Disclaimer: I do not own the 'Percy Jackson' series or Naruto
Chapter 3: The past, the present and the Future
Tomorrow it would be a year since I first met the hunters, but I had found no sign of Hidan except for the occasional brutalized corpse. That was, until today.
I was looking for clues or anything thing when I felt a set of chakra signatures I had become quite familiar with fighting a single enemy. I would rather stay human and I knew they were skilled enough to take down a single enemy so they didn't need my help. I was wrong: a couple seconds later two of the Hunter's chakra signatures were snuffed out.
I dropped what I was doing and went there via shunshin (body flicker). When I got there I saw a white haired man surrounded by twenty eight girls and with two bodies at his feet. They were still and I could see the slight glow they had fading.
He ignored me and lunged at another one of the girls but I was quicker. In a split second I had grabbed him by the face and slammed him into the ground; half a second later Hidan found himself in the air 6 meters above the ground. I jumped up and I kicked him into the woods then I landed and went after him.
I caught up to him just as he crashed through the last tree. He got up and saw my face then he went into a rage. It didn't look like he could talk anymore, didn't even look like he could think. Makes sense though, he was conscious for over 10000 years as his body slowly grew back, just staring at the dirt and from what I heard he was already crazy. Even if I could help him I wouldn't; so it didn't matter.
I formed a cross with my hands calling out "kage bunshin no jutsu" (shadow clone jutsu) after the poof of smoke there stood 6 copies of me. They already understood what I needed them to do, four of them heading towards Hidan. The first clone punched him before he could react. The other three, that were flanking him, kicked him up into the air. The last thing he ever heard was a screeching wind and a call of "Fuuton: Rasenshuriken" (Wind release: Spiralling shuriken).
I barely managed to see it when Naruto engaged the man who had attacked my hunters but I took advantage of the opportunity to see if the two that were struck first could be saved. It was a pointless endeavour, they were already dead. There were too many questions "How did it go so bad so quickly, who was that man and who is Naruto Uzumaki?" There was only one person who had the answers. With that thought I ran off into the woods after the boy.
I got to a clearing surrounded by destroyed foliage. There had clearly been a battle here but they're already gone. I examined the area more carefully; there was only one set of tracks leaving the battle and no bodies. "If it's the boy I'll get answers and if it's the man then I will avenge my hunters" and I followed the tracks.
I followed the tracks deeper into the woods until they just suddenly stopped, I looked around they hadn't been covered up by the snow or erased: they just stopped here "But I shall not". I called out to the wildlife. Hastily various animals leaked from the trees. There were wolves, deer, foxes and a toad.
I stared at the toad for a second but decided that some foolish mortal must have brought it here, especially since it was wearing a cloak. I asked if any of the creatures had seen anybody matching the boy's or the man's description.
The animals left one by one with a polite "no mi lady" or "unfortunately not" until all that was left was the toad which stayed silent.
"Have you anything to say, toad?" I asked frustrated at the lack of response.
The toad waited a second before saying in English "Why do you seek Naruto?" my eyes widened for a second before narrowing, another question to add to the list. I told him the truth "I need answers".
"As do we all, but why do you need these answers? Why is it from him that your answers must come?" the toad responded with a raised eyebrow.
I clenched my fist "someone I care about died at the hand of someone he knew" I growled out.
The toad glared for a second and he mumbled something under his breath before looking into my eyes with the fire of determination and quietly he asked "so you seek him for revenge?" the toad was tense and ready to jump at a moment's notice.
"No, I just need to know who the killer was"
At this the toad relaxed and said "If you wish to find him look for tracks in the trees." He turned and started to leave but when I was about to leave he said "Know that if he comes to harm by your hand; the toads will know and we will find you" then he was gone.
I went back to where the tracks ended and climbed into the nearest tree and just as the toad said there were fresh tracks, he was here, and I continued to follow the trail.
I finally found him in a clearing, standing in front of a Black stone covered with words carved into it, he seemed to be asleep. It was midnight now: it had taken me half a day to find him. I started walking towards him with my bow ready. Suddenly, a countless number of glass like shards shimmered into existence orbiting around the boy who stood in the centre. The shards were glowing silver and they each displayed different people, places and events. I could also hear mumbled words in a language I had not encountered before. I just stood there watching the shards and slowly what the shards were saying became clear and I began to understand.
Curiously, I reached out to see if I could touch one of them; it shattered into pieces followed shortly by all the others. The boy woke up and looked up at me confused. Panic quickly swept the expression of his face as he saw that I had just stepped on part of a large circle of markings and before I knew it the world faded to darkness.
In the darkness visions flashed into existence and I started to hear and see the memories I had buried long ago. The memories of all the hunters I had lost. There was too much, I could feel the strain on my mind as thousands of memories replayed every second in a constant agonising cycle, the pains of their deaths and the loneliness of being left behind.
It all stopped abruptly and I was left with a silent drip of water. I heard a relieved sigh of relief from behind me; I turned to see the boy standing there. "That was close," he began "if I had brought you here a second later you would've died"
I looked around and saw that I was in a damp sewer. I glared at him "Where are we?" I demanded.
He chuckled and said "I guess I do owe you an explanation and I happen to need one. So let uss do it like this: I answer a question for every question you answer?"
"Fine, where are we?"
"We are in my mindscape. I brought you here because if I did anything else to stop the seal it would have probably killed you"
The only one that I knew was able to that was Athena "How are we in your mi-"
I was interrupted by him saying "My turn, who are you?"
"I am Artemis, goddess of the hunt, the moon and the wilderness but I have already told you this." I paused for a minute before asking "what was that earlier? You called it a 'seal'."
He let out a tired sigh. "I call it a mourning seal. If you stand on it while it is on it will dig up the memories of all the people and places you've lost, each represented by a different 'memory shard'; but it's dangerous for most people to use, especially if they aren't prepared, because it pushes the mind beyond its limits, add the emotional shock and you're are certainly broken if not dead."
"Why would you do that to yourself?" I demanded.
"…because it's our job as does who have survived to remember those who didn't, even if it hurts. It's my turn again, why do you turn into a fox every time we meet?" With this he sent me a small glare.
"I warned you the first time, you were flirting the second and the third time was because I found it amusing; but I do wonder, how are you able to return to being human?"
He chuckled nervously and I raised an eyebrow. "It's complicated and I think I need to introduce you to someone for you to understand." He stood up and started walking away then he stopped "you coming?" I stood up and followed him.
"Naruto, why the hell did you bring someone in here, you know how dangerous it is!" I heard from the shadows ahead, where a huge fox with nine tails emerged. It was almost as big as Typhon!
Naruto said "I had to and anyway if she tries anything then I'll just kick her out of here." He then turned to me and said "Artemis meet Kurama. Kurama, Artemis."
The fox, Kurama, chuckled and said "So you're the one who's caused my host so much grief, too bad you can't transform him anymore, he's grown a resistance to it. A shame too"
Naruto mumbled a "stupid furball" before saying "Due to him being here, my body knows it isn't meant to be a fox so it fixed itself. I'm sorry to cut this short but it isn't healthy staying in someone's mind to long and the seal should have worn off now" with that we were sent out.
When we woke up the first thing I saw was Naruto looking at me completely shocked. I was confused until I looked down into my arms and almost had a heart attack. In my arms was a sleeping baby girl in a bundle of cloth with three whisker-like marks on each cheek.
In my mind I knew who she was but I wouldn't believe it. That was, until she woke and I saw her eyes that erased every trace of doubt, because they were a pure silver, just like mine.
"How is she here? How does she exist? d-did I break my oath?!"
I heard Naruto say "Artemis, it's my turn. How did you get a baby while you were in my mindscape?"
Realisation struck me like Zeus's bolt, as I remembered speaking with Athena after she claimed her first demi-god.
"Athena!" I roared, "You have broken your oath. What do you have to say about yourself?!" I was barging down the hall towards her.
She turned and looked at me calmly "I have not"
"Then why is your child living amongst the mortals as we speak!?"
"He came from the mind"
"Are you saying that he is just the result of my imagination?!"
She sighed "I meant it literally"
It was not what I had expected so I asked "What, how?"
"It takes a mix of, emotion, power and a connection between two minds" Athena turned back to the exit and kept walking.
I said "it's because you brought me into your mindscape." I was glaring at him so intensely that a small fire was starting on his shirt. I was about to try to transform him a gain but red energy exploded from the child.
It burned through the cloth, revealing that she had the ears and tail of a fox. Immediately a Naruto took her from me, made a sign with his other hand and the energy dissipated.
"What was that" I asked
He thought about it for a moment before stating "She inherited some of Kurama's chakra."
He was obviously surprised and he asked "you don't know about chakra?"
To him this was obviously very wrong. "No I don't. Explain." If this chakra was harming my daughter…
"Chakra is a combination of one's physical energy and spiritual energy." He paused to look at the child before saying "people with chakra will all ways have a balance between these, the chakra she inherited didn't have a source of physical energy since the rest of her body is producing normal chakra so it created one in the form of the ears and tail. The spiritual part comes from her soul; but from what I've seen people don't produce spiritual energy anymore. That is except for in demigods; the first time I met one of them I honestly thought they were just really arrogant."
I calmed and mumbled "You wouldn't be wrong." It was quiet enough for him not to hear it.
"Where I came from this was common knowledge and we could manipulate these energies by combining them into chakra, like this." He put his hands together and said "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu" (shadow clone jutsu). After a poof of smoke there was two Naruto's standing there. I don't know what surprised me more; the technique itself or that I understood what the name of it meant, it was similar to Japanese but yet completely different.
The clone disappeared in a smoke and Naruto continued "but that monster was definitely the only person other than me left from there though and he probably just used chakra to enhance himself or walk on surfaces; he's definitely dead now." By now the baby was asleep again.
I stuck a thinking pose before stating "You said that my hunters and I had this, chakra. Would you be able to teach how to use those techniques?"
He shook his head and stated "I wouldn't because they don't have proper circulatory system. The only ones I could teach my techniques to would be you and our daughter. Who we haven't named yet"
I almost, as the mortals called it, face palmed; how could I forget. "You should be the one to name. As much as I regret it, my duty as a goddess is going to keep me too busy to raise her. Even if I could there are ancient laws that forbid it and she would be in more danger with me."
"I also need to help her learn to control her red chakra, it's dangerous if the owner can't control it, it enhances every emotion; a slight frustration could become an uncontrollable rage, but she'll control it. I don't know many American or Greek names but I don't care, I'll call her Tsuki, it seems appropriate."
I nodded and looked at him sternly "there will be monsters after her. If you fail to keep her safe I will castrate you"
He held up his hand and made a pledge "I promise you she will be safe with me and I never break my promises. Is there anything else I need to know about raising a demigod?"
"Camp half-blood!" a part of my mind whispered "Nope, nothing at all, just remember to keep an eye out for the monster. More will come as she grows older and as she becomes more aware of them."
"The monsters will have to keep an eye out for me." He stated energetically and then he took on a melancholy expression "I have on last question: Is the story about Medusa true?"
"Why would he want to know specifically about that? He is just a mortal, an extra ordinary mortal but a mortal none the less." So I told him the truth, no reason not to. "The majority of them are." Then I left.
As I was leaving I heard Naruto say "Come visit sometime, I'll be able to answer more questions and tell you about our little girl." then I was gone.
I managed to return to the hunters quickly and was greeted by Zoe. "My lady, it is goo-"
All me senses faded and I saw a large village, burning, next to a mountain akin to mount Rushmore and surrounded by forest in a darkened night; then I came back to reality.
"-re you alright my lady?"
I shook my head and looked back at my lieutenant "I'm fine Zoe, we should get going"