Note from Wraithrune (28th Aug 2016)

Hi guys, this is just a short note to say I am still writing. Finally found a good job where I got my work life balance back.

Sorry for the dry spell in my story updates, I am having difficulties continuing my current stories after such a long break from writing. I have drafted out the outlines of several new story chapters, but I keep having difficulties putting them down into new usable sentences.

Been writing short drafts of new story plots to get myself back in gear but it has been rough going.

Hopefully I will get over my block soon.

Luv Wraithrune

Phantom Brave – Chapter One

Story Title: Phantom Brave

Crossover: Naruto/Phantom Brave

Author: Wraithrune

Version: 2.0

Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Phantom Brave or Naruto, this is just a fan written fiction.

Summary: During the battle with Haku, Kyubi’s attempt to break out of the seal caused Naruto to obtain a new bloodline. For he is now the summoner of the dead.

Author’s Note: Marona is a game character from Phantom Brave who could summon the dead into physical bodies to use as her army. Now Naruto’s got the same ability…

As of July 2016 – Phantom Brave is being rewritten. Changes to the plot to be expected.

OoooO

Chapter One – Phantom bloodline

During the battle at Wave Village, Naruto & Sasuke vs Haku

He had been so happy at getting the C-Rank mission that he had not thought of the consequences, about the fact that his team just might not be ready for this. A simple escort mission had spiraled out of control, with a missing nin out to end their client’s life.

Team 7 could have turned back and returned to Konoha when they found out. After all, old man Tazuna had deceived them, thus breaking the contract between him and Konoha. But all four of them had made the decision to stay after hearing about the plight of Wave village. It was only now that Naruto realised having good intentions did not miraculously grant any of the fresh Genin in the team the skills to beat more experienced ninja. He had been hopelessly naive in his thinking, they all were. His team was outmatched against the enemies, and now they would pay the price.

Naruto roared with despair and hatred, his hands shaking as he cradled Sasuke’s lifeless body close to him. Sasuke had saved him because he had been too slow to avoid the hail of senbon unleashed by the ninja hiding within the ice mirrors. Sasuke had saved Naruto with his own life. Tears streaked down Naruto’s face as he trembled with anger. This was never supposed to happen, none of them were supposed to die.

A dark roaring emotion burned within his heart. It was as though time itself stood still as the darkness within him burst out of his body in a cloak of malicious red chakra, altering him into something else.

His face shifted into a more feral appearance, his eyes grew more fox like and even his nails became longer. Naruto paid them no mind, because he now felt immensely powerful. There was a part of his subconscious that instinctively knew he had a fighting chance now. He would use this power to kill that hated ninja hiding within the ice mirrors.

Naruto settled Sasuke’s dead body gently onto the ground as he crouched on all fours. One thought ran through his rage consumed mind. The ninja would DIE.

OoooO

Sealed within Naruto’s body, the nine-tailed fox, Kurama, felt the shifting of vast chakra as Naruto unwittingly tapped into Kurama’s power during the height of his despair. A wellspring of dark emotion that connected a direct path from Naruto’s psyche to Kurama. The giant fox stirred in his cage, perhaps now was the time to act, to break free at last! A plan formed in Kurama’s mind as the fox grinned.

In one focused blast, the nine-tailed fox sent nine full tails of his chakra slamming into the death seal that trapped him behind the cage.

But there was one thing Kurama did not take into account for. The Yondaime sacrificed his life by tapping into the power of the Death God to keep Kurama sealed within his son. The power of Death was more powerful than any tailed beasts in existence.

The chaotic and malevolent energies of hatred possessed by Kurama slammed into the entropic energy that made up his prison, creating a volatile explosion of unstable power. A deeply weakened Kurama was blasted into the back of his cell by the force, knocking him unconscious.

Meanwhile, the swirling and deadly mixture of malevolent and entropic energies merged and formed into an advanced chakra combination never before seen. A thick stream of yellow green chakra began flowing through Naruto’s body, deeper and deeper into all of his cells, changing the young boy forever…

OoooO

The warped and disorientating sensation of folding herself within her ice mirror was one that Haku had gotten used to after years of training. Zabuza had once hypothesised that her bloodline allowed her to somehow bend space-time within ice itself, but since neither of them were chakra scholars or seal masters, the science behind how her bloodline worked had always been a mystery.

Most of the ice element techniques that Haku devised had come from years of trials and errors via sometimes deadly experimentation. Though she was certain her skills were still far from the level of most Jonin ninjas, Haku had been reasonably assured of her victories against the three young Konoha Genin that Zabuza and her were up against.

It had been a surprise when young Sasuke Uchiha managed to activate the legendary Sharingan bloodline during the short battle, but the real shock was what happened after that. The young likeable blond kid she had met, only a few days before in the flower fields, had seemingly underwent a drastic transformation after the apparent “death” of his friend and teammate.

Red chakra had begun pouring out of the boy’s body in a spiral. The ice senbons Haku had sent piercing into his body begun popping out, falling onto the floor as his body began to heal at a rapid rate. As more and more of the red chakra poured out of his body, an air of great killing intent surrounded the area.

Even the boy’s facial appearance was transformed, his face becoming more fox like as he crouched onto the floor on all fours, as if ready to pounce onto Haku like an animal.

Haku tensed within her ice mirror, preparing to defend herself when all of a sudden there was an audible snap in the energies permeating the air. The red chakra around the young boy vanished as if it was never there. The blond boy was slammed into the floor by some unseen force, even as a shimmering of strange but beautiful yellow and green chakra began whirling around the boy,creating a sparkling storm of chakra around his entire body.

Haku watched in fascination. What in the world was happening?

And then just as suddenly, the yellow and green chakra was gone as well. The blond boy stood up staring around him in confusion. The look of ferocity on his face and his claw like nails had vanished.

What the boy could not see was that streaks of green now ran through his blond hair, and in both his bright sapphire eyes, rims of the purest green surrounded his blue pupils.

It was obvious the boy possessed some strange powers, most probably a bloodline of some sort. But Haku had never heard of a bloodline whose identifiable markers were quite like what she had seen on the blond boy.

As Haku took a moment to contemplate what to do, the boy suddenly jerked towards his friend’s unresponsive body, rushing forward and swiping at the air as if trying to defend the body from some unseen assailant, and then the boy started talking to the air.

OoooO

Naruto got up blearily. First there was the vicious red chakra that had powered him up. Then all of a sudden he was surrounded by a peace inducing yellow green chakra that had overwhelmed him. Naruto could feel the strange chakra doing something strange within him, which was why when the yellow green chakra had disappeared and he could finally stand up on his own, he was relieved to find himself unchanged, with no extra arms or any body parts falling off.

As he was wondering what the hell had happened to him, a movement at the edge of his eye caught his attention. Naruto felt a chill went down his spine at the sight of an unknown woman with long black hair sitting next to Sasuke’s fallen body.

How the woman managed to get past Naruto without him seeing or detecting it was a mystery, but Naruto knew he had to protect Sasuke’s body from further harm.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing! Get away from him!” Naruto cried out, rushing forward with a punch. The punch went through the woman, causing Naruto to screech in shock and stumble backwards.

The woman turned around, the brief look of hopelessness in her eyes vanishing as she laid eyes on Naruto. Her eyes flickered to Naruto’s hair and then his eyes , shock crossing her face.

You can see me? Those green hair and eyes… I see… I’ve heard of the bloodline existing in other worlds, I am just not aware this world has the bloodline as well.” The woman said in surprise before looking at Naruto intently. “Please, you’ve got to listen to me, Sasuke’s still alive, I am not sure why that female ninja did not kill him, but if you don’t listen to me, the two of you might very well be dead!”

“Sasuke’s alive?” Naruto asked in shock even as he looked towards the ice mirror where the enemy ninja was in. “And she’s a girl?”

“Yes, he’s still alive. The enemy nin only strike at his acupoints to send him into a death like slumber.” The woman said, a look of urgency in her eyes. “Listen to me, I am a phantom, a dead spirit who had refused to move on, you might have unlocked a rare bloodline which allows you to see me and I hope summon me as well. Follow my instructions and you may survive this.”

“I can see the dead?” Naruto stepping backwards a little in shock, the events of the past few minutes were overwhelming him. But having the hope that Sasuke might be alive was enough for him to take the leap of faith. “But what’s the catch? Why are you willing to help us?”

The woman looked down at Sasuke sadly before looking at Naruto earnestly. “I am Mikoto Uchiha, Sasuke’s mother, and I am not going to allow my son to follow me into the death realm!”

Naruto gasped, staring wide-eyed at the woman before him in shock. Now that she had mentioned it, he could see similarities in the facial structure of Sasuke and the woman, the most obvious was the delicate jaw line and cheek bones.

“Follow my instructions Naruto.” Mikoto instructed as she looked sternly at Naruto. “I’ve only heard of your bloodline from the spirits in the death realm. What I heard is just idle gossip, but I distinctly remembered that those with your bloodline are supposed to tag your chakra to the spirit who had sworn fealty to you. You can then channel that chakra into an inanimate object so that you can summon the spirit.”

Naruto blanched. “That sounds like it requires a lot of chakra control, mine isn’t really that good…”

“Try it! Or Sasuke and you will both be joining me.” Mikoto snapped angrily. She walked up to Naruto and placed a phantom arm on Naruto. “I Mikoto Uchiha swear fealty to Naruto Uzumaki, in a pact of summoner and spirit.”

A blaze of white light flared into being for a second around the area where Mikoto had touched him, and suddenly Naruto could sense Mikoto’s presence in his mind. He could feel her dread and worry for Sasuke who was currently lying motionless on the ground.

Concentrating, Naruto sent out a thread of chakra towards Mikoto’s spirit. Knowing that he lacked the delicate control of expand out his chakra through long distances, Naruto instead took out his remaining spare kunai and tag it with his chakra.

A strange stirring sensation blossomed within him, as Naruto felt the end of his chakra which was touching Mikoto and the other end of the chakra wrapping around the spare kunai connect. Both ends pulled at each other, seemingly transforming his chakra into a chakra rope with both sides asserting opposing forces.

There was an audible snap, and a large portion of his chakra coiled into the kunai, with Mikoto vanishing before his eyes. The kunai began to warp and Naruto quickly flung it away from him.

Green yellow energies swirled around the thrown kunai, dissolving it into orbs of green yellow particles that grew into a swirling storm before resolving into a human form. Mikoto Uchiha stepped out of the swiftly fading yellow and green mist in physical form, her body casting a shadow on the ground.

“I have been waiting for this.” Mikoto said with a vicious smile as she turned towards the enemy nin hiding in the mirror. Her hands flashed through several handseals. “Don’t worry, since you’ve spared my son, I’ll only beat you half to death.”

A large fire dragon erupted from Mikoto’s lips even as the enemy nin barely jumped away from the doomed ice mirror. Behind the two combatants, Naruto rushed towards Sasuke and began picking the various ice senbons off his body. Mikoto had said that Sasuke was still alive, and Naruto was going to make sure nothing was going to happen to Sasuke now.

OoooO

The mist hanging over the bridge began to clear as Kakashi wearily dug his hand out of Zabuza’s stomach. The chidori attack had killed the missing nin, but it had also cost Kakashi most of his remaining chakra.

Kakashi stumbled as he half walked, half ran towards the area he had last seen Naruto and Sasuke. He had felt the Kyuubi’s chakra escape from Naruto during the battle, though it had vanished shortly afterwards. Though he was not a religious man, Kakashi muttered a prayer, hoping that Naruto remained unharmed.

The last of the mist vanished as Zabuza was no longer around to maintain the fog technique. The sight before him however caused Kakashi to ground to a halt as his eyes widened. Shock swept through his body as he tried to make sense of what he was seeing.

It was not the sight of Naruto beside an unconscious Sasuke that caused him to be unable to move. No it was the sight of a beautiful long haired woman dressed in Uchiha clan clothing, her arm clutching the unconscious body of an enemy ninja next to her that chilled Kakashi’s heart.

“Mi…koto?” Kakashi asked in dread even as part of him screamed that it was not possible.

“Yes Kakashi?” The long haired woman asked, turning around to face Kakashi. Her appearance was as what Kakashi had remembered of the older woman… when she was still alive. The Mikoto look alike smiled at Kakashi. “You’ve really grown up, I could still remembered the time when you were in diapers and your mother brought you around the Uchiha compound. Such a sweet little toddler. Tsienso was so proud of you.”

Mikoto paused as she stared off at the end of the bridge when the loud sound of footsteps interrupted her. Kakashi turned, his mouth twisting into a grim line as he saw Gato and a large group of mercenaries walking towards them. Too much was happening at the same time, and Kakashi was still too drained from the previous battle with Zabuza to deal with this new threat. But he knew he had to try.

“Leave them to me Kakashi.” Mikoto said as she walked forward, dropping the second enemy nin next to him. “From the looks of it, you’re almost out of chakra. You really need to control that… Sharingan of yours. I will teach you some tricks when there’s time, since it seems I am going to be around for a while. Make sure this little ninja don’t try to run away. She spared Sasuke, I want to know why.”

Before Kakashi could find the words to counter her, Mikoto had strolled forward, standing in front of Gato and his men.

“Look boss, a women, and quite a sweet piece at that, can we have her after all this is over?” One of the mercenaries leered at the sight of Mikoto.

“Of course.” Gato chuckled. “Just remember to burn the whole village to the ground before that.”

“How about I burn all of you first?” Mikoto asked, smiling sweetly at the dirty unkempt men in front of her, her hands flashing into a series of handseals. A large fire dragon burst from her lips, slamming into the suddenly fearful Gato and his mercenaries before they could escape.

It took short work for a ninja of Mikoto’s level to end Gato and his hired goons. The smell of incinerated flesh wafted across the bridge. Mikoto suddenly stumbled as her body seemingly began shuddering uncontrollably.

“I guess my times’ up.” Mikoto whispered smiling at a stunned Kakashi. Before Kakashi’s astonished eyes, Mikoto dissolved into orbs of yellow green light. The sound of a kunai falling out of the light orbs onto the stone bridge surface startled Kakashi. Moving forward, he picked up the kunai which had the sigil of Konoha’s academy, one of the gifts given to newly graduated Genin. Which means it must have been from one of his charges.

At the front of the bridge, a crowd of Wave’s villagers had gathered, wielding pitchforks and kitchen knives, with young Inari at the front of the crowd, wearing a pot as a helmet. Apparently the villagers of Wave had finally mustered the guts to fight for their own freedom. They might have came too late to deal with Gato and his men, but the fact that they have finally found the courage to fight, spoke volumes of their willingness to take charge of their lives once more.

The large crowd had grounded to a halt in front of Sakura and Tazuna who had managed to scuttle behind a pile of bridge building materials for safety. All bore looks of disbelief on their faces as the lack of fog cover gave them a clear view of the length of the bridge.

“What happened?” One of the villagers asked, as the crowd looked at the pile of charred bodies deposited at the end of the bridge, where the construction had halted halfway. “Inari rounded up all of us… told us Gato and his men were supposed to be here…”

“I believe those are the charred remains of Gato and his men.” Kakashi said pointing towards the burned mass of bodies even as the eyes of the villagers widened. Looks of awe, fear, joy and disgust alternated among those in the crowd. “You might want to clear their bodies off the bridge before the afternoon sun makes the stink unbearable.”

Inari ran to the edge of the bridge and began vomiting. Tazuna however straightened, a look of determination crossed his face.

“All the women get the children back to the village.” Tazuna ordered as he ruffled Inari’s hair. “You did good Inari, I am proud of you. Now I need you to go back with the others.”

Tazuna then turned to the villagers and bellowed. “The men to me! These kind ninjas disposed of Gato and his men, the least we can do is to clear their bodies!”

“Don’t touch that one.” Kakashi pointed to Zabuza’s corpse before turning to glance at the side of the bridge where Naruto was helping Sasuke off the floor. “I’ll bury that one myself. Naruto, how’s Sasuke?”

“I… I am awake sensei.” Sasuke’s shaky voice said. The young Uchiha took a look around him in disorientation. “What happened while I was out?”

“You wouldn’t believe it!” Naruto spoke loudly with excitement. “I got a bloodline and I was able to summon the dead! I even summon your…”

“Naruto!” Kakashi barked out, stopping Naruto in mid-sentence as the older ninja finally understood the cause of Mikoto’s appearance. As he took a closer look at Naruto, he realised that the young boy’s appearance had undergone slight changes.

There were green streaks running through Naruto’s blond hair and…

‘There are green rims in your eyes Naruto.” Sasuke said looking at Naruto even as he laughed off the possibilities of Naruto’s alleged bloodline. “And how can you summon the dead, that’s impossible.”

“But I…” Naruto began indignantly even as Sakura gave a squeak and ran towards Sasuke in joy.

“Team 7!” Kakashi said in a loud voice that broke no arguments. “We’ll talk about this after you’ve helped to secure this enemy ninja, bury Zabuza’s body and return to Tazuna’s home. Until then, Naruto, don’t say a word.”

“But!” Naruto whined but quickly stopped at Kakashi’s warning look. The younger boy sulked as he stumbled towards Kakashi digging out a rope from his pouch. Behind him, Sasuke was trying to shrug off Sakura who was hugging him. Unfortunately the young Uchiha was too weak to push her away.

As Naruto neared, Kakashi moved closer to him.

“Naruto you said you can summon the dead. Does that refer to Sasuke’s mother?” Kakashi asked in a low voice.

Naruto brightened up as someone seemed to believe him.

“Yeah!” Naruto paused as Kakashi gripped his arms.

“Say in a softer voice.” Kakashi warned before asking. “Can you summon her again?”

“Erm…” Naruto said as he turned his head to one side as if listening to someone. “She says that the stay in the temporarily body had disrupted her spirit essence, she can probably be summoned again after a few hours of rest.”

Naruto turned his head to one side as if listening to someone unseen. “She says she’ll return to the death realm in the meantime to find out more about my bloodline.”

Kakashi stumbled back, his head light-headed even as he thought about the possibilities of Naruto’s bloodline. He would of course need to verify the authenticity of Naruto’s bloodline, but if it works as the boy said it does… and enemy ninja villages heard of it… Kakashi pressed his lips together grimly he did not want to think of the consequences. Throughout history, wars had been started over enemy acquisition of valuable bloodlines.

“Naruto, I want you to promise me this. Do not to say a word about your bloodline to anyone. No one, you understand? Your bloodline is an… oddity and we will need to verify it with the Hokage.” Kakashi said sternly as he gripped Naruto’s arms to emphasize his point. “Until then, I am labelling this as an SS rank secret.”

“An SS rank secret?” Naruto said, stars shining in his eyes. “But why?”

“Naruto, your bloodline is an impossibility, but if it proves real, do you know how many ninja villages would want it?” Kakashi said in a low voice. “A war might break out if words get out about the existence of such a bloodline. I want you to promise me not to tell anyone, not even Sakura and Sasuke. If anyone asked, just say you were joking earlier and that the woman was a family friend who helped you.”

“But that would make them think I am lying.” Naruto protested with a frown as he looked at Sasuke who had somehow managed to get out of Sakura’s grasp and was walking towards Naruto and Kakashi, with Sakura following behind like a puppy.

“They wouldn’t believe it anyway, it would be too impossible for them to acknowledge.” Kakashi stated. “But until we talk with the Hokage, I want you to promise not to say a word of it.”

“Alright.” Naruto said conceding with a long suffering sigh. “This sucks, I finally got a bloodline but I can’t tell anyone about it.”

Naruto turned to one side as if listening to a voice before looking at Kakashi.

“Mikoto san says she wants Sasuke to know though. She says…” Naruto’s eyes widened as he stared at Kakashi. “She says she’ll beat you up, like the last time you stole her baked cookies, if you stop her.”

“I see… Well I guess if your bloodline is real, Sasuke should at the very least, be allowed to see her. We’ll talk tomorrow when you can summon her again.” Kakashi said as he moved away. “In the meantime if anyone asked about your hair and eyes, say that it’s a chakra accident.”

“What’s wrong with my hair and eyes?” Naruto demanded even as Kakashi gave a little wave, walking towards Zabuza’s body.

Naruto grumbled as no one answered him, bending down to tie the enemy ninja whom Mikoto had left alive. He gasped as her mask fell away.

“Hey! It’s that guy from before!” Naruto said in shock just as Sakura and Sasuke reached him. “Wait a minute… Mikoto san said she is a girl, why did the enemy nin tell me she is a guy?”

OoooO

Haku woke up groggily to find her hands and legs bond. Instantly she came to full awareness as she saw the Copy Cat ninja, Kakashi, and his Genin team gathered in front of what looked like a burial plot as they lowered a body down into it.

Shock gripped her as she recognized Zabuza’s pale form.

“NO! Zabuza sama!” Haku screamed in grief as her mentor and caretaker’s body was lowered into the hole that had been dug.

The three members of the Genin team spurn around to look at her as she screamed. Kakashi remained unaffected as he continued lowering the body into the ground out of Haku’s sight.

“Hey! You’re awake.” The blond boy said as he walked forward with a frown. “You’re that girl from before, and you made me think you’re a guy all these time! I even checked to make sure…”

“You what?” The pink haired girl beside him sounded incensed as she slammed a punch into the boy’s head. “No wonder I thought her clothes were a bit messed up! You pervert!”

Beside them, the black haired boy was muttering about idiots. Haku paid all of it no mind as tears streamed down her face. Hopelessness swept through her, at the thought that her most precious person was disappearing in front of her eyes.

“Kill me.” Haku suddenly said to the ninjas who looked at her in shock. “Why did you not kill me yet? Just kill me!”

The three teenagers stared frozen in place, as Haku began to sob.

“I am afraid there’s still someone that wants you very much alive. Until then you’re our prisoner.” Kakashi said dryly. “I’ve placed chakra draining seals on you, so don’t bother about escaping. Team 7, help me dig the earth to cover Zabuza’s grave.”

As the teenagers moved to pick up shovels, Haku tried to stand on her legs that were tied.

“Wait! Please let me do that for him… with my own hands. Please let me at least do this one thing for him. Please I beg you, I wouldn’t try to run away, please let me do this…” Haku cried out, trying to stumble forward through her tears.

For a moment Kakashi and his Genin team just stared back at her. But then the blond haired kid moved forward, taking out a kunai.

“Naruto what do you think you are doing?” Kakashi barked out as Naruto began hacking at the ropes binding Haku’s hands and legs.

“She already has those chakra seal things on her. You told us before that she can’t do any ninja techniques now right? Let her at least do this one last thing for someone she cares about.” Naruto said looking down at the ground, not looking at Kakashi.

Freed at last, Haku ran forward, leaning down to look at Zabuza as she cried. She ignored the shovel the pink haired girl tried to give her as she scooped up handfuls of earth down into the grave.

“Zabuza sama, wait for me.” Haku said sobbing as she rained more earth down to cover the body. Haku paused as she felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked up to see the blond kid smiling in a reassuring way at her as he looked at the empty air above the grave.

“Don’t worry, Zabuza will be watching over you, that’s what he said.” The blond kid smiled encouragingly.

Haku never noticed Kakashi stiffening as he shot his student a concerned look. All she saw was the earth and Zabuza sama’s unmoving corpse, as she continued filling the grave.

OoooO

Glossary:

Nin: ninja

Missing Nin: A ninja acquitted of betraying their respective Hidden Villages.

Rise of the Ultimate Peasant (BtVS/ WC3/ Multiple) Interlude – Surviving the Darkness

Author’s Note: Back after a long hiatus. The previous drafts of Book 2 will be scraped and reused in the follow-up continuation.

__________________________________

<< Chapter 1 to 3

Story Title: Rise of the Ultimate Peasant

Crossover: BtVS/ Warcraft III/ Stargate/ Multiple

Disclaimer: I do not own, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Warcraft games verse, Stargate TV verse, or any other fandoms I will be dabbling in. This is a work of fan fiction. Written without profit, for the enjoyment of fans of these great fandoms.

Summary: Magic is gone from the world, and chaos rides the winds. In a battle for supernatural survival, those that seek to protect and defend need to band together… to create the Alliance.

Drusilla and Spike’s Interlude – Surviving the Darkness

1.0 – Re-souled

Two and a half months before the death of magic…

Euphoria filled her shuddering body as the glistering and powerful blood on her lips seeped into her stained and unworthy veins. Collapsing onto the floor as a warmth unlike any other she had ever felt wrapped itself around her body like a warm embrace of her parents. Her parents before they had begun to despise her… her parents who were long murdered by Angelus.

She knew the moment her soul, her humanity was returned to her, the world suddenly becoming clear, as her haze of insanity and dark urges were shattered. Her mouth opened in wordless agony, Drusilla weathered the thundering storm of all her memories, both human and the deeds that her vampire counterpart had done. The atrocities her vampire essence had used her lifeless body to commit were enough to make her weep and contemplate killing herself in repentance.

But she still had important tasks at hand, a different sort of repentance that would enable her to save more lives than those her vampire essence had taken. The visions that her vampire essence had witnessed only minutes before came to her mind. Drusilla knew she had to act fast, Spike would have heard the commotion by now, she needed to ensure the boy’s survival and pass him her warning.

Biting back her emotional and mental agonies, Drusilla gasped out in a raspy voice. “…Hurry young one! Spike is coming!”

The young man’s eyes widened, before quickly crouching down on the floor and began slamming on it. Drusilla did not know what power he wield, she could only hope whatever he was doing would save him from Spike.

The basement door slammed open as a raging Spike rushed in with his gathered lesser vampires. Drusilla blinked back her weariness even as the changes wroth on her body and mind threatened to knock her unconscious under a tide of grief and guilt.

Hurry!” Drusilla shouted her warning, even as her left hand latched onto Spike’s leg as he rushed passed her to reach at the boy. “Hundreds of worlds, trillons of lives crying out in pain. You are the only one who can save them, set them free! You must survive!”

Spike stared down at her in confusion and betrayal before there was no time to think… or feel… as everything dissolved into swirls of… light.

OoooO

1.0 – Drusilla’s stats

Designation: Master Vampire with a Soul

Statistic Chart

Level 1

Name: Drusilla Sellars

Attack Type: Hero

Cost: 230 Gold, 0 Lumber, 5 Food

Ground Attack: 23-30 [26 avg]

Armor: 4 Strength: 18 Agility: 17

Intelligence: 18 Hit Points: 440 Mana: 295

Second Sight [UNLOCKED], a passive ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Drusilla, to view the past, present, or future.

Thrall [LOCKED], an active ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Drusilla, to take control of the mind of the target for a period of time. 15 MP per use.

Telepathy [LOCKED], an active ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Drusilla, to read the mind of a target. 20 MP per use.

Healing [LOCKED], an active ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Drusilla, to heal a target. 10 MP per use.

OoooO

Two weeks later…

Returning to her second life was an experience that Drusilla was unable to describe even now. There had been joy and relief, that the tasks she and a higher being had set for herself would be able to manifest, enabling her to repay for the sins done by her vampire essence.

There had however been great rage, especially when she laid eyes on Angelus standing in front of her calmly. Angelus who had tormented her during the brief years centuries ago, when she was alive. Angelus who had made her believed that her gift of visions was a curse, making her believed that she was a demon spawn. Angelus who murdered her family in front of her, sired her, and then had sex over her dying body.

Taken over by emotions at those memories, Drusilla had lashed out at the unresisting vampire. It was much later when Xander pulled her away from the unconscious man, shielding her from an enraged Slayer, that she remembered Angelus was now Angel, a vampire with a soul much like her. A man who was also repaying for his sins.

Infused with partial guilt, and yet also a savage kind of joy for avenging her family, Drusilla had fled into the mansion which Xander had created to summon her. Xander would then return to the mansion, now situated deep in the desert at the outskirts of Sunnydale, giving Drusilla an equivalent of a mental hug before retreating into a room that Spike had used as a store room, making it his own.

Alexander Lavelle Harris, her ‘Lord’ if she was to be particular, or at least that was what the indoctrinated memory she received during her… rebirth… identified the young man as. She knew instinctively through that memory, that young Xander was the one who created her, he who was the Ultimate Peasant who could Build Anything.

She was tied to him by mental and most probably soul links, and must obey his every command. Those links connecting her to him were geas of sorts, enabling the Lord to control his creations.

It was frightening how much power the young man wields. Yet it was also comforting that at least Xander was the one wielding that power. The young man might have his struggles, but Drusilla knew enough from the few times he opened up his mind to Drusilla, in a bid to get to know her, that the young man would at the very least do his best not to misuse his abilities.

The warm soft glows of her refurnished room, set her heart at peace as Drusilla sat on the window still languishing in the cool breeze blowing in from the open window. Though the magically created mansion was not connected to any power grid, especially so far from Sunnydale, its electrical outlets still somehow managed to produce usable electricity to allow for the use of common technological items.

In the two weeks since her creation, Xander had managed to pawn off some of his gold for usable currency, which he used to refurnish the dreary mansion. The master bedroom where Drusilla and Spike used to make their nest was converted to a storage area. Staying in the room gave her a sickening feeling, especially when she remembered the blood of those she sucked and killed when her vampire essence was in control of her body.

An equivalent of a mental knock distracted her.

Yes Xander? Drusilla sent back, biting down the urge to call the young man ‘Lord Xander’. She had been fighting the in-built indoctrination done to her psych since her rebirth. Something that Xander knew, and was most apologetic about, especially since the young man had no idea how to undo the automatic indoctrination of all his creations.

I… have thought about the favour you ask. Xander said, apprehension in his mental tone. I will grant it on the condition that you will be responsible for his actions.

Drusilla’s heart leapt to her throat. She had thought that Xander might take longer to get back to her about the favour she asked of him yesterday. I agreed. Drusilla said instantly. Hope blossoming in her heart.

Meet me at the front of the mansion. Xander replied, even as Drusilla leapt out of the window, into the courtyard.

In the distance, she could make out the clear figure of the looming tree of life, its roots ensnaring two Fountains of Health, the glistering waters of the fountains lighting up the giant tree with a bluish after light. High walls in the far distance surrounded much of the land, or sand if one was being technical, around the mansion.

Setting a quick pace, Drusilla easily reached the front of the mansion within a minute, the moon lighting her path.

Xander was already there waiting. Giving her a nod when he sighted her, he waved to the front pouch of the mansion even as a very familiar form appear at the spot.

William.” Drusilla whispered in grief, eyeing the newly created vampire Spike, who was now walking towards Xander.

Xander handed Spike a cup in his hands, which the vampire drank without protest, causing him to collapse onto the ground, his body spasming wildly even as a golden glow settled around him.

OoooO

1.0 – William’s stats

Designation: Master Vampire with a Soul

Statistic Chart

Level 1

Name: William Pratt aka Spike

Attack Type: Hero

Cost: 260 Gold, 0 Lumber, 5 Food

Ground Attack: 26-33 [30 avg]

Armor: 4 Strength: 21 Agility: 17

Intelligence: 11 Hit Points: 600 Mana: 200

Poet’s soul [UNLOCKED], a passive ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Spike, to project emotions into poetries that he wrote and vocalised.

Thrall [LOCKED], an active ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Spike, to take control of the mind of the target for a period of time. 15 MP per use.

Love [LOCKED], a passive ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Spike, to gain an increase of +50 Hit Points and + 5 Strength per level when those he loves are within range.

Brute Strength [LOCKED], a passive ability that increases the strength of the Vampire with a Soul, Spike, by +5 per level.

OoooO

4 days later….

Somehow he had managed to weather the darkness in his soul, and come to terms with what his vampire self had done much easier than what Drusilla had accounted of her own struggles.

In a room that he had made his own, within the mansion where he, Drusilla and their young overlord were currently holed up in, William penned the next lines of his dark sonnet, completing the poem. The words flowed and even as he re-read what he had written on the paper, he could feel the agony radiating from the lines.

Poet’s Soul. A power wholly of his own. To imbue poems that he wrote with his own emotions. Mayhap that was how he had come to terms with the atrocities Spike, his counterpart, had done for the past centuries. For once he imbue his emotions into pen and paper, they were literally drained from him, etching themselves into the lines of his poems like some kind of enchantment.

Even now William felt a sense of bewilderment at the impossible power that he wields, not to mention the change that happened to young Xander. A change that Spike had been the cause of, and which Xander still blamed him for, though the younger boy had mellowed out the past days, they had even managed to be civil to one another before the boy had set off to Sunnydale with the Slayer and the rest of his group.

William?” A soft lyrical voice asked from his doorway.

Looking up, William felt his heart caught in his throat as he sighted Drusilla leaning against his doorway, her hair moist, having most probably gotten out of the shower. Despite the fact that Drusilla had been the one that sired him, he had loved her since the beginning, a love that carried on when he became a vampire, a love that lasted even now.

A logical part of his brain knew he should hate her, yet Drusilla was as much a victim as he was. They had agree to remain apart until they figured out what they really meant to each other… so what was she doing here now?

Is something wrong?” William asked getting up from his seat, stuffing the poem he had completed into his drawer.

I have a vision.” Drusilla said with a frown. “The Watcher’s friend is in trouble. I am not sure when it will happen so we need to go to Sunnydale to warn them.”

I will accompany you through the Way Gate then.” William offered. “If they are not at Rupert’s mansion, at least having the two of us searching Sunnydale will be better than one.”

OoooO

1.1 – New Beginnings

2 weeks after the death of Magic…

The visions of death and slaughter filled her mind, as they so often do these past week, ever since the Seed of Wonder had been destroyed. The moment the visions ended, Drusilla had reached out to Xander who had quickly allowed her in.

The Ska’ligath clans are moving to attack the Iáligath clans for their moon wells. It should be sometime within the week at night just as the moon is waning. Drusilla said as she mentally projected her latest visions to Xander.

Dammit. We’ve only just constructed the moon wells when the Iáligath joined the Alliance two days ago. Xander cursed mentally, his voice reaching her clearly even though Drusilla knew he was hundreds of miles away, setting up an Alliance outpost on another continent. I will send the Night Elves and Dragons of San Francisco outpost to defend the Iáligath. Thanks for the forewarning again.

How are the European outposts coming along? Drusilla asked, sensing the tiredness in Xander’s mental tone. The past week had been a flurry of activities for Xander in particular as he and his new minions from Wolfram and Hart began reaching out to the Light sided and Neutral clans of the supernatural world. The intention was to form an alliance, in order to sustain the friendlier supernatural creatures with magic from the moon wells.

The Alliance, thus aptly named, was intended to thus allow Xander, his army, and the allied clans control over the sources of magic remaining on Earth, thus gradually eradicating the dangerous and darker races / organisations of the supernatural world. Currently Xander’s “peacekeeping forces” were the only thing standing between the darker supernatural beings and outright slaughter of innocents and those in the Alliance.

Constructing the outposts aren’t a problem and getting together an Alliance army for each major country is surprisingly easy when you have an unlimited power source to produce them. Xander said wearily. Drusilla knew that if not for the need to control the chaos that would arise from the death of magic, Xander would never have called up so many fictional units brought to life in his armies. The problem is reaching those that need help in time… and I shudder to think where to house everyone I created once there is peace. Confining everyone in the barracks when they are not needed isn’t an answer.

I might have an idea to that. Drusilla mused. We can begin setting up cities hidden from ordinary sight around each of the outposts to serve as major Alliance settlements. The warding runes from the Xaneglte clans are capable of area wide invisibility. The cost to enchant the runes is magically draining which had limited their use in the past, but you are not bound by that limit.

The Xaneglte, they are those lizardmen from Brazil that were among the first neutrals to join aren’t they? Xander asked raking his memory. I don’t think I have ever personally visited them, except to send some wisps over to construct moon wells for them and park two dragons to protect the wells. How did you know about their ward stones?

You do know that most of the demons tribes or clans that joined have tried to pass Wolfram and Hart tributes for The Man? As in you? Drusilla mentioned a little dryly.

I thought I ordered them to return the gifts back to the Alliance? Xander said sounding confused.

It is bad form to return those gifts Xander, especially as the allied clans and organisation gave those items to Wolfram and Hart in order to ensure their continued survival. Returning those gifts would have offended or belittled them. You did give Rupert the authority to counterman your orders, and so he did. The items were catalogued and kept in a secure warehouse. I convinced Rupert to let me help and saw the ward stones in the catalogue. Drusilla answered.

Well… I guess you guys know what you are doing. I will pop by this warehouse this evening, maybe See it as a blueprint. If the ward stones are within, I maybe able to purchase them when I rebuild the structure. Xander said contemplatively. But building cities for the Alliances is one thing… who are going to manage them?

Leave that to me. Drusilla said firmly. You have the war and defending the Alliance to worry about. I can work with Rupert and others in Sunnydale to plan out the cities and how to run them. If need be, some of those whom you… assimilated and given new life, might have the skillsets to help us.

Drusilla sensed Xander mentally wincing at her words. Xander had managed to destroy the Hell God Glorificus by deconstructing the building she was in. Unfortunately not everyone were evacuated from the hotel during the deconstruction, and to let Glorificus escape from the hotel would have unleashed much more casualty. Xander had made the tough decision of deconstructing 23 real people from Earth just to destroy the Hell God.

He had recreated them later, granting them abilities beyond their comprehension. But unfortunately those powers comes with a price. Much like Drusilla and Willian, the second life Xander gave those people, also caused them to be bond to his will, taking away their free will should he command it. Not all of the 23 second lifers were happy campers with the situation. Xander himself had also been uncomfortable with the choice he had to make.

I guess Percy West might be able to help seeing that he was Laguna Loire from the Final Fantasy VIII game during Halloween night. Xander suggested. One interesting fact discovered when Xander deconstructed the 23 people in the hotel, had been that 7 of the second lifers were previously affected by Ethan Rayne’s Halloween spell. That in turn cause them to gain powers and abilities mirroring their Halloween counterparts, even memories in some cases. Laguna was a president of sorts in the game verse. He might be able to help with city planning.

What about those government soldiers who were in town to scout out Sunnydale? Drusilla asked. Among the 23 second lifers, were 4 soldiers from a secret government program. Their unit of 12 men was sent to Sunnydale during Halloween to scout out a suitable base of operations. When 2 of their men had gone missing during Halloween night, their stay in town was extended.

4 of the soliders, among whom was the captain of the unit, were caught in the hotel deconstruction. When they were given new life, they were most unhappy by the geas which Xander set on them preventing them from using their new powers in front of their fellow soldiers, who were still in the dark. Another geas was given to prevent them from revealing Xander and those in the Alliances to the government and those not in the know.

To say that those 4 soldiers were unhappy with Xander were an understatement. They had left town as fast as they could, mistakenly believing Xander’s hold over them would not reach that far. They had learnt since then. Drusilla knew Xander would sooner forget about those soldiers whose animosity bristled against his mind links, but unfortunately they were among those caught by Ethan’s Halloween spell, and 2 of them in particular gained very powerful abilities and memories from their Halloween counterparts. Those abilities might prove useful to the Alliance one day which meant that the 4 soldiers must be closely monitored.

Captain Riley Finn in particular possessed the memories and skillset of a Barbarian Overlord from the Heroes of Might and Magic game. He has the knowledge and skills to plan and manage cities meant for supernatural inhabitants. Drusilla pointed out.

I seriously doubt that Riley and his men will cooperate with us short of an outright command from me. Xander remarked with a grimance. And I don’t want to go down the dictator route unless necessary. Some of the Archmages, Paladins and Heroes from the Alliances have memories of managing or running a schools, organisations and towns. I will select a few and send them your way.

That will be a great help. Drusilla acknowledged. How goes Ian with his hunt for the starship?

He and his team of dragonriders are still combing the Amazon Basin sector by sector. Hopefully they will find the Alteran outpost by the time things settle down in the supernatural world. Xander hoped. At the very least, they had managed to secure three more alliances from the supernatural clans living in the area. And that’s three less supernatural parties we have to worry about…

OoooO

1 month later…

William sighed as he finished packing his meagre belongings, looking around the room he had made his home for the last two plus months. He and Xander had finally settled their bygones, with Xander acknowledging that William was not, and would never be Spike.

Xander had given him and Drusilla a stipend, as he did for all of those in his army. Though William had little need of it at the moment. He was part of the task force protecting Sunnydale the past few weeks from angry demons seeking answers as to Xander’s whereabouts. The fights that broke out had quickly risen William skill levels, and the loots that came from the fallen demons were more than enough to tide William through the next few months.

The supernatural cold war was winding down, with few of the world’s populace knowing that there was even a war going on. There had been several unpreventable catastrophe, like when an entire town was massacre by the Iénghon, serpent headed humanoids, who had tried to restore their innate magic via blood sacrifice. The demon clan was eradicated within the week, but that did not bring back the lives they have taken.

The Oseophlon of the Southern Seas, a water dwelling merfolk like race, were nearly wiped out after they joined the Alliance. The two Frost Wyrm protecting the Oseophlon underwater moon wells were overwhelmed by the Krakens who had dwelled in the deeps. Only one of the Frost Wyrm survived by the time Xander managed to raise and send an army of Naga Sea Witches their way. Of course the diversity of Xander’s powers had also spawned male Naga, who insisted on calling themselves the Naga Sea Lords.

The good news to come out of that disaster was that the Naga race was now widely accepted by the surviving Oseophlon and their brethren in the Northern, Eastern and Western Seas. With their almost similar body structures, the Naga had made the decision to settle down, co-existing besides the Oseophlon. It helped that both races were biologically compatible with each other, which further encouraged inter-relations.

The Alliance was winning and the majority of the darker or more sadistically demon races were already wiped out. The stranglers who had spurned the Alliance and gone into hiding would not last the next few months. Ambient magic was dwelling at a rapid rate, and in some places of the world, there was no longer any ambient magic.

Xander had switched his focus from the war, to finding beings with magic that were not aware of their supernatural origins. That concerned mostly the half-bloods and those rare humans born with the ability to manipulate magic. Most humans bear reservoirs of innate magic within their soul, especially those living on nexuses of power, however they would not be aversely harmed when those magic drained from them. Those that were born to manipulate magic or were closely tied to their magic, bears a different body structure, and would be keenly aware of the disappearance of power within them. Severe magic depletion would lead to a weakening of these beings, even as they proceed to have urges of unattainable cravings followed by death.

A number of human magic users and human half-bloods had no idea what they were suffering from. And because of the large number of humanity, even if 3% of the numbers were magically inclined and 2% were half-blood that did not know of their heritage, having all of them suffering from magic depletion was big news, especially when modern science could not detect what was wrong with them.

News of the “Shaking Fever” had spread quickly when the first case was identified a week ago, followed by an influx of hundreds of similar cases around the world. By the time the week was over, there was a total of thousands over cases. Fears of an epidemic ran wild, made worse when no one could identify the origin of the “virus” or how it was spread.

Xander had sent his armies scouring the hospitals over the world for those “infected”, restoring their innate magic with moon water, while revealing their supernatural existence to them. Seers of Wolfram and Hart were also deployed to scour for the rest that were not residing in hospitals.

Drusilla’s suggestions of building cloaked Alliance cities had been a blessing in disguise, for those cities which were built over periods of 2 weeks, now became an entry points to induct those newcomers to the supernatural community.

As of current time, there were twenty-five Alliance cities and seventy-two Alliance outposts around the world, including those on land, within the subterranean, and those in the ocean. The Alliance had two cities in the skies, and those belongs to the dragons Xander had called forth.

Xander, his armies and the supernatural beings of Earth that had joined the Alliance had finally came upon an agreed set of Alliance laws two days ago, with roles of governors of each cities filled in by one of Xander’s Heroes. An internal city council for each city would however be formed from those in the Alliance, including the supernatural communities that had joined.

That was why William was all packed up and ready to go. He and Drusilla needed a fresh start, a new beginning. It was also why Drusilla had agreed to take on the role as Governor of Twilight, the Alliance city in Alberta, Canada. The residents were to be made up mostly of Xander’s Night Elves, Human Warriors, and the occasional Frost Wyrms. The allied supernatural communities in the region had also agreed to send representatives to set up shops in the new city. In particular, one of the coven in the area had decided to make their new home in Twilight.

William in the meanwhile had taken up role as an instructor in the Alliance Academy of Twilight. History and English were after all subjects he was quite familiar with, though he serve mainly as the academy’s combat instructor.

William, are you ready to go?” Drusilla asked, scattering William’s thoughts of the past. “The others are already at the Way Gate to see us off.”

Let’s go my love.” William said slinging on his backpack effortlessly as he gave a dark chuckle. “You have a city to run and I have classes to prepare… not to mention students to torture.”

“… Maybe you should skip the dark jokes William. Try and remember you have a soul now.”

OoooO

1.1 – Drusilla’s stats

Designation: Governor of Twilight

Statistic Chart

Level 10

Name: Drusilla Sellars

Attack Type: Hero

Cost: 430 Gold, 100 Lumber, 5 Food

Ground Attack: 39-50 [43 avg]

Armor: 7 Strength: 34 Agility: 32

Intelligence: 40 Hit Points: 740 Mana: 600

Second Sight [UNLOCKED], a passive ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Drusilla, to view the past, present, or future.

Thrall [UNLOCKED], an active ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Drusilla, to take control of the mind of up to 3 targets for a period of time. 35 MP per use.

Telepathy [UNLOCKED], an active ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Drusilla, to read the mind of up to 3 targets. 40 MP per use.

Healing [UNLOCKED], an active ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Drusilla, to heal up to 5 targets. 30 MP per use.

OoooO

1.1 – William’s stats

Designation: Master of Arms (Twilight Academy)

Statistic Chart

Level 1

Name: William Pratt aka Spike

Attack Type: Hero

Cost: 260 Gold, 100 Lumber, 5 Food

Ground Attack: 42-55 [46 avg]

Armor: 9 Strength: 42 Agility: 35

Intelligence: 30 Hit Points: 900 Mana: 400

Poet’s soul [UNLOCKED], a passive ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Spike, to project emotions into poetries that he wrote and vocalised.

Thrall [UNLOCKED], an active ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Spike, to take control of the mind of the target for up to 12 hours. 30 MP per use.

Love [UNLOCKED], a passive ability that allows the Vampire with a Soul, Spike, to gain an increase of +50 Hit Points and + 5 Strength per level when those he loves are within range.

Brute Strength [UNLOCKED], a passive ability that increases the strength of the Vampire with a Soul, Spike, by +5 per level.

OoooO

>> [Draft] Interlude – The Shattering

 

 

Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto/ Star Ocean) Chapter 14 part 3

<< TNNU Chapter 14 Part 2

Note: Sorry >.<” finally got a chance to complete this draft. Will try to clean this up so the complete chapter can be posted on ffnet by end of the week.

updated 19th Mar 2015

OoooO

Konoha’s Northern Town Square

The corner shop at the Northern Town Square was closed for business, but the lights were on within, and the notice on the door stated clearly.

“Shop assistants wanted.

Flexible hours. Part timers welcome.

Walk in interviews only.”

At nine years of age, with a bow shaped haircut and thick eyebrows, dressed in serviceable and inexpensive clothes, Rock Lee looked like a normal middle class civilian’s child. The only difference was that he was an orphan.

From the moment his parents passed away in a tragic house fire when he was six, he had been living with Konoha’s Maple Grove orphanage. The clothes were hand me downs, and the small orphan stipend he got from attending the Ninja Academy was barely enough for him to purchase the bare minimum of equipment. The only saving grace so far was that the Academy textbooks and materials were handed free to the Academy students.

Yet Rock Lee was firm in his resolve to become a ninja, even though he was struggling to manipulate his chakra during the most basic of Ninjutsu. Surely if he was to continue training every day he would improve! But constant training wear out his ninja equipment fast, and Rock Lee knew there would come a time when his orphan stipend would not be able to cover his constant replacement of tools.

Being an orphan that had bypass eight years of age, he was allowed to take up light working jobs during weekends. With the village in lockdown, and the Academy being closed for the past few days, Rock Lee had taken the chance to actively look for work that he could do to earn a little pocket money for future uses.

This… would be his tenth attempt at finding a job since he started looking, not a lot of stall owners in Konoha had work for a child. Taking a deep breath, the young boy carefully knocked on the closed shop door before him and then entered.

He was not sure what the shop interior would be like, or what kind of business the shop was conducting, especially since the shop sign out front had been left empty. From the looks of things, the shop was not opened for business yet. He was most certainly not expecting a warmly decorated shop interior with rows of red wood shelves. Most of the shelves were empty, but some were stacked with various…. oddities?

Among the few goods that were already placed in the shop front, some of the objects were recognizable. There were the kunai made from wood, most probably for practice fights, and then there were the stacks of papers with symbols written on top, most probably storage seals, or some other kinds of seal. Rock Lee had not much idea about Fuinjutsu. The Academy only covered the existence and history of Fuinjutsu last week. And all he remembered from that lesson was that the Second and Fourth Hokages in particular were supposed to be Konoha’s premier masters in that exotic craft.

There were also various other items that he did not have a name for. As Rock Lee looked around with childlike wonder, a brown haired young man with a strong jaw and warm blue eyes stepped out from one of the shelves, not showing any hint of surprise at the sight of Rock Lee in his shop.

“Hi…” Rock Lee said hesitantly, for all his nine years of age, he was but still a child, even though he had learn to be independent a long time ago. “I saw the notice outside and…”

“You are looking for a job.” The young man finished his sentence for him. “I am Uriko Tatori, the owner of this… small establishment. Does your parents know that you are here?”

“My parents have been dead for a while.” Rock Lee said in a matter of fact tone of voice. He had long since made peace with the death of his parents. As the years went past, it was harder each year to hold onto the memories of their faces. “I am an orphan studying at the Academy. I am just looking for a part time job that I can do during weekends, holidays or after Academy hours.”

“Ah.” Uriko said, giving Rock Lee a look of understanding and sympathy. “I already found three part timers to take care of business in the shop, but I do need a cleaner, to make sure the shop is presentable everyday. It will be on a daily basis, during the evenings near closing time. Pay will be 5,000 yen per day, and given at the end of each day. It will be hard work though, you will need to clean the windows and sweep the floor, both here and in the basement.”

“I will do it!” Rock Lee said eagerly. The amount Uriko offered was more than generous for a day’s worth of cleaning job, he doubt he could get a better offer elsewhere. “I am not afraid of hard work!”

“Good.” Uriko said with a smile. “Now this shop specialize in selling gadgets and new inventions. The basement is basically the workshop that produces the items you see here. I have a… team of workers stationed downstairs to churn out the items, so when you go to the basement to clean the place, don’t touch anything that the workers told you not to. Some of the experimental item components can be quite dangerous.”

“I understand.” Rock Lee said nodding quickly.

“Good. I am preparing for the shop opening tomorrow. Can you start work today?” Uriko asked. “I will pay you once you are done cleaning the place. And if you help me stock the shelves, it will be an extra 5,000 yen for you as well.”

“I can start work immediately.” Rock Lee said, a gleam in his eyes. “The Academy is closed for today so I am free. What do you need me to do first?”

“Let’s stock up the shelves first, then you can clean the place.” Uriko said. “Come, I need you to help me carry some of the goods from the basement. After which, I will tell you how to display them on the shelves…”

Following after the shop owner with the innocence and trust that only a child would have, Rock Lee have no idea that he have established contact with the proxy of Konoha’s current child prodigy. An orphan who had sympathized with another. And one who would soon be the focus of a country wide maelstrom.

OoooO

Naruto’s apartment

Kakashi considered dropping by the bookstore to get the latest edition of Icha Icha and be fashionably late, a quirk that he instilled upon himself, to keep the memory of a friend alive. He pondered the notion for all of five seconds before discarding the thought. With the events of the past few days, it was too flippant for him to consider making that extra effort to be late. Not to mention he was curious about Naruto Uzumaki, demon container of the Nine-tailed fox, and son of his late teacher.

He had never gotten close with the child. With all his emotional baggage, Kakashi never had the intention to be part of Naruto’s life after the Fourth Hokage’s demise. He did his duty, asking to be part of the squadron of Anbu that kept Naruto safe during the boy’s childhood, but that was about all he had been willing to do. There had been no room in his life to interact with a child, and even if he had been willing, there would be no way the village council would let Naruto be fostered with him.

Madara’s attack on the Uchiha clan, the revelation of Naruto’s interference and his current reassignment as the child’s new teacher, had however sparked an interest in Kakashi to find out more about his teacher’s kid. Kakashi could not put a finger in it, but something about Naruto Uzumaki, about him being the student of the mysterious “Eye of Konoha”, just did not strike true with him.

He still remembered the disguised Naruto clone who had rescued him. Of himself dragging his weary and battered body across the Uchiha compound. He had just reached the walls of the compound when he had sighted Madara appearing on the wall in front of him, smashing into some invisible barrier that revealed a child, the original Naruto Uzumaki. That Naruto had shown shock at Madara’s attack, but not fear. When Kakashi had reviewed the memories of the attack in the safety of the hospital ward, that particular aspect of his observation had given him concern.

Even when Madara had his hand around the child’s neck, using some strange attack to kill him, Naruto had tried to fight back. There had been grim determination, acceptance and resignation in the child’s eyes, a sign of maturity usually not found in an eight year old child, at least not those that lived in times of peace. Kakashi had seen those unwavering blue orbs glaring at Madara, before in a last burst of strength, Kakashi himself had jumped onto the wall, attempting to save the child.

Naruto had fought against Madara without a hint of fear, up until the moment he was rescued. For the child to start crying when the Third Hokage arrived to save them, well Kakashi did not have to be one of his nin dogs to smell the proverbial fish in the baker’s basket.

There was more going on than what Naruto had revealed to the Hokage, Kakashi had been certain of that fact. A detour to the Academy record rooms had revealed that Naruto Uzumaki’s exams and tests scores always dwindled among the last or middle tier of the class, a stark contrast to his true capabilities. It spoke of a certain level of cunning and skill seldom seen in a child so young, to cover up his own true capabilities.

Perhaps The Eye had a hand in this deception, but even then Naruto had been the one presenting a consistent inferior set of abilities to the Academy, and it seems none of the teachers, save one Iruka Umino, suspected that the young boy might be capable of more.

Thus it was why Kakashi had arrived an hour early, observing Naruto’s apartment and his various watchers. The Third had already given him the heads up about the location of the various “bodyguards” sent by the Senju and Uchiha clans to protect and watch over the boy.

“What secrets are you hiding Naruto?” Kakashi pondered as he stood on the rooftop, opposite from where the Uchiha watchers had stationed themselves. He made no move to hide himself unlike the Uchiha two men team that had slipped back into the shadows after acknowledging his arrival.

The apartment had been empty with no signs of Naruto. Which begs the question of where Naruto had gone off to. It was doubtful the watchers assigned to Naruto by the clans knew the boy’s current whereabouts. If they knew, they would not be watching over an empty apartment like hawks. It took another twenty minutes of waiting before Naruto appeared, walking down the street towards his apartment as though he was just out taking a walk.

The boy’s sweat and dirt stained clothes however revealed another story entirely. Naruto had been out training. Was he training by himself? Or did The Eye contact Naruto once more to guide him? Kakashi pondered the question as he eyed Naruto entering his apartment through a lens. Whatever the case was, Kakashi resolved to keep a closer watch on his new student.

Kakashi made his way to Naruto’s apartment by foot, giving Naruto ample time to wash himself up. By the time he reached the door to Naruto’s dwelling, it was a few minutes to midday.

Giving the door a sharp rap, Kakashi waited a few seconds before he heard the creaking of floorboards from within the apartment. The door opened to reveal a cleaned up Naruto, dressed smartly in black shirt and black pants, the boy’s hair still curling damply on his head.

Naruto’s eyes widened as he saw Kakashi. “You are the ninja that saved me!” The boy exclaimed, a hint of awe in his voice. “I never got the chance to really thank you… are you my new Jonin instructor?”

“Hmm…” Kakashi said as he gave Naruto a measuring glare. The boy just eyed him with a wide eyed innocent look. “Cut the cute kid act and meet me at the Ninja Registration Office.”

Kakashi saw Naruto’s cute expression narrowed into an annoyed look before the older ninja body flickered away. He had given Naruto a destination without telling him the directions, now it remains to be seen, through what means and how long Naruto would figure his way there. Though the location of the registration office was not a secret, it was never listed on any Konoha maps.

Naruto was after all a child and orphan with little reason look up the location of the Ninja Registration Office before his actual graduation. This little exercise would allow Kakashi to ascertain how familiar the boy was with moving around Konoha, or…

A whisper of wind behind him caused Kakashi to turn his head in a sideways glance. Stopping briefly at a rooftop across the street from Naruto’s apartment, he quirked an eyebrow at the skillful body flicker technique the boy just performed, without any signs of physical exhaustion. Well… that was one way for the boy to get to the office, by actually having the capability to follow after Kakashi.

The Eye must have taught Naruto that technique and it remains to be seen what his new student’s true level of power was. Kakashi gave Naruto a neutral look before turning and continuing on his way. A few minutes later, he was standing in front of a nondescript building a little ways north of the Hokage tower.

Naruto landed next to him a few seconds later, looking unruffled at the high speed body flicker techniques that both of them had utilized to get to their location. To all outward appearance, the building bears no indicative identifier that it houses Konoha’s Ninja Registration and Ninja Administration Offices. Only Konoha locals working in the building or Konoha’s ninjas would know that the building archived Konoha’s mission reports of B rank and lower.

Though it was not exactly a highly secret location, it would have been hard for a new Konoha ninja to find without knowing the destination of the place. Kakashi knew of a few Genin team instructors who uses the place as the focus of an information gathering exercise for their newly minted Genin. Kakashi had intended to use the same exercise up until the moment Naruto had shown himself capable of keeping pace with him.

Oh well, the day was still young, and he still have other tests in place to assess Naruto’s true skills.

“Follow me.” Kakashi said shortly as he walked into the building. “Once we’ve gotten you officially registered into the ninja corp, we will have a get together session to know more about each other. Oh and that expression you are making right now is perfect for your registration ID. That scowl is definitely much more appropriate for a ninja than your puppy dog expression.”

Chuckling, the one-eyed ninja entered the building, uncaring of the dark glower his new Chunin trainee was giving him, as Naruto followed after him.

OoooO

Karasu, Land of Wind

The small town of Karasu was located near the northern borders of the Land of Wind, and was the major rest stop for travelers from the Land of Birds and the Land of Rain, not that there was much traffic in or out of the Land of Rain these days. It did make Karasu a good place to rest for a while and keep his ears open, on the off chance there was any news about that isolationist country.

The fact that there were a few establishments catering for “adult entertainment”, make visiting Karasu quite worthwhile. Pressing his face into the sweet bosom of his latest lady friend, Jiraiya breath in her sweet scent of jasmine, his body tingling with anticipation as he gently untie the knot of her dress…

Something hard smacked into the side of his head, even as his lady friend gave an undignified shriek, tearing away from his grasp and quickly scrambling off the bed they were in.

The familiar sounds of angry chattering clued Jiraiya on his attacker’s identity before he even laid eyes on her.

The female messenger monkey summon which the Third Hokage always used to find him, was balanced on top of the only coach in the dimly lit room, a vase in her hands as she glowered at him.

“Wait! Wait! Wait!” Jiraiya said hurriedly raising his hands. “I am renting the room by the hour. If anything’s damaged I am going to have to pay for it.”

“Like I care!” The monkey summon, dressed in a dull brown shirt and pants, lifted her hands and launched the vase at Jiraiya. The half-dressed woman who was previously working her wiles on Jiraiya gave a screech at hearing a talking monkey, and fled out of the room.

“Oh come on Fuya! Have a heart.” Jiraiya said quickly snatching the vase from mid-air before it shatters in his face. “I was just getting to know my… new friend…”

“I have visited twelve brothels across the Land of Sand the past two days, trying to catch up with your trail.” The monkey summon raged. “I have seen enough naked humans to last me a lifetime! Have you no shame Jiraiya? At the rate you are going, that thing of yours is going to drop off!”

“At least it was better than the last time?” Jiraiya offered Fuya a weak smile. “I remember you going through twenty-one… establishments before you finally found me.”

Fuya’s reply was to leap onto Jiraiya’s head before he even thought to duck, and began hammering on the white haired man.

“Oww! Oww!” Jiraiya cried out as he scrambled off the bed trying to pry the monkey of his head.

Fuya twisted away from his hands, and landed a kick into his face as she backflip onto the floor. “That is your punishment.” Fuya noted haughtily, before digging into her pouch and threw a scroll at Jiraiya. “And read the message. Hiruzen needed you back in Konoha days ago.”

Her job done, Fuya turned her back on Jiraiya and disappeared into smoke.

Jiraiya caught the flying message scroll with one hand while he rubbed his sore face with the face. “That monkey is getting more temperamental every time Sarutobi sent her. This scroll better be worth it, or else I am sending the toads after Sarutobi…”

Jiraiya’s righteous mumblings stopped as he opened the scroll and looked at what it contained. The message was short and brief.

Madara Uchiha still alive, attacked Uchiha Clan. Naruto at risk. Get back to Konoha. Do not talk to anyone when arrive. Report back to me immediate. Status Amber.

Jiraiya’s relaxed countenance hardened, a keen look in his eyes as a subtle manipulation of chakra caused the scroll to catch fire and be burnt to dust. Grabbing his travelling bag from beside the bed, the older man headed for the windows, pushing them open, before he vanished in a gust of wind.

OoooO

Sica (Main)

… Memory process cores running at 70% capacity…

… 3,983 multi-threads running…

… 3% data corruption detected… running repairs and redundancy algorithms

… Analyze program initialized… increasing data corruption due to high usage of memory cycles and redundancy data

75 Clones’ data incoming

… Memory process cores running at 99.99% capacity…

… #$@#$%…

… Switching on optimum multi-threading capability…

… 9,999 multi-threads running…

… 18% data corruption detected… running repairs and redundancy algorithms

… Redundancy data stripped… running search and sort algorithms

Critical data identified, stored in data storage

… Data Storage (3.98 Zettabytes) 87% used 13% remaining…

Critical Data Storage limit reaching in estimated 7.8 Federation months

System Failure imminent

… Risk management program initialized…

… A.I. preservation protocols activated…

… Core A.I. analysis and repair program initialized…

Sourcing for optimum solution

….

OoooO

Pangalactic Federation Codex

>> Logged in: [NAME REDACTED – TOP SECRET]

     >> Level 7 encryption enabled…

     …

     …

     >> Secure Tunnelling Protocol [ALL GREEN]

[Research Codename: Project All Seeing]

The Eye of Truth [Code Black Access Required]

The Eye of Truth was built by the Muah of Roak millennia ago, when they were stranded on Roak.

The Eye of Truth is a powerful portal device that operates on symbological technologies which far exceeds the understanding of the Federation as of current time.

The Eye is protected by the Runes of Roak, and possessed several powerful abilities.

List of abilities are:

1) Ability to detect lifeforms that are from different periods of time by sensing their temporal axis.

4) Short range teleportation

5) Creation of Portal to the “Demon World” [more information <Asmodeus> – Code Black Access Required]

OoooO

>> [Draft] Chapter 15 Part 1 – Neji and the cloaked clone, The Bell

Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto/ Star Ocean) Chapter 14 part 2

<< TNNU Chapter 14 Part 1

updated 7th March 2015

updated 9th Feb 2015 <inclusion of Kakashi pov snippet>

updated 19th Mar

OoooO

Konoha’s Hokage Tower

He had only been out of commission for two days and within that short span of time too much had happened. While he had been recuperating after the battle, Root had been discovered and dismantled, with Danzo branded a traitor for treason.  And as he was grieving for the death of his teammates, the Hokage had apparently made plans for him.

Kakashi looked at the termination order the Third Hokage had just handed to him.

“You are terminating my services to the Anbu.” Kakashi said neutrally, not revealing his shock.

“Yes Kakashi.” The Third said, motioning him to sit down on the couch. “I have need of your services elsewhere.”

Kakashi nodded, he had guessed as much. “I heard about Root when I passed by the town criers just now. Are you assigning me to the team hunting down the remaining rogues?”

“Ah Root.” The Third said with a weary sigh. “No, the hunting of rogue nins will not be of your concern. I have the hunter nins and Ibiki handling that. No I need you for something closer to home.”

“Naruto.” Kakashi said, quickly discerning the topic of The Third’s discussion. Although Konoha had gone through a series of shattering upheavals in the past three days, there were only a few matters of high enough concern to affect him. Madara’s reappearance, Naruto’s real abilities and bloodline, and the discovery of Root were the major factors that Kakashi had been aware of so far.

“Yes.” The Third answered with a nod. “As you are aware, the council and I have given Naruto a field promotion for his services in defending the Uchiha clan. The promotion bypass the rank of Genin and propelled him straight to the position of Chunin. I have decree that Naruto will hold the title of special Chunin to the Hokage. I intend to guide his training at times, because even with his bloodline and current capabilities, he is but a child. However with my duties, I can’t be around to focus on him, Naruto is going to need a teacher.”

The Hokage took out a sealed letter from his robe, handing it to Kakashi who accepted it without showing a hint of emotion of his face.

“As of this moment, I am authorizing the formation of a special two men Chunin team. You will be leading team Kakashi with Naruto Uzumaki under your command. Your team will answer directly to me and me alone. I want weekly updates on Naruto’s progress, but most importantly I need you to be Naruto’s teacher because… he knows…” The Third said in a tired voice. “He knows who his birth parents are, and as of now, you are one of the few remaining links to Minato and Kushina.”

“I see.” Kakashi said, feeling old pain stirring at the thought of his teacher and old team. He had been there when Naruto had revealed his knowledge and training with The Eye to the Hokage. “So you want me to keep an eye on the boy, and reach out to him using my history with his parents.”

“No.” The Third said firmly, looking sternly at Kakashi to make sure he got the message. “No emotional manipulation. This isn’t one of your missions. I want you to be there for him as a family friend. Not just watching over him from the shadows like what you have doing all these years, but to be someone he can depend on and trust, just as Minato had been for you.”

“I can never be like Minato sensei… but I will do my best.” Kakashi said gravely. It was the best he could offer, especially since there was no way he could turn down this request. His debt to his late teacher could never be repaid in this lifetime. The best he could do was to be there for Minato’s kid, even though he felt a lingering reluctance at facing a legacy of his past.

“Good. Team Kakashi will officially be activated at midday today.” The Third said looking sharply at Kakashi. “Pick up Naruto from his apartment and get him officially registered into the Shinobi corp. Take this afternoon to get to know him. Assess your new student tomorrow, and official training will begin the day after. I want a full report on Naruto’s capabilities and your team’s proposed training schedule submitted by end of the week.”

As Kakashi gave his affirmation to the Hokage, a cloaked figure remained undetected outside the Hokage tower. N5 was listening in to the meeting through his mind link with S5.

“So Kakashi Hatake is going to be our Jonin sensei…” N5 mused. “Best get that information to Boss Sica. I am sure he will want to know about it.”

OoooO

Konoha’s Eastern Forest

Hidden under advanced cloak, N31 and numerous other fellow clones were seated in a large clearing in Konoha’s eastern forest, situated near Training Ground 23, but far enough from any known landmarks that few Konoha ninjas and residents ventured into this area.

The twenty men team were what was termed by the Boss as the Eastern Research Clone Brigade. Like their fellow clone brigades in the South, West, and North part of Konoha’s forest, they serve a dual role as researchers and learners.

The Naruto clones were tasked with learning the various theoretical Federation subjects that Boss had handpicked, while their Sica clones were tasked with various research projects Boss had designated.

The Eastern Clone Brigade also had the dubious honor of analyzing data from Boss’ altercation with Madara. They were to uncover Madara’s true capabilities, any weakness the infamous ninja might have, as well as planning strategies to combat Sharingan and their advanced forms. The Western Clones were to focus research on any possible Chakra shielding and Chakra sensing techniques that might help the Boss. Meanwhile the Northern and Southern Clones were focusing their attention on the various research projects regarding seals and Ninjutsu techniques that Boss had previously ordered.

A mental prompt from S31 caused N31 to blink as his holographic screen which was previously showing data on University level Mechanical Engineering froze up. Looking around, he saw his fellow clones eyeing their respective holographic screens showing different subjects, without any hints of disturbance.

All of them were under a large layered dome shaped cloak, formed by all of their Sicas working together. Using manipulation of light, those outside the cloak would see no one in the clearing, while those within the light cloak would be able to see the going-ons of outside.

In practical and theoretical application, a rudimentary cloaking device which utilize bending of light would cause the one under the cloak to be surrounded by darkness, blinded to the outside world. After all, a reflective shield bending light away from itself, would have allowed no light to enter its interior. This flaw however could be rendered moot if the device that created the shield was able to generate and render its own light source, within the reflective shield.

Thankfully Sica was a state of the art creation by the Pangalactic Federation, imbued with the best of their micro-holographic technology. Sica’s light based cloaking technique would bend the light around its user, to grant a version of invisibility, while at the same time layering a screen of light within the layered cloak, displaying the scanned images of what’s outside the cloak.

Yes Sica, what is it? N31 asked mentally, not wanting to disturb the rest of the clones by asking his question out loud.

I was analyzing Sharingan genetic data for weaknesses, and have discovered abnormalities in the genetic scans of Madara’s Sharingan, several of the Uchiha clan members and Kakashi Hatake. S31 revealed causing N31 to frown.

Kakashi Hatake… he’s the ninja that saved us from Madara and is now Boss’ new Jonin instructor. N31 noted. S5 had sent out an update to all Sicas about Team Kakashi only minutes ago, and the memories of Boss’ near death at Madara’s hands were still firmly entrenched in N31’s mind. He… Boss… still have nightmares from Madara’s assault. The one with that implanted Sharingan?

Yes. Kakashi Hatake gained his Sharingan on a mission during the Third Shinobi World War. His left eye was destroyed by an attack, and according to previously scanned mission reports, it seemed his teammate, one Obito Uchiha, perished in that particular mission. Sica stated. Before his eventual death, Obito Uchiha granted Kakashi Hatake his left Sharingan eye. The operation was done with assistance from Rin Nohara, the third member of their team, now deceased as well, who also happened to have medi-nin training.

Okay… so what is the abnormality? N31 asked, wondering what Sica was getting at.

The previously scanned Sharingan from Kakashi is in its advance stage, and possesses 34% genetic makeup of Kakashi’s own body. As Kakashi lacks the genetic traits of an Uchiha, it appears that he is incapable of deactivating his Mangekyō Sharingan. Sica revealed, causing N31 to blink at the information. Records stated that Obito Uchiha never gained the Mangekyō Sharingan when he gifted it to Kakashi, thus it is possible that the evolution of Kakashi’s eyes happened after the eye was implanted into him. And that due to this, part of Kakashi’s own genetic materials were used to further the evolution process.

But the key issue is that Kakashi’s Mangekyō Sharingan bears a 92% structural match to Madara’s Mangekyō Sharingan. Kakashi and Madara’s Mangekyō Sharingan are most certainly the same “type” of Mangekyō Sharingan, even though the gene makeup in Kakashi’s Mangekyō Sharingan differs from Madara’s. This difference in genetic makeup is probably caused by the Mangekyō Sharingan evolving in Kakashi’s body. Several other Uchiha clan members also possessed a 68%-81% genetic match to Madara. Sica continued.

Simplify it for me please. N31 said with a wince. I know Boss took Biology classes, but we were never that well verse in it. We barely scrap a passing score from the previous test.

As you wish. Sica stated. Based on my limited analysis, with no verified sources of genetic materials from Madara Uchiha to refer to, and the high structural similarities of Kakashi and “Madara’s” Mangekyō Sharingan. I theorize that Kakashi and “Madara’s” Mangekyō Sharingan are of the same “type”.

I further theorized that there is a 95% chance that the Madara Uchiha who attacked Uchiha clan is actually not the real Madara Uchiha, but is actually one Obito Uchiha who has survived. Obito Uchiha was listed as an orphan, but based on the genetic scans, I might have uncovered several close relatives of his in the clan.

“What?” N31 shouted in shock, forgetting to speak mentally within his head. Several of his fellow clones looked his way curiously. “But how? How do you come to this conclusion?”

Scans of “Madara’s” facial layout bears a 96% match to the portrays of Madara Uchiha, however deeper tissue scans revealed that the “Madara” who attacked the Uchiha clan bears tissue scarring in his left eye socket. Sica revealed. “Madara” also possessed a Mangekyō Sharingan in his right eye, and a normal Sharingan in his left eye. Both eyeballs bears a 76% genetic mismatch, which meant that they came from two different people with distant bloodline relations.

“So you are saying with the close similarity ‘Madara’ and Kakashi’s Mangekyō Sharingan has with each other, and the tissue scarring you detected in his left eye socket… it’s more than likely Obito Uchiha is the ‘Madara’ who attack the Uchiha clan.” N31 said in shock. “If so that would explain why the ‘Madara’ that attacked the clan is not the juggernaut of power the legends stated him to be. Even though he is more than powerful enough to make a good showing of it. But why did you take so long to come with this conclusion?”

The abnormality detected in Kakashi’s Mangekyō Sharingan delayed crucial data comparison. Thousands of simulations were ran to pinpoint why Kakashi’s implanted Mangekyō Sharingan would contain some of his genetic data, yet bear a high structural comparison to “Madara’s” Mangekyō Sharingan. I only reached a 97% positive conclusion that evolution of Sharingan to Mangekyō Sharingan would utilize the host’s genetic materials a few hours ago. This allows me to eliminate misleading data and connect the dots. Sica revealed. With the other Sicas focused on various assigned key objectives, my overall conclusion on Obito’s Mangekyō Sharingan was only finalized a few minutes ago.

“What’s going on?” N35 who was seated next to N31 asked. It was then N31 realised he had gotten the attention of his entire clone brigade.

“My Sica just discovered something very important.” N31 said with a grimace. “Sica, disseminate the information to Boss and the other clones. We need to know exactly who we are fighting. At least this Obito Uchiha should be much weaker than the real Madara Uchiha… right?”

OoooO

Konoha Training Ground 37

The fresh scent of earth and morning dew permeate the thick forest that made up Konoha’s Training Ground 37. Crickets chirping, rodents going to ground, fledglings taking flight as a new dawn broke over the forest top, sending gentle streams of the morning sun to pierce through the dark canopy.

There was a gust of wind, followed by multiple similar gusts around a small clearing, as the forest fell silent. Sica dropped the light cloak that had hid Naruto from sight and began monitoring the energy signatures in the area in case the Hokage was using his signature spying technique on them. Naruto took a deep breathe of the cool crisp air, the warmth of a delicious ramen broth settling in his stomach.

Having Ayame and Teuchi deciding to drop by, to congratulate him on becoming a Chunin, with a delicious ramen breakfast had been a surprise. With his clones scattered all over Konoha, Naruto had caught wind of their intention half an hour before their arrival which slightly spoilt the surprise, but even then, Naruto had been touched that the ramen owner and his daughter had remembered him.

His original intent had been to do some personal training before starting another regiment of the Wild Hunt, but the visit by his favorite ramen owner had derailed that plan. It was no big deal though, he could always have his clones pick up on other aspects of his training when he meets his Chunin team instructor in the afternoon.

There were still three hours before midday. Turning to the shadow clones he had just created, who were still hidden from sight, Naruto called out. “You know what to do. Perimeter Team, secure the area and warn us if anyone make their way here. Red team, listen to your Sicas, get yourself into position before I start the Hunt.”

Silent gusts of wind was all that greeted him as his shadow clones moved out towards their assigned roles. Naruto began to do some light stretching in the small clearing, wincing at a rapidly healing bruise on his left arm.

“Those Senju and Uchiha ninjas are really getting better at realizing I was slipping out of the apartment. The older Uchiha ninja in particular nearly caught up with me before I could slip into the morning crowd… even while you were cloaking me! With them knowing that I have slipped out of my apartment, there’s no longer any point to leave a shadow clone in the apartment as a decoy.” Naruto said with a grimace. “I would have been impressed if that older Uchiha ninja wasn’t becoming so much of a nuisance to shake off. I bumped into that wall with enough force to nearly shatter the cloak because I was too busy trying to avoid him. You were saying it was because he did something with his Sharingan?”

The Sharingan is known to grant its user an incredible clarity of perception. The Uchiha that managed to catch up with you, Shadou Uchiha, was listed in Konoha’s Shinobi records as one of the best Taijutsu expert in the village. Sica revealed to Naruto’s question. His mastery of his Sharingan was such that he could detect the slightest of movement in his opponents’ bodies before they attack. Knowledge that you had some kind of invisibility technique was beginning to spread among the upper tiers of Konoha’s ninja. With this foreknowledge, it was possible he managed to track you by the dust stirred in your path, when you trek down that cluttered and dusty side alley into the town square.

“I wasn’t aware the Sharingan could track movements to that extend.” Naruto said with a frown. “That bloodline itself seemed to be remarkably powerful and broken. Madara was able to do some kind of warp teleport with his advanced Sharingan. It is scary what he was capable of doing with that ability.”

Sharingan, like most bloodlines, are known to have slight potency and variations when they manifest in different Uchiha members. Shadou Uchiha’s Sharingan has an advantage in detecting minute movements. Madara’s Sharingan probably specialize in space-time manipulation. Sica stated clinically. With Madara’s right limbs containing a variation of Wood Release genes close to those that you possesses, it is highly probable that Madara, like Danzo, is trying to recreate the Izanagi technique. A technique written in several old records as the most powerful Genjutsu technique ever known.

“The most powerful Genjutsu technique.” Naruto said with a disbelieving snort. “What does it do exactly? Trap you in an infinite illusion?”

No, the Izanagi does not stimulate an infinite illusion trap. The technique that possess the same effect as your supposition is known as the Tsukuyomi. It was one of the list of known Mangekyō Sharingan techniques recorded in the Uchiha clan’s archives. Sica said, surprising Naruto with the fact that such a technique actually existed. Though that particular illusion technique is not infinite, the user can manipulate one’s mind to change their perception of time, while trapping them in a very powerful mental illusion.

The only known user of the Tsukuyomi was an Uchiha who died several decades ago. Though it is possible future Mangekyō Sharingan users who possess the same “type” of Mangekyō Sharingan as him, might be able to utilize the same ability.

As for the Izanagi, according to legend, it is a genjutsu that is cast on the user instead of others. When activated it removes the boundaries between reality and illusion, allowing the user to control his/her state of existence. No further details are available, though there are theories the technique could allow the user to transcend death temporarily at the cost of the Sharingan eye used to cast it.

“Oh… I wasn’t really expecting there to be such techniques.” Naruto said with a grimace. “I guess we should be glad that Madara’s Mangekyō Sharingan didn’t seem to be able to use that powerful mind illusion technique, or that he didn’t use that Izanagi technique. Otherwise I will probably be dead many times over. I hadn’t learn any Genjutsu defenses so far, I would have been practically defenseless.”

The Mangekyō Sharingan possessed quite a number of varied abilities. According to Uchiha clan’s archives, the clan were aware of eighteen Uchiha who gained the Mangekyō Sharingan, though only ten of those listed ever have their abilities recorded. Of these ten, four different Mangekyō Sharingan types were identified. Sica stated. The Mangekyō Sharingan of Madara and his brother were among those not in records, and based on the abilities he showed during the battle, Madara’s Mangekyō Sharingan did not match any of the four known Mangekyō Sharingan types.

“I wonder…” Naruto mused to himself, even as he checked his gear for the upcoming Wild Hunt exercise. “If Madara was so powerful with his Mangekyō Sharingan… Maybe I can use that same Mangekyō Sharingan against him.”

You wish to genetically alter your ocular genetic structure to possess the Mangekyō Sharingan? Sica asked.

“That thought did cross my mind. But I suspect having those eyes would also come with their own baggage of problems.” Naruto admitted. “But let’s discuss this later. First let’s get the Wild Hunt for the day over with.”

Very well. Sica affirmed. Today’s Wild Hunt is a tracking and hostage rescue operation. Red Team will be posing as a group of rogue Mist Nins. One clone will be transforming himself into a civilian woman held hostage by the Mist ninjas. The objective is to find the hideout of the Mist ninjas, take down or contain them, while ensuring the civilian hostage is rescued and survived the operation.

Battlefield intel revealed that Mist ninjas’ base is located somewhere North of your current position. This band of Mist ninjas is known for their powerful water techniques and Taijutsu skills. The operation ends within the time frame of two hours. Good luck Naruto.

Naruto rolled his eyes at Sica’s narration. “Why can’t you just tell me that the Red Team is limited to water techniques and Taijutsu attacks instead of spinning all this story about Mist ninjas?”

Centuries of Federation Psychological research on Humanity reveals that humans are more likely to remember and relish the experience when they are role playing it. Sica stated primly. It is common for Federation Training Operations to have varying story lines for different training scenarios. I believe the concept of role playing does not just apply to training exercises but also in many types of human entertainment, particular among human adults. As such, to carter for your learning needs, I have used 28 mil-cycles to craft the optimum training scenario for you today.

“Seriously?” Naruto said shaking his head in disbelief. “Federation humans are weird.”

His fingers flicked into a series of handseals as he pulled and mold the Wood chakra within him. Power flexed within his body and flowed out… in the forms of eleven wood clones exiting out of his body. It took a few seconds for the Wood clones to lose their green brown wood outer appearances, before their skin and clothes managed to stabilize into the appropriate texture and coloring. Due to his Wood Release bloodline, using the Wood clones technique came remarkably easy to him. Naruto just never saw the need to use this particular clone technique until now.

With Sica’s rule that it would not help Naruto during the Wild Hunt exercise, it became redundant to use Shadow Clones to help him during the exercise. The Shadow Clones’ Sicas would have refused to assist him in the duration of the exercise. As such, it was much better to call on Wood clones who were tougher then Shadow Clones, able to communicate with him from afar without the aid of Sicas, and merge into plants.

Among the few records Sica had managed to scan of the Wood clone technique, it also possesses various other utility features that Naruto was still trying to master. The fact that the Wood clones’ Sica replicas did not work at all do not actually matter during the Wild Hunt exercise. What was important was their durability in combat and various other utility skills.

“Alright, the five of you are the forward team. As for you, you are to stay behind and watch over me while I direct the forward team.” Naruto said, taking command of his wood clones. “The remaining five, I need you to transform yourself into kunai. Each of member of the forward team will take one of you. The five transformed clones will be our… insurance, once we located Red Team.”

The Wood clones nodded, dividing themselves up. One of the clone moved to stand by him, while five of the clones transformed into Kunai which the rest of the clones quickly picked up, one a piece. Unlike the Shadow clone technique, the power of the wood clones are proportional to the power the user focuses on the clones.

Due to this, for maximum effect, Naruto needs to stay behind to make sure he can fully utilize the power of his wood clones. As of current time, he had not mastered the art of fighting and effectively managing his wood clones at the same time, and eleven wood clones was the most he could manage at a time.

Making sure his team was ready, Naruto turned to look down at Sica on his wrist.

“Alright Sica we are good to go.” Naruto announced.

Acknowledge. Sica said. Wild Hunt exercise will commerce in 5 seconds. 5, 4, 3…

Naruto frowned when Sica’s mental voice came to a sudden halt.

Wild Hunt exercise has been halted. I am receiving a priority information package from S31. Sica stated. You need to know of this. It appears after further data analysis by S31, that the Madara Uchiha who attacked the Uchiha clan, might not be the original Madara Uchiha of legend… S31 has reached a probability of 95% that the attacker might actually be one Obito Uchiha, allegedly deceased during the Third Shinobi World War…

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>> TNNU Chapter 14 Part 3

Monster Souls (BtVS/ Multiple) Chapter 1 Part 1

Note: Sorry ^^” Life’s been hectic… a lot of things have been going on in my personal life and I finally found time to complete a side draft.

I am working on Part 3 of the new Village Hidden in the Bay chapter, and Part 2 of Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki chapter, and also a new chapter draft for Master of the Forbidden Seals, so I am writing all over the place. lol

Please be patient, I will get something out soon.

<< MS Prologue

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Chapter 1: <Not Confirmed>

Streets of Sunnydale

She had been there when it happened.

Being stood up by her now ex-boyfriend at the “Halloween party” of the year, Cordelia had stormed out of the party in a fit of rage. Having hitched a ride from Harmony to get to the Bronze, Cordelia ended up having to walk back home, stalking the street in her skin tight expensive cat costume from party town.

Cutting through the western suburbs, Cordelia had caught sight of the student volunteers for this year’s neighbourhood trick-or-treat program leading their assigned group of rugrats around. Wincing in distaste, Cordelia mused thankfully that at least she managed to escape being roped into taking a bunch of children around the neighbourhood getting candies.

It was around that time when she sighted Xander in a hideous costume, wriggling arms and all, leading his group of children across the street. With a shudder of disgust at Xander’s costume sense, Cordelia turned and walked away, keeping a distance from him. That was when things had gone to hell.

One moment, the neighbourhood was filled with the giggles and laughter of children out trick or treating, and then the next, screams, roars and cries of horror filled the street. In front of Cordelia’s very eyes, she saw people… children changing and morphing into monsters, fairies and other creatures that she could not even begin to identify.

She was busy ducking away from a rampaging dog-man, when suddenly everything return to normal. The children changed back into frightened kids. Jojo the dog-man morphed back into a quarterback she recognised from high school. Cordelia was about to lay one in on the asshole that had caused her such a fright when loud piercing screams of agony sounded behind her.

Whirling around, Cordelia had gasped in horror as she saw Xander across the street, trapped in an enormous orb of energy that seemed to be tearing him apart. He was flashing from his normal human self, to a monster, and then back to a human several times. All the time he continued screaming, pain evident in his cries.

Cordelia was already rushing forward before she realised what she was doing. Her foremost thought was to save Xander from whatever shit he had gotten himself into now, no matter the fact that he was Cordelia’s favourite verbal stress bag most of the time. Cordelia would never admit it to anyone, but she did like Xander for having the guts to verbally spar with her.

That was when Xander literally imploded right in front of her, his body exploding into dust of silver gold sparkles.

Cordelia remembered screaming in shock and horror at seeing someone she knew scattered into little bits around her. And to her eternal disgrace, she fainted dead away in the middle of the street.

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Ethan’s Halloween shop

The first sign that something had gone wrong was when the glowing statue of Janus, which he had used as a spell foci for his specially crafted Halloween spell, had virtually imploded right in front of his face.

The massive chaotic energies released from the foci’s destruction was enough to pick him up and slammed him across the room. Ethan had felt a stabbing pain in his stomach as he laid on top of the wrecked clothing stand that he had been thrown against. Painfully lifting his head, he saw a jutting piece of metal rod sticking out of his stomach.

Ethan gave a muffled cry of pain, which dissolved into ironical tears filled chuckles. It seemed that a piece of metal must have been worked loose when he was slammed against the clothing stand. He, one of the most powerful chaos mage in this world, was going to die from a clothing stand. This certainly was not how he imagined he would go down.

Tired, weary, and wrecked with pain, the fight having gone out of him, Ethan laid amongst the wreckage, waiting for death, as he slowly bleed out. Thoughts of the things he still wanted to do, the spells he still wanted to try, flashed across his mind.

He had no idea how long he hovered between life and death, mostly death actually, when he thought he heard footsteps from the front of his shop. Then the door to the shop’s back room opened and a tall human figure stepped in.

Ethan’s eyes were blurring by now, and all he could make out was a tall dark figure with piecing red eyes staring at him, as the figure bent over his fallen body.

“So you are the chaos mage.” A thick voice devoid of humour said. Ethan could only stare mesmerised into those striking red eyes as his life began to slip away. “The one who caused all those chaos in the streets, the one who held the secrets of the chaos spell work you cast on the innocents.”

Ethan’s mind had already gone numb, unable to voice his opinions or gave any replies as the man continued. “And now you lay dead, most probably from your spell work having gone awry.” The unknown man said gravely. “In most circumstances, I would have let fools like you continue on to the grave. But unfortunately I still need you. Your knowledge of chaos to be precise. I have vowed never to do this to anyone… but I guess even for a man such as me, there are still temptations which I cannot resist. You have unwittingly stumbled onto part of the process leading to a lost art, and I need the knowledge in your head.

“What I am going to do to bring you back will take years… but you have the potential, and I am a patient man. I have all the time in the world after all. And when you return, I will make sure you do not harm anymore innocents. From now on, you are my charge, my servant. Your actions and your knowledge will be mine to wield, and you will listen to my commands.”

The man grabbed Ethan’s mouth, forcing it open. Ethan was unable to resist, watching dimly as the man raised a knife and cut his own wrist. Blood… that looked to be black as ebony, flowed out of the wound, straight into Ethan’s opened mouth.

The black blood flowed smoothly down his throat… and then it burned.

Ethan screamed in pain as a raging fire within his body consumed him, and an eternal darkness consumed him.

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Streets of Sunnydale

He remembered being changed, helpless to do anything as his changed form grabbed the little children who moments ago was his charge. He remembered the alien hunger and foreign mind that took over his body, as it directed his body to consume those children.

Horror had filled him as he tried to fight that action with all of his might. Control over his body remained out of his reach… but HE WILL NOT GIVE UP!

I am the manifestation of my Will

Struggling against the alien persona hopelessly, he nonetheless tried his best to wrestle for control over his body.

Pain radiated in his very being. He WILL NOT GIVE UP. He WILL NOT GIVE IN.

Immerse pressure built up in his being, and like a dam bursting open… something changed.

He felt the alien mind weakened for a brief moment, and in that moment he took back control of his changed body, quickly flinging the crying children away from his many limbs.

Then tides of raw… energies struck him, burning a path through his body, his soul. And somehow he knew, in that brief moment, he saw the Origins of those energies, as the titans of raw power swept across the entirety of his body.

Formed from the tides of Chaos

Grounded by the Origins of Worlds

No matter how helpless his situation was, no matter how painful resisting those energies were, he cannot give up. He will not give up! For something deep within him knew that if he let those raw energies do what they want with his body, something TERRIBLE would happen. Mentally screaming, he reached deep within himself and began the fight for control again.

I am the Monstrous Concepts and I am Myself

I am the Souls forged strong through the Trials of Pain

His body shifted and reformed numerous time, flickering faster than the human eyes could hope to perceive. As control over his physical form was wrestled between him and the raw energies multiple time.

Something had to give… Something did give…

Bearer of Infinity and the Human Will

I stand unflinching. Come forth Monster Souls!

The tides of power reached an unbearable crescendo, his body glowed with energy. A wistful triumph filled him as he realised he was going to die. But at least he did not go out without a fight.

Casting one last look into the chaotic street of Sunnydale, Xander felt relieved that at least he had prevented himself from harming anyone.

And then his body… exploded.

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>> [Draft in progress] chapter 1 Part 2 – The flasher on the street, Magus’ new home, Grieving interruptus

 

Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto/ Star Ocean) Chapter 14 part 1

<< TNNU Chapter 13 Part 5

Updated 7th March 2015

Updated 19th Mar

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WraithRune’s Notes: Hi guys! Some readers have feedback about the lack of action scenes for the past 2 chapters. I wish to reassure everyone that there will be fighting scenes as the story progresses, but I still need to fill in a lot of unanswered sub-plots that were started in the previous few chapters.

I apologise if all those “slice of life” story segments seems dull and long, but I am only trying to build a more… hmm… how should I put it… comprehensive story world? Those story segments are a way for me to “integrate” information about various other plots into this story, and not to leave any sub-plots hanging. >.<” It’s my own way of writing to avoid info dumps.

I planned this chapter to explain/ at least tie up most of the sub-plots, with chapter 15 onwards starting a new arc which will hopefully be more action pack when the rogue and missing nins come out of the wood works and go after our lovable blond… who might decide to experiment a bit more with… other bloodlines… and did I mention I cried during the canon Wave arc when Haku died?😉

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Story Title: Technological Ninja Naruto Uzumaki

Crossover: Naruto / Star Ocean game series/ Stargate series

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters or plot from Naruto anime/manga series and the Star Ocean Video games series. This is a work of fanfiction.

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Previously…

Sweeping his tails on the ground so that he could lay on them like a blanket. Kurama was about to settle in for a few days’ worth of nap time when golden lines of power appeared on the walls outside of his prison. Kurama’s eyes widened as the golden lines began forming into a massive seal, and the faces of two very familiar humans appeared, trapped within the massive seal, seemingly in deep sleep.

His mouth dropped into a wide jawed gap, and Kurama snarled in disbelief and anger, feeling fury surged within him. “You worms just wouldn’t stay dead will you!”

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Chapter Fourteen: Chunin’s First Day Part 1

Konoha’s Western Town Square

The death bell tolled at the early crack of dawn, just as Ayame was helping her father open the shutters to their Ramen restaurant. For a moment Ayane almost did not realize what that bell toll meant, until she saw her father Teuchi freezing up beside her, his head jerkily turning to face the town square.

Following the shocked gaze of her father, Ayame turned towards the almost deserted town square, where she could see various other shop owners venturing out of their establishments in confusion.

“That’s the death bell.” Old Fukigen who owned the pharmacy next door, stumbled out of his shop and spat on the ground. “Didn’t think I will hear it again in my lifetime, the past few Kages straightened up our Konoha ninjas real good… but then there will always be some bad eggs in a batch.”

“I hadn’t heard the death bell since way back when I started civilian school.” Ayame said in surprise, now able to identify the solemn bell tolls that would have sounded throughout Konoha. She had been six at that time, on the way to her first day of civilian school, when the bell had tolled. Her mother had still been alive then… she felt a brief stab of pain in her heart at the memory. Ayame sighed as she ruthless shunted that piece of history aside. That had been all in the past and there was no point dwelling upon it now.

“Ah yes, that was on your very first day of civilian school.” Teuchi said gravely in memory. “The Fourth Hokage caught three Konoha traitor ninjas near the end of the Third Shinobi War and their crimes warranted them a public execution.”

“I wonder which traitor ninja they caught this time.” Old Fukigen said in a grumpy voice. “Maybe it is that Madara Uchiha who has the village in a ruckus the past few days. I am going to go take a look once the town cryers come by to announce the time for the execution.”

Ayame shuddered, the thought of watching someone or a few others being executed in front of her, was not something she could stomach. She felt her father laying a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“We will give it a miss. Everyone will be hungry after watching that execution. Best that Ayame and I set up the restaurant and prepare for customers.” Teuchi said simply, and Ayame felt a brief flutter of relief in her stomach.

Old Fukigen shrugged. “Suit yourself Teuchi, but I am telling you, if you miss this execution, the next one will probably be years later. If there’s one thing to be said about our Kages, they brought up our ninjas right and proper. Not as much as bad eggs as the other ninja villages. Why the other day, this merchant from Kirigakure was telling me dastardly tales about their ninjas. Enough to cull your blood I tell you…”

The familiar whistle of the town crier pierced the air as the last toll of the death bell faded, cutting off Old Fukigen’s words. Everyone in the square was turning to look at the town crier, dressed in his bright colored uniform of yellow, as he made his way to the center of the western town square on his horse.

Jumping down from his transport in a well-timed leap, the town crier proceeded to stick two large announcements on the village notice board in the town square, right next to the center water fountain. He then turned to face the shopkeepers and the morning shoppers who were already moving towards him.

“I will close the shutters father.” Ayame offered, moving to re close the shop shutters they had opened moments ago. “You go and find out what is going on first.”

Teuchi nodded with a frown, striding off with Old Fukigen hobbling beside him. Ayame could hear the town crier from where she was locking up the shutters as he began to speak. He must have been one of the few rare town criers with chakra training who could enhance their voices… The village only use them for important announcements… what was going on?

“Hear me citizens of Konoha!” The town crier hollered, his voice carrying effortlessly to the end of the town square, through whatever voice amplifying chakra technique he was using.

With his slightly soft and pudgy built that Ayame could see from the distance as the town crier stood on the still of the water fountain, the town crier was most probably a former drop out of the Ninja Academy and not an actual ninja. The fact that he rode on a horse to get around the village was further proof that he had never gotten past the level of a Genin, if he even did graduate from the Ninja Academy at all.

“The Hokage and the Konoha Council know that all of you are worried and horrified by the attack on our Uchiha clan by one of Konoha’s most infamous traitor, Madara Uchiha. They wish to affirm their vows that they are doing their best to let no harm befall the citizens of Konoha.

“The village’s militia has been fully mobilized, and the village will remain in lockdown for the next week until Konoha’s ninjas can ascertain that Madara Uchiha and the escaped Uchiha traitors are not hiding anywhere in our village to launch another strike.

“In the midst of the search for Madara Uchiha, Konoha’s Anbu had however uncovered a band of traitorous rogue ninjas hiding in one of Konoha’s underground catacomb network. This band of rogue ninjas was led by the former Konoha Council advisor, Danzō Shimura, who had ordered his band of rogue ninjas to carry out numerous treasonous acts against Konoha itself.

“Among their numerous villainous acts were the capture of numerous Konoha children to be brainwashed and trained as part of their rogue organisation. The selling of village secrets to enemy villages. Betraying Konoha’s ninjas by leaking mission details to our enemies, and organ harvesting of our bloodline clans.

“A pre-emptive strike on the rogue organization was conducted the previous night by the Anbu and numerous high level Konoha ninjas. Most of the rogue ninjas and their Konoha contacts have since been captured, several are on the run and are now listed as missing nin by Konoha’s Hunter nins.

“A full investigation was conducted into the rogue organization, and those linked to it yesterday. Due to the overwhelming amounts of damning evidences collected, the Hokage and the Konoha Council have made an unanimous vote for the execution order of all senior members of Danzo’s rogue organization.

“The execution order will be held at the tenth hour, at the execution hill. Among the traitors to be executed are Danzo Shimura, Neumura…” The town crier shouted his news, his voice never wavering throughout his speech.

Darting easily through the morning crowd due to her slender frame, Ayame reached her father who was listening to an engaging discussion with Old Fukigen, Toreda the Merchant and Saamon the Fishmonger.

“To think that Danzo was secretly leading a group to do such things!” Old Fukigen said in horrified outrage. “Stealing children, betraying our own ninjas and organ harvesting!! Why he is worse than that former student of the Third… what’s his name? The white faced Sanin?”

“That’s Orochimaru.” Saamon was saying. “And they are both as bad as each other. Both are well respected Konoha ninjas… and they betrayed the village… and all of us like that! At least Danzo and his group were caught, instead of escaping like Orochimaru.”

“I have talked to Orochimaru, you know before they discovered his secret lab full of body parts and children, which forced him to become a missing nin.” Toreda confided in a delighted voice. The man, a self-declared ‘information trader’, was in his element. “He was buying so much luminous pearl cream from me. That’s how he kept his skin so white and smooth. I used him as my sales example to the ladies before he turned traitor. And you know what they say about guys who buy stuff like pearl cream. They prefer the ironwood to the butter pot…”

Ayame looked at her father who was standing beside the group of gossiping men and hid a grin as he gave a helpless shrug. The three men were old friends of the family, though there were times Ayame thought they could rival housewives with their love of boasting and gossiping. Her attention was drawn to the town crier as he finished listing the names of those soon to be executed. Instead of coming down the fountain still at the end of his speech, he drew in his breath and continued speaking.

“Now, the Hokage and the Konoha Council wish to assure you that there are good news in such dark times.” The town crier said, making a hand seal as his voice carried out strongly to the crowd. “The Hokage and the Konoha Council have granted full disclosure on the attack of the Uchiha clan…”

Beside her, Teuchi hushed the three men next to him as the town crier began recounting events of the attack. Some were already public knowledge, like Madara Uchiha and the Uchiha traitors being the ones that attacked the Anbu tower and the Uchiha clan. How two secret Anbu teams monitoring the Uchiha clan had managed to save most of the clan before the militia reached the clan and cause the attackers to flee. Other details were however new to the gathered crowd.

“… what was not revealed in the previous village announcement before lock down was implemented, was that the Hokage in his wisdom, had stationed a third… specialized team of ninja, made up of a Jonin and his apprentice, to keep watch over the Uchiha clan.

“The Jonin was a former disciple of the Sanin, Jiraiya. He then went on to instruct a distant descendant of the Senju, who came into the Wood Release bloodline at the age of seven. This specialized team was only supposed to observe the Uchiha clan in the event of any emergencies. But when the attack on the Uchiha clan began, this team of two was instrumental in the defence of the Uchiha clan, and delaying the advance of Madara Uchiha until help from Konoha militia could arrive.”

All around Ayame, people were whispering excitedly to each other at the revelation that someone, of Senju blood, had activated the Wood Release bloodline. Anyone who was born or lived in Konoha for long would know of the three great Konoha bloodlines. The Wood Release, the Sharingan, and the Byakugan. Among the three, the Wood Release bloodline was reputed to be the most powerful and elusive bloodline, that until now, was thought to be possessed only by the revered First Hokage.

As civilians living in a ninja village, it was inevitable that the common folks learn a bit of ninja history, either through civilian school, interaction with ninjas, or just plain gossiping. Even Ayame had heard of the old village rumors about the infamous experiments Orochimaru had conducted on captured village children years ago. How those experiments somehow managed to grant one or a few of the children who survived, the legendary bloodline. And how those alleged children were then locked away as village treasures never to see the light of day.

Those rumors were never confirmed, unlike now when an actual village announcement revealed the existence of a new Wood Release bloodline heir. Everyone was surprised and excited at the news. And those who have no idea what the Wood Release bloodline was, were being filled in by the rest of the crowd.

“As commendation for their actions during Madara’s attack on the Uchiha clan, the two men team will be rewarded by the Hokage and the Konoha Council. The Hokage and the village elders had also granted a battlefield promotion to the Jonin’s apprentice, one Naruto Uzumaki, for his commendable expertise in using his Wood Release bloodline during a battlefield situation…”

The town crier continued his speech, seemingly uncaring of the shocked silence that descended upon the gathered crowd. Ayame felt her heart skipped a bit as she looked in bewilderment at her father after hearing the town crier said a very familiar name.

“Did… did he just say Naruto’s name?” Ayame said, eyes wide in shock. She had not seen Naruto for the past few days, but had thought it was because of the lock down… now she knew differently. Naruto had been taking part in the defense of the Uchiha clan. Questions raced through her mind. Was he hurt? Where was he right now?

Beside Ayame her father shrugged, seeming as startled as her at what they had just heard. “Naruto… has the Wood Release bloodline?” He muttered as if unable to comprehend that fact.

“By the Sage’s left pinkie…” Old Fukigen swore softly, before turning gratefully to Teuchi. “It is a good thing you convinced me not to listen to all those propaganda the Civilian Guilds were sprouting about that Uzumaki boy all these years. I am betting the various Head of the Guilds are going to be mighty embarrassed once news of this spreads.”

Ayame saw her father nodding dumbly to Old Fukigen as she strained to listen for what else the town crier had to say. Something about the Senju and Uchiha clans… and custody? She was unable to pick up any more of what the town crier was saying, even with his voice amplifier technique enhancing his voice. The gathered crowd had at last recovered from the shock of the news they just heard… and had erupted into pandemonium.

Her father grabbed her by the arm, pulling her out of the crowd. Old Fukigen was hobbling behind, with Toreda and Saamon following.

“We are closing the restaurant today, and are going to check up on Naruto.” Teuchi said firmly. “Whatever happened, he is still our Naruto, and he is just a child. If he is involved in defending the Uchiha clan three days ago… we need to make sure he is alright, especially since he has no parents to take care of him.”

“I will cook up his favorite miso ramen to bring with us.” Ayame said rushing to their restaurant. “I will be real quick, give me half an hour.”

“The town crier didn’t say the boy was injured, so he’s most probably alright.” Toreda voiced out to Teuchi. There was a look of shame on the older man’s face. “If you are visiting the boy… help me pass some gifts from me to him. I don’t know the child that well, but he’s a god damn village hero… and I feel guilty about the time I have to bar him from the shop because a few civilians were making a scene about how they can’t shop with him around.”

“I don’t know the child at all.” Saamon said with a shrug. “And I never did bother with those malicious gossip about the boy. But he must be something special to get a commendation and a battlefield promotion at his age. He deserves a celebratory meal for his efforts. I just got a fresh shipment of Silver Blues from the Land of Wave, I will spot you one to go along with the boy’s miso ramen, they are good when grilled.”

“Thank you.” Teuchi said with a nod. “I am sure Naruto will appreciate that. But most importantly, I want to make sure the boy’s alright. And maybe now with the village announcement… things will get better for him…”

OoooO

Konoha’s Northern Town Square

The morning crowd was still milling in the Northern Town Square long after the town crier had left. Ino turned from the shop window with a frown and returned to arranging the fresh batch of flowers for display. She had been kept so busy that she had missed hearing the announcement.

Waking up at the break of dawn was nothing new for her, even though there were times she hated the fact she could not just laze around in bed like a normal civilian girl. For all that her father was the clan head of the Yamanaka clan, or rather due to the fact that he was the clan head, he insisted that Ino set a good example for the rest of the clan children.

If it was a school day, she would just need to tend to the gardens or do some light training before setting off for the Academy. For a non-schooling day, she and the other children would take turns helping some of the clan members tend to the florist shop in the Northern Town Square.

Today was not supposed to be her turn to help with the store. But something had happened during the previous day that had her father and a lot of the senior clan members in a bad mood. For all that the adults tried to hide news from prying ears, Ino had managed to hear whispers about uncle Fū who had turned traitor and that he was going to be executed today.

She only had a vague memory of her father’s distant cousin, who was one of the few Yamanaka that lived outside the clan compound. Uncle Fū was a stern stoic man, and had not talked much the few times Ino had seen him when she was little.

Whatever the case, when morning dawned early in the morning, the clan’s children were awakened. Most were tasked to help setup a new garden plot in the eastern end of the Yamanaka clan compound, their civilian parents guiding them and keeping them busy. It was a sweaty thankless task which would take more than half a day, but would most probably seem like a game to the younger ones.

The older Yamanaka children like Ino were however tasked with reorganizing the display of the Yamanaka shop, refreshing the current flower stock, cleaning the shop’s storage room and repainting the shop front. Her mother and several Yamanaka adults were directing their children on what to do, keeping everyone soundly occupied. In the meanwhile, her father and most of the Yamanaka clan ninjas, except for the few guarding the clan compound, had seemingly disappeared.

“That’s a nice summer style flower arrangement.” Shiruku Yamanaka said appreciatively as she walked up to Ino’s side, a barrel of paint and two paint brushes in one hand. “I guess you were listening when I was teaching you.”

“Just because my eyes were closed doesn’t mean I wasn’t listening mom.” Ino whined. “And where’s dad? Why are we here actually? I remember helping to clean the shop a few months ago when the New Year began!”

“Don’t whine, it’s unsightly. And there’s nothing wrong with cleaning the store again.” Shiruku said and motioned Ino towards the front door. “Come on. I need you to help me repaint the window stills in blue.”

“Cousin Keyan just painted the window stills brown a few months ago!” Ino protested incredulously as she followed her mother out of the shop, leaving her aunts and cousins busying away behind her.

“And I am sure it is a nice color, but summer’s coming and a new coloring combination for our shop exterior is just the thing.” Shiruku said simply. “And while we bond over this perfect mother-daughter activity, I have been meaning to talk to you about the Academy.”

“Mom I don’t want to bond with you! ….” Ino said with a wince.

“You aren’t too old for me to pinch your bottom my dear girl. Or whip it into shape.” Shiruku said smiling at her daughter, causing Ino to shudder at the hint of steel in her mother’s eyes. Unlike most women who married into the Yamanaka clan, Ino’s mother was not a civilian but a Konoha ninja who managed to reach the rank of special Jonin in the field of Muchijutsu, the rare art of whip fighting. And she was not the sort to take nonsense from anyone.

“Fine!” Ino grumbled, grabbing a paint brush from her mother as both of them began working on one of the window stills.

“So I have been hearing a lot of things about this Naruto Uzumaki boy recently.” Shiruku said as Ino turned to look at her. “He is one of your classmates isn’t he?”

“What kind of things did you hear?” Ino asked warily. It was quite obvious that her mother was fishing for information about Naruto. There was a reason why her father was the Interrogation expert of Konoha, and not her mother.

“Things.” Shiruku said smiling at her daughter, ending that line of conversation without an answer. “Now what can you tell me about the boy?”

Ino rolled her eyes, dad would have at least wheedled the information out of her without her even knowing. “I know he is the best of buddies with Choji and Shikamaru. He is also friend with Shino and has some kind of friendship rivalry thing going on with Kiba. They used to meet behind the Academy after school and just lay on the hill looking at clouds, but recently Naruto managed to motivate even that lazy ass Shikamaru to do some training after school.”

“What kind of training?” Shiruku asked, looking at her daughter inquisitively.

“Some academy exercises? I have no idea. I don’t really join them that much, and the few times I saw that they were going to train, I left.” Ino said with a shrug. “I don’t want to get all sweaty and dirty, I have enough of that in class. I only dropped in on their group and join them for a few lazy hours when Sakura and the other girls don’t have plans. I did hear them saying Naruto was training and guiding them… which is weird because even Kiba’s class results are better than Naruto in some areas. I have no idea what Naruto have to teach them.”

“I see… what else did you hear about Naruto and his group of… friends?” Shiruku asked carefully.

“Well, I heard Hinata joined their group two weeks ago.” Ino revealed, causing her mother to give her a sharp look. “The girls were talking in the locker room last week and Hinata mentioned Naruto was training her as well.”

“So let me get this straight.” Shiruku said slowly. “Naruto Uzumaki had formed a… training group which consisted of almost all of the clan heirs in your Academy class… except you. And had formed close relationships with almost all of the clan heirs in your year class… except you.”

Her mother seemed deep in thought as Ino began to look at her mother warily. “My… he is truly a prodigy in the ninja arts, and politics as well… with the intellect and farsightedness to plan all of his future alliances and connections… so far ahead…”

“Mom, why are you muttering like a crazy woman?” Ino said rubbing the goosebumps on her arm. “You are scaring me.”

Her mother straightened, startling Ino as she looked up at her, all seriousness in her eyes. “Ino, once the Academy opens, find out from Shikamaru and Choji if this training group of Naruto’s is still… on-going. If it is, I want you to join their group and befriend them. Befriend all of them and train with them you understand me?”

“What?!” Ino stared at her mother, shocked by the seemingly ridiculous request. “Mom! I am just ordinary friends with Naruto and those in his group… well maybe excluding that lazy bum and Choji-eat-a-lot. I feel more like their unpaid babysitter. But the point is Sakura is my best friend, and I am not leaving her and the rest of the girls to join Naruto and the others in getting all sweaty and dirty when I can enjoy myself with the girls!”

“It is your clan duty as a daughter heir.” Shiruku said sternly, shocking Ino. “Bring Sakura along if you have to, but I want you to integrate yourself into this training group that Naruto Uzumaki had created and form alliances with everyone in the group.”

“Mom…” Ino asked slowly, finally realizing something was not right. “What is really going on?”

Shiruku gave a tired sigh. “Your uncle Fū has been branded a traitor for many atrocious crimes he committed for a rogue organization before he was apprehended yesterday. All the crimes he committed came to light before the Konoha Council yesterday… and have left a black mark on the Yamanaka clan. You need to do your part in restoring our clan’s reputation.”

“And how is befriending and training with Naruto and the others going to help with our clan’s reputation?” Ino asked incredulously.

“Ino… there has been lot of changes in the village the past few days… and certain secrets have come to light.” Shiruku said to her daughter carefully. “Naruto Uzumaki has been receiving specialized training from… a Jonin. He is also involved in the defense of the Uchiha clan during the attack by traitor ninjas three days ago.

“He is a distant descendant of the Senju clan, and possesses the legendary Wood Release bloodline. The Senju and Uchiha clans both declared him to be under their protection and are fighting for custody of the boy. He is also given a battlefield promotion to become a Konoha Chunin. Right now, he is one of the heroes and prodigy of the village. The amount of political clout Naruto would have in the future is enormous. Do your duty and befriend him and the rest of the clan heirs of your class year. Who knows, maybe they could actually motivate you to treat your career as a kunoichi more seriously.”

Ino stared at her mother in shock. “Wh… WHAT!”

OoooO

>> TNNU Chapter 14 Part 2