New chapter! Sorry it's taken me so long to update, I had some major computer problems, and just haven't had time to do any writing. Also, once I lost about 3,000 words of work, I just lost the 'mood'. In addition to that, the 'official' title this chapter had (the one I save it on my computer as) is: Hanyou_no_Yoko-Chapter_3-Version_4-Part1of2. That probably gives you some idea why I was so late with this. So sorry, and I hope you enjoy the newest chapter of Hanyou no Yoko!
Disclaimer: It isn't even worth your time to sue me even if I didn't say I didn't own Naruto, or any other manga/anime/anything. Which I didn't, but let's not get into technicalities here.
Key to speaking:
'Demon / powerful person speaking, inside mind'
"Demon / powerful person speaking, outside mind"
'I'm thinking' (First person)
'Speaking, inside mind'
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique)!", Naruto shouted, forming a clone to either side of himself.
"Good job Naruto, you pass.", Iruka said, handing Naruto a headband. Naruto accepted the headband and then returned to his seat.
"Good job to all of you.", Iruka said, standing from his desk. "From now on, you are all shinobi of Konohagakure. Your task will not be an easy one, but I congratulate you for accepting the responsibilities that come with the title. When you come back in a week, you will be assigned a jounin sensei. They will be your mentors and guides until you are ready to go out on your own. I only have one thing to say to all of you, and that is: good luck, you're definitely going to need it."
"Now go out, and make me proud to have been your sensei!"
"Yup, just got it today!", Naruto said, pointing to his newly acquired headband while stuffing his face in a bowl of ramen, while beside him, a boy looking about his age was eating his with equal vigor.
The boy beside him, the same one who had introduced himself as Tomodachi three years ago, lifted his face out of the bowl to congratulate Naruto. "So, have you told Atsuko yet?"
"No, I should do that." Naruto walked away from the stand, then yelled "Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"
In a puff of smoke, a red two-tailed fox appeared in front of Naruto. In another puff of smoke, the fox had turned into a young girl, appearing about five or six years old. "Naruto-nii-san!", she yelled, running towards Naruto and embracing him in a hug.
"Hey Atsuko.", Naruto greeted. "Man, you act like you haven't seen me in years; it's only been, what, three days since I've seen you."
"Mm. No way, it was longer than that nii-san.", Atsuko said,walking over to the ramen stand and climbing onto one if the stools.
"Hey Atsuko.", Teuchi greeted. "The usual?"
"Yup!", Atsuko responded.
Teuchi walked into the back of the stand, and instead of returning with a bowl of ramen, was carrying a tray with several Anpan (Sweet buns filled with red bean paste), which Atsuko happily began eating.
"So, Naruto, what are you going to do now?", Ayame asked, returning from the back of the stand with another bowl of ramen.
"Thanks.", Naruto said, accepting the bowl. "I don't know. Actually, no, I do. I need to visit Kurama; he told me he'd tell me something once I became a genin."
"Well, good luck with that, I guess.", she said.
"Okay, thanks." Naruto said. While he knew that both of the Ichirakus were slightly uncomfortable with most of his dealings with things like kitsune, or, to some extent, ninja in general, as it was an extremely dangerous occupation, they were getting better. Admittedly though, it was hard to get over the fact that one of the people he knew fairly well had almost single-handedly destroyed Kohona.
"So... Naruto.", Teuchi said, eager to change the subject. "Is Yoko getting back soon?"
"I don't know, I think she said she'd be back tomorrow.", Naruto replied. "Her schedule's pretty weird though, so she could be back today, or next week."
"Oh, that's too bad.", he said. "I think she would've wanted to be back here to see your graduation."
"Yeah, but she's always out on some intelligence mission or something.", Naruto said, still eating his ramen, albeit at a slower pace now.
"Well, I guess there's not much we can do for you, but good luck anyways.", said Ayame.
Both of the kitsune (and the half-kitsune) eventually left the ramen stand for Yoko's house, where they would stay overnight before departing for the Kitsune no Hayashi in the morning.
Naruto appeared at the entrance to the forest in a small puff of smoke. Below him was the fuuinjutsu-laden patch of earth which controlled summoning to and from the area, and ahead of him was the entrance to the forest.
A single torii, blood-red and almost 10 meters tall guarded the entrance to the forest. On either side of it were two pure white kyuubi foxes, one holding a scroll, and one holding a key. They had the appearance of inspecting anyone who entered the gate, which Naruto personally found quite eerie.
After walking down the path for a while, he eventually found himself at the crossroads of the forest. To every side of him were paths, leading to separate compounds, and in addition to that there were several holes in the ground, leading to the system of tunnels dug underneath the forest.
He thought it fortunate, then, that the path he needed was the simplest, directly across from the entrance path. It was the path leading to both Kurama's estate, and, farther down, the Elder's.
"Hello!", Naruto yelled, walking up to the building. Similarly to the torii at the entrance to the forest, there were two kyuubi no kitsune near the entrance, except instead of holding anything in their mouths, they looked primed to attack. They glared at intruders, almost as if to say 'If you aren't welcome here, you'd best leave.' Somehow though, Naruto actually found these foxes more comforting than those at the entrance. They gave a sense of security to the building, separating it from the wild forest surrounding it.
"Oh, Naruto, what are you doing here?", Kurama asked, almost as if he didn't know already.
"You told me you'd tell me something once I became a genin, didn't you?", Naruto said. "Well, I'm a genin now, it's time for you to make good on that."
"Ah, yes. I did, didn't I.", Kurama said, rubbing his chin as if contemplating something. "Well, come in."
Naruto followed him into the building, where he led him into a washitsu adjacent to a room with a bar in it, from which Kurama got cups of tea for both of them. "So, you want to know what I wouldn't tell you then, ne?", he said, taking a drink from his tea.
"Yeah.", Naruto said. "What is it?"
"First, let's recap what you should already know.", Kurama said, holding up a hand for Naruto's quiet. "On the day you were born I attacked Konoha, resulting in the largest loss of life since the Great Shinobi Wars. The Yondaime Hokage, Namikaze Minato managed to defeat me, with the help of the Sandaime Hokage and Gamabunta, the Boss Toad. He sealed me into a baby that had just born, you, with the help of the Shinigami, using a variant of the Jinchuuriki (Power of Human Sacrifice) seals. Using his life as barter, him and the Shinigami sealed my chakra and consciousness into you. That worked out fine until the seal began to break down, for reasons even I don't understand. I'm still not 100 percent sure what would've happened if it broke down entirely, but no matter what, it wouldn't have been good. So, instead of letting it, I formed an agreement with both the Sandaime and a seal master, Jiraiya, to release me, in exchange for promising never to take hostile actions against Konoha, at least without just cause."
"I still can't believe they let you go with just a promise.", Naruto said.
"A kitsune never breaks its promises, even hito-kitsune.", Kurama said. "You should know that, it is nearly the basis of your nindou, isn't it?"
"Yeah, I guess.", Naruto admitted.
"Anyways, back to the story.", Kurama said. "We went through the very lengthy process of unsealing, which would prepare you to separate our chakra systems, at least enough to not die halfway through. But it's nearly impossible to cleanly separate the two chakras. Someone always loses something. Often it's the jinchuuriki, but in this case it was me. Instead of simply ripping all the chakra from your body, like would normally happen in an unsealing, I willing gave up a part of my chakra, nearly 20 percent, to you. It was enough to, technically, completely destroy your body. The sheer amount of foreign chakra ripped part of your body apart and integrated itself into it. That's how you became something of a hanyou. Since it was important that you receive at least some training before you killed yourself and everyone around you, I stationed one of our shinjun-kitsune (Infiltration-fox) to keep an eye on you, pretending to be a ninja for Konoha and going by the name Yoko. Since then, you've been living with her, as her adopted son. You've gone through the academy now, so here we are."
Naruto couldn't think of anything wrong with that, so he let Kurama continue.
"Now, here's the more important part: what you don't know.", Kurama said. "First, you need to know some history about why we're here, and why I'm here. The Kyuubi no Kitsune has, for at least the past few hundred years, been regarded by humans as a demon, a monster, as a force of nature bent on destruction. And that's mostly my fault."
"Yeah, you think?", Naruto said sarcastically.
"In the past, I wasn't exactly too worried about my reputation, to say the least, and admittedly did some things I'm not very proud of anymore, destroying-huge-swaths-of-land things, or obliterating most of an entire country.", Kurama said. "At the time, I wasn't a myobu-kitsune, a kitsune in the service of Inari, like I am now. Instead, I was a nogitsune, a kitsune neither allied with Inari, or really against them. It's actually very rare for a nogitsune to live long enough to become a kyuubi, because it wouldn't have the shelter and connections to other kitsune that myobu-kitsune have. It's extremely rare for a second one to become one, because they are usually killed before they can become enough of a threat. Somehow, I managed both."
"Wait, so there's another kyuubi?", Naruto asked.
"Exactly.", Kurama answered. "Between me and him, we've given foxes in general a horrible image, and it was hard to tell which one of us it was. Understandable, given it's fairly hard to see, when a 100 meter tall fox is destroying your home, if its fur is orange or dark red."
Naruto sweatdropped at Kurama's description of himself. "So what's the other one doing?", he asked. "I didn't think that the kyuubi had been sighted since you were sealed into me."
"You're correct.", Kurama answered. "She hasn't."
"Wait, it's a girl too?", Naruto asked.
"Yes. But don't let that fool you, she's one of the most evil beings you will ever meet.", Kurama said. "If you thought I was bad, you haven't seen anything. She's the one who did much of the damage to my name even after I joined the myobu-kitsune."
"So, where were we.", Kurama asked hypothetically. "Oh, yeah. So let's ignore her for now, and talk about you. Specifically, those whisker birthmarks of yours."
Naruto touched the side of his face almost out of habit. "What does that have to do with anything?", he asked. "I thought that was from me being your host."
"You'd think that, wouldn't you.", Kurama said. "Instead, they came from your mother, Uzumaki Kushina, the previous jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi no Kitsune, me."
"What!", Naruto yelled, shocked. "My mother was your previous host?"
"Yes.", Kurama said. "Small world, isn't it? In fact, not only her, but now all three of my containers were Uzumakis. They were renowned for their stamina, vitality, and longer-than-average lifespans, all perfect qualities in a jinchuuriki. Your mother was extremely well suited, due to a special ability she had, similar to a bloodline."
"So do I have it?", Naruto asked.
"No, I don't believe so.", Kurama said, much to Naruto's disappointment. "But, if you want, you could work on duplicating the ability she had. If I'm right about something, then you should have the perfect affinity for it."
"Sweet!", Naruto yelled, pumping his fist in the air.
"I'm not sure if I'm right.", Kurama said. "Anyways, I was sealed inside your mother, and eventually she gave birth to you. That's where the real story begins."
"What happened then?", Naruto asked, enrapt.
"After being shuffled around hosts for nearly 150 years, I was pretty sick of it.", Kurama explained. "So, by that time I was trying everything possible to break out of the seal already."
"Wait, I thought you said you were a good kitsune or something.", Naruto said.
"You try being stuck staring at a cage for 150 years, and you tell me that you wouldn't want to get out." Naruto decided he probably had a point. "Either way, here's where it gets interesting. The weakest point in a chakra-consuming seal is pregnancy, and especially childbirth. That's because all the chakra needed to maintain the seal is instead going towards taking care of a child. While Kushina was giving birth, she was in an insulated room, where chakra couldn't escape, surrounded by ANBU, as well as many medic-nin. As soon as Kushina gave birth, a man appeared in the room wearing an orange mask, Uchiha Madara. He killed most of the people helping deliver the baby, and was holding you hostage so everybody else couldn't attack him. He broke the seal, releasing me, and used his damned eyes to make me attack Konoha, not that I probably wouldn't have anyway, just out of spite."
"Wait, how'd he use his eyes to control you?", Naruto asked.
"That has to do with the other kyuubi, but I'll get to that later.", Kurama said. "Meanwhile, while I was attacking Konoha, Madara still had you hostage. Your father managed to fight him to enough of a standstill to return you to your mother, before returning to fight him again."
"Wait!", Naruto said. "Who was my father? You keep talking about him, but you never gave me a name."
"Your father...", Kurama said. "Your father was the Yondaime Hokage, the Yellow Flash of Konoha, Namikaze Minato."
Naruto gasped at hearing his father was the shinobi he had looked up to almost all his life. And also the one who sealed Kurama into him. "Wait! He was the one who sealed you into me? Why would he do that? Does he know what I went through because of that?"
"No, he doesn't.", Kurama said. "But he had his reasons. Also, it probably had something to do with the fact that he fairly rushed for time, and couldn't find another person. Also, he was the Hokage. How would it look if he wanted someone else to make a sacrifice for the village that we wouldn't?"
Naruto, placated for now, didn't say anything in response to that.
"Madara and your father fought to basically a standstill, before Madara disappeared to who-knows-where. Your father, in the meantime, needed to defend the village, since I was still attacking. He fought me; alongside with his toad summon, Gamabunta, he once again fought to a standstill, embarrassingly enough for me. I think it had something to do with Madara still having affected me.", he rubbed his face, still unsure how he lost to a giant toad. "Either way, he managed to subdue me enough to attempt sealing into a jinchuuriki. He rushed through the preparations for the seal, perhaps a bit too fast, given the breaking down of the seal later, but that doesn't matter. He summoned the Shinigami to create a pocket dimension to seal me, which was then integrated into your chakra system, which is why your unsealing was so hard."
"Just as he was about to seal me into you…", Kurama began, his voice fading out.
"What, what happened!", Naruto demanded.
"I killed them both.", Kurama admitted.
"What!". Naruto yelled. "Why!"
"I'm not sure.", Kurama said. "I'm honestly not."
"I stabbed them both with my claws, their bodies were ripped nearly to ribbons, but still they managed to complete the seal…
Minato was preparing the seal that would end his life. Not only end his life, but leave him tortured for eternity inside the Shinigami's stomach. A very morbid subject that he would've been quite happy to not have to think about ever, much less while Konoha was burning around him. A giant fox was in front of him, being restrained by Kushina's chains, even while the life was slowly draining out of her.
"Move!', she yelled. "I can't hold him much longer, get this over with!"
"Done!", he yelled. An ominous shadow began to rise from the seal, forming the corporeal form of the Shinigami, deathly pale and thin, dressed in black, and reaching for Minato.
Behind him, the fox began thrashing even harder, trying to escape his rapidly approaching fate. "No, this won't happen again!", he yelled, trying futilely to break the chains surrounding him.
"Face it fox.", Minato said. "You're not getting away from this one."
"No!", the fox yelled. "You're not sealing me again!"
The fox swiped at him with a paw, but the chains tightened, forcing him back onto the ground. Minato turned back around to the Shinigami.
"I accept my fate…", he said, as a white substance began flowing from his mouth.
"No!", the fox yelled.
While both Kushina and Minato had their backs turned watching the spectacle of Minato's soul being removed from his body, the fox saw his opportunity.
Blood gashed from new stab wounds all over the two's bodies, causing the fox to grin, before realizing it didn't stop the process. Even with multiple claws stuck through both their bodies, the sealing was still taking place.
Kushina slowly turned around to face the fox. "Why?", she softly said, collapsing to her knees.
'Why indeed?', the fox thought. 'What am I doing here? Why aren't I back where I should be? What am I doing in this place? Why am I here!'
Before that question could be answered, a bright sphere exited Minato's body, illuminating the whole area like a flare, casting shadows of all three of them hundreds of feet long. Meanwhile, a wispy blue substance exited his body, entering Naruto's.
"Kurama…", Kushina whispered. "Please…"
The fox listened in rapt attention to the dying human. In the time they had been sealed together, they had become… almost comrades, almost friends… now… they were both separating.
"Please… take care of Naruto.", she whispered. She collapsed to the ground, blood pooling around her in a puddle. Suddenly, a sea-foam green substance exited her body, and, similarly to the substance that had fled Minato's, entered Naruto. 'Naruto, my gift to you.', she thought, unable to speak any longer.
"No!", the fox yelled. Just in time to regain its senses, everything was being ripped apart. Minato and Kushina were being killed in front of him, and it was his fault. Now Kushina was gone, and the only thing keeping Minato up was the Shinigami, still removing his soul.
The white sphere was consumed by the Shinigami, who then turned to Kurama. 'No! It can't…'
Kurama slowly dissolved into an incorporeal red gas, before being sucked into Naruto's body all at once. The Shinigami, his job done, faded into the air.
And all was quiet again.
Naruto was sitting on the floor, tears in his eyes, listening to Kurama's description of what happened when he was sealed.
"I can't tell you much more, because we don't know.", Kurama said. "But, it has been rumored that Madara has joined an organization dedicated to hunting down and capturing the bijuu, the Akatsuki."
"Akatsuki.", Naruto growled under his breath. Daybreak. What an oxymoron, when nothing good would come of the organization.
"The only thing you can do right now is get stronger Naruto.", Kurama said. "Right now you have about as much raw power as a five- or six-tailed kitsune, but you don't know how to put it to use. That's why you need training. Depending on your affinity, it could be very easy, or very hard to find you a teacher. But that all depends. Give me your hands."
"What?", Naruto asked.
"Your hands, hold them to me, palm up." Naruto complied. "Now channel chakra to them."
"Hmm…", Kurama said, sensing the chakra Naruto was forcing into him. "That's actually fairly interesting."
"What is?", Naruto asked.
"You have two affinities.", Kurama answered. "Two natures. Wind and Void."
"What?", Naruto asked. "Wasn't everybody capable of getting a second affinity, with enough training?'
"In human chakra, yes.", Kurama answered. "You're not human, those rules don't apply. Kitsune never gain a second nature, it just doesn't work like that. Unlike humans, a kitsune's nature doesn't just affect how they use energy, it affects who they are. It defines them."
"How?", Naruto asked. "And why do I have two natures."
"My guess is that one is from when you were a human, probably wind.", Kurama said. "The second, Void, may have been part of my nature, or how your body adapted to it. I'm not sure."
"This is just confusing.", Naruto said. "Wait, what's Void? I thought there were only five: Wind, Water, Earth, Fire, and Lightning?"
"That's not accurate.", Kurama explained. "In reality, there are five basic affinities: Wind, Water, Earth, Fire, and Void. Lightning is related to pure chakra, it is energy in the purest form that a human could produce, but it's not actually an element."
"But, there are thirteen natures:", Kurama explained. "Celestial, Void, Wind, Spirit, Fire, Earth, River, Ocean, Mountain, Forest, Thunder, Time, and Sound."
"Some of those sounded really similar, like what's the difference between River and Ocean?", asked Naruto.
"In truth, there isn't much difference.", Kurama said. "They have very minute differences, but they are different. In the case of River and Ocean, it has to do with the quantities and properties of the water. Ocean is better with massive quantities of water, but river uses fast, flowing styles."
"Okay.", Naruto said, satisfied, for now.
"But another thing is interesting.", Kurama said. "The two affinities you have, interestingly enough, aren't traditionally considered to be aligned with myobu-kitsune."
"What do you mean, 'not aligned with myobu-kitsune'?", Naruto asked. "How can a nature affect who you're aligned with?"
"Remember what I told you about your nature defining you.", Kurama said. "Certain natures are more wild, some more ordered."
"So what nature are you?", Naruto asked.
"Fire.", Kurama stated. "It's a fairly neutral element, not especially prone to either order or chaos. Though if I had to pick one, it would definitely be chaos, given fire's ruthless and unstable nature."
"Oh.", Naruto said. "What am I supposed to do with my element then?"
"Well, you've already been trained enough to not blow yourself up trying something stupid, and your ninja and fuuinjutsu training has given you a pretty good handle on using chakra, so it's time to learn how to use some more advanced techniques."
"Yes!", Naruto shouted.
"Not so fast.", Kurama said, causing Naruto to pause. "It's harder than you seem to think."
"That's even better.", Naruto answered. "What's the point if it's easy?"
"Oh, you'll change your mind soon enough.", Kurama said. "Now, as to your sensei. I've actually got a good idea. She shares one of your affinities, and I think she won't be too opposed to teaching you."
"Oh, who is it?", Naruto asked.
"She's someone you know fairly well..."
On a intelligence-gathering mission somewhere in the land of fire, a red-haired woman hidden in the shadows along the dark wall of a base sneezed.
"What was that!", a guard yelled, running towards the sound, but by that time, there was nobody there.
'Damn! That was close.', she thought. 'Why do I have such a sense of impending doom?'
Chapter over! You can probably guess who they were referring to at the end, but if not, I'm not going to ruin it for you.
Review or the Giant Fox of DOOM™ will get you.