This story is crafted for entertainment purposes, as such I pose no claim as to owning Asura's Wrath and Naruto.

If I did, chances are that if I'm writing this story then either I'm really bored or a tad touched in the head in regards of demanding attention...

New Shinkoku: A measure of humility

Chapter 2: A measure of melancholy

Grand Palace, Shinkoku-Shinto, Shinkoku Trastrium, Gaea

Much had changed in the course of but one year and a half as the fickle forces of fate decreed. Chakravartin, he who existed before the first of the humans ever walked the world, had been proven a liar in proclaiming his end would mean the end of mantra, the end of demigods who depended on it. Or perhaps he had proven himself vengeful. Mantra existed despite his deceased state, yet more than the Gohma now stalked the world of Gaea and its surroundings...

They had no name other than what one would call them in the heat of the moment, these beings of darkness that slowly consumed their world despite felling their numbers with both technology and brutality. Not even vengeful Gaea, having resurrected her grotesque champions that embodied her rage, was capable of quelling the destruction these creatures were so bent on creating with a single-minded purpose. What they were, what their true purpose was, and where they came from was unknown to all of those with sentient thought or a reasonable facsimile of such. All that was know was that anywhere they stay, and anywhere they die, the strange energies of their being seep out and gradually destroy reality itself despite their understanding of how the universe operated by...

It wasn't too much to say that the situation looked bleak when the only planet that they knew of that could support life was under threat by these destroyers of existence...

Till now.

By whatever events that had brought him to it, a boy of blond hair had stumbled across an Imperial Eye and unwittingly activated the emergency teleportation function of the device that inadvertently took him with it. Now salvation from their fate was upon them with this Eye's host of data of a new world where mantra seemed to existed in, its supply was of some limit however. It was enough for a fighting chance for their kind at least, that was the begrudging sentiment shared by many... save one. Augus was not one to care for the ramifications of anything so long as it provided the sport he craved.

Oh how Yasha at times envied his former teacher at times with his more cavalier attitude when compared to everyone else he knew.

In any event, they now had to plan as to how this was to unfold and what may be. They would crossover to this new world, that much was known, yet would their destroyer's hunt them down or would they be content with Gaea? No one could tell. On the other hand once they arrived on this new world, would they be accepted or more than likely pushed back as human nature often done in regards of the unaccepted? If the latter happened then they were to establish a foothold as quickly as possible before anything else... an all but mandatory task to begin with to ensure some measure of survival.

All that remained to debate however was what type of foreign policy would be best fitted to deal with these people whose abilities mirrored some of their aspects to interesting but sometimes underpowered degrees when compared to their own... As it stood there were only two general policies that came to a head after so much talk: Isolationism and, for the lack of a better word, Aggression. To better define these two, the first policy was to simply take control over a previously uninhabited expanse of land, preferably an island or something else that could easily defend as well as house an entire culture within its boundaries, and live up to the aforementioned policy by keep a closed border with few, if ever, visitors if it could be prevented. As for the second policy, in was nothing short of a hostile takeover over a preexisting nation that provided to their basic needs and in turn discourage any invader from waging war with them through an ostentatious show of might. The entire matter was up for an election amongst the revived emperor and the newly re-ordained Eight Guardian Generals who by majority were also resurrected thanks to the combined efforts and benevolence of the Priestess of Shinkoku and other such religious figures who had some, if not limited, knowledge and power to manipulate mantra...

The election however was at a stalemate. Deus had remained silent since his resurrection, disheartened even when it became apparent that his efforts were all for naught by the machinations of a being far more powerful than he who was shortly brought low by a man who days before had to have help from his brother-in-law to defeat the man who led the Seven Deities over twelve-thousand years prior. Then there was Yasha who was of a likewise state who continued to contemplate what to do considering his own history and the beliefs he wielded to help maintain a semblance of rationale in a plan that was to free a world of what was deemed to be a great threat. Last but not least was Asura... he only came to the palace when it came to these meetings or to ensure the other generals were not plotting something once more much like they had centuries ago, otherwise he was found at his home making up for his absence from his family.

As well as looking after their... guest for the lack of a better word. The child of this different world was certainly unusual to say the least...

With a resigned sigh, the renewed general of the melancholic affinity rose up from his table and left the room hosting those trying to advocate their sides to him, hoping to sway his otherwise neutral opinion to their points of view. They tried to follow, but those who weren't demigods orientated in battle had little hope of catching up to him on their own once he made it passed the door and rounded the corner to a passage leading straight outdoors.

XVX

Asura's home

It was perhaps the most selfish desire she ever had outside of saving her father... but no one was complaining, especially not her father after so long. Since this newborn threat arose, the reborn nation of Shinkoku Trastrium scrambled with what was left over from the Seven Deities army and armory from her father's personal one man war with them... and were found wanting. Between the mantra orientated weaponry and her father's fury, only so much can be done with this threat when ordinary weapons were only of use against the Gohma when they turned their sights upon humanity... so she took it upon herself to scavenge the libraries of old that still stood and happened upon the ancient, forbidden practice of resurrection. It's requirements, though taxing on the mind and body even when done right, were fairly simple: The body of the deceased itself or in lieu of one that could not be found, something that held a personal connection to the intended recipient such as a comb, or in Wyzen's case his personal chair still found in his old flagship as mere examples. The practice however was forbidden for a reason as the slightest err proved fatal to those who partook in it...

It was one of the explicitly few times her father was ever angry with her when he found out... but the damage, figuratively speaking, was done. Now they were a family again... almost exactly as they were but twelve-thousand and more years before. The only difference between now and then was that now they had a guest thanks to Yasha's unknowingly fruitful expedition originally meant to lower the current Gohma threat to the battered nation.

While it was the palace that received the drone for inspection, they were host to a boy, an outlander so to speak, who unintentionally came with it in its unexpected return. He was most certainly wasn't ordinary if she was to be honest in her time observing him. Out in the open he would act much like a dog in terms of character: Happy to meet people, always looking for something to do with someone, occasionally even lounge about in the sun during a nap, and anything else that could occupy the attention of a boundless bundle of energy. Then of course there were the times he thought he was just by himself... He reminded her of her Uncle with the way he kept quiet and the solemn look he had upon every aspect of his being. When someone did happened upon him like this, provided that they weren't even aware of this occurrence, he was quick to disguise it with that ear reaching smile of his and write it off as one worry or another only to return to this sullen state when he believed he was alone once more.

Mithra, daughter of Asura, the General of the affinity of Wrath, Durga, the wife and sister to the aspects of Wrath and Melancholy respectively, and Grand Priestess of Shinkoku, couldn't help but frown as she contemplated about their blond guest and the mystery that was his mood. Was what was seen by most people an act on his part? To what purpose did it serve? Or was he genuinely depressed about something like the possibility that he would never return to where he called home? She couldn't tell, nor could she get an straight answer from him, not to mention a answer if he could help it, if past experience was to teach her anything.

In the end though she could only sigh and keep herself a few steps short of calling the entire thing aggravating thanks to the years of her knowing her own father... the only difference between the two being when he refrained himself from speaking, it was because he couldn't put what he wanted to say into words.

XVX

"Good evening, Mithra." The Grand Priestess looked up from her work on her makeshift seat of a low stone wall in such fright that her uncle couldn't help but let loose a small chuckle. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you."

She in turn only smiled back after regaining her composure and shared in on the laugh before long. "It is no problem, uncle. But what brings you here?" she asked in quickly growing curiosity marked with a small frown. "Father and mother are out at the moment if you're searching for them."

"No. I'm not here to see either of them," he replied with a frown, just short of a sigh on his part. "I've come to see Naruto, and meandering about while I'm doing so."

"I see..." A curios brow rose up on Yasha's part when his niece's eyes seemed to glaze over in thought for but a moment before refocusing on him with a rearmed smile that only tried to raise his perplexed brow ever higher. "He's in his room at the moment, on the second floor towards the end of the hall on your left from the stairs."

"Thank you." Giving him a nod that ignored his bow, the Grand Priestess watched her uncle take off to the confines of their home with nothing but his thoughts to accompany him... a feat within itself considering his somewhat strained relationship with the family. Strained on his part at least. Her father hasn't forgotten his part nor has she or her mother for that matter, yet it was only her uncle who wasn't able to bring himself to forgive what had happened. For that reason alone he all but avoided not only her and her father but her mother, his sister, as well... till he felt he could only entrust his new ward with them and only them.

She looked down to what lay on her lap, a simple knitting of an incomplete scarf, and looked once more towards the vanishing figure of her uncle. Her eyes darted upward towards the second tier of their home, an ancient two story structure that the passing of centuries have found difficult to destroy let alone deteriorate to an uninhabitable state of being, more specifically to the room Naruto essentially lived in when he wasn't about... she cast her gaze to the scarf once more and stowed it away into the folds of her dress moments before hopping off the stone wall to discreetly follow her uncle indoors.

XVX

When Yasha arrived the brow upon his head was raised once more after it found its natural rest in the transit to his room. The blond hadn't taken notice of him, his back to him for added effect, as of yet, his attention focused on the sole opening of his room sporting a view of a leafed tree gently swaying in the wind that was playing host to a small flock of chirping birds with such a sullen expression on his face... Out of the courtesy of good grace, the general rapped on the doorway. Naruto made no sign proving he heard it. The doorway was assailed once more only to further prove Naruto was engrossed within whatever musings he held to himself.

Marked with a frown, the Guardian General decided to risk what peace there was by quietly slipping into his room and taking a seat behind the blond. His puzzled gaze lasted on him a bit longer before they turned to the tranquility that was the birds minding their own day.

In the far off wall a small cork size hole became visible when the stone that was in its place receded to give way to an eye shadowed by the natural lighting of the room... An impish grin was restrained to resemble more closely to a bashful one in comparison when its owner tried to quell the uncouth rush of spying on the two like some kind of... spy for the lack of a better word.

"Oh no..." Unfortunately, she supposed upon reminiscing what she knew about 'espionage,' she had a long way to go before becoming mildly successful if her itching nose was to be an indicator.

"Achoo!"

"Eh?" Mithra had long since ducked away lest she be spotted by Naruto, let alone her uncle, despite the size of the whole and the shadows that came with it. "Aah!" A slightly mischievous smirk split her lips when it became apparent that Naruto had found her uncle within his presence, and quickly tried to wave it off with a startled laugh... but no semblance of a speech curiously enough...

Then again upon an review of the more recent past however, someone always asked him what he was doing... A pointed frown replaced the smirk but nothing else as she quickly came to terms of the break in routine when she resumed the position and observed the slightly uncomfortable occupants of the room she spied on who returned to watching the birds, content with the silence that ensued from there.

"It's nice day," Yasha finally murmured, breaking the silence that stood between them.

"Yes it is..." Naruto replied, his usually presented luster barely holding on by a weary thread.

Once more the silence began anew between them only to be broken in the same manner as before. "Definitely peaceful."

"Indeed."

"... Eases but never heals the troubled spirit however..." From her vantage point, she could've sworn the child nearly twitched to look at him curiously in a vague attempt to throw off his suspicions much like he had done in the past. If she were to guess and draw from her own opinion as well, her uncle may have already knew already learned Naruto's true nature at this point whereas Mithra was still in debate in what it was.

For a third time there was nothing but silence between everyone, perforated by the chirping birds that no one gave mind to.

"So why did you come?" Naruto suddenly inquired, seemingly aging a decade older than he appeared in his sigh. As for Yasha, he aimed a cool eye to the otherwise near-unperceivable and all but glared at the guilty eye that eventually shied away from the hole in favor of the rock that reclaimed its spot soon afterward. "I had hoped to learn more of where you came from for a decision being held... but I am not averse to giving you solitude if you desire it," he quietly replied.

The fourth interlude of silence didn't last as long as the others, nor was it broken by Yasha this time. "What is it you want to know?"

Yasha in contemplation paused as he thought of what to say. "What are the people like, if I may ask?"

"... They're not afraid to show what they are when they think no one's watching..."

Yasha would've hummed if he had dared, but nothing escaped him as a sign he heard the child before him who sagged ever so slightly out of what respect he could muster towards the willingness to imply what his past was... "Not a single soul then? To prove otherwise?"

The sixth break had been cut even shorter than its most recent predecessor when it occurred, once more done in by the blond who straightened a little thanks to a newfound sense of life ebbing through him. "There was the Old Man... and the family at Ichiraku's... and Iruka-sensei too..." A worn smile flickered across the general's face and remained there even when he cast a stern eye to a certain priestess who thought she could get away with peaking from behind the doorway's corner that sat behind him.

"Tell me more about them," he finally spoke up upon his attention being restored to the child before him.

XVX

"Over twelve thousand years and you haven't changed in the least." If metallic flesh could blush, the reddened skin would be hard pressed to present itself on dusty red skin. As for the one it could have affected, he did his best to keep the embarrassment brought on by his wife's gentle teasings...

Something he missed dearly once the dust had settled and his daughter returned to him.

"Asura?" Even when her tone was more curious than it was alarmed in any comparison, years of battle had taken a toll over his senses. In tensed puzzlement, the red skinned general of glowing eyes, white hair, and wearing only blue pants encased with flames that had its right legging ripped off at the ankle to showcase the footless greave that guarded the entirety of the shin, turned to his wife and in turn looked to the roof of their more recent accommodations. A quiet huff escaped him and soon his guard lowered upon seeing the cause of his wife's curiosity that faded away to a smile... there on the roof was her brother, his brother-in-law, and the one he had left in there care on the roof being mildly entertained by the gentle swaying of trees that the eye could see from their vantage point.

"Do you think we should convince him?"

"Hm?"

Once more Asura's gaze fell upon his softly smiling wife, Durga. Her smile held as the quizzical look she faced turned to one of understanding that didn't truly yield an answer even when his hardened sight went back to the unsuspecting, perhaps uncaring, duo minding their own day. "He does seem to connect more with my brother than with you, my dear husband." Asura kept up his silence, his wife, seemingly un-offended, turned to the pair as well with her faultless smile. "Of course I don't mind it if we take him as one of our own... I'm sure Mithra would enjoy the company of a sibling despite the age difference. Though it wouldn't nearly be as fun if-" Her smile became more deviously mischievous when her teasing finally elicited the reaction she good naturedly desired with a prankster's glee. Though he glared at her as he fought off a bright blush that shown through despite what should've prevented such a thing occurring so easily, she knew he meant nothing by it other than admitting, against his will in an inadvertent way that she had gotten to him.

"Either way it'll be his choice in the end," he finally spoke up in all seriousness that he could muster in spite of the slight upheaval of his attitude. "The most we can do is present him the option, nothing more."

"Indeed that is true," Durga admitted. She paused as she further studied the two a little longer till she was satisfied and departed as such for their dwelling. "I'll have dinner prepared soon," she gently called out in her retreat.

Asura lagged behind as well as he too mimicked his own wife's action of observing the two and raising a brow as he noticed a rare trait on his brother-in-law that seemed to be shared in all of its characteristics by the blond human sitting next to him, a smile. A worn one... but a smile all the same.

XVX

Book of Shinkoku: Mantra

Main Type: Ritual

Subtype: Forbidden

Resurrection: Interestingly enough this near lost art of Mantra use, or Mantra weaving to be technical, wasn't so much as given such as status so much for its gruesome toll to those who failed it as so much as its potential for misuse in the wrong hands. The cons of this practice however had played a significant part in its banishment from even from the most wizened Grand Priest/Priestess' knowledge.

To perform this ritual someone of significant control over mantra, i.e. a Grand Priest/Priestess, who for a lack of a better term leeches mantra out of whatever source is available in a day long ritual that requires a host of fifty or more persons to be present who have exhibited at least a lesser degree of the Grand Priest/Priestess' own ability to manipulate mantra for the sole purpose of fine tuning and swapping out their own ranks lest their beleaguered numbers contribute to the catastrophic failure that often stole the very life out of its performers when the leeching turns from its intended source, by accident in most recorded cases, to the demigods (to be defined later) who are the only ones capable of using mantra for relatively non-combative purposes.

An irony within itself given that mantra is what keeps them alive as well as the intended result of the ritual in question.

While possible to bring forth a deceased demigod without something of a medium linked directly to them, often an object that the deceased had personal value in, it is preferred when the actual corpse is present if one is available at all so not to unwittingly bring back someone who had no interest or, as feared, loyalty to the Empire...

It should be noted that while the penalty of successfully performing this deed is nothing short of capital punishment, only one Grand Priestess, Mithra, has ever been pardoned since the proclamation that deemed the art of resurrection as a forbidden practice.