Hey guys, I'm feeling pretty pumped about this chapter, I hope you all like it.
Also, just wanted to thank you all for my 100th review! You guys are seriously awesome. No, really. I mean it. Thank you.
Good old teenage angst, ya gotta love it.
Gaara latched onto the orange blur with a tendril of sand. He squeezed for a moment, before it became a log in a puff of smoke. Behind him, the sand shield rose to defend against the orange-red chakra, and Gaara injected a spike of sand directly through the chakra into the one beneath.
They disappeared in a puff of smoke, and Gaara was left dissatisfied by the lack of blood from that particular victim. When Gaara turned to continue looking for victims, he was faced with four more glowing orange enemies exactly the same as the one before.
Gaara folded his arms and the sand around him billowed. He grumbled, "What is this supposed to be?"
None of the glowing ninja responded, but one of them launched directly at Gaara.
Ryuto clawed at the fingers around his neck, but they wouldn't budge. He couldn't breath. The darkness was closing in on the edge of his vision, and in a desperate attempt to free himself Ryuto struck out with his fist.
The punch hit Naruto in the face, but he only gripped harder.
Ryuto shook his body to try to shake lose those iron fingers. He was able to choke out, "GeT oFf Of Me." He swung his arms and kicked his legs, but it only spent the precious little air he had left.
As Ryuto's strength left him, and he fought to keep his bloodshot eyes open, he was overcome with despair. He thought, If this is the end of me, I don't want my last moments to be a hopeless struggle!
So, as Ryuto stopped struggling against Naruto, he let his arms fall away to the side and flexed his lips into a smile. Whith the last of his breath, Ryuto said, "Thank you..."
Naruto blinked, and his fingers loosened in surprise, "What-?" Then his face creased in anger and he punched Ryuto in the face. As Ryuto coughed on the floor, Naruto said, "What do you think you're saying?" He kicked Ryuto across the room into one of the iron walls, "I didn't ask for your thanks, I don't want it!" As Ryuto bounced off of the wall, Naruto grabbed his head and slammed it back into the wall, "I want you to die!" He pounded Ryuto with one hand and used the other to hold him up, "I'm killing you so I can be free!" Despite the beating, Ryuto was still smiling, "Be angry!" He grabbed Ryuto by the hair and slammed him in the head with his knee, "Be scared!" Naruto flipped Ryuto onto his shoulder and fell backwards onto Ryuto's face, "You should hate me!"
It took a moment for Naruto to catch his breath.
Ryuto staggered back to his feet, face red from his own blood, and that serene smile was still on his face, "I don't hate you," A little laugh escaped him and he swayed on his feet, "I'm actually happy for you. You're me, right? So that means I get to be free too."
Naruto stood there as Ryuto collapsed.
The Kyuubi eyed Naruto when he didn't immediately move to finish off his counterpart, "What's wrong?"
"You can think as much as you want later, hurry up and finish him so we can be free."
Naruto stared at Ryuto's form for a moment, "Something doesn't feel right." Then he shook his head, "No..." Naruto clutched his head and shouted, "This is all wrong!"
The Kyuubi snarled, "The only thing wrong with you right now is that you haven't erased that sniveling pile of weakness yet."
Naruto shook as pain pierced through his head, "No, I won't."
"Care to say that again?"
"Agh!" The pain intensified, and Naruto collapsed to his knees, "No! I won't kill myself!" Naruto shut his eyes tightly, "I refuse!"
"Ha~?" The Kyuubi tilted its head and sneered, "I've waited too long for this, you can't back out now." The Kyuubi's eyes glowed, and he spoke with absolute authority, "You will kill him."
Naruto froze, then he stood up slowly and took a slow step toward Ryuto's collapsed body. He spoke in a sedated monotone, "I will kill him."
Naruto's eyes matched the glow of the Kyuubi's eyes.
Amid the carnage and violence of the multiple jonin and ANBU who were fighting off his shadow clones, Naruto stood silently, eyes blank, wreathed in glowing red chakra.
Kakashi stole a glance at him as he dodged one of the clones attacks. Behind Naruto, a portion of of the deadly red chakra was waving behind him in a long tumorous clump. The color drained from his face and the words escaped before he could stop himself, "The first tail..."
"What!" Anko yelled as she substituted just before she was struck with a fatal blow, "This little shit is getting stronger?!" She dodged another blow, "Just these clones are trouble! We can't touch them, they're protected from anything we can do with that wretched chakra around them, and they're fast as fuck!" Anko ducked behind a tree, but substituted anyway when a clone tore straight through it, "It's bullshit! I call hax!"
"Goddamnit!" An ANBU yelled, "Where did this guy even come from? Which village trained their jinchuriki to be an infiltration specialist and why didn't we think of it first?!"
Another ANBU called out, "What even happened to our jinchuriki?" Then he was struck in the face with a glowing red orange foot.
Kakashi turned his attention back to the clone chasing him. His hand was already shriveled and blackened, he didn't want his head melted like that poor guy.
Ryuto watched in horror as Naruto took step after jerky step toward him. He struggled to get up, but his body wouldn't respond. As Naruto took his final step, Ryuto managed to lift his head enough to see the Kyuubi leering over Naruto's shoulder.
Ryuto's eyes widened.
Naruto's knife hand rocketed forward, toward Ryuto's chest.
Ryuto was standing with Naruto's wrist in his hand.
"How is this possible? You could barely move! How are you still standing?!"
Ryuto didn't respond, but silent tears were rolling down his face.
The Kyuubi looked at Ryuto, "What are you waiting for?! Attack!"
Naruto's attacks were jerky, like his walk, but way too fast for Ryuto to dodge normally. Still, the Kyuubi watched in astonishment as Ryuto was somehow able to dodge all of them. Even as Naruto's attacks grew faster and faster, Ryuto dodged them by the same distance.
Gaara finished off the third of the clones with his sand and turned toward the last one facing him. None of them had been able to reach him, but they were getting progressively closer. Gaara'd had to rely on the sand to catch himself midair when the second clone somehow switched with him after jumping a few hundred feet into the air.
Gaara watched as the last clone grew some kind of tail out of it's orange chakra. It crouched onto all fours and Gaara spread out his hands. When the clone charged Gaara raised his hands and sand burst out of the ground to catch it.
A hand landed on Gaara's shoulder, and he jerked away. As a reaction a spike of sand extended from the sand armour, but the hand was already gone. That part of the sand armour crumpled away when Gaara moved his arm, and he quickly covered it with more sand.
He felt the clone touch down on the ground and willed the sand he'd ground the bedrock into to attack from underneath. Then he felt the clone touch down somewhere else and tried to catch it again. Suddenly it was in front of him, and Gaara's sand leapt to his defense, but the clone had already slammed into him and tore off more of his sand armor.
The clone was too fast for Gaara's sand to catch, but he continued to bring up the sand he'd made underground.
After a few passes tearing off Gaara's armor, the clone skewered itself on a spike of sand that materialized right in front of it.
Gaara watched the smoke dissipate before he turned and walked off mumbling, "Blood. Mother, you will have your blood."
Sweat stung Kakashi's eye as he fought not to lose sight of Naruto. There wasn't anything he could do for the boy, but he'd be damned if he just abandoned another teammate. Not after... Well, Kakashi didn't have time to think about that. So far he'd been able to out pace the clones on his own, but it had stopped chasing him for a moment.
Actually, when Kakashi looked around he noticed that all of the clones had stopped. He checked on where the original Naruto was standing, and could only watch as a second tail joined the first. Kakashi looked around again, and found that all of the clones had sprouted their first tails.
"Kakashi, my eternal rival! This was for you!" Guy was standing, surrounded by his own dark blue aura with his hands contorted into a weird hand sign. Kakashi's eye widened, but before he could do anything Guy shouted, "Hirudora!"
There was a flash of blue and a deafening roar. Part of the forest of death was gone, as well part of the forest behind it.
"Gah!" Blood sprayed out of Guy's mouth and he collapsed on the branch he'd anchored himself to, clutching at his side. That part of his jumpsuit was dark and wet.
Kakashi could only stare at the tree where Naruto had been standing. There just wasn't anything left. It had been dead center of the attack, and Naruto hadn't moved since he'd summoned those clones. Kakashi didn't know what he'd been thinking, what could he even do once Naruto had gone crazy? How could he save a boy who was tearing through jonin and ANBU like rice paper? Of course they would do whatever they could to kill him. They didn't know that was his student. They didn't know that was his sensei's son. They didn't know that was their villages jinchuriki. They just didn't know.
"What was that just now?"
Kakashi looked up and thought, 'Huh, there's Jiraiya. What's he doing here?'
One of the ANBU pointed at Guy, "He blew him away."
Jiraiya spared Guy an unreadable look, "What?"
Kakashi barely mustered the effort to speak, "Guy used the fucking Hirudora."
Jiraiya's eyes widened, "That's what that was?!" And it connected?"
Kakashi's eyes widened. He'd been looking at Guy with his sharingan so there was a chance that he'd missed something. There was hope that Naruto wasn't dead.
A terrible sound echoed through the forest, drawing Kakashi and Jiraiya's attention. There was Naruto, with two tails waving around behind him and his fingers set in the hand sign to summon more shadow clones. Behind that Naruto was another Naruto, who stood still with a blank expression, with three tails waving lazilly through the air behind him.
Guy's face slacked, "But how? I was in his blind spot and had masked my presence until I struck."
"He's some kind of substitution specialist," Kakashi said, "Is it really that much of a stretch to imagine one of his clones pulling off the same maneuver to bail out it's creator?"
Guy grunted as Kakashi held him up, "That's so unfair." Guy tried to clench his fist, but flinched in pain. He was still able to say, "Once this is over, I swear I will do 200,000 one finger pullups from the nose cavity of The First on the Hokage monument, and if I can't do that-!"
Jiraiya raised an eyebrow at the taijutsu master, before turning to face the boy and his clone. He said, "Neither of you are in any condition to keep fighting, spread the word to retreat and form a perimeter around the forest. I'm going to handle things here."
Kakashi looked at Jiraiya, "That boy, he's-"
Jiraiya cut Kakashi off with a nod, "I know."
"...Alright. It's up to you, Jiraiya. Guy, let's go."
Kakashi and Guy leapt away together as Jiraiya made to launch himself forward. Then the world was suddenly bright orange.
As Ryuto dodged Naruto's puppet-like attacks with tears still streaming down his face, he said, "I feel sorry for you, trapped as you are with no way out." Naruto's expression didn't change, and his attacks didn't let up. Ryuto continued, "I feel sorry for our team, who I disregarded at every corner. I feel sorry for those we spied on, who never knew they'd been stolen from. I am sorry that you ever felt you needed me, as you hid your true self from the world. I am sorry for being born, for we would not be here if it weren't for me." Ryuto hooked his foot around Naruto's knee and pushed his shoulder, sending Naruto rolling away.
"This should be impossible! You were nearly dead, where is this power coming from?!"
As Ryuto stepped up to Naruto and held him up by his collar, he began to glow. A soft blue light that contrasted against the harsh orange that permeated the huge iron room, suffused against it and flowed through Naruto's body before fading away.
"What have you done?"
Ryuto was suddenly out of breath, and dropped Naruto on the floor. He glared up at the Kyuubi, "Like you said, I draw strength from negative emotions. I'm just so full of self loathing right now, I was able to free him of your influence." Ryuto's knees buckled and he fell back to the floor.
The Kyuubi snarled, "A human overpowering me with their silly emotions?! Impossible! I refuse to accept it!"
Naruto sat up, "Wha-?" He blinked and looked up at the Kyuubi. Then he hopped up and pointed, "You, you were trying to control me!"
The Kyuubi snarled again and slammed a tail against the bars of the cage, "Don't kid yourself. You obeyed me of your own volition. You obeyed because you knew you were too weak to do anything on your own. You thought you were going to be free? You thought that by killing that one you would make yourself stronger? You did what I wanted you to do because you needed someone to give you the strength to see this through to the end! I only needed one of you to die so that you would be weakened enough for me to tear my way out of this seal, killing you in the process!"
"So you were just using me?" Naruto glared up at the Kyuubi, "Well you can bet that now that I know your plan that I won't just let it happen!"
The Kyuubi laughed, "You think I told you that because I gave up? Why don't you check how your better half is doing?"
Dread. Naruto turned, and there was Ryuto, on the ground, weezing. Immediately, Naruto was by his side, "No! You can't die yet!"
Ryuto could only whisper, "I'm so-sorry..." Then his eyes closed and he slumped in Naruto's arms.
The Kyuubi threw back it's head and howled, "It seems the strength of his regret wasn't enough to purge you of my influence by itself! He used his own essence to do the deed and now he pays the price! Haha! The fool does your job for you! I can already feel the strength of the seal weakening!"
The Kyuubi howled and slammed against the bars of the seal, rattling the whole place with more intensity every time. Rubble fell from above, and cracks spiderwebbed all across the walls.
Naruto ignored all the chaos around him, and as his mind fell apart he held Ryuto close. He combed Ryuto's hair away from his face with his fingers, "I'm sorry too, for making you go through all that hardship in my place. I'm sorry for being too weak to stand on my own." And Naruto cried. Tears spilled down his cheeks onto Ryuto, and at first Naruto didn't notice, but Ryuto's form was melting away to reveal Naruto.
The Kyuubi paused in his rejoicing as it noticed a soft blue glow amid the rubble, "What futil attempt at survival are you attempting now?"
Naruto closed his eyes as the glow intensified, "I accept you for who you are."
"I accept you for what you do." The glow grew even brighter.
"O-oi. Stop that right now!"
"I accept you into myself." There was a blinding flash and when the light receded, there was only one Naruto.
The Kyuubi's eyes were wide, "What did you do? What did you do?!"
Naruto opened his eyes, "I became whole."
The Kyuubi howled and slammed against the bars. Already, the cracks in the walls were disappearing as well as the rubble that had fallen. It snarled, "How dare you! I can already feel the seal strengthening!" Then a sly little smirk stretched across the Kyuubi's muzzle, "But it's not done yet. The seal isn't at full strength! I can still make it out!" The Kyuubi concentrated for a moment before a torrent of corrosive red chakra slammed into the seal.
Jiraiya tore through the clones with a Rasengan in each hand. He needed to get rid of all the clones so he could focus on sealing Naruto's chakra. After that he would be able to get to the bottom of this whole thing.
The toad sage smirked as another bunch of clones disappeared under his attacks, he could handle it if it was only this much. There were a lot of clones, but as long as he kept moving they wouldn't catch him, and as long as he used widespread jutsu not all of them would be able to dodge. Not being able to touch any of them was annoying, but it wasn't like Taijutsu was Jiraiya's go to anyway.
Guy's jumpsuit had still been intact, but it hadn't escaped Jiraiya's notice that his side had been soaked with blood. Kakashi's hand was a little more graphic. Kakashi had bandaged it in a hurry, and part of the blackened skin had shone.
Jiraiya's thoughts were interrupted when he had to dodge a torrent of sand, "That's strange. They haven't been using earth jutsu up to this point, why start now?"
Then Jiraiya saw the kid riding on top of the wave of sand. He could hear that kid's crazed shouting over the roar of the sand, "Mother will have your blood! Mother will prove her strength! You will cease to exist!"
Jiraiya blinked, maybe he could use this.
Then, a shriek that surpased Gaara's outburst cut through everything. All the clones burst, and a piller of energy pierced the sky. White eyes shined through the smoke, and Naruto stood, a red-black silhouette of malevolent power. Four tails swung lazily behind him.
And so, Jiraiya enters the fray with the wild card Gaara by his side. Will they be able to stop Naruto's rampage?!
Just when it looked like Naruto would come out on top, The Kyuubi attempts to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat!
See y'all next time, ciao!