Chapter Eleven: Insanity is defined as the repetition of the same exact action with the expectation that something different will happen… So why the hell is there a picture of me next to the word in the dictionary?
I don't own Naruto, any of its characters, or any references in this story. If I did, horrible things would happen. Neither do I own any other anime that I reference. I do own all OC's and new Jutsu in the story as well as every ounce of pure awesome spawned by this.
o. o. o.
In Amegakure, two individuals stopped what they were doing at the same time and looked in the same general direction.
Both men were crippled in some way physically, and in a multitude of greater ways emotionally. Both were significantly powerful individuals, capable of shaking the shinobi world to its knees in one way or another with but a few jutsu and words, ways that they believed would be utilized in the very near future.
One could only merely identify the existence it was sensing… while the other was somewhat concerned.
The source felt just as strong as when he had first encountered it, which shouldn't be possible anymore for a number of reasons. Not only that, but if anything the power felt… complete, stable, almost enlightened even. All in all, far more than what it once was, yet still the same as it had been.
He didn't like it.
And yet there was little he could do at the moment. He was too far away to pinpoint the actual location of the source by the time it disappeared, so any immediate actions to encounter it was pointless. Still it would not do to do nothing. He did not like changes to the plans he had spent so long fabricating and enacting. Not when he was so close to his actual goals.
… Sensing it once again only confirmed the rumors both of these individuals had heard, and only sparked their drive to continue with their plans. The only possible source for what they were feeling had been missing for years now, and not even their greatest spies could get a single reliable hint as to where it had gone.
It was only due to impatience and wishful thinking that they had even resumed operations recently, as none of them had any concrete proof that things would be in their favor. They had had a successful start with the Six tails being obtained without much issue, but that did not last long as the One Tail proved far stronger than anticipated and delayed their progress, if only slightly.
But now their final mark had finally confirmed its existence for them, erasing any possible apprehension they might have had before.
o. o. o.
The few actually successful dimension travelling schools across the multiverse tended to have similar education curriculums set up when it came to training people that wanted to "expand their horizons" from scratch.
Obviously, to anyone with a brain and common sense, any combat related training was done near the very end of the process. By the time this point was reached, most if not all the hot headed idiots that wanted to jump around realities to be heroes to the common people, and egotistical morons who couldn't keep their pride in check, were kicked out for the good of everyone.
The first thing that any of these schools did with new applicants was the testing and conditioning of their minds and emotions. Almost akin to advanced spy training really, only no one had any idea where the hell the spies would end up.
Nearly eighty percent of all applicants failed this six month minimum course.
Eighty five percent of those failures on average tended to require intensive therapy at the time of confirmed failure.
The fact of the matter was that the Multiverse was a cruel and unforgiving environment that changed drastically from one existence to the next. Students were frequently exposed to realms where common logic did not apply, where their respective species were enslaved, where said species had overpopulated themselves to damnation, where they didn't exist, where magic existed in malicious forms, various worlds with differing levels of technology, where the local government differed in certain rules to make them somewhat tolerable to absolutely abhorrent, etc, etc,…
… and how many of these places were the results of irresponsible jumpers doing as they wished, trying to change a place they disagreed with the current laws and setup and "tried to make things better".
That brand of thinking was one of the first things that the teachers crushed as ruthlessly as possible for the sake of everyone.
It was only after the students had confirmed that they would not recklessly use their powers and knowledge to try to change the worlds they traveled to like mindless fairy tale knights in shining armor that the teachers proceeded to educate them not on battle, but key things that most veteran jumpers kept an eye out for in order to get a fast and accurate idea of what sort of world they were in.
Different levels, types, and kinds of technology for example, were a reliable indicator of how advanced a world was, and more importantly, the level of communication and information processing present. The availability of this factor to the general populace indicated several things about the ruling government as well. A culture that allows such high rates of communication between the general populace indicates at least a somewhat moderately lax hand in regulating the population when compared to say, a totalitarian dystopia, oppressive communism, and other systems of the like.
This in turn would lead to accurate generalized assumptions about cultural standards, behavioral patterns, and the laws that kept the local society in check.
An experienced jumper, for example, could get an accurate estimation on the overall threat level, strengths, nature, population, government approach, and capabilities of a world's major population after spending at most five minutes in a major city.
Those who explored unknown, undiscovered universes and worlds as an occupation were required to take advanced forms of these classes before they were even tested, to check if they were capable of keeping themselves alive in a solid fight, and frequently actually meshed well with these other classes as well.
Frequently, these combination courses were often dubbed the "how to know when you are absolutely fucked in a fight" stream.
Among these classes, the students learned how to point out harder to find variables, such as secret police, hidden magical worlds…
And in this particular case...
"How interesting. You seem to be under the impression that you know what I am."
… Living physical representatives of the planet's very essence. All in all? Just a step or two short of being one the planet's actual gods of life in corporal form and something most jumpers tend to avoid if at all possible.
... and the gods save you if they actually knew how to use presence.
"Oh you have to be fucking kidding me!" The now pantsless man lamented as he stared up at the near solid image of a massive fox looking down at him with mild interest.
He didn't bother paying attention to the three tailed variant sitting on the ground in the center of the illusion. He could already tell that the smaller creature was but a fraction of the real thing which had imposed itself onto reality. The world itself seemed to recognize the greater image's existence as more "real" than the smaller fox's, as he could tell the generated air currents matched the movements of the larger beast.
Without his presence he didn't stand a shot in hell against this colossus. Even with his presence he could tell he'd at best stalemate the thing… which wasn't a pleasant feeling since he was only going up against a fraction of the entity's power.
All in all, the only person in his group that could put this monster down at full power would be the old man…
Rage. Power. Malice. Bloodthirst. Hunger. Savagery. All these oppressive sensations and more bombarded his senses as the creature's crimson eyes leered at him as if peering into his very soul. While most humans and lesser beings would assume that the Fox was an existence of evil, the man staring it down knew better. "Evil" was a subjective term created by sentient beings whose very definition was subject to change depending on who was asked. "Evil" was not a natural phenomena supported by the world unless the world itself was somehow tainted and warped by its occupants in the first place, gods or otherwise.
No. All these sensations were simply the ones best translated into the mind of prey when facing down an unstoppable predator.
The fact that these impressions were worming their way into his psyche only meant that either he needed to bump up his mental fortitude training soon, that this thing had some sort of empathetic themed nature that mindfucked anything nearby, or that it had been corrupted in some way over its limitless lifespan... or a combination of the all the previous.
Yes, the creature in front of him was without a doubt the embodiment of life, of living and the desire to live via any means necessary. An apex predator that existed as it saw fit and would destroy anything threatening its desired way of life. Not out of a malignant desire, but as a natural reaction. There was no more reason for its actions than that.
And he was currently being judged.
Nine tailed foxes. A somewhat uncommon but still well known reoccurring existence across the multiverse that tended to possess a good deal of power behind each iteration, much like dragons. Their threat level frequently hovered between somewhat strong (Low ranked Upper Class) to absolute ball buster (High Ranked Holy Class).
The genuine god versions, such as when the Shinto God Inari tends to take the form of one, didn't count.
And unlike Dragons… Nine Tailed Foxes had a tendency to be vastly smarter than the average rampaging animal… and human… and most ethereal immortal creatures. It probably had something to do with the whole "living over a thousand years to get nine tails" theme they had going.
Given that the thing in front of him gave the impression that it was the size of a mountain at full power… the unwanted traveler could definitely feel his nads throbbing in pain in the wake of the busting to come.
"Leave." The monster commanded in a bored tone, never taking its eyes off of him. He knew instantly that the creature was addressing the kids that he was trying to off. "I would rather not have to listen to the brat's moaning if I killed one of you weaklings by accident."
Still shivering at the sudden turn of events and her recently acquired injuries, the white eyed girl that was all but enveloped by the fox's larger illusionary state nodded in a stunned manner, likely still coming to terms with the situation.
In contrast, that lucky little fox kit whose head was popping out of her shirt was still sleeping like an oblivious idiot. The damn little bastard even had a snot bubble coming out of its nose.
"Ramen ramen ramen ramen ramen…" The transformed jinchuriki sleep talked, completely unaware of what was going on. "… Pool pool pool pool pool pool…"
Behind him, the foreigner heard the sound of that Faker girl with Gae Bolg take several steps backwards before jumping to the trees and disappearing moments later. Some rustling from nearby indicated that the bug brat and the large mass altering fatass probably bolted too… that is, if they were both still alive after that attack that destroyed half of the landscape around them.
Last but not least, the girl with the old presence managed to get up, look at the original three tailed body of the fox the man was staring down for a few moments, and then left in what he assumed was the same direction as the rest of the kids.
As much as he wanted to do something to stop the kids from getting away, the man couldn't afford to take his attention off of the fox for an instant unless he wanted to be pulverized. Even if he wasn't working with his handicap he'd still make the same decision. At the very best, if he acted quick enough…
"You wouldn't." The bored creature leered at him with a piercing gaze.
The traveler, still in nothing but his underclothes and radiating power couldn't help but snort in self depreciation, all and any attempts to plan a way to try and head off the escaping kids abandoned. The threat level on the thing just jumped up a few marks, at least. "And it's a mind reader too. Well isn't that just fucking wonderful."
"You'd be surprised how little I have need for it. Most annoyances do not require more effort than me putting my paw on the ground." The fox admitted casually as if he didn't see the man as a threat. His mouth didn't move as he spoke. Instead the world itself seemed to rumble and echo in a way that yielded results akin to him speaking with a voice from just his power. "Of course I have refined it quite a bit as of late… your comrades are making quite impressive time approaching here. No doubt they recognize that I am too much for you to handle."
It had already been less than a minute, but he already couldn't sense the kids from earlier. Even that big kid that he had landed several solid shots on. Damn ninjas. "Didn't think they cared. Then again, I'm guessing that they're more concerned about you at this point. Something of your level popping up out of nowhere like that without a ritual or a notable summoning is pretty surprising."
He already suspected the little fox that was sleeping between that girl's tits was the monster's source. Since it didn't disappear when it came about, and didn't disappear when the girl ran away, he could come up with other explanations. The sleeping kit housed this monstrosity in its body via some means, or it could manifest the thing through a link, or the small fox was this thing's descendant of some sort and could summon the bigger one.
Of course there were several other possibilities but those were among the most common and quickest that came to mind.
"I don't need my powers to see what you are doing." Kurama's eyes narrowed in irritation. "You have already condemned yourself for trespassing where you don't belong."
"To be perfectly honest with you, I just came for the ride." So the fox knew he wasn't a local huh? Not surprising all things considered. Still it was pretty full of itself if it thought it could just condemn anyone that set foot here… unless of course the beast was talking about whoever it was that already claimed this place…
"Ah yes, if you are worried about them finding out about you, don't worry." For the first time the titanic beast's features changed to something other than its normal apathetic demeanor. "You were probably detected by at least one the moment you arrived. The fact that they have done nothing only means that you don't pose a concern at all."
Oh wonderful. The territory they were on held multiple heavy hitters. If Sylvia got caught then they were all screwed for sure now. Scratch that. She was probably the one that they were focusing on at the moment. "You know, you're not giving me a lot of options here. If you keep on pushing me to a corner I will have to fight back just to shut you up before whoever has dibs on this place kills me."
"By all means. You know as well as I that the "me" here is but a meaningless fragment… no. A mere echo of a fragment, supported by my power and will. You would obtain a meaningless victory at best even if you could achieve it." The fox egged him on with amusement as if he was making a game out of trying to get the human to throw the first punch.
"And the brats?" He rose an eyebrow. He may be a hot head, but he wasn't dumb enough to start a meaningless fight if he could help it.
"They are at best minor investments found to amuse the ones that have taken to dwelling here. Or squishy meat toys." Kurama allowed himself to open his mouth and yawn, as if the unspoken threat was meaningless to him. "However if you do persist after them… I believe you should be familiar with the saying. Gods are like children…"
"… They aren't quiet when someone breaks their toys." The traveler finished, managing to suppress the ominous shiver down his spine. Wonderful.
For a brief moment he had the urge to reply with the more amusing but still very true following of "… they can't keep it in their pants." But he had the suspicion that being a wise ass wasn't in his best interests at the moment.
Wait a minute.
"Oi fox. If you can sense my coworkers, then you should know that I have serious backup coming." He frowned. Even if they couldn't use their presence…
… The old man should still have no issue taking out this thing in a single blow.
"You are referring to that elderly human no doubt. Your sensor is doing an admirable job of hiding himself, but stealth is not his forte unlike those who dwell here. As for the woman… well, I am curious how she will manage to maintain herself here. This world is not suited for individuals of her disposition." The fox yawned, unimpressed with the fact that someone was approaching that could defeat him with ease.
"She'll manage. She always has." The human shrugged casually. Now that the initial shock of the spirit's appearance had mostly worn away and he reasoned that he wouldn't likely die in the next five minutes, he could manage to regain his confidence and self control and focus it on more important things…
… Like not scratching himself silly from being covered in acid burns and bug bites.
The beast yawned again, as if the man's answer to his question meant nothing to him, which likely was the case. "No doubt."
The expression didn't change as one of his titanic swaying tails, easily large enough to topple a small mountain, tilted slightly out of its original path to swat away a violet beam that had been on a path with his head. The deflected ray bolted down its new path and plowed a sizeable flaming trench into the forest to the side of the pair that extended for a good quarter mile.
"I don't know why, but for some peculiar reason I tend to attract the attention of human women with violent dispositions." The fox grumbled, more annoyed with the statement than the fact that someone had just tried to give him a lobotomy from over miles away from the top of a small mountain.
Kushina was obvious example, and as for Mito… well, someone had to reign in Hashirama's more outlandish habits when Tobirama was fed up with babysitting him.
Hinata only continued the trend by keeping Naruto in line, and Shadow… well, that woman simply enjoyed making everyone miserable for the hell of it.
"Given that she knows I'm right here, I think she's still pissed about some things I said earlier." The human muttered. Despite the fact that he was still in a terrible situation, he lamented the rapid depreciation of the mood. "By the way…"
Another massive tail twitched, swiping at the sky, and creating a massive monsoon like gale of wind. The artificial storm thrashed at the large bombardment of missiles and beams of light coming down at them from directly above. The world around them echoed and rumbled with the salvo of explosions that were set off and the lasers that contorted and ruptured the area around them.
Naruto wasn't the only one that benefited from the several centuries worth of training in mastering wind chakra. After spending three years consuming the teen's energy to regain his full strength, some traits were bound to transfer over to him. The fox had nowhere near as much control as his container did, however it was far easier to create air based phenomena of destruction now, much to his pleasure.
All in all, to any bystander that lived in that world, it looked like an all out war was taking place. Total destruction of the entire area was all but ensured.
A third tail lazily moved, swiping around the body of the tremendous fox and creating a tremendous whirlwind that blasted away all the kicked up debris around them with such intensity that any fires that had been started and nearly all the vegetation around them were thrown into the air for miles in every direction. Within moments the pair was standing on the raised center of an otherwise perfect half mile radius crater.
And just on the edge of this new platform to the right of the dimension traveler was a casually standing bald old man in sparse military armor with both hands behind his back.
"… Where the hell are your pants?"
"Of course that's the first thing you ask. I'm never going to hear the end of this one, am I?"
"Probably not." The fox grinned, clearly amused.
"I don't want to hear it from you of all people!" Blood spurted from the shouter's wound that nearly went through his heart from the rapid increase in blood pressure. "Gah!"
"A cursed wound? How odd…" Before the injured man could react, his elder placed a slightly hand over his injury for a few moments. When he retracted it, hole was slightly healed, but no longer bleeding. "It's a strong curse too. Interesting."
Another dark violet beam of pure energy attempted to blow off the fox's head, only to be deflected by the lazy interference of a tail.
"She does not give up easily, does she?" The bald human mused curiously with a dry smile on his face.
"She was pretty pissed when we split up." The raver admitted, shifting his muscles to test the extent of the old man's healing of his chest. "Odds are she's after whatever valuables this guy might be made up once we drop him."
"Poor girl's too far away to tell he's not even here." Somehow the number of lasers tripled this time, though it made little difference as they were all knocked away with as much ease as one was.
"Allow me to dissuade her from continuing such a fruitless task then."
Without any further warning, one of the fox's tails instantly twisted and pointed its tip in the direction the attacks were coming from. Instantly a dark, magma like glowing orb of raw power manifested at the end of the appendage, shrinking rapidly from the size of the demon's head to something barely the size of a large watermelon before it erupted into its own laser of black death that speared through the air with enough destructive force to turn the air around it into plasma…
Only to be deflected as a pure white beam of near equal power hammered it from the side and forced it off course. While the blinding illuminating counterattack was launched harmlessly into the air where it eventually focus, the more demonic variant hit the mountain next to his target, absolutely destroying the landmark in an eruption that was soon felt in nearly half of all the elemental nations.
The raver grimaced at the sudden demonstration of power. He had expected the fox to be powerful, but there was a difference between strong opponents and strong opponents that could manifest and utilize that power quickly. The difference in speed and charge time was normally what allowed most reasonably powerful smaller entities to have a shot against these bigger monstrosities, but clearly the one here was an outlier.
If it wasn't for old man Dima, Carmen would have been easily been wasted, Presence or not.
Said old man didn't seem to notice his comrade's disposition as he lowered his hand, never taking his eye off of the fox. "If you wanted to see a demonstration of my abilities, you could have just asked."
"Interesting." The fox didn't seem to be bothered with his failed attempt to murder the sniper or the destruction he caused. At the very least, the attack would give the woman the hint that she should probably stop attacking him now. Instead his eyes leered at the ant like dot in front of him in mild approval. "You are quite powerful."
"So I've been told." He was well over a thousand years old and a survivor of several peculiar events across the infinite, among other things. "You yourself are impressive as well. Easily among the most powerful foxes I have encountered in my travels."
"Humph." Kurama would have retorted he was the most powerful period, but he knew better than to run his mouth and appear the fool. The human was exceptionally old, and had the scent of countless realms on him. In truth the human's scent resembled more the Oogakari's than his comrades'. He would not stoop so low as to blatantly ignore an obvious truth. "Why are you here human? This plane was sealed off for a reason, and your pack is clearly not powerful enough to confront the ones that set this realm apart in the first place…" His eyes narrowed suspiciously as he came to realize something. "… No. The important question is who and where is the one that enabled you to come here? None of you here are capable of breaking through the barrier set up."
"My my. I didn't think we'd be found out so quickly and easily." Dima shook his head in mild frustration. "So much for playing it safe."
"Do not try my patience. I am capable of calling upon the ones you fear of encountering if I so wish. While they make it a habit to not interfere directly with this world's events, the same cannot be said for those that would interrupt their entertainment."
The fox didn't say that he would only do so as an absolute last resort. The Oogakari would never leave him alone with their childish teasing if he actually did call them for help. All things considered… death really might be the safer option in this scenario.
There really was no way to predict what sort of absurd twisted abomination of reality they were planning next…
o. o. o.
"Teenage. Mutant. Ninja. Turtles. Teenage. Mutant. Ninja. Turtles. Teenage. Mutant. Ninja. Turtles."
"Do I even want to know?" Tsunade leered at Waltz skeptically as the clearly insane man ranted with bloodshot eyes while goose stepping down a side street.
"Only that as absurd as it sounds, we weren't responsible for that one… for once… most of the time." Waltz shook his head in resignation. Really, as messed up as his family was, sometimes it was almost as if the multiverse was just trying to challenge them on the weird factor.
"FUCK THE ALIENS! THEY CAME FOR THE DISCO MUSIC! THEY CAME FOR LIEEEESSS! GODZILLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
"… What are you doing?" The Hokage was distracted by the mad man's screaming by her compatriot bending over to pick up a small piece of concrete that had once been a part of the building they were on.
"Getting him to shut up." The old man absently replied as he tossed the stone casually up and down in his hand to get a feel for it. "Bonus points for getting it in his mouth. Double bonus if I can do it without causing his head to explode. You in?"
The medic leered at the immortal with an unreadable expression before reaching down to pick up a slightly larger piece than what the old man had picked. "I should feel completely disgusted by this. I really should."
"AMBRICOMBIE AND FIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTCH!"
"You'll get over it. They all do eventually. Now the trick is don't aim for his solar plexus or other areas that people use to control their lungs. Targets like that are completely pointless when it comes to Crypt.Trust me, he was singing Bohemian Rhapsody when I once tried crippling them in a surgery… including his lungs… and entire throat canal. The only way to stop it from here is to plug that noise-hole damn good. Key targets are the mouth and the throat. Too little closure will only make him go up a few octaves and let me tell you, if you think he's annoying now, you've never experienced mad ranting that can even drive the Fae themselves rabid. I'll go over rebound shot system when you've reached an intermediate level. Now to trigger the lightning rounds you have to shatter both his kneecaps in one shot, and when that happens…"
o. o. o.
Oh who was he kidding? Those mistakes of nature didn't plan. They ad-libbed their plans for the day using a multiversal thesaurus written by a collection of stoned savant high school goblins.
"I've seen that look before." The strongest human there with a hint of sympathy as the fox only somewhat succeeded in hiding his depression. "That bad?"
"Enough that I would actually feel a modicum of guilt if I were actually to force them upon you." The fox's reply sent an ominous shiver down their spines. It takes a very warped and powerful individual to cause a living embodiment of power and the planet to admit to such a thing.
"That bad." Dima's head bobbed up and down in affirmation. "I don't suppose we could simply part ways without escalating things any further, would you? Any conflict between us would without a doubt raise the attention of your prior visitors, we don't want any trouble, and you clearly have reason to keep those children alive. Since the children were clearly trained by whoever is here, killing them would only bring their wrath upon us. Even if we did kill them, I do not think we would be able to hide from them for long if they were actively searching for us."
"True." The fox nodded, seemingly in agreement before its mouth widened to expose his massive teeth in a vicious grin. "However there is an issue that cannot be addressed through such means."
"Of course there's a catch." The man without pants grunted as he readied himself to move at a moment's notice.
"Quiet Zeke." The elder's chiding was calm and casual, as if there was nothing wrong. "Let me guess. Because my comrade here made you go through the effort of materializing yourself into the world in person, you feel that you are entitled to some sort of compensation?"
A dark menacing chuckle thrummed through the air, pulsing with enough intensity that the humans could feel their bones resonate with the beat. Were they simple civilians, they would likely would have passed out or even been killed by such pressure. "An amusing excuse. Not one that I would argue against, however I am not some petty human that feels that the world is indebted to me. No. The fact of the matter is simply that you are on my turf without permission and I am currently free to do as I wish."
"Honestly. So in summary you simply wish for a reason to cut loose and we are the reason you have decided to utilize. Why couldn't you simply say so in the first place?" The old man slowly began to gather power as his right hand, turning it into a blinding white. In contrast to his preparations, he simply stared down the fox in a tired way. As if to say 'I know what you're really doing. Do you think I'm that stupid?'
The creature in front of him was an echo of a fragment. Magnificently powerful all things considered, but still limited in many ways. Time was one of them. It could only last for so long in the world emulating its original strength, and as such it would do as much as it could to buy time for the escaping children. In this sort of situation, the best way to do it was with one supremely massive collision of attacks that would no doubt gain everyone on the planet's attention and thus force his group to immediately go into hiding instead of pursuing their original targets if they wanted a shot of living…
They couldn't draw out the fight out of risk of actually gaining further injuries, plus the creature was no doubt gathering information on what they could all do as time went on. Minimalist approaches to beings like this rarely ever worked. Killing it would ultimately lead to nothing, as its consciousness would just return to its real body, and they had no methods of anchoring its mind elsewhere.
Cunning bastard fox.
Admittedly, they might accidentally kill said children in the process if they got out of hand, but it was obvious the thing was willing to take that risk.
Clearly he was being underestimated, and would use it to his advantage.
"My friends, a fair warning, it would be best if you closed your eyes for this."
"Close our… oh fuck you're using that?!" The injured man paled drastically before bracing himself and covering his face. Of all the times to lose his pants and be covered in bug bites and acid burns. He was going to be itching and stinging all over for weeks after this. Hell, he didn't even know the old man could use that move without using any presence…
"Hahahaha! Wonderful!" Kurama's malicious laugh shook the world around them as his tails splayed out and within moments three tremendous black balls of demonic power pulsed into reality. Once materialized, the orbs of power seemed to stay hovering over the end of their respective tail as if it was a part of the main body. Whether or not they each had an independent use or were just used as single shot nukes had yet to be determined. "To encounter such an understanding and powerful human is such a pleasant rarity! By all means! Show me where you stand among the realms of gods!"
The Tails all contorted at blinding speed, all pointing at the small individual in front of their owner. At once the balls they were holding were launched and discharged.
At the same time the single speck of a human there raised his glowing hand and snapped his fingers.
The world went dark.
"Huh?" Zeke lowered his arms and warily opened his eyes to see his surroundings again. Even if he was so close that he didn't initially feel the blast or hear the effects, he at least expected the environment in a five mile radius minimum of him, including bits and pieces of himself, to be a wasteland of dust, stone, ash, lava, fire, and some glass.
Instead, somehow, the world around him had turned into a vibrant meadow in the shape of the small crater he had been in just moments before. In fact it was clear to anyone with the ability to sense energy that the environment had just been supercharged. It wouldn't be any surprise if within the next year or so the area spawned flora and fauna that were a good deal more dangerous than what the local population wouldn't be able to handle.
"Honestly." A female voice grumbled in an older sister like manner, clearly not belonging to any of the three individuals that had been there before. "I thought you boys were experienced. I take my eyes off of you for just a moment and you're already going head to head with one of the few natives that you shouldn't be fighting with. Do you have any idea how much trouble you could have caused?"
Standing in between the humans and the gigantic fox with her arms crossed, her cheeks puffed out and clearly not at all worried that she had almost been in the center of a record sized holocaust, was Sylvia of the Stained Glass.
Kurama knew he was fucked the instant he laid eyes on her.
o. o. o.
With the plot just a few minutes earlier:
It really was a tremendously sobering situation for the group and for good reason. Overall the teens and their group were considered the leaders of the next generation of Konoha. All of them were tremendously strong, skilled, and experienced for their age. All of them Special Jonin and Jonin.
All trained by the Oogakari.
The last fact was not missed by anyone, let alone themselves. They owed most of their growth to the insane clan members and would not deny it in the slightest.
However, the fact remained that their teachers were foreigners from a land that they never spoke of, and taught techniques never seen before in Konoha. On more than one occasion at least one member of the group contemplated just what the homeland of their teachers was like. What sort of environment was needed to produce such absurd and powerful individuals? From how their teachers tended to brag about their "epicness", it was somewhat safe to assume that the clan stood among the top of the totem pole in terms of power and skill.
They were insane as hell, but they weren't liars.
Still it did not give the shinobi a reasonable scale of where they stood overall. The stronger they became, the better grasp they had of their abilities and how they compared to their friends and comrades…
… And yet none of them could ever manage to get a reasonable idea or estimation of where their teachers were overall. For those unaware of what they really were, it was if the they was more akin to forces of nature than actual individual beings.
All things considered though, the idea of encountering someone else from these mystery lands had still sent chills down their spines over the years. As a result, an unspoken rule had eventually been made among those taught by the foreigners, young and old:
If they ever came across an unidentifiable person that could use Presence, be prepared to either run or fight for their lives without any restrictions. Essentially fight or flight.
Clearly their fears had not been unfounded.
The team from Konoha was running as fast as they could. They had been around enough heavy hitters to know that when two of them decided to off one another, the local environment and everything else in the area was likely to be completely destroyed in the process.
All of them had been temporarily shocked when the Kyubi had appeared so suddenly. They had been further paralyzed when he manifested his presence and somehow managed to imitate what they assumed was his original power. All of their nerves had been virtually numbed as their world was flooded with demonic chakra and overwhelming killing intent, the likes of which they had only experienced brief tastes of in the past.
So when the fox snapped them out of their stupor and ordered them to run, they didn't think twice about it.
Chouji grimaced as the broken ribs he had throbbed with each jump, however he did not let the pain slow him down. He had been wrecked by several of the Oogakari during his training and forced himself to keep moving in similar if not worse situations. True at least five ribs were broken, however he had enough skills in chakra control to somewhat stabilize them until he got proper treatment.
Multiple swears were uttered as several lights flashed behind them and the ground rumbled from impact while Shino had the dazed Shion on his back. The priestess had been knocked into a daze by some flying debris by the mystery man's energy attack and was sporting a bruise on her forehead.
"Wonderful! We go in to deal with a world conquering demon and we get stuck in a fight between monsters that I believe said world conquering demon would run away screaming from!" Tenten snapped irritably. She had been unnerved by how the man had managed to peg her for a Faker. He knew what she was and what her powers entailed. Outside of her group… no, outside of just the Oogakari, she doubted that she would have encountered anyone that would have been familiar with what she was.
"Narutoooo." Shion moaned, her eyes clearly unfocused. "Why were you so big? Go back to being small. You're cute small…"
"And of course our VIP is completely out of it." The weapons mistress' eyebrow twitched. "Kinda hard to mistaken a small fox for the freaking Kyubi."
"… Shit…" Shino swore darkly just before a bombardment of attacks hammered down on the battlegrounds from above. They were close enough that the air around them rumbled heavily from the assault and made it almost impossible to hear the Aburame in the first place. Luckily the debris that flew in their direction was for the most part mitigated by the large trees and foliage they were running through. Any of the larger projectiles were easily noticed and avoided long before they posed any risk.
"What's wrong?!" Hinata shouted back to her teammate, byakugan active to keep an eye out for any enemies or attacks that might come at them from all directions.
"Shion-sama's prediction!" The normally silent teen brought up the forgotten event with a good deal of emergency. "She thought it was Naruto fighting back there and gaining us time, but it's really Kyubi-sama! Her dazed state is the reason why she couldn't provide us with much information before!"
"Oh fuck!" Tenten swore, understanding what he was insinuating and recalling the bit about the tremendous record sized explosion. "Move people! Move! The Fox got Naruto's love for explosions!"
"Shockwave!" Hinata roared at the top of her lungs during the middle of the girl's rant.
Half of Tenten's warning was muted by the sound of the tremendous gale of wind that the biju had casually made just moments before and launched the group even further away along with a good portion of the local wildlife.
Hinata, having prior notice of the oncoming force of nature, instantly moved to the back of the group and unleashed countless blasts of chakra that destroyed the largest and most concerning pieces of debris that came their way. Thanks to this, the group was only slightly torn up by the small stones and pieces of wood kicked up in their direction as they rode the pressurized air with practiced ease further away from the higher level monsters behind them.
"Guh!" Chouji winced as he landed hard, causing a massive jolt through his broken ribs.
"Ch! How bad is it?" Tenten doubled back to support the largest member of the team and got him to move again. They were still travelling far faster than what was advised for a person in his condition, but they didn't have the luxury to do otherwise at the moment.
"Enough that I can't keep this up for long." The Akimichi grimaced. "I'm using my earth style to stabilize my ribs for now, but it's only a temp solution and it will only get worse without being checked."
"There's another one there now!" Hinata's eyes pulsed. "It's the old man mentioned before, and he's even stronger than the one we were fighting!"
"Of course he is! Why the fuck wouldn't he?!" Tenten's frustrated sarcasm was hitting a new high.
"Tenten! Chouji! How fast can you make a bunker!?" Hinata demanded as she saw several more beams of power fired from outside of her range get deflected by the fox casually. She would have had to put an insane amount of power into her Kaiten in order to deflect a shot with that much chakra in it, but the biju made it look like he was just swatting a fly that was bugging him.
She tried not to shiver as moments later the biju retaliated with a beam of his own that would have taken out his mystery attacker had the old human in front of him fired off a blast of light that knocked it off course and nuked the mountain next to the target instead. The devastation made was easily on par with what she had experienced during the Han incident, and yet the parties involved were acting as if they were putting in minimum effort to their battles.
"I can summon one that can cover us all, but all things considered I doubt it would protect us from that." Tenten grimaced just before another shockwave overtook their location, pushing them further away from near certain death.
"I could reinforce it with my doton and maybe bury us for extra protection, but my jutsu is at half speed at best in my current condition." Chouji admitted in self disgust.
"You're not Naruto, Chouji. Don't act like you can recover from anything." Shino chided. "We have to set up now. Kyubi-sama already destroyed a mountain. There's no telling how much longer we have until things escalate. There's no point trying to hide from them if we are already dead."
"Right." The team landed on a moderately cleared clearing in the forest and instantly began to set themselves up. Tenten took out a sealing scroll with practiced ease, Chouji slowly went through seals, and Hinata and Shino stood on guard for any further unwanted surprises.
They barely made it through the initial steps before the air around them became stagnant and heavy with power.
Naruto snorted in discomfort and unconsciously buried his face into the gap between one of her breasts and her top to protect his sensitive nose.
"Can someone please tell me how the hell that fox is generating this much juice? I thought he only had three tails out!" Tenten grunted as she managed to summon out her defensive collapsible three meter radius four inch thick dome of pure adamantium. A gift from Scabbard for making Special Jounin. The metal was unlike anything she had ever worked with and held up against even the strongest attacks her friends could throw at it without so much of a scratch.
The shield was the only thing she received that was made of the material, and was her greatest defense against massive scale attacks, but not very applicable for active combat. Essentially it was meant for situations like this… but even so the girl had some doubts that it would hold against a direct hit from this sort of onslaught.
"Obviously Naruto wasn't the only one that got stronger during his trip." Chouji grimaced as he finished his last seal, causing the ground in front of them to lift up in front of them like a hill while their position dropped. It wasn't that drastic of a change, however it was stupid to assume that putting them in a hole in the ground would help. He wasn't good enough with earth style to dig his group out of twenty feet of pure stone and dirt if they were buried, even if he wasn't injured. Regardless, everyone trusted his judgment and gathered within the confines of the dome just as it was about to enclose them…
Without warning, the world went dark.
No, dark was a pitiful way of describing the tone of black that enveloped the world around them. It was would be better to describe the sensation as "light has ceased to exist" for those there. Later on those there would relate the unnatural event to being stuck in the middle of a cave several hundred feet below the ground with no light coming from any direction.
However… one person saw something else…
With her Byakugan active, Hinata witnessed an abnormality that she never would have thought possible happen all around her. Light, not as something that illuminated the world, but as an actual substance like fire or water, behaved differently for that single moment. Instead of reflecting in infinite countless directions ambient like it was supposed to do…
... All of the rays generated by the sun and which had been hitting the earth for a great distance in every direction had just for one moment twisted and redirected themselves straight at the multi bomb wielding Biju just a couple of miles away in an omnidirectional focused attack that would without a doubt incinerate anything and everything there to ashes.
Her instincts told her that the amount of heat and power generated at the single focus point once fully completed, would wipe out the fox with ease and cause a burning wave of fire that would easily overwhelm them even if her group had had ten times as much time to escape as they originally did.
In that instant, before Hinata could even process what was happening… she truly believed she was going to die.
And then it all stopped.
Light was once more simply light. Color returned to the world. The overwhelming amount of pressure they had experienced was gone. Life was still in abundance around them, albeit nearly everything with legs was all but freaking out in one way or another.
And oddly enough, they weren't dead.
"… The fuck was that? Seriously?" Tenten whispered with a gasp and held her chest. She didn't know what happened, but for that one instant she truly believed like Hinata by pure instinct that they were all going to be wiped out.
So she, like everyone else there, was not surprised when she realized she was breaking out in a cold sweat.
"I don't know. And I don't want to know." Shino breathed out heavily, focusing with all his might in order to keep his insects in line. Whatever it did had caused his hives to go all but rampant inside of him from sheer instinct. The only time kikaichu were ever to act in such a way was if all the hives unanimously believed that it was going to be wiped out.
He didn't even register that Shion was holding him in a death grip from behind.
"We were going to die." Chouji shivered, his eyes wide. He had nothing to base his statement on other than his instincts, but he knew that his statement was correct. "We really were going to die just now."
"We have to get out of here." Hinata ordered, somehow managing to recover from the shock first. "We sneak out of the area, don't use presence, and maybe when Naruto wakes up we can figure out a way to-"
"Sorry about the shock, but there's no need to worry about that anymore. I've got you covered."
The sound of a new voice caused all of the teen's faces to pale dramatically and turn up to the source. Sitting on a branch casually above them was a rather attractive looking woman with long gray hair, blue pants, a white undershirt and a multicolored diamond patterned blouse. Contrasting her outfit however were a pair of black leather gloves and a somewhat uncomfortable looking spiked dog collar around her neck.
Next to her sat the once more smaller sized three tailed version of Kurama, never taking his eyes off of her, fur standing on end, and tails ready to twitch at the slightest hint of weakness.
She didn't give off any power. She wasn't exerting any presence. She didn't seem to be an enemy, and she wasn't making any offensive movements…
But all of the shinobi there instinctively felt something wrong about the woman. She should not be here, and could take them out as easily as breathing.
"Oh don't look at me like that. I did save you you know." The woman pouted childishly at their reactions, though she wasn't unused to it. Many rookies tended to behave the same way around her if she popped up unannounced.
"Who…" Hinata fumbled over her words much to her displeasure. She had been on diplomatic missions to Kage and overwhelming individuals before and never lost her composure to this level. However given the fact that virtually everyone there had broken out in a cold fear induced sweat, she allowed herself the slipup. "Who are you?"
"Me? Mmmm. Well, I guess you could say I'm an acquaintance of… what are they calling themselves here? Ah, never mind. I've known Ghost, Shadow, Scabbard, and the rest for a good while." The woman whimsically replied.
The shinobis' eyes widened in surprise. They didn't expect to encounter someone that personally knew their teachers. In fact, up until then they never did encounter anyone that knew of their teachers before coming to Konoha
"You know Scab sensei?" Tenten asked hesitantly, hoping that this dangerous person that they knew nothing about was on their side.
The woman's eyes went to the white haired tan girl and widened momentarily before a small chuckle escaped her lips. "Oh Scab Scab Scab, you evil little man. So that's why you sent me here in such a hurry. I should have known." She shook her head in amusement. "Scab and I used to date a while back, and you could say that we sometime enjoy remembering those times with a great deal of intimacy."
Several jaws dropped. Including Kurama's. The change in mood was near record speed considering what had just happened.
In fact, it would be suspiciously too fast when Hinata went over her memories of the event during her later recollections.
The woman laughed from the bottom of her stomach. "Hahaha! Oh I never get tired of that reaction! If I didn't know him better I'd think that he made his entire personality to set that up!"
"The hell!? Since when did sensei have a libido?!" Tenten demanded incredulously, all but instantly forgetting that she had nearly been killed just a few moments earlier. Stepping forward with all the authority she could muster, the Faker pointed an accusing finger at the culprit. "I call bullshit! The only things that attract that man are money and the sounds of his targets crying in misery!"
"Oh trust me girl, he has it in greater spades than Ghost. He just has a better hold of it. I can attest to that personally." The woman finished expressing her amusement, not at all denying her accuser's other statements.
"Well there goes my wager." Chouji mumbled, recalling his bet in Konoha's black market pool on Scabbard's sexuality and drive. He, like the majority in it, had gone with the safe bet of 'he doesn't care about sex in the slightest, only money and tears make his black heart pulse'.
Shino on the other hand was planning on changing his bet and wager as soon as he got back home. Hopefully he'd get it done in time before one of his teammates did the stupid thing and let everyone else know.
"Are you looking for sensei?" Hinata asked skeptically. If this woman was a possible ally then they might be able to avoid any other snafu's for the duration of the mission. "If you help us out with the men trying to kill us, we can take you to him."
"That's fine. I've already talked it out with those guys back there. They won't come after you anymore. It's the least I could do since I am somewhat responsible for them being here in the first place." Sylvia casually waved a hand as if talking about a minor chore. "As for the Family, well it would be best if you didn't tell them about me and save everyone the headache. I used to be a friend of theirs, but well, due to some unfortunate events that I won't go into any further details, I'm not exactly on good terms with a couple of them anymore."
"Against my better judgment, may I ask just how poor of terms are we talking?" Shino hesitantly inquired.
"Kill on sight."
"That's… pretty bad." Tenten laughed nervously. In all honesty, she didn't know of anyone that had managed to piss off the Oogakari to that level.
"You have no idea." The woman shook her head in some shame before brightening up. "But regardless I'm not here to cause troubles. Actually finding out Scab and the others were all here was a bit of a surprise for me too. I know it's a bit much to ask but can you keep quiet about me and the others? I'll keep them away from anything important here, and if you do the same with the Family we can avoid any major problems. Those guys are just scared since your teachers have a bit of a rep where we come from and don't want to be caught on their territory."
"We're west of the land of Earth though." Chouji frowned in confusion. "How can we still be considered in the Oogakari's territory?"
"Oh, there are rules and methods…" The woman stated ambiguously looking away innocently. "Nothing that you have to concern yourselves with."
"As shinobi, we tend to have to be concerned with things of this nature. We have a habit of dying if we don't." Hinata frowned.
"Plus it's hard to not be concerned about something that nearly killed us." The rest of the shinobi mentally added.
"Ah right the inverse ninja rule. Of course. How silly of me. It makes perfect sense now. I didn't think you'd be savvy enough to be aware of it. My mistake." Sylvia nodded as if realizing something obvious and likely missing Hinata's point.
"Inverse what now?" Tenten rose an eyebrow.
"Don't ask. You don't want to know." Kurama spoke up for the first time since he arrived, never taking his eyes off the woman in front of him. "And no. It doesn't make sense. Most humans here really are just that weak."
"How do we know that we can trust you?" Shino stared down the woman stoically, trying to get a better grasp of the situation. He knew that he didn't stand a chance against her even with his backup, but from the way the woman behaved he wouldn't put it past her to simply disregard their actions and aggressive behavior as simply amusing. "You have stated that you aren't on the best terms with the Oogakari, and your saving us may simply be a way to buy yourself time for some plan."
Instead of being affronted or amused, the God Class woman looked down at the Aburame curiously. "Hmm? Oh, I see, I see. So you're like that. Quite an interesting child, aren't you? No wonder you're the way you are…"
Tenten was going to yell at her for ignoring her friend when to everyone's surprise, the collar around the woman's neck sparked with a green light, zapping the wearer painfully if her flinch was anything to go by.
"Ow! Scab! I know you have your tastes but…" ZAP! Her complaining was interrupted by another jolt. "Ok! Ok! Geez! You're so mean sometimes!" ZAP! "Stop! I give! I'll play-!" ZAP!
The teens couldn't help but sweatdrop as the woman was yelling to their teacher, who wasn't there, and loosing badly as she was electrocuted halfway into each beg.
They had no doubts it was him. This level of childish sadistic cruelty was exactly the same was when they witnessed him torture his family members, Zabuza, and anyone else that had gotten on his nerves at the time. Painful, humiliating, and damaging to one's self worth for all eternity.
In fact, if Tenten's suspicions were correct…
ZAP! The woman's entire body seemed to light up in neon green electricity, causing her to lose balance and fall off the branch she was sitting on and land on her head.
"Why did you do that to meeeee!?"
Yep. The woman definitely wasn't faking it. Despite her calm demeanor, their cruel emotionless teacher had already gotten his hands on the woman.
o. o. o.
"You know, you could have saved everyone the headache if you just told us that Scab-sensei had you on a leash." Tenten smirked as she gave her body a look over and found herself at full capacity again.
After the newcomer had stopped getting electrocuted every other second, she had used whatever power she had to fully heal her team back to perfect condition. None of the ones there knew what exactly she had done, but the results were damn fast. One second they were all going over their scratches and torn clothes, and the next they were all good as new.
Shion had been healed from her concussion as well, but was rendered asleep in the process. A quick check from their leader showed that nothing was wrong and that she should wake up very soon.
"I don't wanna! You know how he is!" The foreigner cried childishly, her calm and all knowing personal having given away to the poor broken soul that tends to remain whenever tormented by an Oogakari. "The moment you admit that he owns you he only gets worse! Double so when it's a public admittance!"
None of the shinobi there voiced their agreement out loud or admitted to seeing the ominous green eyed shadow of a familiar vertically challenged sadist hovering over them with his fingers moving as if he was controlling a puppet.
"I'm surprised you just didn't go with the safe option and get indebted to him." Chouji shifted his body around to make sure that everything was in place. "You'd never get out of it, but it would still be safer."
"I am." For the most powerful individual in the area, she didn't seem to have much motivation at the moment judging from her slumped posture. "He makes it a personal challenge to try and get everyone he knows into debt to him before they die. Ghost has the highest tab, but my figures aren't anything to sneeze about either."
"How's that?" Shino curiously inquired.
"He puts the damages he pays for whenever I'm around on me, even when it's not my fault or involved." Waterfall tears fell down her face.
"Owch. Even for things that Shadow is responsible for?"
"Especially when Shadow's involved." The woman's posture was completely relaxed. Her face was calm and casual, her heartbeat had not changed and there was no notable flux in her mood at all.
Clearly there was some history between her and the sole female Oogakari.
"Anyways, since you know that I'm… do I really have to say-?" Zap! "Ow! Ok! Ok! Since I'm officially Scab's bitch, can you please keep quiet about this? Like I said I'll keep the other guys out of your hair and letting people know of us will cause problems for you too."
It was a simple seemingly innocent request, made by a woman that could likely kill them in an instant.
Tenten sighed. "Man. If sensei is behind this then there's probably more to it than I want to know. I'll keep quiet for now but if something comes up and you're behind it all bets are off and the f-word flies rapid fire."
"No! Please! Not the f-word!" The woman whimpered pathetically before the evilly chuckling Faker. Clearly something was wrong with that picture.
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Hinata asked Tenten warily, still not trusting the woman. She may have healed her team to perfect heath, but the stranger was still an unknown factor.
"It's not like we can actually do anything about it." Shino sided with the weapons mistress, if only for the fact that he had a better idea of how badly they were outgunned. "Sensei has already taken matters into his own hands. It's best to focus on the mission for now and stop Moryo's resurrection."
"Resurrection?" The woman tilted her head to the side curiously. "Are you talking about that demon nearby that's been controlling those weird terra cotta soldiers walking around?"
"You've encountered them too?" Chouji asked, done with his body check and seemingly satisfied with the results.
"No, but it's hard not to feel what's going on." She shrugged before turning her head to the direction the teens were running in just moments before. "He has his soul and body separated right? The seal on the body's been weakening recently, probably because the soul is freed, so it's not hard to figure out where it is. I'd say you have another ten miles to get to the location from here. Not far, but the guy housing its soul is almost there, so you can probably expect a trap by the time you make it."
"You can sense things that far that accurately?" Hinata blinked in surprise. Sensors in general were rare, and ones that were that precise were considered as valuable as elite jonin in most places.
"Eh. It's nothing special." The woman shrugged. Most high level jumpers had pretty sharp sensing abilities developed by the time they reached their rank. It was difficult to survive at that level without it. "From what I can tell, even if the demon does complete himself, it's still within your abilities to take out. This adorable little furball here in his current state is more dangerous than him."
Said adorable little furball merely grunted in response. Unlike the humans, he had not let his guard down around the woman in the slightest. "If that is all, I believe it is best if you leave."
"Aww. He's going tsun-tsun on me." Her swooning had not an ounce of mockery in it. She really found him that adorable. "He really seems to want to help you guys out on your adventure."
"Believe what you want. I want no part in dealing with you, Stained Glass."
"Eh?" She blinked in childish surprise. "Oh? You know of me already? Aw. How disappointing. I didn't think Ghost would actually bring me up in conversation."
"I can keep talking if you wish." There was an underlying threat in his tone that anyone with ears could detect. "I am not oblivious like the humans."
The demon fox and the world altering woman stared into one another's eyes for but a few moments before the latter relented and casually shrugged. "Fine. Fine. I can tell when I'm not wanted."
"Stained Glass?" Tenten frowned in confusion. She had never heard of the title before, but apparently the Fox did, and something about her was getting under his skin. His comment about them being oblivious was also giving her a bad feeling. It was as if the woman had done something that everyone else save the fox had completely missed.
"Kyubi-sama, she just saved us. Aren't you being a bit-?" Chouji began to address the demon, but stopped cold as a wave of killing intent was directed right at him.
The Akimichi took a step back on reflex from being suddenly exposed to such an oppressive and violent aura. He had forgotten that the creature in front of him was only on his side by proxy of Naruto. No, he had disregarded the fact that it wasn't human in the first place.
Around him, his teammates save Hinata had the same reaction, not in control over themselves enough to stop their instincts from taking hold.
"Now now. No need to lose your temper fuzzy-san. I already agreed to leave so there's no need to be this aggressive." Sylvia tried to calm down the fox, not at all bothered by his sudden bloodlust. "I'll leave right away. Please, again, don't tell anyone about this, at least for now."
"… Fine." Hinata relented. "But only so long as they don't cause any more problems."
Sylvia nodded before seemingly noticing Naruto in the girl's shirt for the first time and smiled. "Hmm. Hinata, right? That's Ghost's apprentice in your chest if I'm not mistaken."
"You've met?" Shino tilted his head curiously.
"Oh you'd be surprised how fast gossip and information about Ghost tends to spread back home." She replied while never taking her curious eyes off of the sleeping fox. "My my. So rumors were true. How unfortunate…"
"Rumors?" Hinata instantly latched onto the comment with a hint of ferocity that no one missed. "What rumors?"
"It is pointless to dwell on or speak of that event." Kurama spoke up with a good deal of irritation and annoyance. "It has no relevance."
"That's not completely true and you know it." The woman countered. "You should be able to feel the lingering power in the poor boy's wounds. To not be completely purged after this long with Ghost, the existence that enforced this phenomenon must have been at least the equivalent of…"
"Speak carefully human. I may know my place, but I also know yours." The fox's final warning was lethal no matter how anyone interpreted it, though those listening didn't comprehend what he was referring to specifically.
Sylvia puffed out her cheeks in almost innocent frustration before letting out her breath in defeat. "Fine. You win." She spared one last glance at Naruto as she turned to leave. "You two must be exceptionally close for him to be like that. I'm pretty envious."
The Hyuuga had the decency to blush and turn away for a bit. "O-of course we are. He's my boyfriend."
"That's not what I mean." The woman shook her head. "When it comes to people like us, ones with power that have seen too much of what reality can provide… well certain habits are eventually developed."
"Habits?" Hinata frowned as their temporary savior faded away into the woods. "What do you mean he's like you?"
"… Mmm. How do I put this?" She donned an innocent ponderous expression as she walked away, not that anyone could see it. "Let's just say that it's hard for us to sleep soundly in the embrace of others. Sex, debauchery, marriage, lying, fighting, working, and other supposed intimate activities pale in comparison to this simple action. To be in that deep of natural sleep, to be that genuinely relaxed with our guards down… you could say that for us it's a sign of unconditional trust… something that we rarely allow ourselves to afford after going through our experiences."
"And why is that the case?" Shino inquired. "Is it simply that you do not trust yourself with self control around others, or the matter that you are unable to trust others in the first place?"
The woman's image disappeared into the shadows like an illusion.
"No… it's simply because the greatest terrors always come about when the strong trust incorrectly. Who and what the victims of these mistakes are, are completely inconsequential compared to the scale of the eventual calamities."
The area was ominously quiet as the group pondered the woman's warning.
"… Is she gone?" Chouji looked around warily. He was not joking in the slightest. All of their teachers had replicated situations like this in their training before to make them drop their guard and think they were safe, only to completely blindside them moments later.
"My insects can't detect her." Shino noted, also on guard.
"I… I can't see her either." Hinata added distractedly.
Kurama said nothing.
"… FANGIRLS!" Tenten shouted at the top of her lungs.
ZAP! "GHAAAA!" Thump. "WHY?!" A familiar voice screamed in pain from a good distance away.
"Eh. She'll be out of hearing range in a minute."
"… Ramen ramen ramen ramen." Naruto nuzzled his head to one of the "pillows" next to him, still very much unconscious and very much unaware of what had just happened. "… Slurp slurp slurp slurp slurp…"
"Gha?! N-Naruto!? W-what are you aaaannnhhhhh! T-t-tongue! Mmmmmm!"
o. o. o.
"Against my better judgment, why are you smiling so much?" Ghost asked his sister as he tossed her a bag of Halloween candy.
"… I don't know, but I feel really happy right now." The woman grinned as she tore open the bag with practiced ease.
"Flowers and sunshine happy?"
"Listening to the agonizing wails of my mortal enemies happy."
"Right. Best keep you away from the public for a bit. You tend to maim people that accidentally lower your happy high."
"No complaints here. I'm happy!"
"That means you can't spread the love this time."
"That makes me less happy!"
"Yes it… oh shit."
o. o. o.
Sitting in his office, Onoki stared down his long time friend and on/off (Moderately buzzed/ Very drunk) advisor. "You sure about this?"
"Positive." Roshi frowned. "That was definitely the Fox. Son wouldn't mistake his signature for anything." He left off the fact that the giant ape was pissed off that Kurama had learned how to use Presence, and was currently groaning that the fox would be lording it over his siblings at the first opportunity.
"Three years gone and the first place that nut decides to show off is near our western borders. Fucking young idiots." The Tsuchikage shook his head in frustration. "At the very least, barely anyone knows it was him. Demonic chakra feels the same to most people, and it's not like our sensors are familiar with the fox himself."
"Other than the ANBU sent on that mission three years ago, I don't know of anyone that would be able to make the distinction. Konoha almost never used their Jinchuriki during the wars so the vets wouldn't pick it up either. It's best if you just blame Han for this one publicly."
The Tsuchikage looked at a seemingly random corner of the room. An instant later, the ANBU hiding there was gone to collect his comrades and set up a believable gathering at the prison where the Jinchuriki was being held.
"As if I didn't have enough trouble these days." The old man grumbled as he laid back into his modified chair. It was a particularly useful design created recently by some new pharmaceutical company that relieved stress on the lower back. All he had to do was endorse the company and he got as many back relieving products as he wanted. It was damn well worth it as far as he was concerned.
Scabbard Oogakari completely agreed. The company was one started by his girls and he owned a solid percentage of it that only grew in value with the increase in sales due to the endorsement… not that the Tsuchikage knew of course.
"Those revolutionists are complete idiots." Roshi shook his head. "Since when did our standards drop this much?"
"De-militarization. Less funds. Loss of the previous war. Loss of faith from the Daimyo, reputation, and possible clients from one too many betrayals of ours getting out. Me getting old and having no inheritor to Muu-sensei's Dust Release techniques." Onoki listed off the reasons. "While I was busy keeping the village together, something was bound to give eventually. Saru had his civilian council turn into a rats nest, and apparently I had my village's cumulative IQ go down the shitter. Everyone here is too damn proud of themselves or their village to recognize their mistakes."
Roshi silently stared at his friend. How long had he been waiting for the leader to admit that very same thing all those years ago? "You could just up and leave. Not like anyone here could stop you."
"Funny. You don't look drunk." The diminutive man snorted bitterly. Even if he wanted to just leave, that would only cause more problems. Whoever took charge after him now was likely to muck everything up and start another war. There were admittedly a good number of shinobi and clans there that didn't have their heads in their asses, but they unfortunately did not have as much popular support as he did. Even if one of them did take over, they would likely not be strong enough to last long, or good enough to keep things together.
Ever since the Han incident three years ago, the old wounds that many of the veterans had for Konoha began to fester with increased intensity and that infection spread throughout the ranks. It didn't help that more than a few annoying bastards here had stoked the flames purposefully, making it even more of a pain to deal with.
For the past year, not a week went by without some argument or fight broke out with some drunk moron screaming about how it was Konoha's, or the Yellow Flash's fault. It was honestly pathetic to watch, and probably would have been a great way to show everyone that they were acting like idiots… if they didn't sympathize with the crying idiots in the first place. The fact that Konoha was flourishing like mad while still somehow abiding by the demilitarizing laws put into place was not missed by anyone.
There had even been a few traitors that had attempted to assassinate him in public no less, assuming that he was getting sloppy and dimwitted in his old age. Apparently though, it seemed only that the dumbest of the lot actually believed that as the numbers that actually tried this and were reduced to less than dust in public were still in the single digits.
That was the great thing about Dust Release techniques. They were all pure overkill, and put the fear of him into anyone that saw them first hand. It was great for keeping people in line.
"Shows what you know. I make it a personal goal to be at least buzzed so long as I'm conscious till the day I die." The red haired old man smirked.
"A fine a goal as any I guess." The Tsuchikage matched the grin with one of his own for a few moments before letting it drop.
The jinchuriki leered at Onoki for a few moments before sighing. "Why do I have the feeling that Uzumaki isn't the only reason I'm going to binge tonight?"
"You'd normally be bouncing ideas of what places to raid and possible executions by this point." The man pointed out. "It's easy for me to tell when you're distracted."
"I'll make sure to not do it again." The shorter of the two shook his head before taking out a folder. "There's been reports from my spies. Apparently, the rebels got their hands on something recently. What's worse is that whatever it is, it has them both nervous and excited as hell."
"That combo's never a good thing so close to home." Roshi frowned as he took the unofficial reports and scanned them quickly. "Any idea where or what it is?"
"They." Onoki corrected. "Plural. Not many from what we can tell, at most a handful and certainly more than one, but other than that no. The leaders are keeping info on this under max security. Only rumors have been going around, but it's been confirmed that something has fallen into their hands. Odds are likely that it's in one of the abandoned bases that they're using, but until we gain more information we are still shooting in the dark."
"Think it's a weapon?"
"Whatever they are, Iwa would probably be left in a terrible state once these idiots do finally get about to using them." The old man leaned back in his chair. "I've had my spies and leaks try to learn what the hell it is that has everyone's panties in a bunch since the rumors were verified, but so far no luck. Even worse is that there's whispers that these things are going to be used soon."
"Soon" was an incredibly subjective term in their line of work. "Soon" could be within a few minutes on the battlefield, or a few months on the political side. When it came to war and the like, "Soon" tended to lie somewhere between a week and two months, but even that wasn't a reliable timeframe.
"Wonderful." Roshi sighed as he took out his sake and gulped deeply. "I don't suppose you're going to make things worse by hiring those Akatsuki pricks to increase security are you?"
Onoki frowned. While the two normally got along pretty well, Akatsuki was one subject where they never seemed to be able to agree. The Tsuchikage knew that Roshi knew something about them that he didn't, but the red headed old shit would never seem to just say it. "At this point I may have no choice. Han is unstable as hell and nearly a fifth of our forces are questioning my reliability at this point. The stronger I look the more time we can buy to find a solution, and since Iwa's credibility is at an all time low internationally, Akatsuki is our best short term solution."
"And an abysmal mid and long term." The jinchuriki countered. "You know that Akatsuki is persona non grata as far as the other main villages are concerned. While they haven't done anything directly with Akatsuki, it's common knowledge that the mercs are practically banned from the countries and their information is always being bought at a premium. Plus relying on mercs, no matter how strong they are, is not going to do your reputation any good. Hiring them is social relations suicide both inside and outside our borders now, especially as bodyguards and security of all things."
Onoki snarled at Roshi's arguments but couldn't argue against them. The man had a point, but at this rate things would fall apart before Roshi's pointed out consequences would even come into play. "Then what do you expect me to do? Hire help from Konoha?"
The Jinchuriki rolled his eyes and was about to come up with his own sarcastic reply, when he paused for a moment and began to think.
"… I was joking."
"Hold on. I'm still thinking." The lava user held up a hand tentatively.
"There would be riots in the streets if even half assed rumors were made about it." Onoki continued. "And it's not like Konoha would even go through with it, not with our reputation and history of backstabbing everyone we came across."
"And whose fault was that?" Roshi rose an eyebrow skeptically. It was well known that Iwa shinobi didn't work well with shinobi from other nations. At least a third of the major double crosses during the past three wars combined were attributed to them, and since Onoki was their longest ruling Kage…
"I can show you a literal mountain of reports showing that in most cases we were simply in a rush to double cross first." The smaller of the two stubbornly held his ground without shame. "But we aren't in war now, and I don't want a war later. Personally I think that I've gotten a good eye for seeing what can possibly set an international movement over the years. That being said, there's no way in hell that asking help from Konoha won't spark something off."
"… Yeah. Konoha's no good. Neither are the smaller countries or Suna…" Roshi began to tick off their options. "But Kumo…"
"Forget it." Onoki cut him off. "That muscle bound fool of a brat A would only make things worse charging into everything head first. He's not one for following agreements either. Idiot nearly continued the third war with Konoha a decade ago with that Hyuuga incident, plus there're those rumors of lava users in his ranks, and the fact that he's made no effort to demilitarize…"
"All the more reason to go to him." Roshi pushed. All things considered, Kumo was at least neutral to Iwa over the years. "He has two fully trained and loyal Jinchuriki…" That I can talk to and team up with if needed. "… He has no loyalties or obligations to Konoha…" That anyone is aware of. "… He has enough forces to spare…" That can be used to fight off Akatsuki if needed and send word back to him. "… He isn't willing to start a war if possible, and if relations get bad between us we can just break off ties and no one would bat an eyelash so long as we aren't dependant on his forces, which no one here would ever admit."
Onoki glared at his friend for a good minute, going over what his friend had said. "… One of these days, you are going to tell me why you really are against Akatsuki so much."
"One of these days, you'll be in a position to believe what I have to say." Roshi replied, matching his glare without any hesitation.
"They're only ten men."
"Namikaze showed us what one man could do, and at least we knew where his loyalties lay."
The room was silent as the pair steadily yet subtly increased their killing intents. They were not at one another's throats, however to men of their stature and experience it was a good way of determining one another's resolve to their decisions.
While it wasn't much to them, it was soon becoming all but unbearable to the ANBU hidden in the room.
And then Kurotsuchi burst into the room. "Oi Gramps! Please tell me that chakra earlier wasn't who I think it URK?!"
The teen's half demand half question was cut short as she inadvertently caught the attention of both men while still blasting their intents and got a face full of both. This resulted in the girl's entire body freezing up and momentarily causing her heart to stop. Both very common reactions to such levels of exposure.
"Girl, what have I told you about barging into my office like that?" Onoki grumbled while letting up on his power. The mood had already been killed so there was no point in continuing.
"Give her a moment 'Noki. Poor kid just got a surprise double serving." Roshi snorted as he watched the girl almost hyperventilate and regain control over her pulse. "I'm a bit surprised. Personally I would have thought that she would have passed out from that. She must have gotten a bit stronger since last I saw her."
"Glad. You noticed." The granddaughter of the Tsuchikage panted as she attempted to regain control over herself, clutching at her chest right above her heart.
"Feh. It's her fault for barging in her like that. For someone who dislikes the Uzumaki brat so much, she acts a hell of a lot like him." Onoki held back a bitter laugh. "Blonde little shit burst in two meetings I had with Saru when I was in Konoha. It was damn obvious that it was a common occurrence too."
"Don't you still have those photos he got us though?" Roshi leered at his friend curiously.
"I have no idea what you're talking about." The other perverted Kage diplomatically avoided the question.
"You know, it's that attitude that got everyone to call you "Fence Sitter" in the first place." Roshi rolled his eyes. "Word on the street is you've been sitting for so damn long the fence is all that's keeping you up these days."
"There's an insinuation involving my ass in that jab isn't there?"
"Children. Can't they come up with anything original these days?"
"Deidara did, but we apparently kicked him out because he wouldn't shut up about it."
"Don't remind me... wait you weren't here for that."
"Now you're just being obnoxious."
"Nope. Just drunk."
"Oi!" Kurotsuchi grunted, having her pulse under control. "Demon Chakra. Near Iwa. Please tell me you two know who it is, cause I definitely do."
Onoki snorted as he triggered a seal to close the door behind the girl and prevent them from being overheard. "Of course we know it's the Uzumaki brat, just like we know he's probably gotten himself into another outlandishly unnatural event. You've seen his mission report files girl."
Oh she saw the files that Tsunade gave Iwa as a sign of good will. Personally she still didn't believe them, not completely anyways. The Han incident was one thing, but she was calling bull on at least half of the others she saw. "And the fact that he's so close to our territory when no one's heard from him?"
"Give it up kid." Roshi rolled his eyes. "I've spent time with and studied him as an enemy. The kid does what he wants when he wants, and only goes nuts when there's a damn good reason for it. He's insane for sure, but not stupid. Whatever he's doing, it doesn't involve us. Otherwise he probably would have tried to sneak into the village just to say hi to 'Noki and me already. For some bizarre reason he's actually taken a liking to your gramps."
"What's not to like about me?" The Tsuchikage mumbled dejectedly.
"But. But…" The girl attempted to scrounge for any sort of argument against the old men's decisions, only to instantly lose her voice again when the latter two leered at her tiredly. "Gh! Fine. I'll drop it. Don't bother apologizing if it turns out I'm right."
"Not going to because you're not." Roshi snorted, turning back to his booze. "Besides, your paranoia's better focused on these rebel idiots at the moment and whatever the hell they landed that's got their panties in a twist."
"Hah?" The girl tilted her head to the side in confusion. "The revolutionaries have something actually important? That's the first I've heard of it."
"Surprising." Onoki's eyes steeled slightly, noting that the girl called them by their preferred name instead of what they are. "Normally you're better informed about this sort of thing than we are."
"Oi oi. Just because I hear things when I'm out on the town doesn't mean I'm better than your spies." The girl's arms crossed defiantly.
She was right, but she did have a habit of hearing things that said spies failed to notice. Her "drinking buddies" probably knew she was a spy of some sort, but she was too high a priority target to simply take out when their organization was still a bit on the weak side. Plus she was a great way to leak the locations of potential loose ends in their group to the Tsuchikage in a way that didn't lead back to them. Essentially they were using the enemy to scratch certain itches. Backstabbing happens on both sides of any war after all.
"Well against my better judgment, I'm telling you that I wouldn't mind it if you happen to act like this idiot here more often for some time to relax. Think of it as an earned vacation from your missions and training." The Tsuchikage nodded his head to Roshi, who snorted and grumbled annoyed in response.
Unofficial Mission: Gather as much information about what the revolutionaries have. Time frame: undetermined short term, max limit one month. Cover: on temporary leave shinobi recovering from extensive training and work overload.
"I can feel the love." The girl rolled her eyes.
"I have plenty of more love on the back of my hand if you want." Onoki rose an eyebrow.
"I'm fairly certain there are laws about that sort of affection." Kurotsuchi continued with a tired sigh, not missing a beat. "Then again, most crappy political figures tend to get away with it so that direction's moot point."
"Oh shut up and get your smart ass out of my office girl." The Dust user smirked. All things considered, the only people he allowed to talk to him in such an insubordinate manner in Iwa were in that room. Anyone else would have been killed, imprisoned for insubordination, or demoted by now.
"The family resemblance is uncanny." Roshi somehow managed to keep an even face as their charge left the room.
"You want some of my love too?" The ruler raised a hand threateningly.
"Please. I wouldn't feel an itch from that tiny thing." The jinchuriki's lips twitched in amusement as he drank some more. "I didn't know you were so affectionate."
The diminutive man growled as he leaned back into his chair and took out another report. "Oh shut up you stupid ape and help me out with these damn papers."
o. o. o.
The team from Konoha plus Shion was making a straight dash for the temple where Moryo's body was sealed. Their charge had been awakened and brought up to speed on the situation so there would be no complications, and Kurama had wordlessly returned to his container soon after it had been confirmed that the woman familiar with the Oogakari was out of earshot.
They were all tired. They were all frustrated. They were all irritable. They were all fully healed. And they were all very willing to take their anger out on the demon that was inadvertently the source of their current grievances.
Or that annoying personal aid of Shion's if he wouldn't shut up soon.
"Taruho please leave and keep an eye on everything from a distance." The miko ordered firmly, knowing full well that her guardians were not in the best of moods. "Moryo is already at his body but the seal is still holding. We can't afford any distractions."
"What happened earlier?!" The normal human demanded. "An entire mountain was exploded and there was that horrific power… I thought that Moryo had already awakened!"
"If he compares me to that weakling ever again, I will come out and eat him." The fox grunted to Hinata through her link with Naruto.
"Now's not the time to explain!" Hinata snapped, not exactly in the mood to mingle either. "We are going to be in hostile territory soon and can't afford to be distracted! Fall back and wait for us to finish our job!"
The aid was cut off as four separate, albeit held back, blasts of killing intent hammered him at once, causing him to almost fall flat on his face. The fact that he was still conscious was somewhat commendable for a civilian, but the shinobi there weren't in the mood for pointing it out.
The priestess looked back at her aid apologetically but didn't say anything. She knew that while he was loyal to her, he would be nothing but a burden from this point onwards. He wouldn't be able to survive getting past the constantly respawning clay soldiers, even with their help.
Case and point, just a mile further, when they were nearly at the base of the dormant volcano that the demon was held, the group entered a field that was literally filled with the soulless killing constructs. Rough estimates already put them at hovering over a thousand.
No one bothered to utter a word or slow down.
"Multisize." Chouji muttered as he used his oldest technique to transform into a large rolling ball of meat and death that plowed through the army without pause and make a path for his friends to bolt through unimpeded.
The clay soldiers were all of the same make and build. Spear wielding. Very durable and strong, but also incredibly slow compared to shinobi in general. They were a pain to defend against in large numbers, but it was a completely story if one was simply trying to get past them.
However, Chouji wasn't done yet as he charged straight towards the flat vertical face of a cliff…
"Earth Style: Royal Gate Path!"
The Akimichi crashed into the cliff with the force of a tremendous bomb, and as such that was the result he was given, but in a different form. While the stone around him cracked heavily from his impact, the most notable visible effect was the tremendous and deep crack that went straight up the cliff instantly…
Then the world exploded.
As if the world's largest gate had opened with the fissure as the border between the doors, tons and tons and tons of dirt and stone erupted in an explosive avalanche that sprayed debris of all sizes in literally every direction. The stones flying at terminal velocity absolutely overwhelmed and crushed the clay warriors indiscriminately, turning the once green field into nothing more than a rock quarry in near record time.
The shinobi and their charge were completely uninjured. The single safe zone for this jutsu was a small area right behind where the Akimichi had collided with the wall.
It took less than a minute for the heavy debris to finally land on the ground again, however the dust in the air made it difficult to breathe for most individuals. Thankfully, Tenten came to the rescue of her team and client and materialized a copy of Temari's Ramidreju and blew away all the offending air in a single swing.
The cliff face that Chouji had impacted was completely warped. The edge where the center of the "gate" had been was sticking out ahead of the rest of the natural formation, curving back to either side as if the stone had been perfectly carved out from above and continued for about a hundred meters in either direction. Given that the face of the cliff was at least fifty meters up… it was pretty safe to say that he had moved a lot of earth with his latest move.
Shion couldn't help but shiver in awe and fear at the destruction behind her once the dust cleared and she stopped coughing. She had known that the shinobi that were friends with Naruto were a good deal stronger than normal shinobi… but she had never expected something on this level before.
She made a mental note to never underestimate her future possible new friends ever again.
She also made a mental note to thank Tenten for loaning her those ear plugs when she woke up. She wasn't good enough with manipulating her powers to do something as esoteric as protecting her ears so she wouldn't go deaf.
Without warning, something flew from the mountain behind the group and landed on the destruction below with a tremendous impact. Even before the kicked up dust settled the group could feel a tremendous amount of unstable chakra coming from this newcomer, and an even greater amount of killing intent directed right at them.
A new voice erupted from the dust just before it was blown away with a burst of energy, prompting the teens to see the pink haired assassin they had yet to kill glaring at them from the top of the tallest pile of debris that Chouji had made. It only took a moment to notice that he had clearly been altered since their previous encounter.
The arm that Naruto had unconsciously torn to pieces was replaced by several tentacle-like creatures with vicious heads writhing around one another. What would be normal skin showing on the rest of his body was covered in multiple layers of different colored glowing tattoos, and his skin had taken an almost black hue…
Oh yeah, his eyes were also glowing pure white with power in addition to the black aura hovering around him, but that had happened so often that no one seemed to pay much attention to that.
"Oh hell not another one." Tenten groaned, clearly more tired at the shinobi's appearance than scared.
"Another what?" Shion asked nervously, clearly affected by the waves of power the enemy was giving off.
"You killed my brothers earlier! You destroyed my arm! You made me appear a fool before my masters!" The clearly mad with power man began his speech, clearly intending to vent a bit before getting to the killing.
"Suicidal charge. Overblown with power. Doped up with enough unknown steroids to give most veterans pause and wipe out entire platoons with ease, before they burn out and keel over when the job is done." The weapons mistress elaborated tiredly. "Honestly, if we had the time to kill, we'd just run away from this guy until he runs out of time and dies, but for some annoying reason they just tend to show up when we're on the clock."
"… Pride and Honor of the almighty Moryo I…"
"Well at least he's still talking." Chouji added helpfully.
"Yeah but he'll move if we do." Tenten countered. "Even I can tell that he has enough juice to be a major problem. The previous guys had some freaky powers and this one is way stronger than they were. At least two of us are going to have to…"
Everyone turned to Shino incredulously.
"Shino." Hinata hesitantly spoke up. "I know you're eager to fight again but I really don't think…"
"I called dibs." The Aburame firmly held his ground as if his statement settled the matter. "You go ahead. Why? Because I'm going stay here, and make this idiot my bitch."
Everyone's eyes widened even more at the normally silent teen's statement. He was normally pretty eager, in his own way at least, to join in on higher level missions, but rarely had anyone ever seen him this ready to fight.
Also, there was the fact that he actually called someone a bitch. The word was as taboo around Kiba as "fat" was around Chouji.
"Now prepare yourselves for your deat-!"
Shino took one of his hands out of his pockets and snapped his fingers.
Without further warning, a colossal grey and black insect that appeared to be a combination of a termite and a centipede erupted from the ground underneath the clearly powerful shinobi, enveloping him in its cavernous like mouth. The creature twisted its head and body in a way to clearly harm its consumed prey with pressure and its contorting muscles before it sunk back into the ground again with as much speed as it had coming out.
Everyone other than the Aburame simply stared and gaped at what they had just seen.
"… I know it shouldn't be said, but do please remind me of this the next time I think of something that might piss Shino off." Tenten absently told Chouji.
"L-likewise." The Akimichi nodded dumbly, sharing the Faker's expression without shame.
"Oh hell I pissed that off." Shion mentally wailed in anguish.
"Sh-Shino?" Hinata turned to her teammate with some uncertainty. "… Since when could you do that?"
"About five months ago." The stoic teen replied as if answering a mundane question, more interested in spreading out his significantly smaller insects around the general area. "I suggest you all move ahead. That by itself won't hold him back for long."
Indeed, even now the shinobi there could sense a tremendous growth of power coming from the area where the enemy had been dragged down. The feeling instantly sobered the mood among those there.
"Shino. Be honest, do you really think you can handle him yourself?" Hinata asked firmly.
The Aburame leered back at her momentarily before he made some seals. "You know me better than that Hinata. I don't do fights that I don't have the advantage in."
That seemed to be enough to convince the Hyuuga as she instantly turned around to look at her other teammates and their charge. "We've wasted enough time. We're going up the cliff and straight to the temple. Tenten has Shion."
"Aww. And I wanted to see Shino go nuts on someone. That never happens." Tenten mock pouted as she piggybacked Shion. "Hold on tight. Keeping balance with you on at this angle is gonna be tricky."
The teens just barely made it all the way up to the top of the cliffs before the ground exploded upwards in a combination of spiraling fire and lightning that blew earth outward in every direction.
From above, the advancing shinobi saw a man shaped monstrosity glowing with power slowly pick itself up from the hole made in the ground and look directly at them murderously. Bits and pieces of its warped body seemed to be channeling different elements irregularly, proven by half of his hair being on fire while his formally normal arm was now a massive tendril of water.
"You're looking the wrong way." Shino stated evenly, standing a moderate distance away from his target with as much concern as an Oogakari. "I'm right here."
A bolt of lightning pierced the Aburame's body almost instantly and taking out the bulk of his upper torso, only to reveal it to be an insect clone.
"I have no time for this." The madman grunted as he focused on his primary objective. "I have to kill the priestess…"
"Do you know what I did with your brothers' bodies?" Shino's voice echoed through the area.
The assassin stopped instantly. It was a peculiar thing. When enraged, people always seemed to be more receptive and willing to stop and listen to things that would only further piss them off.
Try to say something that makes sense and calm them down?
Nope. They won't try to listen.
Give them a step by step runthrough of how you desecrated their loved one's corpses on the other hand…
Very slowly the sound of countless insects began to mute the background. "I could do nothing about the water user of course. His body was reduced to meaningless fluid before he was defeated… but the earth and wind users were quite helpful in my research. My friend gave me the body of that peculiar parasite that you are no doubt using to empower yourself with, however I decided that a more… complete analysis was required."
"You…" The discharging bolts of lightning and fire around the man increased in frequency and intensity.
"My insects are designed to consume chakra, however that does not mean that they are ill suited for material sustenance." Shino monologue further as the number of insects in the area grew more. "The wind user and the earth user's bodies were fully consumed and broken down within twenty minutes. I learned a lot doing that."
"I'm gonna kill you!" The chakra around the man had grown to unnatural levels, so much so that some people would even risk comparing it to that of a jinchuriki's. His rage had already overridden his initial task of killing the priestess.
But given what he had just encountered earlier that day, such paltry levels didn't even cause Shino to blink.
"You have my thanks." The bodiless voice evenly continued. "The peculiar parasites you use and the substances they produce have aided me greatly in the progression of my techniques, overcoming a roadblock that I had been dealing with for some time."
An ominous aura began to hover over the field of upturned stone and debris, potent and bizarre enough that even the madman was momentarily snapped out of his rage.
He could sense it. Beneath the ground, something tremendous was changing… growing… manifesting. It was not a feeling that belonged in battle… more of an idea intensified to the point that he could actually tell it was influencing the world around him instead of simply being a product of a jutsu.
For the span of a heartbeat, he froze. Whatever was beneath him was dangerous. Even with all the power at his disposal, he felt that this new… thing… was to its very core his natural enemy. He had to kill it before it killed him…
… No. He could not be killed. Not by a single shinobi. The idea was laughable… but what was beneath him could not be defined as the product of a single shinobi. It didn't even feel like the product of a human, but more like a mistake hidden in the one of the far reaches of the planet, evolved and twisted over time.
Before he could do anything about it though, the clouds of insects that had been perpetually streaming up into the sky dived at him, spiraling in every direction, clouding his eyes, deafening his ears, clogging his nose, and eating as much chakra as possible.
It lasted for five seconds before he regained his bearings and caused his power to flare. In an instant, the man erupted into a tremendous fireball that expanded outwards and incinerated any insect that had been unfortunate enough to be in its path.
"Show yourself!" It was clear that the assassin was growing more deranged with each second.
"… I'm beginning to suspect the reason why my clan decided to live in Konoha in the first place is so that they would drastically reduce the number of times that would happen." Shino appeared a good thirty meters to the man's right, standing as if nothing had happened with his hands in his pockets and surrounded by so many insects that his image seemed to fade in and out of reality. "It's incredibly annoying."
"Hah!" Flinging his tentacle appendages forward, the assassin channeled a tremendous amount of chakra into them, causing the limbs to writhe and glow irregularly until they each discharged a beam of elementally charged chakra right at the insect user. The user's aim was terrible, and the attack more akin to a shotgun blast of lasers than a cohesive focused attack…
However none could contest to the damage.
The entire area Shino had stood in was completely obliterated as the combined elemental attack surged forward, destroying his location and everything behind him for over a hundred meters. If Chouji had not already ruined their fighting grounds with his earlier attack, the landscape would have no doubt been obliterated.
However the buzzing did not stop.
"An impressive display of power, however I see little else to compliment." Shino's monotonous voice once more echoed about without a source.
A kunai flew through the air to the left of the increasingly frustrated man and struck the ground before him. The exploding tag attached to its handle went off on contact before the target could react, throwing him backwards among the debris. He wasn't hurt by the explosion with the power he was generating, however his pride, coordination, and grasp on the situation further deteriorated.
"I tend to prefer more efficient methods when possible." The voice continued. "It yields better results with less effort."
"Shut up!" A swipe of the warped limbs produced a tremendous wall of wind that knocked away every loose stone and flying insect in its path.
Ultimately, it accomplished nothing as the cloud of minute kikaichu seemed to only grow larger, blocking more and more of the landscape from the man…
… His mind and vision were blurred for a moment as he looked around. Wait. Where was the cliff? Where were the forests? The sun was still up so he should still be able to see everything without too much trouble but all he could see was an irregular black mist around him and the dimming sky above. Had there always been this many bugs before, or was there something else going on?
Deciding to take the risk, he unleashed another wave of wind in a seemingly random direction. The insects were blown away, showing the forest in the distance and… there.
Spouting from several small holes scattered across the ground were continuous black streams of insects rising to the sky. The Konoha shinobi must have used some sort of jutsu to turn this entire area into a nest of some sort to increase his advantage while he was trapped underground.
He clicked his teeth in annoyance. He had been duped so easily and now because of his temper he was stuck in the enemy's territory. He had not anticipated that one of their targets was capable of changing the landscape to his advantage so quickly like this. Even if he ran away and went after the priestess now, he'd be stuck fending off this tremendous cloud of insects and risk getting lost and blinded in the process. As much as he hated to admit it, he needed to take care of this annoying brat before he could do anything else.
First thing was obvious. He had to destroy the annoying next beneath him.
"Earth Style: Rupture!" He slammed his hands on the ground after a few hand seals, causing a small tremor to ripple beneath him. While the move was not that powerful by itself, the amount of chakra he had poured into it had expanded its area of effect to ridiculous proportions, causing massive fissures to appear all over for nearly two hundred meters in every direction. The large shifting in the earth greatly damaged the temporary hives made everywhere and reducing their respective outputs.
The assassin breathed heavily, but satisfied that he had dealt with one major headache. Soon he'd be done with this annoying kid and back to his mission. He didn't expect to have such a hard time dealing with this kid, and he was… still… breathing hard…
That little shit…
"Oh? You finally noticed?" Shino's voice seemed to mock from an unknown location. While he did have some sporadic kikaichu latched onto several parts of the enemy's body and draining him of chakra, even more of the man's power was being sapped simply by being within the cloud of insects itself without requiring any form of physical contact.
Hidden Art: Worldly Tithe.
Originally it had been an old technique in his family used to drain a large number of individuals over a wide area, but Shino had slightly modified it so that it could be theoretically used to deal with Naruto's Seventh Sense. Conveniently, said modifications had the side benefit of being able to siphon off the bursts of ambient chakra that were occasionally made by individuals channeling horrific levels of the stuff in their bodies.
However, in addition to the aforementioned alterations, Shino had gone a step further with his modifications…
"I would recommend you to surrender now that you realize your situation, however given what I know about your powers from your fallen brothers, I doubt that this is the limit of your abilities." Shino continued to taunt ambiently, not at all bothered by the fact that the hives generating a great deal of surplus insects for him had for the most part been wiped out.
They had served their purpose after all.
The Aburame's presence spiked once more, resonating among all of the insects he controlled just before they swarmed their single target in rings of black. It would do no good to have them all in one place. He would instead force his enemy to send out massive pulse after massive pulse of chakra in order to weaken and further frustrate him. The more chakra he used now, the easier he would be later on.
The clouds of presence enhanced insects seemed to act more as a natural phenomena more than a swarm of living beings as their target attempted to burn them away like before only to find at most a third of them dealt with. He must have put greater faith in his enhancements than he had assumed given his surprised and unnerved expression before being absolutely covered by countless exoskeletons to the point that it was difficult to even determine what the raging man's body shape was.
"Hmmm." Shino mused calmly, sitting on top of the peak of the altered cliff that Chouji had wrecked. The amount of chakra he had drained from his target was rather significant. Most shinobi would have been killed or at least crippled by this point, but his opponent was still going strong. He could only think of a handful of people that would be able to last this long under such conditions, and most of them were at the very least S ranked shinobi. True he was reallocating the energy into more suitable investments, however in all honesty it would be better if he wasn't forced to rely on such… experimental means.
But that wouldn't be any fun at all.
Of course, judging by how the chakra below him was rapidly increasing, he doubted that he would be left much choice.
The world below exploded once more as the former human's figure seemed to blow up with raw power. What once passed for a human was now an abomination. Standing at well over five meters tall and in nothing but torn up pants could only be described as an elemental goliath. His very body seemed to be nothing more than chunks of pulsing purple chunks of flesh held together by multicolored glowing cracks that radiated pure chakra where his tattoos had been. Each of the parasite heads that spouted from his warped arm was engulfed with one of the five basic elements, and every orifice of the monster's head seemed to be discharging a different element every half second.
In short, he was not fighting a human anymore, but a genuine monster.
"My insects can't even get close to him like this." The Aburame frowned as he made notes about his opponent's new condition. The amount of chakra he was absorbing from simply what it was leaking was already absurd, but the fact that he couldn't place more of his bugs on it was concerning.
His observations came to a screeching halt however as the thing turned to look directly at him despite being still in the middle of the storm of bugs.
It was only due to his training with Gai and Lee that he managed to get out of the way of the tremendous blast of raw power that annihilated the part of the cliff he was on when the goliath threw forward his slew of tentacle arms at him at once. The edge like protrusion that he had once been on no longer existed along with everything else in a ten meter radius.
He had run out of time. He couldn't afford to be lax anymore and be greedy draining chakra. He had already taken in more than enough to accomplish his goals, but wanted to see if he could get further without relying on his new but untested ace.
Running on the side of the cliff, the Aburame flew through the seals of his new technique and spiked his chakra and presence as high as he could. If all went well, he wouldn't need to bother about hiding or defending after this.
"GHUAAAAAAAAAA!" The monster honed in onto his target, finally having him within reach for the first time in the battle and charged forward though the clouds of insects there.
It was an unstoppable force of raw power. From Shino could tell in the brief moments before they met, it would take Chouji, Kiba, Lee, or Sakura at their very strongest to stop the thing in a direct confrontation.
He was not strong like Chouji, Kiba, Lee, or Sakura. He was not a genius like Shikamaru, Neji, Hinata, or Sasuke. He did not have outlandishly unique techniques like Tenten and Sai, or techniques that influence the mind like Kin and Ino, and he wasn't abnormally powerful like Naruto…
… But what he did have…
o. o. o.
"Ah. I figured as much."
Shino looked at Shadow skeptically as the woman sat back and looked at him with a hint of disappointment. "I don't understand what you mean."
The immortal shook her head. "Don't worry about it. It was a long shot anyways. I was just checking to see if you had even a hope of being similar to another bug user I met a while back. Damn strong one too. But, as I suspected, you ain't no Skitter. Actually you're closer in essence to the Zerg, which in my opinion is fucking hilarious because now I can call you a Zergling whenever I want. No no! Wait. Overmind Shino! Mwahahaha!"
The Aburame rose an eyebrow skeptically, ignoring another one of the woman's detractions. "An insect user that even you considered powerful? How so?"
"Capable of controlling any number of insects. Capable of controlling any breed of insects. Capable of looking through the perspectives of all said insects. Capable of controlling literally all of their movements and actions at once perfectly…" The woman began to casually list off the reasons on her fingers. "Oh, and when fully unlocked, her powers expanded to enable her to control nearly anything within range that had a brain and multitask them as well, even through portals. Give her a powerful enough clairvoyant and a teleporter to work with and the girl could easily get enough power under her wing in a week to match some of the stronger Gods out there." She chuckled at a memory.
"That's… impressive." Shino couldn't help but attempt to contemplate just how powerful such a person could be from that description and once again realized that his sense of scale must be outrageously small compared to his teachers'.
"Hell, she once almost gave Scab a run for his money when they had a contest of who could better multitask. I'm talking billions of individual commands every millisecond here. Multiverse level synchronous processing. Starcraft players would sell their left nuts in a heartbeat to be able to pull that shit off." Shadow continued on. "I mean with Zuzushi and me, we just… command reality and it does the hard work for us. The results are already there and everything else falls in line. A mountain? An apocalypse? A new set of rules to the third mystic power that governs the realm of existence eight universes down that is completely dependent on hookers and potato salad? Sure. No problem. Actually building all of them up from scratch step by step though? Yeah, no thanks."
The teen shivered unconsciously. All things considered, the individual they were talking about sounded like a cross between a Yamanaka and an Aburame gone horribly wrong… much like Shadow's train of thought.
"But, no need to worry, since you will never compare to her Overmind Shino." Shadow casually brushed away the subject without a care, getting back to their original topic of conversation. "And that's because your powers don't originate from the "control" theme that hers' did. You follow your family's "symbiotic" one. Living and growing in harmony with them… and all that hippie crap."
"And how can I use that?" The teen continued. "I am well aware of many of my clan's techniques and capabilities, but I don't see how I can utilize them to keep with my friends and comrades. My taijutsu training is adequate; however it is not the ace I need to overcome our future challenges."
"Your taijutsu training meshes with your physical training which increases your chakra and stamina levels." The girl elaborated. "Meaning you will last longer in your fights to pull off fun gimmicks, and won't end up like those two gate guard guys in bed last night."
Shino blinked in surprise. "Come again?"
"That's what I asked after their first shots, but no those pussies couldn't even do that." The woman crossed her arms and pouted annoyed. "Like freaking fireworks those two. They're fun to watch for about five seconds and then pop, show's over. You'd think that they'd have some sort of trick or combo boost since they're always together but… but no. The only thing they doubled was the sad. Fuckers didn't even get close to getting me off."
"… I'm going to count to five, by which time I will have completely purged what you just said from my memory, and then we can get back to my problems. I am trusting you to not do such a thing to me ever again. EVER."
"That's a tall order…"
"Five years minimum. Final offer."
Five seconds later:
"So about advancing my powers…"
"Huh? Oh yeah. That thing. Long story short, you're doing it wrong."
Shino would have expressed his annoyance by this point, but he had had too much experience dealing with the woman to surrender to his impulses just now. "Can you please be a bit more specific? What am I supposed to focus on? Power? Numbers? Control? Developing a new species?"
Shadow grinned. "Yes."
This time he did surrender to his impulses in the form of the tried and true facepalm. "You do realize that I am not all knowing, don't have centuries of life experiences to discern ambient hints, and lack the ability to make hundreds of shadow clones at once."
The woman rolled her eyes. "Ugh. Use your imagination kid. Your presence may be different than the norm, but it shouldn't be that hard to figure out. What's the single best way for a bug user to get numbers, improve his hives, develop his control, and discover new breeds of insects? All at once without diving head first into places no human would ever in their right mind visit without carrying their weight in antitoxins?"
The Aburame frowned at the woman skeptically as he pondered her question until he realized what she was saying. "… You mean to insinuate that my presence… that I should be focusing on…"
"Breeding and evolution. Or at least one of the infinite interpretations of it." The woman's grin grew slightly dark and her voice soft. "That's why I said you are doing it wrong boya. Shino Aburame is not a fighter. He is not a healer. He is not a taijutsu, ninjutsu, or genjutsu specialist, and he is not capable of fighting the monsters that he will soon come across."
o. o. o.
A small smirk appeared on the teen's face as he barely managed to avoid getting blasted by another tremendous beam of chakra, remembering what had began his unique path to power. Deciding that there was little to gain from where he was, he leapt off of the stone wall to avoid getting crushed by the Golem itself and plummeted to the ground.
"… Instead, he is a living nest. An archive of insect genealogy and progress. A temple that all nests recognize and pay tribute to… an ultimately… like me…"
After landing at the base of the cliff, Shino stood up defiantly in front of the tremendous monster in front of him. A taijutsu battle was pointless, and it would take far too long for him to absorb all of the chakra it was emitting, even if he had manifested a swarm of insects designed to sap as much power as possible. None of his normal techniques were strong or sturdy enough to defeat or defend against techniques of the scale he had just encountered, and there was no way he could run.
His pride wouldn't let him, and he probably wasn't fast enough to get away regardless.
A distance away from him, hidden from view inside the crater it had made in the cliff, the creature roared an incomprehensive sound that generated enough force to make him take a step back.
"… I never did give you my name, did I?" Shino muttered under his breath before slowly making seals and once more establishing his presence.
"… Shino Aburame has no need to become or fight like a monster…"
The crushed stone underneath the beast exploded violently as he kicked off of the wall and shot forward at his target with blinding speed. The fact that it had clipped some of the cliff in the process didn't impede its launch or trajectory in the slightest.
"Admittedly I am not in the Bingo Books yet, however I believe now is as good a time as any to tell others the title that woman… no, that God, gave me…"
Just as the creature came upon the Aburame, the world seemed to erupt into chaos. Irregular and unidentifiable screams of inhumane origin echoed and reverberated throughout the field. Dust and stone filled the air where the swarms of insects were not, hiding from the outside the source of this new form of destruction.
The goliath that had just moments earlier gone in for the kill had landed back where it had started just moments earlier with nothing to show for its efforts but a large bleeding gash that wept a lava like fluid, and several of its tentacle like appendages torn off and bleeding as well.
Whatever roar of pain and rage it had bellowed out however was absolutely drowned out by the wails and abnormal hisses that the culprits were making…
"… Because he can make more of them than his enemies could ever imagine."
Five tremendous summon sized insects were sticking out of the ground and the cliff side, with jagged mouths and razor sharp pincers that were at least three times as long as the average human male. Each one looked hungry. Each one looked violent…
And each one was sporting familiar looking tattoos and marking all over their bodies, in addition to discharging one of the five basic elements around its head or out of their mouths.
Shino stood casually on top of the reddish brown insect with dark purple markings, possessing glowing yellow eyes and the most savage and sharpest black tinted claws out of the group.
"When you meet the Shinigami… Tell him you lost to Genesis."
o. o. o.
Omake: Scab can get away with ANYTHING:
(A/N: I'm not racist, I've just been watching way too much South Park, Boondocks, and Mel Brooks lately. Also I'm a bit of a dick.)
The video turns on to reveal a familiar short man with dyed spiked green hair standing in front of a great view of Kumogakure.
"Hello. My name is Scabbard and welcome to another edition of people, cultures, and chaos. Today, we will be exploring the individuals of Kumogakure, how they interact, what not to do to piss them off, and what doesn't set them off."
"BEE!" A very angry Raikage roared in the background. "HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU TO STOP SNEAKING THAT DAMN OOGAKARI INTO THE VILLAGE!?"
"OOGAKARI COMIN'! OOGAKARI COMIN'!"
"As you can see, there is an incredibly diverse population here, despite the general Asian based culture of this world, which often has a tendency to behave rather conservatively when directly confronted with different cultures. The land of lightning for example has a great deal of individuals with colored heritages, of which all their leaders, the Raikage descend from."
"No can do brotha! I still owe my man Scab a few more favas! The man's a rap god!"
"Now despite the differences in cultures, I have discovered that some of the colored individuals here in Kumogakure have a tendency of falling into tried and true habits that exist in many worlds. For example, as you can see behind me," Scab turns the camera to show the Raikage absolutely destroying his helpless brother. "The Raikage is currently in the throes of what is commonly known as a "Nigga Moment", where an otherwise upstanding rational thinking member of society and well behaved individual of colored heritage loses all form of self control, declining into impulsive self destructive behavior and crude dialogue."
"No brotha no! Not the face!"
"WHERE'S THAT ANNOYING HALF ASSED RAPPING NOW YA LITTLE PUNK ASS SHIT?!"
"As you can see, this is clearly not the first public occurrence of the Raikage experiencing a Nigga Moment as the local populace seems to be perfectly content on ignoring the spectacle. While normally those who experience such behavior tend to die off quickly, the Raikage's enhanced physical and political status enables him to be all but immune to the more common repercussions of these events. Otherwise known as death by stupid."
"NOOOO! NOT THE KUMO BOMB SPECIAL!"
The camera briefly pans over to where the elder of the two hoists the younger up into the air upside down into a power bomb hold and then leaps off of the ledge of the building they were standing on and out of view. Several seconds later a flash is shown originating from the edge before the screen shakes erratically and a loud explosion is heard in the distance.
"On a side note, when examining his brother, Bee Killer, it was initially assumed that he qualified as an "oreo" or black on the outside and white on the inside, due to his immensely poor ghetto imitation behavior. However upon further review, it was determined that Bee's insides could be classified as "white chocolate" due to his behavior when the situation is escalated. Plus he has a giant tentacle monster sea cow in him, so ultimately we really don't know what the fuck to call him." Scab had no remorse on his face in the slightest for what he had indirectly been responsible for.
"What the hell are you doing this time?" Yugito frowned as she walked onto the screen. From the tone of her voice, this clearly wasn't the first time the immortal had been responsible for some form of chaos in Kumo.
"And to my left is another one of the more peculiar denizens of Kumogakure, Yugito Nii, holder of the Two Tailed cat. As you can see, despite her clearly oriental heritage, she possesses natural blonde hair, an irregularity that is notably shared with those of the Yamanaka and Namikaze decent. Perhaps there is some connection."
"I'm right here. And no, I'm not related to either one of them."
"The world may never know."
"Now I know you're doing this on purpose."
"As you can see, like other individuals that fall into the category of "Cat Girls", Miss Nii displays her anger in multiple telling ways. Subconsciously turning her hands into claws. Having her hair stand more on end. Subtle growling. Having her left eye twitch."
"Keep talking you gnome. I'm going to enjoy burying you when you're done."
"And of course, the ever common spike in perspiration."
"Thankfully this cat girl is an irregularity in that she is in greater control over her base instincts than the norm and is in full control of her speaking patterns, preventing the common slip of the sound "nya" into her dialogue. As such this reporter is in no danger of subconsciously blasting her into the stratosphere by reflex."
"How the hell do I smell?!"
"Oi oi. What's with the yelling?" Darui yawned as he and C walked into view.
"How fortunate, we now have with us two more notable members of the village, C and Darui." Scab took everything in stride with his monotonous voice. "C, outside of the fact that he too possesses blonde hair, is a textbook example of a "twinkie" or an individual who is "yellow on the outside and white on the inside". Indeed, according to our research so far, C seems to be in the running for the whitest bitch in the elemental nations."
A chart appeared from off screen.
"Where did he get that?"
"As you can see, to our estimates, C in terms of whiteness falls somewhere between "Ghost Of Christmas Past" white and "DAYUM THAT'S A WHITE ASS BITCH" white."
"Just ignore him C." The accused white ass bitch closed his eyes and muttered to himself. "You don't know what he's talking about. Just pretend he's crazy like the rest of them and you'll get through the day. Remember what happened the last time you tried to get him to shut up…"
He had no proof that Scab had been behind it, but regardless it had taken forever to get his personal records cleaned up and even then people in Kumo were wary of leaving him alone with young impressionable boys…
"Darui on the other hand, is a rare individual who is both powerful and not eccentric, a complete contrast to his "Black Panther" motif. Perhaps it has something to do with the scent of cannabis that is perpetually clinging to his clothes?"
"Darui. I thought we agreed that you would change your clothes whenever you went out." Yugito hissed.
"Hey I have to do something to chill when dealing with the boss and Bee every day." The black lightning user shrugged casually. "And it's not like you can talk Yugito. It's not hard to tell that you've been hitting the nip lately…"
"You swore you'd never speak of that in public!"
"Speaking of herbs. Scab, can you hit me up with some of that Pineapple Express you had last time? Raikage-sama forgot Mabui's birthday is tomorrow and I want to be deeper in the clouds than anyone in the village when that storm hits."
"Apparently our questions have been answered. The Black Panther enjoys puffing hitters while working high in the clouds when the big man fucks up." The immortal didn't look away from camera as his free hand went into his coat and took out a bag with at least ten ounces of weed in it and handed over to the silver haired man. Once the weed had exchanged owners, the pair engaged in a quick flurry of odd handshakes that clearly indicated some sort of relationship.
"What the hell was that?" C asked skeptically.
"Something you don't want to be a part of C." Darui yawned as he stashed away his lifeline.
"YOU!" Everyone turned around to see the Raikage stomping towards Scabbard in a blood rage, dragging his thoroughly pulped brother behind him. "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IN MY VILLAGE THIS TIME OOGAKARI?!"
"As you can see folks, the Raikage is still in the throes of his Nigga Moment." Scab spoke into his mike again. "Please keep in mind that Nigga Moments vary from individual to individual, and while most are brief, some people are known to have them last for impressively long periods of time."
"Hey. You know what the hell a Nigga Moment is?" Darui whispered to Yugito.
"Beat's me. Doubt I want to know though." The Jinchuriki whispered back.
"YOU HAVE FIVE SECONDS TO ANSWER ME BEFORE I BEAT YOUR MIDGET ASS INTO THE EARTH AND PUNT YOU TO KONOHA!"
Scab simply stared at the man calmly before bringing the mike to his mouth again. "Breathe in deeply, remind yourself of all the times I have been here, and ask yourself this: Do you truly, honestly want to know the answer to that question?"
"YES!" The veins on the man's head were bulging out so much that they were at risk of exploding.
The immortal's expression didn't change as he continued to address the audience. "Note the prime example of refusing to be rationality in the Raikage as he continues to experience his Nigga Moment."
The shorter of the two reached for a pocket. "Viewers, please do keep in mind that this is otherwise a normal day in Kumogakure. I came to check up on my weapons sales here, make sure that subject Bee's and subject Darui's weapons were in ideal condition, and…" His hand came out of the pocket, revealing a silver linked necklace with what appeared to be seals inscribed onto them. "Since the timing was convenient, give the Raikage's secretary a birthday gift for her hard work in helping with managing the village's end of a trade deal we had established."
The world around them was dead silent as the largest man there stared at the necklace for several seconds, his face still scrunched up in rage and veins pulsing.
"See how bringing up the subject's mate and an event that he should have recalled seems to have an immediate effect on him despite the loss of rationality. Fascinating."
"FUCK!" The leader swore as the panic finally began to kick in. "I completely forgot! Darui! Why didn't you tell me!?"
"I thought you knew already." The perpetually stoned man shrugged without a care in the world, obviously lying.
"Now watch as I attempt to barter my way into the Raikage's good graces, offering him my gift to his mate as a tribute." Scab continued, twirling the jewelry he had made literally from scratch in about fifteen seconds on one finger.
"You! What's with the necklace?! What does it do?!" The leader ordered. He knew enough about the man that the gift he got his secretary was more than just simple metal.
"Said tribute is something put together in my spare time." Scab all but ignored the Raikage for his invisible viewers. "Silver. Platinum. Chakra metal. Seals that enhance mental clarity for time space jutsu like procedures…"
"How much?" At the very least, the Raikage realized that he would never be able to trump something like that. Not in a day.
"His interest is made known, but for the tribute, or for me to not give anything to his mate in general?"
Everyone was turning their heads back and forth between the pair as they negotiated at lightning speed, despite the fact that Scab wasn't technically talking to the man literally twice his size.
"Why is Raikage-sama so desperate to get a gift for Mabui?" C asked Yugito confused.
"Last time he forgot her birthday, Mabui made it so that all his paperwork had to be done in triplicate. That was after she "accidentally" teleported all of his exercise equipment to the Sacred Turtle Island and mixed his protein drinks with hormone supplements."
"Oh dear heaven on earth that was her?"
"She was really pissed at him."
"Wait, that month when his chest was bigger was because of hormone supplements?" Darui blinked in confusion. "I thought he was just overdoing the pecks exercises."
"What about the crying?" C glanced at his friend.
"He has a stressful job and Bee's his brother." The swordsman shrugged. "I just assumed it had gotten to him. Plus Mabui wasn't letting him get any at the time so, yeah." It was pretty obvious that the Raikage had enemies that would fight dirty against him if needed, so his relationship with his secretary Mabui was publicly known as just professional, when in reality they could have gotten married years ago. The paranoia that made the tremendous man keep Bee in the village at all times was also what prevented him from taking that final step.
"If bro can't find his stones… he's gonna be boned… wheeee-eee-owww." Bee moaned in a puddle of blood off camera.
"Fine!" The Raikage relented to whatever Scab had asked for in return for the necklace before snatching it out of his hands. "You can have access to the civilian section! Just stop talking like that already!"
"And with negotiations done with the Alpha Nigga of Kumo, we end today's episode. This has been Scabbard Oogakari. I would like to confirm to our watchers and listeners that no niggas, brothers, haters or homies were harmed over the course of his documentary... Bee is in his own category."
"... Who the fuck is he talking to?" Darui asked C.
"No clue. I can't sense anything." The latter shook his head. "Why did he keep on calling Raikage-sama's freakout a "Nigga Moment"?"
The Raikage blinked at the conversation, no longer blind with rage. "What the hell's a nigga?"
Scab smiled, having caught the moment on camera. "And I just won another bet."
o. o. o.
The ultimate form of necromancy and clearly the most racist thing I will ever write! And now you are stuck deciding whether to go out or read this monster chapter! The horror! Tis truly HALLOWEEEENNN!
Yep. I'm back working on Take Two! Shino's got time in the spotlight and soon we will get back to the REAL plot of the story! Rejoice!
Um… I'm kinda rushing this A/N for several reasons so I'm going to keep it quick!
Watch the Fate Stay Night Anime that just came out!
Update the TV tropes page!
Someone make some fanarts of the naruto characters in this fic and not the Oogakari… or have everyone on there!
I'm in Texas for another week cause work! The job sucks but the steak here kicks ass! AND THEY ADD BACON TO NEARLY EVERYTHING YOU ORDER!
And that's it!
REVIEW! WORSHIP THE LOG! SHINO'S A DAMN MONSTER OF A BADASS FOR ONCE IN A FIC! AND REVIEW AGAIN DAMN IT!