Abyssal One of the Red Clouds
With a final convulsing heave the last ounce of his life left the boy, leaving behind an unmoving body, cold to the touch. Once brilliant blue orbs which were so full of life now dead to the world. The crimson chakra which was so forcefully torn from him swirled in the air, before finally being taken into the mouth of the monstrous stone statue.
The statue, named the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path, was a huge grotesque machination, a head with a blindfold containing nine slots, an upper torso encased in protruding rock, and two hands, the fingers and thumbs pointing upwards. Eight of the nine slots seemed to encase a colour of chakra, the energy swirling violently. As the last of the crimson chakra entered its mouth the last slot flashed, and was encompassed with a terrific red energy that swirled more violently than the rest.
The last of the chakra consumed the mouth of the statue closed, never to be opened again. Standing on the fingers were the last few members of Akatsuki, watching the spectacle with glee and barely contained excitement.
"It is done" Madara said with glee, his laughter bouncing off the walls of the chamber "We now have the ultimate power!"
Zetsu, the last original member of Akatsuki looked over at his benefactor, his white and black sides, slightly hidden within the Venus flytrap, were both frowning.
Its light half spoke first "No explosions, no lighting, a little anticlimactic"
His dark half quickly rebuked "Shut up, as long as it is over"
Sasuke Uchiha, one of the newest members of Akatsuki, looked down at the dead body of the boy whom he once considered the closest thing he ever had to a brother before setting his gaze upon his clans founder "So what now?"
"Now we merge the nine Chakras together, creating the Jubi, the ten tailed demon, and the Tsuki no Me Keikaku will become a reality"
"And Konoha will be destroyed by this?"
"Yes Sasuke. Konoha will be destroyed by this, along with Kumo, Kiri, Suna and Iwa. All who oppose me will be put down by the power of the Ten Tailed Beast" the founder threw off his mask, revealing a man deeply scarred by the fires of war, his crimson Sharingan eyes starring potently at all in attendance "The Fourth Ninja World War will come to an end!"
Sasuke nodded, he did not care about this madman's ramblings, as long as he got his revenge on Konoha for murdering his clan he would be happy "So what do we do?"
"We need a pawn to synchronise the Outer Path, and begin the transformation"
Sasuke grinned maliciously "So who will it be?"
Madara looked over at Sasuke, gauging the young man, and then replied "You…Mangekyo Sharingan!"
Taken completely by surprise, the young Uchiha was completely caught in Madara's Tsukuyomi, the last thing he remembered before going into that hellish dimension was the ultimate form of the founders Sharingan, a black ring with three small holes encircling the pupil, and three bars at third angles along the outer iris. A second passed before Sasuke, his eyes wide and glazed over, fell from his place on the hand, hitting the ground with a merciless crack, snapping bones in his legs.
His Sharingan returning to normal Madara looked to one of the newest members of Akatsuki and motioned towards his fellow clansmen's unconscious form "Place him on the centrepiece"
The member nodded and jumped down from his place, it was easy to replace the members of Akatsuki when one of them died. The only problem was the quality of the new members. The first ten were all S-class Ninja, the best of the best, now the surviving members were mostly A-class, with himself, Zetsu and Sasuke being the only S-class left.
Dragging the Uchiha's unconscious form to the dais, the operative looked at the dead form of the Kyubi Jinchuriki before removing him with his foot, the dead body falling to the rocky floor below. The man then dumped the Uchiha on the centrepiece before returning to his place on the hand.
"Now my brothers" Madara shouted "Let the merging begin!"
As one the nine members began to chant an ancient litany, their every word rising in tone until it echoed off the walls of the chamber. The eyes of the statue began to burn with the combined energies of the nine captured monsters, becoming brighter and brighter until they could burn the eyes of who ever looked upon them. On the dais Sasuke awoke with a scream of pain, his body convulsing as his own life energies were forced from him and through the mouth of the Demonic Statue.
Only the life force of a Rinnegan or Sharingan user could condense the chakras into what was needed, and considering Pein and Itachi were both dead Sasuke would have to do. As one the nine energies burst forth from their confines, corporeal forms gathering and swirling around each other like a tornado of colour. One by one the chakra merged, demonic entities screaming and roaring in fear and agony, the crimson chakra of the kyubi was the last to go, letting out a roar of fury before it was combined with the others.
For a moment the coalesced chakras seemed to pulse, the nine colours turning black. At that moment Madara thought he had won. Jumping from his place he landed on the dais, kicking the dead body of his younger associate from it and stood, looking up at the condensed ball of darkness, hands outstretched, and waiting for the power to come to him.
The ball began to heave and push, like the beating of a black heart. Madara could only look on, shocked as he sensed the unstable energies of the ball. The energies caused the statue and its hands to begin to collapse, small pieces of stone at first, but eventually large chunks of the fingers and face began to crumble. The Akatsuki members, surprised and terrified jumped away from they're places and watched as the walls and ceiling of the underground cave system began to crack under the pressure.
"No" Madara muttered as the power reached new heights "What is this!?"
Then it seemed to implode, becoming a small ball no bigger than a man's head before exploding outwards in a mass of multicoloured energy. The founder of Akatsuki watched as a wall of power came at him, and managed a scream before he was encompassed, skin and organs burning away, skeleton becoming black as night before turning to ash.
The Akatsuki tried to flee, but soon suffered the same fate as their founder and leader, becoming nothing more than ash and burning cloth. The explosion covered the entire cave, burning away rock, before seemingly falling in on itself and vanishing with a last flicker. Leaving nothing, there were no bodies, no clothing, not even ash.
The corridors were as he remembered them, dank, dark and unsanitary. The brown walls were covered in miniscule cracks, water flowing from some of the bigger ones and pooling onto the worn broken tiled floor. There was no roof above him. Instead there was a mass of black cables, stretching for as far as the eye could see.
Walking down the worn path, knowing exactly where to go, he entered a huge chamber, an empty chamber where the pooling water rose up to his ankles. Ahead of him was a massive hole, huge steel bars caste over the entrance. The gaps were big enough for him to squeeze through, but they weren't designed for him. The lock had a paper seal over it, the inscription of an ancient and powerful sealing Jutsu inscribed.
Naruto walked forward, hands stuffed in the pockets of his pants "Hey you dirty old fluff ball, you in there!?" there was no answer. Spurned by the deafening silence the blonde took a few more tentative steps towards the caste steel bars "Hey fluffy, you in there?"
Finally he heard something, but it wasn't the ear piercing snarl of the fox he remembered. It was, to his surprise the sound of sobs. He was hearing the sounds of crying, there was someone crying behind the bars. Before he knew it he was a few inches away from the towering steel; squinting his eyes into the darkness to look for something, anything.
His mind screamed at him to stop, to get away from there. But he ignored the voice of his fear and, taking a deep breath stepped through the bars into the antechamber. The boy was expecting a huge paw to swing at him, but instead there was nothing. The sobbing could still be heard, louder this time, soft, feminine and holding great anguish. He walked further into the precipice, his eyes slowing getting used to the dark.
He saw a slim figure, back pressed against the damp walls of the prison, hugging its knees against its chin. As he got closer he began to make out details, crimson hair, stretching down her back and pooling on the wet floor, pale skin which hadn't seen sunlight in years, a face which would be considered beautiful in any culture, rounded with slightly high cheek bones. She wore brownish rags, matted against her body thanks to the condensation of the cell, torn and shredded in some places.
This had to be a trick, why would a woman be in here? Where was that bastard fox?
He walked over to her "Hey, what are you doing here?"
Between the sobs that racked her slender frame she managed to utter a few words "Go away" they held no malice or hate, they held a woman broken by years of bondage, who seemed to accept her fate.
He knelt beside her, looking at her face, tears seemed to flow down her cheeks like miniature rivers "Lady, why are you here? This is the cell which keeps the Kyubi no Yoko"
Then she opened her eyes, and Naruto paled. Her eyes were crimson, with black, feral pupils shaped like slits. Around her feet, partially hidden by the pooling hair he saw nine long crimson tails, lying limply behind her. The girl with the fox's eyes hugged bare legs closer to her, burying her face into her knees "You see, you know who I am. So go away, and let me live out the rest of my punishment in this hell, it is what I deserve"
"You can't be" Naruto rasped, falling into a sitting position, eyes wide in uncontainable shock "You can't be that monster, the Kyubi never showed any remorse for what he'd done!"
"I was being controlled" she muttered between sobs "Madara Uchiha's Sharingan was more powerful than you could possibly imagine. Even when I was sealed its effects took over me, all I could see was red. All I felt was hate for everything!"
Naruto remained quiet, shocked beyond belief, how can this woman be the Kyubi no Yoko, the monster which had made his twenty years of life hell. And if it was, he should hate her, he should leave her here. But why did he not want to? Why did he want to reach out and comfort her? Why did he hate to see her cry? Why!?
"So leave me be" she whispered "And let me die, please just let me die, then this pain will finally go away!" she clutched her chest with both hands, inch long nailed fingers of crimsons cutting through the shredded fabric of her rags and drawing blood "This pain, this agony, this guilt…ever since I was freed from the mind control it has been unbearable!"
She wouldn't even look at him. Her eyes were glazed over with pain. Just by watching her he knew this wasn't the demon that tormented him for all these years. The monster he had known would never look this weak, this helpless before him. It would have rather gauged out its own eyes. He knew Madara had controlled the Nine Tails and ordered it to attack Konoha, but did his control remain after he…she was imprisoned?
He walked the last few steps, and reached out with his hands, she shied away from it like she had been struck "No, please" she whimpered "Just let me die. I don't want to hurt you anymore Naruto. Just let me die!"
Suddenly she was pulled forward into an embrace, her eyes shooting open wider than dinner plates in shock and confusion as strong arms tightened around her in a hug. Naruto Uzumaki, her host pulled her close, his mouth mere inches from the shell of her ear
"I should hate you" a voice, slowly breaking with emotion, whispered into her ear "I should hate you with every fibre of my being" he pulled back a little, and she saw the moisture dripping from his eyes across his whiskered cheeks "But I don't, I can't…I don't know why but, I can't"
"No" she whispered between sobs "I don't w-want your forgiveness, I d-don't deserve it. I've h-hurt you so much Naruto, I should j-just be left in h-here to rot"
"No" he replied, his voice firm "You're as much of a victim in all this as I am" he pulled away and looked into her eyes, brilliant blue met deep red and refused to shift "You were locked in your own head Kyubi. You were stuck there, watching as your body attacked the world around you, even when you were sealed in me you were still trapped in your mind. Unable to do anything"
She scrunched up her eyes, trying desperately to stop her own tears, and nearly jumped when she felt something warm lean against her temple. It was Naruto, his forehead pressing gently against hers "It's not your fault, it was all Madara…you were a pawn in his vicious game, just like the rest of us. So please don't cry"
Her last ounce of self control snapped and she flew forward, burying her face into her host's chest and screaming her pain to the world. Looking down at her in surprise, the blonde's face softened as he gently started to caress her hair, holding her as her form was racked with sobs, her voice muffled by the fabric of his mesh armoured black shirt.
He held her like that for what seemed like an eternity, letting her release all her pent up pain. Eventually she started to relax in his arms, her form sagging like a deflated balloon. He was surprised at how small and fragile she, the Kyubi no Yoko, apparent destroyer of civilisations, looked in his arms.
He sighed, he was dead anyway, so why not try?
He picked her up in his arms, stood and started to walk back towards the bars of her cage. She looked at them, eyes widened in fear, and gripped onto his sleeves with white knuckles. She was frightened, he didn't blame her. Taking a deep breath he stepped through the bars, expecting her to be screaming in agony as some defensive measure of the seal was activated. But nothing happened, the two stepped through.
Kyubi had closed her eyes, face crinkled as if expecting herself to turn to ash in his arms. When nothing happened she opened them, looking over her host's shoulder to see the bars getting farther away. The cage, she was out of the cage. She didn't utter a word as Naruto walked down the dirty corridors, pooling with water from hundreds of cracks along the walls and ceiling. Eventually he saw a light, and walked towards it. It was an opening to someplace else, the afterlife maybe?
When he walked through he felt the warmth of the sun on his face, beyond the darkness was a plain of lush grass, stretching for as far as the eyes could see blue sky, devoid of cloud, a babbling river running along a set course. In his arms the Kyubi winced as the sun touched her snow white body, and sighed in contentment as the warm rays massaged her skin.
He stopped at the base of a huge, towering oak tree, the long thick branches offering perfect cover from the suns rays, and sat down against it, depositing the Kyubi beside him.
"Why" he looked at her, seeing the confusion set in her face "Why did you let me through?"
He shrugged, leaning back and closing his eyes "We're both dead now, might as well enjoy the sun"
He heard a giggling from beside him and turned in surprise, Kyubi no Yoko, destroyer of civilisations, most powerful of the Biju, ruler of hell was giggling, her hand over her mouth as she tried to control herself.
Getting her giggling under control she looked him in the eyes "I hate to tell you this gaki, but we're not dead"
"Madara's plan, backfired" she explained, her tails swaying back and forth happily, showing life for the first time "Big time"
"You know he was planning on bringing me and my brethren together to return us to our original form, the Jubi, right?" He nodded "Instead of creating our ultimate form he made a miniature black hole"
"A black hole" Naruto repeated, turning the word in his mouth "What's that?"
"Nothing you ever want to see" she replied simply before continuing "The sacrifice he used as a catalyst for the merger was insufficient"
"Who did he use?"
"Huge mistake right there"
She frowned at him before shrugging "It lacked the needed power, and instead of getting the ultimate weapon our good friend met a horrible end, along with all the survivors of Akatsuki"
"How horrible" he asked, curiosity peeked.
"He was flailed alive, then had his bones turned to ash"
"Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy"
"Oh I agree"
"So what happened?"
"Well" she said thoughtfully "You're not in Konoha anymore"
"No shit" he replied numbly "So where am I?"
"That I don't know. All that I do know is that when my chakra was forcibly removed from you it merged with the others. Without a suitable catalyst to bind us together our combined energies became volatile and self destructed, ripping apart the fabric of space and time" she sagged, suddenly looking very exhausted.
"Are you alright" her host asked with concern, causing a brief smile to spread across her face. How could she have been so cruel to such a kind soul?
"I will be fine. My chakra was mostly removed during the ceremony, but my spirit was left within you" her chin now leaning against her chest, eyes closed she fought a sudden wave of sleepiness "Because of this I have lost around eighty percent of my chakra reserves, lost power I may never get back"
"The extraction was that hard on you?"
"It was. It felt like my soul was being ripped from my body inch by inch" she chuckled "In a way it was" forcing her eyes open she looked into his "I will sleep later, I need to give you what help I can"
Naruto nodded, and let her continue "The chain reaction was not so much different from the summoning techniques you humans use. Except instead of summoning a spirit from one world to another we were forcibly pulled through. For all we know we could be at the other side of the world, in a different time, or a completely separate dimension altogether"
Her host chuckled "I thought dimensions only existed in cheesy novels"
"Oh they exist" the Kyubi replied, amused "An infinite number of dimensions, all separated by divides. Some of the past, others possible futures and many more of alternate worlds, each changed by some powerful phenomena" her eyes fluttered, she was becoming ever more tired "I feel…tired, I must…sleep"
Naruto nodded, and rose to his feet, his body fading away "I'll leave you be then, maybe wake myself and look around"
As the Kyubi felt the blissful release of sleep overtake her she felt a sudden weight against her neck, not overbearing, but noticeable. Opening her eyes she looked down to see a silver collar, black sealing runes etched into the leather "So you even planned for this, eh Fourth Hokage?" she whispered softly "Do not fear, I will not hurt the boy, instead I will aide him whatever way I can. And when it is all said and done you and I will meet, and have a nice…long…chat"
All that could be heard was the babbling of the river, the light breeze, and the gentle snoring of the kyubi, lying against an ancient oak.
"I'm telling you bringing him here was a mistake"
"Yeah, what were you thinking bringing him here!?"
"What was I supposed to do? Leave him there to die!"
"But he's a Claymore. He has to be a Claymore"
"You fool, all Claymores' are women!"
"But the blonde hair"
"Only those silver eyes witches have hair like that"
"Guess again. It's a couple of shades darker than a Claymore"
"How the hell do you know that?"
"I saw one once"
"His clothes are different, very…colourful"
"That settles it, he's definitely a foreigner" the brash, younger voice interjected "The features, the hair, those markings on his cheeks, the clothes, those weapons. He's got to be from elsewhere!"
"Maybe he's from the south…perhaps the east"
A groan silenced them as the unknown male stirred from his slumber, rolling over onto his side and gripping the soft fabric of his sheet. Eyes slowly opened and blinked, looking around the small room and to the three men looming over him. Slowly, painfully he sat up, grimacing at the creaking of his joints.
Blinking the sleep from his eyes the blonde looked around, taking in his surroundings as he wiped the sleep from his oceanic eyes. He was in a small room, a bedside table, cupboard, and a desk and chairs the only other decoration. The walls were a pasty grey, a window looking out onto an empty street at one end and a wooden door at the other, closed.
The three men looking down at him were of normal height, two were young with heads of full brown hair, pale skin and dark brown eyes. The third was older, in his midyears with a balding head, slightly rugged skin and dark eyes which looked like they had seen quite a few hard years.
"Marzan, tell Helga that our guest has awakened"
The man hesitated for a moment before nodding "Yes father"
"You've finally awakened stranger" the elder stated "How do you feel?"
Naruto tried to stretch and grimaced as several muscles in his back protested the movement "Terrible, where am I?"
"You're in the town of Westhill stranger" the elder answered, smiling reassuringly.
"What am I…doing here?"
"You were found on the beach by my son, Isaac" the man answered again, gesturing to the younger man beside him "You were found washed up on shore. Good thing he found you too, another hour and the tide would have washed you back out"
"I was on…a beach"
"Yes" the elder replied.
"What is your name stranger?" the younger asked.
He looked up at the man, oceanic orbs meeting dark brown "Naruto…Naruto Uzumaki"
"A strange name"
The door opened, through it came a middle aged woman with kind dark eyes and long black hair with a hint of grey "Alright you two, that's enough. Let's leave our guest to rest"
"Helga the boy is fine"
"I will be the judge of that" the woman replied indignantly, gently pushing through them and gazing at Naruto with a calculating eye, she noted his posture "You seem exhausted to me" she stated softly, yet firmly before pressing him back down to the bed "Rest stranger, there will be plenty of time for discussion later"
She turned to the other two and frowned "Out, both of you"
"Alright, alright don't push woman!"
She shepherded the two out, closing the door behind her. Naruto sighed, so what the Kyubi said hadn't been a lie after all. He fell down against the soft bed, arms crossed behind his head, deep in thought about his conversation with the Kyubi and his current predicament.
So she was right, I am in uncharted territory; He could be in another continent, he knew full well that the world had not been fully explored. Hell the main powers of his home continent were so engrossed in fighting each other that exploration beyond the known lands wasn't a high priority.
"Hey girl, you awake?" it didn't seem right to call her 'bastard fox' anymore.
This was the second Naruto crossover I've had thrown around my brain, I've been a fan of Claymore for some time, and for the last few months I've had a few ideas for Naruto crossovers floating around, one with Bleach, which is already well underway, and another with Claymore, which I am starting now.
I've been searching for Naruto/Claymore crossovers, I find that the two stories could fit together nicely, but any good ones I find are abandoned or the updates are few and far between. I'm changing that as of now. This is a teaser of what's to come. I have a few other projects to complete before this one gets priority.