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Naruto The Demon Within 2014

Naruto fanfic NaruSaku AU

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#1 Bryon_Konoha_Ninja

Bryon_Konoha_Ninja

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 08:48 PM

Prologue: The Final Valley, The Beginning of a New Journey

 
An explosion of thunder. A spiral of blue energy. With water spiralling underneath the two using these forces. The two had been shimmering with opposing forces; one with the voice of thunder itself... the other with the gale of wind at his command.
 
And yet, all they were were teenagers. 
 
One, a messy blonde haired boy, with blue eyes deep like the sea or as lovely as the sky, a bright orange jumpsuit on, with a dark blue lining along the shoulders and down the waist, where the coat would end, a white collar to match, as well as orange pants, with a holster of some kind around the young blonde's left leg, with black boots, with the toeholds cut out, leaving the toes visible. Around him though, was a red aura, shaped in the form of a miniature fox, with the flow of his chakra shaping into claws around his hands, with his hair standing on end, fangs where his teeth would be, his eyes now crimson red, with his tail swinging back and forth, standing on all fours. 
 
This warrior also had a headband around his forehead, with the symbol in the center being designed like a leaf. This boy was Naruto Uzumaki, one of the ninja from the Village Hidden in the Leaves. He was known by some as a Jinchuriki, a human infused with the chakra and spirit of a demon... in his case, it was a monstrous beast known as the Nine-Tailed Fox, which ravaged his village 13 years ago, on the day he was born. However, the leader of the village, known as the Hokage, the 4th Hokage at that had given his life up to seal the Nine-Tailed Fox within Naruto, wishing for him to be a hero.
 
Instead, Naruto was treated as a monster himself rather than as a person. So he grew up with resolve, using pranks to achieve attention, but worked hard as a ninja, to become Hokage, so that people would acknowledge him.
 
Right now, he was in combat with one of his teammates, from his squad, led by his mentor Kakashi Hatake, with the girl he had been in love with for such a long time, Sakura Haruno, as well as someone he wanted to aspire to, as well as to defeat... his rival, Sasuke Uchiha.
 
Sasuke, opposing Naruto on the other side of the attack, had a long collared, short sleeved blue shirt, white shorts, with white tape around the black ankle length boot-like sandals, raven black hair that had two long bangs on the sides of his face, with several blades sticking out of the back of his head, with similar colored eyes. However, right now, his eyes were red, with three black dots and black for the iris, his skin being a kind of tan, two hand-like wings resting where his back would be, a diamond cross-like scar of sorts over his nose, as well as his fingernails being like claws.
 
Pushing themselves to their limits, Naruto and Sasuke cried out loudly, then with that, their attacks exploded, sending them flying backwards, Naruto slamming into a canyon wall, Sasuke bouncing across water, before he spread out his wings and glided up into the air, spreading them outward.
 
'Dammit...' Thought Sasuke, his wings flapping as he hovered in mid-air. 'How? That Chidori should have been able to best him. Why the hell is he still standing? Could that red chakra be the damned reason that that loser is still able to stand?'
 
Groaning, Naruto pushed himself out of the canyon, then shook his head, growling softly, looking at his left hand. "I've been in this state too long. But..." Looking up, Naruto saw two yellow eyes behind Sasuke, with slits like that of a snake, and long black hair. "That power... it must have been what Sakura talked about... Orochimaru gave it to him... Gotta stop him before he..." Flinching, Naruto groaned, kneeling down, as Sasuke floated down, landing on the rock next to him.
 
"Get up. Let's just end this right now. Besides, you're hurting worse than I am." Said Sasuke, a smirk coming across his lips.
 
Naruto wobbled, then panted. "Sorry, but I don't plan to give up without a fight. I made a promise, and I am gonna keep it!"
 
"Hmph." Sasuke scoffed. "Promises? What good are promises? All they are are empty desires that you believe you can achieve, but will fail to accomplish in the end." Once he was done speaking, Sasuke twisted up and kicked Naruto in the jaw, with the impact leaving a CRACK as Naruto groaned, flying upward, but as he came down, Sasuke pivoted on his feet, throwing his right hand outward before he punched Naruto in the stomach, sending him flying through the air and impacting on the canyon wall, shaking the statues that rested near their location, Sasuke smirking as he spread his wings out.
 
"And promises, like dreams, will not bring me down. I have one desire... and that desire will allow me to become stronger." Groaning, Naruto felt a sharp pain from inside his head, groaning as he tried to push himself loose from his embedding, but before he could, Sasuke flew up and grabbed Naruto's neck, yanking Naruto loose as he smiled, holding him up.
 
"Y'hear that rattling, Naruto? I'm sure you do... that thick sound of shaking in your head, as if you shook an empty spray can. That was a death rattle. You WILL die here." Sasuke said. "But I won't give you the pleasure of a quick death. I'll make sure your death is a painful one." Letting Naruto go, Sasuke smirked, diving down as fast as a peregrine falcon, then grabbed Naruto with his arms, then drove his teammate right into the ground before he landed onto the ground, smirking, his wings spread out.
 
Naruto groaned, pushing himself up slowly, blood dribbling down his lips, showing he had signs of internal injury. Getting to his feet slowly, Naruto could feel blood was dribbling down his nose, and that he was bleeding even more so. Even with the fox's chakra healing his injuries, he was still hurting pretty badly. Before he could do anything, he got hit in the back as Sasuke smirked, doing quick hand seals, pulling his head back, as he inhaled. 'Fire-Style!! Fireball Jutsu!!' With that, Sasuke exhaled, a stream of fire coming forth, engulfing Naruto in flames, but soon the flames dispersed, as several Narutos came flying down at Sasuke, punching and kicking him rapidly, before the real Naruto came out and slammed him with his claw.
 
With that attack, Sasuke cried out, slamming hard into rock, but he quickly leapt back, Naruto landing down, snarling, his eyes narrowing.
 
Naruto looked over at Sasuke then began to speak, his voice gruff, lacking his usual tone. "I don't get you. You say you're my friend, yet you want to kill me."
 
"You don't need to know." Wiping his lip of blood, Sasuke stood up. "All you need to know is that once you are dead, I am sure that I will have all that I will need."
 
"All that you-?! Whattya mean!? If you think you have the heart to do it! Go ahead! Do it. Kill me! But you won't ever take away the light in my heart, or the respect and friendship I have for you!! And that even if I die, I will drag you back to Hidden Leaf Village!!"
 
Scoffing, Sasuke chuckled, turning his head. "Why is it you want to bring me back? Give me the pleasure to hear that before you die."
"Because I promised I would." It was all Naruto had to say, as he thought back to WHY he did this. Not just for himself, but because of a promise he had made.
"Ku ku ku ku. Oh, really? You promised?"
"Yeah!" With a surge of chakra exploding under his feet, Naruto bared his teeth, then howled loudly as his chakra bursted out around him, a light of blue energy slightly fading around his red chakra. "I... PROMISED!!!!" With that, Sasuke looked in shock, his eyes widened.
 
'How can he have such power?! Is... is he more of a monster than Gaara was?! How can it be that a loser like him has so much power pouring through him? It... it doesn't...' Sasuke quickly shook his head and glared. "No. I won't let you overlap me again, Naruto!! I will end this!" Forming hand seals quickly, Sasuke pulled his hand back, focusing every ounce of the chakra he had been pooling into his left hand, the same kind of black and purple energy crackling around his hand. "This will be my final attack!! My ultimate Chidori!! The one that kills you!!"
 
"Alright, you want to go, let's go!!" Holding his arm up, Naruto began to pool all the red chakra around his body, which began to then quickly reform, the chakra fusing together into a red orb around the palm of his hand. With his resolve, and his desire to achieve power and break all ties... 
 
Both comrades looked at one another, then shot at one another, bursting with vigor, Naruto and Sasuke both crying out as Naruto thrusted his hand out, Sasuke doing the same thing as their attacks collided, declaring their attacks.
 
"RASENGAN!!!!"
 
"CHIDORI!!!"
 
With much force, Naruto and Sasuke pushed with all their resolve; Naruto to fulfill a promise he made... Sasuke to achieve his deepest, darkest desire... but both would not allow the other to win. Pushing even harder, both Naruto and Sasuke screamed out, their chakras spiralling together, engulfing the duo in a massive sphere of light, leaving... nothingness.
 
Hours passed, as a figure raced across the forests towards the signs of the battle. But when the figure arrived... he saw that there was nothing left... just a barren land, with the two mighty statues that once stood tall crumbled, the water evaporated to the waterfall, steam rising up to the sky. This person had messy white hair, with a Hidden Leaf headband over his left eye, with a black mask over his mouth, with a similar black jumpsuit, with a beige vest, black gloves, and black sandals, much like Naruto and Sasuke. This was Kakashi Hatake, their sensei... and he was worried about his students.
 
"Wh-what has happened here!? The Valley of the End has been left... did Naruto and Sasuke do this?!" Soon enough, a brown pug with a blue sash along his back, with the Japanese symbol for scarecrow in a white circle on the back as well as a Hidden Leaf bandana as well landed down, sniffing the air.
 
"Do you sense them, Pakkun? Or are we too late?"
"Nope. I smell them, Kakashi. They're down there." Pakkun said. 
 
Kakashi blinked then nodded, sliding down the canyon walls to ground level... and when he came to where the river and the waterfall used to be, what he saw was a massive gash in the earth, dividing where he stood and where the river used to lead on, the water sliding into the chasm itself. Running further along the divided earth, Kakashi was in awe. 'It... it is like the legend. It's as if whatever happened here has completely changed the landscape.' With another glance, Kakashi saw them... Naruto... and Sasuke, both out cold, their bodies scathed from their attacks.
 
"Naruto... Sasuke..." Kakashi knelt down, checking a pulse on both of his students, but when he approached Naruto, he heard a groan and a slight fidget, as Naruto turned his head slowly, then smiled weakly.
 
"K-Kakashi... sensei..."
"Naruto... are you...?"
"Y-yeah... did I stop Sasuke?" Naruto smiled, closing his eyes and passing out, exhaustion overtaking him. Kakashi nodded softly, then smiled. "Yeah. Yeah, you did... barely, it would seem." Reaching up, Kakashi grabbed Naruto's collar, then picked Sasuke up, noticing a mark on his neck, with three comma-like symbols.
 
'Damn... the Curse Mark. Does that mean that Orochimaru was right? That the seal was pointless? I don't believe it was, but... Sasuke's will held back the Curse Mark. But it seems it wasn't enough.. but perhaps Tsunade can do something more to hold it back. I will see when we get back to the Village.' With that, Kakashi hooked his arms around his students, one each, as he then looked at Pakkun.
 
"Time to go home." With that, Kakashi leapt off, making his way back to the Village Hidden in the Leaves. However, rising out of the ground where Naruto and Sasuke were came a mysterious figure, with a venus flytrap-like structure around his head, with light olive green hair, one half of his face black, the other white with two yellow eyes, as well as a black cloak, with red clouds patterned on the cloak, with a red collar as well, white around his ankles, and black toeless boots as he spoke.
 
"Fascinating... the power that those two possess... this is most interesting..." One voice said.
"Yes... it is... the leader will be most pleased... yesss... he will be..." Another voice said, as the mysterious man disappeared back into the earth, just as he had appeared.
 
Hours passed, and a day, as slowly, Naruto opened his eyes, looking up at the ceiling of a room. "Hu-huh?" Groaning, Naruto looked around. "What is all of this...??"
"Hey. You're finally awake." Naruto slowly turned, and saw someone with short hair that had a high ponytail, a vest similar to what Kakashi had, a white short-sleeved shirt, with dark brown slacks and open-toed boots.
 
"S-Shikamaru... hey... where're we?"
"Back home in Hidden Leaf. Man, this is SUCH a drag to explain this to the guy who's been out cold for a day." Sighed Shikamaru, rubbing the top of his head.
Sitting up, Naruto looked around quickly. "H-h-h-hidden Leaf!? What about Choji!? Neji!? Kiba and Akamaru!? And Sasuke!? What happened!?"
"Whoa, whoa, easy, boy..." Shikamaru said, waving his hands, with another sigh. "Everyone is OK. Choji and Neji were in critical condition, but with the help we did have... we didn't suffer any injuries. All's well went well..."
 
Naruto laid back then groaned, smiling. "Yeah... that's good..."
"And you managed to stop Sasuke. Kakashi has explained everything to Tsunade, as well as myself." Shikamaru said. "I'm surprised. Like I said once before, I thought you were a slacker-type like me... guess looks aren't everything."
Chuckling, Naruto then drifted to sleep, smiling. 'I did it, Sakura... I kept... my promise...'
 
Meanwhile, in an isolated room, with several seals placed all over the room, the light dimmed, and seventeen ANBU Black Ops agents all around the perimeter of the room, Sasuke remained unconscious, his eyes closed, EKG monitors monitoring his vital signs, as well as with himself held in place, just to ensure that he couldn't try to escape.
 
In his mind, however... there was a lot going on... images, words, feelings he had been feeling for some time now...
 
'Your hatred... it's weak! You're far too soft and forgiving!! The greater the hunger for revenge, the greater the hate!! And it's the power of hate that gives you the strength to kill!!' Rang the words of Gaara of the Desert, one of the fiercer foes Sasuke had fought, someone he fought to his very limits, yet he wasn't able to defeat him.
 
'Foolish little brother. You can't kill me. Your hate's not strong enough. YOU'RE not strong enough. Your life is too precious to you.' These words came from Sasuke's older brother, Itachi, the man he sought to kill...  someone who had defeated him as well. More of his words burned into Sasuke's mind, causing him to toss and turn in agony. 
 
'You're still too weak. You don't have enough hate. And you know something? You NEVER will.' 
 
These words came from the realization that Sasuke was nowhere near as powerful as Itachi... and then what he heard while in the world of the Tsukuyomi, the power of the Mangekyo Sharingan...
 
'You're weak, Sasuke... and 24 hours from now... you'll be weaker still.'
 
'Because I was weak... everyone died. If only I'd been stronger... if I had more power... instead... you stood by and watched them die. So helpless, like lambs to the slaughter.... if only you were stronger... if only you had more power!' These words were from himself as a young child, when he lost his family, and his clan, everything, but also had remembered it from his dream after Orochimaru, one of the legendary Sannin had granted Sasuke the Curse Mark, something he did not ask for... but something he gladly accepted, with the last words coming from him.
 
Growling while in his sleep, Sasuke also had remembered what Naruto had said in the battle with Gaara, in which he saw a power from Naruto he never had seen before... a power that made him to be something he couldn't believe, didn't WANT to believe... 
 
'I get it now. Of course. He's no different than I am. Going through life with the exact same sadness and loneliness I had to carry... he fought only for himself, never relying on anyone, and because of that I thought that he possesed strength. I really did. I dunno. I guess I shoulda known better. That's not what real strength is. If you never fight for anyone but yourself, you'll never become strong, no matter what you do!!' 
 
The images that burned next into Sasuke's mind showed Naruto with his Multi Shadow Clone Jutsu, unleashing a storm of fury on Gaara... then summoning Gamabunta, the Boss Toad, when Gaara had transformed into his monstrous form, the form of Shukaku, the One-Tailed Sand Spirit...
 
'How... did you do this...?' Sasuke thought, growling as his hands began to strain from trying to get loose. 'How do you do it!? It was the same with that Jutsu you used on the roof... it left such a destructive force that it made my Chidori look like it was worthless...'
 
'You're wrong though, Naruto... all I have...' With that, Sasuke's eyes shot open, as his Curse Mark began to glow, a black pattern of flames covering the right side of his face appeared, his eyes revealing his Sharingan as he remained laying down, immobilized. 'Is my hatred. It is all I will ever need...'
 
Footsteps were heard in the hospital, as Kakashi was walking with a beautiful woman, with blonde hair tied into a ponytail that rested on her back, with a dark purple diamond shaped tattoo on her forehead, amber eyes, red lips, and an ample bust, with a grey kimono wrap around her chest, an olive green jacket with the symbol of "Bet" in a red circle around her arms, leaving some cleavage with her kimono wrap, black pants and black high-heeled strapped shoes.
 
"Tsunade, do you think it will be enough? All these precautions made for Sasuke..." Asked Kakashi.
 
Nodding, Tsunade sighed. "I wish we could be more lenient, but we can't in this case, Kakashi. Sasuke is potentially dangerous, especially with this developement you told me about Orochimaru's Curse Mark. He is also very unstable mentally... I wish there was something I could do, but I can't. In fact, the council of elders is half debating to have him executed for his desertion. I am trying to plead with them about another kind of punishment at this time."
 
"I can understand that all... I truly can. But perhaps I could..."
Stopping, Tsunade crossed her arms under her bosom and sighed. "Kakashi. Let's be realistic here... you did try to help Sasuke before, right?"
 
"Yes."
 
"But still, even with all your help, he attempted to go to Orochimaru. We have to think about long term here. Even if you try to help him, who knows what will happen? I am trying to be reasonable here, but we have to realize Sasuke is a threat to anyone here, given his strong desire for revenge. We need to think of a full on plan. And I have a lot to think on since I've also had to work on Choji Akimichi's injuries, while Shizune and a team had to work with Neji Hyuga's. If it weren't for our allies from Hidden Sand, we would have lost everyone. So for right now, I am sorry to say, but you will be cut down by one member. Until we can figure out what to do with Sasuke, you're forbidden to have him on your squad in addition to him being suspended and kept under 24-hour lockdown."
 
"..." Keeping quiet, Kakashi sighed. "Fine. I get it."
 
"But perhaps I could help, Lady Hokage." A feminine voice rang behind Tsunade and Kakashi, who turned around to see the person behind them. Their gaze turned to a young woman with medium-length white hair, glasses gently rested on the ridge of her nose, a white labcoat of sorts, with a dark blue business suit dress, black stockings, and black toeless boots, with a slightly high heel.
 
"Oh, Yukina. Are you sure? I know you are a psychiatrist and all, but we are dealing with someone who is a potential S-Class criminal ready to make a break from the village." Tsunade responsed.
 
Nodding, Yukina gently smiled before pushing her glasses up. "I would at least like to make an attempt to help young Sasuke. When he was younger, after the Uchiha massacre, my father tried to work with him, but it failed. He also tried to communicate now and then with Itachi, but that failed as well. So please, let me try it. Even if I fail, I will still be persistent in my goals to see what I can do to help young Sasuke, so that he can perhaps seek a brighter future than the one he faces."
 
Kakashi looked at Tsunade, hands in his pants pockets. "It's the best option we can think of..."
Closing her eyes to lull it over, Tsunade then opened her eyes and nodded. "Alright, Yukina. I'll give you a chance. I do hope you can help Sasuke..."
"I will do my best, Lady Hokage." Bowing, Yukina headed off, smiling softly.
 
Exhaling, Tsunade closed her eyes. "I want to believe. But it will not be easy. Not with him..."
 
"I would like to think it'd be easy, but I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't be. I knew Sasuke was a tough case, but I had hoped I got through to him. Seems that revenge is the one thing that is completely fixated on his mind. I taught him the Chidori in the hope he could be able to turn it into something to protect his allies. Some good that did..." Kakashi closed his visible eye, and looked bothered. 
 
"Even with this Sharingan, I still cannot see what is right in front of me... and I cannot do everything like I hoped I could."
 
"You're only human, Kakashi." Tsunade smiled. "To err is human after all. Even as smart as you are, you will fail now and then. Failure's a part of life. Take it from someone who's been there. I suggest you get some rest. Quit beating yourself up. Besides, you will be getting a LOT of missions because of you disobeying my orders to find the two like you did. But if you hadn't..." Waving her hand, Tsunade chuckled. "Go on."
 
"Thank you." Bowing, Kakashi then disappeared. Tsunade sighed, flicking a strand of her hair away. 
 
"I knew this job would be stressful, but it's so much to take in when a ninja tries to desert his or her village... especially one like Sasuke. But I can't dwell on that. I should pay a visit to someone else..." Heading down the hall, Tsunade came into a room, and smiled softly as she saw Naruto laying there, fast asleep. Looking at him, Tsunade chuckled. 'He is reckless, noisy, but without a doubt... he is indeed a lot like you... isn't he, Minato? But he's also so much like his mother... it is a shame that he never got to know you and Kushina... at least he has people whom he'd die for and people who would die for him now.'
 
Tsunade simply smiled, then turned, heading out of the room.
 
As she stepped out of Naruto's room, Tsunade saw a young lady about Naruto and Sasuke's age with a sleeveless red long shirt, the end of it like a sash with a white circle in the center, a zipper down the chest which curved to the right, black shorts with white wrapping on the left leg as well as a sash for weapons, her hands held lower. She also had green eyes, and short pink hair, with her Hidden Leaf bandana tied like a hairband of some kind.
 
"Lady Tsunade...?"
 
"Oh. Sakura." Smiling, Tsunade placed her closed right hand gently on her hip. "What brings you to the hospital?"
 
"I heard from Ino that the others came back from their mission. It was driving me nuts to just wait for them...! How are they? And...?"
 
"Relax. Naruto and Sasuke, along with everyone else in Shikamaru's team, including the foolish Rock Lee, are safe and sound." Tsunade smiled, chuckling.
 
Exhaling, Sakura smiled, resting her left hand and then her right, overlapping over her heart. "That's good... can... can I see Naruto?"
 
"Sure. He's just sleeping, but... I don't think he'd mind a visit, even if I'm not sure if he'll hear you if you try to talk to him." Tsunade smiled, stepping aside.
 
Bowing, Sakura stepped inside of Naruto's room, and looked at him as Naruto was snoring slightly. Blinking, she then smiled softly. 'He's good... he's hurt but he managed to succeed... he must have shown that power that Sasuke talked about... I am still surprised he went as far as he did... for me of all people...' Smiling, Sakura brushed a bit of Naruto's hair away, then whispered. "Thank you... Naruto. For trying so hard." With that, she gently kissed him on the forehead as a sign of thanks.
 
With that, she turned, and stepped out of the room, but glanced back for a moment, then smiled. After which, she stepped out and shut the door behind her. Naruto, however, was awake for a brief moment when she had left the room. "You're welcome, Sakura. I am glad... I could do something to make you smile. It makes it all worth it..."
 
Sighing, Sakura looked at Tsunade and then smiled softly. "How about Sasuke? Is he... is he accepting visitors?"
Looking at her, Tsunade sighed, then closed her eyes. "Realistically, Sakura, Sasuke is under lockdown."
"Why?"
 
"Because he had attempted to desert the village... and Orochimaru's Curse Mark makes him too unpredictable... and besides, from what you told me, you were knocked out by him before he left."
 
Sakura nodded, before beginning to speak. "Yes, I was, but-!" Tsunade then gently placed a hand on her shoulder. 
 
"Don't worry, Sakura. I know it'll take time to let the wounds heal... but I suggest for now, you give Sasuke a little space... he is someone who is lost, and he needs to find his way to what it is he wants... revenge, or to try to move on. For someone like him, that will be hard. When he is ready, I am sure he will talk to you and Naruto if he does. And you two will most likely be the ones who can help him out. OK?"
 
Getting a little misty-eyed, Sakura wiped her eye then nodded. "OK. I, I can do that... even if it doesn't mean it's gonna be easy."
"Nothing in life is ever easy." Smiled Tsunade. Feeling relieved, Sakura smiled then headed off.
 
Tsunade smiled softly, then rubbed her temple softly. "We have a lot of work ahead of us. Sure makes the job of being Hokage tough. I wouldn't be too surprised if this is what you had to go through, Sarutobi-sensei, or even you, Grandpa. Or even Great Uncle when he was the 2nd. Minato, you too must have had a hard time with all you had to do as Hokage. But, I made a solemn vow like you all, and I will not give up. I will find a way."
 
Even as Tsunade had thought of the difficulty that came with being the leader of one of the five Great Shinobi Villages, elsewhere, evil forces were gathering together... plotting, scheming.
 
The location: Unknown. The country: Also unknown. But all it appears to be is a seemingly vacant cave. Until a shadow appears. Then two more. Then three. and another three, totalling nine human-like shapes. One of them spoke up.
"How long has it been since we all were united like this? Since Orochimaru's departure?"
 
"That is fairly accurate, hmm. You think that the leader has something big planned for all of us? Hmm?" Another voice spoke out.
"Deidara, of course he will. He always does. Now be quiet and listen." This next voice came from one of the shorter figures in the cave said.
"Hey, no need to be mean, Sasori, hmm?"
 
"That is enough chatter. Zetsu. You have news?"
"I do, leader." A figure with the head of a venus flytrap around a face sticking around the shadows. "It would seem that Naruto Uzumaki's true power has revealed itself, as has the power Orochimaru has accessed and granted to Sasuke Uchiha. The landscape of the Valley of the End... it has changed. It was shattered by their power. They have the power to rock the planet if they can do what they did to the Valley."
 
The one who was known as the leader stepped out, with messy hair, and mysterious auburn eyes. "It would not surprise me. Orochimaru had been developing many unique things over the years since he had betrayed us and abandoned our mission... and your brother, Itachi, was one he saw as a vessel, hence why he gained such power."
 
"I know..." Said the one known as Itachi, his only visible feature being Sharingan eyes.
 
"We must not forget our mission, everyone... we will now wait to strike against the Nine-Tailed Fox boy, as well as everyone else who bears a Bijuu within their souls. Prepare yourselves for this time. Train hard. And become even stronger. If we are to achieve our goals, everything must be prepared. WE must be prepared. If the Jinchuriki get stronger, we must do the same thing. Now go." With that, the shadows disappeared.
 
But miles away from the cave that the members of this mysterious group had met, rain was falling, as a man with the same kind of cloak as Zetsu, with mysterious auburn hair and orange eyes, three black piercings on each side of his nose, with several along his eyebrows, as well as two down his lower lip, with a headband for the Hidden Rain Village, stood in its' midst, smirking, looking on a highly developed city. Standing next to him was a woman with medium-length blue hair, a white flower along the side of her head, blue eyeshadow over her eyelids, light blue along her lower lip, and a small piercing.
 
"Pein... do you believe in what you said?"
 
Nodding, the man known as Pein turned around, and knelt down. "I do. I believe we still lack the power we need to defeat the Jinchuriki... considering the 4th Hokage's legacy has grown so much more than we could have progressed."
 
"Konan, you agree with Pein about this decision then?"
 
"I do." Turning as well, Konan knelt down, her hands extending to her sides. "Even if Pein has never lost a fight before... especially if he faces the Nine-Tailed Fox boy."
 
"I know this. But still... this developement is most fascinating indeed. To think that the Valley of the End, the place that I had fought such a dangerous battle with the First Hokage could be changed like that. It would seem we need to wait until we have all we need in our grasps. Pein, you will continue to inform me of all of this?"
 
"I will indeed."
 
Stepping forth from the shadows came a man with a small build, but with an air of danger and malice around himself, a red mask with a kind of swirl leading to a single hole, and short black hair. From the hole emerged a Sharingan as well. "Good. We will then have everything we will need in order to claim our prizes. Then... my power... the power of Madara Uchiha will be unleashed. But I trust you two to be able to do what is necessary. I trust you more than anyone else with my secret... and with the operations of the Akatsuki. I will come back soon enough, to view your progress... but I leave you now to your machinations..." With that, the person known only as Madara disappeared, as Pein and Konan stood up.
 
'Yes.' Pein thought, turning to the village that was cascaded in rain. 'My own machinations will be done. As will yours, and our group's...'
 
Unfortunately, unbeknowest to Naruto Uzumaki, or to anyone else, it would seem that a hard battle would be fought in the times to come... battles against such forces that were devastating in nature.
 
Elsewhere, closer to Hidden Leaf Village, in the Rice Field Country, in a hidden labyrinth, stood a man completely wrapped in medical tape, with only one eye visible, white hair sticking all over, and a black kimono, stood in waiting, his arms behind his back, as suddenly, someone with blonde hair tied into a ponytail, black eyes, covered with glasses, dressed in purple with white sleeves, and a light yellow sash around his waist.
 
"Lord Orochimaru."
 
"Kabuto. I presume you have good news for me?"
 
"I... I do not. It would seem Sasuke Uchiha has been defeated... and he has been returned to Hidden Leaf Village."
 
"Hmph." Turning around, Orochimaru gazed at Kabuto, who tried his best to not show any fear to his master's killing intent. "It is a shame. I figured he would have been the one to be my ultimate vessel... his hatred and rage would have fueled the Curse Mark to its' fullest, thus granting me even more power when I took my body for himself. But it is of little consequence. He has been dyed with my color... that means he will try to come to me once more when he is ready. In the meantime, I suppose I will have to use this body."
 
A knock came at the door to Orochimaru's chamber, and the door opened.
 
"You know that you have another vessel ready for you when you need it, Lord Orochimaru. You mustn't forget that much..." A voice ran as the door opened. Standing there was a person in red and black armor, with a mask over the mouth, straw sandals around the feet, and a katana strapped along the back, with the hilt showing itself. "You have many worthy candidates to your power..."
 
"I do not need to be patronized, Hyo. I am aware of that! But as I said, it matters not. Sasuke Uchiha will come to me... and when he does... he will be within my grasp, and everything will fall right into place. So much so that even the Hidden Leaf Village, and the Akatsuki, will bow before me!" Closing his hand, Orochimaru began to laugh darkly, a laugh that echoed throughout his lair... another sign of things to come.
 
-Hidden Leaf Village Hospital-
Naruto Uzumaki remained in the hospital. What felt like an eternity was really only a few hours. Still, the feeling he had right now... it bothered him. Being unable to move had always bothered Naruto, except for when it came to sleeping as well as recovering from training, or the very least, eating. But... as he was now, recovering, he could do little to move around. Every part of his body still hurt from his battle with Sasuke. In that one battle alone than in the last few months that he had been a shinobi, he had almost faced death several times.
 
Sighing, Naruto carefully slid his arms behind the back of his head, flinching softly as he did so. He gazed up at the ceiling, then sighed. 'I wonder... if Sasuke's doin' OK. I know Sakura seems OK too, but... and what about the others? Choji... Neji... Kiba... Akamaru... Shikamaru told me they were OK, but... at the same time, I just can't get this feeling off my chest.' Pushing himself up slowly, Naruto flinched softly, then sighed, as he began to climb out of his hospital bed slowly. Walking to the window, Naruto looked outward to the slowly setting sun, sighing.
 
"But at least I managed to keep my promise. At the same time..."
 
Soon enough, the door to his room slid open. Eyes widening, Naruto turned around quickly, then clenched his hands.
 
Elsewhere, Sasuke smirked as the Curse Mark began to overtake him once more, a sinister laugh coming from his lips as he took it all the way to the 2nd State, breaking the ropes of his bed with his wings as he began to spark with black and blue chakra, his eyes glowing red thanks in part to his Sharingan. He smirked as he stepped forward, his wings spreading out as the nails scraped the ceiling. "Now... to find that loser and end this."
 
In Naruto's room, Naruto blinked and stood still as he saw someone he had not seen for a while now; Gaara of the Desert. Gaara stood still, with his dark red hair parted around his forehead, the symbol of "love" over his left eye, with bags similar to that of a racoon's mask, dark brown robes with a white sash down his chest and down his lower body, with brown leather straps tied to a large sand-colored gourd.
 
"G-Gaara!"
"Naruto Uzumaki... it's been a while." Said Gaara. "I had heard you were in here. I had to see for myself."
Blinking, Naruto looked at Gaara, surprised. 'His eyes... they look so different now...' Shaking his head, Naruto spoke up. "What're you doing here?"
"Temari, Kankuro, and I were asked by your Hokage to assist your friends and you in the retrieval of Sasuke. I had assisted Lee when he fought that guy." Gaara said, his tone slow, yet calm.
 
"You guys did? Well, that explains a lil bit. But WHY are you here to see me?" Asked Naruto, still confused.
Gaara closed his eyes before keeping his arms at his sides. Thinking on this, Gaara reminded himself of 2 months in the past when he had fought Naruto in combat when Orochimaru had attacked the Hidden Leaf Village. Thinking back to what Naruto had said to him while he lay in defeat, fearful that his life would end, for he had fought only for himself and for the love of killing, feeling he had no need for bonds.
 
'It's almost unbearable, isn't it?... The feeling of being all alone... I know that feeling. I've been there... in that dark and lonely place. But now... there're others... other people who mean a lot to me. I care more about them than I do myself... and I won't let anyone hurt them. That's why I won't ever give up!  I WILL stop you, even if I have to kill you!'
 
'W-why? Why would you do this for anyone but yourself?'
 
'Because they saved me from myself! They rescued me from my loneliness. They were the first to accept me for who I am! They're my friends...'
 
Thinking to those words, Gaara understood something Naruto had that he, nor Sasuke or anyone else who had intrigued him so, had... love. He wanted to understand that feeling, to want to be important to someone, to become stronger than he had been before. Then, he opened his eyes and explained. "Because of what you said to me that day."
 
"You mean when we fought?"
 
"Yes." Nodded Gaara softly. "You spoke of how the people you fought for saved you from yourself... and how you did it for them, not for yourself... I saw that it was love that made you strong. I wanted to feel that same way... until we fought, I just felt bonds were worthless, and that I would be betrayed again... so I closed up, fighting only for myself. Now... I owe you a great deal of a debt for your actions that day. You could have killed me if you wanted to, but you chose not. Was it because you understood me?"
 
Thinking about it, Naruto exhaled, then smiled softly. "Yeah. I also didn't want to see you die just because of what happened. I wanted to make sure you were down for the count so that everyone was safe. I didn't care how hurt I was, as long as I could stop you if you tried to do it again."
 
"It is just as I thought." Closing his eyes, Gaara then opened them. "I owe you a great debt as I have said, Naruto. And... you have made me into a better person... you are someone whom I look forward to becoming as great as... to be important to someone just like you have become."
 
Blinking, Naruto rubbed the back of his head in embarassment. "Aw, stop it, Gaara, you're gonna make me blush!!" Suddenly, the building began to shake, as the next thing to come to the boys' ears were screams. Soon enough, a crash of thunder exploded the door open, as Gaara whipped up a barrier of sand. Stepping forward, with his wings folded down, Sasuke appeared and grunted. "Hmph. So, it seems YOU are involved with him as well, Gaara..."
 
Lowering his Sand Shield, Gaara looked across at Sasuke. "Uchiha..."
 
"Hmph." Sasuke smiled. "Just step aside, Gaara, and I promise you I won't kill you."
 
"If you think you can with such hate-filled eyes... eyes that haven't changed at all since we last met. Just like that guy..."
 
"So what? You honestly say you can read me that well?" Sasuke replied, stepping forward slowly. Gaara stepped back slowly and glanced at Sasuke, then to Naruto. "Naruto... you can fight, can you not?"
 
"Yeah... not as well as I could if at 100%, but I can manage. Why?"
 
Glancing at Sasuke once more, Gaara spoke again. "If I cannot hold off Sasuke... you may have to fight him in my stead. I can see it in his eyes... not just his appearance, but his heart has become much darker than I remember in the Chunin Exams... his desire to prove his own existence... it is more dangerous than mine was... mine ever was... so that means he will stop at nothing to achieve said goal. I know it... whether it is to kill us or if we are a stepping stone towards his true agenda. Whatever the means... I will stand up for you."
 
"Hmph. The weak helping the weak. Leave it to that to be a means for you to get strong. Stupid notions like camaraderie are what make people weak in the first place. I thought you understood that, Gaara. But I guess you've become like everyone else. Weak and pitiful, needing people to help you stand. So you can die first." Dashing forward, Sasuke attempted to attack Gaara, who dodged, using his sand to leap back, smashing through the window with Sasuke flying out after him, his wings spread out along the moonlight.
 
Gaara clenched his hands, then thrusted them forward, sand shooting forth from his gourd, which began to wrap around Sasuke's left arm, his palm opening as he glared. "This will not be pleasant. But you will not reason... Sand Burial!!" But before Gaara could use his manipulation of sand to disable Sasuke's left arm, lightning wrapped around it, blowing the sand away into nothingness, as Sasuke grinned maniacally and villainously, impaling Gaara through the shoulder, Gaara's eyes widening as Sasuke pulled back, then slapped Gaara away with his wing, sending him into the ground.
 
Landing down, Sasuke smirked, even as Gaara stood up, sand dribbling down from his body, as he glanced at Sasuke. Sasuke chuckled. "Hehehehe. Well, this is enjoyable to me. I wanted to have the opportunity to beat you, and to crush you to validate my own strength... and now I got that chance." Holding his arm up, Sasuke chuckled darkly as chakra began to gather around his left arm. "Chidori!!" But before Sasuke could impact, something leapt in front of his view, exploding which caused Sasuke to cry out, before suddenly, Naruto appeared, kicking him up into the air, with other Shadow Clones following his tracks.
 
"Na!"
"Ru!"
"To!"
"Uzumaki Barrage Version 2!!" The clones as well as the real Naruto all came down at Sasuke, attempting to punch him, but Sasuke soon enough twisted, slapping Naruto and the clones away effortlessly, dispersing the clones as the real Naruto slammed into the ground, groaning. Sasuke landed down, and scoffed. "So, you wish to stick up for him? I thought you were better than this too, Naruto."
 
Groaning as he stood up, Naruto began to pant. "Dammit, Sasuke, I'm not in the mood to indulge you right now!"
"You know if you wanted to stop me, you should have killed me..." Sasuke replied, crossing his arms. "Or is it that pitiful feeling of seeing me as a brother that has you refusing to do so, hmm?"
 
Panting, Naruto spoke up. "You still don't get it, do you? You're just being used!"
 
"And I told you before, I don't care. I'll stop anyone who gets in my way. Besides, you can't beat me as you are now. Look at me, Naruto. Can't you see how much power I have? I have my Sharingan at its' maximum potential... and this Curse Mark Orochimaru gave me. In other words, as I said, you won't be able to land a blow on me, let alone defeat me. And I was always better than you before this, so I am even more beyond your level. Even with your special power. Now... let's see what this power of yours is." Smirking as if nothing could defy him, Sasuke glanced at Naruto, who cried out, soon disappearing into something... massive.
 
Naruto looked about, seeing the chamber of golden light, with a massive cage and a seal sticker on the cage door. Sasuke landed down as well, his wings spread out as he looked about. "Well, well... what is this?"
 
"H-how....?!" Suddenly, Naruto looked about as two glowing red eyes appeared.
 
"Well, well... Naruto... I'm curious... who do you want me to kill? Just ask and I can give you all the power you need..." Glancing about, the red eyes turned and chuckled. "Well, well... someone else to join us... how did you get in here, worm?"
 
"Worm, eh?" Looking up, Sasuke chuckled, his Sharingan showing most prominently. "I never would have imagined this beast would be in your body, Naruto... so that explains your power... all this time, it was THIS."
"Those eyes. You bear much of a resembalance to HIM. To someone I hate just as much as the Fourth Hokage and this insolent brat... and your chakra... it is just as bitter, just as reviled if not more so than mine. You... are indeed an Uchiha."
 
Closing his eyes and smirking, Sasuke turned to the cage. "And you are nothing more than a caged animal now, aren't you, Nine-Tailed Fox?"
 
"Huh!? How do you know the fox?!"
 
"Family secret, Naruto." Holding his hand out, Sasuke blasted Naruto backward. In spite of this just being a Genjutsu, he was still out of control. He hit the water and groaned. "I know a lot about you..."
 
"Oh, really? So you must be aware you remind me a lot of Madara Uchiha..."
 
"Hmph. Why should I care about some ancient name?"
 
"You would be wise to not attempt to kill Naruto, boy. You will regret it most definitely. Naruto... it seems you need my help. Here... a 'gift'." Suddenly, red chakra crossed the water around Naruto, who slowly turned, then began to growl in pain as he screamed out, the fox's chakra consuming him as it shattered the scenery around them, as Naruto groaned in the real world, the red chakra wrapping and taking form, as he crouched down on all fours and shot a glare at Sasuke.
 
"Hmph. Even with your true power, you can't win. I told you before... I am much more special than you are." Before Sasuke could use his own impressive speed, Naruto was up in front of him, the crimson chakra forming slowly into a second tail, before he pulled back and slapped Sasuke hard, sending him across the night sky before he leapt up and kicked Sasuke far away, slamming him into the ground. Slowly, the second tail faded, as did the fox's power, with Naruto now landing near Sasuke, panting hard, Sasuke standing up, his Curse Mark reverting to normal as he began to bear his teeth.
 
Looking on in shock, Sakura gasped, her hands over her mouth. "N-Naruto... Sasuke... what is...?"
 
"I don't get how an inferior loser like you can tap into such power!" Sasuke grunted, waving his arm across the air.
"Hey, I worked hard, and I don't need the stupid fox's power all the time, Sasuke! Just 'cuz you got your heritage doesn't mean you are invincible!" Naruto replied, clenching his hands.
"You should realize that I said it before so I'll refresh your memory! You are a complete embarassment!"
"Pfft! If I'm such an embarassment, how'd I beat you!?"
 
Stepping forward, Sakura shook, her fists clenched as Sasuke blinked, then turned around, grinning maliciously.
'He...' Slowly turning, Naruto saw Sakura, who stood in total shock, tears down her eyes. 'Aw, no...'
 
"Why are you two doing this? Sasuke, what did Naruto deserve for you to go so far!?"
 
Sasuke remained silent, then smirked. "Sakura. Well, with you here, I do owe you a good deal for what you did."
 
"Wh-what I did?"
 
"Yes. You interfered in an affair that didn't involve you... someone like you who is worse than the idiot over there is. Now... I will cleanse all worthless bonds I have." Before she knew it, Sakura had Sasuke moving in at her, as Naruto moved as fast as he could. But knowing he could never catch up to Sasuke's speed, he formed a Shadow Clone, having it hurl him forward. Slowly, Sasuke pulled his hand back, Sakura unable to do anything, paralyzed in fear at what she was seeing from Sasuke... such rage at her... in spite of how she knew all about Sasuke's hatred, she never once saw him turn it on her, as he chuckled, chakra crackling around his hand, but before he could impale Sakura with the Chidori, Naruto appeared and cried out, taking it right in the left shoulder, moving just enough that it impacted where the last time he was impaled had landed, as Sakura gasped, Sasuke glaring.
 
"Damn you. But somehow I knew you would do that... all because you care."
Coughing up blood, Naruto gripped Sasuke's arm, tightening his grip as he shot a glare at Sasuke. "And I will NEVER stop protecting those I care about, Sasuke!! Even if I have to fight those I care about to do it!! Sakura... has nothing to do with our fight!"
 
"I don't care. You will die, and then, I will finally have the power I need."
 
Naruto gritted his teeth then spat blood on Sasuke's cheek, while Sakura stood still in shock at the sight she was witnessing. "You don't care? All we fought for as a team... all we achieved... you want to throw it away to have something petty like revenge!?"
 
"You don't understand."
 
"Yeah, I do! I understand that as you are now, Sasuke, you're no better than your brother!!" Pulling his head back, Naruto screamed out and slammed his head hard against Sasuke, forcing Sasuke to pull his arm out of his wound forcibly, Naruto flying forward as Sasuke flew backwards, slamming onto the pavement as Naruto hit the pavement, grinning before passing out from exhaustion. Sakura gasped, then dropped down to her knees, confused as to why this all happened. Tearing up, she hung her head in sadness, thinking back to what Kakashi had told her on the hospital roof after he had stopped the boys from battling once more.
 
'Sakura. It'll be alright. Don't you worry, we'll soon have them back to their old selves.'
 
"It isn't alright, Kakashi-sensei! How is THIS the same!? IT WAS JUST A LIE, WASN'T IT!? And I... I couldn't..." Crying, Sakura covered her eyes, unable to bear the pain anymore, especially due to the fact she couldn't do anything else.
 
Hours pass, as the ANBU along with Tsunade showed up, having taken Naruto and Sasuke into custody temporarily. Sighing to herself as she read the report, Tsunade closed her eyes. "What in the world is this all coming to?... Why would it go so far?"
 
"You can blame Itachi, Tsunade. He is the one who led Sasuke down the path he is on. Naruto is just as much at fault for retaliating like he did." Kakashi said, his hands in his pockets. "I said everything would be the same to Sakura, but now... I wonder if it is even true anymore."
 
"It isn't your fault if that's what you mean, Kakashi. And it isn't Naruto or Sasuke's fault either. Trust me... even if they are like Jiraiya and Orochimaru, things with those two never went this far. And words can't resolve this situation. Not when it seems that feelings of pride and inferiority are involved more than revenge itself." Tsunade sighed, crossing her arms as she rubbed the temple of her nose. "All I say is right now, we suspend both of them... in fact, your whole team will be prohibited for missions in the meantime. And you yourself will be pulling more missions than before to compensate for disobeying my orders. Right now... this is the only option I can condone... at least til a permanent decision is made."
 
"Yes, ma'am." Kakashi sighed, but closed his eyes, as he turned and waved. "I have elsewhere to be right now, but I'll report as soon as possible." With that said, Kakashi disappeared. Sakura, who still looked confused, looked up at Tsunade, then became serious. "Lady Tsunade! Can I ask you something?"
 
"Hmm? What is it, Ms. Haruno? If possible, can it...?"
 
"It can't wait! Please, I need to ask a large favor of you." Dropping to one knee, Sakura then lowered her head in respect, before glancing up at Tsunade. "Please, will you make me your apprentice? I want to become stronger... and you are the only one I know who can help me. Please..." Tears slowly began to drop down Sakura's cheeks. Looking on at the young girl before her, Tsunade smiled then placed a hand on Sakura's shoulder.
 
"I can tell you are indeed troubled, Sakura... but you have something about you that is great. So, as for taking you as my apprentice, you have this request answered. I have heard a good deal from Kakashi that you are indeed quite intelligent and with an undying spirit. But so you know..." Winking, Tsunade smiled. "I won't go easy on you!"
 
"I know, Lady Tsunade." Sakura replied as she lifted her head up, then wiped her tears away. 'But I have to get a lot stronger... then maybe I can protect those two... so that I don't have to see them do this to themselves anymore...' Exhaling after gathering her thoughts, Sakura smiled. "I'll do whatever it takes to be your apprentice!"
 
Sakura now had her own battle, as did Naruto and Sasuke... with all that had happened to them all... it seems that a new battle awaited them. And what lay ahead this new road would be full of hardship, but it may also bear joy... for in sadness, can exist happiness in the most unlikely forms...
 
-To Be Continued...-Prologue: The Final Valley, The Beginning of a New Journey
 
An explosion of thunder. A spiral of blue energy. With water spiralling underneath the two using these forces. The two had been shimmering with opposing forces; one with the voice of thunder itself... the other with the gale of wind at his command.
 
And yet, all they were were teenagers. 
 
One, a messy blonde haired boy, with blue eyes deep like the sea or as lovely as the sky, a bright orange jumpsuit on, with a dark blue lining along the shoulders and down the waist, where the coat would end, a white collar to match, as well as orange pants, with a holster of some kind around the young blonde's left leg, with black boots, with the toeholds cut out, leaving the toes visible. Around him though, was a red aura, shaped in the form of a miniature fox, with the flow of his chakra shaping into claws around his hands, with his hair standing on end, fangs where his teeth would be, his eyes now crimson red, with his tail swinging back and forth, standing on all fours. 
 
This warrior also had a headband around his forehead, with the symbol in the center being designed like a leaf. This boy was Naruto Uzumaki, one of the ninja from the Village Hidden in the Leaves. He was known by some as a Jinchuriki, a human infused with the chakra and spirit of a demon... in his case, it was a monstrous beast known as the Nine-Tailed Fox, which ravaged his village 13 years ago, on the day he was born. However, the leader of the village, known as the Hokage, the 4th Hokage at that had given his life up to seal the Nine-Tailed Fox within Naruto, wishing for him to be a hero.
 
Instead, Naruto was treated as a monster himself rather than as a person. So he grew up with resolve, using pranks to achieve attention, but worked hard as a ninja, to become Hokage, so that people would acknowledge him.
 
Right now, he was in combat with one of his teammates, from his squad, led by his mentor Kakashi Hatake, with the girl he had been in love with for such a long time, Sakura Haruno, as well as someone he wanted to aspire to, as well as to defeat... his rival, Sasuke Uchiha.
 
Sasuke, opposing Naruto on the other side of the attack, had a long collared, short sleeved blue shirt, white shorts, with white tape around the black ankle length boot-like sandals, raven black hair that had two long bangs on the sides of his face, with several blades sticking out of the back of his head, with similar colored eyes. However, right now, his eyes were red, with three black dots and black for the iris, his skin being a kind of tan, two hand-like wings resting where his back would be, a diamond cross-like scar of sorts over his nose, as well as his fingernails being like claws.
 
Pushing themselves to their limits, Naruto and Sasuke cried out loudly, then with that, their attacks exploded, sending them flying backwards, Naruto slamming into a canyon wall, Sasuke bouncing across water, before he spread out his wings and glided up into the air, spreading them outward.
 
'Dammit...' Thought Sasuke, his wings flapping as he hovered in mid-air. 'How? That Chidori should have been able to best him. Why the hell is he still standing? Could that red chakra be the damned reason that that loser is still able to stand?'
 
Groaning, Naruto pushed himself out of the canyon, then shook his head, growling softly, looking at his left hand. "I've been in this state too long. But..." Looking up, Naruto saw two yellow eyes behind Sasuke, with slits like that of a snake, and long black hair. "That power... it must have been what Sakura talked about... Orochimaru gave it to him... Gotta stop him before he..." Flinching, Naruto groaned, kneeling down, as Sasuke floated down, landing on the rock next to him.
 
"Get up. Let's just end this right now. Besides, you're hurting worse than I am." Said Sasuke, a smirk coming across his lips.
 
Naruto wobbled, then panted. "Sorry, but I don't plan to give up without a fight. I made a promise, and I am gonna keep it!"
 
"Hmph." Sasuke scoffed. "Promises? What good are promises? All they are are empty desires that you believe you can achieve, but will fail to accomplish in the end." Once he was done speaking, Sasuke twisted up and kicked Naruto in the jaw, with the impact leaving a CRACK as Naruto groaned, flying upward, but as he came down, Sasuke pivoted on his feet, throwing his right hand outward before he punched Naruto in the stomach, sending him flying through the air and impacting on the canyon wall, shaking the statues that rested near their location, Sasuke smirking as he spread his wings out.
 
"And promises, like dreams, will not bring me down. I have one desire... and that desire will allow me to become stronger." Groaning, Naruto felt a sharp pain from inside his head, groaning as he tried to push himself loose from his embedding, but before he could, Sasuke flew up and grabbed Naruto's neck, yanking Naruto loose as he smiled, holding him up.
 
"Y'hear that rattling, Naruto? I'm sure you do... that thick sound of shaking in your head, as if you shook an empty spray can. That was a death rattle. You WILL die here." Sasuke said. "But I won't give you the pleasure of a quick death. I'll make sure your death is a painful one." Letting Naruto go, Sasuke smirked, diving down as fast as a peregrine falcon, then grabbed Naruto with his arms, then drove his teammate right into the ground before he landed onto the ground, smirking, his wings spread out.
 
Naruto groaned, pushing himself up slowly, blood dribbling down his lips, showing he had signs of internal injury. Getting to his feet slowly, Naruto could feel blood was dribbling down his nose, and that he was bleeding even more so. Even with the fox's chakra healing his injuries, he was still hurting pretty badly. Before he could do anything, he got hit in the back as Sasuke smirked, doing quick hand seals, pulling his head back, as he inhaled. 'Fire-Style!! Fireball Jutsu!!' With that, Sasuke exhaled, a stream of fire coming forth, engulfing Naruto in flames, but soon the flames dispersed, as several Narutos came flying down at Sasuke, punching and kicking him rapidly, before the real Naruto came out and slammed him with his claw.
 
With that attack, Sasuke cried out, slamming hard into rock, but he quickly leapt back, Naruto landing down, snarling, his eyes narrowing.
 
Naruto looked over at Sasuke then began to speak, his voice gruff, lacking his usual tone. "I don't get you. You say you're my friend, yet you want to kill me."
 
"You don't need to know." Wiping his lip of blood, Sasuke stood up. "All you need to know is that once you are dead, I am sure that I will have all that I will need."
 
"All that you-?! Whattya mean!? If you think you have the heart to do it! Go ahead! Do it. Kill me! But you won't ever take away the light in my heart, or the respect and friendship I have for you!! And that even if I die, I will drag you back to Hidden Leaf Village!!"
 
Scoffing, Sasuke chuckled, turning his head. "Why is it you want to bring me back? Give me the pleasure to hear that before you die."
"Because I promised I would." It was all Naruto had to say, as he thought back to WHY he did this. Not just for himself, but because of a promise he had made.
"Ku ku ku ku. Oh, really? You promised?"
"Yeah!" With a surge of chakra exploding under his feet, Naruto bared his teeth, then howled loudly as his chakra bursted out around him, a light of blue energy slightly fading around his red chakra. "I... PROMISED!!!!" With that, Sasuke looked in shock, his eyes widened.
 
'How can he have such power?! Is... is he more of a monster than Gaara was?! How can it be that a loser like him has so much power pouring through him? It... it doesn't...' Sasuke quickly shook his head and glared. "No. I won't let you overlap me again, Naruto!! I will end this!" Forming hand seals quickly, Sasuke pulled his hand back, focusing every ounce of the chakra he had been pooling into his left hand, the same kind of black and purple energy crackling around his hand. "This will be my final attack!! My ultimate Chidori!! The one that kills you!!"
 
"Alright, you want to go, let's go!!" Holding his arm up, Naruto began to pool all the red chakra around his body, which began to then quickly reform, the chakra fusing together into a red orb around the palm of his hand. With his resolve, and his desire to achieve power and break all ties... 
 
Both comrades looked at one another, then shot at one another, bursting with vigor, Naruto and Sasuke both crying out as Naruto thrusted his hand out, Sasuke doing the same thing as their attacks collided, declaring their attacks.
 
"RASENGAN!!!!"
 
"CHIDORI!!!"
 
With much force, Naruto and Sasuke pushed with all their resolve; Naruto to fulfill a promise he made... Sasuke to achieve his deepest, darkest desire... but both would not allow the other to win. Pushing even harder, both Naruto and Sasuke screamed out, their chakras spiralling together, engulfing the duo in a massive sphere of light, leaving... nothingness.
 
Hours passed, as a figure raced across the forests towards the signs of the battle. But when the figure arrived... he saw that there was nothing left... just a barren land, with the two mighty statues that once stood tall crumbled, the water evaporated to the waterfall, steam rising up to the sky. This person had messy white hair, with a Hidden Leaf headband over his left eye, with a black mask over his mouth, with a similar black jumpsuit, with a beige vest, black gloves, and black sandals, much like Naruto and Sasuke. This was Kakashi Hatake, their sensei... and he was worried about his students.
 
"Wh-what has happened here!? The Valley of the End has been left... did Naruto and Sasuke do this?!" Soon enough, a brown pug with a blue sash along his back, with the Japanese symbol for scarecrow in a white circle on the back as well as a Hidden Leaf bandana as well landed down, sniffing the air.
 
"Do you sense them, Pakkun? Or are we too late?"
"Nope. I smell them, Kakashi. They're down there." Pakkun said. 
 
Kakashi blinked then nodded, sliding down the canyon walls to ground level... and when he came to where the river and the waterfall used to be, what he saw was a massive gash in the earth, dividing where he stood and where the river used to lead on, the water sliding into the chasm itself. Running further along the divided earth, Kakashi was in awe. 'It... it is like the legend. It's as if whatever happened here has completely changed the landscape.' With another glance, Kakashi saw them... Naruto... and Sasuke, both out cold, their bodies scathed from their attacks.
 
"Naruto... Sasuke..." Kakashi knelt down, checking a pulse on both of his students, but when he approached Naruto, he heard a groan and a slight fidget, as Naruto turned his head slowly, then smiled weakly.
 
"K-Kakashi... sensei..."
"Naruto... are you...?"
"Y-yeah... did I stop Sasuke?" Naruto smiled, closing his eyes and passing out, exhaustion overtaking him. Kakashi nodded softly, then smiled. "Yeah. Yeah, you did... barely, it would seem." Reaching up, Kakashi grabbed Naruto's collar, then picked Sasuke up, noticing a mark on his neck, with three comma-like symbols.
 
'Damn... the Curse Mark. Does that mean that Orochimaru was right? That the seal was pointless? I don't believe it was, but... Sasuke's will held back the Curse Mark. But it seems it wasn't enough.. but perhaps Tsunade can do something more to hold it back. I will see when we get back to the Village.' With that, Kakashi hooked his arms around his students, one each, as he then looked at Pakkun.
 
"Time to go home." With that, Kakashi leapt off, making his way back to the Village Hidden in the Leaves. However, rising out of the ground where Naruto and Sasuke were came a mysterious figure, with a venus flytrap-like structure around his head, with light olive green hair, one half of his face black, the other white with two yellow eyes, as well as a black cloak, with red clouds patterned on the cloak, with a red collar as well, white around his ankles, and black toeless boots as he spoke.
 
"Fascinating... the power that those two possess... this is most interesting..." One voice said.
"Yes... it is... the leader will be most pleased... yesss... he will be..." Another voice said, as the mysterious man disappeared back into the earth, just as he had appeared.
 
Hours passed, and a day, as slowly, Naruto opened his eyes, looking up at the ceiling of a room. "Hu-huh?" Groaning, Naruto looked around. "What is all of this...??"
"Hey. You're finally awake." Naruto slowly turned, and saw someone with short hair that had a high ponytail, a vest similar to what Kakashi had, a white short-sleeved shirt, with dark brown slacks and open-toed boots.
 
"S-Shikamaru... hey... where're we?"
"Back home in Hidden Leaf. Man, this is SUCH a drag to explain this to the guy who's been out cold for a day." Sighed Shikamaru, rubbing the top of his head.
Sitting up, Naruto looked around quickly. "H-h-h-hidden Leaf!? What about Choji!? Neji!? Kiba and Akamaru!? And Sasuke!? What happened!?"
"Whoa, whoa, easy, boy..." Shikamaru said, waving his hands, with another sigh. "Everyone is OK. Choji and Neji were in critical condition, but with the help we did have... we didn't suffer any injuries. All's well went well..."
 
Naruto laid back then groaned, smiling. "Yeah... that's good..."
"And you managed to stop Sasuke. Kakashi has explained everything to Tsunade, as well as myself." Shikamaru said. "I'm surprised. Like I said once before, I thought you were a slacker-type like me... guess looks aren't everything."
Chuckling, Naruto then drifted to sleep, smiling. 'I did it, Sakura... I kept... my promise...'
 
Meanwhile, in an isolated room, with several seals placed all over the room, the light dimmed, and seventeen ANBU Black Ops agents all around the perimeter of the room, Sasuke remained unconscious, his eyes closed, EKG monitors monitoring his vital signs, as well as with himself held in place, just to ensure that he couldn't try to escape.
 
In his mind, however... there was a lot going on... images, words, feelings he had been feeling for some time now...
 
'Your hatred... it's weak! You're far too soft and forgiving!! The greater the hunger for revenge, the greater the hate!! And it's the power of hate that gives you the strength to kill!!' Rang the words of Gaara of the Desert, one of the fiercer foes Sasuke had fought, someone he fought to his very limits, yet he wasn't able to defeat him.
 
'Foolish little brother. You can't kill me. Your hate's not strong enough. YOU'RE not strong enough. Your life is too precious to you.' These words came from Sasuke's older brother, Itachi, the man he sought to kill...  someone who had defeated him as well. More of his words burned into Sasuke's mind, causing him to toss and turn in agony. 
 
'You're still too weak. You don't have enough hate. And you know something? You NEVER will.' 
 
These words came from the realization that Sasuke was nowhere near as powerful as Itachi... and then what he heard while in the world of the Tsukuyomi, the power of the Mangekyo Sharingan...
 
'You're weak, Sasuke... and 24 hours from now... you'll be weaker still.'
 
'Because I was weak... everyone died. If only I'd been stronger... if I had more power... instead... you stood by and watched them die. So helpless, like lambs to the slaughter.... if only you were stronger... if only you had more power!' These words were from himself as a young child, when he lost his family, and his clan, everything, but also had remembered it from his dream after Orochimaru, one of the legendary Sannin had granted Sasuke the Curse Mark, something he did not ask for... but something he gladly accepted, with the last words coming from him.
 
Growling while in his sleep, Sasuke also had remembered what Naruto had said in the battle with Gaara, in which he saw a power from Naruto he never had seen before... a power that made him to be something he couldn't believe, didn't WANT to believe... 
 
'I get it now. Of course. He's no different than I am. Going through life with the exact same sadness and loneliness I had to carry... he fought only for himself, never relying on anyone, and because of that I thought that he possesed strength. I really did. I dunno. I guess I shoulda known better. That's not what real strength is. If you never fight for anyone but yourself, you'll never become strong, no matter what you do!!' 
 
The images that burned next into Sasuke's mind showed Naruto with his Multi Shadow Clone Jutsu, unleashing a storm of fury on Gaara... then summoning Gamabunta, the Boss Toad, when Gaara had transformed into his monstrous form, the form of Shukaku, the One-Tailed Sand Spirit...
 
'How... did you do this...?' Sasuke thought, growling as his hands began to strain from trying to get loose. 'How do you do it!? It was the same with that Jutsu you used on the roof... it left such a destructive force that it made my Chidori look like it was worthless...'
 
'You're wrong though, Naruto... all I have...' With that, Sasuke's eyes shot open, as his Curse Mark began to glow, a black pattern of flames covering the right side of his face appeared, his eyes revealing his Sharingan as he remained laying down, immobilized. 'Is my hatred. It is all I will ever need...'
 
Footsteps were heard in the hospital, as Kakashi was walking with a beautiful woman, with blonde hair tied into a ponytail that rested on her back, with a dark purple diamond shaped tattoo on her forehead, amber eyes, red lips, and an ample bust, with a grey kimono wrap around her chest, an olive green jacket with the symbol of "Bet" in a red circle around her arms, leaving some cleavage with her kimono wrap, black pants and black high-heeled strapped shoes.
 
"Tsunade, do you think it will be enough? All these precautions made for Sasuke..." Asked Kakashi.
 
Nodding, Tsunade sighed. "I wish we could be more lenient, but we can't in this case, Kakashi. Sasuke is potentially dangerous, especially with this developement you told me about Orochimaru's Curse Mark. He is also very unstable mentally... I wish there was something I could do, but I can't. In fact, the council of elders is half debating to have him executed for his desertion. I am trying to plead with them about another kind of punishment at this time."
 
"I can understand that all... I truly can. But perhaps I could..."
Stopping, Tsunade crossed her arms under her bosom and sighed. "Kakashi. Let's be realistic here... you did try to help Sasuke before, right?"
 
"Yes."
 
"But still, even with all your help, he attempted to go to Orochimaru. We have to think about long term here. Even if you try to help him, who knows what will happen? I am trying to be reasonable here, but we have to realize Sasuke is a threat to anyone here, given his strong desire for revenge. We need to think of a full on plan. And I have a lot to think on since I've also had to work on Choji Akimichi's injuries, while Shizune and a team had to work with Neji Hyuga's. If it weren't for our allies from Hidden Sand, we would have lost everyone. So for right now, I am sorry to say, but you will be cut down by one member. Until we can figure out what to do with Sasuke, you're forbidden to have him on your squad in addition to him being suspended and kept under 24-hour lockdown."
 
"..." Keeping quiet, Kakashi sighed. "Fine. I get it."
 
"But perhaps I could help, Lady Hokage." A feminine voice rang behind Tsunade and Kakashi, who turned around to see the person behind them. Their gaze turned to a young woman with medium-length white hair, glasses gently rested on the ridge of her nose, a white labcoat of sorts, with a dark blue business suit dress, black stockings, and black toeless boots, with a slightly high heel.
 
"Oh, Yukina. Are you sure? I know you are a psychiatrist and all, but we are dealing with someone who is a potential S-Class criminal ready to make a break from the village." Tsunade responsed.
 
Nodding, Yukina gently smiled before pushing her glasses up. "I would at least like to make an attempt to help young Sasuke. When he was younger, after the Uchiha massacre, my father tried to work with him, but it failed. He also tried to communicate now and then with Itachi, but that failed as well. So please, let me try it. Even if I fail, I will still be persistent in my goals to see what I can do to help young Sasuke, so that he can perhaps seek a brighter future than the one he faces."
 
Kakashi looked at Tsunade, hands in his pants pockets. "It's the best option we can think of..."
Closing her eyes to lull it over, Tsunade then opened her eyes and nodded. "Alright, Yukina. I'll give you a chance. I do hope you can help Sasuke..."
"I will do my best, Lady Hokage." Bowing, Yukina headed off, smiling softly.
 
Exhaling, Tsunade closed her eyes. "I want to believe. But it will not be easy. Not with him..."
 
"I would like to think it'd be easy, but I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't be. I knew Sasuke was a tough case, but I had hoped I got through to him. Seems that revenge is the one thing that is completely fixated on his mind. I taught him the Chidori in the hope he could be able to turn it into something to protect his allies. Some good that did..." Kakashi closed his visible eye, and looked bothered. 
 
"Even with this Sharingan, I still cannot see what is right in front of me... and I cannot do everything like I hoped I could."
 
"You're only human, Kakashi." Tsunade smiled. "To err is human after all. Even as smart as you are, you will fail now and then. Failure's a part of life. Take it from someone who's been there. I suggest you get some rest. Quit beating yourself up. Besides, you will be getting a LOT of missions because of you disobeying my orders to find the two like you did. But if you hadn't..." Waving her hand, Tsunade chuckled. "Go on."
 
"Thank you." Bowing, Kakashi then disappeared. Tsunade sighed, flicking a strand of her hair away. 
 
"I knew this job would be stressful, but it's so much to take in when a ninja tries to desert his or her village... especially one like Sasuke. But I can't dwell on that. I should pay a visit to someone else..." Heading down the hall, Tsunade came into a room, and smiled softly as she saw Naruto laying there, fast asleep. Looking at him, Tsunade chuckled. 'He is reckless, noisy, but without a doubt... he is indeed a lot like you... isn't he, Minato? But he's also so much like his mother... it is a shame that he never got to know you and Kushina... at least he has people whom he'd die for and people who would die for him now.'
 
Tsunade simply smiled, then turned, heading out of the room.
 
As she stepped out of Naruto's room, Tsunade saw a young lady about Naruto and Sasuke's age with a sleeveless red long shirt, the end of it like a sash with a white circle in the center, a zipper down the chest which curved to the right, black shorts with white wrapping on the left leg as well as a sash for weapons, her hands held lower. She also had green eyes, and short pink hair, with her Hidden Leaf bandana tied like a hairband of some kind.
 
"Lady Tsunade...?"
 
"Oh. Sakura." Smiling, Tsunade placed her closed right hand gently on her hip. "What brings you to the hospital?"
 
"I heard from Ino that the others came back from their mission. It was driving me nuts to just wait for them...! How are they? And...?"
 
"Relax. Naruto and Sasuke, along with everyone else in Shikamaru's team, including the foolish Rock Lee, are safe and sound." Tsunade smiled, chuckling.
 
Exhaling, Sakura smiled, resting her left hand and then her right, overlapping over her heart. "That's good... can... can I see Naruto?"
 
"Sure. He's just sleeping, but... I don't think he'd mind a visit, even if I'm not sure if he'll hear you if you try to talk to him." Tsunade smiled, stepping aside.
 
Bowing, Sakura stepped inside of Naruto's room, and looked at him as Naruto was snoring slightly. Blinking, she then smiled softly. 'He's good... he's hurt but he managed to succeed... he must have shown that power that Sasuke talked about... I am still surprised he went as far as he did... for me of all people...' Smiling, Sakura brushed a bit of Naruto's hair away, then whispered. "Thank you... Naruto. For trying so hard." With that, she gently kissed him on the forehead as a sign of thanks.
 
With that, she turned, and stepped out of the room, but glanced back for a moment, then smiled. After which, she stepped out and shut the door behind her. Naruto, however, was awake for a brief moment when she had left the room. "You're welcome, Sakura. I am glad... I could do something to make you smile. It makes it all worth it..."
 
Sighing, Sakura looked at Tsunade and then smiled softly. "How about Sasuke? Is he... is he accepting visitors?"
Looking at her, Tsunade sighed, then closed her eyes. "Realistically, Sakura, Sasuke is under lockdown."
"Why?"
 
"Because he had attempted to desert the village... and Orochimaru's Curse Mark makes him too unpredictable... and besides, from what you told me, you were knocked out by him before he left."
 
Sakura nodded, before beginning to speak. "Yes, I was, but-!" Tsunade then gently placed a hand on her shoulder. 
 
"Don't worry, Sakura. I know it'll take time to let the wounds heal... but I suggest for now, you give Sasuke a little space... he is someone who is lost, and he needs to find his way to what it is he wants... revenge, or to try to move on. For someone like him, that will be hard. When he is ready, I am sure he will talk to you and Naruto if he does. And you two will most likely be the ones who can help him out. OK?"
 
Getting a little misty-eyed, Sakura wiped her eye then nodded. "OK. I, I can do that... even if it doesn't mean it's gonna be easy."
"Nothing in life is ever easy." Smiled Tsunade. Feeling relieved, Sakura smiled then headed off.
 
Tsunade smiled softly, then rubbed her temple softly. "We have a lot of work ahead of us. Sure makes the job of being Hokage tough. I wouldn't be too surprised if this is what you had to go through, Sarutobi-sensei, or even you, Grandpa. Or even Great Uncle when he was the 2nd. Minato, you too must have had a hard time with all you had to do as Hokage. But, I made a solemn vow like you all, and I will not give up. I will find a way."
 
Even as Tsunade had thought of the difficulty that came with being the leader of one of the five Great Shinobi Villages, elsewhere, evil forces were gathering together... plotting, scheming.
 
 


#2 Bryon_Konoha_Ninja

Bryon_Konoha_Ninja

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 08:49 PM

The location: Unknown. The country: Also unknown. But all it appears to be is a seemingly vacant cave. Until a shadow appears. Then two more. Then three. and another three, totalling nine human-like shapes. One of them spoke up.
"How long has it been since we all were united like this? Since Orochimaru's departure?"
 
"That is fairly accurate, hmm. You think that the leader has something big planned for all of us? Hmm?" Another voice spoke out.
"Deidara, of course he will. He always does. Now be quiet and listen." This next voice came from one of the shorter figures in the cave said.
"Hey, no need to be mean, Sasori, hmm?"
 
"That is enough chatter. Zetsu. You have news?"
"I do, leader." A figure with the head of a venus flytrap around a face sticking around the shadows. "It would seem that Naruto Uzumaki's true power has revealed itself, as has the power Orochimaru has accessed and granted to Sasuke Uchiha. The landscape of the Valley of the End... it has changed. It was shattered by their power. They have the power to rock the planet if they can do what they did to the Valley."
 
The one who was known as the leader stepped out, with messy hair, and mysterious auburn eyes. "It would not surprise me. Orochimaru had been developing many unique things over the years since he had betrayed us and abandoned our mission... and your brother, Itachi, was one he saw as a vessel, hence why he gained such power."
 
"I know..." Said the one known as Itachi, his only visible feature being Sharingan eyes.
 
"We must not forget our mission, everyone... we will now wait to strike against the Nine-Tailed Fox boy, as well as everyone else who bears a Bijuu within their souls. Prepare yourselves for this time. Train hard. And become even stronger. If we are to achieve our goals, everything must be prepared. WE must be prepared. If the Jinchuriki get stronger, we must do the same thing. Now go." With that, the shadows disappeared.
 
But miles away from the cave that the members of this mysterious group had met, rain was falling, as a man with the same kind of cloak as Zetsu, with mysterious auburn hair and orange eyes, three black piercings on each side of his nose, with several along his eyebrows, as well as two down his lower lip, with a headband for the Hidden Rain Village, stood in its' midst, smirking, looking on a highly developed city. Standing next to him was a woman with medium-length blue hair, a white flower along the side of her head, blue eyeshadow over her eyelids, light blue along her lower lip, and a small piercing.
 
"Pain... do you believe in what you said?"
 
Nodding, the man known as Pain turned around, and knelt down. "I do. I believe we still lack the power we need to defeat the Jinchuriki... considering the 4th Hokage's legacy has grown so much more than we could have progressed."
 
"Konan, you agree with Pain about this decision then?"
 
"I do." Turning as well, Konan knelt down, her hands extending to her sides. "Even if Pain has never lost a fight before... especially if he faces the Nine-Tailed Fox boy."
 
"I know this. But still... this developement is most fascinating indeed. To think that the Valley of the End, the place that I had fought such a dangerous battle with the First Hokage could be changed like that. It would seem we need to wait until we have all we need in our grasps. Pain, you will continue to inform me of all of this?"
 
"I will indeed."
 
Stepping forth from the shadows came a man with a small build, but with an air of danger and malice around himself, a red mask with a kind of swirl leading to a single hole, and short black hair. From the hole emerged a Sharingan as well. "Good. We will then have everything we will need in order to claim our prizes. Then... my power... the power of Madara Uchiha will be unleashed. But I trust you two to be able to do what is necessary. I trust you more than anyone else with my secret... and with the operations of the Akatsuki. I will come back soon enough, to view your progress... but I leave you now to your machinations..." With that, the person known only as Madara disappeared, as Pain and Konan stood up.
 
'Yes.' Pain thought, turning to the village that was cascaded in rain. 'My own machinations will be done. As will yours, and our group's...'
 
Unfortunately, unbeknowest to Naruto Uzumaki, or to anyone else, it would seem that a hard battle would be fought in the times to come... battles against such forces that were devastating in nature.
 
Elsewhere, closer to Hidden Leaf Village, in the Rice Field Country, in a hidden labyrinth, stood a man completely wrapped in medical tape, with only one eye visible, white hair sticking all over, and a black kimono, stood in waiting, his arms behind his back, as suddenly, someone with blonde hair tied into a ponytail, black eyes, covered with glasses, dressed in purple with white sleeves, and a light yellow sash around his waist.
 
"Lord Orochimaru."
 
"Kabuto. I presume you have good news for me?"
 
"I... I do not. It would seem Sasuke Uchiha has been defeated... and he has been returned to Hidden Leaf Village."
 
"Hmph." Turning around, Orochimaru gazed at Kabuto, who tried his best to not show any fear to his master's killing intent. "It is a shame. I figured he would have been the one to be my ultimate vessel... his hatred and rage would have fueled the Curse Mark to its' fullest, thus granting me even more power when I took my body for himself. But it is of little consequence. He has been dyed with my color... that means he will try to come to me once more when he is ready. In the meantime, I suppose I will have to use this body."
 
A knock came at the door to Orochimaru's chamber, and the door opened.
 
"You know that you have another vessel ready for you when you need it, Lord Orochimaru. You mustn't forget that much..." A voice ran as the door opened. Standing there was a person in red and black armor, with a mask over the mouth, straw sandals around the feet, and a katana strapped along the back, with the hilt showing itself. "You have many worthy candidates to your power..."
 
"I do not need to be patronized, Hyo. I am aware of that! But as I said, it matters not. Sasuke Uchiha will come to me... and when he does... he will be within my grasp, and everything will fall right into place. So much so that even the Hidden Leaf Village, and the Akatsuki, will bow before me!" Closing his hand, Orochimaru began to laugh darkly, a laugh that echoed throughout his lair... another sign of things to come.
 
-Hidden Leaf Village Hospital-
Naruto Uzumaki remained in the hospital. What felt like an eternity was really only a few hours. Still, the feeling he had right now... it bothered him. Being unable to move had always bothered Naruto, except for when it came to sleeping as well as recovering from training, or the very least, eating. But... as he was now, recovering, he could do little to move around. Every part of his body still hurt from his battle with Sasuke. In that one battle alone than in the last few months that he had been a shinobi, he had almost faced death several times.
 
Sighing, Naruto carefully slid his arms behind the back of his head, flinching softly as he did so. He gazed up at the ceiling, then sighed. 'I wonder... if Sasuke's doin' OK. I know Sakura seems OK too, but... and what about the others? Choji... Neji... Kiba... Akamaru... Shikamaru told me they were OK, but... at the same time, I just can't get this feeling off my chest.' Pushing himself up slowly, Naruto flinched softly, then sighed, as he began to climb out of his hospital bed slowly. Walking to the window, Naruto looked outward to the slowly setting sun, sighing.
 
"But at least I managed to keep my promise. At the same time..."
 
Soon enough, the door to his room slid open. Eyes widening, Naruto turned around quickly, then clenched his hands.
 
Elsewhere, Sasuke smirked as the Curse Mark began to overtake him once more, a sinister laugh coming from his lips as he took it all the way to the 2nd State, breaking the ropes of his bed with his wings as he began to spark with black and blue chakra, his eyes glowing red thanks in part to his Sharingan. He smirked as he stepped forward, his wings spreading out as the nails scraped the ceiling. "Now... to find that loser and end this."
 
In Naruto's room, Naruto blinked and stood still as he saw someone he had not seen for a while now; Gaara of the Desert. Gaara stood still, with his dark red hair parted around his forehead, the symbol of "love" over his left eye, with bags similar to that of a racoon's mask, dark brown robes with a white sash down his chest and down his lower body, with brown leather straps tied to a large sand-colored gourd.
 
"G-Gaara!"
"Naruto Uzumaki... it's been a while." Said Gaara. "I had heard you were in here. I had to see for myself."
Blinking, Naruto looked at Gaara, surprised. 'His eyes... they look so different now...' Shaking his head, Naruto spoke up. "What're you doing here?"
"Temari, Kankuro, and I were asked by your Hokage to assist your friends and you in the retrieval of Sasuke. I had assisted Lee when he fought that guy." Gaara said, his tone slow, yet calm.
 
"You guys did? Well, that explains a lil bit. But WHY are you here to see me?" Asked Naruto, still confused.
Gaara closed his eyes before keeping his arms at his sides. Thinking on this, Gaara reminded himself of 2 months in the past when he had fought Naruto in combat when Orochimaru had attacked the Hidden Leaf Village. Thinking back to what Naruto had said to him while he lay in defeat, fearful that his life would end, for he had fought only for himself and for the love of killing, feeling he had no need for bonds.
 
'It's almost unbearable, isn't it?... The feeling of being all alone... I know that feeling. I've been there... in that dark and lonely place. But now... there're others... other people who mean a lot to me. I care more about them than I do myself... and I won't let anyone hurt them. That's why I won't ever give up!  I WILL stop you, even if I have to kill you!'
 
'W-why? Why would you do this for anyone but yourself?'
 
'Because they saved me from myself! They rescued me from my loneliness. They were the first to accept me for who I am! They're my friends...'
 
Thinking to those words, Gaara understood something Naruto had that he, nor Sasuke or anyone else who had intrigued him so, had... love. He wanted to understand that feeling, to want to be important to someone, to become stronger than he had been before. Then, he opened his eyes and explained. "Because of what you said to me that day."
 
"You mean when we fought?"
 
"Yes." Nodded Gaara softly. "You spoke of how the people you fought for saved you from yourself... and how you did it for them, not for yourself... I saw that it was love that made you strong. I wanted to feel that same way... until we fought, I just felt bonds were worthless, and that I would be betrayed again... so I closed up, fighting only for myself. Now... I owe you a great deal of a debt for your actions that day. You could have killed me if you wanted to, but you chose not. Was it because you understood me?"
 
Thinking about it, Naruto exhaled, then smiled softly. "Yeah. I also didn't want to see you die just because of what happened. I wanted to make sure you were down for the count so that everyone was safe. I didn't care how hurt I was, as long as I could stop you if you tried to do it again."
 
"It is just as I thought." Closing his eyes, Gaara then opened them. "I owe you a great debt as I have said, Naruto. And... you have made me into a better person... you are someone whom I look forward to becoming as great as... to be important to someone just like you have become."
 
Blinking, Naruto rubbed the back of his head in embarassment. "Aw, stop it, Gaara, you're gonna make me blush!!" Suddenly, the building began to shake, as the next thing to come to the boys' ears were screams. Soon enough, a crash of thunder exploded the door open, as Gaara whipped up a barrier of sand. Stepping forward, with his wings folded down, Sasuke appeared and grunted. "Hmph. So, it seems YOU are involved with him as well, Gaara..."
 
Lowering his Sand Shield, Gaara looked across at Sasuke. "Uchiha..."
 
"Hmph." Sasuke smiled. "Just step aside, Gaara, and I promise you I won't kill you."
 
"If you think you can with such hate-filled eyes... eyes that haven't changed at all since we last met. Just like that guy..."
 
"So what? You honestly say you can read me that well?" Sasuke replied, stepping forward slowly. Gaara stepped back slowly and glanced at Sasuke, then to Naruto. "Naruto... you can fight, can you not?"
 
"Yeah... not as well as I could if at 100%, but I can manage. Why?"
 
Glancing at Sasuke once more, Gaara spoke again. "If I cannot hold off Sasuke... you may have to fight him in my stead. I can see it in his eyes... not just his appearance, but his heart has become much darker than I remember in the Chunin Exams... his desire to prove his own existence... it is more dangerous than mine was... mine ever was... so that means he will stop at nothing to achieve said goal. I know it... whether it is to kill us or if we are a stepping stone towards his true agenda. Whatever the means... I will stand up for you."
 
"Hmph. The weak helping the weak. Leave it to that to be a means for you to get strong. Stupid notions like camaraderie are what make people weak in the first place. I thought you understood that, Gaara. But I guess you've become like everyone else. Weak and pitiful, needing people to help you stand. So you can die first." Dashing forward, Sasuke attempted to attack Gaara, who dodged, using his sand to leap back, smashing through the window with Sasuke flying out after him, his wings spread out along the moonlight.
 
Gaara clenched his hands, then thrusted them forward, sand shooting forth from his gourd, which began to wrap around Sasuke's left arm, his palm opening as he glared. "This will not be pleasant. But you will not reason... Sand Burial!!" But before Gaara could use his manipulation of sand to disable Sasuke's left arm, lightning wrapped around it, blowing the sand away into nothingness, as Sasuke grinned maniacally and villainously, impaling Gaara through the shoulder, Gaara's eyes widening as Sasuke pulled back, then slapped Gaara away with his wing, sending him into the ground.
 
Landing down, Sasuke smirked, even as Gaara stood up, sand dribbling down from his body, as he glanced at Sasuke. Sasuke chuckled. "Hehehehe. Well, this is enjoyable to me. I wanted to have the opportunity to beat you, and to crush you to validate my own strength... and now I got that chance." Holding his arm up, Sasuke chuckled darkly as chakra began to gather around his left arm. "Chidori!!" But before Sasuke could impact, something leapt in front of his view, exploding which caused Sasuke to cry out, before suddenly, Naruto appeared, kicking him up into the air, with other Shadow Clones following his tracks.
 
"Na!"
"Ru!"
"To!"
"Uzumaki Barrage Version 2!!" The clones as well as the real Naruto all came down at Sasuke, attempting to punch him, but Sasuke soon enough twisted, slapping Naruto and the clones away effortlessly, dispersing the clones as the real Naruto slammed into the ground, groaning. Sasuke landed down, and scoffed. "So, you wish to stick up for him? I thought you were better than this too, Naruto."
 
Groaning as he stood up, Naruto began to pant. "Dammit, Sasuke, I'm not in the mood to indulge you right now!"
"You know if you wanted to stop me, you should have killed me..." Sasuke replied, crossing his arms. "Or is it that pitiful feeling of seeing me as a brother that has you refusing to do so, hmm?"
 
Panting, Naruto spoke up. "You still don't get it, do you? You're just being used!"
 
"And I told you before, I don't care. I'll stop anyone who gets in my way. Besides, you can't beat me as you are now. Look at me, Naruto. Can't you see how much power I have? I have my Sharingan at its' maximum potential... and this Curse Mark Orochimaru gave me. In other words, as I said, you won't be able to land a blow on me, let alone defeat me. And I was always better than you before this, so I am even more beyond your level. Even with your special power. Now... let's see what this power of yours is." Smirking as if nothing could defy him, Sasuke glanced at Naruto, who cried out, soon disappearing into something... massive.
 
Naruto looked about, seeing the chamber of golden light, with a massive cage and a seal sticker on the cage door. Sasuke landed down as well, his wings spread out as he looked about. "Well, well... what is this?"
 
"H-how....?!" Suddenly, Naruto looked about as two glowing red eyes appeared.
 
"Well, well... Naruto... I'm curious... who do you want me to kill? Just ask and I can give you all the power you need..." Glancing about, the red eyes turned and chuckled. "Well, well... someone else to join us... how did you get in here, worm?"
 
"Worm, eh?" Looking up, Sasuke chuckled, his Sharingan showing most prominently. "I never would have imagined this beast would be in your body, Naruto... so that explains your power... all this time, it was THIS."
"Those eyes. You bear much of a resembalance to HIM. To someone I hate just as much as the Fourth Hokage and this insolent brat... and your chakra... it is just as bitter, just as reviled if not more so than mine. You... are indeed an Uchiha."
 
Closing his eyes and smirking, Sasuke turned to the cage. "And you are nothing more than a caged animal now, aren't you, Nine-Tailed Fox?"
 
"Huh!? How do you know the fox?!"
 
"Family secret, Naruto." Holding his hand out, Sasuke blasted Naruto backward. In spite of this just being a Genjutsu, he was still out of control. He hit the water and groaned. "I know a lot about you..."
 
"Oh, really? So you must be aware you remind me a lot of Madara Uchiha..."
 
"Hmph. Why should I care about some ancient name?"
 
"You would be wise to not attempt to kill Naruto, boy. You will regret it most definitely. Naruto... it seems you need my help. Here... a 'gift'." Suddenly, red chakra crossed the water around Naruto, who slowly turned, then began to growl in pain as he screamed out, the fox's chakra consuming him as it shattered the scenery around them, as Naruto groaned in the real world, the red chakra wrapping and taking form, as he crouched down on all fours and shot a glare at Sasuke.
 
"Hmph. Even with your true power, you can't win. I told you before... I am much more special than you are." Before Sasuke could use his own impressive speed, Naruto was up in front of him, the crimson chakra forming slowly into a second tail, before he pulled back and slapped Sasuke hard, sending him across the night sky before he leapt up and kicked Sasuke far away, slamming him into the ground. Slowly, the second tail faded, as did the fox's power, with Naruto now landing near Sasuke, panting hard, Sasuke standing up, his Curse Mark reverting to normal as he began to bear his teeth.
 
Looking on in shock, Sakura gasped, her hands over her mouth. "N-Naruto... Sasuke... what is...?"
 
"I don't get how an inferior loser like you can tap into such power!" Sasuke grunted, waving his arm across the air.
"Hey, I worked hard, and I don't need the stupid fox's power all the time, Sasuke! Just 'cuz you got your heritage doesn't mean you are invincible!" Naruto replied, clenching his hands.
"You should realize that I said it before so I'll refresh your memory! You are a complete embarassment!"
"Pfft! If I'm such an embarassment, how'd I beat you!?"
 
Stepping forward, Sakura shook, her fists clenched as Sasuke blinked, then turned around, grinning maliciously.
'He...' Slowly turning, Naruto saw Sakura, who stood in total shock, tears down her eyes. 'Aw, no...'
 
"Why are you two doing this? Sasuke, what did Naruto deserve for you to go so far!?"
 
Sasuke remained silent, then smirked. "Sakura. Well, with you here, I do owe you a good deal for what you did."
 
"Wh-what I did?"
 
"Yes. You interfered in an affair that didn't involve you... someone like you who is worse than the idiot over there is. Now... I will cleanse all worthless bonds I have." Before she knew it, Sakura had Sasuke moving in at her, as Naruto moved as fast as he could. But knowing he could never catch up to Sasuke's speed, he formed a Shadow Clone, having it hurl him forward. Slowly, Sasuke pulled his hand back, Sakura unable to do anything, paralyzed in fear at what she was seeing from Sasuke... such rage at her... in spite of how she knew all about Sasuke's hatred, she never once saw him turn it on her, as he chuckled, chakra crackling around his hand, but before he could impale Sakura with the Chidori, Naruto appeared and cried out, taking it right in the left shoulder, moving just enough that it impacted where the last time he was impaled had landed, as Sakura gasped, Sasuke glaring.
 
"Damn you. But somehow I knew you would do that... all because you care."
Coughing up blood, Naruto gripped Sasuke's arm, tightening his grip as he shot a glare at Sasuke. "And I will NEVER stop protecting those I care about, Sasuke!! Even if I have to fight those I care about to do it!! Sakura... has nothing to do with our fight!"
 
"I don't care. You will die, and then, I will finally have the power I need."
 
Naruto gritted his teeth then spat blood on Sasuke's cheek, while Sakura stood still in shock at the sight she was witnessing. "You don't care? All we fought for as a team... all we achieved... you want to throw it away to have something petty like revenge!?"
 
"You don't understand."
 
"Yeah, I do! I understand that as you are now, Sasuke, you're no better than your brother!!" Pulling his head back, Naruto screamed out and slammed his head hard against Sasuke, forcing Sasuke to pull his arm out of his wound forcibly, Naruto flying forward as Sasuke flew backwards, slamming onto the pavement as Naruto hit the pavement, grinning before passing out from exhaustion. Sakura gasped, then dropped down to her knees, confused as to why this all happened. Tearing up, she hung her head in sadness, thinking back to what Kakashi had told her on the hospital roof after he had stopped the boys from battling once more.
 
'Sakura. It'll be alright. Don't you worry, we'll soon have them back to their old selves.'
 
"It isn't alright, Kakashi-sensei! How is THIS the same!? IT WAS JUST A LIE, WASN'T IT!? And I... I couldn't..." Crying, Sakura covered her eyes, unable to bear the pain anymore, especially due to the fact she couldn't do anything else.
 
Hours pass, as the ANBU along with Tsunade showed up, having taken Naruto and Sasuke into custody temporarily. Sighing to herself as she read the report, Tsunade closed her eyes. "What in the world is this all coming to?... Why would it go so far?"
 
"You can blame Itachi, Tsunade. He is the one who led Sasuke down the path he is on. Naruto is just as much at fault for retaliating like he did." Kakashi said, his hands in his pockets. "I said everything would be the same to Sakura, but now... I wonder if it is even true anymore."
 
"It isn't your fault if that's what you mean, Kakashi. And it isn't Naruto or Sasuke's fault either. Trust me... even if they are like Jiraiya and Orochimaru, things with those two never went this far. And words can't resolve this situation. Not when it seems that feelings of pride and inferiority are involved more than revenge itself." Tsunade sighed, crossing her arms as she rubbed the temple of her nose. "All I say is right now, we suspend both of them... in fact, your whole team will be prohibited for missions in the meantime. And you yourself will be pulling more missions than before to compensate for disobeying my orders. Right now... this is the only option I can condone... at least til a permanent decision is made."
 
"Yes, ma'am." Kakashi sighed, but closed his eyes, as he turned and waved. "I have elsewhere to be right now, but I'll report as soon as possible." With that said, Kakashi disappeared. Sakura, who still looked confused, looked up at Tsunade, then became serious. "Lady Tsunade! Can I ask you something?"
 
"Hmm? What is it, Ms. Haruno? If possible, can it...?"
 
"It can't wait! Please, I need to ask a large favor of you." Dropping to one knee, Sakura then lowered her head in respect, before glancing up at Tsunade. "Please, will you make me your apprentice? I want to become stronger... and you are the only one I know who can help me. Please..." Tears slowly began to drop down Sakura's cheeks. Looking on at the young girl before her, Tsunade smiled then placed a hand on Sakura's shoulder.
 
"I can tell you are indeed troubled, Sakura... but you have something about you that is great. So, as for taking you as my apprentice, you have this request answered. I have heard a good deal from Kakashi that you are indeed quite intelligent and with an undying spirit. But so you know..." Winking, Tsunade smiled. "I won't go easy on you!"
 
"I know, Lady Tsunade." Sakura replied as she lifted her head up, then wiped her tears away. 'But I have to get a lot stronger... then maybe I can protect those two... so that I don't have to see them do this to themselves anymore...' Exhaling after gathering her thoughts, Sakura smiled. "I'll do whatever it takes to be your apprentice!"
 
Sakura now had her own battle, as did Naruto and Sasuke... with all that had happened to them all... it seems that a new battle awaited them. And what lay ahead this new road would be full of hardship, but it may also bear joy... for in sadness, can exist happiness in the most unlikely forms...
 
-To Be Continued...-
 
Had to divide the prologue for Demon Within in two since it was so long. Anyhoo, enjoy!! :D


#3 Bryon_Konoha_Ninja

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 08:37 PM

Episode 001: Naruto's Vow! To Protect Everything!!
 
In the Leaf Village hospital, Naruto Uzumaki was once again recovering, this time, from injuries he sustained battling a berserk Sasuke Uchiha. However... he was BORED. Not because of being back in the hospital again, but because he had nothing to do! Groaning in his frustration, Naruto began to do some sit-ups, grunting as he did, knowing he had to try to get stronger. 'Gotta heal up, then get stronger... only way I'm gonna be able to protect anyone!' Grunting as he did, Naruto then groaned, his arms around his stomach. 
 
He panted, feeling some pain from his injuries, but knew he had to keep going. Before he could get back to his sit-ups, he heard a loud thud near his bedside window, and opened it up to look outside. When he gazed outside, he saw a large red and orange toad standing on the front entrance to the hospital with a man on its head. A man Naruto had known well. "Huh?! Pervy Sage?!"
 
The elder on top of the toad's head a red haori jacket on, white hair that was long and tied into a ponytail, an olive green singular suit, as well as red geta sandals. This was Jiraiya, the Toad Sage, and one of the Sannin along with Tsunade and Orochimaru. Naruto also had known him to be a teacher of sorts, learning the Rasengan as well as the Summoning Jutsu from Jiraiya. Looking to Naruto, Jiraiya smiled and said "Hey there.", before he came to sit at the window.
 
"What I got to tell you is important, and it can't wait. From now on, Naruto, I want to officially make you my apprentice. I need to help you become a full-fledged shinobi in three years, and I'm driven to do it."
 
"Why?" Asked Naruto. "Did something happen?"
 
"Yeah. I got some information--- regarding the Akatsuki."
 
'Akatsuki...' Thinking about that, Naruto remembered Sasuke's brother Itachi and his partner Kisame Hoshigaki, and how they had been after him because of his having the Nine-Tailed Fox sealed within him.
 
"I've received information that they decided to make you their next target. Given what I heard, it will take them at least three or four years before they come for you. That's why I have wanted to get you stronger just in case." Said Jiraiya.
 
"Three years... Like I give a damn!" Replied Naruto. "I need to get stronger RIGHT NOW! I'm no good as I am!"
 
"Huh?" Jiraiya could only blink at hearing Naruto say this.
 
"..." Looking at his hands, Naruto sighed. "I managed to keep my promise to Sakura, but Sasuke still isn't fully back yet. The way I am now, the current me wouldn't stand a chance in Hell of protecting them or anyone else. How can a guy like me hope to be Hokage if I can't even protect my friends?!"
 
Hearing this, Jiraiya got very serious, then turned to Naruto. "Let me ask you something, Naruto. And I am going to be very serious here. Do you TRULY see Sasuke as your friend? Even after all he's done to you?"
 
Nodding, Naruto then spoke up. "Of course! He's like me... he knows how painful it is to be alone. But he's chosen to just keep hurting people who love him and want to help him because he's afraid. He's like me, but he's different from me because even if I was alone, I chose to do what i could so I could have people acknowledge the fact I live, to make me feel validated in my existence."
 
"Even so, you run a damn large risk to be willing to stand up for him! He's dangerous. He's more and more like Orochimaru than I could have hoped to imagine. It's suicide for a shinobi to think that way!"
 
"Not to me! Even if Sasuke means nothing to you, he still is a friend to me!"
 
Hearing that, Jiraiya glared at Naruto and spoke up. "Someone who nearly kills you!? Someone who would do THIS to you!? Is that what you call a friend?!"
 
"This... this was just..." Naruto said, looking down, causing Jiraiya to glare at him before he crossed his arms and started to speak again.
 
"You should realize that even if you were to try to do anything for Sasuke, it would fail. I know from my own experiences, Naruto. And besides, you are in a difficult spot because of you having the Nine-Tailed Fox sealed within you, and that's exactly what the Akatsuki are after. Eventually, you will face far worse enemies than any you can imagine. Dismissing your 'friend' is the best step for you to prepare yourself for such challenges. To be a good shinobi, you don't need strength alone. You need the wisdom necessary to make good decisions. The longer you remain a fool, the harder it will be for you to live in this world." Jiraiya then looks out at the setting sun.
 
'And I will not let you bear that same kind of pain I have had to bear when I failed a friend.'
 
"I get it. But if that's what being smart is, then I'm happy just being foolish for the rest of my life." Said Naruto, a very stern look on his face. "YOU may have given up, Pervy Sage, but I'm not gonna do it! I've already made a vow to myself after what happened last night; even if Sasuke tries to kill me, I won't give up on helping him." Getting out of bed, Naruto looked at Jiraiya, as Jiraiya was surprised to hear what he said. Even if he was hurt, Naruto juist grinned, his arms at his sides.
 
"And if I gotta do it alone, I will. I'm making a pledge here and now!! That pledge is simple... I will protect EVERYONE who's important to me!! I'll come up with amazing new Jutsu, and get strong enough so no one else will ever slip away from me again, and I'll also help Sasuke back to the light! If he truly was as bad as you think he is, why aren't I dead? It isn't just luck, it's something more, and I'm gonna find that light and pull him back to it, even if it kills me!!" Panting now, Naruto's hands were tightened, as Jiraiya still looked in surprise, and remembered something. It was about 16 years ago... Jiraiya had been visitng his apprentice, Minato Namikaze and his wife Kushina, sharing with Minato his book, "Tales of a Gutsy Ninja", wanting to see what his student thought of his work.
 
'Every chapter reads like one of the numerous legendary exploits you told me about! It's like it's almost autobiographical.'
 
Jiraiya looked rather embarrassed at that, then rubbed the back of his head for a moment, grinning as he did. 'Yeeaaah, but it didn't sell well. For my next one, I think I'll add some spicy elements to pep it up.'
 
'The main character in here... I thought that his determination to never give up was pretty awesome. He's exactly quite a lot like you, Sensei.' Said Minato, a warm smile over his face, showing expressively with his blonde hair and blue eyes.
 
'Yeah? You really think so?' Replied Jiraiya, rubbing the back of his head.
 
'So, I was thinking... I really hope my soon-to-be-born child can become an amazing shinobi just like in the main character in your book! So that's why I'd like to ask you for your permission to name my son after him.'
 
'You-- what!? Are you sure about this, Minato?! I mean, I randomly came up with it while eating ramen!" Said Jiraiya, confused by this.
 
Soon, a feminine voice came out, with Kushina, Minato's wife, Naruto's mother, stepping behind Minato as she smiled, her long red hair flowing as her light grey eyes shimmered with joy at what Minato had suggested. 'Naruto... I think it's a wonderful name.' After which, she smiled, her cheeks a tinge of red with joy.
 
In the present, Jiraiya stood up, sighing. 'Minato... Kushina... you were right. He really is like the main character in Tales of a Gutsy Ninja. More so than I am, at least...' Seeing Jiraiya stand up and step out the window, Naruto looked confused. "Pervy Sage, is something wrong?"
 
"Just... was thinking about the past." Soon, Jiraiya hopped onto his toad, and exhaled. "This is more than foolish. It's so colossally foolish, that it may actually work. We got a lot of work to do when you get out of the hospital, so get ready to hit the ground runnin'! See you then." And all Jiraiya had was a smile on his face, as Naruto grinned, and flexed his arm saying "YOU GOT IT!!!"
 
Destiny had a funny way of coming full circle... even if it didn't seem like it would mean so much to see this side of Naruto, Jiraiya was happy, since seeing Naruto's refusal to give up, even on a friend who would wish him dead, was just as the main character Naruto in "Tales of a Gutsy Ninja" would be like. And thus, for Jiraiya, he knew, he had much work ahead of him if he wanted to live up to the expectations he knew Minato and Kushina had in their son. As well as to learn from Naruto's example, as a teacher would need to carry on the will of their students just as much as the other way around.
 
-To Be Continued...-

Edited by Bryon_Konoha_Ninja, 26 November 2014 - 12:27 AM.


#4 Paul Blowfish

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 05:44 AM

I only have time at the moment to get through the prologue, but thus far, good job! I think you might have pasted the prologue twice. xD One thing I would critique, if I may, is that, I felt as I was reading the parts that I knew from the manga, honestly, I was sorta skimming through the words in those particular paragraphs. I understand it was only the prologue, but just something maybe to keep in mind in the future. I'll get to the other chapters when I get the chance. Good job and luck! :D
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#5 Bryon_Konoha_Ninja

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 06:17 AM

I only have time at the moment to get through the prologue, but thus far, good job! I think you might have pasted the prologue twice. xD One thing I would critique, if I may, is that, I felt as I was reading the parts that I knew from the manga, honestly, I was sorta skimming through the words in those particular paragraphs. I understand it was only the prologue, but just something maybe to keep in mind in the future. I'll get to the other chapters when I get the chance. Good job and luck! :D

 

Thanks, Kirsten. :) My goal really was to try to figure out how to best do it, and I haven't done something this big in a long time, so it's gonna take some time for me to try to figure out how to get it all squared away neatly. :happy: Besides, I just need to try to figure out what i need to do with structure and paragraphs and the like.



#6 Paul Blowfish

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:24 AM

Okay, so for the second part of the prologue, it was VERY well written. Characters weren't OOC, it wasn't rushed, didn't miss a beat. Well, except for this one part (maybe it's just me, I process some things really peculiarly) Sasuke's "presence", Gaara, then Sasuke and Naruto showdown. Two little minor details that bug me, is that A) writing 'okay' as 'OK' and B) when there is dialogue between two people like so:

"Naruto is speaking"

"Sasuke is speaking"

Is that with certain parts, there isn't that spacing like the example above. Other than those things, awesome job! Good luck! :D
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#7 Bryon_Konoha_Ninja

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 06:18 AM

I think I get what you are saying, Kirsten, so I have a lot to consider. :) Thanks for the tips!



#8 Bryon_Konoha_Ninja

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 07:52 PM

Episode 002: A Deal with the Devil - Enter Danzo
 
The makeshift prison hidden deep in the Hidden Leaf Village, designed for only one person; Sasuke Uchiha. It wasn't meant to keep him imprisoned so to speak... but rather to keep him from being too reckless. However, in his "cell", in his black garbs, Sasuke was sitting, focusing himself. Since the Forest of Death, since he was bitten by Orochimaru and branded by his Curse Mark, Sasuke has begun to awaken more and more of its power, as well as the full extent of his Sharingan thanks to his battle with Naruto. As black and purple chakra flowed around him, black marks like the blazes of a fire formed on his skin.
 
'Not enough. It still isn't enough. Even as powerful as I am now, it still isn't enough to do what has to be done. I need to remove these damned shackles placed on me... I need to gain the power of the Mangekyo Sharingan. I need to get my revenge on Itachi.' Thought Sasuke, as he opened his eyes, his Sharingan active, with its three tomoe commas in the inner circle of his iris. 'Until then, nothing else matters.'
 
The silence of Sasuke's cell was soon broken by the "TACK" of wood on the cold concrete floor. Opening his eyes, and dispelling his Curse Mark, Sasuke turned around slowly. Standing before him now, on the opposite side of his cell, beyond the seal markings made to keep him locked in, was a man in his 70's, who had a wooden cane in his left hand, with an x-shaped scar across his chin, as well as having his right eye bandaged. He had a white kimono, which was underneath a black robe with a purple sash around the waist, his only visible eye being narrowed. Sasuke glared at this man then spoke up. "Alright, I'll bite. Who the hell are you, and what do you want?"
 
"Such insolence. But I suppose that was to be expected... it's a shame our Hokage has only locked you up like this. As for who I am... my name is Danzo. Danzo Shimura. I am the leader of a special group here in the Leaf Village, operating in the shadows... the Foundation that supports the great tree of the Leaf. And I am well aware of you, Sasuke Uchiha. Your clan is... very unique in this village's history."
 
Crossing his arms, Sasuke scoffed. "So? I should be interested... why?"
 
Hearing the tone of Sasuke's voice, Danzo scoffed. "I have come here, at the request of Homura Mitokado and Koharu Utatane, to make you a most desirable proposal that could benefit you, Sasuke."
 
"What do you mean?"
 
Chuckling, Danzo opened his eye, showing his brown eye before he spoke. "The idea to let you have some mobility. The suggestion came from Lady Tsunade herself, so you know I am telling you the truth. She has... offered to let you aid the Foundation in actions to support the Hidden Leaf Village. You would be freed from this cell, allowed mobility, but you would still be monitored, given your recent actions to try to go to Orochimaru's side after his promises of power to you. You must understand, this is the best option for you to be able to do anything, lest you remain locked up."
 
"Or...?" Asked Sasuke. "There's something else to the being locked up part. And why me? I can tell from your voice you have some resent toward me."
 
"Not toward you, but the actions of the past." Replied Danzo, tapping his cane. "After all, the fact your brother wiped out your entire clan is one thing. Besides, freedom is something you would need. And the tasks you take on could allow you to prepare yourself for the day you face your brother once again."
 
Thinking about this, Sasuke knew his options now were fewer and inbetween. If he didn't do something, he'd never be able to face Itachi and kill him... Letting out a sigh, Sasuke looked at Danzo. "You expect me to easily follow orders, I necessarily will not do so... but if I can, I can at least allow myself SOME mobility. So why me and not someone else?"
 
"Let us just say yours is a special case." Replied Danzo. "Lady Tsunade would not allow us to deal with you in our traditional matters, as a special request to the Jinchuriki of the Nine-Tailed Fox as well as her new apprentice." Scoffing, Danzo looked to Sasuke, then spoke again, his words having some nuance to them. "The fact of these cases are why yours is a unique case, young Uchiha. You also have a means to make up for the sins of your brother for what he did to your clan... and perhaps walk with a clear conscience. The decision you make can very well set your future... considering it is unwritten now due to your letting yourself being seduced by a threat like Orochimaru."
 
"At least I wouldn't feel held down." Replied Sasuke. Danzo scoffed, before he spoke up once more. "Such arrogance. I am amazed you have survived as long as you have... even with what kind of deals with the devil you had been attempting with Orochimaru.
 
Crossing his arms, Sasuke triggered his Sharingan, then began to speak again. "Arrogance? I can tell you're quite arrogant yourself, Danzo."
 
"Are you tempting to intimidate me?" Danzo kept his gaze on Sasuke, almost focused like a laser, whose target was the young man before him, as he came up to the barrier, with Sasuke doing the same.
 
"Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. Either way, I am NOT fascinated in your deal, regardless of what it does for me. Autonomy withstanding, I don't give a damn to be someone's tool." As soon as he was done speaking, Sasuke punched at the barrier separating him and Danzo, showing no fear, only anger. "Especially for someone who obviously has something else in mind for me... I am not blind to see that I am just a tool for you to use for some reason. Now if you are done..." Stepping back without turning around, Sasuke then headed off, kneeling down as he began to close his eyes, meditating. Glaring at him, Danzo walked away from the barrier, heading into the next room. 
 
As he walked off, Danzo soon came to a clearing, where two men with masks similar to canines with no expressions and tan-colored cloaks draped over their bodies appeared. Looking at them, Danzo spoke. "Torune. Foo. Did anyone see you?"
 
"No, Lord Danzo. I take it your 'meeting' with the Uchiha brat didn't go well?" Replied one with a black mark on the crown of his mask.
 
"It did not. But I am sure I will persuade him to aid the Foundation itself, Torune."
 
The second masked man, Foo, walked with Danzo and Torune, before he spoke up. "I do not understand, sir. Why not just use Kotoamatsukami on Uchiha to get him to do what you wish?"
 
"Even if I tried, Foo, he may be aware of what I am doing. Regardless of who he is, Sasuke Uchiha still has impressive skill for his abilities. He is not on par with Itachi, and if I used Kotoamatsukami, it would not be fitting to my goals. After all, we must make his actions appear voluntary so that Itachi will not have any involvement. His return to the Leaf under the guys of his work with the Akatsuki.... it was troubling, but it told me at least that he is still dead serious about his threat to expose the Leaf's secrets if I did something to Sasuke." Said Danzo, looking upset. "He was smart enough to do what he did just as Hiruzen died, since I suspect he KNEW I would go out of my way to ensure Sasuke would perish so that the problem of the Uchiha clan would fade away."
 
"What's your next order, Lord Danzo?"
 
"Keep an eye on the Nine-Tails' Jinchuriki. I have heard that Jiraiya is planning to train him. I do not know whether that means he will depart or not. Torune, I leave that to you. Foo, I have another assignment for you to start on... one that will surely lead Sasuke to be the tool the Foundation needs."
 
Even if their masks hid their expressions as per training by the Foundation, Torune and Foo both smiled softly, then nodded, before speaking simultaneously at their leader's orders. "Yes, Lord Danzo." And after that, the duo disappeared, as Danzo walked off, smiling. 'Everything is falling into place. If Sasuke dies once he accepts my offer, his Sharingan will be mine, and then I will no longer need to worry about Itachi holding the village hostage using his brother as a bargaining chip. Of course... there is no need for Sasuke to EVER know the truth about what his brother chose to do...'
 
After his internal monologue, Danzo walked off, chuckling darkly. Even as he was, Danzo believed that a ninja's true duty was to protect the peace from the shadows, even if his agendas were quite twisted deep down in his heart. He knew to be able to ensure peace, he would have to do things that would go against what the Will of Fire speaks of, but if it meant protecting the Leaf, Danzo knew he'd become evil itself to protect the Leaf.
 
-To be Continued...-


#9 Bryon_Konoha_Ninja

Bryon_Konoha_Ninja

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 02:24 AM

I want everyone to know that I am working on the story, and I am planning to post it when I get the chance. :) I have gotten a new computer, so that may be one reason I've been slow too!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Naruto, fanfic, NaruSaku, AU

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