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"Creature Talking"

"Character Talking"

'Character Thoughts'


Chapter 4: Explosion

Naruto narrowed his eyes at the man before him. He didn't recognize the man at all, yet he felt as if he should've. There something similar about him. It was his garb!

"Who are you?" he asked, his hand tightening on his Gunbai.

Deidara's grin widened as Sol and Juvia sneaked away from the destructive battle that was about to take place. They knew that Deidara carried immense power, and if this man, Naruto was truly a Wizard Saint, they didn't want to be anywhere near the battle when it started.

"As I said friend, I am Deidara of the Akatsuki, un," Deidara said, enjoying the moment. "That's a really nice sword you've got there kid," he commented.

Naruto eyed Deidara suspiciously.

"Kind of reminds me of someone. Hmm, who was it again? Oh yes, I remember now, un," Deidara said sinisterly, his eyes shimmering with madness. "It look exactly like the one that old Madara-teme used to carry, un."

Naruto's eyes widened in panic as red energy began to outline the blade. Deidara grinned as his hands closed around some clay, and began to mold it. His art would be ready.

"Who are you? What's your motive?" Naruto demanded.

"I don't think that you're in any position to ask questions, Demon Slayer," Deidara retorted smugly. "Just know this; the Akatsuki will stop at nothing to gather all the Demon Slayers, and you will not stand in out way again, un."

Naruto did not change his expression, but his eyes spoke for itself. "What could one Dark Guild accomplish on it's own?" he said.

Deidara merely eyed him with something akin to pity. "Well, I wouldn't worry about that. Each of the Akatsuki is able to match a Wizard Saint in battle, and there are twelve of us. If you think we'll fail, think again. Now, let's get the art show started, shall we, un."

The atmosphere grew even more tense as Naruto raised his Gunbai high. "Very well," he said.

Deidara whipped out an arm, and white sparrows burst out of his hand flying directly towards Naruto. Naruto swung his sword, blasting out a beam of crescent energy, just as Deidara roared, "Katsu!"

An explosion forced Naruto back as he lifted his Gunbai for protection. Naruto steadied himself as he opened his mouth. A crimson blast of energy tore forth from his mouth as streaked forward. Deidara flipped backwards out the open hole leading to the outside and disappeared through it, falling to the ground below.

Naruto wiped the grime off his face as he cautiously approached the hole in the wall that lead to the outside. Suddenly, an explosion shattered the ground and walls as Naruto slammed his fists together. A cloak of crimson energy circled his body as the explosion washed over him, obscuring him from view. Deidara didn't lose his smirk as he observed his handiwork from above, mounted atop a white clay owl.

Naruto threw out his arms. Red energy shot outward from the demonic cloak and twisted into beams that curved as they shimmered like crimson missiles heading towards Deidara. Deidara ordered his owl into a dive as he expertly dodged each one from the sky. Suddenly, another red tendril streaked below him. The Deidara pulled back and twisted to the side while simultaneously firing a series of eagles. Naruto closed his hands as crimson energy formed a wall, blocking the explosion from the hole.

Deidara dashed over the surface of the water, missiles blasting into the ocean at top speed. Crimson missiles streaked past and made the water blast outwards as they impacted it. He smirked as he reached back into his pouch.

Suddenly, Naruto detected movement near his face. His eyes widened as a sparrow came into view directly in front of his eyes. Deidara grinned as he formed a handseal. "Art is an Explosion!"

An explosion shattered the sky itself as Deidara grinned in triumph.

The smoke began to lift as a battered Naruto came into view. His energy cloak had blocked worst the explosion. His eyes gleamed with rage as he examined his opponent above.

'He's good. His first attack was just a front. Instead, he hid one bomb in the area behind me until he knew my attention would be directed elsewhere. He's definitely not messing around. That Explosion Magic is nothing to sneeze at. If I lose focus for even an instant, it'll be the last mistake I ever make.'

"This guy is pretty good," Deidara muttered. "Just before my art landmine detonated, he pulled another wave of energy in front of his face to block. His Demon Slaying powers are far beyond what I expected, but... I will not lose here. My art is... INVINCIBLE."

He shot out his palms in a rapid fashion. Explosive clay bombarded Naruto like rockets as Naruto slammed his Gunbai into the ground and clasped his hands together. Red energy netted out in front of him, and glowed before launching a powerful barrage of crimson bolts. Deidara grinned as he barrel rolled beneath the barrage, and dashed to the side while flinging clay at Naruto's side. Naruto didn't move a muscle as a red wall erupted between the explosives.

Deidara dipped down as he formed his hands into the tiger seal. An explosion blasted out from behind Naruto, throwing him out the hole. Deidara watched gleefully as Naruto descended to the ground far below. Naruto did not waver as he he fell freely. Deidara was confident now. Naruto wouldn't survive.

Naruto's expression didn't change as the wind tore at his face. He was ready.

Suddenly, a black blur intercepted Naruto's fall. Deidara's eyes widened as Naruto blurred into view before him. He was standing on a dragon, roughly the same size as Deidara's mount.

"While I'm curious as to where you found such a beast, I'll let my curiosity peak a little longer, un," Deidara quipped. "You can tell me all about it when the Akatsuki is ripping the Demonic Power from your innards, un."

Naruto smirked beneath his mask. "If that is your wish, then I'm afraid you'll never find out, Deidara of the Akatsuki."

Deidara responded by charging forward on his owl, hands positioned in a seal.

Naruto urged Aaronast forward as a magic circle blazed on his fist. As they grew nearer to each other Naruto shot out his fist. A wave of energy arms with wicked claws burst forth from his fist, each with a neon blue energy ball blazing in each palm.

Deidara froze mid seal, and wrenched his mount to side, streaking past Naruto like a bullet. Naruto snarled and swerved, trying to stay on Deidara's tail. He sped behind Deidara, making trenches in the water below...

Deidara veered upwards in a sharp twist, with Naruto close behind. Naruto focused all his magic energy into his right arm, channeling a massive stream into it. He blasted out a wave of energy arms, that formed a dome, and circled everywhere around Deidara as he looked desperately for a way to escape.

Naruto's crimson clawed arm latched onto Deidara's owl, clutching it by the tail from far below.

Deidara grinned as he shot out an arm. An enormous clay snake slithered out of his mouth on his palm, wrapping around the crimson arm. He formed a handseal, and cried, "Katsu."

There was another explosion forming a fiery sphere as Deidara smirked. Suddenly his eyes widened as he flipped backwards, leaping off the clay owl, while simultaneously firing several winged pigs from his palm. Naruto had already leaped on Deidara's owl. He drew back his Gunbai, and swung. Red energy blasted forth, straight towards Deidara from Deidara's own mount.

'Well, it seems I'm in a difficult situation right now,' Deidara thought ruefully. 'I can't dodge midair, but...'

He formed a tiger handseal, his eyes wide and slightly crazed as he sneered like a mad dog. 'I WON'T BE THE ONLY ONE TO DIE HERE!'

"KATSU!"

Naruto froze as the owl he was standing on began to glow. He instinctively raised his Gunbai. A massive red seal erupted forth between himself and the explosion, throwing up a cloud of smoke.

Deidara leaned forward midair, and flung clay beneath himself. There a puff of smoke as a large eagle materialized beneath Deidara, catching his fall, and making him doge the crimson blast. Deidara righted himself as he stared at the cloud of smoke his explosion had caused. 'I wonder if Sasori-sempai is having as much fun as I am,' he mused.

Inside the cloud of smoke, Naruto whispered to Aaronast, placed a hand on the dragon's neck gently. Blue energy glowed on the dragon before traveling up Naruto's arm. Naruto closed his eyes as he felt a familiar sensation. He stood straight up, aimed his palm at Deidara, and whispered the spell. Blue energy formed into a spiked ball. He pulled back... and hurled the energy ball at Deidara.

Deidara squinted as he saw a neon blast blasting towards. He swerved and flew the opposite way, trying to outmaneuver it, but the attack was far too fast. Suddenly, the spiked energy froze, and expanded. The spiked blossomed and shot outwards at a ridiculously fast pace, skewering anything it came into contact with. Deidara panicked, and tried to doge, but a spike cleaved through his shoulder.

Deidara gritted his teeth as another sliced his arm, making it limp uselessly. The spikes remained extended, making Deidara's left side throb in pain.

'Damn,' he thought. 'What the hell was that attack, un."

Just then, Naruto emerged from the smoke, mounted atop Aaronast.

Deidara eyed Naruto curiously.

"Hey, kid," he called. Naruto looked at him.

"That attack you just used... it wasn't Demon Slaying Magic was it, un."

Naruto's eyes flashed with surprise for a brief instant before returning to an apathetic expression.

"That... was pure magic you just unleashed, Demon Slayer. Tell me, exactly how could you use such an attack, There isn't a single mage I've heard of that can unleash such a thing in it's purest form, un."

Naruto's red eyes flashed with defiance, not budging a single inch.

"Who are you, Naruto of the Wizard Saints?" Deidara muttered. He stared at Naruto with interest.

"Enough playing around, Deidara of the Akatsuki," Naruto declared. "With this attack, I will end you!" He stood completely still, and closed his eyes, and slowly... pulled down his mask. Blue and Red spheres of energy floated around him.

Deidara took off in a blur, hoping to avoid whatever attack was about to be unleashed. He glanced at Naruto out of the corner of his eye, and grinned in anticipation. "Well, isn't this a surprise," he murmured. "This one can use THAT spell. Should be interesting, at the very least."

Wind blew past Naruto's face as he kept his focus. The spheres all began to converge and gathered together in front of Naruto's face, growing larger and larger, as it began to turn purple. Suddenly, Naruto's eyes snapped open as the large purple sphere shrank into the size of his fist. Naruto cracked open his mouth, and gulped it down. All was still for a moment. Naruto's hair billowed in the wind.

"Bijuudama!"

A crimson beam basted outwards, completely cleaving the waters in two, even twenty feet above. It shimmered with power as it streaked towards Deidara at top speed. Deidara felt a bead of sweat drip down his forehead as he swerved to the side, trying to dodge. However, he underestimated the Tailed Beast Ball's astonishing velocity. The blast connected...

An explosion fattened every solid structure with a mile radius, igniting into a column of fire and water rose high above the Phantom Lord Guild, and sending a massive tremor throughout the entirety of Magnolia Town.


With Natsu and Erza...

Natsu and Happy kept to the walls as another tremor nearly shook them upside down. "This is pretty crazy," Natsu remarked. "Whoever is fighting must be really strong."

"You think it's Naruto sempai?" Happy asked worriedly.

Natsu grinned. "If he is, then he hasn't lost his touch in the last five years. I feel sorry his opponent. After all, no one's gonna beat him, but me!"

Happy sighed in disbelief as they shakily continued down the dark alleyway, trying not to slip from the earthquakes.

Erza frowned as she followed behind him. 'Why, Naruto?' she thought. 'Why did you come back?'

"Yo, Erza, hurry up," Natsu shouted.

Erza shook herself out of her thoughts and quickened her pace. They had to hurry.

Erza paced herself next to Natsu and Happy as all three rounded a corner... and froze. Someone was already there.

"Who are you?" Natsu shouted. The hunchbacked figure didn't answer as Erza narrowed her eyes, her fingers inching towards her sword.

"Step aside," she commanded, a fierce expression on her face. "We have no business with you, unless you are of the Element 4."

There was silence as the hunched figure observed them silently.

"I am not of the Element 4," he growled, his voice deep and hoarse. "However, you took your time getting here. I had to wait for nearly fifteen minutes, and I do hate to be kept waiting, Fairy Tail."

Erza frowned in suspicion. "What business do you have with us, stranger?"

The figure stepped into the light with a CLUNK to reveal a hunchbacked masked man, with a straw hat, black and red cloak, and a large scorpion's tail whirring behind him.

"I have no business with you, but my mission remains clear. I don't wish to be kept waiting any longer, so I will be brief. I am Sasori of the Red Sands, member of the Akatsuki, and unfortunately, for you, today will be your last day alive. Deidara may have failed, but now we know exactly how powerful our target is. We know his weakness."

"What target? What weakness?" Erza demanded, drawing her sword. Natsu's eyes were filled with rage as his fists ignited in flames.

"Why the target should be obvious enough, and as for his weakness... it's you of course."

Erza stiffened as she understood the hidden implication behind his words. 'He's after Naruto!'

"BASTARD!" Natsu yelled and charged at Sasori, recklessly ignoring Erza's protests as his eyes were wide and fierce with rage.


With Raiden and Lucy...

Raiden cursed as another distant explosion nearly threw him off his feet. "Naruto's at it again," he muttered.

"Will he be alright?" Lucy asked worriedly.

"What? Oh sure. He'll be fine." Raiden said distractedly. "But, what worries me is that he's actually not taking out the opponent as quickly as I thought he would. Whoever he's fighting must be very strong."

"Do you think it's the Element 4?" Lucy asked, growing even more nervous. 'If they could go toe-to-toe with a Wizard Saint, then they must be very powerful.'

"Who knows," Raiden said, shrugging his shoulders. "It could be, but something's telling me that it's not the Element 4 he's fighting. In any case, we need to worry about ourselves right now. We don't have time to worry about him. If we don't hurry, the entire town will be history."

Lucy nodded, and smiled uncertainly at Raiden. "Yeah, your right," she agreed as they continued to run on down the dark alleyway.

Suddenly, Raiden stopped, and pushed Lucy out of the way, before shouting, "Light's Heavenly Barrier."

A shield of light erupted in front on him, just as a metallic bar slammed into it, making Raiden wince from the intense power. Two red eyes glared at the two of them.

"Hello there, Fairies. Remember me?" a rough voice taunted as Gajeel Redfox stepped out of the shadows.


With Elfman and Gray...

"Man, this is getting intense," Gray remarked. "Naruto must really be having fun right now."

"That's what makes him a real man!" Elfman declared, ignoring Gray's sigh. The caught a glimpse of light at the end of the hallway. Both glanced at each other before printing out into the open air, where a terrible sight met their eyes.

Mirajane... had been caught.

And the ones who had caught her, were two familiar faces.

It was Juvia and Sol of the Element 4.

"You ready, Elfman," Gray whispered as they faced off.

Elfman trembled with rage, as he charged towards Sol, his arm transforming into a bull's.

Gray eyed his opponent critically. She regarded him with a blank arrogant expression as he raised his hands out, and cried, "Ice Make: Lance."


With Gaara...

Gaara walked calmly up the stairway, carefully scanning ahead with his 'third eye.' He had sensed that something was amiss when Naruto had leaped off Aaronast. At the time, he thought Naruto just was too uncomfortable to be around Erza, but later, he realized that his friend had sensed something... or someone. Gaara sighed as he came face to face with a doorway.

"Of course, this will end up being where the Guild Master is huh," he mumbled to himself. Gaara placed his hand on the knob... and twisted. Light streamed in his face as he slowly walked inside.

"Well, isn't this interesting!" a malicious voice sneered. "The great Gaara of the Desert will be my opponent eh? Well, that's a disappointment. I actually was hoping to fight one of the stronger members like your Laxus Dreynar, or even Mystogan."

Gaara didn't react in any way.

"Well, if that's how it's gonna be, let's begin. I really want to just get this over with so I can go out there and fight someone more worthy, so I'll make it so It'll be over in a flash."

Gaara narrowed his eyes as another figure stepped out of the shadows. This one was bulky with a tall hat, and a cloth covering his eyes.

"I, Jose of the Wizard Saints, will defeat you and, will end you more quickly than you can even blink. Prepare yourself!" Jose said, grinning triumphantly.

Gaara's expression didn't change as he surveyed his opponents. He would be fighting Jose and Aria... at the same time.


Is Deidara truly defeated? Will Fairy Tail triumph? Will the Akatsuki prevail? Find Out...Next Time!

Next Up: Fairy Tail continues their battle against Phantom Lord as Natsu and Erza discover the true power of the Akatsuki...

PS: Please review!