Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto
Minato had seen a lot of things in his shinobi career. He had faced death many times. Heck, he had to come to terms with the fact that he knew people from the future, namely Naruto and Sasuke.
All of that had not prepared him for the bomb Naruto had dropped on him today.
The two blonds were in a local restaurant. It was nothing special, but it was comfortable. They had come here per Minato's request. The Namikaze needed some air, some space. He needed to think over what Naruto had told him.
Naruto was his son. That was the big thing. Or well, he had been his son. Now, that wasn't so clear since the Sage of Six Paths had done something to him. Yeah, that legendary figure was involved in this too. Minato had heard Jiraiya mention him before, about the myth surrounding him, as had Naruto when he came out to him and his team. It was still a lot to process.
Naruto was sitting calmly, enjoying the tea in front of him. He knew Minato's mind was a mess right now, so he was more than happy to wait for his sort-of-father to snap out of it.
"I wish I could take a picture of this."
"I've already memorized it, don't worry. Naruto's mind will be playing it for us over and over again."
"Finally something goes right around here!"
Kurama and Asura…...those two sure could get along at times, huh?
"Quiet, you two." Matatabi snapped at them both. "This is a serious conversation. Be mindful."
"He's always been like that."
Matatabi had his hands full. So did Kokuo. They were the more sensible ones. Gyuki too, except he would sometimes go along with Kurama's and Shukaku's more idiotic tendencies.
"I resent that."
"As do I!" Shukaku chimed in. "Being compared to this lowly fox doesn't make me happy at all!"
"Lowly, huh? Says the weakest one here."
"What did you just say!? Huuuuh!?"
"Oh brother, here they go again," Isobu sighed.
Already knowing where that was going, Naruto ignored the shouting contest going on inside his head in favor of focusing on Minato who still looked like he had seen a ghost or something.
"We can't be here all day, ya know." Okay, so maybe he wasn't that patient.
Minato looked startled, almost like he had been in another dimension just now.
"W-What? O-Oh, right." Coughing into his hand, Minato tried to regain his composure. Which was hard to do. "I just…...I'm still trying to sort this out."
"I think Kushina was able to handle it a lot better than you."
Minato hid a grimace. Naruto had already told him that too, how he and Kushina had fallen in love with Naruto being the end result of that love. It was farfetched to think about now since his feelings toward the redhead were complicated at best. Not to mention that he was sure Kushina liked Naruto, not him.
…...wait, she liked Naruto-!?
"Naruto, did Kushina tell you that she has feelings for you!?"
Naruto stared at him with a blank look.
"Wow. If I didn't already know that, this would suck big time for Kushina, you know that right?"
This time, Minato didn't bother to hide his grimace. Yeah, he should really learn to think before he spoke sometimes.
Wait a second.
Naruto forced a nod. "Yeah…..after I told her about this." She kissed him too, but he wasn't going to share that particular detail. It was far too embarrassing. Instead, Naruto gave his fellow blond a toothy grin. "But wow. I thought you were good under pressure, Minato. You're really losing it right now."
"I think it's justified," Minato defended himself. "I mean, all of this is crazy! The time travel part is one thing, but you being my son?" A thought occurred to him. "Wait, if Kushina and I don't get together, does that mean you'll disappear?"
Naruto shrugged. "I thought the same too, but Super Gramps took care of that. I don't really get it, but like I told you he did something to me and Sasuke. The seal on my hand has something to do with it." He was of course referring to the Sith Paths Yang seal on his right hand, which he kept hidden under his bandages at all times.
Minato shook his head, somewhat amused despite the situation. "You suck at explaining stuff, you know that?"
"Hey, I'm trying my best here." He was too!
"But all of this." Minato took another moment to gather his thoughts. "Why did you tell me this? Is it because…...you want me and Kushina to get together? Is that your motivation?"
It was Naruto who went silent here, trying to choose his words carefully.
"If I'm being honest, at first, that's exactly what I wanted. When I first met my mom in the future, she told me how you and her fell in love. It was one of the best stories I've ever heard. A part of me wanted to recreate that bond. Now." He shook his head. "I realize I was being silly. Things are not the same as they were originally. More than that…...you two are your own people. I'm not telling you all of this in hopes that you get together with her. I just wanted you to know how things turned out, about who I am really. It only seemed fair, and I didn't want to keep lying to you."
Naruto might not be smart, technically speaking, but he still had a good grasp of human emotions. Growing up the way he did, it had forced him to become emotionally mature at a faster rate than other kids his age. That's why he wanted to come clean. He didn't want Minato or Kushina to learn of this through some other way. It would just cause problems if that ever happened, problems he didn't need.
Minato opened his mouth to reply but was cut short by three figures who came waltzing to their table.
"Naruto-sensei, I thought that was you!" It was Obito, with Rin and Kakashi with him.
Naruto blinked, surprised to see them. "You guys. What are you doing here?"
Grinning, Obito said, "We were hanging out with some friends when we saw you, so we just had to come say hello."
"We're also here to demand more training from you," Kakashi added, with Rin elbowing him.
"Kakashi, don't phrase it that way!"
"But it's true!" Obito insisted. "We have to get ahead of the others! And we haven't done any missions yet either!"
To be fair, Naruto had been real busy lately. He still was as a matter of fact.
"Um, you guys-"
Minato burst out laughing as he stood up from his seat. "Hahaha, your sensei is not giving you enough attention? I know how frustrating that must be."
Naruto felt insulted. But more importantly, there were in the middle of something here.
"Don't worry, Naruto." Minato stopped Naruto and gave him a calm smile. "I'm not angry with you, or anything like that. In fact, I'm happy that you came to me with this. It's just…..I'll need some time to process this, alright? We can finish our talk after I return from the Kage Summit."
Naruto wasn't entirely pleased by this, but he could understand. It wasn't like Kushina had been thrilled to keep talking to him after he told her the truth too. It was just something he was going to have to accept.
Minato excused himself before exiting the restaurant, leaving the three genin to wonder what that was all about.
"Hey, sensei, we didn't interrupt anything important, did we?" Rin asked, worried that they had overstepped their bounds somehow. Out of the three, she was the more socially aware.
Naruto patted her on the head while shaking his head. "No, don't worry about it. The important stuff was already taken care of."
"So you say, but you know you want to know how he feels."
Sure, but he wasn't going to place the blame on his team. Not a chance.
"Blame the Uchiha at least."
"Stop being annoying, Kurama."
"Shut it, you overgrown ape."
Ah, Kurama. Always with his anti-Uchiha bias, no matter the occasion.
Obito looked on between Naruto and Rin for a moment but then shrugged.
"If you say so. But about your lack of teaching-"
"What was that?" Naruto stood up while he cracked his knuckles. "One thing is for sure, I haven't been teaching you well if you think you can disrespect me like that."
Obito suddenly fell like a cold wind was blowing his way while Kakashi and Rin stepped back to put some distance. For their safety of course.
"You want some extra training?" A wide grin etched itself on the blond's face. "Well, you got it."
Obito gulped. Maybe he should have kept his mouth shut…...?
It was dark in the suite, really dark. The only visible light was coming from the outside, through the window. But even that was mostly blocked by the drapes that had been placed there. And who had done that?
Easy. Fuka had.
The sound of whimpering rang throughout the room, and for a moment Fuka was reminded of the time when she had enacted her revenge on the one person who had taken everything from her. Except it felt…...different. It didn't feel as thrilling as before. Maybe because this wasn't personal? Whatever the reason, Fuka didn't really care. She didn't feel remorse either as she stood before the whimpering Earth Daimyo, who was tied to a chair. His personnel were all on the ground, unconscious. Once again, all thanks to Fuka.
"Y-You bitch," the man managed to say. His face was heavily beat up, his cheeks swollen and some of his teeth missing. "You think you're going to be able to get away with this?"
Fuka shrugged all nonchalant-like. "Pretty much, yeah. I mean, for all you know, I'm going to kill you soon. And dead men don't talk."
Besides, she didn't know genjutsu, so she had to compensate for that. With her fists!
It sounded much cuter in her head.
"If you wanted to kill me, you would have done so already. Stop bluffing."
Ooooooh, she got herself a smart one here. Very nice.
"True, I suppose." No reason to hide it. "I guess someone at your level would understand something like that."
"You got that right." He spat some blood onto the floor, his eyes never leaving Fuka's. "So who sent you? Was it the Fire Daimyo?"
"Oh?" Now this was interesting. Fuka leaned in closer. "What makes you say that?"
"Because it's obvious! He's the one who had someone from my inner circle killed! Now that he has that little shit Uzumaki Naruto in his village, he thinks he can trample all over the rest of us!"
Well, well. She was getting a lot of useful tips without having to work for them. Fuka liked this very much.
"Uzumaki Naruto?" She started to circle the tied up man. "The hero of Konoha? You think he's involved in this?"
"Did you not hear what I said!?" The Daimyo growled. "That man has given the Fire Daimyo more assurance that he can boss us around, just like the previous Daimyo before him with the first Hokage!"
"I don't know anything about that," she said, "but I can tell you that this has nothing to do with the Fire Daimyo. In fact, he's probably an enemy to us too."
"What?" That took the Daimyo for a loop. "Then who are you!? Who are you working for!?" he raged. He wanted answers, and he wanted them now!
Fuka sighed. His screaming was starting to annoy her.
"Shut up for a second. You're asking too many questions for someone in your position. You know I'm the one doing the interrogating, right?"
The Daimyo glared at her. Fuka knew what that meant.
"So you're going to keep your mouth shut? You really think that's a good idea?"
"Better than yours."
Fuka let out a small squeal that was very much out of character for her, but she couldn't help it. Not when Sasuke was suddenly standing next to her, appearing out of nowhere.
"S-Sasuke dear, you surprised me!" Fuka turned to her lover with a smile, not at all ashamed to be caught in the middle of some good old torture.
Sasuke did a quick scan of the room, putting all the pieces together as to what had happened. How very much like Fuka to do something like this.
"This isn't what I told you to do."
Fuka shrugged again. "Unlike Mangetsu and Kou, I prefer a more direct approach." She gave him a questioning stare. "How did you even find me anyway?"
A small snake started to crawl out from the Uchiha's robes, pretty much answering her question.
'Damn summons, only Mangetsu can spot them easily…...'
She wished she was a sensory type sometimes. It would make many things so much easier.
"YOU!" The Daimyo looked at Sasuke with wide eyes. "I know you! You're Uchiha Sasuke!"
That got an amused snort from Fuka. "Hear that, sweetie? You're famous!"
Sasuke ignored her in favor of walking up to the tied man. "This is surprising. You know me, but I don't ever recall meeting you."
"I don't need to have met you to know you." He seethed. "Kronos already informed us of you, and the dangers that you bring."
Kronos. So it was that group who had done this.
"Now that's a name I never expected to hear again," Fuka said, crossing her arms.
The Daimyo glared at them both. "So I was right. The Fire Daimyo was the one who sent you. He wasn't satisfied with winning the last war. He wants more!"
Fuka looked annoyed now. "So he's back to this again."
Sasuke wanted to say more to her, but he refrained from doing so right now. After all, he needed answers.
The Daimyo's heart stopped when he saw Sasuke's sharingan spin to existence.
"Y-You…...you're going to kill me?" Whatever bravado he had had with Fuka, it was now gone. Now, only fear gripped him.
"Not quite." Unlike Fuka, Sasuke didn't need to resort to physical means to get what he wanted. Not with his eyes.
It was a big room, with only candles present to light it. There were some guards stationed at the door, with five men sitting around a large table. It was clear to see who they were, and what it was.
It was a meeting of the Five Daimyo, and the atmosphere was tense.
Sasuke's silhouette appeared next to the Earth Daimyo. He was looking through the man's memories, so it only made sense.
"We all know why we have gathered today," the Fire Daimyo began, snapping his fan shut. "There is a big troubling shift around us, one that must be stopped at all costs."
"Oh, cut the theatrics!" The Earth Daimyo slammed his fist on the table. "If anything, we should be discussing your recent actions, Fire!"
"What was that!?"
"You heard me! I know for a fact that it was you who hired the Akatsuki to kill one of my men! In my own country no less!"
"What proof do you have!?"
"It's the only explanation! Who else would have to gain from the war continuing but you!? That Uzumaki Naruto brat was able to defeat the Tsuchikage, and now he's being made into the Yondaime Hokage! If you think you can just chalk all this up as mere coincidences, then you have another thing coming!"
"Oh dear." The Wind Daimyo settled into his seat to make himself more comfortable. "This meeting has only just begun, but sparks are already flying."
The Water Daimyo sighed. "This is the exact reason I wanted no part of this. You people are always arguing over pointless matters."
"Pointless!?" The Earth Daimyo glared at him, hard. "Hold your tongue, Water. You're in no position to insult me! Not in the sorry state your shinobi village is in!"
"Look, there have been many unexplained events occurring recently," the Lightning Daimyo spoke up. "No one here is denying that. But we have more pressing matters to deal with. Namely, this Aurora Alliance among the shinobi."
"T'ch, so you say, but you lot have done nothing to stop it."
Having had enough, the Fire Daimyo blurted out, "Enough with your whining, Earth. The appointment of Uzumaki Naruto into the Hokage seat was not one I was happy to agree with. But my hands were tied. If I went against the appointment, I could have a civil war in my hands, with a power that's very well established within my own borders!"
The others faced the same problem as well. In the past, the shinobi villages had served to save them from external as well as internal threats. But now, they were the internal threats. Not a good position to be in.
"This Uzumaki Naruto is the face of the alliance, is he not?" The Water Daimyo pondered. "He brought an end to the civil war that had been plaguing Kiri as well. That's how he brought my village into the alliance, with a new Mizukage at its center."
"It's very clear what we need to do, isn't it?" The Earth Daimyo smirked. "We need to kill that man."
The Wind Daimyo sighed. "You make it sound so easy."
"Besides, this alliance is bigger than him now," the Lightning Daimyo pointed out. "Killing him won't do anything at this point."
"I wouldn't be so sure. He's at the very top of this alliance. He's the golden child. If he's taken out, it could possibly strain the relations of the villages to the point where the alliance breaks."
And cripple the Land of Fire's military might too.
The Fire Daimyo narrowed his eyes in anger. "You bastard, you're still trying to get back at me for something I didn't do!? Have you forgotten that I was attacked as well!?"
His memories of that night were hazy at best, but the attack had most certainly happened. Many of his men had been killed because of it.
"You two should really stop arguing," the Wind Daimyo said, sounding the calmest of the five. "And anyway, doing something like that will require resources that we currently don't have. Kronos has been destroyed, and the Akatsuki have gone into hiding."
Not that the group had the manpower to pull off such an operation. Not anymore.
"Bah, it's clear what I must do." The Earth Daimyo stood up. "Iwa will go to war once again, and I will make sure Uzumaki Naruto's head is delivered to me on a silver platter."
The Lightning Daimyo frowned. "Careful what you say, Earth. If you follow through with your words, you will find yourself alone in that endeavor."
The Raikage had already been defeated by Uzumaki Naruto in the past, and he didn't seem interested in going against the alliance.
The Water Daimyo was in a worse position. Even if he wanted to help Earth, he was in no position to. His own citizens were almost ready to turn against him, willing to trust the new Mizukage over him. He needed to tread carefully here, if he wanted to keep his power that is.
As for the Wind Daimyo….he was just amused. He had no intention of helping Earth with this, though. If anything, he was more than happy to see Earth do something stupid. Expanding the size of his domain was always welcomed, and he had grown bored of this constant stagnation.
The Earth Daimyo seethed. "You're all weak. You're bowing down to your villages when it should be the other way around! Are you that scared to face them!?"
"We've always kept them in check from the shadows," the Fire Daimyo retorted, silently enjoying the irony in that statement. "And that's exactly what we will continue to do."
With Kronos gone, they would turn to a different source. Maybe one of the emerging syndicates that was picking up the pieces now that Kronos didn't have complete control. Although that carried its own risks. But they didn't have many options at the moment.
"You can do as you like. I will do things my way." The Earth Daimyo spat out those words before making his exit.
Sasuke watched all of this in silence.
In the real world, a minute or so had passed before Sasuke was finished with his genjutsu, his sharingan still active.
Fuka noticed this right away. "So? What were you able to find?"
"More than expected."
"Y-You…..." The Earth Daimyo didn't know what to say. But he knew. He absolutely knew that Sasuke had gone through his memories. "It's that eye…...that damn eye of yours! You-!"
"I don't have time to listen to you right now," Sasuke cut him off as he unsheathed his sword, making the Daimyo lose the fire in his belly. "If anything, I want to kill you right now."
Fuka nearly whistled. "Damn, he's really pissed you off, huh."
Sasuke didn't answer. Rather, he took a few steps closer to the Daimyo, causing the man to sweat. He was no shinobi, but even he was able to feel the intense aura Sasuke was giving off right now. It was almost like it was trying to engulf him, never to be seen again.
"Y-You can't kill me!" he squeaked. "I'm the Earth Daimyo! You need me!"
"Actually, we don't." Sasuke placed his sword up against the man's neck but didn't draw blood. Not yet. "That's the whole point of the alliance, to move past you. If you didn't interfere, then it wouldn't have to come to this. But you've shown your true colors."
He had been sort of annoyed with Fuka for what she'd done here, but now Sasuke was grateful. This was a lot more messy than he would have liked, but the outcome was more than good enough to make up for all that. Naruto would never approve, but Sasuke had his own way of doing things.
Looking into Sasuke's sharingan, the Daimyo realized that the Uchiha wasn't playing games. He was serious about this. He was going to die tonight.
Fuka wasn't surprised at all. It was always the same thing with people who thought they had power. When you took that illusion away, you were left with nothing more than a blubbering mess of a man.
Sasuke's grip on his sword tightened, and he was about to deliver the killing blow until laughter broke into the room. Sasuke was immediately on the move, his Chidori screeching into life as he jumped back with Fuka at his side.
"Woah man. Easy there."
Sasuke shot the Chidori needles at the wall next to the window, where a blur jumped out of the way at the last second to evade them.
"That's dangerous, you know!" the figure said as he now stood on the opposite side of the room from Sasuke and Fuka, with the tied up Daimyo in between them. "I mean, I could possibly survive that. But it would still hurt!"
Sasuke focused his sharingan on the figure who was still keeping to the shadows of the room. This chakra…...it wasn't much, but it was still potent.
"Who are you? How did you get in here?"
"With some help from an old friend. Ah, but that doesn't matter. I was actually here to get the beautiful lady next to you, but looks like I was too late. She's not going to be happy with me."
That did it. Sasuke was ready to charge at the figure but stopped when the person decided to step out from the shadows and into their line of sight.
Sasuke's sharingan eyes widened. "You…..."
He remembered this man. He met him before, years ago when he was in the Land of Earth. That time…...it was when Kakuzu and Hidan were rampaging through the country, wasn't it?
"Ohohoho, you remember me? That's flattering," Gin said, sounding genuine. "My face is so common and uninspiring that no one ever remembers me."
Fuka looked at the two. "Sasuke…..who is this?"
"Who cares!?" The Daimyo shouted, looking at the man with hope. "You gotta help me! This guy, this Uchiha is-!"
"Yeah, I don't care about you." Gin delivered a swift kick to the Daimyo's side, knocking him and the chair into the wall. The chair broke into pieces while the Daimyo fell to the floor, now unconscious just like the rest of his staff.
Fuka would be impressed if the situation wasn't so confusing. "What are you-"
"Now look, I'm not looking for a fight here," Gin said, cutting to the point. "Mostly because it would be tedious and you could kick my ass."
Sasuke said nothing to do this.
"That's why I'm going to attempt to negotiate." It hadn't worked with the other two, but who knows. Maybe the third time really was the charm.
Sasuke kept his passive face until Gin revealed a very familiar sword which he summoned from a scroll he kept on him.
It was the Kubikiribōchō.
Fuka's eyes went wide. "That…...Mangetsu!?"
"Yeah, and that Kaguya friend of yours too." Gin shouldered the massive sword, not looking troubled by the sword's size. "They were feisty, but they're with me now."
What the heck did that mean?
Sasuke's Chidori disappeared as he sheathed his sword again. "What do you want?" He too wanted to get to the point.
A portal suddenly opened up next to Gin, with the man smiling from ear-to-ear.
"I want you to come with me." Unlike with the others, his genjutsu wasn't going to work on the Uchiha, not when he had that Rinnegan with him. Which also made it pointless to do the same with Fuka since she was sticking close to him. Now, Gin had to make him come willingly.
Sasuke took a step forward, but Fuka grabbed his arm to stop him.
"Sasuke, you can't trust him so easily!"
"It isn't about trust," Sasuke denied. "He has Mangetsu and possibly Kou…..we can't risk their lives. You know this."
Fuka did, but she was still worried about this turn of events.
Gin chuckled, amused. "So the great Uchiha does have a heart. I'm impressed. I guess that kid got to you, huh?"
Calling Naruto a kid? Sasuke would be sort of amused if Gin wasn't holding half of his team hostage.
Seeing that Sasuke wasn't going to respond, Gin sighed and stepped to the side.
"Shall we get going?"
He didn't want any Iwa shinobi getting in the middle of this.
Fuka glanced to the unconscious Daimyo. "What of him?"
"What of it?"
So it was as he said. Gin didn't care about the Daimyo at all.
"Forget it, Fuka," Sasuke said to her. "We can deal with that later."
The redhead had a feeling it wasn't going to be that simple, but they didn't have many options right now.
And so, the pair stepped into the portal with Gin following after them. All that was left in the room were the unconscious bodies of the Daimyo and his men.
It was nightfall in Konoha. Many people were getting ready to kick it in for the day, including a trio of genin that were limping out of one of the many training grounds in the outskirts of the village.
"You had to say something didn't you, Obito?" Rin said weakly, her clothes in tatters. Their sensei had been merciless today. Not even she had been spared. Not that she minded that really. She enjoyed the fair treatment. That didn't stop her from being annoyed with her teammate, though.
Obito was too tired to say anything.
Kakashi, despite the state he was in, looked pretty pleased. "It was a good day. We're getting training from one of the best."
"You mean, two of the best," Obito retorted. "You have Sasuke-sama to train you too." So, okay, he still had enough bite when it came to talking back to Kakashi.
Kakashi was happy with that. He needed to work on some of the stuff Sasuke left for him too. Yes, even after training all afternoon, he was still looking forward to doing more. Some might call that obsessive, but he didn't care.
Naruto watched the three genin leave the training grounds from one of the stumps, highly amused.
"The little Uchiha does look to be doing for the better," Asura commented.
Kurama let out a rough snort. "For the moment. But you can never tell with those."
'That's why I'm here. To make sure he doesn't follow the same path as the other Obito.'
A noble sentiment, but not one that was easy. Then again, none of this had been easy. And it wasn't over yet either.
'I should go easy what Mikoto is up to,' Naruto thought as he was about to jump down from the stump. He rubbed his stomach. 'If she can cook me some ramen tonight, then-'
He stopped, sighed, and got comfortable on the stump again.
"Sneaking up on people isn't nice."
A figure emerged from the other side of the stump, an umbrella in hand.
"I believe you would have to be surprised first before you can call it that." The voice was soft and obviously female. So it wasn't Nori then. That was an improvement.
"So tell me. How did you get through Miyuki's barrier?"
"I may be weakened, but I still hold some of my powers from the past. Just like the Otsutsuki."
"What are you?"
"We can talk about that later." She stepped away from the stump, her back to Naruto. "For now, I need you to come with me."
"And why would I do that?"
"Because you don't have a choice."
Naruto's senses went off, but before he could do anything his surroundings had changed. He was no longer in the training ground, hell he was no longer in Konoha.
Everything was covered in snow, and in front of him stood some sort of ruin. Maybe it was a temple? Or a library? Naruto couldn't be sure, but he knew this wasn't normal.
He summoned Kurama's chakra, mixing it with Sage Mode. But as he did, he picked up several other chakra near him.
Aya walked out from in front of the ruin, with Gin at her side. Tied to the top of the ruin were both Kou and Mangetsu, their eyes blindfolded.
Naruto placed a hand on his head, looking a bit defeated over all of this. "I never thought you would be here too, Sasuke."
"H'mph, I can say the same to you."
Said Uchiha and Fuka emerged from one of the smaller ruins to the side. Fuka let out a small gasp when she saw Kou and Mangetsu.
Sasuke's face was twisted into a scowl as he came to a stop next to Naruto. "Do you have any idea what you've done?"
Gin shrugged. "Don't look at me. This was all her idea."
Aya didn't bother to correct that statement. "Now then. Since you're finally here-"
"Naruto-sama!" Miyuki made her appearance from one of her own portals, her face filled with worry. But she relaxed when she saw that Naruto was alright. "I'm relieved to see that you're okay. When your chakra suddenly disappeared-"
"Oh boy." Gin looked at Aya. "You weren't able to cover your tracks very well, were you? She got through."
"It was always a possibility," Aya replied. "While it wasn't welcomed, it doesn't change anything." That went double for Fuka.
Naruto stepped forward with Sasuke next to him while Miyuki and Fuka stood behind the two. Miyuki had a lot of questions about all of this, but she could tell that Naruto and Sasuke were in the same boat as her. Mainly, what the heck was all of this about?
"Well, you got us here. What now?"
Sasuke was already thinking of ways to get to Mangetsu and Kou. Even if it meant that this came down to a fight.
"I know them, Naruto-sama," Miyuki whispered to Naruto. "The ones that came to me. From before. It's them."
Is that so?
"We're not looking for a fight," Aya stated. "Of course, I doubt you believe me when I kidnapped two of your own."
"You also took me away from Kushina," Naruto cut in, his eyes narrowed. "If you're with Nori, then-"
"Don't insult us, kid," Gin said, scoffing. "That guy is insane." He paused. "Well, we're not sane either. But-"
"Gin, enough." Aya silenced him, her eyes going to Naruto. "This won't take long, if you're willing to cooperate."
Aya brought forth a small sphere from behind her. It was clear, and in a way very beautiful. But neither Naruto nor Sasuke were in any mood to admire the object.
"Hagoromo never wanted to show you this, but he had to compromise in order for all the pieces to come together."
"I don't understand-"
"In the past, my actions led to failure," Aya said. "Then my inactions led to the same result. That's why I'm doing things differently now. I'm settling for something that is both an action….,and an inaction."
Once again, Naruto and Sasuke didn't understand.
"The two of you have managed to accomplish many things," Aya continued. "What Hashirama, Madara, Asura, Indra, and even Hagoromo was unable to do. What so many people have tried but failed. You have found peace with one another. And now, that peace is starting to spread to the rest of shinobi."
What was this girl saying?
"We appreciate the compliments," Naruto said, "but we're still not nearly finished."
Not until the Akatsuki and Nori were taken care of, once and for all. And even then, the future was uncertain. But that's what being human was all about. What the other Obito couldn't understand.
Aya started to smile. "I see. It's like I've seen then. The two of you…."
Perfection was impossible alone. But if you brought two pieces together, then it could be attainable. Just perhaps.
The smile disappeared. "I wonder, if you'd still feel the same after seeing how your forefathers failed."
"I've had enough of your cryptic talk," Sasuke snapped, his Rinnegan and Eternal Mangekyo flaring to life. "If you wish to live, I suggest you get to the point. My patience is wearing thin."
Naruto was of the same mindset.
"You should be careful now," Gin said, pointing to the bound Kou and Mangetsu. "You two may be fast, but I wonder if you can stop their necks from being snapped. It can be done with the simple snap of my fingers."
A threat. How nice.
"We want to avoid that." Aya stepped forward. "That's why, we should begin at once."
Again, what was she talking about?
"I know you can probably undo this with your Rinnegan, Sasuke," Aya said, "but I ask that you don't. If you finish with my test, then your friends will be safe. I promise you the same thing, Naruto. Nori will not be acting…...for now."
"And on what grounds should we trust you?" Sasuke fired back. "We don't know you, or what you stand for?"
"I told you, did I not? Hagoromo asked for my help. I only accepted because of this moment."
So she wanted something from them, was it?
Fuka stepped closer to Sasuke as the world around them started to change. It was different from before, though. It wasn't a portal or anything of the sort. It was almost like the whole world was breaking into tiny pieces.
Miyuki frowned. "Naruto-sama, I can-"
"Don't." Naruto stared directly at Aya who stared back. "She's not lying. I can tell."
Kurama's chakra came in handy at moments like this.
Sasuke gave Naruto one quick glance to know what his best friend was thinking.
They were going to play along. If anything, to make sure that Kou and Mangetsu made it out of this.
"Do not worry." Aya's voice came from all around them. "This will only take a minute."
Something told Naruto that it was not going to be that easy, even if she was telling the truth.
And so, the world around the four turned dark.
Otsutsuki Kaguya was a curious child. She couldn't help it. She had been cooped up in a palace for most of her life. It was a dangerous world outside of those walls. It was kill or be killed. Even a kid like her could understand as much.
That said, the curiosity of a child was second to none. Despite knowing the dangers of the outside world, Kaguya frequently ventured out of the safety of her home, of the guards that were constantly guarding her and her family. The Otsutsuki were different from other clans in the region. They had come from a faraway place, from across the vast ocean. Or so her father had told her. Because of that, and because they had established themselves as one of the dominant powers in the region, they weren't liked very much. They were viewed as outsiders, as different. Their appearance didn't do much to help with that.
These woes were not on the mind of the young girl, however. She was too busy exploring in her favorite area. The forbidden forest, where the forbidden tree with the forbidden fruit lied. The whole place was shrouded in mystery, much to her enjoyment. Not only that, but in the forest, it almost felt like nature was alive in some way. Kaguya couldn't explain it, but it was still her favorite place to go. She visited here at least once a week. She had mapped out many areas over the many months since she started doing this, and had memorized different paths.
Today, Kaguya was going down a different area than usual. It was deeper into the forest, and because of that it had taken a lot more of her courage to come here. Her parents' warnings were present in her mind. No one was to come here, because this place was sacred. No one knew why, only that the warning had existed for a very long time.
"Hmm, what a strange formation," Kaguya muttered to herself as she came across a very large mound in the distance. The area around here was very flat, and so the mound stood out from everything else. Usually, this meant one thing.
A human formation. Something had been built there, but now it was covered by nature. Kaguya felt her heart pound in excitement at that, and so she rushed closer to the mound to get a closer look. Her featureless white eyes danced as they took everything in. She could see right away that there was definitely something hidden underneath the rock and flora. Maybe a temple of some kind?
Kaguya rushed to find a way inside. It took her nearly fifteen minutes to find an entrance as most of the doorways she found were caved in. But one had an opening big enough for her to fit in.
Yes! She was so excited, she didn't mind the darkness at all even though it usually terrified her. She made a couple of notes in her diary before proceeding deeper inside. Most paths were destroyed, probably due to time. She had to wonder how old this ruin was. It had probably only remained undiscovered for so long because of its location.
'I'm an explorer now!'
Kaguya was definitely proud of herself. That pride only increased when she found a passageway that was still intact. It was linear and long, and totally dark like the rest of the place. But it led somewhere. And that somewhere was a door, with someone sitting next to it.
That last part was enough to make the young Kaguya freeze. At first, she thought it was like a mummy or something. That thought left her when the figure lifted its face, revealing the plain features of a man. The man was in drags, and he was sitting on top of a stone. To Kaguya, who was dressed in her fine and expensive robes, the man appeared to be nothing more than a peasant.
"Now what do we have here?" The man spoke, but it was in a language Kaguya could not understand. How did she know that? Because his mouth was moving differently than what was normal. And yet, she could understand him. Why was that?
The man stood up but he didn't approach her. "I thought for sure the barrier outside would keep anyone out."
"U-Um, there was no barrier, mister," Kaguya said meekly. It was different from her usual tone, but she couldn't help it. "Unless you're saying the walls were supposed to be the barriers?"
He looked at her with clear amusement. "Why aren't you running, little girl? Aren't I frightening to you?"
"No." She crunched up her nose. "You don't smell so good, though."
Her innocent child honesty still managed to shine through in this situation.
The man didn't seem to mind, though. "Yeah, spend as much time as I have in here and that tends to happen."
"How long is that?"
"No idea. I lost count after 500 years."
500 years!? Kaguya knew that was a very long time.
"Why are you here? For so long too….."
The man reached for something from his clothing before seeming to realize that he didn't have it. He almost pouted at the realization.
"That? Well, it's because I was tasked to. I'm watching over someone, you see. And without me, she would be totally lost."
"Eh, really?" That sounded complicated.
"Yeah. She did some bad stuff, so she's paying for that now. I'm making sure she does."
Kaguya looked up at him with wonder in her eyes. "Is there really something so bad a person can do that would deserve this, mister?"
Kaguya didn't know how to feel about that. Sure, she heard of the many horrors in the world. But she'd never seen one herself. She had never even seen anyone bleed before. She was really sheltered.
"Can I meet her?"
This gave the man some pause. "What?"
"Can I meet her?" She just repeated her question.
"Brat, you shouldn't even be in here."
"But I am. So it must be destiny!"
"Destiny?" He snorted. "There is no such thing. Why would you ever believe in that?"
Kaguya had to pout at the man's quick dismissal. "Don't say that. I'm sure you'd feel the same way if you wanted to."
"Kids sure can dream, huh," he said, mostly to himself. "Look, you really shouldn't be in here right now. Why don't you-hey!"
Kaguya quickly ran around the man and headed for the door, laughing as he tried to stop her. She made it to the door, but she found that she couldn't open it no matter how hard she tried to push or pull it.
"That's not gonna work, brat." The man stopped behind her, amused again. "I don't know what happened to the barrier outside, but the one in here is much stronger." He should probably check on it after this. How long had he been asleep for anyway?
Kaguya pouted. "Then open it, mister!" Whatever fear she may have had before was now gone. She could see the man was not a bad guy, or else he would have done something to her by now.
"Where did the manners go?" He sighed. One look from the girl told him all he needed to know. She was stubborn. It reminded him of her, from before. Back when she had her spirit intact. It was a weird thing really. He should have kicked the brat out the moment he saw her, but he didn't. Something about her caught his interest, but he couldn't explain it.
That's why, when he opened the door for her, he couldn't understand why he did it. He had no explanation to give when the person inside demanded why he had catered to a little girl's whims and disturbed her slumber.
For the first time in a long time, the man known as Gin had found someone interesting.
It was like he was meeting Aya for the first time all over again.
It felt like a dream. That was the best way Naruto could explain it. What he had just seen…..that man, Gin. Were those his memories? Why had he been able to see that? Most of all…..where was he? The light was so bright he couldn't see anything. It took someone hitting him over the head for his vision to start to clear. When it did, he found Sasuke standing over him.
"Are you finally awake?"
Naruto held his head. "Damn, you could at least hold back."
Sasuke smirked a little, pretty much telling Naruto how much he'd enjoyed it.
As he came to, Naruto was able to see their surroundings. Fuka and Miyuki were with them, although the two were still unconscious. Other than that, they were in the middle of some forest. Naruto didn't recognize it, and he knew the forest around Konoha pretty well. But this…...
Where was this?
Sasuke was thinking along the same lines. "That girl…...where do you think she brought us?"
Naruto had no answer for him.
"Urgh…..this is not comfortable."
"I'm here. Barely."
"I get that. It felt like I was being ripped apart just now."
"Yeah, kinda like when the Old Man brought us back."
That…..Naruto didn't like that comparison at all. It made him feel uneasy.
"Hey, wait a second." There was panic in Kurama's voice, which made Naruto start to panic as well.
'What's going on, Kurama?'
"The others…...they're not here."
"Holy shit." Asura sounded shocked. "What the hell? Why are we the only ones in here?"
The other bijuu….they were gone? Panicking some more, Naruto tried to call on their chakra but found that he couldn't.
What the hell was going on here?
"Oi. Look over there."
Sasuke's voice made Naruto snap out of his thoughts. The Uchiha was pointing to a structure in the distance, something past the tress that was very big. It looked almost like a castle, or a palace of some kind. It made them both uneasy, but it was better than nothing.
They had a destination to head to, but still no answers. They had no idea where they were and, possibly, when they were. Not only that, but only Kurama was sealed inside Naruto now. The other bijuu were gone.
This was shaping out to be a real big hassle for the two of them. They had to wonder…..just what were they going to face here?
Hallelujah! I have finally made it here. It only took….like six months longer than what I was expecting. Sorry about that. My mind is a mess right now. Too many fanfiction ideas. Damn anime.
Anyway, like I mentioned some chapters ago, the finale is split into three parts. This is the beginning of the first part. It all leads to total mayhem in the end.
I do want to say something first. When I first came up with this, I did it back when I was disappointed with the lack of background of Kaguya and her time period in the manga. The anime's filler on this was also underwhelming in my opinion. That's why I may have gone overboard with the exposition of this section, so I hope you bear with me. There are no aliens or anything like that. That was honestly my least favorite part of the finale. That's why I' looking forward to writing this, as I can change it to something more enjoyable for myself.
Anyway, I hope it was fun.
Till next time.