Disclaimer: I don't own either Naruto or Bleach
AN: Yes, yes I know. I've been gone for quite some time. Almost three or four months now I believe. My promise about updating at least every month was broken too. Shame. But I am still planning on finishing this story though. So rest assured! At the moment, I don't know how many chapters exactly this story has left, but I do have a rough estimate. I will tell you, though, that this chapter starts the final arc. The moment where everything is finally revealed and all is solved for good. No loose ends. Meh, I did say that it was going to be short, didn't I?
So without anymore delays, let's get on with it!
"Hmm…."- Bijuu, Black Zetsu
Before the Curtain falls
Ken was panting slightly as he stood by the end of the street which intersected with the entrance of the huge tower owned by the Watch. On the ground next to him was Black Zetsu, looking as impassive as ever.
Ken was in a state of confusion. Ever sense they had sneaked out through one of the back entrances of the building, they hadn't heard a single alarm or explosion. Talk about odd. Looking down at his companion, the former CIA agent had to voice his confusion.
"Just what's going on here?"
Black Zetsu was quick to answer. "I'm not entirely sure. The most likely scenario is that there's some kind of barrier around the building. That would also explain a lot of things."
'Like why half of the city isn't here already,' Ken finished in his mind as he looked around. Things were calm, and for some reason not a single of the few passersby noticed the animosity that was Black Zetsu.
Black Zetsu chuckled, something which was unusual for the individual. "I've placed a weak illusion around myself as well. No one can see me right now." It was weak indeed. Even an experienced genin would have been able to figure it out. But with the times changing and humanity no longer even knowing what the concept of chakra was, it did its job.
Ken merely nodded, having come to terms with the weirdness that these group of people could do when he met Anko. "So?" he began, changing topics. "What are we going to do now?"
Black Zetsu looked at him with his single eye, Ken not giving a single clue as to what he was thinking.
"We're not going back in there if that's what you're asking. One of the purposes of us even coming here was to get you out. No, we have other things that we need to take care of."
Ken raised an eyebrow. "And what would those things be?"
Black Zetsu stared deeply at him, almost as if he was looking straight into Ken's soul, making the latter wonder if the weird looking individual even possessed that ability. It would certainly be a bummer alright.
"You've already come to terms that you're one hundred percent involved in this, correct? Because even if you decide to back out now, I don't think that the Watch will be so kindly as to let you walk away just like that."
Ken snorted. "Please. I realized that my shot at a normal was gone when Anko first told me everything about herself. Not that my life was so normal to begin with."
Black Zetsu had a grin on his face as he heard this. "Good. Because there's something that we're going to need your help in. Or rather you're going to need our help with something."
Ken simply looked at Black Zetsu, silently asking him what he meant. Black Zetsu responded in kind.
"As of right now, your effectiveness as a spy has come to an end. There's no more need for espionage. The only thing left is the actual battle itself. And with the way you are right now, you aren't of much use in that regard. That's why Naruto has decided to give you a gift in case you hadn't betrayed us."
"And if I had?"
"We wouldn't be having this conversation because you would be dead."
"Thanks for the heads up…."
It was at this point that a black SUV made its way into the stet, stopping in front of Ken and Black Zetsu with the former being on guard in an instant.
"Don't worry about it. They're friendly."
Ken raised an eyebrow. "'They'?"
"Yo!" The door to the driver's seat was snapped open with a regular looking driver in a black suit being seated, waving excitedly at them.
"These are clones of White Zetsu."
That only raised more questions than answers, but Ken decided to just go with the flow. It certainly beat standing around here alright. Opening the door to the backseats, Ken climbed in to see two other men already in the car, one in the passenger's seat next to the driver and the other on the other side of the backseats. They looked completely identical to the driver.
'Well, now I get the clone part.'
"I'll meet you back at the Uzumaki Inc. tower before we head out to our true destination."
Ken merely nodded at Black Zetsu before closing the door. The car sped off and away from the chaos that was happening unknown to the whole world.
Naruto was in a state of slight confusion at the moment. But that moment didn't last long. Looking around, the immortal Uzumaki found himself in a dark space. But that wasn't the weird part. Not at all. The weird part was what stood in front of him, or rather who did.
There in front of him, tied up in dark glowing chains which spread around his torso, stood the Yonbi. Or Son Goku as Naruto had named the bijuu.
"Calm yourself. We both know that Son Goku died with the other bijuu that day. Or rather they disappeared. This must be the second piece that was broken from the other Juubi which that man created. It's not the original Yonbi. Odds are that he didn't bother with names either."
Naruto had to agree with the sentient sword's assessment on the matter. But he put that in the back of his mind for now. Right now, he had other things to take care of.
"So," he began, "it was you who summoned me in here?"
The Yonbi was quiet for a few seconds, taking his time to inspect Naruto. Finally, the beast answered, "I feel a familiar power to mine radiating within you. That's partly what brought you in here as well. The other part being me."
"And for what reason would that be?"
The Yonbi snarled. "Because of your conflict with that girl and that man. Because maybe you're the only one that can actually put a stop to all of this."
Naruto crossed his hands across his chest, questions beginning to flood his mind. "Slow down. Just what are you talking about here?"
The caged bijuu took a moment to calm himself before he explained the situation to the Uzumaki.
"I'm talking about what that asshole has done to me and all of my other brothers. The ones whom you and your companions have been fighting against."
'The other bijuu….so they really are back.'
"It seems so. Our hypothesis seems to be have been proven correct. They're not the same, and yet, at the same time, they are."
The Yonbi continued. "I don't know exactly for what purpose we exist, but it's most certainly not to obey that man."
Naruto interrupted. "Hold up. Back up a second for me. Do you remember just how you came into existence in the first place?"
The Yonbi nodded. "Of course I do. It's something that I will never forget. I don't remember how long it's been since he's kept us imprison for quite some time. It's only been recently that he decided to seal us into these corpses without a soul. I was confused as to why he would do that, but I understand now."
The bijuu looked at him. "It's to defeat you. But so far, we've done a poor job at it. Not that I really care about that. I'm actually glad. It's given me a chance to speak to you and ask something of you."
Naruto stayed quiet, silently asking the bijuu to ask his request. Sensing this, the bijuu did so.
"As you can see, I'm trapped." Obviously he was referring to the chains wrapped tightly around his torso, arms, legs, and neck. "I'm tied directly to this body. And the only one who can undo this is that bastard himself. Even if you kill him, I doubt that these abominations of chains would come off. And as long as I'm not subdued like you have me now out there in the real world, I will continue to attack whomever my target is."
Naruto t'ched silently at hearing that. He didn't quite like the sound of where this was going. The Seikatsugakari remained silent, merely opting to hearing what the Yonbi had to say.
"Hahaha, basically there's no way to stop me since the corpse of the human that I'm currently inhabited just 'undoes' any damage that it takes. That I'm not too certain how it works, only that it has something to do with that girl's power…."
"That's tricky. From what he's saying, it seems as if Violet has somehow plugged her powers into corpse of the jinchuriki. If they take damage, she uses her powers to rewind the time so as if there had been no damage in the first place. But to this extent. How-"
'Fuinjutsu.' Naruto grinned as he realized this. 'That's the only possible way that I can see this being done.'
"If that's the case, then she might be able to rival Kushina in fuinjutsu. Certainly knocks you out of the park even though you're Uzumaki, even if just half."
Naruto ignored the last comment as the Yonbi continued.
"Under any normal circumstances, that would be the case. But these aren't normal circumstances. You're here, and for some reason, with whatever power you possess, you're able to subdue my own and that bastard's as well."
Naruto was silent as he heard this, almost not one hundred percent himself if what Son said was true. Or more like he wasn't too sure that if he was thinking could possibly be correct. If it was, then the implications that it brought along with it pissed him off. Like, royally so.
The Seikatsugakari chuckled. "It is just as Violet oh so kindly told us: the Watcher isn't what he's been telling you that he is. He's not a god, and most certainly not the creator of your rinnegan. That would also explain a lot of things right now."
Naruto gritted his teeth in slight anger, realizing this as well. 'Yeah. And that's what's pissing me off right now. All this time, he's been playing me, going on all about his vision. And meanwhile he's nothing but a fraud.'
"Don't be too shocked. Things like this happen a lot. You should remember Tobi as a prime example of that. Even your other self as well. But that's irrelevant now. But if the rinnegan does come from Kami's power, and since Kami is the only that could subdue and harm the Juubi because he created it in the first place, then that explains how you're able block both the Watcher's and Violet's power. Because they come from Kami as well. Only Kami's power can do any harm to itself. That also explains how we were able to counter Violet's power back there."
Naruto grinned. 'Yeah. Seems that our initial guess wasn't right. Close, but not correct.'
What both Naruto and the Seikatsugakari had been assuming in the beginning was that Violet's power wasn't time manipulation. But rather, some sort of illusion that made it seem that way. That was why they had thought that Naruto's rinnegan still worked under those conditions. And that's where their guess had come from: the third eye. It could block any illusion that was placed upon its host. Not only that, but also pumping Naruto's body with the Seikatsugakari's energy would have allowed Naruto free movement.
And their guess had been right, but based on wrong assumptions. The Seikatsugakari came into existence because of the Juubi's energy which came from Kami's own. So the Seikatsugakari's energy was in part Kami's power as well. That was how it had been able to nullify Violet's powers. That also explained why Naruto's rinnegan still remained functional even when Violet used her own powers to stop time.
The Yonbi was staring right at him, waiting for the answer to his question. Naruto shook his head as he spoke.
"You shouldn't worry about that too much. It's not really important. I do thank you for this information, though, Son Goku."
'Son Goku' looked surprised. "Son Goku? Who the hell is Son Goku?"
Naruto chuckled as he stepped forward, grabbing hold of the dark glowing chains and ripping them in half. "I'll tell you a little story."
Son Goku merely watched on, happy to gaining his mobility again as well as his curiosity getting the better of him.
"You are actually an extension of myself in a way. I know that you already know this, but your power comes from a part of the a powerful being known as the Juubi. What you should know, however, is that there have been two Juubis created. One was made through the powers of Kami, who is by far the most powerful god out there. But then the Juubi got out of hand so the other gods had it locked up. That was until humanity, Kami's other creation, found it bury deep in their world, this world, and set it free accidentally. This was due to the efforts of a man named Newman who had been chosen by Kami as the first wielder of a new power that he wanted his creations to possess: chakra. But because of this, he was able to unlock the gate that held the beast in check."
Naruto took a breath in before continuing.
"I guess you could say that's where I come in. I've had two lives. In my first life, this man known as Newman was my father. In the awakening of the beast and the destruction that followed in the following years, he died. That was when a power was given to me: the rinnegan. I was able to master it, and through it I managed to seal the beast in me. But that was only a temporary solution. Once I died, the beast would be free. That was why I decided to split its power into nine parts: one of those parts being you."
Son Goku's eyes widened at hearing this.
Naruto grinned. "In some ways, I guess you could say that I'm your father, and you're all my sons. You, Son Goku. And all of your other brothers: Shukaku, Matatabi, Isobu, Kokuo, Saiken, Chomei, Gyuki, and Kurama. Those were the names that I gave you all. You were right when you said that you weren't meant to serve that bastard. You were meant to be whatever it is that you desired to be. But of course, there's always those with ambitions that screw everything up. And that's what I'm out to rectify. To become a god myself so that I can judge others accordingly. I don't care whether one thinks if I have the right to judge others or not, especially with everything that I have done. But I don't care. A god makes his own rule. The only true way to attaining anything thought of as peace is through power and compassion in certain right circumstances. That is my goal. And that is why I stand here asking for your help: will you aid me, Son Goku?"
Son Goku had an unreadable look on his face. "But the control-"
"It's of no problem," interrupted Naruto with a shake of his head. "My power can override the bastard's. I just didn't realize it sooner. With my power, you can be free. I'm offering you the chance to stand by my side again. To make my ambition a reality. And hopefully make yours true as well along the way."
Son Goku grinned, finally shaking the remains of the chains off of his body. "In that case, you don't need to ask twice. It's certainly better than being trapped in here without anything to do but follow whatever that asshole tells me."
Naruto smirked in satisfaction as Son Goku bowed.
"Consider me a part of your group, Uzumaki Naruto. Father."
Yoruichi had to raise an eyebrow in surprise at the scene in front of her. And that scene was Roshi's form transforming back into its human one as Naruto's beams of energy retracted themselves from his body.
"What just happened?"
Isshin, who was standing next to her, shook his head. "Don't ask me. I've been surprised enough as it is with the battle alone. I mean, did you see what these 'shinobi' can do? Imagine thousands, maybe millions, of them doing what these guys are doing right now."
Yoruichi frowned slightly at hearing this. The once shinigami captain had a point. This so called 'chakra' was extremely powerful all right. Perhaps even more powerful than their own energy in some ways. And that was a scary thought indeed. To think that humans once had this power…..no, they still did. They were just ignorant of it. But ignorance equaled not having it all in this case. After all, of what use was a power that you couldn't control or knew of? Not much at all all right.
"Something tells me that these guys are just the top ones. I mean, they couldn't all have been this powerful…right?"
Isshin didn't answer his fellow shinigami for he didn't know the answer himself. Although there was some credibility to what Yoruichi said. In every group, there were always the elites, those who were the strongest. And the shinobi must have been no different. In other words, Naruto, Kushina, and the others must have been the elites, or the strongest, of the shinobi.
Or at least, that was what Isshin was hoping for anyway.
With Naruto, the rinnegan wielder released a huge breath as he fell to the ground on one knee, holding the unconscious Fuka close to him.
This day had been full of surprises all right. Looking down at Fuka, Naruto ran a hand through her red locks, his look turning into troubled one.
'What's happened to her?'
"I think that it has to do with your power that resides in her."
'What are you talking about?'
"Think about it. The Juubi's chakra, which you adapted to easily thanks to your background, isn't as stable in others."
'But that doesn't make any sense! Fuka is also an Uzumaki, so she's also one of the Sennin's umm my descendants. She should be able to withstand the Juubi's chakra.'
"And she can. Look at how much time has passed since you implanted some of your chakra into her. But that's not what I'm referring to."
Now Naruto was getting irritated, so much that he himself wasn't thinking about the matter rationally. 'Then what are you referring to?'
The Seikatsugakari sighed in slight irritation. If there was one flaw that never changed with Naruto was that he cared too much about the people close to him. It made him not think rationally when one of those said people were in danger.
"The Juubi's power is lethal, Naruto. In more ways than one. Like I've said, you've managed to adapt to it so easily because of who and what you are, in both aspects as well. Mainly that you're already a dark son of a bitch. But more to the point, that it's become your natural power source. The same cannot be said for Fuka and the others. Unlike you, the Juubi's chakra is not their main power. It's their natural chakra. The Juubi's chakra is still in there, though. And now that it's resurfaced instead of sitting there to make her immortal- "
Realization dawned upon Naruto at this point. After he had calmed down of course. 'It's knocking away at Fuka's consciousness.' Of course. This situation reminded Naruto of the past, more specifically the battle that he had witnessed between Sasuke and Itachi. Except that in Fuka's case, the Juubi's chakra was her Orochimaru. But that still left another question, whose answer Naruto had finally figured out.
'The Juubi chakra is going through a similar process of how you were created, isn't it? It's forming its own consciousness.'
Naruto t'ched as he got the gist of the situation. It wasn't pretty or welcomed, especially under these circumstances. Shaking his head, Naruto stood up as he carried the unconscious Fuka bridal style. He needed to return back to the beach house and have Kushina see if she could do anything to help Fuka. Although, Naruto had a gut feeling that that wouldn't do much help. But he could think about it when he got there. He still had to deal with the new arrival.
Both Yoruichi and Isshin walked towards him and the still kneeling Roshi or rather Son Goku who was trying to get used to the new body he now had without anyone controlling him.
As they stopped in front of him, Isshin sent a weary glance towards Son Goku's newly owned body. "Is he-"
"You don't have to worry about him anymore," interrupted Naruto with a small shake of his head. "He's not being controlled anymore, and he's agreed to help us out."
"So?" All eyes were drawn towards Yoruichi. "What are we going to do now?"
"We're heading back. We have to prepare for the next time we clash with these guys."
Yoruichi pursed her lips in thought. 'Urahara did say to stick close to this guy. Not to mention that Isshin seems to trust him,' she thought as she glanced at said shinigami. She knew that underneath that goofy exterior, there was a battle hardened shinigami captain. Not to mention that said man had the skills to back it up. Yoruichi also knew what had happened to Isshin's daughters too. It was why Ichigo had even gotten involved in this mess again. It was also the same reason why he had gone to see Urahara for help.
'And he's betting that this guy will help fix this mess,' she finished in her mind as she looked at Naruto's indifferent face. 'I guess I'm going to have to come along with him then. But still…..something's off about him.' Needless to say, she didn't trust the rinnegan wielder. Not at all.
She finally nodded. "I'm coming along then."
But Naruto wasn't paying any attention to her at all. Instead, his attention was focused on Roshi, or rather Son. He knew that the bijuu wasn't the same Son Goku as the one that had lived during the Shinobi Era. But their personality and appearance were still the same. And that was enough for Naruto.
'It's time to finally regain a little of what I lost that day…..' His mind was made up.
Walking towards the still kneeling Son, Naruto stopped in front of him. "It's time to go, Son. We still have your other siblings to rescue. And make the bastard who did this to all of you pay."
Son stopped the inspection of his new body as Naruto's words reached his ears. Standing up, Son merely nodded at him. And Naruto understood what the bijuu was trying to say: he felt the same way as Naruto did.
Looking at the still unconscious woman in his arms, Naruto remembered that he still needed to do something about her situation. Finally, he turned to the other two.
"We need to go. Preparations need to be made."
Both shinigami warriors simply nodded, with Yoruichi in a bit more annoyed matter. It was obvious that she was ticked off at being ignored.
The entire group took off towards the rooftops of the metropolis, seeing it as the quickest way to get to their destination with Naruto in the front.
'I hope Black Zetsu managed to accomplish his part of the mission…..'
Kushina held her head as she felt another headache threatening to appear. Where had the days gone when her biggest concern was what dress to wear to whatever high class party she needed to attend? Then again, it had been that way of living that had broken her new family apart with them finally losing one of their own to finally see how they were living their lives was wrong.
Massaging her forehead, the redhead leaned back in her chair. It had been almost thirty minutes since the old woman, or 'Izanami,' had left. But her words still echoed inside Kushina's mind.
'Naruto will become the same as her husband? That he will abandon everything?' It was impossible! At least, to her it was. While the rinnegan wielder had indeed lost the fire within him after the Shinobi world collapsed, he had never once stopped caring for anyone of them. Her, Fuka, and Anko. Hell, probably even Zetsu for that matter. They were probably the only reason he hadn't killed himself in all of their years of living.
'She must have been playing some sort of trick on me. That's it.' It did make more sense to the redhead. But that still didn't mean that the old woman wasn't dangerous. Kushina had felt a strange energy coming from her, and if her sudden appearance was anything to go by, she no doubt had power to back up that energy.
White Zetsu made his appearance on the wall in front of her, his usual grin not currently on his face. "One of my clones just made contact with Black Zetsu."
'Finally.' Raising an eyebrow, she turned towards him, her arms crossed under her chest. "And?"
"The mission appears to have gone well. Ken is on his way over here. It shouldn't take him more than five minutes to arrive."
Here White Zetsu hesitated a little. "That….is still not sure. All that Black Zetsu knows is that Naruto battled against that Violet girl again before he felt a sudden strange rise of power coming from somewhere. But he wasn't able to confirm from whom it was coming from."
Kushina t'ched. Things never went as planned. And she hated that with every fiber of her being. "Did Naruto at least beat that girl?"
White Zetsu shrugged. "We don't know that either. Black Zetsu wasn't-"
The white creation made from Hashirama's cells paused as if he was listening to something. Kushina raised another eyebrow at seeing this but understood what was happening a second later. He was probably getting new information from one of the other White Zetsu clones.
A few moments later, White Zetsu began speaking again. "Naruto is on his way back with that shinigami person and some purple haired woman. Along with who appears to be the Yonbi jinchuriki."
Kushina was on her feet immediately. "Did he manage to capture him!" She dismissed the purple haired woman comment for the moment.
White Zetsu shook his head. "It doesn't look like it. He's not cuffed or anything. No seals to suppress his chakra either."
'What could this mean?'
"Oh, and Naruto's also carrying Fuka who appears to be unconscious too."
Now that sounded like trouble.
The redhead made her way towards the exit of the room. "Tell some of your clones to prepare a room. Something tells me that we're going to have a problem in our hands. Oh, and informed Black Zetsu to look out after Ken. Naruto will want to have a chat with him," she added the last part as an afterthought.
White Zetsu nodded as he sank back into the wall, intent on carrying his orders.
More questions than answers were in the redhead's mind as she made her way back upstairs. But one thing was clear: she wasn't about to let another one of her family die. Not if she could help it.
Ken tried to suppress a yawn as he looked at his surroundings. But that quickly bored him too. After all, the house appeared to be like none other: furniture, carpets, doors, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary.
'And here I thought that they lived like some sort of alien species,' he mused in his mind. The former CIA agent shook his head at the thought. Just because they possessed some sort of power that other humans didn't did not mean that they weren't human. He should have learned that from going out with Anko.
Looking down at the floor, Ken knew that the…..creature calling himself Black Zetsu was probably there keeping an eye on him. Not being able to resist, the dark haired man began a conversation.
"So….what exactly do you guys want from me?"
Just as Ken had guessed, Black Zetsu sprung up from within the floor, the same indifferent look on his face as usual. So if he was surprised that Ken had managed to fugue it out that he was there, he didn't show it.
"We don't want anything from you. There's nothing that you could possibly give us at this point."
Ken raised an eyebrow. "If that's the case, then why bring me here?" The man still remembered what Black Zetsu had told him back at the Watch tower. Had he been tricked? Would he die today where no one would know about it? Because that would really suck.
Black Zetsu shook his head. "You're misunderstanding something. We're going to give you something because that something will help you in getting what you want."
Ken sent him an amused look. "And how could you possibly know what I want I wonder?"
Black Zetsu shook his head again. "Not me. I could care less about you. If you died right now, I wouldn't shed a single tear." Not that he thought he could even if he wanted to. But he didn't say that part out loud. Carrying on, he said, "If there's one thing that Naruto understands is that everyone always wants to get even. You could call it a part of human nature. And he himself has had a personal experience at knowing that feeling."
Black Zetsu recalled to the time when he and Obito first teamed up. At the time, he already knew everything that Madara had planned, even more so than Obito did in some ways. He was, after all, almost an extension of Madara himself. He knew what Madara had planned for Naruto. So when he first saw the then blond fight against Sasuke in the Valley of the End, he was, in a way, disappointed. The boy just didn't match with what Madara had been hoping for him to become.
And then things changed. He disappeared out of the blue one day before returning, a completely different person than before and making everything that Madara had foreseen true. And all because the boy wanted to get even with the people that made his life a living hell. Black Zetsu had known from the beginning that Naruto's excuse for doing it to avenge his clan was a facade, even if said excuse was the final trigger that pushed him over the edge. The boy had finally succumbed to the darkness within him.
Ken for his part closed his eyes, sighing. "Anko."
Black Zetsu nodded. "Exactly. You probably have more reason than even Naruto to get some payback for what happened to her. And he knows this."
Ken chuckled as he opened his eyes, looking straight at Black Zetsu. "So he's manipulating me is what you're trying to say." Black Zetsu didn't comment on this. "And you're letting me know this because…..?"
Black Zetsu shrugged. "Call it a whim if you will. Like I've said, we don't exactly need anything from you. It's what you want from us. Power. Strong enough power to do something about this whole mess."
Ken grinned. "Good enough words I guess. But don't worry. I've known that I was being manipulated for a while now. And not just by Naruto. But others as well. I've been manipulated my whole life thanks to the profession I chose. I guess it was one of the reasons why I wanted out, even if I didn't want to admit it to myself."
Looking up towards the ceiling, the man let a bitter smile befall on his face. "The only difference this time being that I simply don't care. All I want is to hurt that bastard in the same way that he hurt me."
This was the second time that Ken had allowed himself to freely express how much Anko's death had hurt him, the first being when he had first heard about her death.
"Good to hear that."
Ken's eyes shot towards the now open doorway that led outside into the hallway. Standing there was Naruto in his usual civilian getup, his blue greenish eyes looking at Ken in a calculating manner.
"How long have you been there?"
"Long enough to hear what I needed to hear."
Ken took notice of Black Zetsu sinking back into the floor or whatever it was called. That only left him and Naruto in the living room.
Ken stood up, sighing slightly. "Well, now that you know that I'm prepared to help you in this, what exactly are you going to give me that will help me keep up with you guys?"
Naruto gave him a signal to follow him which Ken obeyed. The duo began walking towards the right wing of the house in silence. Finally, Naruto broke it.
"I don't exactly care what kind of relationship you had with Anko." Ken's eyes were on him as he continued. "It's quite obvious that she was fond of you. And that's enough for me. I let my own personal problems keep me away from her and the others when I should have asked them for help. I wasn't the only one suffering either. But I guess that even my eyes didn't help me see that."
Ken remained silent, letting Naruto tell him whatever it was that he wanted to say.
"Because of that, there might be things about her that only you know, personal things. And I'm not going to ask you to tell me either. She trusted you with them, so there yours only. And it's because of this that you may have more reason to get even with that bastard for killing her just like that than I do. But the way you are now, you wouldn't be able to do anything."
"I already heard this from Black Zetsu," Ken commented. "So just get to the point."
Naruto sent him a small grin as they stopped in front of a closed room. "Fine. What I'm about to give you is a gift from one of my long dead friends. A gift from him too you could say. And I'm entrusting you with this."
Naruto opened the door as he continued, "This gift will help you fight alongside us to be able to make a difference in what's to come."
They walked inside to see Kushina standing by the bed which was in the middle of the room. All around it were different sorts of medical machinery that Ken didn't bother to identify. He was more interested in what this 'gift' that Naruto was talking about was.
He looked at him through his peripherals, keeping the redhead who was making her way towards in his sight. "Well? What exactly are you planning on giving me here?"
Naruto shook his head, a small grin on his face. "Don't worry. You'll see after the…..operation is over. I like to keep things a bit more interesting and surprise you. You can say it's for my own amusement too."
Ken didn't respond. But he had to say that the guy's idea of amusement was pretty weird. Although it did serve to irritate him a little. Still, he decided to go along with it. After all, just like both Black Zetsu and Naruto had told him, they didn't want anything from him. And Ken knew why: it was because he had nothing to offer.
That was why he let Kushina put him in bed. It was why he didn't raise any objections when Kushina injected him with something. It was also why he didn't fight when he felt his eyes getting heavy before he fell unconscious.
Naruto looked at the now unconscious man due to the heavy set of drugs that Kushina had put in him. He turned towards said redhead as she finished some of her final preparations.
"Will this really work?"
Kushina raised an eyebrow at in a coy manner. "Oh? Now you ask this? Maybe it would have been better before I put him under," she teased.
Naruto chuckled. "Yeah, yeah. My mistake. But with what happened with Fuka, it just sort of slipped my mind."
Kushina shook her head before turning towards one of the monitors. "In theory, yes, this should work. Unlike most humans today, Ken here has a high enough chakra in him to both survive this and use Obito's sharingan efficiently. Anko really knew how to pick them."
Naruto didn't reply. His mind went back to the plan that he had come up with just before he had gone off towards the Watch tower in order to confront the Watcher or Violet, or both.
It was simple really. What Naruto decided to do was to do the same thing that Kakashi had managed to do. But instead of doing it on himself, he wanted to duplicate it on Ken. The man was strong. Naruto knew that. Especially when said man was trying to do exactly what Naruto himself had once done: revenge. It was driving him on, and Naruto knew how he could put that to use.
The only problem with that was how much chakra Ken possibly had. In today's time, most humans had even less than that of a regular civilian during the Shinobi era. Meaning, it was extremely low. But Ken seemed to be something of an anomaly. Black Zetsu had already informed him how much chakra the man had. It equaled to something that an average chunnin, maybe even a low jonin, shinobi would have. And that was much higher than any other person Naruto had seen so far. With training, it could get higher too. It amazed him how simple ignorance had stopped the man from ever tapping into that power.
"It's a shame that we don't know what Obito did with the other eye that he took from Kakashi," commented Naruto. Black Zetsu had told him about what had happened with Obito's confrontation with Tsunade and Kakashi in the Kage summit and what the Uchiha had done. But it seemed as if Obito hadn't wanted his other eye to be stored for whatever reason.
Kushina agreed. "True. If Mikoto-chan had known that he had gotten the other eye, she would have probably asked him to give it to her so that she could store it. Just like she did with Tobi's. Maybe he didn't want that and that's why he kept its location a secret."
'Possibly.' But Naruto shook the thought away a moment later. Whatever the Uchiha's motives, Naruto respected them. Obito had earned that much at least.
"And Fuka? How is she doing?"
Here Kushina sighed as she turned towards him. "She's fine. Her physical condition hasn't changed from when she left here this morning. What's more troubling is her mental stability if what your sword said is true. Not only that, but I don't know if it could happen to me as well. And what would happen then."
Naruto sighed as well. "If I had known this was going to be result of giving you three the Juubi's chakra, I never-"
"Don't even start with that."
Naruto paused as he heard the steel in the redhead's voice. "I'm not blaming you for this. And I'm pretty sure Fuka won't. This is just the Juubi's chakra acting up just like it's always done in the past. You of all people should know how stubborn that beast was." Kushina shook her head. "Even so, Fuka is strong. She'll make it through this. And I'll do anything I can to help her with that."
Naruto smiled lightly at hearing that before he embraced the woman, hugging her tightly. "Have I told you how much I love you?"
Kushina laughed, the sound muffled by his chest. "Not recently. But I expect to hear it more often from now on."
Naruto grinned at that.
"But more importantly, you need to explain to me in more detail just how exactly this whole business with Son even happened. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that."
Naruto shook his head as he released her from his hug. "Later. Right now, there's an operation to be done."
Kushina nodded at the reminder. "Yeah, ok. I'll tell you when I'm finished."
Naruto turned to leave, sending her a wave as he closed the door after him.
And all the while Kushina fought back the guilt from not telling him about her encounter with Izanami.
"Are we really just going to sit here and wait for the next few days?"
Isshin grinned at hearing his fellow shinigami's annoyance. Currently the two shinigami agents were outdoors in the back of the house, the beach sitting below them.
"Yes. The next stage for this little war is the Conference. Or have you forgotten that?"
Yoruichi fought back a retort. Instead, she sagged a bit, knowing that there was nothing else that she could do now but wait. And she hated waiting.
Isshin chuckled at seeing this, his gaze following the rolling waves of the ocean as he stood next to his fellow shinigami. "Tell me…..how are things going with Urahara? Is Ichigo close to regaining his powers?"
Yoruichi grinned. "What do you think? He's your kid, after all."
Isshin smiled at hearing that. "So there's progress then."
"More than progress. I don't think it'll take long before we see him back over here, shinigami powers at hand and all. The brat has always been determined like that, especially when his friends are involved. And these are his sisters that are on the line here."
Yoruichi regretted ever commenting on that the moment the words rolled off her tongue. Glancing as discreetly as she could, the purple haired shinigami saw a look of worry pass over the man. And that's when she realized that this waiting around affected him a helluva lot more than it did to her. After all, it wasn't her daughters' lives that were on the line here. But that also made her wonder how he could even stand waiting. Why didn't he rush off and look for them himself?
'Does he really trust this Naruto guy that much?'
It made her wonder.
Violet had a troubled look on her face, a look which hadn't been on her face ever since that night that her parents were murdered. And the source of her trouble came from exactly what Naruto had managed to pull off. Not only had he finally been able to best her, but he had also managed to brake free one of the bijuus, putting all the others in risk at being taken as well.
Needless to say, this turn of events was troubling. A lot.
Currently she was in one of the other private jets owned by the Watch corporation. Making a lot of money surely did have its advantages. In one of the seats in front of her was Fu, still as a rock as she sat there, gazing into space. They were currently on their way to Geneva where the international conference was to be held. That's where they needed to be for when they would finally announce their presence to the world.
'If he did that for that old man, what's stopping him from attempting it to doing it on her too?' wondered Violet before shaking the thought away. Fu was dead. So were the other jinchuriki. Now all that remained were the shells that were their bodies which housed the second creations of all the bijuu. But that still didn't mean that Naruto wouldn't attempt to do it again in order to cripple the Watcher's forces.
'I wonder how he'll take this?' she thought with a slight flinch at the thought. Violet already knew that the Watcher must have been aware of how she had lost the Yonbi. They were connected to his power, after all. But even so, she was still the one that would have to report it to him.
And for once in her life, she wasn't feeling in the mood to joke about the situation.
Kami could only sigh as he saw the state in which everything was progressing. It wasn't looking too good. At this rate, his entire hope would blow up in his face. And that's the last thing that he wanted to happen.
'I wonder if letting him go was the right choice…..' Even he didn't know the answer to that. And he was Kami! Still, he reminded himself, this was all important in order to make up for the mistake in his past. And he was prepared to do anything to amend it.
Looking up, he spoke, "I know you're there, Izanami-chan. And you don't have to worry. My brother is currently too occupied to notice your presence."
Without a word, Izanami appeared from the shadows in one of the corners in Kami's chamber. Instead of the death god's gloomy and dark one, Kami's private chamber seemed to radiate light and happiness. Still, the goddess didn't put much thought into that.
"As good as ever, Kami."
"As sneaky as ever, Izanami-chan," replied Kami with a grin.
Izanami had long since gotten used to Kami adding the -chan suffix to her title. She didn't quite like it, but there was nothing she could do about it.
"Did you really have to spook Kushina-chan that much? Hmm? Just because of pure jealousy?"
Izanami pursed her lips, fighting the urge to scream Kami's head off. Even though he was usually in his happy-go-lucky attitude, Izanami knew how deceptive Kami really was. Almost nothing escaped him. Actually, Izanami wondered if there was anything that could.
"That isn't what I came here to talk to you about, Kami."
Kami sighed as he leaned back in his own throne. He already knew exactly what the goddess in front of him came to tell him.
"I know why you're here. And I only have to ask why? It's been ages since my brother did what he did to you, even by our standards. So why?"
Izanami smirked. "A woman's scorn remember? Women don't tend to forget things as betrayal that easily, especially since the asshole who did it isn't one bit sorry about it."
Kami sighed again, sadness appearing in his eyes. "All that I have to tell you is that if you plan to go through with whatever it is that you're planning on doing is that you will have officially made an enemy out of me."
"I'm not worried about that," replied Izanami as she turned away from him. "When that happens, I wouldn't mind death one bit."
Kami didn't reply to that.
There was a moment of silence before Izanami asked, "If you already know what my intentions are, then why don't just kill me now? I know I can't defeat you. It's why I'm here after all. So that I'm sure you won't interfere."
Kami forced a grin on his face. "I could always be lying, you know." When she didn't reply, he continued, "As for why I'm not stopping you right now, it's because I'm hoping that you'll change your mind on the matter. That's all."
"What a stupid thought." That was all that she had to say before she vanished.
Turning his focus back on the other realms, all that Kami had to do now was wait. Wait until the last stage of his plan came into action. And it would all come possible because of one person, the same individual that had carried out his first plan in the past.
'And when it's all over, I'll finally be able to give him his reward for having finally achieved peace.'
Even though the prize was going to be heavy. It already had been. But Kami was prepared to bear the burden. After all, he had been doing it all along. A little more waiting was nothing to him.
'Now, let's see how this tale ends…..'
Again, I'm really sorry for my absence, especially with this story. But let's just say that my life has been really hectic these past few months, especially with school. My only relief is that it's almost over. Just less than a month before I'm out.
That being said, I don't know when I'll update again though. My summer is really busy too. But I'll try to make things work somehow. I really am planning on finishing this. That you don't have to worry about.
Now, unto the chapter itself, your thoughts will be appreciated. From those who are still here anyway. And yes, this is finally almost over. Like I told you when I posted the first chapter, this one wasn't going to be as long as the first season. Not even close.
Oh, and if I didn't say this already, happy New Years! Late, I know. But better late than never right?
Anyway, till next time. Whenever that is.