Chapter 5: The Past Cannot Stay Buried
Disclaimer: Apparently, I don't own Naruto or Fairy Tail. I had no idea. Maybe that's why Kishimoto and Hiro were so adamant when I tried to break into their houses. I thought I was taking back my birthright.
You learn something new everyday!
Ah, I'm back. Things've been rather hectic, so yeah. Well, I've never noticed, but this story just reached a hundred pages last chapter (on 10pt font), so whooo!
Well first things first. Last chapter, I forgot to introduce a key scene in the story, or rather I couldn't find the space. I should've put it in chapter 2, but forgot.
Ah, reposting this. There's a few notes I added at the end for those who were confused about the contents of the chapter.
Hope you enjoy.
(Present Time - Unknown Place)
Erza took a step back in apprehension. "K-Kurama?" she whispered.
Kurama twisted his face and growled in Naruto's body. "K-Kurama?" he mocked, in high falsetto. "Yes, that's my name. Any other redundant questions?"
Erza took another step back and let out a small gasp as her back hit a large boulder. She swallowed and set her jaw. "W-what are you and what happened to Naruto?"
Kurama palmed his face with a clawed hand. "That idiot? He's currently indisposed, so I'm stepping in. By the Six Paths, I've yet to see more of a stupid plan. What was he thinking, going against a whole tower without me. Brat got what he deserved, in my opinion. Maybe next time, he'll actually think."
"T-that's not true!" Erza shouted, before clapping her hands over her mouth and looking extremely apologetic towards the Naruto who was not Naruto.
"And what do you know, brat? He should've waited for me to wake up instead of stealing my chakra. He knows how toxic my chakra is until I purify it. Think, Brat. Would you have used this power so half-hazardly?"
Kurama flared out his chakra, sending a blast of killing intent at the girl. Erza's eyes rolled back into her head, and the little redhead promptly collapsed in a heap on the rocky beach.
Kurama stared down at his mistake. "Oops." he muttered unapologetically, and laid down on the floor, staring up at the night sky. "Well, it is more peaceful without her screaming. It's as Kami says, this world really is serene." he said, deliberately ignoring a certain fiasco at a certain Tower.
(Three Hundred Years before - The Land that will become Fiore)
He let out a racking cough, wincing as each breath dug a sharp spear of pain through his lungs. Every little movement of his muscle began another chain reaction of agony, but he endured. This wouldn't kill him, oh no. If Hashirama couldn't do the deed, there was little chance a pair of greenhorn children could. He scrabbled blindly, feeling his surroundings, ignoring the protests of every limb in his body. There was no soft grass, no soft ground for him to rest his head; each sharp pebble in what seemed like a desolate wasteland seemed determined to pinch into his hands and knees. He looked around, but the world remained as dark as the moonless night.
Cursing loudly, he collapsed, unable to hold the weight of his own body any longer. Curse them for their insurgence, for their arrogance. Curse the Uzumaki for actually realizing his pipe dreams. Curse the Uchiha for betraying his own bloodline. Curse the nine tailed beast for disobeying its rightful master.
Lying facedown, the man sent out a weak tendril of chakra to feel his surroundings. The unknown landscape painted by his chakra confirmed it.
Where was he?
It was not Konoha, nor anywhere in the Elemental Nations. No, he had traveled in those lands many times, had memorized every road worth memorizing while preparing. Even without his sight, he knew this place was unknown to him.
What had happened to him?
He hissed, pressing a palm on his chest to compress the grievous wound. The brat's technique had cut deep, far deeper than should have been allowed had his eyes not been destroyed.
All the man remembered was the end of the final confrontation. As much as he hated to admit it, the boy had won this round. He cursed again quietly; if it had not been for his eyes, the battle wouldn't have been more than another game for him. But that Uzumaki and his damnable luck. The last dragon attack was an impossibility, there should have been no possibility of both brats being able to combine such volatile jutsus; and yet, he was the one dragging himself on the ground. Damn it all.
He grit his teeth and began to drag himself along the ground again, leaving a wet trail of blood behind him if the slickness on his hands were any indications.
"...To think that the Anima would lead me to you, Madara."
Madara let out a strangled gasp and painfully twisted his body in the direction of the sound. He reached out blindly with his chakra and looked directly at the strange figure in front of him. "W-who are you?" he rasped.
The figure stared down at him, before crouching down in front of his sightless eyes. After a while, he simply said, "Interesting. You really do look my father. To think that Fate would send me something this troublesome..."
Madara growled lowly before breaking into a dry heaving. "Do... Do not ignore me, heathen... You... Who are you?!"
The figure tapped his staff in the ground, humming softly. "I'm sure you know the answer to that question. Does my voice not sound familiar?"
"Do not play games! I would have... no. No! You should've died. You died with me, there's no way you survived! I saw your own technique cut deep! Uchiha or not, you... AARRRGHH!"
The figure slammed his staff onto Madara's injury and twisted it. Madara let out a loud scream at the pain, and the figure seemed to smile, his onyx eyes twinkling. "Silence. You speak too much."
He slowly removed his staff, wiping the crimson liquid on Madara's torn clothes. "This is not the Elemental Countries, Madara. I'm sure you have heard of alternate dimensions?"
Madara took in a ragged breath, gingerly compressing his reopened wound. The brat clearly had the advantage here, so it was best to act cordial for now. So he answered, gritting his teeth. "...This.. this place is Edolas, then?"
The stranger laughed aloud at this. "So you are not as ignorant as I thought. But no, 'great Uchiha'".." the figure mocked, "..this is Earthland, its counterpart. Kamui allowed you access to Edolas, but not this place. And how is it? Bought any souvenirs?"
Madara made a weak swipe at the man with an unwieldy fist, and his hand was immediately pinned by the stranger's staff. "... Do... do not mock me... boy."
"I hold your life in my hands, old man. Why do you continue to antagonize me?"
The figure sighed, and prodigal Uchiha heard the distinct sound of the man jumping down and sitting on the rough rocks.
"Will you serve me?" the man asked nonchalantly, as if talking the weather and not the servitude of one's life. "You can no longer see, and the Uchiha's eyes are his life. What use are you now?"
There was no hesitation. "...Go... kill yourself... you damn pest. I bow to no one. Let me recover in peace."
The figure sighed again and stabbed his staff back into Madara's chest wound, smiling slightly at the screams that emanated. When the Uchiha's cries and dwindled down to the regular heaving, he asked.
"And if I grant you eyesight and immortality?"
Madara's breath hitched painfully in his lungs. His dull, blind eyes seemed to brighten. "Where would you find the power to do this?"
The stranger laughed and held up his hand, lighting up a spell in his hand in the form of a small orb. The air before them grew heavy with the sheer power of the magic, buzzing quietly with the intensity of small sun. "Can you feel it?" he asked, gently prodding the orb with the head of his staff. "This power should be proof enough, Madara. Do you accept?"
Madara was silent for a while. He was loathe to give in to a brat that was supposed to be eons below his level. He was Uchiha Madara. He was injured beyond belief, but he still had his pride.
And his eyes were worth more than his pride.
"Do it." he finally said. He could always obliterate the arrogant sapling once he got his eyesight back anyways.
The figure seemed to smile and let out a soft sigh of satisfaction before pushing the ethereal ball into Madara's chest. "It is done."
Madara waited, then frowned.
Then screamed. The pain was unbearable, far above anything he had encountered thus far, and yet, he was unable to fall into blissful unconsciousness. He screamed as his wounds began to heal, hissing violently as the skin mended itself. He screamed as his bones began to creak, reforming itself stronger and surer. He screamed, even as the other laughed at his pain.
And yet, nothing was happening. The world was still a dreary black, with no colors, no depth, no sight, no...wait.
It started at the center of his vision, a pale white light amidst the suffocating blackness that slowly, achingly, began to widen. The eldest Uchiha began to make out the faintest picture of the world around. He blinked rapidly, trying to clear his newly wrought vision. His blood soaked hands would do little good here. He coughed, and was surprised when it came out a harsh growl.
"I suppose thanks are in order." he grated.
"No need, you are now under my command, after all." the figure replied coldly from behind Madara.
The Uchiha twisted his head to get a good look at the boy. He was wearing a high collared robe trimmed with gold, which was wrapped around by a silky white toga. He held a gnarled wooden staff, its tip stained red with Madara's blood. But the face. Oh, the face was the same, infuriating visage that had mocked him before, which its glittering black eyes. There was something wrong, though.
He was extremely small.
"Or you are extremely big." the traitor Uchiha replied back, as if reading his mind. "Take a good look at yourself, Madara, the 'strongest man in the world'. Now, you may not be a man at all."
And so he did, and was shocked by what he saw. He felt no different, but his form looked quite so. Soft tanned skin was replaced by ironclad black scales crisscrossing all over his body, interrupted only by the occasional blue, which etched together to form intricate patterns. A thick tail, capped on the end by a large spike, swished back and forth behind him, the flexing muscles easily seen beneath the gray underside of his tail.
"I... I am a beast." he muttered, wincing at the guttural tone.
The traitor raised a finger admonishingly, "Ah, ah! Dragon's are proud creatures, they don't take kindly to being called beasts at all."
Madara stiffened."A-a Dragon?" he said quietly, in shock. He lunged at the brat, who would easily be squashed underfoot. "You... How dare you turn me into a beast!? I am..."
Raising his hand, the boy quickly stopped his little speech and sealed Madara's movements. "...Quite tired of listening to your roars. Let us talk cordially for a while longer, while you are still capable of speech. Just a moment longer, all memories of Uchiha Madara will vanish, and Acnologia, Dragon of the Apocalypse, will be born. And at a just time too, who better to end these Dragon Wars than a human-turned-dragon?" he went on casually, as if the two were old friends.
Madara struggled against his invisible bounds, his newly formed draconian muscles flexing mightily, but to no avail. "What nonsense do you speak of?"
The figure raised an eyebrow. "Oh? So Fate has not briefed you on what is happening? Ah, well, a reason for me to ramble. I never get time to speak to people, you see. I'm too busy killing."
"Oh yes, the Wars. Simply put, too many have died in this meaningless struggle, such that the balance between worlds are in danger, and my attempts to stop them are of no use. Human deaths are at quite the number–I lost count at the first million–and the demons I've created are no match against dragons. And that is where you enter, Madara! If demons cannot defeat dragons, then surely another dragon can."
"..So you intend to use me."
"You make it sound like a bad thing, Madara. I'm helping accomplish good in that evil life of yours. Granted, I'm not very good myself, but I try my best."
"...What... is your plan... brat?"
The boy bowed, and answered sardonically. "Me, I'm supposed to end this war. Fate-sama has already begun what is the–what was it again, oh yes–the First Shinobi War in your world to account for all the deaths here. I suppose you're her next weapon of choice."
But Madara had stopped listening long ago. He began to thrash harder against his bounds, roaring erratically. Pale, white eyes glared hatefully at the younger boy and muscles fluctuated frantically. "...Who...are you?..." he gasped between roars, already feeling his conscious slipping away.
"Uchiha Sasuke, Agent of Fate-sama–Kami, I think you people call her–and appointed protector of the Humans. Of course, what with the number of people I've killed, I'm more likely to be known as the Dark Mage of Death. How unoriginal, it's not even catchy. I suppose the name Uchiha Sasuke doesn't mean anything anymore... Nobody even remembers the name except for one, and she would gladly kill me for what I've done..."
Sasuke looked up at the thrashing Madara, no Acnologia, and smiled bittersweetly, perhaps in apology for what was happening.
"Well, if you're being 'reborn', I might as well do the same."
Madara raged, his human mind barely holding on the raging beast, only being propelled by his hatred for the boy in front of him
Sasuke's faint, jaded smile disappeared and his eyes flashed a deep crimson. "Goodbye, Madara, and hello, Acnologia. My name is Zeref, The Black Wizard."
And so the human fell to the beast.
(Present Time - Lupinus Village - Morning)
Kagura woke with a loud yawn, stretching her body in a manner akin to that of cat. She stared up at the bright blue sky and smiled widely, spotting a certain someone dozing on the branch of a tree.
"Good Morning!" she shouted.
Sasuke groaned bitterly and pulled a branch out of his hair. He scowled at the grinning girl in front of him, before pulling out a letter and flicking it towards her. "Cheeky today, aren't you? We'll see how much energy you have left after training..." he muttered under his breath
Sasuke raised his voice. "Read that, it's for you. From the old man." He got up with a grunt and walked over to the stash of supplies he had crammed in a hollow tree, searching for a spare shirt.
Kagura looked around and let out a disappointed sigh when she spotted a bundle of rope near the tree trunk. "Figures... It was a little too quiet this morning." she sighed forlornly. "I wonder why he left?"
"It may have something to do with the fact that you tied him up... twice. Once for sneaking up on us, then again for being so damn obnoxious." Sasuke muttered while pulling on a black shirt. He shoved his head through the shirt and sighed.
"And that you threw a bag of flour at him." he added as an afterthought, reaching for a high-collared blue jacket.
Kagura sputtered indignantly, waving the letter around. "It was on your orders! And YOU'RE the one who threw the bag of flour at him. Don't go around blaming other people!" she huffed.
Scoffing lightly, Sasuke secured his Sword of Kusanagi and laid down on a felled tree trunk. "Tch, what a waste of good flour." he muttered. "So, are you going to read the letter or are you just going to stand there and fight an argument you've already lost?"
The younger girl opened her mouth to say something, no doubt a scathing remark, but changed her mind, opening the letter instead. She wasn't stupid, he was. Her eyes rolled down the paper in a cursory glance before she gasped at gripped the letter tightly.
"No way!" she squealed happily.
Sasuke scowled at the girl's sudden enthusiasm. "What? Read the paper aloud." he ordered snappishly.
Kagura cleared her throat.
Dear Sword-Happy Little Girl,
Kagura, was it? Or was it Sasuke? Odd names, them, can't even tell if they're male or female. Ah, I'll refer to you as Little Girl.
So, Little Girl, if you're reading this, assuming you can even read, I'm probably long gone from here. Hopefully the next time I'll see you, you'll be a little less violent. Not likely, if my guild is anything to look at, but one can hope.
Ah right, my guild. I'm writing to let you know that you have great magical potential, and you're welcome to join my guild, Fairy Tail, at any time. If not that, my old companions are leaders of other guilds as well. I'd hate to see such talent go to waste. Tell your brother he's welcome too. I can't sense any magic from him, but he seems strong in his own right.
Oh look he just twitched in his sleep. I'm going to take my leave now!
Makarov Dreyar, Old Man Guild Master of Fairy Tail
P.S. I stole some food. Hope the two of you don't mind. It's just a couple of tomatoes.
Kagura looked up expectantly, puffing her chest out, no doubt hoping for some sort of praise from the older boy.
"And? I don't know what you're expecting from me. You want a cookie? It's in the tree somewhere with the rest of our food." Sasuke said bluntly. Kagura visibly deflated. "Speaking of..." The Uchiha headed over to the hollow tree and pulled out a box of tomatoes, a box that was missing most of its contents, save for a single shriveled one. Sasuke pursed his lips tightly. "I'm killing the man, the next we meet..."
He pulled out his Sword of Kusanagi, sheath and all, and charged at Kagura. "Come on, the sun's been up for a while now. Training first, then talk."
Said girl yelped, tumbling backwards, and scrabbled towards her bokken, which was thankfully only a few feet away. She barely parried the next strike, and let out an irritated kick in Sasuke's general direction. It missed completely.
"You completely missed the point!" she complained, jumping backwards to avoid a bored slash at her midsection. "The part about me having magic!" she cried.
"What about it?"
"Wel- OW! Are you trying to kill me?!" she shrieked, nursing her throbbing head, and let loose a flurry of inaccurate strikes toward Sasuke, who simply took a step to his side to dodge. "Well, shouldn't we make a visit to one of the guilds or find out how to train my magic, since the letter said you didn't have any."
"No need." Sasuke said curtly. "If your magic is anything like my Sharingan, then all it'll take is for me to put you in grave danger. Simple enough." The Uchiha drew his sword and sheared Kagura's bokken in half, letting out a burst of killing intent.
Kagura's face paled at the blatant display of power. She backpedalled furiously, letting out an involuntary gasp when the chokuto cut a large chuck of wood out of the tree next to her. Abandoning all pretense of strength, Kagura turned tail and ran, completely forgetting her lessons with Sasuke.
"You.." she gasped, hiding behind a tree a good length away from the Uchiha. "...need a therapist... But first... you owe me a new sword..."
Sasuke sighed and sheathed his sword. The girl was way too comfortable with him to fear him in the slightest. He was intimidating, it was just the matter of her miniscule brain being unable to comprehend that. Right? He turned around and proceeded to seal the rest of his supplies into a crudely made storage seal.
"Let's go. You're obviously too close to me for me to scare you, and it'd be a waste to kill you now. Let's visit that old man, he owes me tomatoes already. Did the letter give any mention of where to find him?"
Kagura hesitantly creeped out from behind the tree and shook her head. "No idea." she said.
Sasuke let out a breath and palmed his forehead. Idiots, every last one of them. He supposed Naruto would fit right in with the lot.
(Hours Later - Unknown Location)
Kurama groaned loudly and stretched his limbs. As long as he inhabited Naruto's body, he might as well refer to it as his for as long as he could. It wasn't his own majestic fox form, but anything was better than nothing. He looked down at the prone form of that little red haired girl. He knelt down and knocked on her forehead a few times, waiting for some sort of answer. God, he was bored. And repeatedly knocking on her head would probably prolong her unconsciousness. Ah, what did he care.
Kurama closed his eyes for a few seconds, checking for the millionth time on Naruto's status, only to find the boy in what looked like a fitful sleep. Silent tears dripped from his closed eyes, and the blonde periodically cried out, muttering apologies. He seemed to have mixed his two worlds together in some twisted nightmare, as he cried out for both the fallen in the Shinobi War and those he hadn't been able to save in the Tower. Kurama averted his eyes at the scene; as much as he insulted the boy, Kurama still cared for the young jinchuriki. Vaguely hearing a scream, he sighed and retreated out to the outside world.
He looked around the rocky beach and the thinning forest further ahead, looking for the owner of the scream. Kurama frowned, bending down to pick up the red haired child, and began to walk across the beach, keeping his ears open for any awry sound.
He didn't have to wait long. This time it was a young boy's cry of helpless rage. Kurama growled softly, baring pointed canines. That meant there was more than one. He switched his grip on the girl in his arms, instead slinging her over his shoulder, and rushed towards the spot where he had heard the sound.
Kurama cursed and twisted his body backwards, avoiding a swipe to his head.
He landed roughly on the forest floor, making sure to cradle the red haired girl so that she wouldn't get hurt. He growled ferally and looked around to see a group of ape-like creatures and leopard-like felines surrounding him.
"And what might you be?" Kurama growled, cracking his clawed hands menacingly.
"Oogabooga!" the gorilla creature howled shortly, thumping his chest for emphasis. Under some unseen signal, it, and the rest of its pack, bounded forward as one, all aiming for harmless-looking blond boy before them. As they began to overwhelm his form, a shadow flashed jumped down from behind a tree and rocketed down towards Kurama, aiming to kill.
Kurama huddled his body over the unconscious form of the little girl, and let out a small smirk as each punch bounded off his skin. His smirk widened into a large smile when he felt a large force erupt on the small of his back, far stronger than the gentle taps of the beasts surrounding him
"And just as I was getting bored with this world…" he growled softly, letting his upper curl over his canines in a large grin.
He pursed his lips and tensed, sending a shockwave of chakra out before him. All of his assailants went flying away, slamming into trees and rocks. Kurama stood up and smiled widely as a crimson mass began to envelop his form, darkening the whisker marks and elongating his canines.
"Ah, much better." He sighed in relief, watching as the bubbling mass created a layer over his clawed hands. "Naruto might prefer my purified chakra, but nothing feels as exhilarating as the raw power my original chakra deals." He paused slightly. "Is that narcissistic to feel that way about my own power?" he asked himself aloud.
"Hardly, I feel the same." A voice interjected, interrupting his thoughts.
Kurama looked up to find a figure standing aways off. It was a young girl, by the looks of it, robed in dark crimson. Her silver hair floated up in some nonexistent breeze and from her back sprouted a pair of black bat-like wings. Her hands were not unlike his own, except that instead of an ethereal crimson gauntlet, she held one of a golden metal that ended in sharp spears on each digit. A thick, reptilian tail swished from side to side behind her, making for a rather intimidating appearance. At least, it would have, if the girl was any older than the pre-pubescent 10 years old that she seemed.
"Are you the leader of these beasts?" Kurama asked, quickly beheading one that strayed too close to the Erza girl that Naruto seemed fond of. Its head rolled to a stop at her feet.
Her eyes widened fractionally, more in shock at the fact that a blond child was able to take a life so easily than that her subordinate had died. Her expression of shock was quickly covered by a sneer, and she kicked the head back to him distastefully. As it soared through the air, the ape-like head morphed, turning into a simple human head.
Kurama caught it and examined it. It was the head of a middle-aged man, no one special, but no one dangerous either. He looked down at the body at his feet, expecting to find a the same body he had killed, but was instead was met with a regular human one, wearing a simple cotton dress shirt and trousers.
"What sorcery is this?" he growled, crushing the head in his hands, and tossing the remains aside. The monkeys and leopards backed away apprehensively, murmuring unintelligibly amongst themselves.
"Take-over Magic." She replied glibly, apparently amused at his confusion and following brutality. "The monkeys are Vulcans and felines are Weretigers. They both possess the ability to 'take over' the body of a person they choose. I am, yes, the de-facto leader of these idiotic beasts. I am Lord Furfur, Earl of the Demon Realm, the Twenty-Sixth demon created by Lord Zeref-"
"Hold on, Lord? You look like a female to me, Furry. What are you, an okama (transvestite)?" Kurama interrupted, looking extremely bored with the current lack of action. He was never one for long talks.
"It's Furfur!" the little girl yelled, "And I'm a male, I just take the form of the possessed! This girl has great magical power; she was the only one I could find that was strong enough to withstand my power but untrained enough to not reject me."
Kurama cracked his back, letting out a small groan as his spine popped. "So you're saying that you're too weak to possess anyone actually strong, and too useless to even form your own body."
"ARGH! I WAS CREATED TO CAUSE MAYHEM THROUGH POSSESSION! YOU INSOLE-!"
Kurama smiled widely, his fist extended. He watched gleefully as the Demon crashed into the trunk of the tree and blasted right through to the one behind that, and to the one behind that, and to the one behind that.
"I'm getting tired of hearing you speak." He said, before turning to face the group of beasts around him. "Come on! Show me what you have! I've spent too much time cooped up inside!"
The Vulcans howled and charged him, swinging their arms madly at the blond. The Weretigers did the same, roaring loudly. Kurama grinned sadistically. He picked up the Erza girl, opening up a hole in his red cloak to envelop her, careful not to burn her with the volatile chakra, and wrapped her up with one arm.
"Ready!?" Kurama opened his mouth wide, and a small, dense black ball began to form, drawing in both negative and positive energy from his surroundings. The ball began to shrink into barely the size of a pinball, and Kurama swallowed it. The ground underneath him cracked into a large crater, as the added mass of the ball proved too much for the ground to handle.
Kurama let the volatile mass fester in his maw, wincing as the pressure threatened to explode backwards. He finally opened his mouth, and the blast erupted, exploding the world in a sea of white light.
When the glow subsided, everything around Kurama was completely decimated, at least from what the fox could make out from the heavy cloud of upturned dust. The forest could no longer be called such; wasteland would be a better description. Every Vulcan and Weretiger was burned to a crisp. They didn't even have time to revert back to their human forms before becoming a charred mess.
Kurama coughed roughly as a wave of nausea hit him. He sank to his knees, and his red cloak retreated back into his skin.
"That took a lot more out of me than I thought." he coughed, taking a deep breath to catch his second wind. He grunted in surprise as he saw a dense shape through the thick cloud of debris. Kurama slowly stood up, keeping a firm arm around the Erza girl, who remained relatively uninjured through the blast.
The dust slowly dispersed to reveal a glowing shield of black. It spanned several meters in diameter and was made with pure chakra, or was it magic? The shield had taken quite a beating, if the numerous spider web cracks were any indication. The shield dropped to reveal Furfur and a small pair of a surviving Vulcan and Weretiger. All of them were nursing burns of varying degrees, but that they had even survived the blast was a testament to them.
"What kind of monster are you?" Furfur breathed in shock, taking in the ruined landscape before him and blanching at the unrecognizable corpses that had once been his minions. "You... killed all of them... Have you no mercy? They were all still human..."
Kurama smirked darkly. Companionship with Naruto had mellowed him out quite a bit, but a good amount of bloodshed now and then was sorely appreciated. "And what does someone like me care for a human? That's not my job."
Furfur backed away and his remaining two beasts quickly followed suit whimpering, the fear of death having been thoroughly connected to the ominous blond in front of them.
"B-but the red haired girl in your arms... she is human, isn't she? I have never seen Lord Zeref ever create a demon in such a form. Are you not human?"
Kurama shrugged and slowly trudged towards the now pathetic looking trio. "She is under the brat's protection and so I am honor-bound to do the same. Plus, she can actually take care of herself or has some serious luck if she was able to survive the same battle that Naruto got out of, and god knows we need luck." Kurama suddenly flickered out of sight, reappearing behind the group. He flared his bloodlust higher and the Weretiger's and Vulcan's eyes rolled back into their heads and they collapsed. Now there was only one more obstacle.
"Come on, if you're going to die, take some pride and go down fighting!" Kurama snarled, growing annoyed at the demon's sudden fearfulness.
Furfur looked practically catatonic at this point. "Now hold on, let's not be hasty," he pleaded. "The host, this girl would make a find friend for the red haired one."
"She can always make another." Kurama strode forward undeterred, ignoring the demon's desperate attempts to grasp at straws. He held up a clawed hand that began to glow with a soft red light.
"I-I-If you kill me, y-you'll be killing the girl as well!" Furfur cried, backing away frantically, only to trip over a rut in the ruined ground. "And the two living Vulcan and Weretiger are her siblings! They'll resent for life!"
"Then they won't live long enough for any sort of resentment to sink in." Kurama replied shortly, storing the new information in his brain. It was a shame then, that he had to kill them. Welcome bloodshed or not, the fox tried not to kill children when possible.
Furfur looked desperately around for some sort of escape route. When he (or was it a she) could find none, the possessed girl suddenly stiffened and cried out. The reptilian tail shrunk back into her spine, and the armor that hung of her dissolved in a swathe of black light and coalesced into a small ball that retreated into her chest. All that was left was no doubt a human girl. Her silver hair was matted with dirt and her clothes were in tatters.
Kurama didn't know whether to sneer at the demon's cowardice or grunt in surprise at the sudden transformation.
"Pathetic. As if hiding inside a host, a child at that, will do you any good." Kurama bent forward and smacked the girl's cheek none too lightly, watching as it lolled from side to side with no indication of pain. He grunted in disappointment. "How anticlimactic. I was hoping for some last ditch effort."
The fox-in-shinobi's clothing creased his eyebrows, sensing for any Negative Emotions emanating from the girl that would give away the Demon's location. Ah, there it was.
There, coalesced into one single place, slightly below where a shinobi's chakra container would normally be, under the heart and the diaphragm, was a small dark spot of such emotions, emanating fear and resentment.
Kurama scratched his head and sighed. No doubt the demon would attempt to possess him if he killed the girl, and would probably go back to killing innocents if he took pity on the girl and left the host live. There was no choice. Kurama sighed again and pulled back his hand, preparing to strike. Better to put the girl out of her misery and kill Furfur in his inner world when the demon attempted to possess Naruto's body than leave the girl to be used as a tool interminably. What a shame. In some twisted sense, she was almost like Naruto himself, an unwilling container of a beast. Not that he was a beast, just plain awesome.
Kurama thrust downwards, intending to leave a sharp stab through the girl's heart, quick and painless, when a familiar and extremely weary voice interrupted quietly, but with no less force.
"Stop, don't kill the girl. I've had enough bloodshed. Please, Kurama."
(Approximately 189 miles from Magnolia Town, The Location of Fairy Tail - Elutheros Town)
"We're completely lost, aren't we?"
"...No... Of course not, it's this way."
Sasuke glared at the girl next to her, who wisely kept her gaze fixed on the row of stores in the town.
"Why don't you ask the locals? I'm sure they know where it is." she said quietly.
Sasuke sniffed loudly, lifted his nose up haughtily. "Nonsense. I know exactly where we're going."
Kagura palmed her face.
(Unknown Location - Inner World)
Kurama opened his eyes to the familiar dank sewer that was his inner world, or more accurately, Naruto's inner world. The gargantuan fox, now back in his original body, stretched his limbs and slid open the door to his room, formerly his prison, that divided the inner world. It was nice to have a bit of privacy once in a while, especially when you were practically connect at the hip to your partner. Said partner though, wasn't looking very good at all.
Naruto's golden hair was matted with murk and his eyes lacked the spark that it almost always possessed. Kurama grimaced and rest his head on the ground so he was level with Naruto. The appearance of and in one's inner world often reflected his mental state, and taking Naruto's grungy, even gaunt appearance, wasn't a good sign at all. Speaking of, the sewer seemed a lot more menacing and dark than it had been in recent times.
"Kurama." The boy said shortly, looking up at his partner. He smiled then, a fragile, hesitant expression. "Thanks, partner."
Kurama grunted, too worried about the cracked expression on the boy's face to acknowledge the thanks properly. "You look like shit."
Naruto blinked at the blunt reply, then smiled again. Not quite the beaming the smile Kurama had come to enjoy about the boy, but much better than the uncharacteristic, hesitant one on his face moments before. "Ahahaha, yeah. I saw the whole battle, by the way."
Kurama arched an eyebrow. "And?"
"And good job, I guess. It's better than what I expected from you, anyway." Naruto said lightly.
"You aren't going to go on about how I killed those gorilla-villagers?" Kurama asked, frowning at how quickly the boy had accepted what was basically mass homicide.
"...No.." Naruto sighed, his smile dropping off his face. The sudden change in mood was startling. He covered his face in his hands. "What could I have done anyway? It was just like the Tower of Heaven, all over again...
"What are you talking about, brat? The two are completely unrelated." Kurama said, growing less worried and more annoyed at the blonde's sudden negativity. He was a bloodthirsty biju, he wasn't known for being emotionally sensitive.
Naruto completely ignored him, still coving his face with his hands. "What do I do, Kurama? I've never failed anyone before, I've never broken my promise before..." he whispered quietly, his voice muffled.
Kurama growled and smacked the blonde into one of the pipes lining the sewer wall. "You learn to grow up, Naruto! People die, and you can't change that! You've already gone through this when Jiraiya died!" he roared, pointing at the blond.
Naruto lay in a heap on the soggy floor of the sewer, not even bothering to move. He didn't even bother defending. He stared, through the fringe of his hair, the soft pitter patter the water from the pipes made. "That was different." he said quietly. "He chose a shinobi's death, to protect Konoha. This is different. None of those people wanted to die, Kurama, and were all relying on me to save them. I let them down. I ruined Erza's life, Simon's life, Milliana's life, Sho's life. And that's not even counting all those that died because of me in the Shinobi War. Jiraiya-sensei's death was different. This time, it's all my fau-UGH!"
Kurama pinned the blond to the wall of his cage and placed a claw underneath his neck, growling softly. He was completely fed up with the idiotic blond. "Listen now, and listen well. This time, what's different is that you're being a fucking idiot. You think the frog freak wanted to die? You think your parents wanted to die? I'm bonded to the idiot that believed he could to anything, and actually did it. I'm partners with the optimistic fool that thought it would be a good idea to befriend the Kyubi, not some ass who gives up because some people died so he could live!"
Lifting his head, Naruto stared in surprise at the biju, who hadn't ever shown such emotion before. "Kurama..."
Kurama jabbed the claw deeper into Naruto's throat, drawing a thin line of blood. "Don't 'Kurama' me, you shit. Your friends died so you could be happy, Naruto. None of them, even the brats back at the Tower, blame you for being unable to save them. So shape up, or I'll just kill you myself, 'cause you aren't the Naruto I know."
"Then what do I do?!" Naruto cried, leaning forward and ignoring the claw digging deeper into his throat. "I can't forget them just like that."
"I never said you had do. They died bravely, so you live bravely!"
"No buts! Think on my words, whelp. I don't expect you to heal from war and slaughter in a day, but don't get all emo on me like the Uchiha." Kurama growled, shaking his fist none too gently in an attempt to rattle his message into the blonde's thick skull.
There was a long pause. After several minutes, Naruto looked up at the livid fox, his eyes much clearer than they had been. "Wanna let me down, Kurama?" he said mildly. It still wasn't the boisterous yell that had become Naruto's trademark almost as much as his whiskers, but it was a damn good start.
The fox abruptly opened his hand, letting the blond fall the floor with a large thud. "Feeling better?"
Naruto stretched, wincing at the numerous pops and cracks. "Not particularly, but I think I can survive now. Now hand over my body, you big fluffy fox."
"FLUFFY?! I COMFORT YOU AND YOU-"
Naruto laughed, the clear sound echoing through the dank sewer. He quickly retreated from the inner world, dodging the fox's swipe.
"Living bravely? I think I can do that."
Naruto opened his eyes to the largest catfight he had witnessed since Sakura vs. Ino.
"You bitch! Untie me! How dare you do this to me?!"
The white haired girl that Kurama had previously curbstomped had apparantly woken up.
"Bitch?! Listen you flat-chested idiot, I don't plan on letting you go unless it's to give you the beating you deserve!" From the looks of things, so had Erza, and looking at the situation at hand, it seemed the two didn't get along at all.
"Flat-chested?! You piece of shit, why I oughta-"
"Oughta what, you skimpy-dressed skank, you're the one tied up here!"
The other white haired girl, the younger sister who had been possessed by one of the beasts, spoke up hesitantly. "Ano... Mira nee-chan, I think you should listen to the red haired nee-san. I mean, we're the ones tied up."
"Yeah sis, you might want to listen to listen to the girl. Might speed things up a bit." the white haired boy said nervously.
The named Mira thrashed in her bounds in rage, pinning the two with a glare. "WHAT?! Elfman, Lisanna, don't argue with your sister! How the hell are we tied up anyway, what happened!?"
Erza jumped in at the opportunity to continue the verbal tearing-into of each other. "Yeah, listen to your siblings, they're definitely smarter than you."
It might be a good time to step in now, Naruto decided.
Naruto stepped forwards, chopping down on Erza's head harshly with the side of his hand. "Geez Erza, you sure know how to kick up a ruckus. Can't a guy get his sleep?" he asked softly. He noticed the white haired Mira staring at him in shock at his sudden appearance and waved at the girl. She quickly rearranged her face into a rather fearsome scowl.
Erza, for her part, fell silent, and jumped away from the blond, staring warily at him. "Are you Naruto or the weirdo?"
Weirdo? Naruto scratched his head and closed his eyes in confusion, giving him a vulpine look. "Uh, Naruto? Who else would I b-OOF!"
Naruto fell to the ground harshly, trapped in a glomping hug courtesy of Erza. "God, I was so worried.." she sobbed. " I thought you were dead."
The blond awkwardly patted the girl on the back. It was unlike her to break down so easily, but seeing such a tragedy as the Tower would do that do someone. "Geez, it's alright. I'm fine, Erza. I'm not going away anytime soon." 'After all, taking care of you is practically my job now.'
Erza just nodded and held on tighter to Naruto. By this point however, the hug was becoming less of a form of affection and more a choke hold as Erza regained her senses. ("Argh, stupid Naruto! Leave me to rot with the look-alike, will you!?") Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the moment was interrupted by a certain Mirajane.
"Argh, shut up and untie me already!"
Naruto looked up at her, staring directly into her sapphire eyes, and she flinched, no doubt remembering some of the more painful injuries Kurama must've inflicted on her. She bit her lip and looked away, suddenly keeping quiet. All three siblings shifted around in their bounds, uncomfortable at the awkward silence.
Naruto sighed, preparing himself to put on his 'mask'. He was feeling better, but he wasn't exactly at top condition. Naruto then grinned widely to reassure them he meant no harm. He hoped the smile didn't look too fake. "Are you alright?" he said warmly.
On second thought, he probably should've been a bit more stern, because the Mira girl took his friendly tone for granted much too quickly.
"DO I LOOK ALRIGHT?!"
Naruto sighed again, this time opening his senses for Nature chakra. The siblings of the loud one were completely fine. He could feel the power of the beasts they had been possessed by deep within their chakra reserves, but it was so diluted it could do no harm. Was this another type of 'magic' that Rob had told him about?
The loud, obnoxious girl, though ("That's like the pot calling the kettle black, Naruto. You were worse.") was a different story. The demon's energy was still strong underneath her skin, and could take over at almost any time. What was interesting though, was that the girl's own energy was battling down the demon's. It seemed that the possession had shocked open the girl's reserves.
Naruto headed over and started untying the two younger siblings. He rather guiltily ignored the elder girl's cries and curses. Better safe than sorry. It wouldn't do for her to go on a rampage again now would it?
"Sorry about this" he said guiltily. "I can't be sure that the demon that possessed you isn't going to do so again, so I'll have to leave you like this."
Ouch. Naruto winced as the Mira girl's shrieks went up another went up another ten decibels. The girl was louder than Sakura, and that was saying something. At least she was cuter.
(Approximately 189 miles from Magnolia Town, The Location of Fairy Tail - Elutheros Village)
Kagura smiled happily as she hummed to herself. That idiot of a nii-san had finally swallowed his pride and decided to ask around for the location of Fairy Tail. Sure, it had taken more than three hours for him to finally concede to her demands, but the important part was that she had finally won an argument!
Speaking of, it may have been a bad idea to mention Fairy Tail in front of the villagers. Apparently, a member of the guild had come here for a mission and ended up destroying the whole village. What was even more galling was that it was an accident. The villagers had finally managed to rebuild the town from the ground up and the incident was fresh in their minds. They meant him no real harm, though; the village was very peaceful, which was why they couldn't even handle a small Hodras stampede.
Kagura grinned as she caught sight of the girl a few years older than her, running in her direction. The girl wore a orange one piece dress and had her hair up in a single ponytail. Kagura envied her slightly, to be honest. If she ever wore a dress, Sasuke-nii would berate for at least thirty minutes on how a dress wasn't proper battle wear. Kagura was grateful to the enigmatic boy for sure, but he was such a... such a MAN.
"Hey there Cana-chan!"she said brightly, surreptitiously looking forward at Sasuke's walking form to see if he cared. He didn't seem to, but then again, he didn't really seem to care about anything.
"Kagura-chan! Are you really leaving? You're practically my only friend in this town full of geezers." Cana cried.
The two shared a quiet giggle.
Interestingly enough, even though Cana was the child of that Fairy Tail member, the members of the village doted on her like she was a princess. It seemed that they were more angry that the member had abandoned his family than the destruction of the village. That, and the fact that he had exhausted the village's alcohol supply, which was a feat in and of itself.
"Kagura, hurry up, we're a long way from Magnolia." Sasuke said curtly, not even bothering to turn back to look at the girl. He had gone back to using his sword as a walking stick. Luckily for him, Cana's mother still remembered where her lover's headquarters were and had given him instructions on how to get there.
Kagura stuck her tongue out at him, and the two girls shared another quiet laugh. Cana leaned forward and whispered in Kagura's ear.
"Even though he's such an ass, you should really thank him."
Kagura raised an eyebrow in wonder. Sasuke-nii, being thanked? Egad! "What for?" she asked incredulously.
Cana shrugged, looking as confused as Kagura. "No idea, but Kaa-san says to pass the message. Apparently the two talked and he taught her something valuable."
Kagura's eyebrows were so far up, they were practically non-existent. Was this really the same, emotionless boy they were talking about?
"Reaaallly?! No way, he always has such a stick up his ass." she whispered loudly. In her amazement at Cana's revelations, Kagura failed to notice Sasuke's hand twitch in annoyance and begin to draw his sword, before he sighed and sheathed his blade.
"Yeah seriously!" Cana whispered back, in the same loud volume. "I don't know what exactly what your friend is like, but if he made Mom happy than that's good in my book!"
"Wow! Maybe he's not that mean after all!"
"Would you please hurry up, Kagura." Sasuke finally grit out. The Uchiha's face remained as stoic as ever, but his whitened knuckles gave away his annoyance. "Cana needs to go back to her mother, and you need to learn how to use your magic, before you blow something up."
" I will not blow anything up! How could you!?"
Sasuke sighed, and stopped walking, letting the irate little girl catch up to him. He gently pushed her forward, smirking despite himself as she tripped, running forward in an attempt to regain her balance. "If it happened with a fully legal mage like the one from Fairy Tail, it can happen to you."
Kagura had no answer to that. She instead craned her head backwards to wave at Cana. "BYE CANA! I'LL VISIT SOMEDAY!"
"I'LL BE WAITING!"
Sasuke groaned. Girls...
"Furfur's gone. Absorbed by some child."
"BWA! That idiot! That's what he gets for walking out on us! There's a reason why he's considered the weakest."
"Don't laugh, you twit. It could've happened to you too. It was only misfortune that he possessed a girl with a propensity for Satan Soul Take Over. His possession accelerated her Eternano reserves instead of his taking over her's."
"Ahahah! Doesn't matter, he let himself get beat by a child!"
"...At any rate, one method of infiltrating Mavis' heart is gone. Lord Zeref won't be pleased at all."
"Say... didn't Lord Zeref say NOT to get close to her? Like, on pain of death and all that?"
"Shut it, Silver. I'm acting on behalf of the Lord. He hasn't been himself since the Dragon Wars. He even decided to seal all of us away."
"... I mean, you all DID start to destroy innocents..."
"... At any rate, what of our other connection? Sayla? Tempesta?"
"Ufufu, no worries. Jellal remains safely in the palm of my hand, Kyouka-sama."
"I've yet to locate any of the other Books. The number of souls we've manage to capture however, has gone up by another thirty. We should have enough to revive Keith and Ezel in a few years."
"Good, good. Now if E.N.D would just wake up..."
(Weeks Later - Magnolia Town - Fairy Tail Guild)
"BWAHAHAHAHA! You, staying faithful?! I'll believe that when Porlyusica lets me take her on a date!"
Makarov rolled on the floor, gasping for breath. He choked out a few more guffaws, took a large gulp of ale, and promptly spat it in Gildarts' face in favor of laughing some more.
The normally equally boisterous Ace of Fairy Tail patiently waited for Makarov to recover from his spasms. When he saw that Makarov wasn't planning on ending anytime soon, he threw the old man at the wall.
"I'm serious, old man! Her name's Cornelia!" Gildarts said in frustration.
Makarov just continued to gasp for breath.
Gildarts palmed his face. Half of the guild sent him an apologetic look for their Master's actions, and the other half had opted to join in, more an excuse to filch a drink from the bar than to actually poke fun at Gildarts. Speaking of, said Ace took a deep breath and let it out, preparing himself for the real reason he had confronted the Guild Master.
"I'm leaving the guild."
That got everyone's attention, and quickly. Makarov's snickers abruptly stopped. Gildarts nervously looked around at the whole guild, who was looking at him in surprise. Thankfully, Makarov didn't look angry, just shocked.
"Why?" was the obvious question.
Gildarts raised his hands defensively. "It's not permanently, mind you. Cornelia, the girl I talked about? She had a daughter, no, we had a daughter, Cana. The lass' is around nine years old."
Makarov raised his eyebrows in response. "So why leave now? If anything, I would've recommended you leave nine years ago and raise her properly to bring her here. Why the delay, you terrible father?"
Gildarts winced. Even though the small jab at his parenting skills was meant to be teasing, it still hurt "I had no idea. Cornelia only contacted me recently."
"So why are you leaving?" Makarov asked bluntly. The old man wasn't against Gildarts taking a break from the guild, but without a proper reason, he couldn't excuse the man. The red haired Ace meant well, but sometimes he spoke too much to get his point across properly.
Gildarts swallowed, thinking back to the letter he had received. He had almost destroyed the village he was in when he read it. He swallowed again. "C- Cornelia's dying..." he said thickly. "She wants me to come back so the three of us can be a family for the short time she can be together with me."
Makarov blanched, and quickly embraced the shaking man in a firm hug. "Oh no, I'm so sorry, Gildarts."
Gildarts shook his head, holding on to his surrogate father like he was his lifeline. "You couldn't have known." he said simply.
The rest of the guild members shared a fond look at the Master and Ace of Fairy Tail. Unfortunately, the heartfelt moment was interrupted when the door to the guild flew off its hinges with a large bang and collided with the bar, shattering the guild's alcohol, and in came a large human-shaped projectile.
Kagura shrieked loudly as she soared through the air, smacking directly into Gildarts and Makarov with impressive accuracy. The three tumbled head over heels across the guild floor with a large crash. The watching guild members exchanged a look, and burst out into laughter at the sudden manner in which Gildart's heartfelt moment was shattered.
Outside the guild, one could see a shadowed figure bristling with annoyance outside the doorway.
"Finally, I found it! Where is that shitty old man? He owes me some tomatoes." the figure growled loudly.
And so this chapter ends...
How was it? For the first time since I've started to write this story, I actually edited. All of the chapters before were straight off the press, without any adjustments, which is why they have so many spelling errors and omitted words. Anywho, that's why this chapter's only 9,000 instead of 11,000 words, and why it's being released March 2, instead of sometime in February. Meh, I personally didn't like this chapter. Too much talking and no action, but hopefully you'll have enjoyed it.
I was also pretty sick and half-delirious when I wrote the second part of this, so don't hold it against me.
So, about the Story itself, just some notes:
-Elutheros Town is a name I've made up for Cana's village since they never specify where she lived before moving to Magnolia, but since nobody knew who Cornelia was, I assume it was pretty far off. "Elutheros" is a shortened version of Eliutherios (The Liberator), another name for Dionysus, the God of Wine. Since Hiro seems to use Western and Greek names, and since Gildarts likes alcohol, I thought why not? (Bacchus was already taken by that drunk dude from Quatro Cerberus)
-A Hodras is a huge boar-like creature. Look it up on the wiki.
-I know I'm going to get a ton of questions for Madara and Zeref, but I can't answer them now. Tell me your theories down in the reviews aha. It should be fairly obvious. Zeref dropped more than a few hints. (Also! Can you guess who Zeref is talking about when he says "She would gladly kill me.."? It's a character who's DOB was never announced, so I can put her whenever and wherever I please lol)
-BTW, Zeref and Sasuke are two different people. So alla y'all that are like "it don't mek no sense!" are going to have to suffer for a bit longer until I explain.
-Furfur is a the Great Earl of Hell, commanding 29 legions of demons. Mirajane's other two forms, Sitri and Halphas, are also Geotic demons. Halphas is a President of Hell (sometimes called a Prince) and commands 40 legions, and Sitri is a Great Prince, ruling 60 legions. So basically Furfur is Mira's base Satan Soul form, and the weakest. It took me a while to look this up and find the perfect name, and it was during church service too. Talk about awkward...
-On a completely unrelated note, Erigor, that crusty dude from Eisenwald, is from Goetic Demon Eligos, a Great Duke commanding 60 legions. 'Course, the FT Eligor is a lot weaker...
-As far as Fate is concerned, he meant for Madara to be transported to the past. Just another attempt to curb the number of lives being taken. He probably didn't forsee what happens in Tenrou.
-I've said this before, but Sasuke's favorite food is tomatoes, look it up. He hates sweet things too, btw.
-For those asking, the reunion between Naruto and Sasuke won't occur for several chapters. It'll happen probably somewhere around the Lullaby or Phantom Lord Arc. Oh, and also, one of the shinobi probably won't be joining Fairy Tail. Maybe. Haven't worked out the details yet.
Lastly, I would like to ask you to vote on my profile on what kind of story I should write. I also have another story coming up (Bleach), whose ideas are on my profile too, if you wanna check it out.
So that's all for now, I'll see you wonderful people later.
Follow, Favorite, and Review! It only takes one click! Or three, or four, depending on how much you like this chapter... Or around 200 if you plan to leave your opinions in the reviews ahaha...