"...eh? EH~?!" Narumi's eyes bugged out as the shadow slowly came into view from between the trunks of two giant trees. A long snout, and enormous eyes surrounded by black that ran up into lengthy fox ears. A furry, burnt orange torso stepped into view. Finally, nine long tails, each easily longer than the entirety of the creature's torso, slipped from the darkness. The tiny child simply stared at the incredible sight before her.
"Kukuku, another mortal awed by my magnificence."
Narumi's mouth hung open for a moment before closing. Blinking a few more times, she opened her mouth again, and paused. It took a few moments, along with a scathing scoff from the hundred meter tall immortal, for her thoughts to gather. "... Kyuubi?"
"Obviously… Dumb apes are still slow in their thoughts."
Narumi would probably have been angry, had she not been staring at him for what she knew to be several minutes. Not that she didn't give a little glare anyways; she had been insulted. Still, this was a fox, like her sisters.
"Are you still trying to glare me to death? I'll let you know now that it doesn't work."
Was that… a joke? Narumi couldn't really tell, not particularly used to talking with many people. Most she knew were straightforward and nice. They rarely teased, and such usually had to be explained to her.
Huffing, obviously annoyed with the unresponsive infant out of his reach, the Kyuubi settled back down on his paws. The child was too young to understand much. Trying to impale her hadn't frightened the child, and crushing her spirit with KI would more likely decrease his chance of escape than anything else, if she survived whatever it was that was happening to her. He knew the girl was hurt, even if not mortally wounded yet. However, even if he did offer his power to heal, she likely wouldn't survive anyways. Rather, her death would be a means to escape. Giving her power would work against his favor...
There really wasn't much to be done. Passiveness was best for the moment.
Narumi still stared, though not nearly as long as before. She still couldn't help but wonder... "How long…?"
A large slitted eye reappeared from closed eyelids, along with a raised brow.
"I-I mean, how long have you been... Um, nevermind. Since I was born. Right… s-sor—"
Narumi froze at the unexpected reply, before processing the unknown word. "A what?"
"Sigh~ A hundred years."
"W-Wait! I haven't bee—I'm not a hundred!"
"You are my third jailor within the confines of your filthy village."
"... Huh." Narumi almost couldn't believe it. Even if she knew her sisters were kinda like the Kyuubi, the fact that he was the one that attacked her village, was sealed inside of her, and was the reason she was miserable barely registered. Having sisters that were part fox probably had a lot to do with it as well. But the fact that a menace to the village was being cordial…
"Well, that's not fun." Narumi pouted at the idea. "I'd hate this place too if I was stuck alone for a hu— centa-centuray. " She frowned at the misspoken word, but ignored it. "I really don't like this place either, but I don't think they'd let me leave even if they're trying to kill me now."
"You're likely going to die once you leave the mindscape anyways. Time here is simply skewed with your current presence." And he'd finally be released… Even if it would take a while to reform after the seal breaks down.
Narumi's head drooped. She really wasn't sure how to feel about that. For the longest time, it was almost as if she didn't care if she died. But with her si—
The Kyuubi's head shot up so suddenly, Narumi startled and fell over onto her butt, staring at the alert immortal. She almost didn't realize he was speaking out loud, though she missed the words at first in her surprise. The redhead was once more broken from her stupor when sharp eyes narrowed at her, only then scrambling back to her feet when she could both hear and understand his words again.
"... I believe I'll help you after all. There is a power out there that is... similar... to my own. I wish to see these entities myself, and don't wish to pass this chance. As such, I will lend you my power."
Narumi couldn't help but smile. She didn't know he could heal her, but maybe everything would be okay. Ever since she came to this weird place, she knew that it somehow wasn't real, and that the people were still attacking her. The sharp jolts of pain were telling enough for that. And she had deliberately tried not thinking about it. But now… "Thank you, Kyuubi-san! You know, my favorite creatures are foxes? My sisters... They're amazing, dattebane~. Maybe I could introduce you to them? We could all be friends, too! They have fo—"
"Quiet, brat! Just because I'm lending you my chakra, doesn't mean you're my friend!" A trail of red leaked out from the large chakra entity towards its host.
Narumi pouted, but did stay quiet. Apparently the demon was short tempered. She'd have to spend time with him or something, especially if she wanted to introduce her sisters to him. Feeling the surge of power, Narumi let it overtake her for the Kyuubi to do what it wanted. The innocent child didn't know why, but felt that if she resisted, he wouldn't be able to do what he had asked her for.
Almost instantly, Narumi came to. She could feel the wetness drenching her clothes. The hard dirt of the alley beneath her, stench of the air that wasn't there before, vibrant colours that seemed impossible in sharper vision, and screams breaking a deafening silence.
Her arms moved without her bidding, legs shifting to gather her body upright. Everything was out of her control, despite being completely aware; she even felt the tingling that had not only dulled the pain, but completely removed it.
Her head moved towards the screams currently coming from the crowd that had mercilessly followed her. Long, thin roots grew out sharply from the hardened ground, impaling many through their limbs, even as they chaotically scrambled away. Many unsuccessful attempts at escape led more into wounding themselves and others.
The two who were uninjured within the alley wore black cloaks, but they weren't awake either. Somehow or other, they had been knocked unconscious. A few large, blunted plant growths near their prone bodies could possibly be the answer as to how.
Looking up to the other screams, Narumi could see thin crystalline spears of pinkish ice flooding through the many higher observers from beneath. It was understandably surreal to the child, and her awed distraction so great that even if she wanted to, it would probably be impossible for her to retake control from the ageless entity currently commanding her body. Still, she knew that his time was limited, and could instinctively feel that if she didn't want him in control, he wouldn't be. Of course, it wouldn't be too easy, but not too hard either. Maybe if he used more power it would become harder though?
Narumi's eyes eventually found the source of the two elements that were attacking the people either attempting to flee or futilely retaliate. Even with many attacks successfully harming the two sources of incredible power, any damage quickly sealed up into flawless skin.
Her mouth unbiddingly moved, "Interesting…"
The Kyuubi itself frowned. It knew those powers. It knew that chakra. But it was different. It wasn't his. It wasn't stolen from him. He could still feel his Yang half, sealed away and impossible to retrieve as it is; it was still there. Even then, they felt like his other half. Yet it was completely theirs.
He barely missed the fact that silence once more reigned in the area, ignoring the moaning and groaning from injured bystanders. Many were staring at him/her wide-eyed. At least, the uninjured ninja and twins-of-his-power. Obviously, he ignored the mortals in favor of the twins. "What are you?"
His focus went towards the golden one that seemed to have two red strips of hair, and two red tails. Tears were freely flowing from both children's eyes. Kyuubi him/herself frowned at this. They cared for his suppressed host. But they looked just like her too, except with his traits. He could tell they were not mortal. They had every indication of being of his power.
The other twin/girl of opposing colours nodded. "Y-Yea, but that's not her talking."
Narumi's body scowled at being ignored. Even if they had his power, neither were at his level, even halved as he was. Together they may, which was odd by itself, but everything about them was strange. At least they were not mere mortals, even if they were obviously still children. "I do not like repeating myself."
"A-Ah, Haruna. My name is Haruna."
Not any one of the three cared for the escaping shinobi, kunoichi, or civilians. The Kyuubi himself ignored their presence entirely, though the unbound fear coursing throughout the crowd as they ran from his easily recognizable chakra was more amusing.
"Fuyuna. We're, um, kind of—"
Kyuubi/Narumi scoffed at their nervousness. Of course he couldn't fault them for it in his presence, being less than he, but it was annoying. "Get on with it! My time is limited!"
"We're not sure what we are!" Haruna nearly shouted out.
The red slitted eyes of Narumi eyed them for a moment, ignoring the nod of the one called Fuyuna. They couldn't be completely clueless. "Tell me what you do know."
Haruna withered under the glare from her obviously living sibling. Fuyuna took over a brief explanation, not nearly as distraught and too happy to care why she needed to, which was no more than a few short moments long. They really didn't know much about what happened.
The Kyuubi himself, however, scowled deeper. Two insects had stolen his power from another dimension as they traversed to this one. He could see what happened, even if the entire situation had many extenuating circumstances. But it didn't happen to him. And if this other self from their dimension had allowed it to happen, then it must have been pathetic.
But the fact that they were about to repeat it was not something he would allow. "I refuse to allow my host to subject me to such. Your plans would destroy me, and I cannot allow it."
Narumi was mentally on the verge of tears. She could go with her sisters, and kill the fox inside her, becoming like them, or stay and be with the fox. But she didn't want it dead… not after spending time with it, even if it was only a few minutes.
The wide eyes of her sisters were reflecting that they didn't either, and were completely uncertain about what to do. A sudden sharpness to their eyes caught her off guard when their words brought her back to the situation.
Fuyuna's voice was cold as her ice. "They tried to kill her. We can't stay any more. But if we leave without her, she'll be attacked again. She'll be alone this time. "
Haruna continued. "What will you do? She's not strong enough to protect herself. The Ichiraku's can't protect her either."
Kyuubi scoffed again. "If my host dies, then she dies. Then I'll be free for the first time in a century to do what I wish. I care not for mortal apes."
Narumi suddenly burned with anger. He would let her die? Just because she was mortal? Simply because he was inside her? Even if he didn't get the choice, neither did she!
Kyuubi's control was unexpectedly cut. Almost immediately, all the heat in her body receded. "I'm going with you. He hasn't been very nice, even when I let him use my body to talk! Besides, he attacked Konoha, making everyone hate foxes, and our lives so painful!" Tears started spilling out as she almost sobbed.
A sudden burning pain thrashed throughout Narumi's body, nearly collapsing her. Her eyes lost the red tint as she started shaking, though her pupils stayed slitted. Thankfully control wasn't too hard to retain. Even his voice wasn't escaping the seal, despite the bits of chakra flooding her system in attempted takeover.
Haruna and Fuyuna saw this, but didn't know what was happening; just that Narumi was suddenly in pain, and probably from the fox. Neither had ever liked the thought of killing others. Even those that had attacked Narumi were only stabbed in the legs and arms, and hit over the head; though that didn't necessarily knock everyone out, since they could still hear groans.
Still, the Kyuubi wasn't willing to protect Narumi, and she apparently didn't like him much. The last choice, the original choice, and their favorite was still open. They could go, needed to go. And it would make their sister like them.
Haruna and Fuyuna were already in synch, pulling the Forbidden Scroll open when they felt others coming. The emotions made them easy to locate. Once more, the speed was unreal. However, there were three this time.
"Where is it where is it where is it?!" Haruna kept repeating, Fuyuna thinking the same as she waited.
Narumi's groan enticed the twins to double their efforts.
"I don't remember what it even looks like!" Haruna scrolled faster despite barely reading. She was the one truly looking, not even caring to roll up the other end. Of course, the frantic child didn't remember the seal's design all that well. When the scroll suddenly stopped flowing, her head jerked up to the blonde twin, glaring heatedly.
"Hands! We passed it!" Realized Fuyuna.
Haruna's eyes widened dramatically as she scrambled back through, Fuyuna pulling the scroll paper back into the roll to help. Soon enough, a seal with markings on either side shaped as hands signaled their success.
Fuyuna let her twin flatten the seal as she pulled her trembling sister over into the middle of the design. They quickly got into position, reading the hand-seal sequence once through before attempting to go through with it for the second time in their lives.
Freezing at the voice, both twins slowly turned towards the sound, eyes wide in fright. The large man that had captured them before was standing a few meters away, frowning. Two small, nearly unnoticed swish and thump sounds caught them off guard on the other side. Turning, they found that strange blonde woman and their long-time Jiji standing opposite.
Tsunade kept her eyes on the children, but easily made out the surrounding situation. "They took down all these people...? But still, why were the rest keeping their distance?"
Haruna kept her eyes on her Jiji and the blonde, who had spoken—what was her name again? Bidden by her twin, Fuyuna swung her head back to the long white-haired man, easily twice her height.
These people were strong, both knew that. They couldn't fight. But they didn't want to stay. Wouldn't stay, just to be used as some… whatever they wanted! A small groan brought them all to look at the redhead laying fetal in the middle of a strange seal.
We need time! Think they'll fall for what those white masks did? Fuyuna wondered nervously.
No, I don't that stuff will work on Jiji. Just put as much between them and us as possible!
Hiruzen glanced at the seal, recognizing it barely a moment later. "W-Wait, tha—"
Haruna poured her chakra through the ground the moment her Jiji unexpectedly drew the attention of his former students. Many large roots quickly grew out of the ground towards all three Kage-level ninja, who jumped backwards, before many of them curled backwards into a dome above the twins.
Unlike the other two, Tsunade only barely avoided it, forcing her out of a slightly catatonic state produced by the smell of blood, though there wasn't much in her vision. Most of the carnage was behind her in the alley, and the little in front wasn't visible if not looking for it, with the roots and ice holding still inside the wounds, and concealing the sanguine fluid from her initial glance.
Likewise, Fuyuna swamped the area with her chakra, drawing up unexpected amounts of water from the ground while simultaneously crafting more from her own ability to form a dome interlaced with the root system. More and more flooded the plants as they amassed themselves upon the ice, even as it continually condensed between, around, and over the vegetation.
Using what little light seeped through the barrier, the twins started flowing through hand-seals.
Outside the dome, the Toad Sage and Slug Princess just stared dumbly at the creative barrier that had been crafted in the short moment it took for them to land upon the ground again. It had only truly taken a second or two, but it looked incredible.
Hiruzen, however, was not so shocked by, let alone happy about the display. "Jiraiya, Tsunade, bring that barrier down! Fast! But don't harm the children inside!" He could do it himself, but his techniques would more than likely damage the scroll, and that was too valuable. More importantly, though, he couldn't let those girls use the seal he had seen; it would explain who they were, along with almost everything else he knew about them.
"All you, Tsunade-Hime" Jiraiya stated, admiring the barrier.
The slug princess huffed, but jumped forward. Using her incredible chakra control, and the ability she had long ago developed to give her the strength of a hundred in a single punch, she brought her fist down upon the cold crystal.
Cracks immediately flowed out from the strike, spreading throughout the entirety of the dome. However, despite their expectations, the barrier stood. Tsunade frowned, easily ignoring the startled and serious faces of the two males, already knowing why it withstood her punch. However, just as she brought her fist back down for a second strike, a strange mixture of light and dark from within the barrier caught her attention. It didn't stop her from finishing her punch, but it did startle her.
It took a third punch to completely shatter the ice on on her side, but over half the barrier still stood proud. The root system kept much of the crystalline structure together, using its slightly pliable nature to maintain a hold. And they weren't something she could simply punch her way through. There were many, and despite being interconnected, woven together, they were all completely separate. It was a simple, yet uniquely powerful creation. She was sure Jiraiya or her sensei could remove them quickly enough.
However, it obviously held her at bay long enough. For inside the damaged barrier of plant and ice harmlessly laid empty clothing and a scroll that was now missing whatever seal had been used. It had only delayed her for a few seconds, ten at the most due to the shock of withstanding her first blow, but it was apparently enough.
Even a child could flow through more than one hand-seal a second if they were practiced enough. Most genin could easily do three to five, sometimes more. No matter how many were required for whatever seal they used, they would have had more than enough time.
"We lost her… Them…" Hiruzen sounded old, sad, tired, aged, beaten.
Tsunade turned back to her sensei questioningly. Jiraiya was surprisingly serious and on edge at the statement. "What do you mean, 'lost them'?"
"... That seal was an unfinished product of the second Hokage." That didn't necessarily startle the Slug Princess, since her granduncle had many such seal within the scroll. "It was designed to send people back in time, but the physical aspect was unfinished. Only chakra survived the process. The body would be erased, and without a body, the chakra would be unable maintain itself, thus killing any who would attempt. However, if those two, who looked like replicas of Narumi, were any indication, a Jinchuuriki would survive, taking the place of the beast they held within. I won't guess specifics, but the Jinchuuriki seal likely has a direct relation to maintaining dominance of the Bijuu chakra. However, there was one more problem with the seal."
Jiraiya and Tsunade both were gritting their teeth at this knowledge and the implications, but waited for the rest patiently.
"A Kage Bunshin would theoretically make it, but it never did. The seal never worked properly, and Tobirama-sama never figured out why. Your grandfather joked that maybe he was sending his clones to different worlds instead. Of course, Tobirama-sama linked that to different Dimensions, ignoring his brother's joke altogether for the slightly plausible theory. And if those two Kyuubi girls were any indication…"
"We have two time-space-dimension jumping Narumi's, who stole ours away…" Jiraiya finished, in disbelief.
"... It fits, and is far better than the alternative. At least she's alive."
"I'm leaving" the woman abruptly ground out, specifically walking away from the sight of carnage behind her. She had seen many people up top hanging by frozen ice, but they weren't close enough and she sped past them, as she had with the others, without too much notice. In the alley, only one side truly had any amount of people, and the other was completely deserted, linking to an open street.
Tsunade knew her weakness, and knew how to bypass it well enough in combat situations. So long as she knew, and refused to look too carefully, she could deal with it. At least from a distance. Even if there was a scent to it, it was still bearable enough.
Jiraiya watched her walk away sadly, not bothering to stop her. He knew the people around him were in pain, but there were no dangerous injuries. He was at least thankful for that, as was his Hokage.
Hiruzen just continued staring at the half-destroyed dome shield. "Jiraiya, would you mind cleaning up this mess? It's been a long day."
Slowly, but surely, the Sage came to understand what they had truly just lost. Not just himself, not just his sensei, but even Tsunade, the village as a whole, and everyone around them.
He had lost his last true link to his student.
Hiruzen had lost a surrogate grandchild.
Tsunade had lost a possibility.
The village lost a powerful asset. Three of them.
They lost because they were hasty.
They lost because they were impatient.
They lost because they acted with mistrust.
All towards children that had been there long enough to cause trouble, yet simply kept to themselves, because they were foolishly curious and too suspicious of such impossible, unknown entities. They lost a child to their dark world due to inaction, action, greed, mistrust, desire, and so much more.
Another beautiful and beloved light was lost from their lives.
"... Sure, sensei. Take the week off. Spend it with your kids or something. I'll take care of things."
It was the least he could do.
~~~ Arc 1: Sisters: Complete ~~~
~~~ Thanks for: Beta Reading, Reviewing, Editing, Thought/Idea Creation ~~~
~ Or some other various help of some kind ~
gaara king of the sand
Walk The Max Planck
~ On ~ With ~ The ~ Author's Notes ~
The lucky winner is Three!
Third Day! Third Release! Third..!
Finality! I fluff my fur to you!
For an ending to the first Arc!
Be proud to witness such a feat!
Now fluff to my writing prowess!
…. Fluff I say! FLUFF!
…. My readers, my lovable, fluffable, adorable readers~
WHY WON'T YOU FLUFF?!
… Fine! Be that way!
Review my work instead!
Maybe I'll even fluff to those that do?
And now we move on to the real notations (and far away from my crazies)
25 Chapters of fun, hugs, fluff, love, have finally come to a point!
I have truly enjoyed writing this so far, and am still furthering it.
As stated before, I do so enjoy reading your thoughts, so don't hesitate to review.
Even if you think it's terrible, so long as the reviews are constructive, I don't mind.
If anyone has a theory, idea, or scene for this or that of any kind, I am open to explore the possible future existence of such. My kind (weirdos of reality and fantasy) do not discriminate.
Whether it be correct in the political sense, or whether it be sexist, racist, socialist, marxist, realist, fantasist, incredulist, or whatever form of incorrectness the idea was designed upon, I shall at least look into the possibility of the idea's future addition to my story!
~~~ Explanations? ~~~ Notes? ~~~ Replies? ~~~ ?!Warnings!? ~~~
Yes, the !Warning! weirdness is just a pathetic attempt at a bad joke.
One I will not, shall not, cannot explain. (Of course I can…)
Weirdness (I admit to it!) aside, I will be clearing up loose/open ends here.
Most are obvious, but those that aren't, which I deem worthy (I am god!) of response, might or might not end up here. (Writer power, activate!)
~ Hinata ~
While pulling her along would be nice, my story has no possibility for such. It is saddening with what possibilities lie in her future, but fear not! Ayame will forever be there for the poor bluenette!