Hello FanFiction! Well, this is it; the epilogue of "Mai's Teacher" followed by a teaser for "Last Kunoichi"! I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support and high remarks of this story! I'm glad you stuck with it to the end!
Here we go! Oh, and please note that the first part of the story will sound better with any kind of anime/game music that represents a tearful farewell (Xion's Dying Theme for example works). I'll be sure to let you know when you can stop the music and call out for changes as the chapter progresses.
Please note that pain17ification doesn't own Naruto or Avatar the Last AirBender or Legend of Korra
Chapter 20: Epilogue (Looking Ahead)
His vision was blurred, but not enough to cause much issue. The biggest problem he had was his complete inability to move his body from the shoulders down. He coughed a couple of times as blood dribbled from his lips.
Dear Kami-sama and Spirits above, he had never been so utterly tossed around.
The sound of rushing footsteps getting closer to his prone position made him weakly turn his head to see Mai approaching him at full speed. When she reached him, she slid on the ground and stopped right next to him on her knees with tears freely falling.
"Naruto," she gasped out as the adrenaline was starting to leave her and she noticed his beaten and bleeding form. Very gently, she moved his head to her lap as he gave her a weak smile.
Looking up so that she can see his eyes, he replied, "Mai… I guess…we won, ne?"
She couldn't find it in her to stop a smile from forming at his weak optimism. Her amber eyes stared into his single blue left eye and milky black right one. It was apparent that his final attack rendered his transplanted eye utterly blind in its deactivated state; which was the charcoal black eyes of the Uchiha.
"Is…everyone alright?" he asked, pausing to swallow some blood that came up. "No one was lost, right?"
She nodded once as she hugged him closer to her. "Yes… Everyone's safe. Everyone's…alright," she answered while pausing slightly in sadness. She knew he was losing strength quickly and no one would be able to reach them in time to even begin trying to heal him.
"Good," he murmured almost breathlessly. "I'm glad that you're alright… I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to you…" He looked up to see her crying over him with her eyes clenched shut and her hands holding him in a death grip. "It's almost time, Mai…"
She let out a sob at that and hugged him tighter. "No… Please Naruto, you can't die… I-I can't lose you… I can't lose the man I love…"
"I know," he replied in a regretful tone. "I wish there was another way, but we did everything we could… Now, we just have to let things pass…" Her shoulders were shaking as she kept whispering pleas for him to not die. Getting her attention by shifting his head, he looked her dead in the eye as she opened hers to gaze at him. "I need you to do something for me, Mai…"
"Anything," she answered immediately.
Giving her the best smile he could muster, he declared, "I want you to live, Mai… Live on for the future…for Kikyo…for what we fought for… Don't give up because I won't be there… Don't see my death as an excuse to keep yourself from seeing the future…" He used the last of his strength to lean his face up and press his lips against hers in one final kiss; one that she reciprocated with everything she could. When he pulled back, his one good eye was losing its light as he gave one final whisper of, "I love you…"
"Naruto!" she gasped as the last traces of life left his blue eye and his body went still with the loving smile still on his face. Fresh tears came and streamed down her cheeks freely before she released a long and loud wail of despair.
Naruto Uzumaki… The one who she found in that cave on Ember Island… The one who read her so much easier than anyone else… The one who she was able to be herself around… The one who taught her of her ancestry and of the ways of the shinobi… The one who she fell in love with… The one she gave her heart to in two nights of love and passion… The one who gave her a future life to love and care for… The one who gave his life for the sake of the world and for her…
Naruto Uzumaki was dead…and yet he was still able to give her a smile of support and love…
"Such a pity," an elderly voice muttered, making her eyes widen and her body instinctively turn to face the speaker with a fresh kunai ready. She stopped however when she saw that time had stopped and the world had turned into a grayscale with only herself, Naruto, and the newcomer in natural color.
She narrowed her eyes at the gray-skinned man and growled out, "Who the hell are you?"
To her growing ire, he gave her a knowing smirk as he floated over so that he was on the other side of the recently passed Uzumaki. "I am Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki, the Rikudo Sennin and ancestor of the man who lies dead in your lap."
She didn't lessen her narrowed eyes by even a fraction as she retorted, "What do you want?"
"To help," he answered simply, making her gently lay her love's head down on the ground and pull out a second kunai. Sighing, he waved his hand and caused her weapons to disappear as Naruto was suddenly raised in a floating sphere of silvery orange energy. "Now, we don't need you to act rashly, child. As I said, I am merely here to help."
"How?" she asked with a fierce look.
Instead of answering, he turned his Rinnegan eyes towards the floating Uzumaki and placed his hands on the sphere. The light began to swirl within itself and around the floating body, making Mai make to reach out to him. "I would refrain from touching the energy, unless you wish to die before I can give you what you want."
She quickly retracted her hand as if it was just burned before she asked, "And just what exactly makes you know what I want?"
"It's obviously clear what you wish for… You wish for my descendant to stay with you, and he shall…"
"How?" she asked angrily before her tone became remorseful. "He's dead and you shouldn't even be here…"
He chuckled slightly and turned his gaze to her. "Just trust me… I promise that he will be with you… I just need to prepare him for his new…position."
"Position?" she queried with a raised brow.
"Yes… Now, watch closely…"
(Play some kind of music for "Rebirth")
Still unsure and doubtful, she turned her amber eyes to the sphere and saw the silver give way to black as the orange became brighter. It suddenly shrank in on itself, with Naruto shrinking as well, until it was no bigger than a Rasengan before a brilliant flash of light forced her to shield her eyes. It felt like an eternity before she felt it safe enough to look at the Sage's work, and to say the results shocked her was a very large understatement.
Before her stood the very man she had just seen die in her arms; though he looked different. His new look was like his Ascended Kyuubi Cloak, but the chakra formed into a coat but with a dark-colored bodysuit underneath. The "bodysuit" covered his torso, reached down his arms to the knuckles, and down his legs, stopping just above his sandals; which were colored the same as his coat along with his fingers. There was also a bright circle where his old seal was placed as well as magatama around his collar and the coat had Hagoromo's symbol – composing of the Rinnegan above nine magatama – on its back. Lastly, a dog sized fox of the same flickering orange flames was standing next to him with his crimson eyes gleaming with mischief. (1)
She couldn't speak for a long time as she just gaped at the man before her who looked to her warmly; though his eyes looked like his fused Kyuubi and Gama ones. She didn't care about that though as her mind finally rebooted and she rushed into his arms and cried joyfully into his chest.
"I thought I lost you," she whispered.
"You nearly did," he replied as they both turned to a smirking Hagoromo. "I can't thank you enough for this, Lord Sage…"
Hagoromo chuckled and shook his head before he stated, "I don't need your thanks… I just did what I believed was right and needed. This woman – as well as this world – still needs your guidance and care. As such, I felt it best to…promote you to a new position in the world. You are no longer the Child of Prophecy; that job is finally finished. Now…you are Naruto Uzumaki, the Spirit of Peace. Should there ever be a person desperately needing your council and assistance, you will be there to answer that call."
Naruto nodded once before he removed himself from Mai's embrace and held out his hand to the Sage. "I figured this was my only chance to actually do this with you, Lord Sage… It is truly an honor."
Taking the new Spirit's hand and shaking it firmly, Hagoromo replied, "The honor is mine, for I have never met someone who gave and sacrificed so much for the sake of peace." His form started to fade and a final whisper of "I leave the rest to you" was heard before the Rikudo Sennin left the world…forever.
Naruto then turned to Mai and gave her his famous foxy grin alongside the fox – who Mai believed was Kurama reborn – before he declared, "I guess we have more work to do, Mai."
She smiled and nodded before she stood beside him and relished in the feeling of his arm around her waist. "Yea… It will be beyond troublesome, but…" She looked up to him and her smile grew as she finished, "…I'll gladly do it alongside you."
Nine Months Later (Fire Nation)
Mai Uzumaki – having taken the name of the man she loved – was lying on a single bed with nurses and doctors around her as she took deep breaths to prepare herself. She had been at this for a while and she was just one more push from seeing her daughter's birth.
"Alright Lady Uzumaki; PUSH!" called out the head doctor before Mai let out a cry of effort and pain. Seeing his chance, the doctor grabbed the child and pulled it out of her womb, allowing the newly born girl to cry loudly in the room. Carefully cutting the umbilical cord, he handed Mai the child and stated, "It's a girl."
(Play some kind of joyful music)
Taking her child, Mai looked to her with nothing but love and care as she whispered, "Kikyo… Welcome home…" The baby's cries were softened at the sound of her mother's voice and she turned to her with her eyes still closed.
The doctors and nurses were quick to check the health of the new babe and informed Mai of Kikyo being perfectly healthy before they left, allowing Fire Lord Zuko, Admiral Azula, Queen Ty Lee, and Lady Ursa to come in.
Zuko was crowned Fire Lord after the war was declared finally over. Azula, having grown emotionally from her dealings with Naruto, was not upset in the slightest about her brother taking the crown. However, she did smirk when Ty Lee boldly captured the newly crowned ruler in a fierce kiss in front of everyone, causing cheers to cry out from the potential Queen of the Fire Nation.
She was actually one of the two Maids of Honor at the wedding seven months after Zuko's crowning. Ursa, having been offered the chance to return and spend the rest of her life with her children, was overjoyed at the sight and couldn't wait for future grandchildren; much to Zuko and Ty Lee's embarrassment.
"She's beautiful," Ty Lee whispered, seeing Kikyo softly fall asleep in her mother's arms. "What did you name her?"
"Kikyo," answered Mai. "Kikyo Nara Uzumaki…"
"She's going to become something incredible in the future," Azula commented with a smirk and a hand on her hip. "I'm sure he'd be proud…"
Mai nodded with a soft smile at the mention of the father. Ursa was silent, but Mai easily saw the happiness in the woman's eyes and was grateful for her appearance.
She felt a shift in the wind and her eyes turned to the side of the bed that wasn't occupied by a gushing Ty Lee. Invisible to all but her and their daughter, Naruto looked down to the baby girl and smiled lovingly with tears of joy coming from his eyes. Moving closer, he embraced his love and their child for the first time as a family.
15yrs Later (Whirl Island of the Fire Nation)
On a small island some miles away from Crescent Island, a tombstone with a spiral carved into it rested in the ground with a group of nine people standing before it to pay their respects.
The day of the year was the Day of Peace; the day that Naruto Uzumaki defeated the Juubi and banished it from the very world they all lived in forever and brought the beginning of peace to the world. The tombstone was made in respect to both his sacrifice and the village that once resided the soil they stood on. Surrounding the remainder of the island were the ruins of the lost Uzushiogakure (Village of the Swirling Tides); the ancestral home of Naruto's clan.
Standing there were Zuko, a pregnant Ty Lee, Azula, Aang, a pregnant Katara, Sokka, Toph, Mai, and a teenage girl. She had shoulder length dark red hair, two whisker marks on each of her cheeks, and heterochromatic eyes. The left eye was a deep blue – like the ocean waters – and her right was a fierce amber – like that of the owls her father once summoned. She wore a black dress with a red trim, black sandals like her mother once wore, and a silver medallion.
This girl was Kikyo Nara Uzumaki, the now teenage daughter of Naruto and Mai, and she was here with her mother and her friends to pay respects to her father. She had heard stories of the man from her mother and the others, but she was depressed when told that he died before she was born. It hurt that she was unable to speak to him and see him, but she was immensely proud to have a father who defeated something that nearly destroyed the world.
She blinked when everything became grayscale save for her mother and herself. She looked to Mai, who merely had a knowing smile, and asked, "Mom, what's going on?"
Mai kept her smile as she nodded her head back to the tombstone and answered, "Kikyo…meet your father."
Her eyes widening, Kikyo's head shot back to the stone and she gasped silently in shock at the flickering form of the Spirit of Peace. Her eyes slowly went upwards until her mismatching eyes met his cross-pupil ones.
"F-Father?" she asked in a whispered tone as tears formed in the corners of her eyes. When the smile he was giving her grew and he opened his arms, she immediately shot into his arms and clutched him like a lifeline as her body shook with happy sobs and joyful tears. Naruto softly stroked her back and held her close as Mai came up to them.
After a brief kiss with Mai, he crouched down to Kikyo's height and smiled as he gently wiped away her tears. "You don't know how badly I've wished to speak to you like this, Kikyo… Look at you… You're already almost grown up and ready to see the world…"
She was overjoyed to hear her father's praise and see his smiling face. It was what she had dreamed about for years after learning of his life and sacrifice. But, she couldn't say anything since there was no need to. The family was perfectly content with the peaceful silence and the comforting presence of each other as father and daughter met for the first time since her birth.
55yrs Later (Republic City)
A woman was seated in a meditative position atop the statue of the late Avatar Aang that stood proudly before the thriving Republic City. Her eyes were closed and her breathing was calm as she performed her daily meditation and calming of the soul.
Taking one last calming breath, she opened her eyes and stared down at the city; her blue and amber orbs taking in everything that could be seen. She stood up to full height, allowing the ocean winds to make her hair seemingly float in their breeze.
Kikyo Nara Uzumaki had grown into a very beautiful woman over the years. While 70yrs in age, she looked no older than 40; a blessing from her Uzumaki genes. She wore red zori sandals with black socks, silver hakama pants with black owl feathers on the left leg, a black top that left her abdomen bare under a long sleeved mesh shirt, a black coat with a red trim and Uzumaki Swirl on the back, her Uzumaki Medallion, and her Uzu Hiate wrapped around her left arm. Her right arm was in a sling and rested underneath her coat with the hand sticking out and the right sleeve left to flutter in the breeze. (2 & 3)
She smirked as her eyes turned to an approaching ship that was nearing the docks. There was a very powerful energy signature coming from it which caused her to chuckle. "Well, it looks like our newest Avatar has come to Republic City. About damn time," she stated in a playful voice (4). "I wonder what kind of mischief she'll find herself in on her first day…"
She chuckled again at the thought of the newest Avatar causing headaches for Lin Beifong. If one asked her, she'd say that the Chief of Police seriously needed to take a break from everything. She was way to serious all the time!
Sighing, her eyes turned content as she looked up to the sky. "Father… I promise you that this peace you helped give us will not die… An Uzumaki never breaks a promise, and I sure as hell will not be the first to do so!"
Grinning much like her father once did, she leapt off her perch and descended to the ground beneath her, unaware of a certain Spirit of Peace appearing where she once stood with a prideful look on his face.
"I know you won't, my precious child…" he whispered to the wind before he and the fox beside him faded into nothingness. He could leave things to Kikyo for a while. She was his daughter after all.
1~ Basically Naruto in his Ashura Cloak
2~ Her right arm is positioned like Itachi's was when he was first confronted by Asuma and Kurenai
3~ Could someone PLEASE draw her for me? I'll reward you; I promise!
4~ Her voice is that of Yoruichi from Bleach (don't own that)
And that marks the end of this story! I hope you all enjoyed the tale, the characters, and the overall plot! I also hope that you all look forward to the sequel "Last Kunoichi" that I will try to post by the end of this year!
Please leave reviews and tell me how the story as a whole turned out! After all, this is only the second story I've ever finished and I'd love to hear some feedback!
This is pain17ification, and this was "Mai's Teacher"! Thank you all for reading!