This is my first story in a looooong time. I have been super busy with work and school, so I haven't had much time to write in the last year or so T_T.
I should note that I have not been reading the Naruto manga for as couple of months, so the Naruto portions may night line up right. It shouldn't be a big deal for most of the story though.
This is something new, hopefully you all enjoy. My hard drive crashed a couple of months ago and I lost all my notes for my other stories, and it has been so long I have kinda lost my train of thought for them. I don't know how often I will be able to write, so no guarantees as to when new chapters come out, sorry. :(
Chapter One - The Final Hours
The crimson liquid, the very force that granted life to all beings. It was supposed to reside inside of human beings, pulsing throughout their bodies, keeping them alive and their vital functions ticking.
It was not supposed to litter the ground, pooling underneath foot, the metallic smell permeating the air.
The smell of death.
A lone figure could be seen walking through the blood, without purpose. He would occasionally stumble over a random arm or leg laying about, devoid of the rest of their body. He was the lone survivor of what was known of the fourth great shinobi war. In a world rife with conflict and warfare, the last of the great wars was by far the worst. While the previous three had caused the boundaries of countries to be change, the fourth war cause the world itself to erupt in agony.
The war was originally suppose to only take place at one location, inside of Lightning country. It was here where the shinobi alliance expected to make their stand against the forces of Akatsuki.
It was a foolish hope.
No war is won in a day, and while they won the initial battle, the forces of Akatsuki were not defeated. With their resurrected generals dead, Akatsuki turned to powerful missing nin to command their army of clones. Tremendous battles shook the earth, from Fire country to Water country. What was intended to be a minor incident against a mad man turned into full blown war, one the likes of which had never been seen.
As the war dragged in, maps were forced to be rewritten. Areas once home to fertile lands were turned into seas, marches into deserts, and entire mountain ranges were turned into dust. Such was the power of shinobi, ultimate creatures of death and destruction. They were gifted with exceptional power, and became arrogant because of it. Instead of using their power to improve themselves, they used it to just come up with more and more ways to kill each other. Such is human nature, the yearning for more and more power. Their nature would be their own undoing.
This long figure struggling to hold on to life was known by many names. Deadlast, demon, knucklehead, sage, toad master, hero. His proper name however, was Naruto Uzumaki. His once golden hair was caked with blood, turning it into a dull crimson color. The bright blue eyes, known to be filled with such vibrancy and life were dull and devoid of emotion.
He was a young man forged through suffering and hatred. His childhood was filled with loneliness and disgust. He was the scapegoat that all those in Konoha used to blame for every problem in their life. As he aged his suffering never stopped. His best friend tried to kill him and the most powerful people in the world wanted to kill him for the monster he contained. Then as he was on the cusp of controlling his life, his mentor, and in many ways, the person he cared the most about, was killed.
His movements were choppy and his breath haggard as he aimlessly across the decimated area.
'Why did it end like this?' he wondered, as he fell to the ground, finally surcoming to his numerous injuries as his world turned black. 'Why...why...why?
He was engaged in battle with the man calling himself Madara Uchiha, of course, this wasn't his true identity, but it hardly mattered at that point. All he knew was that he was his enemy and he needed to be defeated. It had felt like he had the upper hand, all the former demon containers had been defeated and victory had seemed at hand. Then, in a flash of light, he and Killer B, the host of the eight tailed ox, crumpled into unconsciousness.
'He played with us' Naruto thought as he felt his life drain way, his will to remain on the moral plain waning. 'How was he so strong?'
The power of the Sharingan and Rinnegan was beyond words. He thought with the help of the nine tailed fox, who was named Kuruma, he would be able to come put on top. He felt invincible, he was wrong. Against such power, he was nothing.
"Such a foolish child" Naruto remembered the man saying as he awoke in a cave in terrible pain as he felt the power of the nine tailed fox being forcibly drained from his body. As he struggled to move his head to the left, he saw B, slumped on the ground, eyes devoid of any kind of spark of life. It was quite easy to see he was dead. While B was a shinobi of the Hidden Cloud Village, he was still a friend, one of whom Naruto felt he had something of a kinship with. To see the extremely powerful and exuberant man so casually tossed aside was both frightening and rage inducing.
"Why do you try to protect them again and again?" the man asked, a bit of scorn filling his voice "People who would turn their back on you in the blink of an eye, who would not lose a single night of sleep if you were to die alone on the battlefield. This is why you lost so easily child, I could not be beaten by someone with such a weak will to fight. While you still struggle to find your purpose, I already have mine. Where to pull punches, searching your soul for answers, I deliver mind with certainty of my destiny in this world."
"You are quite the little monster though don't you know?" he added with a chuckle. "So young, yet so accomplished. Such mastery of the shinobi arts is something that is not seen much in this age, even if your motivation is lacking somewhat. It is rather refreshing, I do admit, I thought I was the last of the true shinobi. Compared to monsters like Madara Uchiha, and Harashima Senju, shinobi of this age are pitiful. Even the exalted kages are nothing more than shadows of the predecessors. You and me my dear child" the masked shinobi said, as he looked Naruto with a sliver of respect entering his voice and posture. "Will the be the last of shinobi monsters. The last of the one man armies, and last of the world changers. It is just too bad that you will not live to see your full potential. I will admit, I doubt I would be able to face you later in life. Luckily for me, I don't have to wait that long"
Naruto's body gave a tremendous shudder as he felt the last of the tainted chakra leave his body and enter the sealing statue. His world was like an explosion of pain, his body was unresponsive and he could only listen as the mad man continued to talk.
"The Uzumaki vitality always amazes me" the man said, looking down at the blond, seeing him still breath. "To be able to survive the extraction of the tailed beast is no small feat, espessily considering your previous state.. To think, your mother was even able to fight afterwards, truly remarkable. However, compared to the other two descendants of the Six Paths Sages, it is rather weak. The Uzumaki were never able to compare to the Senju or Uchiha. A weak clan of Senju dogs is all they turned out to be. Even Pein, who inherited the strongest of the Uzumaki blood was destined to be nothing more than a dog, licking the feet of the Uchiha."
Naruto wished for the ability to talk, to defend his family's honor. For an orphan like him, to find out he had a family, a rather noble one at that, was an amazing thing. To hear this man desecrate their memory was like a mortal sin in his opinion.
"You shall have the honor of being the first witness ultimate power" the man spoke, as he approached the the statue that housed all nine of the tailed beasts. "Witness the ten tailed beast!" he roared as he placed both hands on the statue and fed his chakra into it. "With this power, I shall place the entire world under an unbreakable genjutsu, peace will finally be achieved, and the world will be perfect."
What came next could only be described as destruction. In the past the ten tailed beast roamed the land and terrorized the people of the world until the man known as the Sage of the Six Paths came along and sealed it into himself. For most people in the current age, it was nothing more than a fairy tale, a story told to scare children at night. However, once upon a time, such a beast did roam the lands destroying everything in its path. Its power made the nine tailed fox look like a child and people of the age lived in constant state of fear. Every time civilization was built up, it was destroyed. A constant cycle of annihilation occurred and humanity could never build itself up.
Then came the Sage of the Six Paths. His past was shrouded in mystery, and even people of the era had no idea where he came from. A common rumour was that he descended from the heavens, and was a divine gift to fight the forces of evil. No matter his origin however was the simple truth that he was the savior of mankind. He single handedly stopped the Ten Tailed beast and introduced humans to the power of chakra. He allowed human civilization to form and the shinobi system to thrive. He was the creator of ninjutsu and in turn shinobi, who would rule the land for millennia after his death. These shinobi would use their power in introduce more death and destruction than the sage would have ever imagined.
On his deathbed, he split the creature into nine parts and sealed the body of the beast into the moon. As a consequence of this action, he created new life from nothingness, the ultimate form of ninjutsu. From the ashes of the ten tail came nine unique personalities that would, from then on, be known as the nine tailed beasts. Each of these creatures differed from one another and from the monster they descended from.
They could not simply be combined back into one. Not only did the body of the ten tail still reside in the moon, the chakras of the beasts themselves fought against the very notion of being combined. Like any other creature, they fought for their lives and to preserve their individuality. They possessed a conscious and will all their own, and each mind still controlled their power to a certain extent.
The man who wanted to become the container to the ten tails and cast the most powerful genjutsu in the world knew none of this. All the man knew was power, and like all humans, he tried to seize that power for himself. The downward spiral of trying to seize more and more power was his own undoing.
When he unsealed the statue and tried to combine and seal the chakra into himself, he did nothing more than create a giant bomb, one that would leave no corner of the planet unscathed. There are some powers beyond human understanding and this was one of them. The acidic chakra of the tailed beasts spread throughout the entire world, decimating all that it came in contact with. All living beings froze as it hit them, whether they be animals frollicing in the fields or shinobi in heated combat with the forces of Akatsuki. What came next was the most horrible experience any of them had ever had. No living being, human or otherwise, can stand the chakra of a tailed beasts, even indirect contact. The chakra of all nine tailed beasts went everywhere and mixed itself into the air and the earth itself. When it is said that it has an acidic effect, it is no exaggeration. All living beings on the planet, melted to death. From the smallest earthworm to the mightiest kage, all were powerless to the chakra's effect. They were destroyed by the very force they coveted. With chakra they caused death and destruction, and with chakra they were killed. With the tailed beasts they tried to create weapons, and those tailed beasts would be the medium for which they destroyed themselves.
So ended the fourth great shinobi war. No grand battles, no valiant stands, no heroes, no survivors.
All except one that is. As a container of the nine tails, his body had grown up with the taint of a tailed beast's chakra, thus he could withstand the effects of the chakra. Of course, that didn't stop the force of the blast launching him several hundred yards and into a rock cliff, turning one of his arms into dust and fracturing almost all the bones in his body. For a body already on the brink of death from the extraction, it was a rather, unpleasant experience to say the least.
The wounds were fatal, even for the famed Uzumaki clan. He managed to drag himself out of the stone wall he found himself embedded into, but ended up not making it more than a couple hundred feet before he finally fell, face first into a pile of blood.
For anyone else it would be the end, however, despite how hard he tried, Naruto was never like anyone else. Like the tailed beasts, there were other powers in the world far beyond human comprehension. These forces had a role in human development and they were not satisfied with how things turned out.
-(An indefinable place at an indefinable time)-
The very notion of death is something far beyond what can be visualized by mere mortals. Even those in deaths domain were not aware of what it truly is. Many described death as being an overwhelming darkness, some as a liberating light. These are all inherently flawed because they try to apply human terms to a power far beyond their reach. Naruto was the first to be aware of his mortal self after death, in a way at least. His mind was unable to comprehend the true meaning of death, so his "mind" create a situation that he could understand.
"What is this" He wondered, as he found himself inside the Hokage's office, which he knew was impossible considering the building was nothing more than rubble after Pein's attack.
'This isn't possible' Naruto thought as his mind whirled, trying to come up with an answer to his situation. 'This is no genjutsu, my sage senses would be able to tell.'
Most people didn't truly understand what a sage truly was, not even Jiraiya, who himself was not a full sage seeing as he relied on others to create his connection to nature. To become a sage was to become truly in tune with nature and the chakra of all life in the entire word. As the only true sage in the world, Naruto had a special kind of connection to chakra which allowed him to sense even the most powerful of genjutsu. In a sense, part of him was nature itself, and through this he was able tp sense things a sensor shinobi could only dream of.
"You failed" a voice spoke up from behind him.
Whirling around, he looked in shock as he caught sight of the person who spoke, sitting behind the Hokage's desk.
"N..No" he whispered, seeing a figure long dead to the world. A figure who was has a special place in his heart.
The Third Hokage was known as the god of shinobi in his day. A shinobi with no equal and no fear. A true monster shinobi who even in his old age, was able to fight on equal grounds with his student, one of the legendary sannin.
He was also one of the people most loved by Naruto.
While as he grew up more and more people became his friends and comrades, the Third was the first to do so. The first person to show him compassion, and the first person to show him what being human was. The first person not to spit in disgust as soon as they laid eyes on him.
"Who are you?" he asked through clenched teeth, something to his senses after a moment of disbelief. It was rather difficult to reign in his anger from seeing someone wearing the skin of someone whom he loved so much.
"It matters not" he said, wearing the kind expression Naruto remembered so much from the man.
"You have failed, child of prophecy" another voice spoke up from behind him, in a very familiar voice.
"Jiraiya" Naruto whispered, as the familiar sound of his teachers voice filled his ears. "What do you mean?"
"It was not meant to end like this" yet another, recognizable, female voice said. As he turned slightly, he saw the blond hair of the current Hokage.
"Your world lies in ruin, your people dead, you failed" the voice of the Third Hokage once again rang out, echoing throughout his head.
"What was I supposed to do?" Naruto finally yelled, tears in his eyes as he visualized the faces of all of his friends, his mind conjuring up images of their mutilated bodies and their screams of pain. "What could I have done against such a monster? How was I supposed to win?"
"You had a purpose in this life" the voice of his teacher said, ignoring his question. "You were to bring peace to the world, to unite the people of the land and to defeat those who would harm the balance of the world. You were the child of prophecy"
"Why me?" Naruto finally exploded, incapable of taking this anymore. "Why is it always up to me? Why can I never be happy or normal. Its always my fault if something goes wrong, or my responsibility to fix things when they go awry Why is it always me!"
Now, Naruto was normally composed in regards to his emotion. True, as a child he would always act like a smiling idiot, but that act was really nothing more than a way to hide his real emotions. He had learned from an early age that people feed off his feelings of loneliness and despair. They would try harder to break him if they knew how close he was to breaking down. It took quite a bit for him to lose control of his emotions, especially when he was in an unknown scenario and facing unknown people. Every person has a breaking point however, and after all these years of suppressing his feelings to the outside world, his control slipped just a little bit.
"Fate is not satisfied" the voice of Tsunade finally spoke up, "Circumstances have changed and adjustments must be created."
Before Naruto could come up with any sort of retort to this vague response, his surroundings turned to black, and just as fast, a flash of light erupted and from then on, he knew no more.
Annnnnnd done. So, this will be a Naruto/Freezing crossover. If you have not read the manga, I would highly recommend it. Anyway, I hope you enjoy and I am sorry for having not written for so long.