What's up people! Long time no see! Happy New Year and all that! The vacation and getting accepted to my top choice college was a bit distracting, and my computer broke, in case you were wondering why it's taken me this long to update.
Now I have no doubt you just want the next chapter, so on with the show!
Big thank you to my betas!
NARUTO: SON OF KRONOS
WELCOME TO CAMP
Naruto was dizzy. He also knew that he was in bed, though it was not his own. The pillow was too big to be the one he used back at the apartment. He also knew that he usually didn't wake up facing the ceiling, nor were his ceilings as high as the room he was currently in. If he had to guess, he was in a hospital of some sorts. And, rather unsurprisingly, the blond gave a groan at his current predicament.
"Ah good! You're awake!" a man's voice to the right side of the bed exclaimed. Naruto tilted his head to the side, though not too fast as so to avoid even more dizziness, and looked at the source of the voice. The man was seated in what appeared to be a wheelchair, which gave the blond the impression that he was a fellow patient, but he was dressed in a pinstripe suit that looked twenty years out of date. His face wasn't particularly unique, save for the fact that his beard looked like that of Abraham Lincoln and oddly complemented his eyes. He had a blanket covering his legs in the wheelchair, and looked oddly comfortable.
"Ugh, where am I?" Naruto asked in a tired voice. The man gave a light chuckle.
"You, my dear blond friend, are located in the infirmary. You've been out for a few days now. Quite the car wreck if I do say so myself."
Naruto jolted upright as the memories came back to him. The trip to the battlefield, the rock heads disguised as bodybuilders, the car flipping, and the rockheads overwhelming his uncle…
"What…what happened to my uncle!? Where is Alex-Ojisan?! And what happened to those stupid rockheads?!"
The man in the wheelchair sighed and put his hand on Naruto's shoulder, "I'm sorry son, but you were the only one we found…aside from a trashed car, several piles of rocks, and your weapons…or at least we think they're yours."
Naruto went silent. Alex was gone? His uncle was gone? He just couldn't accept it! But…it had to be true. He saw his uncle get overwhelmed, he saw Alex get taken. The rockheads took him. But looking back, it seemed like Alex gave up. He was kicking ass and then…he just stopped. But what was even weirder was the fact that he didn't remember anything after that. He would have thought about it more, but his dizzy spell came back. Without resistance he fell back into the bed.
"Look," the man said with a weary sigh, "why don't you get some more rest. Tomorrow I'll introduce you to the rest of the camp."
The last thing that Naruto saw was the man stand up, but his vision was a bit distorted, so he just looked like a black blob except for his beard, and then he blacked out again.
It was cold and damp in the place that Naruto woke up in next. Surprisingly, he wasn't dizzy anymore, and was free to observe his surroundings as he stood up. It looked like an old rusty sewer, although the water running through it was clean. There were dozens of pipes running along the main line that he was in, each and every one splitting to others further down the line. They all echoed with a pulsing noise, not dissimilar from a heartbeat.
But it was more than that. For some reason, Naruto felt the need to follow the beating to its source, further down the pipes. He complied with the urge, waking further down the pipeline.
Along the way, he found himself wondering exactly how he'd gotten there, and would have wondered aloud if he could, but found that he could not speak, nor could he cease his movement.
And so he continued this way for quite some time, until he managed to reach the center of the sewer system, which was similar to the pipe he'd just walked through with the exception of the fact that the room was about as tall as the Chrysler building, and was sealed off by huge metal bars at the other end. The pipes pulsed even more in this cavernous room, with pipes coming from the area behind the bars as well as above where Naruto was standing. The majority of both pipes led into what looked to be a gauge of some kind that was linked to a tank filled with a golden liquid.
It was then that Naruto found he could move on his own again, as he began making his way toward the tank with the strangely beautiful golden tank by his own volition. Before he could reach it though, a heavy voice boomed out from behind the bars.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you…"
Naruto stopped moving and redirected his attention toward the bars, "If you touch that tank before you're ready, it will spell the end of us both, and that is something I cannot allow…"
A great red eye peered out of the gate, accompanied by the barring of white fangs. This was all that Naruto could see at first, but as he stared at the figure, the thrashing of tails became visible in the dark background, visible only because of the light reflected by the shiny white teeth. It was at this realization that the blond began moving away from the tank and towards the bars, stopping at what he felt to be a safe distance from them.
"You must be the Kyuubi no Kitsune, am I right?" Naruto asked the figure in front of him.
"Well, in that case allow me to introduce myself. My name is Naruto Uzumaki, your container, and future Hokage of Konoha."
The fox grunted, or at least it sounded like a grunt, "I already knew who you were gaki. I know everything about you: your aspirations, your dreams, your parents. But I have to say, this is the first time that any of my containers have ever bothered being polite."
Naruto smiled, "Well I'm glad I've made a good first impression at least. But seeing as you're contained within me, I think I should ask if you knew anything about me blacking out…"
The giant fox growled, "If you didn't have your father's blood in your veins, I would be trying to kill you right now, but you were polite, so I suppose I can answer that…" the fox grinned, "I took over your body. You gave in to your hatred, your anger, and I used that as a bridge to your body. I killed those pathetic piles of rock within seconds, but you had to butt in before I could have any…fun…"
Naruto looked contemplative for a second, before bowing toward the fox, "Then I am in your debt. If you had not intervened, I would likely be dead or imprisoned right now, and for that I thank you…"standing from the bow, he looked about him, and then back toward the fox, "I don't suppose that I could interest you in a deal of sorts…"
The fox barked out a laugh before Naruto could finish, "What could you possibly offer me gaki?! My freedom?! For that is all I wish for!"
Naruto shook his head, "No, I can't do that. From what I know of sealing it would kill me, and besides, I have no guarantee that you would not rampage about New York and try to destroy the world. I can, however, change your accommodations…or at least I think I can."
"I am listening intently…"
"Well, if I'm right, and we're inside of my mind, then I can control everything that's here; from the sewer, to the bars, to how the place looks. I could change it to something I think you'd like…"
"And what do you want in exchange for this…change of scenery."
"Well, for one I'd like to be able to chat with you when I can, and I'd also like to access some of your power, but only when I absolutely need it."
Both the fox and Naruto were silent for a few minutes thereafter, before the fox lifted its head, "Very well gaki, I will give you my power when you need it, and I will allow you to…badger me with your annoying speech when you want to visit. However, I reserve the right to deny both on my own circumstances. That is my price for saving your life."
Naruto smiled, "Fair enough. Now then, give me a few seconds…"
He closed his eyes and concentrated on himself, going into a state of meditation that only masters would be able to achieve. Considering he had already achieved consciousness within his mind though, it wasn't hard to get to where he was going. He saw the inner workings of his mind, and why it was like this. His mind was attuned to the circumstances he lived in for the first few years of his life, alone and dark. Before the old man, before his dad, before New York, he'd been a simple orphan that no one seemed to like.
"Now things are different" he thought. He focused on the memories of the old man, of his time with Alex, of his dads note. He thought of what faith his father placed in him, of what trust the third had in him. Then he thought of his dream, to be hokage of Konoha, and what it would mean for him.
When he opened his eyes, he saw that the sewer-like environment he was in had been in was gone, replaced with trees native to his home village. Instead of pipes, red and blue vines now wound their way down tunnels created by a thick canopy of trees. Where the bars that contained the Kyuubi once were, there now rose impossibly tall stalks of bamboo, in the same location and positioned just as the bars were.
Giving a smile at his work, Naruto bowed once again toward the Kyuubi, though this time more of a bow that one gives after a performance.
"Hmm…this will do I suppose, though being rid of these infernal bars would be best. Still, it is much cozier. Very well, I will honor our agreement. For now though, I have grown weary of your presence."
With his peace said, the fox retreated back behind his stalks of Bamboo, and a tree sprouted beneath Naruto's feet, carrying him back into the conscious world.
"Well, the boy is interesting at the very least. Perhaps he can become strong enough to face the challenges that lie ahead…" The fox thought as he lay down on his new leaven bed, "Yes, things certainly will be interesting…"
Naruto awoke with a start, still staring at the ceiling of what he gathered to be the infirmary. It was daytime, which meant that he'd either woke up later the same day, which he doubted, or he'd woken up the next day, which seemed more likely. To his happiness, the dizziness had faded away, and he was able to look about the room. There wasn't much else to be seen in the room aside from neatly made beds, but there were several windows open that let in the cool breeze to relieve the sweltering heat of summer.
Standing up, Naruto found himself dressed in a grey shirt and blue jeans. It wasn't really his style, but it seemed to work well enough. He made his way to the closest window to try and figure out exactly where he was. It was a beautiful summer day, by the looks of it. Naruto guessed that he was on the north shore of Long Island, simply because of the water out past the closest buildings. There looked to be fields and forests in the area as well, but what was oddest were the Greek looking buildings dotted across the landscape. They were of various heights and sizes, but they all had polished white marble columns and roofs made of tile. There was a small lake in the middle of the area, and from what the blond could see there were people canoeing across it.
"Ehem…" a voice said from behind Naruto. Turning, he saw a blond girl that looked to be right around his age, wearing an orange T-shirt and jeans. Her blonde hair was a lighter shade than Naruto's, and she had grey eyes, but other than that there didn't appear to be anything remarkable about her.
"If you're done sightseeing then I've been told to deliver you to the camp directors as soon as possible…"the girl said with a slight twinge of annoyance.
"Ah, sorry…" Naruto said sheepishly, "It's just not every day that you wake up in a room that has a view like this one, much less a day that you see stuff that looks like Greek architecture in it's prime…"
The girl shrugged, "I guess I can understand that…Sorry for being so brash, I'm just in a bit of a rush. The names' Annabeth Chase," she said extending a hand.
"Naruto Uzumaki…." he said taking the offered hand and shaking it, "So two questions; where am I and where are the things that I had on me when I came in?"
"Well, I think the directors will give you a more detailed version, but you've arrived in Camp Half-Blood, and the things you had with you are being stored in the armory until Chiron gives you a clear pass."
"Alright…I would ask you a few more questions, but you said you were a bit busy, so lead on."
Annabeth nodded and led Naruto onto the porch, which looked like it wrapped around the whole building, toward two men who were sitting around and playing cards. One of them was the man that had been at his bedside, sitting back in his wheelchair. The other one looked like a fatter version of cupid that got lost in a middle age crisis and had a drinking problem.
Annabeth cleared her throat, causing the two men to look up from their game, "Mr. D, Chiron, may I present Naruto Uzumaki."
Naruto bowed slightly, "I am in your debt for taking care of me for the past few days."
The man who had been at his bedside waved him off, "Think nothing of it my dear boy. Although I'll admit, I didn't expect you to be this polite…"
Naruto stood and scratched the back of his head, "Well, my uncle was very adamant about teaching me proper manners to those that I need to make an impression on. Considering you've taken care of me for the past few days, it's only polite…"
The other man that looked like cupid 'hmph'd', "Well at least one of you has decent manners when addressing your superiors. For once I am happy to welcome someone to Camp Half-Blood. My name is Dionysus, but most of these infernal campers call me Mr. D. The fake cripple over there is Chiron, the camp instructor."
"You wouldn't happen to be the Greek god of wine, would you? And Chiron as in the teacher of heroes Chiron?"
Chiron laughed, "Well aren't you a sharp one! Yes, we're one and the same!"
Naruto smiled, "So I actually made it after all…YATTA!"
After a few seconds of everyone present clearing the ringing in their ears, Mr. D spoke up again, "Perhaps I was wrong in my judgment of your character, Uzugaki, but from what you said it sounds like you were looking for this place, and if I'm not mistaken you spoke Japanese…"
Naruto, who was too excited to notice the subtle change of his name, nodded vigorously, "Yeah, I'm originally from a place that spoke Japanese as the first language. My uncle taught me how to speak English, and what I know about Greek mythology…he said that I was supposed to go to the hill with a pine tree at its top…we were going there to help me learn how to…take care of myself…"
Chiron gave a weary smile, "You have no idea how common your situation is to some of the other campers. I am happy to say though that you've reached your destination, if what you've said is accurate. This camp is located behind a pine tree at the top of a hill…and if I'm right then he intended for you to receive training here."
Naruto nodded happily, "Yeah, I just didn't want to say that for risk of seeming…"
Annabeth interrupted him with a slight glare, "Insane, crazy, mad, nuts? Yeah, we get that a lot…"
Naruto smiled sheepishly, "Sorry…didn't mean to offend."
Mr. D cleared his throat rather loudly, "Anyways, what I want to know is about your uncle. It's rare that half-blood children are still in touch with their families, other than the other parent that is. So where is your other parent?"
Naruto looked down at the floor, "My mother…died giving birth to me…"
Mr. D nodded solemnly; he understood to an extent, seeing as he was the father of hundreds of children over the years. Over time, he'd become dulled to the pain of losing his children, but he imagined the pain was just about as bad as never knowing your parents.
Chiron simply sighed, and Annabeth looked at the blonde a little differently. After all, there weren't many who understood her pain at the camp, and even though her father was still alive, they were estranged to the point of no contact, so she felt like she could sympathize with her fellow blonde.
"My uncle found me in an orphanage a few years ago…" Naruto lied convincingly, "and adopted me as soon as he could."
Mr. D nodded again. "Any reason why you think he'd be taken?"
"No idea whatsoever," Naruto lied once again. Of course, he couldn't just come out and say that his uncle was a titan, nor could he say that he was the son of Kronos, that would probably get him killed.
"Well," Mr. D said as he relaxed back into his chair, "It isn't uncommon for some of our darker elements to kidnap the relatives of those they think will be powerful elements in the future, or those that they think would make good slaves or spouses, but it's been eons since such a thing happened. Still, if what you say is true, then I doubt you'll see your uncle again…"
"Excuse me Mr. D, but I have faith that I will. In fact, I promise you right now that I will find my uncle again, regardless of what I have to do to get to him."
Dionysus was taken aback. It was rare for a mortal to even try to challenge him, much less the campers. But this boy…he had a spark in his eye he hadn't seen since Theseus when he went into the labyrinth. While Athena may have been the one sponsoring his little quest, he had wanted to assist him as well. A small smile spread across his face.
"Well then, you may have to wait a while before you can go get him, Uzugaki. The camp isn't allowed to partake in anymore quests for the time being, and that doesn't seem to be changing any time soon." He turned to Chiron, "Chiron, could you call Luke Castellan up here?"
Chiron nodded and turned to Annabeth, "Ms. Chase, would you mind fetching Luke for us on your way back to your class?"
Annabeth blushed a little, but nodded her ascension and scurried off the porch, leaving Naruto, Chiron, and Mr. D sitting around the table.
"Soo…" Mr. D began, "Anyone up for a game of pinochle?"
Naruto scratched his head in confusion, "Umm, what kind of game is that?"
Chiron chuckled, "It's a card game my boy. How about we teach you as we go, alright?"
As Luke approached the balcony of the big house, he had to dodge several cans of soda and decks of cards flying in all directions. It wasn't all too uncommon for the two camp directors to get into bouts like this, though this time it was unusually more dramatic.
"How in Hades can a kid who doesn't even know how to play win every round?! Not even Zeus is that lucky!" The obvious voice of Mr. D shouted as he threw another summoned can of soda down onto the floor below. The can then promptly exploded, leaving the porch floor a sticky mess.
It was this sight that Luke walked in on; Dionysus flailing about like a madman (which he was), Chiron looking like he'd seen a ghost, and some short blond kid who was still sitting at the table with a smug look on his face and all the poker chips they usually played with in front of his seat.
So, he promptly picked up half a destroyed can of soda that was laying on the floor and threw it, pegging Chiron in the head. The zoned out director promptly returned to the land of the living, and cleared his throat, stopping Dionysus's rant cold, and drawing all attention to the salt and pepper blond.
"You wanted to see me sir?"
"Actually," Mr. D spoke, "I was the one that wanted to see you Casserole…" Luke flinched at the misspeaking of his name but paid attention nonetheless, "I wanted to ask you the condition of Cabin 11, and, moreover, the state of your occupancy."
"Well, we still have a few beds open, but there's not much room for personal affects…or much else for that matter."
"I see. Well, as I would hate to see your cabin stretched to capacity, I have seen fit to alleviate some of your burden." He turned to Naruto with a curious look on his face that matched Naruto's own.
"Normally you would be sent to Cabin 11 as an unclaimed demigod, and they would thus take you in. However, I am in a particularly good mood today, so," he cleared his throat, "Naruto Uzumaki, I hereby name you as a champion of the god Dionysus, lord of drink, pleasure, and madness. You are hereby granted to enter any domains I may own, and are, unless otherwise directed, to represent me to the best of your ability in combat, diplomacy, and all things under my domain. Do you swear these things on the River Styx, upon pain of death, or until released from your duty?"
Naruto, although he had no idea what exactly was going on, said, "I swear". Thunder boomed in the distance.
Dionysus smiled, "The deal is done. Rise, Naruto Uzumaki, champion of Dionysus."
As Naruto stood, an ethereal image of a wine glass surrounded by vines appeared on top of his head. Chiron was smiling, though he was inwardly flabbergasted at what had just happened, while Luke's mouth was gaping, and Naruto, who didn't entirely know what was happening, was staring at the wine glass hovering above his head.
Mr. D once again cleared his throat, "Yes, well, now that that business is done, would you mind showing Naruto to cabin 12 Mr. Calamari? I'm sure he'll be delighted to meet his new bunk mates."
Luke snapped out of it, and nodded, "Follow me Naruto."
Naruto stood, and followed Luke off the porch. Once they were clearly out of hearing range, Chiron turned toward Dionysus, who was once again sitting down, sipping on a mountain dew.
"I must say, I'm rather surprised that you did that Dionysus."
Dionysus 'h'mphed', "I have a feeling that that demigod will be a lot more important than any of us can ever fathom. Aside from that, he looked like he could already handle himself, which is rare for a new camper. You know, I get the feeling that things are about to start changing around here…"
"Well, I've gotten a report from Grover Underwood that he may have found a powerful demigod in New York. I'm having him go to school with the child next year, but if his report is accurate, it may mean that I'll have to go and see this child for myself."
Mr. D groaned, "Which means that I'll be in charge of the camp for an entire year. Great."
Chiron chuckled, "It isn't that bad. Besides, Luke can help you out with most of the stuff that I do…"
The god leaned back in his chair, "I suppose so. At the very least it will be an interesting year."
"That it will, Dionysus. That it will."
ANNDDD that's a wrap!
This chapter took a lot longer than intended, but it got done. My last computer quit on me when I was almost done with this chapter, so I had to rewrite it. Hope you all enjoyed it!
Now on to notifications.
I've gotten mixed reviews for the pairings, which is, by all intents and purposes, good for me. My beta from Germany wants me to pair him with a titan, which I may do, though I'm still looking more along the lines of demi-god/ god. But I may change my mind again.
Anyhow, leave me a review and tell me how I'm doing! Ciao for now!