onii-chan," the Green Girl pouted, "But onii-chan said Ku-chan's not old enough to help onii-chan. Onii-chan's a meanie. Baka, baka, baka, baka, muuu~!"
Miya almost shook her head at the little girl. "Naruto-san only wants you to remain safe, Ku. You still can't control your powers very well."
"Ku-chan knows that," Kusano said with all the petulance of a child. "But Ku-chan is twaining! She's getting strong. Ku-chan...Ku-chan can help onii-chan."
Leaning down, Miya ruffled the youngest Sekirei's hair. "Well, I guess Ku-chan will just have to show onii-chan how strong she is when he gets back."
Ku-chan smiled at that, nodding her head with an effusive "Mm hm!" that caused Miya to smile.
Turning her attention away from the Green Girl, Miya looked out of the large porch window to see the sky was filled with fire and smoke. A small frown crossed her face as the atmosphere lit up from more explosions. She blinked when she saw several buildings located somewhere in the center of Tokyo crumble violently. And was it just her, or was the earth actually beginning to shake?
That incredible destruction of property had Naruto's name written all over it. Was this a part of his plan to help Haruka and Kuno get out of Shinto Teito? What did all of that violence and devastation serve? Deciding that she was going to find out, Miya left the living room and made her way up to Matsu's hidden bedroom.
Matsu was sitting in front of her dozens of screens, typing away on her key board. As the light reflected off her features, Miya saw a small bead of sweat trickle down the side of the perverted Sekirei's face. She looked like she was having difficulties with something, though just what that something was Miya couldn't say.
As she walked further into the room, Miya glanced around at all of the monitors. Many of the screens were currently centered on various members of Naruto's harem. Miya could see Uzume, Hikari and Hibiki battling against three Sekirei who appeared to have ambushed them on the way home. Homura and Akitsu were also locked in combat with a group of Sekirei. Meanwhile, Musubi and Tsukiumi were duking it out with two members of the Discipline Squad.
"Where is Naruto?" asked Miya as she stepped up behind Matsu to stare at the monitors, a small frown marring her beautiful face. "I do not see him on any of these monitors."
"I've disabled every camera in his vicinity," Matsu answered, her fingers speeding across the keyboard. "Tch! It looks like MBI knows I'm hacking into their system. They're constantly changing their security algorithms in an attempt to keep me out. Dammit, just staying hooked in is going to be a task, never mind retaining control over the satellites."
"What of the satellite near Naruto?" asked Miya. "If you are still in control of them for now, couldn't you fix one of them on Naruto to see what he is up to?"
"Even if I could I wouldn't," Matsu said, "Naruto-san doesn't want MBI having any chance of getting whatever it is he's up to on record. If I set an MBI satellite on him, then Minaka would be able to see everything that happened even though I'm in control of their satellites."
"I see," Miya sighed, "Well I certainly wouldn't want that man to see anything he might be able to use against Naruto." She was curious to see what Naruto was up to while his Sekirei were fighting, but she didn't want to do so at the cost of giving Minaka anything he could use against Naruto.
"And besides that, I can't actually bring any satellites around to watch Naruto-san, not without making some serious adjustments to their trajectory." Matsu was practically gritting her teeth now as she attempted to stay in MBI's system. "The satellite that was supposed to be watching in Naruto's general vicinity was destroyed."
"Destroyed?" Miya blinked. "Destroyed by what?" What could possibly destroy one of MBI's satellites? Those things had their own defense systems, and Miya knew that nothing short of a nuclear explosion would be enough to put those things down.
"Not by what, by who," Matsu corrected. She typed some more on the keyboard and quickly pulled up the only video file Naruto had allowed the MBI satellite to take of him.
Miya narrowed her eyes as she watched a figure clad head to toe in black who looked like he was staring directly into the satellites camera lens. The figure then lifted a hand and slowly clenched it into a fist. As they did this, the screen began to grow fuzzy with static. The amount of white noise increased with each passing second before, with almost startling suddenness, the screen went completely blank.
"Those eyes..." Miya had never seen such an unusual set of eyes before. Were those eyes even human? They looked more like the eyes of some otherworldly being. Not only were they highly unusual with their strange ripple pattern, but they also looked inhumanly powerful with the way they were glowing.
Despite the inhumanity those eyes contained, Miya could almost instantly recognize them.
"That is Naruto."
"How did he destroy that satellite?"
"You're guess is as good as mine," Matsu said, "Despite the amount of time I've spent trying to find out what I can about him, I haven't been very successful. The only thing I've been able to find are a few photos that have been posted online and a portrait made a long time ago." Not just a long time ago, but nearly five centuries ago. She did not know if that portrait was of Naruto himself or just a relative. It looked exactly like him, but there was simply no way a portrait made in 1523 BC could possibly be of her Ashikabi.
"I see," Miya pursed her lips before making a decision. "I believe Naruto and I will be having a very long talk when he gets home from this mission." She nodded her head to herself. Yes, a nice, long chat between her and Naruto was definitely going to be needed when he got back.
She wondered if she should get out her katana for this conversation.
Just as she was thinking about this, Miya and Matsu were sent to the ground as an incredible, overwhelming force began crushing them under its weight. Miya's eyes widened as he found herself lying on her stomach, struggling to breath. She managed to push herself to her hands and knees, where she began to breath heavily as she tried to finish standing to her feet.
And then came the hatred.
Bile rose up in her throat. She felt like vomiting as what she could only describe as all of the world's hatred swept over her like an avalanche. Every single negative emotion that had ever existed overwhelmed her senses, sending her mind spinning and making her dizzy.
Gritting her teeth, Miya struggled not to let herself fall face first to the ground. She looked over at Matsu to see the red head had already passed out. Her eyes were wide open and drool escaped her lips. Her body was twitching and spasming as intense negative emotions overwhelmed her. And if Matsu was unable cope then...
With a supreme amount of effort, Miya struggled to her feet. Her legs shook as she walked out of Matsu's hidden room, down the stairs and into the living room. When she got there it was to see Kusano lying on the floor, curled up into a ball and her body shaking even worse than Matsu's. Surprisingly enough the little girl was still conscious, but there were tears pouring down her face as she sniffled and hiccuped.
"Ku," Miya worked her way over to the Green Girl. Each step she took required more effort than the last. Her legs felt like they would give out on her at any second. When she finally managed to reach Kusano, she knelt down and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Ku, are you okay?" she asked, even though she knew it was a stupid question. Of course she wasn't okay. She was suffering under a planets worth of hatred and darkness. How could she be okay after that?
"Onii-chan..." Kusano curled herself into an even tighter ball, her arms wrapping around her shaking legs as she brought her knees to her chest. "Onii-chan is hurt...onii-chan he...he...he..." As Kusano began wailing as the overwhelming power began increasing exponentially, Miya found herself staring at the little girl in shock and confusion.
'Onii-chan?' Her mind was so overpowered by the negative emotions that it took her a second to realize who Kusano was talking about. 'Naruto!?' Was she saying that he was the cause of this overwhelming darkness? But how could that be?
Looking out at the window once more, Miya's eyes widened as she saw the large pillar of dark purple energy rising into the heavens. What on earth was going on?
Miya and Homura were not the only ones to feel the undeniable and overwhelming pressure from Naruto's power and rage. All across Shinto Teito people, both humans and Sekirei, were literally sent crashing face first to the ground, unable to get up as the inexplicable amounts of power and hatred made them feel like gravity had increased by a factor of ten.
Most of those people were lucky enough to lose consciousness almost as soon as they were sent to the ground, incapable of withstanding the full brunt of Naruto's hatred. Those few who were unfortunate enough to have a stronger will suffered much longer before succumbing to the bliss of unconsciousness. A few particularly unfortunate individuals, mostly those who were in the hospital and those people who had some kind of disease that made their mind or body fragile, died as their hearts literally exploded within their chest.
The Sekirei had it particularly hard as their powers made them stronger and more able to withstand the awesome might bearing down on them like the wrath of an enraged god. Some might consider this increased strength a blessing, but all it meant was that they felt the unbearable power that was crushing them into the ground that much longer.
Of course, none had it worse than Benitsubasa, who was the closest person to the blond figure all of this power and rage was coming from. Lying flat on her face, the Sekirei with light red hair stared at nothing with sightless, glazed over eyes as drool escaped her mouth. Her body was twitching intermittently and she had long since lost control of her bladder.
Because her adjusters had souped her up to be much stronger than the average double-digit, she was still conscious, most unfortunately. And because she had not passed into sweet oblivion, the young-looking pink head was forced to endure the insufferable torture as her body was crushed and her mind was bombarded not just by the blond immortal's rage and hatred, but by visions.
'Agony lanced up her body as a thousand sharp blades sliced into her, cutting straight through her flesh, muscle and bones like a hot knife through butter. Blood sprayed from the many wounds that opened up on her body, splattering across the ground. Sharp, unbearable pain slashed across her arms and legs as they were cut into several different pieces. She didn't even feel as her back hit the ground, the pain from having her limbs slashed apart was overwhelming. As she stared at the sky, her eyes widened as she saw a sword descending from the heavens...'
A gasp escaped her lips as visions of her death, her death, filled her mind, consuming all that she was in a never ending cycle of violence and gore.
'Benitsubasa was unable to do anything as clawed hands tore into her body. Blood flew through the air as nails raked across her chest, creating long, deep trenches in her flesh. Crimson liquid trailed down her lithe figure and pain overrode all other senses. But that pain was nothing compared to what she felt when a hand was suddenly and violently thrust straight through her stomach. As Benitsubasa doubled over, blood and spittle dribbling down her mouth in equal measures, a hand with sharps claws clamped down over her mouth and began to squeeze. Screams emitted from her mouth, muffled by the hand as strong digits began to crush her jaw. The last thing the red-haired Sekirei saw was sharp nails striking at her throat.'
A shudder coursed through her body as the vision went away. Her legs and front were slick with a combination of sweat and urine, which had formed a large, ever expanding puddle underneath her. Tears leaked out from her eyes as she prayed for the visions to stop. She just wanted this to end.
The visions did indeed end after a while. Even the pressure let up enough that Benitsubasa could raise her head and stare at the pillar of energy. It was shrinking, the purple pillar that had once rose up to the sky, piercing the very heavens themselves, became smaller and smaller until it disappeared entirely, revealing Naruto still crouched on the ground and holding Musubi.
There was a deep circular scar surrounding him from where his power had literally cut straight through the earth. It was almost like the tornado of energy had somehow been confined to that one spot, even though everyone in the entire city, and maybe even the entire world, had felt it.
Gently setting Musubi down on the ground, Naruto stood up and took several steps forward. It was then that Benitsubasa got a good look at the young-looking man.
Not much about him had changed physically. He still looked the same as he always did. The difference lay in the dark wisps of purple energy that wafted off his form like some kind of vile toxic mist, and the way his hair seemed to wave in a strong breeze that did not exist.
Quite possibly the most obvious change in Naruto was how his body seemed to be disintegrating before Benitsubasa's eyes. The power he had unleashed caused his shirt and pants to tear, exposing his torso. She bore witness to how his left arm blackened and cracked before crumbling into dust, only to reform seconds later as pristine as ever. After that the left side of his face began to crack and disintegrate to reveal the decaying muscles of in his face and his cracking teeth. The skin reformed soon after, but even as it healed itself at an astonishing rate his left leg began to decompose and waste away.
It was the most disgusting thing Benitsubasa had ever seen. She wanted to turn away from the putrid sight, but found herself unable to so much as move an inch. It was like watching a train wreck. No matter how much you didn't want to watch it, you just couldn't look away.
"What...what the hell this? What the hell is he?" Benitsubasa's horrified whisper sounded surprisingly loud. It was so loud that it had the unfortunate effect of making Naruto focus on her. And that was when Benitsubasa saw it. More horrifying than the dark energy wafting off him with repugnant vileness, more terror inducing than the way his body seemed to be disintegrating and healing in equally rapid measures, his eyes inspired unfathomable amount of fear the likes of which she had never known.
Those eyes. They were no longer the same purple eyes with the ripple like pattern. Now they were red, both sclera and iris were a bloody crimson that glowed with an unholy light. Several black circles like ripples on the waters surface spread from where the pupils should have been to the rest of the eyes, expanding outwards. Nine tomoe could be seen within his eyes. They followed the circumference of each ripple starting at the inner most one and moving outward. Each ripple had three tomoe each.
More than just the way they looked, it was the immeasurable amounts of power and rage within those eyes that caused Benitsubasa to quake in fear.
As she continued to stare at Naruto with wide eyes the monster (because in her mind, Naruto could be nothing else) disappeared. There was no indication that he had moved. One second he was there, the next he was not.
Benitsubasa cried out in pain as something gripped the back of her head with unbearable force. Fingers clenched around her skull, causing her to scream as the feeling of her skull being crushed overrode her senses and made her feel nothing but the incomprehensible agony of incredibly powerful digits cracking her cranium. She grabbed onto the hand, trying to force it off, but it was no use and she was soon lifted off the ground.
"You're the one who took Musubi away from me..." Naruto whispered, his voice sounding like there were several different people speaking at once rather than one. As he spoke, Benitsubasa's legs kicked out to try and force him to let go. It didn't work. No matter how hard she kicked or even where she kicked him, Naruto was as immovable as a rock.
The hands soon slackened, allowing her to fall to the ground. She didn't get far as Naruto lashed out with a kick with spine snapping force. As her eyes widened and her mouth opened in a silent scream of agony, Benitsubasa was sent blasting away with the speed of a fighter jet going full-throttle. Her body soon struck the wall of a nearby building, plowed straight through that wall, then came out the other side where she hit the ground and tumbled across the street like a rag doll.
Coughing and choking as she tried overcoming the pain in her back, Benitsubasa tried to stand up.
She had barely even managed to push herself to her hands and knees before a foot struck her in the face with incredible force, causing her to soar high into the air. The physical anguish her body was suffering under caused the pink head to instinctively close her eyes as her body flew higher and higher.
She would have been better off leaving them open. At least then she would have seen the heel of a booted foot descending towards her face.
With a cry of pain, Benitsubasa was sent hurtling to the ground, a loud sonic boom echoing across the city to mark her descent. Her body struck the earth with impressive force. A large crater formed around her. The ground was up-heaved and large chunks of cement were broken apart as a series of spiderweb like cracks formed around her body.
Benitsubasa lay there, panting and grunting, tears leaking out of her eyes and streaming down her cheeks as the pain overwhelmed her. Those same eyes soon widened as they saw Naruto descending from above, right before his fist was driven into her gut with the force of gravity behind his strike.
Blood and spittle flew out of her mouth as her body folded over the fist implanted into her gut. All around them the ground exploded as a shockwave traveled out from underneath her body due to the amount of power that had been put into Naruto's strike.
A hand soon clamped on her face. Benitsubasa would have put up one hell of a struggle, but with the pain she felt and the way her body had literally been broken, she didn't really have much strength left to put up a fight. Thus the young girl with pink hair was lifted off the ground and then forced onto her knees.
"Now tell me what it is you cherish most," Naruto said, a twisted grin on his face. "Give me the pleasure of taking it away."
"I..." Benitsubasa grit her teeth as she tried not to let her terror induced fear overcome her. "I won't...tell you...anything..."
"Hmmm..." A malicious chuckled escaped his lips. "I see, so you cherish your Ashikabi above everything else. Natsuo, is it?" Benitsubasa stiffened. How had he known that? She hadn't said anything! "How interested. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised."
The blond man, his body still in a constant state of decomposition and regeneration, knelt down to whisper in Benitsubasa's ear.
"Do you know the best way to kill a human?" asked Naruto. Benitsubasa began to shake. "The first step towards killing a human is to inject them with the poison of a paralyzing agent. There is a snake in the jungles of South America that not only paralysis its victims, but can also keep them alive no matter the injury they receive by forcing their heart to continue beating. It only lasts for about an hour," he added to the quaking pink-haired girl. "But an hour is long enough to break some pathetic human."
By now the young Sekirei in Naruto's grasp was hyperventilating. The man with eyes that seemed to embody the very definition of darkness grinned at her when he saw this.
"After the venom has been injected you can do whatever you want. I personally like to slowly peel the skin off their muscles. There are tools to accomplish this, but I always felt it was more satisfying to use my hands. Their stronger than any pair of pliers anyway." A pause. Naruto tilted his head to the side with an almost quizzical expression. He then shook his head and began grinning again. "After their skin has been peeled off and their muscles and organs exposed to the open air, you need to hang them by a pair of meat hooks. You see, the next step is to lower them down into a large vat of alcohol. It's a very painful experience from what I know. The screams humans give when I do this to them creates quite the symphony."
He looked at Benitsubasa with those crimson eyes that had nine tomoe and smiled at her, nearly causing the Sekirei in his grasp to die of a terror induced heart attack.
"I wonder...perhaps I should do that to your precious Natsuo..."
"No..." Tears ran down Benitsubasa's face as she pleaded with the entity before her. "Please...please don't...please don't hurt my Natsuo...I beg of you..."
"Oh my, resorting to begging, are we?" The smile on Naruto's face turned into a vicious snarl as he suddenly smashed Benitsubasa's face into the ground. The red head cried out as he literally began grinding her face into the cement with enough force that several layers of skin were peeled off and blood began leaking from the wounds. "And why should I even bother listening to you!? Huh!? You killed my Musubi!" He lifted her head and slammed it back into the ground. "You took her from me!" Another slam. The earth cracked and Benitsubasa cried out. "You!" Slam. "Took!" Slam! "Her!" Slam. "From me!" Crunch! "I can't even bring her back thanks to you!"
He pried her head from the indent it made in the large crater to stare into her half-lidded eyes. Benitsubasa's face was in bad shape. Several areas were missing skin, allowing not only copious amounts of blood to leak out of her, but also revealing the bone and muscles in her jaw. The skin around her eyes were large, black and swollen and there were a number of lacerations littering her face.
Naruto leaned in, his breath washing against her face and causing Benitsubasa to shudder. "It's only right that I return the favor, don't you think?"
"No?" Naruto was grinning again, "You don't get to make this decision. I am going to kill your Ashikabi."
"I am going to kill him, and I am going to force you to watch."
"Please...please don't kill my Natsuo...please..."
The smile on Naruto's face was vicious as he watched the despair fill the young Sekirei's eyes. He watched as salty liquid poured form her eyes and stung her face as they entered her wounds. He drank in her suffering like a fine wine.
Naruto turned his head to look at Tsukiumi as she stumbled his way towards him. The blond-haired water user flinched when she got a good look at him, but did not stop moving forward. From the way she was breathing heavily, it was clear she had run all the way here despite being nearly crushed by the weight of his hatred.
"Husband, please stop this!" As she reached his side, the water user dropped to her knees and clasped his arm, holding onto it even as it began decaying. "This isn't you! Please stop doing this!"
"Tsukiumi," Naruto smiled at her. It was a warm smile, despite how freaky it looked as the skin on his face to deteriorate to reveal his bones and teeth. "I love you, but please do not stand in my way. I have to do this...for Musubi..."
"Musubi?" Tsukiumi looked around, wondering where her rival for the title of wife was. It was only after a good deal of searching that she found Musubi lying on the ground nearly two dozen meters away. She was moving. "Musubi!" Her blond hair whipped around as she stared wide eyed at Naruto. "Husband, is she...Musubi..."
"She's dead," Naruto said softly, his teeth grit. "She's dead and it was this girl who took her from me."
Tsukiumi waffled for a moment, but quickly steeled herself. "Musubi wouldn't want you to do this. You know she wouldn't!"
"It doesn't matter what she would or wouldn't want because she's dead!" Naruto's glare almost made Tsukiumi let go out of him. "Gone! Don't you get it!? I can't feel her anymore!"
"That's why you need to get out of the way," Naruto continued, "I need to make this bitch suffer! I need to make her feel the same pain I feel!"
"Are you even listening to yourself!?" Tsukiumi shook her head back and forth before looking at her Ashikabi imploringly. "This isn't you! You might not have any trouble hurting people, but you're not the type to make others suffer needlessly. Not like this."
"You obviously haven't been paying attention to what's going on around you," Naruto said dryly. "I don't care who dies so long as I get what I want. As long as it accomplishes my goals, the deaths of a few hundred or even a few thousand don't matter."
Balking for a second, Tsukiumi got over her shock quickly. "That may be the case, but you would never torture someone just for the sake of torturing them. I know you, and I know that this isn't you!"
Naruto shook his head in a pitying manner. This girl, she knew nothing about him. She did not know of the depths he had gone to, the darkness he had allowed to enter his heart. Tsukiumi had no idea how depraved he could be when the mood struck him. There was a reason the Greek Gods were both feared and awed in equal measure, why the bible was filled with stories of the world being flooded and cities of people being wiped out.
"Tsukiumi," his voice was still warm, but there was now a hint of warning in it. "I am only going to say this one more time. Do not stand in my way."
"And I'm telling you that I won't let you do this!" Tsukiumi shouted back. "You are my husband and I am your wife. And as your wife it is my job to make sure you don't stray from your chosen path and degrade yourself by living in darkness like this!"
Naruto smiled at her. "Tsukiumi." The beautiful blond looked at him, a smile on her face as well...right up until the point where he struck her on the cheek and sent her flying several yards away. When she sat up, tears in her eyes and a large bruise forming on her cheek, it was to see Naruto glaring at her. "If you are not with me, you are against me. Do not go against me, Tsukiumi, or you will regret it."
Tsukiumi stared at the back of the blond man she had created a bond with in shock. Her hand went to her cheek where she could still feel the sting of his slap, frustrated and hurt tears welling up in her eyes. He had just hit her. Her husband had just...no. No! This man was not her husband! Her husband was unusual, a mass of contradictions, and he didn't even seem to know who he was anymore, but he was also kind and compassionate, and he helped people even when he had no reason to. This...this thing before her, hurting that Sekirei with pink hair, drinking in her suffering as if it were a fine wine, was not her husband.
Knowing that she couldn't reach him, that whatever had taken control of the man she loved was beyond her ability to defeat, Tsukiumi decided to go to the one person who could reach him. She rushed over to Musubi and knelt down, taking the girl in her arms and beginning to shake her...violently.
"Wake up, Musubi!"
No response. Tsukiumi began to shake her more.
"Wake up, damn you!"
"Wake up, damn you!"
Musubi blinked as the words penetrated the place where she was and echoed all around her. She looked around, searching for the voice, but couldn't find anything. The voice was simply bouncing around everywhere.
Not like she'd be able to find anything in this place anyway. She didn't know where this place was, or how she got there. All she knew was that she had been fighting that really strong Sekirei and then she had woken up here.
"Here" was just what Musubi called the white space she'd found herself in. All around her everywhere she looked was white, stretching out for miles...maybe. It was hard to tell just how far the space stretched out because it was all one uniform color. There didn't seem to be any floors either, as she couldn't feel anything beneath her feet.
"Hmmm..." Musubi placed a finger against her lips and looked up. "How did Musubi get here? Where is here?"
Blinking, the young girl looked around the space as another voice echoed through it. It was a familiar voice. Musubi could swear she had heard it before.
As she looked around, she saw that there was nothing there, or so she thought.
Several feet in front of her a figure materialized. The person, a woman, looked almost like a carbon copy of Musubi herself. She had brown hair in a style almost identical to Musubi's with just a few minor difference in length and a single strand of hair on top of her head. Really, the biggest difference, or rather, the smallest difference between them two, was her breasts; they were much smaller than Musubi's.
"Ah!" Musubi gasped, "It's Yume-sama!"
Yume smiled. "Hello, Musubi."
"What are you doing here?" Musubi blinked, then looked around some more, "And just where is here?"
"I suppose you could say we're in your mind."
Musubi just tilted her head. "My mind?"
"Yes," Yume spread her arms, encompassing the area around this. "This place is your mind, well, it's a place inside of you. I personally prefer calling this place your soul scape."
"Soul...scape...?" Musubi looked at the other woman with an expression that told Yume the girl was completely lost, causing the older, more experienced Sekirei to giggle.
"Don't worry about where we are too much, you won't be here for much longer." Yume smiled gently at the girl. "You need to go back?"
"Go back? Back where?"
"Back to the outside world, of course," Yume answered in a "duh" kind of voice. "Your Ashikabi needs you."
"My Ashikabi?" It took Musubi a second to figure out what Yume was talking about. When she did, her eyes widened. "Naruto-Sama!"
"Yes, your Ashikabi is suffering greatly because of your absence. The loss of his bond with you has caused his mind to snap." Yume frowned for a second before continuing. "Naruto-san seems to have suffered a great deal throughout the years. I do not know what he has been through to become the person he is now, but I believe that after whatever suffering he has gone through, the loss of you was the last straw. You need to go back to him. Right now you are the only one who can snap him out of his rage."
"Yes!" Musubi looked determined. She clenched her hand into a fist and brought it up to her face. "Musubi will go to Naruto-Sama and help him anyway she can!"
"That's the spirit!" Yume cheered, looking almost like a more mature version of Musubi. She even had her own fist clenched and was standing in a similar stance. "Now go! Go and help your Ashikabi! For Love!"
"For Love!" Musubi parroted with an identical expression right down the fire in her eyes.
The busty young woman soon vanished, disappearing in a burst of spirit particles.
Now left alone, Yume stared at the spot where Musubi had been standing. A second later, she smiled. "Musubi, it is up to you to save your Ashikabi. You are the only one who can truly understand Naruto, and therefore the only one who can bring him back from the brink of darkness that he has fallen into."
Musubi felt someone shaking her as she woke up. Her eyelids fluttering open, the brown-haired, large chested Sekirei was greeted to the sight of an angry and frustrated Tsukiumi shaking her violently.
"Dammit Musubi! I demand that you wake up right now! There is simply no way my rival could be defeated so easily!"
"Uwa-wa-wa-wa, T-Tsukiumi-s-san, I'm awake!"
"I swear on the honor of my crest that if you don't wake up right now, I'm going to―eh?"
Tsukiumi blinked. Once. Twice. Thrice. She then looked down to see Musubi staring at her with swirly eyes while her head wobbled back and forth dizzily.
"Musubi!" Tsukiumi cried out as she pulled the girl into a fierce hug.
Tsukiumi just held onto her tighter. "I swear if you ever scare me like that again I...I...I don't know what I'll do, but your going to regret it if you ever worry me like that again!"
"I'm sorry," Musubi said as she hugged Tsukiumi back, "I'll try not to worry you again."
"That's not important right now," Tsukiumi pulled away from the girl and stared at her with a hard look. In return, Musubi just looked confused. "You need to stop Naruto! He's going out of control!"
At the mention of their Ashikabi, Musubi's eyes automatically went to Naruto. He was standing in front of Benitsubasa, his hand on her head, and he seemed to be talking. Whatever he was talking about it was obvious that he was taking some kind of sick pleasure with it; there was a dark and twisted grin on his face that she had never seen before.
She knew right away that the person she was seeing was not Naruto. He had Naruto's body, he spoke in Naruto's voice, but he was not Naruto.
"Don't worry, Tsukiumi-san!" Musubi gave the blond woman a smile. Standing up, her face took on a determined expression as she looked down at her rival for the position of Naruto's wife. "I'll bring our husband back!"
"Our husband..." Tsukiumi tested the words for a second before smiling. She gave the brunette a nod. "I'm counting on you."
Musubi poked her tongue out from between her lips and winked. "Hehe, just leave it to me!"
Naruto smiled as he watched Benitsubasa begin to truly break. He was so close now, so close to destroying her mind completely. It would not be long now before this girl became nothing more than an empty shell, a fitting end for the person who took Musubi from him. Death would be too easy for her.
Naruto's eyes widened. That voice! He knew that voice, almost as well as he knew his own, but it shouldn't be possible to hear that voice! She was dead! Gone! Not even he had been able to bring her back!
"Naruto-Sama! Stop this!"
Slowly, Naruto turned around. As he did his eyes widened when he got sight of the person walking towards him. It was Musubi. She was there, alive. But how was this possible?
"Impossible," Naruto shook his head, an attempt at denying the sight before him. "There's no way you can be Musubi...there's no way you can be her!"
"Of course Musubi is Musubi, Naruto-Sama." The fake even talked like her. "Who else would Musubi be?"
"No. No, no, no, no, no!" In an effort to get away from the young woman walking towards him, Naruto let go of Benitsubasa's head, allowing the drooling, insensate mass of flesh to crumble to the ground. Without having Naruto grabbing her head to support her, the pink head had no way of keeping herself upright. "You can't be her! You can't be Musubi! I felt her die! You're not her! You're not!"
Tripping over a lose piece of pavement, Naruto fell backwards to the ground. Even still he continued scrambling away from the woman who was getting closer and closer with each passing second.
"Stay back! I said stay back!" Naruto thrust his hand forward, shooting out a wave of invisible energy that caused the air to ripple in front of him. It traveled towards Musubi, but ended up passing right by her head, ruffling her hair. In that entire time, the busty Sekirei had not stopped walking forward.
Eventually Naruto found himself pressed up against one of the many up-heaved pieces of pavement that littered the street. Even with nowhere to go his legs continued trying to push him backwards.
Musubi knelt down next to him, a sad expression on her face as she saw Naruto's reaction to her revival. He must be truly broken if he had not even sensed their bond being reestablished.
Well, she would just have to fix that.
"It really is me, Naruto-Sama," she said in a voice that sounded a good deal more mature than normal. "I'm back."
"No..." he shook his head. "No. It can't be you. Musubi can't be back. I felt it...I felt it! It just...I...I..." Whatever Naruto had been trying to say became stuck in his throat as Musubi pulled his head to her chest, letting it rest against her bosom.
"My Naruto-Sama," Musubi began stroking his hair with great tenderness and care. "You really have suffered so much, haven't you? Don't worry, Musubi is here and she won't let anything happen to you anymore. You're safe."
Naruto did not answer her. The moment Musubi had touched him the Sekirei bond had reestablished itself and flared up inside of the blond immortal. An infinite well of love and acceptance filled him, overflowed from him.
It was too much. For a man who had lived for as long as he had, who had seen the worst humanity had to offer and delved into some of the darkest reaches of his soul, having that much love and compassion filling him was simply too much.
As the incredible warmth and feelings engulfed him, Naruto slowly closed his eyes. The last thing he saw was a very large breast capped with a light pink nipple.
What a great sight to fall asleep to.
This marks the end of the Escape from Shinto Teito arc. I'm pretty excited by this, because now that the arc I've been wanting to get out of the way for a long time is done and over with, I can focus on the REAL story. From here on out almost everything in this story is going to be original content. No more following canon except for one small and more or less inconsequential moment for this story. From here on out, it's all original...or as original as a fanfiction can get.
For now though, I plan on finishing Book 2 of my Harry Potter series. It's only about 3 chapters from being done, so I want to finish it up soon.