So I was in a decent mood and decided to be nice, I did a massive update for all the updates I did on my personal site. I am sure that there will be flames, I was told not to post here anymore by a lot of people with the newest installment of TNK because my personal site is my priority but w/e. I was feeling generous I suppose. If you want the link to my personal site where all these stories are continuing, since on here is unlikely, PM me for it.
Chapter 1: The Only Way
It had been a 2 years since the end of the Fourth Ninja war, 2 years of peace within the elemental nations. The peace was thanks to one man, Naruto Uzumaki. The power that he had shown in the war had made everyone listen and respect him, he wanted peace. Peace was all he asked for in return for saving the world.
This was given to him, though it was the only thing he walked away with. The pink haired kunoichi he had always loved wouldn't speak to him, killing Sasuke had taken its toll on her. Every time she looked at him, all she saw was him killing Sasuke. Hokage was something that was given to his former sensei Kakashi, Tsunade had died saving the other Kages while the council felt Naruto was to young for the title.
Everyone else had found someone in the war. Though Hinata had confessed to loving Naruto in the Pain invasion, she found love in Kiba during the war. They were currently trying to figure out a way to make their clans agree to a wedding. Shikamaru had finally confessed his feelings to Temari, they were currently married. TenTen was happily engaged to Lee. Sakura and Ino were both grief stricken from Sasukes death, claiming they would never love another man.
Choji had started to date Ayame, they had a lot in common with their love of food. Shino had fallen in love with Anko of all people, the thought still scared Naruto at times. All in all, there was no one for Naruto, no one to love him.. no one to need him anymore. The only time he was needed was when Kakashi needed him for a mission.
Naruto sat on his couch and sighed. He had moved into his families home, hoping after the war he would be able to find love, someone to share it with. It appeared as if that were something that wasn't meant to be though. With Sakura refusing to speak with him, he didn't see much of his friends. Sakura was always with them, if he saw her he just elected to leave, not wanting to cause his former teammate any pain.
Naruto felt a pulling sensation from his mind and knew what it was, Kurama. Naruto had been surprised to find out that Kurama was indeed a female. Though no one had ever known the gender of the tailed demon, he always assumed Kurama to be a male. At first Naruto hadn't believed her, but when she changed into her more human form, he had his proof. Though the proof didn't last for long as her human form was stark naked which made him blush furiously.
She had long red hair with fox ears, her K9 teeth were long and pointed and 9 tails that swished behind her. She had a hourglass figure, a heart shaped ass and nice D sized breasts to match. All in all, Naruto had only seen naked women through peeping and his own jutsu, but he was shocked to say the least.
Naruto closed his eyes and then reopened them in the sewer system that was his mind. Naruto looked around to find her, she had this pesky habit of trying to sneak up on him to scare him. Naruto gave it a few seconds before turning around to see her trying to sneak up on him again. Naruto just looked at her, "What is it that you need Kurama?"
Kurama sighed as she crossed her arms, "Your being annoying again, all this depression crap makes your mind even worse to live in."
Naruto scratched the back of his head, "Sorry Kurama, I was just thinking."
Kurama rolled her red eyes, "Yeah I know that, I can hear your thoughts remember? Do you realize just how depressing you really are to listen to?"
Naruto sighed, "Yeah I know.. sorry I will try to stop okay?"
Kurama nodded her head, "You better make damn sure that you do. I am already bored out of my mind in here, have you made any progress yet Naruto?"
Naruto nodded his head, "I found the right set of scrolls, now I just have to actually master the Art of Sealing. After I can do that I may be able to figure it all out Kurama."
She nodded her head with a smile, "Good, now leave and go figure it out Naruto."
Naruto nodded his head, thinking while he disappeared, 'Bossy ass demon woman.'
Kurama growled inside of his mind, "I CAN STILL HEAR YOU!"
Naruto sighed, always being yelled at it seems. Naruto pushed himself off of the couch and went into his den and started to read the scrolls he had out. He had been reading them for the last week through shadow clones, that way he could master it quicker. He was almost at the point that he could give Kurama what she wanted, her freedom. Her freedom was what her price had been for her cooperation during the war, she would help him end it all if he freed her.
When the truth came to light about both of her attacks being influenced through the Sharingan, Naruto promised he would do everything he could to free her. It was just who he was, he didn't like when people were wrongfully punished for something out of their control. He figured that it was a subconscious need to make it so that people didn't deal with similar situations to his childhood.
Naruto finished reading the last scroll and gave a sigh, 'That is the last of them, now I just have to figure out how to unlock the seal to let her out without dying myself. According to the scrolls, this is one of the strongest seals that there are.'
Naruto rubbed his forehead as he thought, the best idea he had was a tether removal. Something that Kurama had expressed the want of not having to do. Regardless, it seemed to be the only thing that was going to give her the freedom that she sought. Naruto rubbed his forehead some more, then transported into his mind to where Kurama stayed. She was currently laying on a couch playing with the water that covered the ground.
She smelt Naruto, "So, the only option is the tethering removal still huh? That is almost as bad as what I am in right now."
Naruto looked at her, "I am sorry Kurama, but I am not that smart. I could barely understand most of it then to top it off the seal is one of the top seals that there are. I can't break it, no matter how long I tried. The tethering removal is the only real option that there is."
Kurama sighed as she stopped playing with the water, "Well that sucks.. being connected to you, if you get hurt I get hurt. That basically means I still have to protect your stupid ass."
Naruto scratched the back of his head, "Sorry Kurama.. if you had been sealed inside someone like Shikamaru you could have been released pretty quickly but that is not the case."
Kurama looked at him, "Why don't you ask the pineapple head to figure it out for us?"
Naruto looked down at his reflection in the water, "I don't really talk with my friends that much anymore.. I really only talk to you. I will get to work on the tethering removal, you will be free of me basically."
Naruto faded from his mind as she sighed, going back to playing with the water. She looked at her reflection in the water, 'Poor guy.. after everything he did he still ended up alone. Without him, they would have lost that war. The only thing he got from it was to fulfill those Jiraiya and Nagato guys dreams of peace.'
Kurama looked rolled over and looked at the top of what use to be her cage though the doors were now open for her to roam if she pleased. Kurama blinked, 'I wonder who he will talk to when I am gone.'
Naruto opened his eyes in his den again and looked at the scroll some more, trying to decifer what it said. When he said he wasn't that smart and barely understood it, he meant that. Fuuinjutsu was claimed to be the hardest of all the jutsu types, he couldn't even do genjutsu. Regardless, he had made a promise and he kept his promises or died trying. Naruto looked at the scroll, 'Die trying.. big possibility with this..'
Naruto sighed as he read through the Tethering Removal one last time before he started to memorize the hand signs. That didn't take him to long though, it was a fairly simple series of signs. The more difficult part was going to be getting the ingredients needed to be able to bare the pain of the removal. Most of what he needed were herbs and flowers, which meant going to the Yamanaka Flower Shop.
Ino had expressed a serious dislike of Naruto after he slayed her Sharingan using love interest. Naruto just hoped that maybe today she wouldn't be so angry with him, but he found it to be unlikely, he just didn't have that kind of luck. Naruto got up and put on his orange battle coat that covered his black shirt and blue ninja pants. The bottom of the coat had black flames while on the back it had the kanji for 'Lone.'
Ironically it had been put there as a sign of respect for defeating Madara and Obito on his own. Never really knowing how it would hurt him to wear. The only reason he did was because Tsunade had bought it for him before the war. She planned on it being embroidered with 'Sixth Hokage' and giving it to him on his inauguration day when it came.
Naruto exited his home and locked up behind him before heading towards the Yamanaka Flower Shop. The blond haired man honestly felt bad for Ino, she lost a lot in the war but she was in the same boat as Sakura. When she saw him she only saw when he killed Sasuke. Not wanting to cause her any pain he avoided her, which was relatively simple to do if you don't leave your house except for groceries and missions.
Naruto arrived at the Flower Shop and sighed as he looked at the door. He slowly pushed it open and saw Ino standing behind the counter in her normal clothing of purple. She had moved to a full dress though since she had retired from the kunoichi lifestyle to take care of her shop. Naruto slowly approached the bar, "Um.. hi Ino."
Ino looked at him, her facial expression obviously showing that she wasn't thrilled to be seeing him. Naruto saw the look and slid her a piece of paper, "If you can get me these I will leave I promise.."
Ino picked up the piece of paper and then went around the shop picking the herbs and flowers that were on the list. When she came back she wrapped them all up after putting markers to indicate which were which and put them down, "That is an odd assortment of requests Naruto, what are you up to?"
Naruto pulled out his wallet and paid her for the flowers, tipping generously as he picked them up. He just looked at them, "Trying to keep promises is all.. bye Ino. Have a good day, see you again.. maybe."
He whispered the last part as he opened the door to the flower shop. Ino hadn't heard what he said but saw his lips move. She looked at the doors and sighed, 'Perhaps we have all been to hard on him.. especially Sakura and I. He doesn't even leave his house now unless to buy something he needs so that we don't have to see him.'
She resolved she would talk to Sakura next time she saw her about the whole situation. Naruto walked down the street looking at all the flowers. It was nice that she put the markers otherwise he would have no idea what was what. Naruto lowered them and turned up the alley towards his home when he heard another voice, "Hey Naruto."
Naruto stopped and looked over his shoulder to see one of his old friends approaching him. Naruto gave a fake smile to Shikamaru, "Yeah, whats up Shikamaru?"
Shikamaru looked at him as he stopped a couple steps behind him, "Didn't you agree to going out for drinks with us today?"
Naruto sighed, "Are Sakura or Ino going to be there?"
Shikamaru looked at him, tempted to tell him no that they would be. He had done that before though and when they two entered Naruto quietly exited out the back without anyone noticing. Shikamaru sighed, "Yeah."
Naruto looked forward, "Then I can't go and you know that."
Naruto proceeded to begin his walk back to his home, "Whats with the flowers, that means you saw Ino once so why not again?"
Naruto sighed as he stopped again, "Seeing me once was probably bad enough for her is why, the flowers are so that I can uphold a promise that I made. Enjoy your night Shikamaru, say hi to Temari for me. Ask her to say hi to Gaara for me as well."
Shikamaru went to object but Naruto disappeared. The black haired man groaned as he turned to head to the bar where everyone was meeting.
Naruto reappeared in front of his home and unlocked the door. He closed it behind him then locked it again before proceeding back into his den to begin the ritual. Naruto opened the scroll again and drew a kunai to follow the instructions on what to do with the herbs and flowers.
There was dicing, cutting, pruning and plucking to do to some of them, only one required him to remove the liquid that it held. When he finished it said to add water then some of the chakra that the demon within him held. Naruto filled up the cup halfway with water then thought in his mind, 'Okay Kurama, I need you to put some chakra into this. Then its either your home free and out of me on a tethering contract or I die and you come back in 100 years.'
Kurama rolled her eyes, "What great choices.."
She channeled a bit of her chakra through Narutos chakra coils and it entered into the cup. Naruto watched as her chakra reacted, making all the plants turn to liquid and the drink look absolutely disgusting to him. Naruto looked at it and groaned as he smelt it, "Smells terrible.. best of luck Kurama."
Naruto swallowed it and then did the set of seals quickly, "Uzumaki Fuuinjutsu: Tethering Removal Contract."
Narutos eyes widened and he gasped in pain, falling to his knees. He used the kunai to rip open the shirt and saw that his seal was glowing red. He went to scream but found that he couldn't, not feeling like the pain was being dulled he thought that the serum he made was to remove his voice temporarily. He was partially right, it had removed his voice but since normally the pain was so intense it killed the host it was being dulled down significantly. The swirl on his stomach started to merge together as Naruto closed his eyes in pain.
Kurama saw that where she typically resides was shaking and then a piercing white light appeared. She stood there and waited as the white light seemed to be destroying everything that resided in the area that was once her seal. When the light hit her, it felt like the air was knocked out of her then the next thing she knew she was thrusted forward, reappearing in Narutos den.
Naruto sat there sweating and panting with half closed eyes. Kurama turned to look at him, smiling at her former host for upholding his promise to her. Naruto gave a small smile, "Your free now.. you don't have to.. see me anymore either now, just like you.. wanted..."
As he finished his eyes rolled backwards and he fell backwards, passing out from the pain. Kurama stood there looking at his now passed out body. She walked over to him, feeling for a pulse to make sure that the man was still alive. It was light but there, she sighed in relief as she picked him up and carried him to his room. Residing in him for the two years that he had lived her made it so she knew her way around.
She put his in his room and she watched as a small string was connected from where the seal once resided on his abdomen to her stomach. She sighed, 'I guess that it was the only way that I could be free but still... I would have rather been completely free.."
Kurama just shook her head, giving the passed out man an appreciative look even though he couldn't see it. She smiled a little before leaving his room, 'It was the best he could do I suppose, he was willing to die if he failed so what more could I ask for.'
Kurama went to another room to lie down, anxious to get some sleep in her human form for the first time in a long time.