Chapter Seven

Both Kushina and Minato wanted to stop this fight before it went any further, but common sense told them they couldn't. Freya was a deity and just got deeply offended by a mortal; her pride demanded she make an example of him. What kind of goddess would she be if she let a human get away with insulting her as he did?

But on the other hand, maternal and paternal feelings were sometimes stronger than loyalty to a deity.

"Lady Freya, please don't do this." Kushina pleaded, stepping between the two.

"Get out of my way Kushina." Freya ordered.

"Be rational about this."

"I wasn't asking you to move Kushina. I'm telling you to move." The goddess stated dropping her hand from her face. Her bleeding had died down now since gods are naturally great healers. The Vanir and Aesir were not invulnerable to injury, which is part of why they learn so much from combat.

"He's my son. You know I can't let you do that. I don't care if you throw me into the Nidhogg's mouth for this, I will not stand by and let you try to kill my son."

Freya did not want to hurt Kushina, but her anger at Naruto wasn't placated. "Fine, I won't kill him. But he needs a lesson in respect. You think anyone else, deity or mortal, would let him get away with this?"

Kushina sadly relented that point. Even a gentle god would have to do something if they were in Freya's place. "Alright Freya, but please, could you at least let him defend himself with his valkyrie power?"

Freya thought about it. "Fine, I'll allow it, but only because I'm interested in seeing this boy use these powers myself." She then made her cats disappear and looked the the blonde who hurt her. "Boy, call forth your aura."

Naruto looked confused. "How do I do that? That one time was sheer accident."

'I'm not surprised it wasn't a conscious move, but if he hasn't been able to recall it since something might be wrong.' Freya thought. She then examined Naruto's spiritual energy, much like some sort of godly byakugan in use, and saw an irregularity in his chakra network.

"Well, this is a bit of a problem." She commented, wiping some dried ichor from her face.

"What?" Naruto, Kushina, and Minato asked.

"You said this kid is a jinchuuriki, meaning he has demonic chakra in him too, not just divine chakra. The two don't work well in the same vessel and sadly for humans demonic chakra is easier to use so his system is initially trying to draw that out instead of the divine chakra. Jinchuuriki do tend to have problems with another sentient being's chakra meshing together with their own in the first place, but this makes it even harder."

"Then how did I use it in the first place?" Naruto asked.

"If I had to guess, I'd say for a moment your access to demonic chakra was blocked. Did you experience anything that could have affected your chakra network itself?"

Naruto closed his eyes and thought it over. "The last thing to happen to me before that strange experience was Haku hitting me with a lot of needles."

"Hmm... her attack just might have hit your chakra network in a way to briefly boast your divine chakra long enough for one use, and now that you're healed you can't recall it as easily." Freya mused. "What a huge feat. Had her aim been even slightly off for just one needle this might never have happened."

"So you're saying I can never do that again?" Naruto asked.

Freya shook her head. "No, but you need an adjustment so you don't have to keep getting hurt to use it. Kushina, you and your husband need to alter this seal. The Kyuubi's energy is interfering with his other powers, and for the Allfather's sake give him a weapon. It's not much of a punishment if he doesn't have something to help him learn from it."

"Yes M'lady." Kushina and Minato bowed. "Naruto, please show us the seal."

He grabbed the bottom of his shirt but didn't lift it. "You guys really want to help me?"

They nodded. "We're your parents. Why wouldn't we want to?"

He came close to tearing up. "You truly swear you mean that?"

Minato knelt down. "Son, if you're finding this hard to believe, summon me next time you see the Hokage. He should tell you the truth, especially with me right there."

Kushina nodded. "Also, summon him next time someone tries to talk trash about us. We'll see how brave Konoha is when he's not on their side."

Naruto wasn't sure what to say, but one thought flashed to him. 'If they're lying it would be easy to prove them wrong back home. Why lie when they can easily be proven wrong? That must mean... they... they are my parents.'

He teared up officially this time. "Mom... Dad..." Without warning he jumped forward. Kushina caught him and embraced him in a tight warm hug, and Minato wrapped his arms around them both.

Freya herself smiled at this. 'This is so heartwarming it could melt a Frost Giant. Damn, now punishing this kid just won't feel right anymore. I can't punish a kid right after he gets his family back, even if he busted my nose. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to go another route.'

As instructed, Naruto lifted his shirt to reveal the seal on his stomach which could only be seen in times of chakra use.

"How do we change it without compromising the original purpose?" Kushina asked.

"We don't." Minato told her. "We just include a second function. Like how I incorporated the Hiraishin seal into your own."

"That could work. But how to design it?"

"What if we replicate the part where it allows him to drawn out Kyuubi's chakra and use it for himself? We just adjust it for lighter chakra."

Kushina nodded. "I can see that working. I'll get some supplies." Instead of standing, she held her hands apart and a white light appeared between them. The light lasted only a moment, and when it ended Kushina now had an ink brush and container in her hands, which she handed to her husband. "Here you go."

"Wha... what did you just do there?" Naruto asked. 'I know ninja can seal objects away, but she didn't even touch a seal for that. It's like she made it appear out of thin air.'

"That's one of the powers of a valkyrie. Materialization. It's a lot like an alchemic transmutation, but instead of creating something from materials at hand, I summon them thru a space-time vortex to me from another location."

"Huh?"

Kushina rethought how to explain it. "I used a jutsu to make the ink and brush appear here from another location. Like a teleportation jutsu."

"Oh."

Ready, Minato got to work. To the untrained eye, it looked mostly like he was just painting something on his son's skin. But to those that knew about fuinjutsu, he was doing something with a purpose. Once he located the part of the seal that enabled Naruto to use dark chakra that he himself didn't generate but had inside himself, Minato went to the opposing side of the seal and created a near-identical part, this one enabling the blonde boy to use light chakra inside him but not generated by himself.

'It's impossible for a mortal body to create divine chakra, so the seal should recognize it as a source much like Kyuubi's just on the opposite end of the chakra spectrum. I just wonder how divine chakra of this nature got into him in the first place and where it's coming from now.'

"That should do it." Minato said, kneeling back up when he finished.

"There we go, now Naruto try to feel for your power. It should be fine now, and it's similar to using chakra." Kushina said as Naruto felt for whatever divine presence, and he found it. It washed through him like a holy wave giving him a white streak in his blonde hair and his wings came out once more, but unlike the last time, white etherial plumes fell down once more. Kushina smiled seeing her son finally being a valkyrie. No armor or sword formed, but he felt so light and powerful.

"Naruto, I know you're mad at Freya, but please understand that you are much more fortunate then some others are now. Also, Freya asked me to arm you, and it seems right to give you this sword." Kushina held her hands apart, and she started to materialize again. This time she called forth a sword unlike any Naruto had ever seen.

Most swords Naruto saw in his lifetime had been katana, nodachi, and zanbato. The length of this sword was roughly a meter, maybe a couple centimeters longer and the blade was double-edged and bright silver-colored. The guard was pronged pointing outward with a light curve forward, the handle and guard both looking like they were made of polished gold with a white fabric wrapped around the handle to help with grip.

"Wow." Naruto responded simply.

Kushina smiled and held it out to her son. "Naruto, so you won't have to rely on chakra arms and armor all the time, I give you this sword for when you need a true weapon. If you get better, someday you will be granted a genuine suit of armor too. But for now, this will have to do."

Naruto took it, feeling it's weight in his hands. "Is it called something like Zabuza's sword was?"

Kushina nodded. "It does have a name. This sword is called Beor, which in the language of the gods means storm. And rest assured, this is no ordinary sword, but for now you don't need to know what all it can do."

"When can I learn?" Naruto asked.

"When you're no longer a rookie valkyrie. For now, try to learn how to use it like it's an ordinary sword." She and Minato then stepped aside, leaving Naruto facing Freya again.

"Boy, even though I no longer feel right punishing you as I originally intended to, and I'm admittingly curious about what you can do with this power, I'm still not letting you off the hook. Instead, I'll give you a harsh lesson in combat to keep you from busting my pretty face again. Think you can handle that?"

Naruto tightened his grip and pointed the sword outward, finding he needed both hands to best support it. "I can handle anything."

Without another word Freya darted forward, moving so fast that Naruto didn't even see her until she slowed down right next to him, almost as if she had slowed down on purpose for dramatic effect. Before he could react or reflect on this, she hit the back of his head with the butt of a sword he hadn't even seen her summon, making him fall on his face.

"That makes me feel a little better." She joked.

Naruto was quick to get back on his feet, but she was quicker to ambush him again. He blocked her sword with his, creating a cluster of sparks, and the two stared each other down.

"To be a valkyrie Naruto you must master many talents. You cannot specialize like a ninja would." She withdrew her sword and swung from a different angle, but Naruto blocked it again. "Valkyries are the first wave in wars, the frontline infantry." Another swing and another block. "Swordsmanship, archery, summoning, restraining, defending, speed, these are all things a valkyrie must be good at."

Freya then swung her foot, knocking Naruto off his own feet and falling on his back. Once he was there she held the point of her own sword at his neck. "Valkyrie training and warfare is excruciating. There's a reason only the dead learn it and even then it's still reserved for those that showed talent in life. For you to succeed you have to learn what no mortal ever has before and never fail once or it could mean your life and quite possibly your afterlife as well."

"I can handle it. I'm not dying until after I become Hokage." Naruto argued then raised his wing quickly to knock her sword off-center just long enough for him to roll away and get back on his feet. Rolling with bird wings didn't feel comfortable, but he withstood the discomfort quite well.

'Wow, didn't think he'd try that. Guess he's got some of Kushina's creativity.' Freya thought, a bit impressed though she didn't show it. "Bit of advice kid, Death doesn't care about your plans or schedule. I understand your intentions behind your words and admire your resolve, but I'm just warning you not to take them too literally."

Before he could respond she charged at him again, intentionally giving him an opening to see what he might do about it.

Instead of dodging, Naruto charged back at her, taking the opening and swinging his sword at her side, hitting her armor but not damaging it. After that, the two stood apart with their backs facing each other, like something right out of a samurai movie scene.

"You missed me boy." She taunted, not feeling another scratch on her body.

"Did I?" He asked, confusing her.

Freya looked herself over, then heard a tear. Next thing she knew, her armor plating fell off her, leaving her bare chest and back exposed to the entire world.

Minato and Kushina were wide-eyed to see this result while Naruto smirked triumphantly still looking away. Freya herself screamed in embarrassment and covered her large B-cup breasts with her arms. 'He... he actually cut the leather clasps that keep my torso armor tied together. I've never been more humiliated in all my life.'

Glaring at the boy, she held our her sword while keeping her left arm over her breasts. As much as she wanted to cover herself up again, she wanted to end this so-called spar first and teach this mortal his place like she originally intended to before Kushina begged for mercy.

Charging forward with intent to wound, he heard her approach and moved to block her attack. She aimed her sword for his shoulder and he had to jump to dodge. While he was dodging she swiftly swung towards him figuring he couldn't dodge this time. At that moment both fighters remembered he now had wings and he took to the air, thus only receiving a cut on his left pant leg instead of his body.

Naruto was amazed he was actually up in the air, his wings beating to keep him up but not moving in any direction. "Wow. I can fly?"

"Why have wings if you can't use them?" Kushina asked.

Forgetting the fight for a moment, Naruto flapped his wings and went higher before he adjusted his body's balance and went forward. Like a bird he almost seemed to just know how to move thru the air, and was greatly enjoying himself. 'Let's see them call this demonic in Konoha.'

Suddenly Freya appeared in front of him, hovering but without wings. "I'm not done with you boy." She hit his head with the butt of her sword, impacting his nose like he had done to her, resulting in him crashing to the ground.

"You can fly too?" He asked, hand on his bleeding nose.

Freya landed and held her sword out pointed at his sternum. "You didn't really think the commander of an entire army of winged soldiers would be flightless did you?" She then raised her sword, as if intending to cleave him with her next move.

"Freya no!" Kushina screamed then started to run forward.

Before Kushina could reach the warrior goddess someone burst out of the surrounding bushes from behind Naruto screaming the same thing. The surprise made Freya halt her swing, giving the newcomer enough time to stand between her and Naruto defiantly.

"Sakura-chan?" Naruto asked, completely surprised by this.

Sakura stood there arms spread defensively, giving the goddess in front of her a challenging expression. "I don't know what it is you were thinking just now, but if you want to kill him you're going to have to kill me first."

Naruto was stunned, but Freya's face was unreadable. "Why would you make such a claim little girl?"

"I don't need to justify my actions to you. All you need to know is I will not stand down."

"Watch yourself. She's a genuine goddess. Maybe not the strongest but she alone can stand up to any kage in the world." Kushina warned.

"Yet Naruto was able to cut her top off I see." She countered with a small measure of mirth in her voice.

"That was just a lucky strike." Freya declared.

"So? Sometimes that's all it takes to win. Especially when the opponent is underestimating you."

"Don't recite battle principles to me girl. I wrote the book on war long before Sun Tzu did."

"Doesn't matter, I'm right and you know it." Sakura stated. "I only just got here, so I didn't see your fight, but I can see you've got dry blood on your face and your armor's been cut off. You underestimated Naruto, and you paid the price for it."

Freya reluctantly sighed and lowered her sword. "You may be right girl, but it would be even more undignified of me to fight him like he was an equal. No deity with even a shred of self-respect would fight a mortal like he was a worthy adversary. It would be like a grown man fighting a baby, so one-sided they'd lose all respect for even starting it."

"But you did start this." Naruto pointed out.

"No, you did by hitting my nose with your scalp. No self-respecting deity would allow a mortal to get away with striking them either. This fight was not a battle, but a way to teach you respect for your superiors as well as letting me see how well you use your gift. Now, advert your eyes while I redress and make my judgment on you."

Naruto wisely looked away while Freya picked up her armor. Her torso guard was made of two pieces, front and back with leather clasps on both sides holding it in place. Naruto cut the left side straps thus the whole thing opened since it couldn't hold together anymore. The interior was lined with satin cloth for comfort which is why she didn't have a bra or undershirt under it. The rest of her armor on her arms, legs, and hips had the same design to it to keep her from wearing multiple layers which might interfere in her movements.

Freya put it back in place and transformed her outfit back into a regular tunic, which now had a tear on her left abdomen to reflect the damage done earlier. She looked at Naruto, who stood beside Sakura trying to look as tough as possible even with a little blood on his own face. His wings were gone, meaning his battle spirit was at the moment diminished, but there was a bit of an imperceptible glow to him still meaning he was ready to go on if she pressed him.

"Boy, like I said before you have something that no one of your kind was meant to have, and so far you have mostly used your strength to anger me. By possessing valkyrie power, you belong under my jurisdiction and are therefore my subordinate, much like to your Hokage. And I am fully within my rights to have you killed now for the disrespect you have displayed."

She pointed her sword at him, making everyone nervous. Then she smiled. "Yet... you did manage to hurt my body and my pride in ways no one else ever has before. As tempted as I am to kill you, I must admit I'm even more curious to see what kind of terror you can unleash on a true enemy if you can do all that to me. So for now, I will let you keep this power and your life."

Naruto and Kushina both sighed in relief while Minato and Sakura both looked pleased with the verdict.

"Just don't make me change my mind later on boy. If I ever find out you're misusing your power, I'll see to it you never see another day." The goddess warned, lowering her sword.

"All I want is to help those I care about and show people I'm a human being, not something else." The blonde told her firmly.

"Then consider this your trial period. I shall give you one year starting today, the standard rookie probation time for new valkyries, to learn how and why to use your power. This date next year, I will return to see your progress. If I am impressed I will determine your rank as valkyrie, and if I am displeased, you will perish. Understood?"

"Will this interfere with my ninja training?" Naruto asked.

"I imagine it wouldn't, but if it does you will have to place your ninja training on hold until you finish this."

"But I-" Naruto objected, only to be cut off.

"Don't argue with this Naruto. It is vital you learn as much as you can in one year's time. If you can be a valkyrie and a ninja at the same time, then great, but if you can't, you're more valuable as a valkyrie than as a ninja. In time, you'll understand exactly why." She then looked upwards at the sky. "I'm done here. Heimdall, bring me back." She then face the whiskered blond again. "Naruto, while Kushina will be allowed to visit you one day per month and stay with you for seven more days now, it won't just be for pleasantries and family bonding." Freya said as she floated in the air, ready to return to Asgard.

Naruto was confused, his week of training just started and Freya was pleased with his progress in it, only for her to drop this bombshell on him. "What do you mean that she isn't just seeing me just to see me? You mean she can't be my mother even when she can see me?" He asked and was surprised even further when the goddess gave him a somber look.

"Naruto, Kushina is meant to be more than just your mother. She is meant to be your instructor, your superior officer, and your provider as well. That is why I'm granting her permission to remain her for another seven days, to get you started on your training. She may give you requests for warriors of a particular calibur, einherjar that may make or break the time of the Ragnorak. She can be your mother too when you're not training, but she is required to train you as well. If the Allfather is pleased with your progress in training and your service to Asgard he may send gifts with Kushina to reward or encourage you to do better. Gifts with power beyond mortal reckoning. Gifts you must be very careful in using."

Naruto was feeling better when she said that. "At least I get what most orphans only dream of. That makes me happier more than any training ever could."

Just then a great storm seemed to appear above the goddess. "It's time for me to go, but I will keep my ears open for your progress over the year. I expect to hear good things. Oh, and your punishment for attacking me is that you aren't allowed to eat your favorite food for a month, and anytime you try it will turn to ash in your mouth. Farewell."

"WHAT?" He shouted as she disappeared into the cloud which disappeared right after her.