I do not own Naruto.
My community C2: Enochian.
Beta Reader - Nightfall To Dawn.
A trapped void that knew no bounds; refuge to the souls of failures who were not allowed ascendance. Here they wandered, lingered, and waited in the silent vacuum of space. They could do nothing except merely exist in the dark crawls of infinity, but to await a pending judgment. If it ever came.
He was different, however.
A God amongst men, veteran of the clan wars, a founding forefather. Yet among that famed glory, he was betrayed by his own flesh and blood. His supposedly proud and loyal kinsmen took up arms against him. They were content with existing on the sidelines, all in service to his longtime rival. Did they not understand?
His ideals, that fighting spirit, the belief that love was the key to peace — they called it Hi no Ishi. His rival's life philosophy and what he founded his own clan by was passed from generation to generation.
Unlike his false brethren, he stayed true to his ancestors before him. He fought for his name's sake—for the clan's sake.
They—he and his all too familiar adversary—had clashed until they tore the earth beneath them asunder. The display of combat and brutality had reshaped the landscape around them; transforming once lush forestry into a forsaken wasteland built upon hate and despair.
In the end, the heavens wept for the world's loss. His loss.
He had been angry at first, furious even, at his own failure. The hatred he once harbored had shortly diminished into emptiness. He had soon realized that he died with regrets; to have not been courted by a fair and worthy maiden; to not have fathered any prodigious children or grandchildren; to have not mentored any promising disciples or apprentices to carry on his will.
Uchiha Madara would be nothing more than some transient and fleeting memory, for little would remember his deeds in life. They called it not being… immortalized.
He mulled those thoughts over like a broken record; all in mono.
The Shinigami was absolutely livid as it watched the events that had recently unfolded before the world. The ethereal deity was not angered that its most recent payment was half of the chakra belonging to an almighty bijū, nor was it the little extra tip that came in the form of the one who had last sought out its services. What enraged the god instead was the receiver at the end of the bargain.
Both gods, the Shinigami and Kami, had bestown their blessings centuries before to an individual with whom the power to reshape the fate of the world. As of recently, that individual was now poisoned with the ultimate burden—to imprison a bijū. The undead deity cursed at the contract it was bound to; the same contract that forced it to seal the final half of the bijū into the chosen one. That complicated many things for the two deities; no, it changed everything.
It now condemned the chosen one to live a pitiful excuse of an existence, fated to meet a grisly end at the hands of his so-called comrades—to die alone and cold in a puddle that once coursed through his veins. But before that: societal isolation, prolonged suffering and then countless betrayals.
The Shinigami's features altered into a ghastly scowl as it was given brief visions of the chosen man's future. The divine being refused to allow Kami and it's own efforts be for naught. Something must be done. The god could not directly intervene with the turn of destined events, however nothing dictated that others could not. There was a problem concerning that solution. Who would be fitting for the role? The ghastly deity considered many choices before confining to one man whose will couldn't be swayed by beliefs alone. How about the "Ghost" of the accursed Uchiha?
Yes, that was the man's name. The Shinigami had nearly forgotten it with the countless dead in limbo. Had it not been for the forefather's deep regrets during his time in purgatory, the death god would have not paid it the time of day to even consider learning his name.
Flashes of clan lord's possible influence upon the chosen one's path were observed and taken into consideration. The following were among his greatest and strongest desires—to bear a family to call his own; to raise a heir from start to finish; to leave some sort of mark to be remembered by; a second chance.
Such conviction in this one! It seemed to almost rival the chosen one's even after the sudden change of fate. How could the death god deny the opportunity?
And thus was decided...
Uchiha Madara would definitely play as the Shinigami's and Kami's wild card.
He had once been afloat, frozen in a vacant occupancy for what felt like an eternal slumber. Now the man had begun to pitch downwards.
He could see his downward descent to the unknown. Below his prone form was pitch-black, yet it was in-discernibly the floor of whatever spatial dimension of the afterlife he was in. Madara's spectral, free-falling form avoided the sky-scraping onyx pillars that formed what seemed to be a narrow hallway, as grey walls that once took the form of the dark void slowly blurred into existence. Slowly but gradually, the veil of null that once plagued his visual senses dissolved into nothingness.
His descent had come to an abrupt halt just mere feet away from the manifested ground before he was promptly drawn forcibly forward. Additional darkness melted back into the crevices beyond him and before he knew it, Madara stood face-to-face with the entity that defined death itself: the Shinigami.
The grim deity was clothe in a long, loose outer garment that consisted of an alabaster regalia that shrouded the majority of its vast and ghastly form. Its pale face and sickeningly long digits bore stiletto-like claws. Two curved horns protruded from its forehead, preventing the tattered hood from masking its petrifying gaze. The death god had a powerful atmosphere that would bring an average human to their knees. It was bone-chilling at minimal; had Madara had been alive at that very moment, he would've felt the tell tale fear that threatened to overwhelm his mortal flesh.
"Do you know who I am, Uchiha Madara?" the Shinigami's grim and disembodied voice beckoned.
Madara, who had not trusted his voice in the very presence of death itself, offered a brief nod in confirmation. There was no other divine being that lingered in the realm of the dead anyway.
"Good. You have been called for judgment," the deity stated. The clan head would have held his breath if possible. The word of the Shinigami was final. There was no other method to sway the divine being's decision. Right now, his fate would be decided once and for all, this moment was what countless souls before him were waiting for.
"I, the Shinigami, hereby sentence you… a blessing. Your greatest desire has been answered."
Madara's facial expression was instantly riddled in both shock and disbelief at the decision. Yet despite all the confusion he surely held, he had not allowed his face to show weakness. Multiple question had befallen the Uchiha traitor. Had the death god really given him what he ? Was he really allowed to have a second chance? The Shinigami decided it time to answer his growing curiosity.
"I bestow upon you a worthy heir. For the time being, it does not belong to you. Yet." The great apparition's wicked hand reached out to firmly grasp the top of Madara's head. "First, you need to hear. Listen and understand…"
Several visions of the living flooded the Uchiha traitor's mind at random intervals, but became more direct and focused as the death god spoke.
'Uchiha Madara. Your imposter. The liberator of the Kyūbi…'
'Namikaze Minato. The future Yondaime Hokage. Who will imprison the Kyūbi…'
'Uzumaki Kushina. Wife of the Yondaime. Former jinchūriki of the Kyūbi…'
'Your heir. Son of the Yondaime and last Uzumaki. He will be the third jinchūriki of the Kyūbi…'
Madara was quickly briefed upon the recent events. The man even stole a glimpse at his would-be heir, who was born not even an hour in the mortal plane.
"A by-product of the Yondaime's decision. Heir of Fate, without your intervention," explained the Shinigami. He despondently declared as it pressed foresight of the child's future experiences into the ancestor's mind.
Pain. Suffering. Hatred. Sollitude. Neglect. Betrayal.
Madara went through a series of mixed expressions throughout it all. Firstly was hatred and disgust for the Yondaime Hokage, but that had wallowed out to pity and understanding as he mulled over the earlier visions. He did however, scowl at the remaining imagery that invaded his mind. Scenes of betrayal and underhanded trickery. For a village built upon his late rival's philosophy…
If this child was to be his immediate heir at the forefront of the oncoming events, then he would not allow himself to just sit by and watch while wasting his second chance at life. He would be the family that the boy so desperately craved for. He would be the guardian to raise and nurture him in times of need.
The Shinigami still had not freed him from its grasp as it spoke again. "You have heard, listened and understood. Now…"
Two long, bony fingers with nails sharpened in reminiscent to kunai slowly plunged into the sockets of where his eyeballs would be. Madara's mouth opened as he shouted a silent scream. It almost felt ironic.
"For you, Ghost of the Uchiha; your Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan has been returned."
Madara's vision blurred as a surge of power tapped into his skull. As quickly as his previous sight deteriorated, it was restored to full clarity. The death god had withdrawn its talons.
"And from the mother, recessive genes of the Senju. Thus the evolution into the Rinnegan."
The deity's lips seemed to twitch outwards, forming a wicked grin in an amused manner. "Lastly, for you personal aquisition…"
The clan lord felt his consciousness slowly slipping away as the Shinigami continued to voice its commands. It felt like he was dying all over again. But instead of resisting as he had done in life before, he willingly allowed the darkness overtake him once more.
"Live on within your heir. Guide him. Set your mark upon the living, Uchiha Madara."
End of chapter.