Hi there. So what's it been a couple of years? Yeah years, I want to say years. Look everybody you know how it is, right? Life. Bit of an update on me so I've been everywhere. I did a degree and travelled quite a bit around the world, seeing the sites.

There was really no time to be updating so it might take me a bit to get some flow back. In all honesty I would often think about this story. I still had designs, which have changed so many times. So the ending of this arc has changed as well. But my hope is with a more well-rounded outlook I'll be able to deliver a better experience.

How are you all by the way? I'd love to hear from all the old regulars and hopefully some new and fresh faces. I hope you are all doing so well!

Enjoy the chapter!

Chapter Thirty

Humble

"Come closer, come!" Erol slammed Naruto's head against a rock formation along the coast of Mar Citadel. The blazing hot sun heated the soft sand below their feet. Our blonde hero a bloody and beaten mess.

Karin appeared on the beach, a chain escaped the palm of her hand and wrapped itself around Erol's body. The city behind them was in ruins, the experiments running rampant as their friends tried to contain them. The rest of their comrades continued to hold off an army of half human half monster soldiers.

They burned his skin with sizzling heat.

"You know you can't stop me. You know you're done!" He grabbed the chain and pulled her toward him. Catching her by the neck she struggled as the chain disappeared. Naruto latched onto his leg a bloodied and beaten mess on the sand. He bit his ankle causing the clone to laugh.

"This is done, now I am FREE!" Naruto watched as Erol pulled his sword back with a cackle.

"Please stop! Please! I'll do anything! You can't this isn't supposed to happen!" He wailed helplessly as Erol's sword impaled Karin's stomach. Karin gasped, she felt cold.…

Violet eyes slowly opened, Kushina stopped her thoughts from running wild as tears ran down her cheeks. She stood with half of the village situated below her. Her hand clenched the railing with the same intensity as her jaw. The higher ups of the village stood behind her, her two children sitting with her husband. The Jonin chatted seriously about the situation.

"How are we gonna stop this?"

"Lord Fourth has a plan."

A hand touched her shoulder tenderly.

"It'll be fine, Kushina." Mikoto Uchiha comforted the Namikaze mother bringing herself next to her.

Kushina remained unresponsive as her overthinking reached new heights.

"They're all, criminals." She muttered earning a solemn look for her friend.

Naruto landed in a clearing, his white coat blowing in the wind. Erol appeared in front of him with a neutral look on his face.

"Different but same." Erol's raspy voice made Naruto raise an eyebrow. He pointed it Naruto with a small curling painfully on his face. "I'm gonna kill you, Naruto Namikaze." A black aura appeared around the clone covering his body in a black veil.

"I honestly didn't think you'd be able to talk." Spoke Naruto rubbing the back of his head with a chuckle.

"Not. A. Game. Orochimaru made me evolve." The clone cracked his neck and chuckled. "I'm stronger and faster than you, Naruto Namikaze." His tone gradually becoming more confident and fluid.

"Now you're talking to much." Naruto took his fighting stance.

"You're right, intelligent human's like you bore easily." Naruto dropped his guard with a confused look. Erol's voice was refined, calculating. "You're very easily to fool when your overconfidence is showing, remember I am one of you." The clone let a loud barrage of laughter it echo throughout the area.

Samui walked casually amongst the rubble. The floor littered with parts off buildings. Her calculating gaze bore over what was once a marvel, now battleground for this fool's errand.

So then why did she come? Was she really that emotionally jaded? I mean sure, that's what heroes do, they come to the rescue of those in need. She owed Namikaze a great debt for saving her sister. Is that why she came? Who knows?

Her emotions, she suppressed them as a child in favour of a stoic façade. Her trauma was something even she didn't fully comprehend. A life without love is no life at all. She loved her brother, sister and her mum.

Why does she feel the need to know this man? Naruto Namikaze, he almost killed her brother and saved her sister in the same day.

"I'm gonna kick your head off your shoulders." Naruto's gaze intensified as yellow chakra formed a visible circle around his figure on the ground.

Atsui planted his foot and went to charge the blonde leaf ninja. The ground around Naruto's feet was completely blown away. Before Atsui could react, Naruto's foot made contact with his face.

'So fast….I can't-

Atsui's face became distorted at the pressure that Naruto's foot was exerting on his facial features. A sickening crack could be heard as Atsui's form was launched right into the wall. He hit the wall with a thud as the stone around his body cracked under the force. He was missing some teeth and his pupils had rolled back into his eyes. His nose was bleeding and broken. Blood poured down from his mouth. He fell to the ground in heap and coughed up more blood, gasping for a breath.

"Atsui!" exclaimed Samui losing her composure.

"The winner, Naruto of Konohagakure."

That would be a sight she'd never forget. Her brother almost dead because of his arrogance.

He did rescue her sister though, why? Nobody does things just because they're nice. She was intrigued by him if anything else. She was surprised that the Raikage had let her go. But she was sure that he had some ulterior motive.

"Can I throw a punch?" Naruto's facial expression turned to rage. "Here's your damn punch." He said as the boy came at him with an outstretched kunai.

Naruto slammed his fist right into the boy's cheek, which left a blood red indent in Gin's face. His figure was slammed to ground, which cracked underneath the pressure. The boy was knocked out as his body whiplashed against the ground before settling down into the indent.

"If I ever see any of you again the result will be very unpleasant." He said as he gentle took the small girl's hand away from his leg. He walked up the Gin and kicked him toward the girl who struggled to manage his weight, catching him.

"W-Wait who are you?" asked the girl. Naruto turned around showing her his Namikaze clan symbol, the girl gasped.

"Take a guess." Naruto turned around with a smirk.

She disappeared in a burst of speed, reappeared atop of a large building. One of the few remaining in the area. She heard screams and shockwaves in the distance. The breeze at the new altitude made her hair blow to the side. She stopped mid-step an orange bout flew past her, it slammed against the building destroying.

A woman landed in front of Samui on all fours. She appeared to be a mixed with a leopard. Her clothes were tattered in numerous places. A dark orange and black patter adjourned her body as she scratched the concrete below her. She had a purple tank top cut at her midriff. Two rounded ears poked out from her long blond hair.

"Don't you look awfully repressed." Commented the humanoid warrior.

Samui remained still and silent, examining the girl in front of her.

"You always this talkative?" She asked. "You're awfully pretty. Those tits get in the way much?" Chuckling to herself she stood to full posture.

"Do you-

A small lightning bolt zipped past the creature, running through a small part of her dermis. Blood began to trickle down the cheek of the creature. She bought her hand to it, taking it on her fingers and licking it.

"I should warn you. I find human meat the most delectable." She disappeared in a burst of speed appearing above her with a claw outstretched.

Samui flipped back on her hands, down the side of building. Her pale blue eyes looked up back to the top. The leopard woman jumped out of the smoke. Her claws glowing red as she dived after her. Reaching her quickly, she dug her heels into the building and did and bent back. The leopard woman raced past her, narrowly missing Samui's neck.

Samui focused her chakra and sent a sharp burst of it toward her for. It connected with the leopard woman's stomach sending her crashing into the building below. Samui flipped down on to the ground below her. She disappeared in a burst if speed not allowing her opponent to breath. She appeared in front of her in time to catch her wrist.

The leopard woman was shocked as Samui bought her gloved hand up to her neck.

"Wait-

Lightning ripped through her body, she screamed in pain as Samui's White Lightning Style intensified. The humanoid choked as Samui let go of her neck, her body lifeless. She dropped the body to the floor with a neutral look.

The blonde let out a breath as she turned her attention to the shockwaves in the distance.

A shrill scream alarmed her. Jumping back the humanoid began to convulse rapidly. Samui raised an eyebrow as sealing jutsu appeared on her body. Letting another scream escape her mouth the creature's body destroyed itself. Blood scattered across the area.

Samui let out a sigh and turned back to the shockwaves.

The sound of his heart against his cracked ribs began ringing in Naruto's ears. He stood, panting his overcoat discarded, only his undershirt and pants remained. He held his sword in one gloved hand. The buildings in front of him crumbled, Erol walked through the dust calmly. He sent his sword away into the seal on his wrist.

Naruto appeared behind the clone with a kunai in his left hand. He slammed it into the dirt as he ran through some handsigns. The kunai glowed yellow as fuininjutsu appeared around the clone.

Naruto then made the snake sign as an explosion rocked the area. He turned the kunai into a bomb with sealing jutsu. The clone was stunned as Naruto appeared again in front of him above his eye level. Arm outstretched and second gear active. He roared and swung his arm down anti clockwise into Erol's face. The clone's features became distorted as he was launched across a few buildings.

Racing through the last one, before he could land on his back he flipped backward and planted his feet into the ground. His sword lost in the last exchange. Surprisingly he had landed in what looked like the ruins of a garden. Before he could analyse his surroundings, Naruto flew through the same building, his chakra a wild yellow. He disappeared as Erol turned again to receive an uppercut to the jaw.

Quickly running through a set of handsigns he threw multiple shuriken from his arm seals at Erol who expertly dodged them. The blonde grabbed the air and pulled back. Erol flew back against a large bit of rubble created by Naruto destroying the building behind them. Invisible wire wrapped around the rock as Naruto set the cord a light.

"Katon:Ryūka noJutsu." The flame travelled with great speed it enveloped the clone in a blaze of immense intensity.

Nothing. The screen in the Chunin exams arena showed static as the populace watched on. Suddenly all the cameras that had been broadcasting the fight had ceased to show them anything. Every screen from Kumogakure to Konohagakure viewed static.

"We have to go rescue them!" Shouted one of the citizens on the arena's grassy plain.

"Hokage-sama please go save them!" Another screamed as a woman wailed.

Minato simply crossed his finger below his chin and leant forward.

"What are we going to do?" Asked Kushina with a solemn look of concern. Her red hair blowing to the side, drying her tear stained face.

"Our hands are tied, Naruto and his friends will likely die in this confrontation. I want him to rescue Karin but where will they all go? If they were able to rescue her, where would they go? They're rogue ninja now and a rogue Ninja could never be the Hokage." There was no point in denying it. He looked down to see his two remaining children attempting to console one another.

He closed his eyes.

'Great grandfather, what would you do?' He thought as he clenched his teeth.

The Shinobi in the vicinity adopted sad and angry looks.

Their look was right. Technically they had abandoned the village, technically Naruto could never become Hokage now. He had jeopardised the village's future safety with taking his friends the next leaders of Konoha. But ultimately they had almost assuredly lost half of the nine tails' chakra locked away in Karin. Things truly, truly looked hopeless.

Slap. Slap. Slap.

His calculating gaze was drawn down to his feet. Kari repeatedly slapped him in the knee as Ren watched on in horror. The young girl had tears running down her face. She sobbed uncontrollably. But he gave him a fierce look. A look that reminded him of himself.

He cried. He started crying for her. He had wished that only Naruto had taken after him. The chances of Naruto making it to adulthood had been against him at the start. He had poured his pride, his goals and ambitions into him. Never really given him any other choice but to succeed. He had been the one to turn his boy into this reckless monster. A monster hungry for blood and battle. The last of their kind. Four male Namikaze left in the world, prideful, cursed and destructive clan.

"Kari." He watched as his mother came and scooped her up in her arms.

Tsunade held her close but she continued to look at him. She took her to the side.

Ren didn't understand. So much had happened, and he was overwhelmed and not coping. His father looked down at him with a neutral gaze. He was expecting some words of encouragement, but Minato simply put his hand on his head. The Konoha Ninja looked on as they watched their leader contemplate the future of their home.

All the while Kushina continued to stare at the screen. She had cried enough. She had thought of running after them but then she'd be a rogue Ninja just like her son. She couldn't abandon her two youngest children.

"What are you going to do?" Rin put a hand on her shoulder.

She brushed it off.

"Tell me Rin-chan. Was Naruto always-did he always have such an arrogance? I raised him to be a polite and gentle young man." She bit her lip making it bleed.

"He was never like your other children. I thought he'd grow out of it. That he'd be humbled and well, it looks like-

She trailed off as Kushina shook her head the citizens below growing more and more reckless.

"He wouldn't make a good Hokage would he? People follow him, but he's reckless." She asked earning a shake of the head from Rin.

"He could be a great man if he stopped trying to be his father. Everything. Almost everything of Naruto is of sensei. His fighting style, mannerisms, hair style and his love of fighting." She looked to her feet as Kushina remained silent for a few moments.

"I truly am a terrible mother." Finally she sobbed, quietly. "Why didn't I notice. Jonin at 13, that's insane." She held back her tears not looking at Rin.

"He's not power hungry, he believes he can shape the world rather than the world shape him. Naruto has been given so much, you're a great mother. But that's his weakness, he doesn't believe that anything is impossible through his own power." Rin shrugged uncomfortably as Kushina swallowed the saliva in her throat.

Holding his right hand out a black flash enveloped his palm. A large sword appeared, plain, merely a red hilt and a black blade. He marched toward the blonde, his features growing more serious with every step. The rubble around them remained still as Erol stopped a few steps away from Naruto.

"I thought you'd be stronger." He said earning a chuckle.

"You don't seem-

"No, no, I see your glaring weakness. I see what great pride you take in your strength." Swiftly his hand shot forward and 5 rings of chakra latched around Naruto's wrists, neck and ankles. He flew backward into a building as the tightened around him.

Erol appeared in front of him to see Naruto drop his sword.

"Not once in your short life have you been challenged." He slapped him hard drawing some blood. "You have such a misguided sense of pride in your abilities." He punched him in the stomach causing him to gasp.

"You think because you say it makes it so? You think I don't know that your biggest fear is having no friends. Your biggest insecurity is that you're afraid nobody will ever love you for yourself and not your power or name. You're unsure if you could ever master the swift release and live up to your father's name." Erol tightened the chakra rings around his neck.

"Who do you think you are? You don't know me. I'm so confused just what the fuck are you." Naruto struggled against the restraints as Erol bought a knee into his abdomen. He growled in pain as the clone shook his head.

"Just what do you know about Orochimaru?" He asked calmly crossing his arms.

"That my grandpa should have killed him a long time ago." Naruto continued to struggle.

"Genius." He held his arm out and a black blast of chakra destroyed they camera filming.

"That's the closet thing you've said this entire time to what I'd say would be genius." Erol destroyed another building with his chakra. "Of course I'd be a genius. I'm you!"

"We are from the vilest clan in all of history. In all the world's history no other clan besides ours could have destroyed The Village Hidden in the Whirlpools." He cackled punching Naruto in the face again.

The shock spread across Naruto's face as his blood dripped to the floor.

"That's. A. Lie." The words seeping past his lips like venom.

Erol grabbed his forehead protector and ripped it off him. Naruto gritted his teeth as he watched Erol drop it on the floor. He began stepping on it with utter disrespect. He laughed as he grabbed it off the floor.

"This is what we do brother." He threw it up in the air and destroyed it with a burst of chakra.

Naruto's hair fell onto his forehead.

"I'll kill you for that freak." He struggled against his restraints.

"Orochimaru studied the Namikaze for decades. The Toad Sage, then your father and then you. Each generation growing more powerful until the Swift Release manifested in you. You! Imagine the burden. Do you know the secrets of the past? I wonder if you'd be proud of it all if you really knew?" He asked earning a growl from the blonde.

"Our clan started The Second Great Ninja War, our clan assassinated The Second Kage of the stone, we almost destroyed our home in The Land of Waterfalls and lastly for a quick profit we wiped the Uzumaki off the map. I wonder if your mother knew. Perhaps you'd cease to exist." He grabbed Naruto by the throat choking him.

"Orochimaru got a hold of your DNA. A memento from your trip to the Land of Snow." He laughed as he continued to choke Naruto.

"We are the mistakes that were created to hold up the wheel of this world. To ensure chaos and death!" He laughed as Naruto stopped struggling.

"You're out of your depth, a leaf caught in the wind of a storm. I know you Naruto Namikaze, because I am you. I am your blood, your brother and I will not cease to exist because you-inferior model exists in this world!" Naruto remained silent as the clone punched the wall next to him holding his neck tightly still.

"Nothing to say. You've lived a very arrogant and selfish life, haven't you? Bringing your friends, leaving, trying to be a hero and making your friends rogue Ninja. How do you expect to go home? You've broken the law; do you think things through?" Naruto let a tear roll down his face.

"A battle between strong opponents doesn't usually last thing long. I feel like we've been at this point for years. And here we are, ready to finish what would otherwise be such an anticlimactic battle with your blood all over my hands!" He chuckled summoning his sword up to his mouth and licking the blood off it.

"I don't care." Naruto strained as Erol ripped him out of the way and threw him across the ground. He stood on his head repeatedly, Naruto remained silent of cries of pain like Erol expected.

Naruto's fist began to clench as the thinnest bit of golden chakra enveloped his body.

"That's it no more I don't care." He grunted as he summoned his sword to his hand as Erol stood on it with his other foot. Naruto did react as he continued to build power.

"Even if you're right. I don't care about any of it." He screamed as his Second Gear ability erupted from him. Erol jumped away on top of a building.

Their blades made a screeching sound. Both disappearing from sight, loud shockwaves periodically appearing without warning, destroying buildings around them. Erol appeared behind Naruto in mid-air and kicked at his head. Naruto disappeared and reappeared behind his sword passing through Erol's torso.

Black and yellow flashes covered the ground below as they reappeared, Erol charged at Naruto. His black blade emitting a mist as he channelled his chakra through it. Naruto did the same with his lightning chakra, blocking Erol's strike.

Erol's blade cut through Naruto's cleaning, his eyes staring directly at the cut. Naruto gasped at the loss of his most prized possession Erol backhanded Naruto sending him into the ground with his sword falling to pieces next to him. He grabbed his leg with his free hand and lifted him up, slamming him into the concrete making the earth break.

The golden aura disappeared from around him. Naruto's muffled cries of agony echoed through the empty city as he repeatedly did this. He laughed tossing him through a building.

Naruto came out imbedded out amongst the cliffs along the shoreline. He coughed up blood as the remainder of his shirt fell off him. He coughed again and opened his eyes to see Erol standing in the distance. Atop a fallen building overlooking the beach.

"Third Gear." His left hand was enveloped in lightning and wind chakra a lot these controlled than Naruto's form but much more violent.

"Poor Naruto, still uncomfortable with the idea of dying." He laughed as he appeared in front of him driving his fist into the blonde's face.

"Jinsoku no

The cliff around them broke as Naruto was enveloped in a ray of black chakra he screamed in agony. His eyes closed over, his senses dulling. He began to lose consciousness from the pain.

"Hiken!" Erol jumped back before he could complete his attack as the black chakra disappeared Erol jumped back to avoid the flames.

"Uchiha? I thought Orochimaru would have killed you by now." Itachi stood in a similar state to Naruto his clothes torn away with just an undershirt. His Sharingan spinning angrily as a blue veil of chakra enveloped him. His pant legs were torn revealing his knee and upper leg.

"I am much to weak to fight Orochimaru. But then again, I wasn't fighting Orochimaru." Itachi stook his Interceptor Fist stance as Erol charged at him.

Naruto's right storage seal began to glow his hand ignited and he disappeared in a yellow flash, his Raikiri driven into Erol's chest. Naruto's body fell limply onto the floor as Itachi watched his friend's hand exit Erol's chest.

"The Haraishin." He said in shock as he ran to his friend's side.

He grabbed his Naruto and pulled him away as Erol clutched his chest.

"What are you talking about?!" He roared as Naruto let out a loud gasp regaining consciousness.

Erol screamed as he grabbed him by the throat and lifted him into the air. Blood dripped down into the sand as the water washed it away.

"Little bastard!" Roared the clone as Naruto chuckled.

"That's for breaking my sword." He coughed and wheezed as Erol tightened his grip.

The sound of the waves hitting the shore and his heartbeat was all Naruto could hear. Erol threw him onto the sand has he clutched the gapping wound in his chest.

"Sensed his dwindling life force, did you?" asked Erol as a pair of footsteps raced across the beach.

Erol dropped to his knees.

"You're crafty, you drew me in. Now who's the one being arrogant." Erol laughed and coughed again.

Naruto found himself being dragged up the shoreline. His form was almost unrecognisable, beaten so savagely. A gloved hand cupped his bloody face, he chuckled as he felt chakra being pumped into him.

"Almost dying, so uncool." That statement made Naruto laugh.

"Samui, how are you-

Samui Kato leant beside him her cold blue eyes examining him.

"You lost, that's also uncool."

"He's so much stronger than me. I can't fight him alone." Commented Naruto.

"We can beat him together though. All three of us." Itachi turned and gave an uncharacteristic thumbs up.

Naruto coughed as Samui lifted him up off the sand. Stepping forward the three of them watched as Erol stood to his feet. Black aura erupted around him as he stared at the three of them.

"I'm going to kill you all and you stand together in one spot." The clone sent a small burst of chakra toward the trio.

Itachi held his hand out. Catching the ball of black chakra, his eyes shot open as the Mangekyō roared to life.

He crushed it in his hand.

Chapter End

After a few years absence I would like to apologise. I know a lot of people really wanted me to see this through. I'll try and update as soon as I can. Hope you're all staying safe and are having great lives.

Leave a review or chuck me a message. I would love to hear from this amazing fandom again.