Naruto: Hunt for the Nine Rings

Hello and welcome everyone, this a new project of mine that I've been hoping to work on for some time. It is based off of one of my favorite stories by EroSlackerMicha called Naruto the Lord of the Ten Rings and a number of the first chapters are originally his with a number of alterations based on my own devious mind. The origional fic is now on hiatus since Micha has decided to rewrite it, but he has graciously allowed me to take a crack at it, so here I go. Naruto: Hunt for the Nine Rings starts now.

Oh and like in his original story the graduation age is 16. My own reasoning for this is that it never made sense sending prepubescent teens out to fight; logically they would at least wait until they are at the peak of their physical growth which is at fifteen or sixteen, not when they are still developing at twelve.

Oh and for clarities sake since money is mentioned a bit in this chapter 1 ryō = $0.01 dollars American

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"Normal Speech"

'Normal Thought'

"Demon/Large Summon Speech"

'Demon/Large Summon Thought'

Jutsu, Kung Fu Technique, Ring Power

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, Marvel, or even the original idea for this story. All I own is any of my original ideas.

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Chapter 1: The Hunt Begins

(Uzumaki Naruto's Apartment, Late at Night)

Naruto Uzumaki, jinchūriki of the Kyūbi no Yōko, had tears running down his whisker-marked cheeks as he reread a letter he'd found within the Hokage's Safe, hidden with the Forbidden Scroll of Seals, for what felt like the hundreth time in the past hour. The envelope had had his name on it, so the now 16 year old blonde had decided to take it along with the scroll, stuffing it into his back pocket to read after he'd passed his test and forgetting about it after Mizuki arrived and the whole, 'You are the Nine Tailed Fox' bullshit had started. Now, after plopping down on his bed in hopes of getting some sleep after kicking Mizuki's ass and being made a Genin, Naruto had rediscovered the letter and read its contents, which were eye-opening to say the least.


My son, my darling little maelstrom. How I long to look at you and hold you in my arms once more, but alas I am dying. Tsunade, your godmother, told me I wouldn't survive my pregnancy, and I've but a few hours left after seeing and holding you for the first and possibly last time. I don't regret bringing you into this world my little maelstrom. You are my legacy, my love, and perhaps the greatest, most beautiful thing I have ever done with my life.

I suppose introductions should come first before I get all sappy and emotional again. My name is Kushina Uzumaki-Namikaze and I am, or should I say was since you are reading this after my passing, your mother.

A bit about me as I doubt that old fart Sarutobi has told you anything other than the necessities before giving you this letter. I've got red hair and amethyst purple eyes. I'll gladly and proudly admit that I'm a bit of a tomboy and originally came from Whirlpool. I am a master of Water and Wind elemental techniques, a Seal Mistress of the highest order, and have learned all the styles of Uzumaki Wushu (Chinese Martial Arts, more commonly known as Kung Fu), our people's hereditary fighting arts that combines both Taijutsu and Bukijutsu (Weapon Techniques), but I will get back to all of that later.

You have a destiny before you my little maelstrom. More important than what your father has thought of and is planning to use you for, greater than any foolish prophecy your toad of a godfather could ever imagine. As I write this the Kyūbi no Yōko is on the horizon; some damned fool has disturbed one of the nine elemental guardians, the ancient and powerful spawn of the Rikudō Sennin himself, and it is coming here to destroy Konoha. Your father…Minato Namikaze, Konoha's Yellow Flash and the Yondaime Hokage is planning on using you as a Jinchūriki, the power of Human Sacrifice, to contain that which cannot be killed; hoping that Konoha will see you as a hero for it. Know this, YOU ARE NOT THE KYUBI! Get that thought out of your head right now and never think of it again. You are its jailor, its warden, and, in time, perhaps its partner or master, and those that can't see the difference aren't worth your loyalty and love. FUCK THEM AND THE KUNAI THEY HAVE UP THEIR ASSES! You are an Uzumaki and we allow no one to control our destinies.

(Sigh) I wish I could be there for you my little maelstrom. Your life is going to be hard, more so than I dread dream about. I don't have your father's faith in the people of Konoha, nor do I fully understand where it comes from. The people of Konoha are just that, people. Creatures that by their nature fear what they can never understand and control. I've never shared your father's deep-seated faith in humanity; I've lost too much to greedy and fearful fools to ever truly trust people as a whole. Know I love you with all my heart and soul. Be strong, you are an Uzumaki and bear our legacy proudly.

That means more than you realize and the people of Konoha will know until it's far too late. You come from royalty my sweet little boy. Before it was destroyed, my family ruled the land of Uzu no Kuni (Whirlpool Country) and the village of Uzushiogakure (Village Hidden by the Swirling Tides). As the sole survivor of our village, which was destroyed at the beginning of the last war, and our nation's royal family I looked for years during the war for others who share our blood, but have found none.

But that is not the royalty of which I speak, no our true legacy is far, far greater. Ages ago, less than a hundred years after the time of the Rikudō Sennin, our ancestor rose to power. He was a great warrior, a master of the earliest forms of the shinobi arts and chakra manipulation. It is said he was a descendent of the Sage of Six Paths himself, but no one is quite sure. He called himself the Mandarin, and his true name has long been lost even to us, his own descendants. He possessed amazing power, but used it wisely, ruling all he conquered with a strict but fair hand. His greatest weapons were a set of ten rings, each imparted with a fundamental element of the world itself, crafted using secrets said to come from both the Rikudō Sennin and beyond the stars.

Using his power he united the entire continent under his banner. But jealous, greedy, and fearful fools sought to expunge him and take the newly founded empire for themselves. Using trickery and deceit they assassinated him and sought to claim his rings for themselves. But the Mandarin was wise. His rings were designed to only respond to his blood, and in a final act of defiance to his betrayers, he scattered the Ten Rings to the four corners of his empire. His children, our ancestors, fled, knowing that it would take time to rebuild their father's legacy. They settled on what would become Whirlpool, a small island nation hidden in shrouding mists and protected by dangerous currents.

For generations our family has searched for the Ten Rings of the Mandarin. We began to study Fūinjutsu early in our exile in hopes of finding a seal to help us locate the rings. It was through sheer blind luck that we managed to find one. Sealed in the bottom of this scroll through a blood seal is the Kōriwa (Ring of Ice), which is worn on the pinky finger of the left hand. It holds great power over ice and cold. With it you can summon ice from nothing, using it as either a weapon or as a shield, emit burst of freezing cold to weaken or stun enemies, or drop the temperature around you to suit your will. You will also never feel the icy grip of cold again and will be immune to most cold-based effects, like hypothermia and frost bite. According to legend the rings also share certain powers, powers that are supposed to be unlocked as more rings are gathered. The Kōriwa was given to me by my father when I was named our clan's heiress, and now I pass it on to you. To open the seal, bite your thumb and smear a bit of blood on the seal. With the ring you will find my personal scrolls and my diary. If I can't be there for you, I hope that my thoughts growing up will give you a connection to me in some way. The scrolls contain instructions for the martial arts style our family uses as well as several other scrolls containing our family's ninjutsu and fūinjutsu techniques. Use them well and grow strong my little maelstrom and let nothing hold you back. Grab hold of what you want and live your life not for a village that doesn't deserve your respect or love, for people who could care less if you lived or died, but live for yourself and find a place you can truly call home, a place you truly wish to protect.

(There's another letter in my diary for you, it will explain how to get into our family home in Konoha, which scrolls to read and what jutsu to learn first. FOLLOW IT! If you're like me in any way I know you will be impatient to learn. But it will make sense in time, trust me.)

Naruto smiled as he traced that passage again, "I am like you mom." whispered the blonde with a small smile, even as tears slipped from his eyes again. He returned to reading his mother's final words, finding both solace and pain in this connection to his parents after so many years wondering who they were.

I ask for only one thing my son, continue our search. Find the other nine and use them to bring our family back to glory, this is your mother's last request.

Well, that and find a cute girl or two and give me plenty of grandbabies :)

Anyway, after generations of effort and research our clan succeeded in creating a way of locating the other nine rings mere months before our homeland's destruction, constructing a talisman forged with seals and tempered with both our blood and the power of the Kōriwa. With it you can use the link that binds the power of the rings to us and the Kōriwa itself to locate the others. I have yet to use it myself because I was bound to Konoha during the war and my pregnancy with you soon after. I have given it to your godmother Tsunade for safe-keeping. I pray she stayed with you, or at least took you with her, but I know her well enough to know that she probably fled Konoha soon after my death. Tsunade has been hurt by the loss of all she loves and Konoha is too full of painful memories for her. Don't hate her my son. She is both kin and a good woman, she's just been broken by too much grief, something I know far too well. Find Tsunade and you will find the pendent and with it you will find the rings. I have faith that she will help you. However I cannot speak the same for your toad of a godfather Jiraiya, why Minato insisted on naming that man your godfather I'll never know. If he actually raised you then I'll apologize when we next meet, but I doubt it. The man was a fool and a wastrel, more concerned with his own lusts than his responsibilities to all but the village.

Now there's more, our clan holds one last power: a kekkai genkai of ancient and prominent strength. It is called the Ryūjinchi (Blood of the Dragon King), and it greatly enhances our clan's natural life-force. At its most basic elements, this accelerates our healing process, greatly increases our stamina and chakra reserves, and allows us to live longer than normal. While I'll admit they're not the flashiest abilities, they are damned useful and I'm sure they'll help you on whatever path you choose to walk. However, its greatest ability is that it alters our chakra on a fundamental nature. The exact nature of the change varies from person to person. Mine allowed me to suppress the chakra of others and with time allow me to manifest chains of pure chakra to bind both my opponents and their chakra. Your Grandfather's allowed him to sever anything that came into contact with it. Your Great Grandfather's allowed him to crush anything that he could connect with his chakra, while your Great Grandmother's allowed her to attrack or repel objects infused with her chakra at will. The individualistic nature of this change is what made our kekkai genkai so dangerous, making it impossible for opponents to predict what abilities we may possess. An Inuzuka fights with a ninken by their side, a Nara will try to use his shadow, and a Hyūga always fights close-up, but no one can ever predict what an Uzumaki will do.

Live a long, happy life my little maelstrom. Know that I am watching over you and love you with all my heart and soul, and, when your time comes, I will welcome you with a hug and hope and pray you will give me one in return. Don't forget to live and love…and remember: grandbabies!


Kushina Uzumaki-Namikaze

"The Bloody Red Habanero"

"The Scarlet Tide"

"The Ruby Chain"

"The Crimson Ice Queen"

And most importantly…the title I cherish more than anything…"Mom."

PS: There is a seal marker in the diary that will help you control and limit the flow of the Kyūbi's chakra. If I know your father, (and I do) the baka probably left that out of his "great seal design" (Some times that man can be so infuriatingly full of himself) and the damnable beast is probably ruining your chakra control by overfilling your reserves. Tell Sarutobi to add that to the seal on your stomach. You should have received this letter around your seventh birthday, if the old monkey's word is worth anything, to help prepare you for the academy. Seven's a bit younger than when I started training, but sadly you don't have the extra help I had to learn so it could take you a while longer, but don't be discouraged, you will master it. I have faith in you my little one. Good luck and all my love.

PSS: If you haven't learned about the Kyūbi, tell that old perverted bastards and his pet toad to tell you the FUCKING TRUTH! He and Jiraiya should have done that long ago, if they did as they promised.

'They didn't. And who the hell is Jiraiya?' thought Naruto angrily as he wiped his eyes before biting his thumb and swiping it across the seal along the bottom of the letter. In a puff of smoke nearly two dozen scrolls were now littered across his bed, and lying at the center was a ring and a small book. The book, his mother's journal obviously, was very thin, with a dark red leather cover with an orange spiral engraved in its center, with the name 'Kushina Uzumaki' on top. The ring was a simple looking thing, made of polished silver and engraved with symbols of ice and snow, with a pale blue, circular topaz at its center (See Profile for image). Floating in the gem's center, seemingly trapped within the gemstone itself, was the kanji for 'Ice' in pure white.

As soon as Naruto touched it he could feel something, almost like a pulse made entirely of cold wind, vibrating from the ring and into his flesh. In slow, hesitant motions he slipped the ring onto his finger. As soon as the silver touched his flesh he felt a jolt like static electricity but far more pleasurable, like a bit of himself he never knew was missing had finally been returned. Looking at scrolls, the symbols of his family, he thought, 'Maybe something has.'

He looked at the hitai-ate Iruka had given on him last night after he kicked Mizuki's ass. Mere moments ago it was a symbol of his progress, but now it seemed to be a chain binding him further to the ground.

"I need to speak with the old man." stated the blonde finally, his hand absently brushing the ring now resting on his finger, his blue eyes half closed as he thought of what he wanted to say and what he would need to do. He slipped the scrolls and letter into the hidden pockets he'd sown into the back of his jacket and looked around the small, three rooms that made up his apartment, searching for anything worth taking with him, and finding almost nothing. Konoha had few bonds left with him, and none great enough to change his mind.

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(Hokage's Office, a Short Time Later)

Hiruzen Sarutobi sighed as he read the interrogation report Ibiki had sent him after his session with Mizuki.

'Last night did not go well.' he thought to himself. Mizuki had revealed to Naruto the existence of the Kyūbi sealed within him. The look of defeat in the boy's eyes when he left last night troubled the aged Hokage, it was a look the old Hokage had only seen a few time in all the years he'd known him. Only after a villager had done something truly foolish and unforgivable had such a look crossed the boy's face.

His intercom buzzed, breaking his meditation. Pressing a button he calmly answered with a "Yes?"

"Naruto Uzumaki wishes to speak with you." His secretary said.

"Send him in." stated the old Hokage as he looked at the door. It opened and the blond walked in slowly, his pace measured and calm. That was not a good sign to the old kage, Naruto had always been so vibrant, so full of life, to see him acting with such measured calm was not good. His mother had walked like that only when she held dire news or was completely enraged. It was the walk she carried herself with shortly before she gave Jiraiya the second worst beating of his life after peeping on her. Hiruzen took note of the boy's eyes and posture, but found both nearly unreadable given his previous experience with the boy. Naruto didn't shout a greeting, didn't even look at him as he closed the door firmly behind him before walking up to his desk and sitting down. Another bad sign.

"Naruto?" he asked carefully, worry etching its way across his features

"Who was Kushina?"

Of all the things the aged Hokage had expected after last night, hearing that name come from the blond was not one of them.

"How about Minato?" Naruto continued seeing the look of utter shock cross the old man's face.

"How about Jiraiya and Tsunade?" Naruto threw two more names at the Hokage.

"W-Where did you hear those names?" Hiruzen asked, finally shocked out of his stupor.

"You tell me first." growled the blonde. There was a coldness in his voice that the Hokage had never heard before. Something was very, very wrong.

"I…" he tried to start, to offer some excuse or lie before the blonde cut him off.

"You see, Hokage-sama," the blonde practically spat the honorific, "I found something else last night when I took the forbidden scroll." Naruto held up the empty envelope with his name on it. "A letter addressed to me from my mother."

Hiruzen winced.

"W-Where did you…."

"I found it with the scroll in the safe and, since it had my name on it, I decided to take it as well. Let me guess Hokage-sama, this is something you were never going to give to me, was it?" hissed the blonde icily.

"I was going to wait till you were older and…"

"It would have been far, far too late Hokage-sama, just like it is far too late now. My mother wanted me to have this when I was seven." hissed Naruto and Hiruzen winced again at the venom now lacing the blonde's words. Since entering the office the blond had not once called him jiji or even had a shred of warmth in his eyes or voice.

"Naruto, I did what I thought was best for the village" he offered belatedly, "You must understand that…"

"FUCK THE THRICE DAMNED VILLAGE!" Naruto roared. "When has this fuck-hole done anything for me other than beat me down and disregarded my father's sacrifice and dying wish? That's what you told me earlier wasn't it? That his dying wish was for me to be seen as a hero?" Naruto suddenly snorted "Shows how much Konoha truly respects their 'greatest hero.'" finished Naruto sarcastically.

Sarutobi winced at that. "Naruto you must understand, the people were hurt and scared and they…" he tried to explain, before Naruto cut him off again

Naruto was barely paying attention to him at the moment, instead his focus on the picture of the Yondaime on the wall. "I wonder what he would think of this village if he saw how they treat his son. I wonder would he sit back and make excuses for a village that treats a child like the lowest form of scum. I wonder if he would lie to the child and not tell him about his family. I wonder if he'd break his word to a boy's mother about telling him exactly who he is. I can see not telling others, but to lie to me, to deny me my heritage. To tell me you didn't know my family, when you once claimed to be one of their dearest friends? To go against my mother's dying wish? Tell me did you even know what was in that letter?" accused the blonde, his eyes staring daggers into the aged Fire Shadow.

The Hokage's look answered his question.

"I thought not, my mother must have put a seal on it so it would only open for me. So you didn't even know what it said and you still denied me my heritage? That is the final straw old man." That title, formerly used as a sign of affection, now sounded like the bitterest of insults.

Naruto's hands slowly reached up to his forehead and pulled his hitai-ate off before dropping it on the desk. "I resign from being a shinobi of Konohagakure. I'm leaving this village once and for all." Naruto said finally.

"You can't. What about…" Hiruzen started.

"About what? I'm going to my father's house, getting the scrolls my mother's letter told me about, and I am going to find my godmother." stated the blonde decisively.

"Naruto, please." The Hokage said quickly. "Reconsider this course of action."

"Why?" questioned the blonde, his voice lifeless.

In that moment the Hokage saw the young man in a different light. He saw that the constant abuse from the village had taken its toll. The bright and smiling mask was gone, revealing someone who could care less for the village. The boy had kept it all inside and with this final blow the dam had been broken.

"I can't accept your resignation." the Hokage tried, desperately reaching for a reason to keep the blond here, where he belonged, where he needed to be.

"Why not? Article Code 117-6349, paragraph three, part B of the Konoha Charter: A Genin may retire from the shinobi program whenever they desire. It was originally placed to allow those who couldn't deal with the stress of shinobi work a way out." stated the blonde, reciting one of Iruka's lectures. A small cold smile appeared on his face as he continued. "I did fail the exam for the third time, granted it was again sabotaged with a genjutsu on the paper, and Mizuki went all out against me in the taijutsu match while Iruka was off separating the Uchiha's fan-girls…again." he finished derisively

Naruto looked at the Hokage, his eyes as cold as ice. "The villagers want me gone; the council wants me gone and/or dead. Why continue to fight it and stay in a place where I'll have to work myself to the bone just to be accepted? I'm leaving."

"Your father would want you to stay and be a ninja of Konoha." Sarutobi tried. "And surely Kushina would…"

"My mother's letter told me exactly what she wanted," interrupted the blonde icily, "and it was for me to be happy; something that will obviously never happen in this place if most of the village has any say. As for my father, if he was anywhere near the great man everyone seems to think he was he'd want his child to be happy, and if he didn't…well screw him and his precious village. How much do you pay for a loaf of bread?"

Hiruzen paused at the sudden turn. "I'm not sure what…"

"It's simple, honored Hokage-sama, how much do you pay for a loaf of bread?" disdain was literally dripping from the blondes voice.

"Two hundred ryō." The Hokage finally answered.

"I get charged a thousand for week old bread." Naruto responded, as if that one fact proved every point he was trying to make. In some ways it did.

The Hokage's heart was sinking. "You can't leave Naruto…please. I will make things better I promise." he tried desperately

The blond looked at him; it was a look empty of all emotions, of any bond they once shared. "Give me one reason Hokage-sama. One reason to trust a man who has spat on the dying wishes of both my parents. One reason to stay in a village that could care less if I dropped dead right now…they'd throw a party, piss on my grave if I even get one, and if I do, dig me up and toss me into the woods." Naruto shook his head and started to walk out of the office. "I'm leaving old fool, there's not a power in heaven or earth that will stop me. This village and nearly everyone in it can burn for all I care. My mother said I should seek my own happiness and that's what I plan to do." he finished as the doors closed behind him.

Hiruzen stared at the Hitai-ate now lying on his desk for several moments; his hopes for the future were walking out the door.

'I've got to stop him.'

He slapped the intercom. "Get me Kakashi and Iruka…NOW!"

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My little Naruto,

Since you're reading this, you've read my letter. This one is to tell you about your father's house and where to find his scrolls. You will need your blood to get to them as there are seals that are blood-based to keep everyone out of our house that isn't family or invited in. He and I worked together to craft them so they're strong enough to hold back the Bijū themselves.

The other letter with my diary is about the scrolls and such, read that one later when you are safe my son. This is more important. If you're doing what I think you are, if things have gone as I feared, you won't have much time. There is a spiral in the center of the main gate, apply your blood there and the gate will let you and anyone with you pass. Anyone else will run into one of your fathers lightning traps. That man loved his Raiton (Lightning Release) ninjutsu, even named his signature technique after one of his favorites.

Once you get to the house, go to the second floor, and make your way to the library. (see map enclosed)

Once there, the safe is behind the picture of your father and his genin team. Again its blood sealed; this one you will need to cut your palm and apply chakra at the same time. Inside you'll find your father's personal scrolls and his journal (he refused to call it a diary as it wasn't "Manly." I love the man, really I do, but he is such a dim-witted goof when he's not a total genius.)

I know you don't want to hear that, so grab everything in the safe and anything else you want to keep with you. It'll probably be easier just to seal up the entire library. There should be a couple dozen storage scrolls in the left hand bottom drawer of the desk, use them to store anything you want to take with you. Once you sealed those, go to our room (follow the map my little maelstrom) and you will find the safe behind our wedding picture. Take that with you when you go. The seal is like the one in the library and once you open it you will find five hundred thousand ryō, a bag of small gems, bank statements and books for accounts outside of Konoha. As I said, your father has faith in the villagers, I am a realist and have thus taken several precautions should I, or you in this case, ever have to leave the village in a rush.

Seal those in a scroll, keep some ryō out, keep the gems until your funds start running low and then sell a few. They are high quality and each is worth a several tens of thousand ryō easily. Like I said, I planned ahead in case I needed to get you out of Konoha with the way the war with Iwa had been going. (Read my diary to learn more.)

Once that is done, add anything else you want to take with you, it is your home and with us gone everything in it is yours by right. Once you leave, the house will be locked down until you return, if you don't then Konoha's inherited a ghost house and land they will never touch again.

Once again, be safe, be happy, and find Tsunade. You'll find a picture in the diary and all I could remember of her gambling and drinking habits.

With all my love,

Your mother,

Kushina Uzumaki-Namikaze

PS: Leave over the back wall, there is a hidden passage near the large oak just outside the walls; add blood to the spiral-shaped knot on the tree and you'll see what I mean. It will let you out in the woods a couple miles outside of Konoha without going through the gate.

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Naruto added the last of the storage scrolls to the travel pack he found in the closet. He'd found some shirts and pants that were only slightly too big, as well as a kick ass long coat with flames which he added. It may not be his size, but he could make alterations. Being unable to buy clothes at most shops that weren't violently eye-searing bright or cost more than he got in a month had taught him to be fairly good with a needle and thread.

When he found the room that would have been his, tears slipped from his eyes again as he saw that, even after all this time, the love his parents had put into the room for his baby self still shown through. He saw the crib and a rocker. His hand shook as he picked up a picture of his parents. His father wearing his Hokage robes and hat holding his very pregnant and grinning wife, her hand was touching her belly where he was waiting to be born.

He slipped the picture out of the frame and into an inner pocket of his jacket. He turned to leave, but stopped seeing a stuffed toad in the crib, along with a stuffed orange dragon.

Naruto, never having a stuffed animal growing up, looked at them for a moment before picking them up and slipping them into the pack.

His search of the downstairs revealed nothing but a few more books, but the basement seemed to have been built to double as a dojo. In it he found a number of weapons, mostly blunted training tools but a couple of real ones, and some scrolls on basic jutsu, as well as several Raiton scrolls. He added them to the storage scroll and sealed it.

"Goodbye." Naruto whispered to the house that had been empty for all these years when it should have been home to a happy family. Now the last of that family was leaving and would likely never return.

He left, activating the seals once more as he slipped over the back wall, none in Konoha saw him leave.

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Yes it's mostly a reprint and modified version of the original but I really like the first chapter so I'm keeping it.

With placing two of my stories on hiatus until I have the inspiration to rewrite them and give them the full credit they deserve, I have decided to start this fic. It's been boiling in the back of my brain for a while and I have just recently gotten permission to go for it. I will not be starting any more new stories for the foreseeable future, instead focusing on this one, Blades, Bows and Souls, and A Seer's Fable.