Ok, so this has been running around in my head ever since I first saw Mondaiji-tachi Ga Isekai Kara Kuru So Desu Yo? a few months back and since I've been having trouble with A New World lately, I decided I may as well write this and get it off my mind.
It'll be multi story, pairing undecided because it's more interesting like that and updated as my muse dictates.
I am also writing this in such a way that anyone unfamiliar with either the Naruto or Mondaiji world should be able to read and understand it.
Anyway, enough talking. Go read.
Reclining happily in the grass, a relatively unremarkable teen sighed contentedly from his spot under the shade of a large tree. It was a pleasant summer's day, warm but not overly so and just humid enough to make everything hazy and sleepy. Cicadas sung in the background of the otherwise silent field as the fuzzy shadows of slowly drifting clouds cast various shapes across the landscape.
Eyes closed against the sun's glare, the blond male rubbed an itch away from his nose before returning his hand to its place as his pillow. Now, while it was a warm day this boy still wore a vibrant orange and black jacket and matching pants. They stuck out like a sore thumb and he wouldn't have had it any other way. His spiky blond hair swayed gently as a soft wave of air washed over him and his whiskered cheeks twitched as a small smile tugged on his lips.
It truly was a pleasant day.
Another, slightly stronger breeze ruffled his clothing this time and the blond teen's ears twitched as the faint rustle of paper carried over to him. Opening one sluggish, vibrantly blue eye, the boy was just in time to see a pure white envelope do a double summersault through the air before landing perfectly in the middle of his chest.
Pulling himself up into a sloppy sitting position, the boy grabbed the envelope and looked it over. The back was blank but when he flipped it over a beautifully written name was scribed onto the surface.
To Uzumaki Naruto
Eyebrows crinkling as he saw his name, the now identified Naruto blinked in confusion. "How did you get out here?"
Sniffing it experimentally to make sure nothing sinister was going on, the blond confirmed its harmlessness before he shrugged and slipped his finger under the flap. Pulling it open, he found a small placard inside. Dropping the envelope, gave it a look over. Each corner had a visually appealing swirl design that drew attention to the symbols in the center of the note. Raising an eyebrow, he then began to read.
This letter is for those of you with many troubles and extraordinary powers. If you wish to see how far that power of yours can take you, cast aside your friends, your family, your possessions and come to our…
"Pfft, maybe if I didn't have to give up everything. Get back to me when you come up with a better offer – oi!"
Suddenly an all inclusive, brilliant white light flooded his vision and the teen smashed his eyes together. The very next instant, he knew the sensation of flight and when he opened his eyes he found to his surprise three other teens about his age right beside him mid air. The wind whipped around their bodies violently and Naruto quickly changed his term of 'flight' with 'free-falling' as he saw a number of tightly packed clouds coming up to meet them.
Bursting through the fluffy white masses, the four youths let out a collective gasp of amazement as the landscape met their eyes.
Beneath them was a forest that stretched off back behind them far, far into the distance, further than even Naruto could see. In front of them though were the most peculiar formations of houses he had ever seen. An immeasurably long wall separated the forest from what looked like an uncountable number of tent like buildings. Each one was a perfect circle with a domed covering, the things almost looking like a mammoth, earth-green circus tent. While varying slightly in size from one to another, these things reached out to the horizon in an uncountable number to meet up with what had to be the biggest mountain he had ever seen. Clouds milled around the base of it while the main body of it rose what looked like hundreds of kilometres into the air. Naruto was almost tempted to call it a volcano, but instead of lava spewing from the tip of it was a radiant beam of light that shot up into the sky and disappeared into space.
Admiring the incredible sight had to wait for the moment though as the rapidly growing ground was a more pressing issue at hand. Thankfully it seemed that there was a very deep lake beneath them, so righting himself in the air, Naruto prepared for his landing.
The three teens that accompanied him all entered the water head first with a fair sized splash from each. Naruto however tensed his legs and with an explosion of water, landed firmly on the surface of the liquid. Waves shot straight up into the air around the blond with a loud boom before gravity took hold and brought it back to earth in a heavy downpour.
Shaking out his now soaked hair, Naruto let out a grunt as he watched the teenagers surface. "Damn that letter thing, could have given me at least a little bit of notice before dropping me into some random place."
Ignoring the incredulous looks he was receiving, the blond cocked a questioning eyebrow at them. "So who are you guys?"
A particularly pretty girl blinked in surprise at the query before replying with, "Is that really a proper way to introduce yourself? But more importantly, how on earth are you standing on the water?"
"I –" He tried to reply, but the same girl instantly cut him off. "Whatever. We'll talk when we get to the shore. Will you help me here?"
"Ah –" His second reply was cut off again, this time by a blond, handsome boy staring up at him strangely. It was almost predatory and instantly made Naruto wary of him. "That is a very interesting ability. Care to share how you manage it?"
"No I –" Bristling as he was cut off again by the first girl, Naruto shot her a glare she ignored. "Are you going to help me or just chit-chat all day?"
"You didn't even –" He then threw his hands up in the air as he was once more cut off by the boy. "Oh-ho! You're an impatient one aren't you princess?"
Deceptively calm eyes turned to view him as the girl sized him up. "Well, I wouldn't have to be if you didn't keep interrupting us… hey!"
The second the girl took her eyes off Naruto, he stuffed his hands in his pockets and stomped away from the two teens to follow what he hoped was the one reasonable person of the group as she swam for the shore.
Sitting off to the side, Naruto watched on as the three humans dried themselves off.
The first girl that addressed him was an average height, but owned possibly the bluest eyes he had ever seen outside of his own. Long, raven black hair clung to her saturated and now partially see through white shirt, the tips of it reaching right down to her upper thighs. The rest of her almost business like attire wasn't all that exemplary, what with her plain navy blue, knee length skirt, thin yellow lace up neck tie and red hair clips. What made her stand out though was the almost regal way she held herself. She seemed to have a distinct aura of self-assurance and absolute command. With that in mind, it gave Naruto a sort of satisfaction to know he hadn't complied with her request for help.
The boy beside her was slightly taller, rather thin but held himself too in a way that conveyed he had unlimited confidence in himself. His blond hair was almost an identical shade to Naruto's, though it didn't seem to quite have the same gravity defying tendencies. That could be partly due to the thick band of ear muffs that clung to his head however. His violet eyes seemed to shine with intelligence and a touch of arrogance as he looked over everyone present, the smirk on his lips indicating he didn't consider any one of them a threat. As for clothing, he wore a loose, long sleeved blue button up shirt and matching ankle length trousers. The buttons on the shirt were mostly just for show since he only had one done up, the rest left hanging open to expose the bright yellow shirt on underneath.
Finally casting his gaze upon the last girl, Naruto scrutinised her the closest. She hadn't said one word to anyone as of yet and as such she was the most unknown variable of the three. Hazel eyes stared intently down at a bedraggled cat before her as she gently dried its fur with a wrung out handkerchief. Her short, shoulder length brown hair had dried fairly quickly and that was about all she apparently cared of as her long off-white cape continued to drip water. She had probably the most interesting garments of everyone with a pretty little frilled blouse under her cape along with a pair of orange short shorts. Covering her legs then were a pair of thigh high black stockings that were partially hidden by the almost knee length orange boots. Taking a moment longer to stare at her pants and shoes, Naruto established it was a first-class shade of orange. She knew good colours.
"I cannot believe this. Who has the gall to drop four people from the sky at that altitude? If they'd screwed up, we'd have all been dead instantly."
Looking to the raven haired girl as she finally broke the silence, Naruto nodded absently. It wouldn't have killed him perse, but they didn't know that.
"Tell me about it. It would have been all over before it even began."
This time it was the blond boy who spoke, his nonchalant tone indicating he wasn't at all fazed by his recent thousand meter plus plummet into the lake. The two teens shared a moment's gaze before the blond haired boy finally asked, "So who are you guys anyway?"
Apparently taking offence, the raven haired girl's clipped reply was, "I could ask the same thing, Mr. High-school-student-with-the-mean-looking-eyes."
Snorting to himself, Naruto rolled his eyes. That comeback was pathetic in his books but he wasn't about to call her out on it and cause more drama than necessary. It seemed the boy was thinking the same thing as he completely ignored the comment and started a completely new topic. "So just to confirm with you all, you guys got the letter too?"
Apparently still irritated by the male, the raven haired girl spun around to address him. "Yes, but do not refer to me as 'guys'. My name is Kudou Asuka. You'd do well to remember that."
The newly dubbed Asuka then moved her attention over to Naruto. "You there, in the obscenely bright orange jacket. What would your name be?"
Wrinkling his nose in distaste, Naruto stood up. "Uzumaki Naruto. And you'd do well to not make any more comments like that towards my clothing."
"Humph." Ignoring Naruto's warning, she finally turned to the girl with the cat. "And who may you be miss?"
Finally looking away from her pet, if only for a moment, the girl answered in a soft voice, "Kasukabe Yo."
Nodding, Asuka let her get back to it. "Nice to meet you." Then turning her gaze to her least favourite person of the group, she asked, "And you, the dangerous, unrefined looking fellow. You are?"
Taking her comments as compliments, his smirk grew wider as he introduced himself. "Why thank you for the wonderfully antagonistic introduction of yours. I am everything you just said and more, some of my finer points being I'm crude, vicious and hedonistic. I'm Sakamaki Izayoi and it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance. I will give you a word of advice though missy, make sure you read all warning labels before trying to handle me as I can be quite dangerous."
This time Naruto couldn't help the loud snort that ripped out his nose at that statement. Read his warning labels? Who the hell did this guy think he was? The snort quickly drew his attention though and Naruto was pinned with a dangerous grin from the teen. "Oh, you seem to find this amusing somehow? Care to enlighten me?"
Shrugging, Naruto decided to humour him. "I just get the giggles when someone thinks they're almighty and indestructible. I've seen enough people like you to know most times you're just hot air."
"Oh?" Eyes flashing dangerously, Izayoi fully turned to face Naruto. "You sound like you may have fought these air bags before. Care to take a swing at me? I promise it will be great fun."
A twitch of a smirk pulled at Naruto's lips as he shaped up. "Don't blame me if you get hurt."
Before anything could happen though, Asuka stepped between them with her hands held out at each male's chest. "As much as I'd love to watch your testosterone competition, I believe there are more pressing matters we should address. Such as where this place is and how do we get out of here."
Breaking eye contact, Izayoi sighed and looked around. "I suppose. Though, you'd have expected a welcoming committee or something like that after they summon us here."
Looking over at a bush upwind of them, Naruto frowned for a moment before pointing at it. "Well, just ask whoever it is over there."
The bush gave a small rustle in surprise as whoever it was was pointed out.
"Oh, you noticed? I'd have thought you'd have been too preoccupied with your posturing."
"Pfft." Looking over at Asuka, Naruto frowned in indignation. "How could I miss it? There were track signs clear as the nose on your face. I'm more surprised a pretty little house girl like yourself picked it up. Have you ever even been outside before today?"
Her eyes widened angrily and she began puffing up haughtily. "I'll have you know I've been outside many times before now!"
Rolling his eyes Naruto just grunted. "Yeah sure you have."
Listening to their bickering in amusement, Izayoi shook his head before turning to look at Yo. "Oi, cat girl, did you know too?"
Looking over from her pet, she nodded. "They're upwind of us so I'd know even if I didn't want to."
Naruto cast a quick glance at her before looking back at the bush. She had a really good nose. For now though his focus was the unknown still hiding behind the bush.
"Oi, we know you're there so come out already!"
Readying himself as Izayoi called out, Naruto watched on. Maybe a little help would get them to move a bit faster…
"Y-You know, when you four start acting so scary…" The new voice was cut off by a familiar grunt from behind. "Aaaand HUP!"
A female scream suddenly filled the clearing as a blue haired woman was flung out from the bush she was hiding behind. Asuka blinked several times to make sure she saw what she just saw as she could swear a second Naruto had been right over there behind the girl! Before there was any chance to confirm this though the apparition was gone leaving only a rapidly dispersing cloud behind.
Izayoi meanwhile had zeroed in on the newcomer and dashed toward her at speed. "Got you!"
Rearing back a fist, the teen lashed out at the girl. She screamed in shock again and just barely dodged the attack. The most surprising part of it though was the effect it had on the tree behind her. The whole thing shook violently as a human sized hole was blown clean through it.
Blinking in disbelief at the damage caused, the girl backed up several paces with her hands out placatingly, desperate to calm the extremely powerful boy down.
Asuka and Yo however were looking her over in confusion as she backed away. "What is this… cosplay?"
The reason for their question was the incredibly odd state of dress the lass had.
Her feet had these little red, heeled shoes on with wings covering the laces and they in turn covered the mid thigh length stockings. These were held up by garter belts and it was easy to see too, what with the almost indecently short and frilly red skirt she had on. Over that was a trendy black waistcoat, something that a bartender or the likes would wear. The difference here however was it was open incredibly low, well before her impressive bust started. Most skin was covered though with a red undershirt that rose up over her breasts to leave a small amount of cleavage to the world. Each wrist had a set of cuffs that matched the waistcoat and topping it all off was a collar encircling her neck that was of the same design as the wrist cuffs.
She had a soft face and wide red eyes that flickered over them all worriedly. Long, knee length blue hair hung down her back and topping it all off with a certain statement of finality were two enormously long blue rabbit ears that protruded from her hair.
Glancing away from the advancing Izayoi for a moment, the girl tried to correct them. "N-no! Kuro Usagi doesn't cosplay! I – EEK!"
Displaying quite the agility factor, the self proclaimed Kuro Usagi back flipped out of the way of another Izayoi attack and hand-sprung to safety in a tree. "Please! Stop this… huh?"
Hearing a rustle in a tree nearby, the girl looked over to see Kasukabe burst through the foliage. Letting out another shriek, her surprisingly powerful legs shot her away from her spot just as Yo touched down. That wasn't the end of it though as the two of them began a game of cat and mouse through the branches.
Naruto sat back and had a right old laugh as he watched the two of them pop out from time to time, calling out encouragement to both sides in hope that the chase would last a bit longer. "Come on rabbit lady! Yo isn't too far behind you know? Push it, push it, push it!"
Looking down her nose at the thoroughly amused boy, Asuka sighed before motioning to a flock of birds stirred into flight from the chase. "Birds, grab that woman!"
As the girl popped into view again, the birds suddenly obeyed the command and swooped in to latch onto her clothing. Flapping desperately to rid herself of the animals, she was carried just far enough from the safety of the trees that when she finally got rid of them she found herself plummeting downwards to land very firmly on her backside.
"Ey-ouch! Ah that really hurt!"
Gingerly levering herself onto hands and knees, the girl rubbed her shapely behind before freezing as three imposing shadows loomed over her.
"So who is this?"
"A bunny human?"
Desperate to clear things up, she scuttled backwards to gain some breathing space. "Please, if you would just listen to me for one second!"
The request was firmly denied as Yo strode forward and reached out to grab a fistful of blue ear. The molested girl let out a squeal of pain and desperately began trying to free herself of Yo's grip. "Hold of one second! What are you doing? Why are you trying to pull off Kuro Usagi's beautiful ears the very first time you meet her?"
Snickering behind her hand as the fluffy softness tickled her palm, Yo smirked and whispered, "Well, it sates my curiosity at least."
All of a sudden, the bunny girl froze solid and a vibrant brush ran from her neck line right up to her brow as Naruto crawled in from around the back and found himself at her backside playing with a fluffy protrusion from the base of her skirt. "No way, a tail! Is it real?"
Screaming in embarrassment, the girl ripped herself from Yo's grasp and scampered back to safety. "Of course it's real! Koru Usagi takes great pride in her tail! Please refrain from touching it – WAH!"
Cut off as both Asuka and Izayoi grabbed their own fistfuls of Kuro Usagi's ears, they too snickered into their free hands as her ears squished in their grip. "Well what do you know, they are real after all!"
The girl cried out in pain once more as her head was pulled from one side to the other as Izayoi and Asuka almost had a tug of war with her ears. The girl's face then lit up as Naruto crept around between the two humans and began playing with her tail. "Ah, it's so FLUFFY!"
Having had more than enough, the tortured girl finally let out an anguished scream as each member of the group had their turn playing with her unique accessories.
"I – I cannot believe this! How can there be such a lack of discipline?"
Having freed herself, Kuro Usagi finally managed to get the four teens seated on a naturally made set of stairs. The clearing they now sat in was quite high up giving them all a splendid view of the massive city they saw from the sky. Tall, lush green trees ran the perimeter of the area casting long cool shadows over them all as they rustled softly in the wind. Muttering away as the girl desperately tried to compose herself, the teens meanwhile fidgeted in boredom as their limited patience ran out.
"Ahhh this sucks now. Oi rabbit, hurry up and tell us why we're here." Glancing over at his fellow male, Naruto decided it was probably a good thing for Kuro Usagi that Izayoi beat him to the punch. The idea Naruto had in mind to hurry her up had been decidedly more uncomfortable.
Hearing the woman let out a cough, Naruto settled himself in. Straightening herself up and facing away from them, it seemed like she was trying to set the mood for something as her tail started twitching periodically. Finally spinning around, she held her arms out wide and gave them a wink as an almost tangible number of stars and sparkles exploded out from her. "Welcome everyone to the world of Little Garden!"
'It's like an actually enjoyable version of Fuzzy Brows sunset jutsu.'
Appreciating the way the well endowed girl glowed, Naruto only just heard Asuka repeat the name, "Little Garden?"
"Yes!" Hopping about in a way that did wonders for her chest, Naruto gladly kept his eyes trained on her. "We are willing to give you all the chance to participate in the Gift Games. That is why we called you here!" Twirling about like she was presenting the greatest show on earth, Kuro Usagi skipped and hopped about in excitement as she introduced the world.
"The Gift Games? What is that exactly?" It was a good thing the girls weren't as captivated by the dance as Naruto because right now he wasn't worrying too much about what she was saying. The question Yo put forward was a valid one though so the blond decided to listen to the actual reply.
"You may have realised already that you aren't normal humans. The abilities you each have were given to you from various war gods, demons, constellations and spirits. Here, we call these abilities 'blessings'."
Casually looking over the small group, Naruto couldn't help but wonder what Kuro Usagi meant. The majority of his talents came from his ability to mould his own body's energy, chakra, and his mastery over a specialised style of natural power. There was a separate condition unique to himself that gave him a bit of a boost in strength, but that wasn't worth thinking about right now. No, what interested the blond were these so called blessings the other three held.
That stunt Izayoi pulled before had been quite the surprise. He hadn't expected a weedy little kid to pack such a punch. Yo was still too much of an unknown for him to make any real assessment on her, but Asuka seemed to have a command ability of some form. Perhaps only over animals since she directed her authority over the birds rather than at Kuro Usagi.
Still, this was something to ponder so tucking it away for later processing, he tuned back in to what Kuro Usagi was saying. "The Gift Games are competitions that makes use of your blessings, sometimes even using them as the bets placed. In fact, Little Garden actually has a large number of areas devoted entirely to these games!"
Seeing movement, Naruto looked over to Asuka as she raised her hand. "Must we bet with our abilities?"
Nodding at the sensible question, Kuro Usagi held her hands out. "Not necessarily. To play you must have chips and there are a wide variety of chips available in Little Garden." Strutting about before them, the girl explained. "Gifts, money, land, prestige, resources and occasionally even people, all these things can be used as chips to place a bet. The higher the value of the chip, the greater the reward assuming you win."
Instantly wrinkling his nose, Naruto suddenly saw this female in a different light. Crossing his arms slowly, Naruto leant back and payed more attention to anything she might not be saying. Slavery was something that never sat well with the blond and for this woman to simply glaze over a topic like that indicated there could very possibly be more to her than the ditsy front she put on.
She didn't seem to notice his withdrawal however and continued on happily. "To win, you must clear all the challenges the host sets. Fail to do so and whatever you bet becomes theirs. Such are the rules of Little Garden."
This time Yo raised her hand and Kuro Usagi instantly motioned for her to speak. "What is a host?"
"Ah!" Smiling, the rabbit-eared girl motioned generally. "A host is anyone who presides over a Gift Game and administers them."
"So that means technically anyone can become one?"
Nodding as Yo filled in the blanks, Kuro Usagi hopped about a bit more. "Yes! If you can prepare a prize for the victor, then you can become a host. These hosts therefore can vary from simple shopping merchant's right up to war gods! The games can range from uncomplicated, endearing challenges to lotteries and even right up to life threatening and downright torturous endeavours."
While the girls seemed to accept this all relatively calmly, Naruto noticed a stiffening of Izayoi's posture. His eyes seemed to harden further and his grin seemed to darken. Not giving away that he observed the change, Naruto simply watched the boy from the corner of his eye. His apparent eagerness for that last type of game was worth note and the orange clad teen mentally placed him as the loosest cannon of the group.
"However, there is much I believe you won't understand with just my explanation." Turning his gaze back to their host, Naruto raised his chin a bit as she then offered them something. "How would you all like to try a game now to see if you understand?"
Pulling a deck of cards from absolutely nowhere, Kuro Usagi began shuffling them. "There are communities of sorts in this world. Nations, societies, collectives, what have you. Residents of this world must be a part of a community. Or, more accurately it would be difficult for them to survive without one." Flicking the cards about with great expertise, Kuro Usagi finished up with one final intricate move before flicking them into her right hand. Raising her left, she then snapped her fingers and to everyone's surprise, a solid mahogany table materialised in the air. Once complete, the heavy block of wood thumped to the ground, revealing itself to be a gambling table.
Walking forward and resting her weight on it, Kuro Usagi continued. "I wouldn't mind considering letting you four become a part of the community I belong to, but having people around that are no good at Gift Games would be burdensome." Rolling his eyes, Naruto sat back and listened to the girl try a bit of reverse psychology on them. "Actually, it would be quite the bother. You'd just get in the way and slow everyone down."
Izayoi seemed to bite first as he grunted confidently. "You trying to test us huh?"
Not wanting him to speak for all of them, Asuka stood up to block his view and swung her hand out indignantly. "Hang on one moment there! We haven't even agreed to anything yet!"
Resting back on her haunches, Kuro Usagi sighed and closed her eyes. "Well, if you're not up to it you can always refuse. Nothing has been agreed upon yet so you can always back out." She then opened one challenging eye and perused the group.
'She is totally calling bluff.' Letting his head fall over to the side, Naruto watched as the other three contemplated the offer. 'Izayoi will be the first to accept. He's way too proud to let this go.'
True to his prediction, said male stood up and looked down his nose at her. "What an interesting way to provoke someone."
Smiling awkwardly, Kuro Usagi swallowed nervously and nodded. "G-Glad you liked it!"
Sighing like he didn't care, Izayoi then shrugged and motioned at her. "Alright, what are the rules?"
That seemed to put her back on solid ground as she flicked her wrist confidently and fanned the cards out across the table. "Simple, we'll use these cards. All I ask is that you pick a face card from them. Simple, huh?"
If she was hoping for an excited response she was deeply disappointed. Still, she carried on though the dead crowd smoothly. "However, the rules to this game is that you get ONE shot at this and each person can only pick one card."
Grinning confidently, the host placed her hands on her hips resolutely and eyed them all. Contemplating the face down cards, Asuka brought a thoughtful finger to her mouth. "And we can pick this by any method we choose?"
"So long as it doesn't conflict with the rules." Proudly placing one hand on her chest, Kuro Usagi puffed up a bit. "By the way, I have the ability of Judge Master. It is impossible to break the rules when I am around as my rabbit eyes and ears are directly connected with Little Garden's central network. If you even sneeze incorrectly I will know and you will instantly forfeit any prizes."
Not really caring about the details, Izayoi waved her to hurry up. "Yeah tell us the details later. So what will we be betting with? Our blessings?"
Smiling at the boy, the blunette shook her head. "You are brand new to Little Garden so no, this time around no chips will be needed, though you can play with your pride on the line if you wish…"
"Ohhh?" Izayoi seemed to like this idea very much and Naruto really began to consider if this was a teen he wanted to be around. Leaning forward, Naruto raised his hand this time as he blocked out the obnoxious male's annoying grunts. "So what do we get if we win huh?"
"Hmmm…" Thinking for a moment, Kuro Usagi suddenly jumped about happily as an idea popped into her head. "I know! Kuro Usagi, Judge Master and servant of a god will do any one thing you ask of me!"
This instantly grabbed the attention of Izayoi as he leant forward to catch a better view of the rabbit's magnificent chest. "Really now?"
Quickly picking up on his innuendo, the girl blushed and covered herself up. "B-But nothing sexual!"
Playing it off like he wasn't interested, Izayoi waved his hand about nonchalantly. "Kidding, kidding."
Naruto sent the perverted guy a flat look and cocked an eyebrow. 'Yeah right. I'm just as male as you so I know you wanted a piece of that. Hell, I wouldn't say no…'
Ignoring the various stares he received, confident teen played it off easily and changed the subject by looking at his companions. "So what will it be huh?"
The two girls exchanged a quick look before nodding. "Yeah, why not? There's nothing to lose."
Shrugging as three sets of eyes then turned on him, Naruto grinned. "Meh, it'll pass the time."
Beaming widely, the girl at the table clapped her hands in glee as a small light shone from them. "Game established!"
In response to her words, an old parchment bathed in an ethereal light popped into view and floated down into her hands. Blinking in surprise, Naruto pointed at the thing. "What is that?"
Handing it to the group to read, Kuro Usagi explained. "That would be a Geass Roll. It basically contains the rules pertaining to the game."
Crawling up to peer over the shoulder of Asuka as she held the contract, Naruto let his eyes run quickly over the words.
Gift Game Name:
Select a face card from the cards laid out.
Each player must select one card only.
We will respect the rules above, and with reverence we pledge to engage in this Gift Game under the instruction of our Host Master.
'Thousand eyes?' Quickly taking in all the information, Naruto looked back up to see Kuro Usagi waiting patiently for them. The others did so too and grinned confidently. "Alright then. First, let us see those cards."
Blinking at Asuka's request, Kuro Usagi nodded. "Uh, sure ok."
Passing them out, the group then began to look over them all. As Naruto was passed a quarter of the deck, he flicked them all over in his hands, checking each for any specific sign on them that might tell it apart from the rest. As he expected though, they were all perfectly identical on the reverse side. Shrugging, he simply handed them all back and watched as the rabbit shuffled them all.
Fanning the cards out, their host grinned challengingly at them and motioned to the table. "Alright, time to pick your card!"
Stepping up, Izayoi looked them over. Keen eyes glanced over the entire deck before he smirked. "I pick this one!"
Slamming his hand down on the table, the force of the blow instantly knocked all the cards into the air. Fluttering around, they fell back to the table, some face up others face down. Grinning triumphantly, the two girls walked forward and picked two face cards from the table that had landed facing up. "Thank you very much!"
Naruto grinned at them and walked forward. "Nice. Then I'll just… oi."
Frowning, he then realised there were no more face cards that had flipped over. Meanwhile, Kuro Usagi had regained herself and was flapping unhappily at Izayoi. "Wh – Why did you do that?"
Grinning at the girl, the conceited teen let out a little chuckle. "What? We're not breaking any rules. One face card per person with one pick. Am I wrong?"
Sweating slightly, Kuro Usagi backed off slightly. "Well… no I don't suppose so." Her large blue ears then gave a twitch as the communication network confirmed that it was indeed a legal move. Sighing defeatedly, the girl conceded the tactic. "Fine. But hang on, what about yours?"
Looking down at his hand, the host pointed at the card pinned under Izayoi's palm. "You don't know if that's a face card yet!"
Laughing mockingly, the teen straightened up and threw it down in front of the rabbit to reveal it was indeed a face card. "Ha, who do you think I am?"
Blinking in surprise, Kuro Usagi stared at the card. "How did you…?"
Crossing his arms, Izayoi sniffed. "I remembered them."
This got a collection of eyes to stare at him in astonishment. "Really?"
Looking over at a sceptical Naruto, his eyes flashed challengingly and nodded. "You don't believe me? Well then…"
Reaching out, he grabbed a card and flipped it over. "King of Hearts."
It was. Grabbing another, he flipped it over too. "Queen of diamonds."
Another. "Jack of clubs."
And another. "King of clubs."
Suddenly a punch whooshed through the air and Izayoi had to dance back out of the road. All girls present let out a small scream of surprise at the suddenly aggressive situation. Naruto glared over at him angrily and straightened up, ignoring the irritated and unimpressed glares he was receiving. "Don't think I don't know what you were doing."
Raising his eyebrows and holding his hands out defencelessly, Izayoi shook his head in mock misunderstanding. "What on earth are you talking about?"
Growling, Naruto just looked back down at the table. He knew exactly what he was doing. Having flipped over that many face cards drastically reduced Naruto's chance at correctly picking one from the untidy mess. Still…
Grinning confidently, Naruto looked back over at Izayoi. "It's a good thing I'm lucky then isn't it?"
Eyes flashed and the teen almost looked like he could lick his lips in anticipation. "How lucky?"
Feeling the tension rise, Kuro Usagi held her hands out to the two of them and tried to defuse the situation. "G-Guys, calm down!"
Ignoring her though, Naruto sneered at him and turned back to the table. "This lucky."
Slapping a hand over his eyes, Naruto then reached out and grabbed a random card, thankfully face down. "Wait! That's not a part of the rules! There's no need to do that!"
Peeking through his fingers at the panicked face of Kuro Usagi, Naruto smirked and flipped the card over. "Well, why don't you just go ahead and tell me if I guessed right?"
"I – " Looking down, the words died in her throat as the jack of hearts looked up at her. "You… you pass."
Grabbing it, Naruto then flicked it at a now contemplative Izayoi. "Not bad huh?"
"How did you do that?" Turning to face Asuka, Naruto chuckled as she placed her hands on her hips and raised an unamused eyebrow at him. Reaching up, he interlocked his fingers behind his head and grinned widely. "No trick, I'm just that lucky."
The girl's eyebrows rose disbelievingly. "I'm rather sceptical about such a thing." Shrugging, Naruto let his hands drop back to his side. It wasn't his problem if none of them believed.
Apparently sensing his indifference Asuka decided to let it go and looked back over at Kuro Usagi. "So, I believe we now can as any one thing of you?"
Startling slightly, the blunette paused a moment. "Oh, yes I suppose so."
"I wanna use up my prize now then!" Turning to look over at Izayoi, the bunny girl shivered under his leering gaze and covered her chest up. "N-Nothing sexual! I already told you that!"
His stare may have said otherwise, but the male shook his head. "While the thought is fun, all I want to ask is one simple question."
Ears perking up considerably in relief, Kuro Usagi nodded. "Ok? What do you wish to know?"
A slightly more eager and less predatory smile then stretched across the boys face. "Is this world fun?"
Finding herself back in control, the girl smiled widely at all of them. "Yes! The Gift Games are heavenly and demonic games that those who are beyond normal humans can participate. Kuro Usagi guarantees that Little Garden is far more exciting than the Lower World!"
Eyes flashing in anticipation, Izayoi nearly stared vibrating in fervour. "Well what are we doing sitting around here? I wanna see more of this world!"
Watching as the group began to collect themselves in preparation to move out, Naruto frowned a moment before raising his hand. "Oi, rabbit girl."
"Hmmm?" She looked over at the distanced fourth member.
Lowering his hand, Naruto crossed both over his chest. "My question is there any way home?"
Beating Kuro Usagi to the answer, Izayoi snorted disdainfully and glared at the blond. "Why the hell would you want to go back to such a pathetic, boring place like that?"
Though they didn't say anything, Naruto picked up that both Yo and Asuka were thinking the same things. If they were willing to give up everything they knew then good on them. Naruto had other things back at home waiting for him. Glaring at his growing rival, Naruto clipped his words. "Shut up, I wasn't talking to you. I'll ask again and pretend you never spoke. Kuro Usagi, NOT Sakamaki Izayoi, is there a way to return home?"
A dangerous aura seemed to encase said boy at Naruto's lip and the addressed girl frantically jumped between them to try and hold off the fight. "Yes! Yes I suppose you could return home if you desired. But why would you want to when such a vibrant world lies at your feet?"
Giving the girl a flat look, Naruto waved his hand at the other teens. "While these three might easily cast aside any relationships they previously had, I for one would like to know if it is possible to go back to my loved ones."
Wilting somewhat, Kuro Usagi nodded. "Yes. You could return home via a summoning from your world, or if you win a Gift Game powerful enough to send you home." She then raised a hopeful face. "But, time here passes much faster than time back in your home plane! You could stay for a great period of time and return for nothing to have happened!"
Now this caught Naruto's attention. He'd be lying if he didn't say he wanted to check out everything this fresh new world had to offer, but his friends back home were just far too important to him to just leave. This option allowed him to do what he wanted in this world and then go home when ready. Kuro Usagi picked up on his interest and quickly applied pressure. "Depending on what era you're from, time can pass here at such a rate of one day to one of your seconds! Wouldn't that give you reason to come and join my community?"
Narrowing his eyes slightly, Naruto finally picked up on what she wasn't saying. Her community must have been in trouble or something because that bluff from before coupled with her indirect insistence for them to join nearly spoke as loud as if she'd just out and said it herself. With that in mind, Naruto just shrugged and stuffed his hands in his pockets. "Whether or not I'll join is something I'll decide later. I may make up a community just for me."
Blinking in surprise, Kuro Usagi shook her head. "You can't do that! It's too dangerous and besides, you need more than one member to be a community!"
Grinning, Naruto brought his hands up before his chest in an odd seal. Each index and middle fingers on both hands extended, the other two curled up and then brought over his chest in the form of a cross. "Not enough members hey? Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique)!"
The group let out a startled cry as an unexpected explosion of smoke suddenly filled the area. Coughing and waving their hands to clear the air, they all froze when they heard a crowd of laughter. "I think fifty people counts as enough yeah? But what does that matter, I can make enough members to fill an entire nation!"
Each person's eyes then began to widen as the smoke cleared and revealed the impossible. A sea of orange now covered the ground, identical replicas of Naruto now spotted everywhere and not just limited to the earth. Some were stuck fast to the sides of trees with nothing but their feet touching, others were hanging upside down from the underside of branches, their feet somehow magnetically attached to the wood.
Then in an explosion of smoke, they all disappeared as suddenly as they all appeared leaving a single Naruto to stand before them with a cheeky grin on his face. No one moved for a moment and Naruto's grin widened as he saw Izayoi looking at him in calculatively. Now that was an expression worth remembering.
Walking towards them, his movement broke their trance. Suddenly, Izayoi flashed forward at an impossible speed and snatched Naruto up into the air by his collar. "You think you're real cleaver don't you? So you can make pretty little copies of yourself. But can you actually make something worthwhile?"
Grinning down at him, Naruto pulled his eyelid down and stuck his tongue out at him before suddenly going up in a puff of smoke. Opening his hand to let what vapour in it disperse, Izayoi turned to see Naruto standing behind the surprised girls. "If it's good enough to fool you then there was some use to them, don't you think?"
The trendy blond's sharp eyes narrowed as he scrutinised the original. "Who said you fooled me?"
Looking between the males, Asuka finally had enough and let out a loud sigh. "Quit it, both of you!"
Suddenly stiffening as his muscles clenched, Naruto looked around in surprise as an invisible force clamped down on him. It seemed like Izayoi was experiencing the same thing too if his furrowed brow was anything to go by.
Ignoring their predicament, Asuka looked between the two. "Will you behave now or am I going to have to make you two hold hands?"
Blanching at the thought, Naruto spurred a bit of chakra through his limbs. His muscles instantly flourished with the sudden input of extra energy and with a surge, snapped through whatever it was that was holding him. "Not on your life girly!"
"What?" The shocked stare she pinned him with had Naruto raising an eyebrow. He couldn't tell if the reaction was due to the term he addressed her with or his breaking through whatever it was she seemed to put on him. Also breaking through the telekinetic binding, Izayoi laughed and held his hand out. "Come on, just try hold it. I'd crush yours to paste in a moment."
Wrinkling his nose, Naruto turned away. "Fag. Like I'd hold your hand."
Hearing several claps, Naruto looked over to see a rather flustered Kuro Usagi desperately trying to gain their attention. "Please, just stop fighting! If you would come with me we could most probably get you all sorted out and from there you can go off and do your own thing! So please just come with Kuro Usagi?"
Looking over at the antagonistic teen, Naruto watched him humph and turn his nose up. Shrugging in response, Naruto nodded. "Yeah might as well. Don't blame me though if he starts something."
Hearing a bark of laughter in response, Naruto and Izayoi shared a challenging glance before walking after the girls.
The trip down to the gate was fairly uneventful with only a few barbs thrown between the two boys. Other than that, it was pretty good and by the time they reached the entrance, Kuro Usagi was skipping along quite merrily. Apparently someone was there to meet them too since the second they were within range of a boy sitting by himself, the girl cried out to him. "Master Jin! I've brought new friends!"
Standing to greet them, Naruto found himself looking down a fair way to make eye contact with the diminutive young man. Only just five feet in height, the kid still looked like he should be in academy, not sitting at a gate waiting for a bunny eared girl.
He had a monk like garment draped over his shoulders, the long sleeves and body of it completely obscuring everything bar his head from view. It was a beige colour with small brown and white rectangles trimming the sleeves. A thin brown rope held the thing together around his waist and from the very top poked the collar of an orange undergarment. Nodding approvingly at his choice of colour, Naruto mentally gave him a thumbs up. From there, wide teal-blue eyes stared up at them expectantly as abundant masses of green bangs rimmed his face. Giving them a soft smile, he bowed slightly as Kuro Usagi skipped up to him. "Welcome back. Are these three the ones?"
Nodding gleefully, the area around the girl almost started sparkling such was her joy. "Yes! These four… EH, WHERE'S IZAYOI?"
Absolutely horrified to find one of her precious associates missing, Kuro Usagi rounded on the remaining trio. "Where did he go?"
Asuka decided to do the explaining and piped up. "He told us he was going off to see the edge of the world quickly and took off."
Aghast, the blunette pleaded with her, "Why didn't you stop him?"
Snorting, Naruto looked over his shoulder. "Who'd want to stop him?"
"Bu – bu – bu…" Shaking her head, the girl tried another question. "So why didn't you just tell Kuro Usagi?"
This time Yo spoke up. "He told us not to tell Kuro Usagi."
Shocked, their guide shook her head slowly. "You're joking. You've got to be joking! You just didn't want to tell me did you!"
Nodding unabashedly, both girls confirmed this. "Yeah, pretty much."
"I told him to throw himself off the edge it if he found it." Naruto added helpfully.
Collapsing to her knees, Kuro Usagi let out a sob as Jin dotted over her. "Kuro Usagi, the edge of the world…"
Sniffing, she nodded and pulled herself together. "I know Master Jin. Please lead these fine young people the rest of the way."
A dark shadow covered her face as she took her feet; her fists beginning to shake in anger. "I shall go and fetch this problem child myself!"
And in a burst of power, the formally blunette suddenly changed the colour of her hair to a vibrant pink that seemed to glow with energy. Crouching, she readied herself like she was starting a race. "Sakamaki Izayoi, you have insulted me, praised as 'Aristocrat of Little Garden'! You shall regret this!"
Her toes then dug into the ground and with an explosion of dust, the girl dashed away at an absolutely astounding speed into the trees. Whistling impressively, Naruto shielded his eyes from the sun as he watched her disappear into the distance. Asuka and Yo were also just as awed with the former muttering, "My, Little Garden rabbits sure can hop about quickly."
Nodding, Naruto dropped his hand as she finally vanished. "You can say that again."
It was then Master Jin decided to shed some light on the abilities of the rabbit eared girl and explained. "Rabbits are direct servants of the founder of Little Garden. They are usually blessed with some pretty impressive abilities."
Turning, the boy then motioned to the gateway entrance. "Anyway, how about you three come with me? We'll get something to eat and then I'll show you around."
Grinning widely as they began walking into the door, Naruto patted his stomach happily. "I hope you have ramen! Cause I am starving."
Watching them disappear from view, the original Naruto leant up against the doorway entrance and looked around as the voices of his clone and the girls faded. As much as he appreciated the offer to be shown around, that just wasn't his style. Pushing himself from the rock work, Naruto turned and looked up the vertical surface. "Best get an aerial view of the place."
Channelling chakra through to the soles of his feet, he then lifted his foot and pressed it against the wall. The energy bound to the surface firmly and within moments, Naruto had begun running up the otherwise unclimbable wall with ease.
Reaching the top, the blond placed his hands on his hips and looked around. Pretty much everything within sight looked interesting but loud boom not too far from his position really caught his attention. Dust kicking up into the air gave away the position of it so with a grin, Naruto kicked off and ran towards the plume.
A/N – This won't be updated regularly and this won't be serious. I'm writing it because I find the idea intriguing and I'd like to see what I can do with it.
A New World is my first priority, but sometimes you need to clear your head ya know? This is that clearing of head. I don't expect all that many reviews since it's a pretty underground anime/manga, but what the hell. Throw it up for giggles and all that.
Let me know if you enjoyed.