Title: After the End
Summary: Long ago in the forbidden lands once called Amestris, the lives of the people suddenly died out in a night. When Naruto Uzumaki is appointed to a mission to guide Edward Elric to the forbidden lands, he finds that there is more to Edward Elric the Storyteller that meets the eye. One-shot.
Note: FullMetal Alchemist manga Post Promised Day in which the souls of the people never returned to the people.
A/N: I haven't watched or read the Naruto manga or anime in a while so everything might not be up to scratch so I might get something wrong here and there. Also can anyone give me some criticism on my writing style?
Italics – Thoughts/storytelling/memories
Bold - Kyuubi
I do not own FullMetal Alchemist and I do not profit from any of this except for a bit of entertainment.
Naruto Uzumaki couldn't be happier. At the moment he was inhaling his ramen at his monstrous pace since Ero-sennin had been willing to treat him as a celebration for his new released novel. Well, he couldn't really care less for the novel but free ramen was good. Very good. Ramen was the pure form of happiness as a food, and cheap as well. Teuchi couldn't help but smile as he devoured several bowls while leaving each spotless.
"Hey old man, can I get a bowl of pork ramen?" A newcomer's voice rang in the stand. Naruto swiveled to meet the newcomer since normally no one would come to sit when he ate. Blonde hair wasn't rare but his hair was more of a shade of gold which was tied up into a ponytail. His eyes were somewhat like his hair, molten gold. One of his strangest features was his clothes. Underneath he wore some sort of black civilian clothes, but his jacket was peculiar to say the least, not that he could say much. His jacket was at least waist length and the colour of blood. The strangest thing was the symbol. He might have not listened at the academy but with what he knew, (which wasn't that much) that no clan in Konoha had a symbol like that.
"Oi brat. Why are you staring at me like that?" The golden man asked with his eyes narrowed. "Don't you know it's rude to stare at people?" He added in after a few seconds with a sigh while still warily staring at him. After an awful long time, what felt like minutes, the golden man let down his stare to concentrate on his newly arrived ramen. Naruto couldn't feel a bit queasy inside after feeling his stare penetrating into him, like he was being observed on a display.
Normally anyone else in the village would have probably glared at him and try and eat as fast as possible. No, but this man had stayed and he didn't have a hostile feeling to him like most people did. This man was strange and Naruto was curious.
"Hey old man, did you know who he was?" He asked. The man had long gone and Ero-sennin was bound to wake up soon, leaving before the pervert could make him pay up as well when it was his treat. Gama-chan did not like being starved at all.
"Oh, that man? He's the storyteller at the academy grounds. He's not official but he tells legends of what happened to the forbidden lands. It's free and kids of all ages go there, whether they're ninjas or civilians or even academy students. He appreciates tips and Ayame had been there once." Teuchi mumbled more about the man, something about how Ayame had a good time.
"Long ago, even before the Land of Amestris was wiped out, was a country named Xerxes. In this particular village, there was a slave who was numbered 23. This slave was special. His blood was used for an experiment which lead to a being called the 'dwarf in the flask'. Slave number 23 was the keeper of this monster.
At first glance, this monster looked harmless but it had knowledge, knowledge of immortality. But deep inside, it was filled with only malice and cunning.
Slave number 23 kept the study clean where the monster had 'lived'. Every day the 'Dwarf' would use converse with him. "What is your name?" It asked.
"Number 23." He would answer.
"I want a name not a number."
"Don't have one, I'm just a slave."
"A slave, humans with no rights or freedom, who are bought, sold and exchanged between other humans, right?"
The flask would help him each day trying to earn his trust. To the flask, humans were toys pawns that were to be used or thrown away.
One day, the flask gave the slave a name to keep.
"23 sounds so cold, why don't I give you a name?" It asked. "After various names it asked, "Van Hoenheim?"
After that day, Slave 23 would be called Van Hoenheim by the flask while it whispered sweet words of freedom to his head.
"Do you want to be stuck here forever? Don't you wish for freedom, for liberty Hoenheim? Will you live your life to the end as a slave? Serving others with no rights of your own? Trapped in a Wes and left to rot? Dying with your freedom stolen and no experience of the outside world? Because that's the same as living in a flask as I do.
Knowledge is to be treasured. It is true power and the only way to live a life without becoming a burden to others.
I can give you knowledge Hoenheim and free you from your shackles."
"Wh-what are you?" Hoenheim would ask.
"Why don't you just call me, Homunculus?"
Years later, the Dwarf in the flask got the attention of the King of Xerxes. Homunculus had told him a method of immortality. Immediately, the King listened while Homunculus used his spell on him. Manipulation.
For days, the villagers dug out trenches for the King. His plan was to gain immortality by using alchemy, a dead art now. Over a night, after the trenches were finished, the King's assassins were ordered to kill everyone in the village for the plan.
The King had killed most of the people of Xerxes while the Dwarf had his plan into action. When the alchemy was activated, it killed everyone including the King while their souls were used to make the legendary Philosopher's Stone. When only the flask and Hoenheim were left, the Dwarf in the flask gained his own body, a mirror of Hoenheim while the former slave was granted with immortality from the Philosopher's stone.
Now the city of Xerxes is left in ruins and it is now known to some people as the city that died overnight."
The golden man stopped to take another break. "Thank you for listening, I've appreciated everyone who's listened to my stories over the weeks, I would love it if anyone would spread my stories around." With a smile, everyone got up to leave and said their thanks to the golden man.
"Hey you, aren't you that kid from that ramen shop?" The golden man asked him with a serene smile that could make any girl drop.
"It was really good! Where'd you hear these stories from?" Naruto's joy was genuine and contagious.
"Haha, thanks. Wanna talk about this over lunch tomorrow before I leave? By the way, the name's Elric Edward." The golden man lent out his hand in some sort of handshake gesture.
Naruto agreed with a grin, "Are you from around here? What village are you from 'cause your names kind of strange." He reached out to Edward's hands for a shake.
"Yea I guess, so I'll see you tomorrow?" Before he could answer, Edward Elric turned and started to walk away.
"Okay dig in, this ones on me." Edward smiled at the way Naruto started inhaling his food at monstrous pace.
"So kid, what's that outfit for?" Ed asked between mouthfuls. From how Naruto was eating, you would think that it was either his first meal in days or that ramen was some sort of gourmet meal.
"Did you say something mister?" Naruto looked up to lock his gaze on his.
"C'mon, wake up. You have to wake up," the armor grieved. "Please, just please wake up. Brother! Why won't she wake up?" The sobs echoed in the hollow body. "Why? Just why?" The lifeless blonde stayed limp in his arms, eyes dull staring up towards the ceiling.
"Hey mister, are you okay? You've been staring at your bowl for the last five minutes?" The boy questioned with half his mouth stuffed with ramen which sounded more like mumbling.
"Yea just thinking. What's with that getup of yours?" Ed turned to face him with a smile.
"It's my ninja jumpsuit because I'm going to be a Hokage! Believe it!"
"I'm sure you will." With that, the day became brighter for Naruto Uzumaki.
The office was quiet for once. No ninjas, civilians or even Shizune! But to every good thing was a bad thing… Shizune took away her alcohol, all of it. A week worth of paperwork piled up on her desk, she had to help people with their problems AND do all the paperwork but in all seriousness she would probably by the end of the day get Shizune to do it while she indulged on her precious sake.
All was calm at the moment but that would all be ruined when the devil in orange bursts through the door. Before then she would admire the scenery of th-
"Baa-chan, I'm here." Naruto rushed in greeting Tsunade with a sing-song voice. The woman just scowled in response.
"Can't you come in here being serious for once?" She questioned jokingly with a sigh, "I have a mission for you." She pinched the bridge of her nose as if she was agitated.
"What type of mission?" He squint his eyes and brought his arms behind his head.
The Hokage picked up a sheet of paper, "You will be escorting an Elric Edward to the west border of the Village of the Sand with Hatake Kakashi. The mission is C rank but with an A rank pay."
"Wait…." Naruto looked around bewildered. "A rank pay?! Why is it so high?" He did his trademark pose with his index finger pointing out the Hokage. No one ever gave A rank pays for C rank missions. That was just absurd!
Edward Elric was never one who liked to wait. He sat at the village gate with a guard watching his every move. It wasn't everyday that someone would waltz up and just plop in front of the entrance.
The day was good though, blue skies with bits of clouds every now and then, the wind blowing against his long hair which caused it to get tangled in his face. He would've gotten a haircut after constantly eating his hair but he liked it long.
Everything else was fine, no one even made a peep or they were just too far away from the crowds. He could see a few little houses opposite to the gate and with a dot of orange in the distance.
Orange? The dot gradually became bigger until other details started appearing with it. Blonde hair with an orange jumpsuit. Anyone in the village could recognize the local hellion from a mile away.
As he got closer, Ed noticed that the blonde was running with his eyes closed and a grin that took up half his face. He's running with his eyes closed? That idiot. He's going to crash into something eventu- Crash. Naruto was sent tumbling down with an Elric who had now grown a scowl onto his face. "Am I late?!" The blonde asked with his head buried in the dirt.
The guard rolled his eyes and sighed. People these days.
Edward Elric would never know the day would come when he would miss Mother Nature, grass, trees, anything would do! It was hot all around him with bits of sand worming its way into his mouth or eyes. He could feel his left leg slowly sink with each footstep he took. At the moment he would gladly kiss the dirt just to get away from this hellhole.
The other two didn't seem to be faring that well either, or maybe just Naruto… Hatake seemed to be absorbed into his book while giggling at the most random times; Ed could see through his posture that he was also well aware of the outside world with sharpened senses. To anyone else he would've seemed like a normal man absorbed into his book with insistent giggling and amused semi-circled eyes, but to him with centuries of knowledge, it was easy to judge. For Naruto it was a different story, he seemed to be handling it fine until the sand storm got stronger. Now he had some bandages wrapped around his head while he sluggishly walked behind them, Ed would describe him as something you would see on a kid in Halloween.
When the sun went down, so did the storm leaving a cold, peaceful night. In contrast to the dark sky was a roaring fire huddled with a trio of people. They had stopped for the night. On top of the fire was a spit roast with some sort of skewered desert poultry. Ed coughed, "For the time being do you guys want to hear some stories? The night is long so some form of entertainment would be good." Naruto just absent mindedly nodded while Hatake just gave a stare.
He took a deep breath, "Centuries ago, in a small town named Risembool, lived a boy with his mother, father and brother who would in the future be named 'FullMetal.' One day, his father had left home with no warning while his mother would look out the window everyday with a dreamy look on her face. Over time the boy grew hatred for him and to see his mother look sadly through the windows. In a way to cheer her up, the boy and the brother had learnt Alchemy or 'Renkinjutsu' to impress her…
"Ugh," Naruto moaned, "Why does it have to so hot again today?" His hair was soaked while he practically crawled along with them.
"You know, any ninja is supposed to be suited for any weather." Edward moaned himself, it felt like his shoulder and knee would just explode at any second given. Yesterday the weather might've been dull and dusty but today felt like some sort of death trap.
Hatake kept walking with apparently no problem with the heat.
"But the sun is so ummm hot…" He let out a sigh. Dying in a hole sounded so much better than this torture. Damn the sun and its…. Sunniness…. Kill me now.
During the day, they had the vigorous chore of walking through the desert, while at night they set up camp while the golden man told them stories. His voice at times would be soft and light-hearted then brimming with emotions, painting a picture in everyone's minds.
"A man from the military came to them one day, looking to recruit new alchemists. He was called Flame. He came across a little abandoned cottage. On the floor of the cottage was smudged outline of a circle and massive amounts of blood, soaked into the very wood…."
"The embers danced around the house, clawing their way through. The air cackled and laughed, the fire visible in contrast to the quiet dark night. Any possessions burned while wisps of fire slithered up to the sky before fluttering into oblivion….."
"On their search for the Philosopher's Stone, they came across a town named Liore, where a man named himself 'God' and performed miracles…."
"Number 48 was silenced. From the dark came two figures, two creatures with the bodies of human who called themselves Lust and Envy…"
"The brother had been caught by a group of rouge chimeras. Their leader wanted everything, money, women and immortality. With the brother's help, they could grant him immortality. This personnel was called Greed."
"…The main ingredient for the Philosopher's Stone was Human life…"
"…The letters read 'SELIM BRADLEY IS A HOMUNCULUS'…."
"It was a sea of red and blood stretching beyond his sight. They had entered Gluttony's stomach…"
"His eyes were different, "This isn't your Prince anymore…. Just call me Greed."
"They could all feel the presence of the Führer, Wrath…."
"Out came a monster…. Sloth…"
"Then came the Promised Day."
Kakashi squatted on a long and high rock using it like a watch tower, "We're nearing the border, we might stop for today then we'll get there first thing tomorrow." He hopped down, landing with precise accuracy. Half the sun sat at the horizon giving the landscape more of an orange-hue and the sky a more reddish hue.
Naruto sighed, another day of sleeping in the open and waking up buried in a sand blanket. Not really the best thing to wake up to. "So Mister, what happened at the Promised Day?" He plopped himself down onto the sand.
Edward scratched his head in an act of confusion, "Well, I nearly really get to that part normally," He left out a nervous chuckle. "I normally have to leave before that, it's hard to remember all the bits and pieces."
"They all lay in a room, the five human sacrifices. The teacher, Hohenheim, the brother, Flame and last but not least FullMetal. Father had awakened the nation-wide transmutation circle with their power forcing every human in Amestris to release their souls…."
"Just within Father's grasp was God's power…"
"With Hohenheim's circle, they stripped the 'God' from his power and with Scar's circle; the five regained the power to fight the weakened 'God'…."
"With a last punch of FullMetal's fist, Father disappeared like ash.
But the Souls never returned to the people's body and they lay rotting away for the rest of eternity…"
He let out a small cough to clear his throat, "So that's basically the end of the story." His lips curled a bit upwards, but his eyes stayed downcast.
Without sensing the golden man's sadness, Naruto asked, "But Mister, what happened to the last five people?" He widened his blue eyes giving him an innocent look.
"Ah well… I guess I could tell you….
The brother was the first to go, mentally affected and lying by his beloved best friend until the end…."
Alphonse slowly stoked her hair with his lips curled up but dead eyes looking at hers. "I'll stay with you until you wake up. Then we can eat those apple pies that you promised us." Tears rolled down his cheeks but he seemed to not be aware of them, "Then you me and Brother can live happily ever after…
"Then the teacher left, she didn't notice but we knew that she was slowly disappearing…"
Izumi lay in her bed thinking to herself, 'When will Sig get home?' He always came back, no matter what happened. He always did…..
"Then it was Hohenheim, his time was up and they found him in front of his wife's grave smiling peacefully…"
"Dad! Wake up… You can't leave me like everyone else…"
"Flame left with no warning with Souls of the people in his body as a Philosopher's Stone."
Roy walked away getting further and further away until the only thing left of him was his voice. "Maybe we'll see each other in the future sometime. Until then, good luck FullMetal…"
"And FullMetal? I think I might keep that as a secret…" He winked at the kid before raising his arms for a stretch before a yawn. "For now why don't we get some sleep for an early rise?"
In the horizon, a small village appeared to their line of sight. "Kakashi-sensei! I see it! I see it!" Naruto started jumping in sheer happiness. Actual food and shelter, this must be heaven.
Edward coughed to gain his attention, "Hey kid, wanna race to there?" Despite Edward's age, a little running could be good for him.
"Are you sure old man? I'm a ninja and I'll win." Naruto gave an arrogant smirk and a thumbs up.
"Such a big ego for such a small kid."
"Not that you can say much old man, I bet even and academy student can walk over you."
"It's on kid." Without a warning they sprinted leaving Kakashi in their dust.
People these days…
"Ah, Mister Edward you're back." A brunette beamed at him.
Currently both men were on the ground breathing for they were worth. Technically Naruto had won until somehow tripped over something. Stupid sand, I mean how did I trip over you?! Therefore it was Edward replicating his pose from before even with the thumbs up.
"Trisha, how was it going while I was gone?" He patted the girl on the head who looked to be no more than ten.
"Another mister came through the village the other day! He was looking for you Mister Edward. He had this blue coat on and black hair, he also called Trisha pretty! He had one of those circle things on his gloves like the ones you draw! He helped people as well, the gardener, the lady down the road, the flower person, even the man with the big square knife! He also helped a-"
Edward knelt down to little Trisha and looked her straight into her eyes but with a soft smile. "So what did this man want?"
"Oh yea!" The rummaged through her worn practically dead bag, "He said to give this to Mister Edward!" She handed it to him with two hands.
Edward accepted this with and opened the book with haste. Naruto puzzled at how the man could change his face from being wide-eyes to shiny wet eyes. Is he crying? The book didn't seem like much from what he could see, the cover was leather and looked to be handmade and the pages were yellowed with age. Something that most would probably use as a diary so maybe it was from family or someone special?
"Oh god….. He's still alive." He whispered to no one in particular. He couldn't help a few tears roll down his face. It's been so many years, and you're still alive?
"Here kid, I think you should have this." He passed Naruto the book while making no direct eye contact and wiping his eyes on his sleeve.
It's been so many years but now I have come out of hiding. I am determined to make Amestris a new country, it might be dead but the heart of it is still with us. It seems like Alchemy is dead now but if we revive it, the people will never be forgotten. I can't say much right now but find me and you will get some answers. Remember, you have you perfectly good feet, use them.
Your Dearest Commanding Officer
Naruto couldn't be more confused at the moment, FullMetal? He looked up to ask the man a question, but he was gone.
"Who are you actually?"
A/N: Took me so long but I feel like they're so out of character...
This is set a few centuries after the Promised Day so Ed was travelling around for a while. :3
It didn't really turn out the best but it was fun and it kinda helped me with my creative writing I hope….. And the reason he goes Elric Edward sometimes is because it's set in Japanese culture so I figured it would've been good to make his surname go in the front.
Don't criticize how I made Al and Izumi or some other people act though….. And don't pick put every single problem….
And this is the longest thing I've actually written so I'm actually quite proud of myself. :D
Review please :D and feel free to give me advice to improve my writing style though.