Author's Note: Ladies and gentlemen, I have reviewed the polls and I can say right now that I've reached a decision as to where I want to take the harem in this fic. To all those that voted for either or neither…
You will find out my decision further into the story, because, you know, Spoilers. You might actually find out about it in this chapter, you may not.
This chapter is short and is a prologue for the Shippuden portion of the story to come. To all those who have seen Naruto Shippuden Movie 1, you will know exactly where this chapter was taken from and the bits in it, however, it has deviated significantly as, unlike the movie itself, this arc is integrated into my story.
And here is an important note, to all those about to read this chapter, I want you all to have the structure of the movie Pulp Fiction in your mind. Anyone who gets this reference will know what this chapter means.
An Unsettling Future
Through the haze and the ethereal glow of the room, resting in the center of a large, cathedral like chamber on top of a wide platform that served as the control center to this ancient structure, the badly beaten, bruised, cut up and burnt form of one Naruto Uzumaki could be seen lying bleeding out against the metal railings. Ragged breaths leaving his lungs as he gazed up towards the ceiling with a half-lidded gaze, the boy watched as the bolts of green lightning being emitted by the enormous collection of eradiated green rock above him danced through the air space, the flashes causing him to flinch from the brightness before looking down at himself.
Coughing up more fluid that had become caught in his throat, the boy brought his hand up and ran it over one of the massive puncture wounds in his gut. Ignoring the black metal control rods also sticking out of his right shoulder and ribs, as he'd been simultaneously impaled by them by his opponent, the Jonin then brought his fingers up and looked down at them, where he immediately saw the telltale signs of a familiar, red liquid dripping off of each of his digits and smeared across his palm. It was a sight that had him cringe and groan in a nauseas manner.
"Ugh. Yeah. That's my blood. That's my blood," the boy muttered over and over again before looking away from the gaping wound in his side, fearing that he would lose it if he stared at it for any longer, "That's a lot of my blood." With his Sage Mode gone as well as his adrenaline rush, the former jinchuriki could now feel every broken bone, cut, torn muscle and damage that had been inflicted upon him throughout the ridiculously long battle he'd just fought.
After the punishment he'd had to take and dish out in return to the one responsible for his current condition, it was not surprising.
The opponent he'd gone up against and the power they possessed had pushed him to his absolute limits, resulting in a war between the two shinobi that had shaken the very foundations of the continent itself. He was pretty sure that from the sheer amounts of wonton destruction they'd managed to bring, every single map detailing the mainland of the Five Great Shinobi nations was going to have to be redrawn from scratch before anyone was allowed to travel across it again. They'd practically split an entire country and several 'islands' off from the continent, leveled entire mountain ranges, burned entire forests, and reshaped countless regions and valleys.
To put it in layman's terms, it'd been hell.
The only plus side was that very few villages had been caught up in the middle of their scuffle, if you would like to call it that.
And now, with the outcome finally decided and his battle over and done with, the young man could now concentrate on his next big problem, and that was maintaining consciousness until the very end of this ordeal.
Hell, he didn't even care that the air was starting to grow stale from lack of oxygen.
Looking to his left, Naruto saw that his fingers were wrapped tightly around the steel bar that was attached to the still miraculously intact control panel of the fortress's core. Remembering exactly where he was and why he was holding the damn thing in the first place, the boy gave an exhausted nod and a callous laugh, before rolling his head around to grin across the way.
"Heh. So it's finally come down to this, has it?" the Jonin mused to himself, looking over the side of the walkway he was bleeding out on and down toward the fortress core below. "Damn… what a way to go."
All around him, the Gelel mines that made up the entire heart of the flying city he was in were bubbling, crackling, wafting hot green steam, and sending splashes of shit everywhere as the entire structure that once stood as the symbol of terror and oppression against their world continued to dissolve from the inside out.
With the glow of the rocks increasing tenfold and continuing to fluctuate like he was on some wild acid trip, it wouldn't be long before the entire body of chakra imbued crystals went off.
Watching the normal stone walls surrounding him split and crack as the splashes of radioactive mineral transforming into thick liquid began washing up against the barriers in waves, Naruto breathed a heavy sigh as he took one last look at the entire inside of the enemy's enormous fort and perhaps his last conscious glimpse of the world before this whole place went up in smoke. The way the Gelel Vein was popping, sizzling and sending jets of magma like slurry all the way to the roof of the gargantuan chamber the size of a small village, made it look like he was lying in the heart of an active volcano about to erupt.
It was sheer madness.
However, knowing full well that this was not a volcano, the blond figured that he would have to make do with his current circumstances and prepared for his final exit from the stage.
Because, as far as he was concerned; this was his grand finale.
Looking to his left, the jinchuriki saw one of the Gelel Jewels manufactured by his opponent lying on the damaged floor right next to him. This being the very heart of that man's organization, it made sense there would be some relics deposited here and there, and after the chaos that had befallen this place it didn't surprise him one bit that some items would have been left forgotten. Curious as he always was, the young adult then reached over and picked up the stone, a split second before a rush of chakra from the crystal shot through him and it began to glow in response to the mines around it.
Gazing at the twinkling mineral for several long seconds, the former jinchuriki then gave a lighthearted chuckle and turned back to stare ahead of him, allowing his arm to drop and rest at his side.
"I wish I had more time," Naruto confessed, his grin fading into a sad smile as his shimmering, tired gaze fixed on the stem of the Gelel Vein in the middle of the enemy's stronghold. Watching the dazzling display of lights burning off of the massive pillar in silence and feeling the heat of the winds wrap around his face, the blonde acknowledged the tower with a single, stiff nod and, with a clear voice, he spoke to the air.
"Fu-chan… Tenten … Mari … Isaribi-chan… Kin-chan… Samui-chan… Sakura… Sasuke… Kakashi-sensei… Kurama… Shion… everyone," Naruto spoke, his voice echoing throughout the chamber as the green magma beneath him began to eat away at the platform's supports, and all around him the metal railings and stone began to melt. As the collapsing floor edged towards him, the brickwork falling away one after the other, the blonde raised his fist one last time and held it up, a smile reappearing on his face as he faced his crumbling world with a determined flare in his eyes, "Tayuya-chan…"
"I'll be right there. Wait for me."
As soon as his words bounced off of the walls, the boy took a deep breath, shut his eyes and gave one last, joyous grin, a split second before the Gelel magma bubbling in the enormous pit beneath him exploded upwards in the form of a massive geyser, while the Vein itself collapsed into the boiling lake, dropping thousands of tons of rock and steel into the chamber, and flooding it in under two seconds flat.
Then, with the volcano that was its center disintegrating in a single moment, the entire fortress hanging in orbit above the planet's surface, emitting rays of green light like it was the sun itself, went off in an explosion that dwarfed the entire moon itself.
The blast was so massive and in such close proximity of the world; its shockwave was enough to shake the entire continent, and was watched from below by the whole population. The shinobi alliance in particular, braced against the invisible waves that hit them from above, causing several mountains weakened by the titans that had battled it out during the course of the war to collapse on themselves. At the same time, the clouds and the blue canvas that made up the sky above were blown away, giving a clear view of the cosmos beyond and the green and orange explosion of a thousand suns in the foreground.
It was a spectacular sight.
However, in spite of the fantastic explosion, the people on the ground below, particularly members of the Shinobi Alliance, who'd heard the blonde haired jinchuriki's final words through the fortress's broadcasting capabilities, shed tears of sadness in his wake.
Sakura and Sasuke reflected feelings of loss and despair, the tailed beasts lowered their heads, a tear strung Kurama shut his eyes and scrunched his face in frustration, Minato embraced a distraught Kushina, Kakashi closed both his eyes in anguish, Samui, Fu, Isaribi and Kin shed tears of heartache and grief, and Tayuya…
Brought to her hands and knees with tears of her own rolling freely down her face, the girl, overcome with pain and sadness, gritted her teeth tightly and fisted her fingers in the ground. Then, with her body trembling like a leaf, the musician reeled forward and unleashed a wail that echoed across the entire valley.
Her cry echoed onto the distant horizon where, many miles away in a whole other country, standing on the balcony of a large castle overlooking a far off village, the figure of a beautiful, blonde haired young woman with lavender eyes and dressed in the robes of a priestess could be seen gazing up into the sky and towards the explosion ripping across the planet's atmosphere.
The flames of the blast continued to spread safely out of reach of the world, which had initially been the intended target, and as they started to fade away, the princess witnessing the war from her home clenched a hand tightly as tears began to cascade down her cheeks as well.
The waterworks inevitably giving way to sniffles, the girl leant over and placed her hand over her mouth, holding back cries and sobs, before looking up with an expression reflecting loss and sorrow.
End flash forward…
With a jerk and a gasp, the eyes of a blonde haired young woman around seventeen years of age, lying in an enormous bedroom chamber with temple like features emblazoned upon all the surrounding fixtures, flew open to the dark of her quarters. As soon as they did, the pale lavender irises representing the windows to her soul suddenly flared up with a bluish-purplish glow, and a pattern resembling sacred geometric markings formed around her pupils, and began to rotate like a kaleidoscope.
As the teenage girl continued to lay there under the fabric of her blanket with a stunned look on her beautiful face and sweat dripping out of her pores, she ignored the chime of the tiny bell she had tied to the pillow directly beside her, and allowed the images of whatever vision for the future was currently playing out inside of her head to continue on.
As she lay there with her body tense and gaze unflinching, the blonde priestess witnessed a great many things taking place all at once. She saw their world falling apart, mountains collapsing, the ocean roaring, the sky splitting open as a thousand storms clashed all at once, and two shinobi battling each other across this hellish plain, causing the various calamities with every attack they launched. It was like watching a battle between otherworldly entities.
However, as the long battle between the two powerful shinobi dragged on, her vision was continuously fixed upon a single person, and that was the blonde haired male clashing head to head with the white haired demon of destruction and the abomination of the Sage of Six Paths. Getting a good look at his face, a rugged, handsome visage with sapphire blue eyes, whisker marked cheeks and spiky locks waving on the wind, the vision she was having soon reached its climax and saw the young man smite his foe inside a far off, fortress chamber high up in the sky, before the castle itself rose into space where it inevitably exploded safely out of reach of their home.
"What… what on earth… is this?" As the vision was replayed over and over again, she witnessed the death of the blonde haired warrior for a second time, giving one last grin to the world before he was engulfed in flames, his remains being cast into the void of space as the city went up in a brilliant flash of light.
Knowing exactly what this vision entailed, what it meant and why it was playing out for her, the girl remained where she was, lying in a state of comatose shock, clenching her pillow to her as she continued to process the images in her mind.
Even when the glow in her eyes ceased and the vision of the future faded from her mind, the young woman remained in place, breathing raggedly, sweating and speechless, with her shocked face buried in the confines of her pillow. Her body still reeling from shock, the priestess ceased her trembling and curled her fingers into a fist.
Whatever future she'd just witnessed, whatever fate she'd just seen of the person within it, not only did it encompass the entirety of the world and every living soul in it, but it also involved her. The result of it unconsciously brought a tear to her eye, which trickled down the side of her face to land on her pillow and fade into the fabric.
"Who is… this person?" The blonde haired hero who she was apparently connected to?
Whoever he was, she was certain she would be meeting him soon.
With her gaze fixed upon the distant wall of her chamber across the way, silence once again reigned upon her domain…
TO BE CONTINUED…
Author's Note: Okay, for all those who didn't understand the first portion, it was a flash forward, a future telling by a character from the Naruto Shippuden Movie 1.
Hope to see you all soon.