Note: I was able to bring my computer to my friends' house so that I could post this chapter. I haven't quite fixed everything yet and we're still recovering from the damage but I'm sure it won't be long until we fix our Wi-Fi. Thank you for being patent.
The walk back to Konoha had been all but silent. After waking up on the bridge, Kakashi and Sakura looked everywhere for the rest of their team. They then, mysteriously, found the two back in their beds at Tazuna's house, untouched.
The only thing out of order was a strange mark on Sasuke's neck. Kakashi was easily able to identify it as the curse mark and sealed it while Sasuke was unconscious. Kakashi was on guard more than ever, due to the involvement of Orochimaru but it was clear that whatever the snake had wanted he had already accomplished.
After waking up, the boys refused to talk about what occurred after they all passed out on the bridge. Both suspects only gave brief excuses like "I don't remember". Kakashi knew they were lying but had to let them be.
The walk back to Konoha had been all but silent. It seemed whatever happened to the pair put them in deep thought. Neither said a word on the journey home and only spoke briefly when spoken to.
They arrived at Konoha around early morning, Kakashi said that he would handle the mission report so that everyone else could get home and have a well-deserved rest, much to Naruto's pleasure. If there was anyone he would rather NOT see it was his *father*.
This was what he was always waiting for. A chance to obtain more power.
Ever since he had become Genin his progress levels had decreased greatly. In the academy there was plenty of time to grow strong and study independently but everything changed after entering team 7.
There lazy sensei taught them almost nothing and all these pathetic missions had been wasting his time. There last mission was nothing but a fluke and even then it only showed him how weak he still was.
The Village was holding him back. How was he supposed to kill Itachi if he never grew stronger?
He had only been with Orochimaru for 20 minutes top and the Sanin already made him stronger than Konoha did in 6 years.
He could feel the curse mark. The power that emanated from it. The voices were no longer there but he could clearly feel the energy that practically oozed out of it.
Orochimaru's offer was a no brainer. The only problem was Naruto.
He really didn't know how to feel about Naruto. They had been having a bit of a cold war and all these thoughts about Orochimaru didn't make it any better.
He knew how cautious Naruto was and that he had trust issues. The blond wouldn't leave without good reason.
In the end there was two options. Convincing him to join Orochimaru or leaving him behind.
Convincing Naruto would be hard, almost impossible. Joining Orochimaru had many hidden risks and there was so much they didn't know about. For all they knew it could be a trap. Naruto wasn't the kind of person to jump blindly into anything.
Leaving him behind might be the only option.
Sasuke couldn't stay. He just couldn't. Itachi was too strong and he needed all the power he could get. The Leaf was just dragging him down.
He loved Naruto like a brother but they both knew that he would do anything to accomplish his goals. That was the kind of relationship they had.
Naruto didn't have to walk the same dark path as him.
"Maybe leaving Naruto is for the best…."
To say he was exhausted was an understatement. Mentally and physically he was at his breaking point. Naruto was looking forward to a nice warm shower and a long rest.
Orochimaru's offer was a no brainer. There was no way he was going to join some psychopathic pedophile. Orochimaru was nothing but trouble and although he would be learning ten times faster, the risks far out weighted the rewards.
Sasuke however was a wild card. He knew Sasuke a lot, and he also knew that Sasuke was a lot more power-hungry then he was. Simply because….
Naruto's family neglected him. It hurt to not be loved, to know that your family didn't care about you. To have never celebrated your birthday with your loved Ones. To have never known the touch of your own mother. It hurt a lot.
But that doesn't quite compare to having your whole family murdered in front of your own eyes and by your brother nonetheless. To have been cursed to watch him murder your mother and father again and again through genjutsu. The pain and hatred that Sasuke had far out weighted his own.
Sasuke was more desperate. Desperate for anything that could make him stronger. That's why Naruto was worried. There was no doubt in his mind that this would tempt Sasuke but he wasn't sure what to do about it.
In the end there was two options. Convince Sasuke to stay or go with Sasuke to Orochimaru.
Forcing Sasuke to stay would never work. He was stronger than Sasuke but bringing him back kicking and screaming would only result with the Uchiha in prison. Naruto understood perfectly well why Sasuke was seeking power and to force him to stay was just cruel. He would never be able to call Sasuke his brother after something like that.
Convincing him to stay would be even harder than forcing him but if it worked then there would be no nasty side effects. It was along shot but he had to keep his brother away from that molesting creep.
The last option was to go with Sasuke to Orochimaru. He didn't want to but out of all the option it was probably the best.
By going with Sasuke, he would be able to keep Sasuke from doing anything stupid and watch over him. It would also give him the chance to train with out worry of being caught and advance to the next level.
If anything ever went wrong they could just kill Orochimaru and escape but that would be a last resort. The thought of killing that prick made Naruto excited.
"Wait wait wait, am I actually considering this," thought Naruto going into deeper thought. But seriously…
Leaving with Sasuke meant leaving his family.
Wasn't that what he was trying to do all along? Wasn't he trying to leave that hellhole of a home in the first place?
This might be his only chance. Why was he hesitating? What was it that was making him want to stay?
Naruto continued to think as he opened the door to the Namikaze house and walked inside. Naruto didn't even take two steps until he heard the sound of his laughing parents and sister.
From his point of view he could see over the kitchen counter and into the living room were the rest of the family was located.
There they were all cuddled up on the couch in their pajamas, watching a funny movie and laughing away. They looked like they had been there for quite some time and they looked like the perfect family.
Naruto continued to look with a sad smile on his face, gazing at them with eyes filled with jealousy.
"Forget resting… I need some training to clear my mind", thought Naruto as he quickly slipped out the doors again.
Naruto walked to his secluded training area. He had found this area when he was a kid. It was nothing special, just a natural clearing with a few things he added himself. The area itself was next to a large river that helped with Suiton Jutsu's and cooling off.
It was past the village gates and far enough to where he couldn't be detected. Naruto had been very paranoid when it came to the suppression seals he applied, so no one would feel the chakra or reitsu of his training.
As Naruto started to practice his kenjutsu kata's, a voice entered his head. "What do yah thing you're doing little runt, we still got training to do" Yelled Hollow, half amused half angry.
"Oh, Hollow long time no talk. Who woke your grumpy ass up?" asked Naruto, not really caring either way. He was just happy he got more bloodline training.
"You did, who wouldn't after that stunt you pulled in Wave?" Spoke the hollow, "It took you long enough but you finally unlocked all your reitsu. Now I can really start training you".
Naruto gulped. He didn't really like the sound of that. The training up until now was hell, so what was this about really training.
Hollow saw the look on his hosts face and smirked darkly, "Were gonna have a blast"
Time skip: Midnight
It was already late and they had been hunting this one hollow for hours. Usually it would have been much easier to track a lower level hollow like this one, but for some reason there had been and increase in hollow reitsu that caused interference.
"We're almost there, I can feel it" spoke Kushina as they picked up the pace. The mother daughter duo raced through the forest growth to intercept their target.
Recently with the increase of Hollow activity, the creatures seemed to have become bolder with the attacks. The death tolls of innocent souls had been increasing. What ever was causing them to become more restless had to be stopped.
This particular hollow they were hunting had a tendency to lure out specific prey into the forest and kill them, but that stopped tonight.
Kushina and Natsumi emerged from the forest canopy and landed into a small natural clearing. "On guard Natsumi. He's here"
"Oh, so the prey comes to me this time. I'm sure you'll be more tasty than my last meal" spoke the hollow as it blurred past them with insane speeds, leaving a small claw mark on Natsumi's leg and then disappearing once more.
Natsumi only flinched, keeping an indifferent façade. On the inside she was a bit scarred.
Natsumi had only recently started hunting hollows with her mother. So far they had only dealt with small, low-level hollows. Every battle so far had been an easy victory with all the training she went through.
Although this time was different. She could tell this one was strong. Stronger than any other hollow she had faced before.
But it didn't matter. She would overcome any challenge because with all these hollows running loose, innocent souls were consumed.
Natsumi had to do this to protect the people she loved.
"My, My, aren't I lucky? A Shinigami and a half. I'll enjoy FEASTING ON YOUR SOULS," Screamed the hollow as it blurred into view again, clashing against Kushina's Zanpakto.
After pushing it away Natsumi finally got a good look at their attacker. The hollow was pure white, with a lean/compact build, clearly designed for speed.
The actual shape of it somewhat represented the form of a lizard standing on its hind legs. It had a vicious, arrow like tail that looked like it was used to impale its prey. The claws of the hollow were elongated and crazy sharp. The jaws of it snapped open showing of his small razor like teeth.
Most intimidating of all was the classic yellow eyes of the hollow that signified it as a rogue beast. Natsumi could feel the gaze of the monster dissecting her like some science project.
The hollow however was clearly the more anxious one as it charged into battle with a demonic hiss. The creature, although stronger than the previous hollows, was not very strong intelligence wise. It's seemed to be fighting by pure instinct instead of planning his moves.
If the lizard was actually using its head then the girls would've been in trouble because so far they were only able to fight it to a stalemate.
"I'm really out of shape," thought Kushina as she dodged another slash, panting slightly. She had been fighting small fries for so long that her skills became dulled. She couldn't believe she would have to use her Shikai on this weakling.
"Natsumi, let's do it. Time to die you bastard," yelled Kushina as she channeled her spiritual energy. "Rattle, Gyokaigan Ai" suddenly there was a flash of light and when all was clear there was the distinct feeling of reitsu floating though the air.
Replacing Kushina's classic Katana was a long, spiked chain in her arms. The chain was dark grey in color, almost black, and seemed to sparkle in the moonlight. Thick fang like barbs decorated the chain from top to bottom.
The chain was long, very long and the extra that was not carried in her hands was wrapped around her body like an extension of her soul. At the very end there was a sharp point resembling a kunai. The blade seemed longer than a standard kunai and there was strange marking that tattooed the end blade.
The spikes didn't seem to bother her as she readjusted them and begun to swing the chain with a vicious grin.
Natsumi saw her mother released her Shikai and soon mimicked her actions and began released her own. This was her first time using her Shikai in an actual combat situation so she was a little nervous.
"Burn Away The Evil, Ten'en" Yelled Natsumi with the utmost concentration. A scorching blast of warm air exploded outwards and everyone, including the hollow, shielded their eyes. As all the dust cleared Natsumi stood there with waving hair and an aura of power, holding to scimitars in place of her usual Katana's.
The scimitars were perfectly identical to each other both sporting charcoal black hilts with a golden trim to it. The guards still maintained there usual spiral but the blades changed the most.
Instead of the usual Katana blades were two long curved blades with a deadly sharp tip. The blades color was that of a normal sword but it seemed to glow red like a superheated steal which was probably what it was. If you listened closely you could hear the small sizzling noise that the hot metal produced.
Running though the middle of the blade was a futuristic line that traveled from the bottom to the top of the blade (Think something like Tron). The line was a glowing dark red, the color of molten lava and stuck out the most out of all the new details.
Natsumi then took a ready stance as the fiery heat of her determination rolled of her in waves.
The lizard hollow stood frozen but seemed to slowly start to regain its confidence and spoke out in its guttural voice, "So you get some little power boast. Big deal. But that doesn't change the fact that I'M GOING TO KILL YOU HAHAHA".
After finishing its little pep talk the hollow took off at full speed, looking to end the fight as soon as possible. The claws of the beast were then intercepted by the swords of Natsumi and they seemed to be in a dead lock before the lizard's claws began to melt from the heat of Ten'en.
The hollow-backed off and looked at his claws in horror before it was shook from its grieving with a strong kick to the mid-section by Kushina.
For the first time in its pitiful existence the hollow was scared. Never before had it been confronted by those containing power greater than it's own. What could he do? Only high-level hollows had special abilities to aid them in battle and low levels were left with nothing but the default abilities given at birth.
His speed and claws had already been proven infective and it had nothing left to resort to. The hollow could only quiver in fear as it was brutally pinned to a tree by the barbed chain of Kushina Namikaze.
"Mom what are you doing, why haven't you killed it yet?" asked a confused Natsumi. Her mother had never hesitated to end the life of a hollow, what was going on?
"I need to question the hollow first", said Kushina as she turned to face her prisoner. "There has been a drastic increase in hollow activity. Why have so many hollows suddenly started attacking humans?" asked Kushina. She had to find out the reason for the beasts boldness. There was only two current soul reapers in this plain and there was only so much her and her daughter could handle before things got out of hand.
The bound hollow chuckled in a way were you couldn't tell whether it was amused or nervous, "I ain't telling you shit, you crazy bitch".
The hollow continued to chuckle until it's quite laughter turned into an ear-piercing scream. The chains holding the hollow could be seen constricting and tightening. The barbs of the chains slowly ripping the lizard apart.
"I will get my answers, one way or another", spoke Kushina darkly. The lives of innocent people were on the line and the only thing stopping her from saving them was some prick lizard that was going to die either way.
The hollow began to grin, the grin itself wasn't the thing that almost made then shit themselves, it was the pure insanity in the beast's eyes as it began to speak, "He is finally here. He has finally awakened. The bringer of death and destruction.
A NEW KING HAS BEEN CHOSEN HAHAHAHA DIE YOU FUCKERS".
Those were its last words as its metallic bonds shredded the hollow to pieces, ending its insane speech and leaving both Kushina and Natsumi both equally terrified.
"Something horrible is coming, and this is only the beginning…"
Man things have been pretty crazy lately with recovering and going back to school. I have been doing my best and apologize to all my fans. Now lets talk business.
Naruto and Sasuke's relation is rather complicated but is something I'm proud of creating. There are a lot of Sasuke bashers out there; I mean it's really hard to find a story that doesn't bash the hell out of Sasuke.
Personally I don't really like Sasuke all that much but I really feel sorry for him. Imagine your entire family being murdered in cold-blood, all of them slaughtered down to every single cousin or uncle, then imagine finding out that the killer of your entire family is in fact your beloved brother.
Now image being forced to watch your family killed over and over and told that the only way to avenge you family is to hate with all your might and kill the man that did this.
Honesty who wouldn't be fucked up after something like that. He was just a little kid!
Sasuke is a dougsh bag, but I think he deserves to be that way. Not to mention he will grow up to be a powerful ally in the future. Naruto and Sasuke's relation complicated but I hope you understand that they truly care about each other.
Plus I have some very special things planned later as well MUAHAHAHA!
I'm training Natsumi to be some sort of rival to Naruto in the future.
So when comparing skills you can judge Naruto to be mid to high chunin, Sasuke to be high genin to low chunin, and Natsumi will be about mid chunin.