Adventures of the Orange Flash
Chapter 56: Coming Together and Alliances
Naruto was currently meditating at the backyard of the house after a bit of training and researching on his Fuinjutsu to modify his Hirashin to access the time-space in a different way with hopes to find a way to get to Blaze at her world with the kunai which he had given to her acting as a beacon of sorts. He was suddenly snapped out of his meditation when his ECG-X gloves began beeping to signal a call which he answered.
"Hello, this is Naruto," said the blonde kitsune.
[Hey Naruto, it's me Sally] the aforementioned princess called from the other end.
"Oh hey Sally-chan, what's up?"
[I wanted to inform you that it's finally ready]
"You mean the headquarters for the Freedom Fighters? Kinda been putting at the back of my mind whenever my clones dispel before sending the next batch," said Naruto thoughtfully.
[Yeah, it's finally done with Rotor already there doing a system's check. We're waiting at the palace for you and the others before heading over there] said Sally.
Naruto nodded in understanding "Alright then, I'll get Sonic and co before warping over to Knothole,"
[Okay, we'll be waiting] Sally ended the call.
Naruto stood up and went inside the house to find everyone in the living room, Milla, Spicy and Wendy were watching a show on TV, Carol was lounging lazily on the couch, Lilac was reading from a scroll, and Carla just came from the kitchen with a glass of milk in her paws.
Carol noted his presence and called out to him while yawning "Oh hey Naruto, what's up?"
"I just got a call from Sally-chan that the HQ is finally ready and wants us to come over and see the place since we're members and all,"
"So it's finally complete, I was wondering when it would be done," said Lilac.
Naruto nodded in affirmation "Let's head over to Tails' Lab to meet with him and call in Sonic,"
The group got themselves ready before leaving the house with Naruto locking up after them and sent a message to Sonic to meet up at the lab since he's obviously running somewhere but wouldn't take long to arrive. Apparently they were being as Tails had opened the door before they could knock on it.
"Hey guys, I got the call from Rotor so I know why you're all here," said Tails in greeting.
"Yup, we just need to wait on Sonic," said Milla with a nod of agreement.
"Then while we're waiting for him, I could give the prototype that Rotor and I have been working on for Carol," Tails went inside with the others following him in.
"You mean you're done with it?!" asked Carol excitedly.
"The first version at least," Tails clarified.
"What are you guys talking about?" asked Naruto with a quirked eyebrow.
Carol was the one to explain "Well you see, I've been coming along pretty well with my martial arts and you helping out by teaching me some moves, not to mention that I can be pretty dangerous when on a bike. But my biggest flaw is that I don't know any ranged attacks, so I went to ask Tails and Rotor for help while you were gone,"
Tails continued for her "And we were able to come up with something that really suits her," he went to a cabinet and reached into it "Allow me to present to you…the Powered Gauntlets!" Tails held before them a pair of mechanically weaponized gauntlets with single-barrels built into each with a color scheme of green and silver (Jacqui Briggs' gauntlets from MK 10/11).
Carol excitedly put them on to find that they fit her arms perfectly and left her hands free, even hearing the gauntlets hum softly upon activation "These fit perfectly like a glove,"
"This one is of a shotgun variation so it can fire shotgun rounds for midrange attacks, its main aspect is to enhance your physical strength," Tails explained "I also made sure that there are nonlethal rounds as well just in case,"
"Sounds to me like there's going to be more than a pair of these gauntlets," said Carla.
"Yes there will, we drew up a lot of schematics for this project,"
"I can't wait to try them all out, especially since I can store them in my own S.A.C," Carol smirked at the thought of it.
Suddenly, the door burst open with a loud whoosh of air as Sonic skidded to a stop before everyone but ended up sending Tails' blueprints flying into the air with the twin-tailed fox having to fly up to grab them before any would end getting lost.
"Hey guys, just got back from my morning run and saw the message," said Sonic with a two fingered wave.
"We were just waiting up on ya, now we're all set to go," said Lilac.
"Then let's get going,"
"Alright then, everyone should make sure to have a hold on me so I can get us all there," said Naruto,
They all made sure that they were having a hold on the blonde kitsune as he locked on to the Hirashin seal and warp them all to it, finding themselves standing at the gateway to the castle where the guards were taken by surprise till they recognized who the group as they were informed in advance by the princess.
"The princess is waiting for you all in the castle, you may make your way to her," said one of the guards before signaling the others to open up the gate.
"Thanks very much," said Naruto before leading the others through the gate to the castle where they found Sally along with Barby and Bunnie waiting for them at the front "Hey everyone, hope we didn't make you wait too long,"
"Not at all Sugah fox, you're never late for us," said Bunnie with a wink, making Naruto rub the back of his head sheepishly when he recalled the kiss, she gave to him at the amusement park.
"So how are you gonna get us to this new HQ of yours?" asked Sonic.
"We have our transport all primed and ready at the courtyard," said Barby.
"What about your parents and brother, shouldn't we greet them first?" asked Lilac.
"As of now, they're busy with certain matters. We'll meet with them at a later time," Sally explained, getting nods of understanding from everyone.
She guided through the castle hallways to the courtyard where Naruto and Elias had their spar sometime ago, there they found a jet waiting for them.
Apparently, it's a unique aircraft with adjustable wingtips, possesses three jet thrusters at the rear of the ship, and two more thrusters with one housed in each wing, which enables the aircraft be capable of VTOL aka Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft (An; The Avengers' Quinjet from the MCU).
"What kind of aircraft is it?" asked Tails curiously.
"It's a creation by Rotor, he calls it the Quinjet due to being empowered by five thrusters," said Barby.
"So this will be our new ride then?" asked Sonic with a smirk.
"Pretty much, but this won't be the only way for us to get around,"
"Let's get inside and be on our way," said Sally, bringing out a remote from her pocket and opening the loading hatch for everyone to get inside and take their seats within the spacious interior before closing up and Sally went to the cockpit to take control. The Quinjet's engines hummed in power as the aircraft rose several feet into the air before the wingtips folded out and the rear thrusters propelled it forwards at high-speed towards the sky.
It was a pretty smooth flight for everyone with the Quinjet going over the sea of clouds underneath it as Naruto and the others were having a conversation over various subjects about their daily lives among other things till Sally began their descent over a thick and huge rainforest, approaching a massive waterfall which Sonic found to be a bit familiar as he had been through there before. The Quinjet was set to hover before the waterfall and everyone were surprised when something made the waterfall part away to reveal a large metallic door which was hidden behind it before opening up to grant entry for the jet to go through. Sally activated the landing gear for the Quinjet to settle on a circular platform which proceeded to carry the jet along an inbuilt rail system to a very large hangar which houses various aircrafts before rotating on its axis and settling it amongst them.
"Wow, this place is so big," said Milla in awe when she got off the jet with the others following after her.
"Well it has to be if we want to keep our stuff where nosey people can't see it," they turned to see Rotor approach with a tablet in hand before waving in greeting "Hello everyone and welcome to the Headquarters of the Freedom Fighters,"
"Hey Rotor, looks like you're finally done with the construction," said Naruto with a smile.
"It's majorly thanks to you and your clones Naruto, the time taken to do all this would have taken almost a whole year without them,"
"Is everything set Rotor?" asked Sally.
The walrus mechanic/inventor nodded in affirmation "All green, I can show you all around the place,"
Rotor guided them throughout the entire base and gave explanations about the base which could be listed out as follows:
(Common Room): A space for hanging out and recreation.
(The Bunks): A coded sleeping hall with personal space for each of the Freedom Fighters for their Bedrooms.
(The Lab): A high-tech space for science, research and development workshop like armor, weapons and upgrades, gadgets and high-tech inventions. There's also a Potion lab with it for medicine and other stuff that will help along the way.
(Kitchen): The perfect place for a victory meal or late-night snack with in the dining room(cafeteria) and a Bar.
(High-class augmented reality training center): It can make any environment imaginable while producing any kind of foes to face through solid holographic technology and the arena under it works as an omnidirectional treadmill so as your walking within the dome keeps producing the area no matter where you go.
(Command center): It is the main interface with the system holding any and all important information with all computers which it also combines and connects with a Communications Room, Surveillance Room and a Monitor Room.
(A Large garage): Storing Ground vehicles in Launch bays.
(Landing bay Hangars): Storing Air vehicles in Launch bays.
(Breakroom): A room filled with all kinds of games, movies, a pool table and air hockey table, lots of big couches with many large TVs.
(An indoor pool): with a jacuzzi in there, not to mention a Mineral SPA/Hot spring for the gang as well.
(Bunnie Rabbot's hair salon): For girls doing their hair as a personal request by Bunnie herself along with pointing out that it would also help by forming disguises when going undercover.
(Medic Room): A room in an establishment to which someone who is injured or taken ill on the premises can be taken for first aid and to await the arrival of professional emergency medical services to patch up.
(Teleportation Runes): A teleportation relic that can teleport to certain important areas and back. Created by Naruto and Tetsuo.
(Bathrooms): For ether taking a shower or using the restroom for personal hygiene.
(Gardening Room): To plant different plant life for gardening, Meditation or just adding new plants to make for the Potion Lab.
(Training Room): Their very own gym to train and work out for their free time and exercise to stay fit or just pass the time to improve their skills and a fighting ring to test your skills on someone.
(Firing Range Room): This Room is for one of the members who can handle a firearm and test their aim, accuracy and skills with it.
(Library Room): This personal Room is for information and personal time for people if they want to read or search through the archives for research to up against unknown threats or learn and discover myths and legends as supplied by Relic the Pika and Naruto from the archives of the Yakan Palace.
(Storage Room): This large room filled with Gadgets, Weapons, junk, boxes, crates and anything that will be use later or not will be put in here for safety reasons for future planning.
(Underground passage ways): These passage ways are for ground vehicles to go through and enter in to access the base, only members of the freedom fighters or allies can enter through and out.
"So, what do you guys think?" asked Sally as they were all back at the Command Center after the tour.
"I gotta admit that you guys really planned for this, being on this team is definitely gonna liven things up around here," said Sonic with a smirk.
Carol nodded in agreement "He's not wrong, we're really armed to the teeth for anything that would come our way. I'm looking forward to being on this team,"
"Same goes for me and pretty sure the rest of us," said Barby.
"But are we the only ones to be on this team?" asked Milla shyly.
Rotor was the one to answer "Not exactly, we're still recruiting potential candidates to join the Freedom Fighters. We sent several invitations out and got different responses,"
"Really, who?" asked Lilac.
Sally walked to the console and proceeded to type and display biographies on the main monitor "First we extended an invite to Amy Rose who was more than happy to accept,"
Sonic let out a small groan while Carol snickered with a tease "You just can't get away from her," the blue blur looked away without a word, it's not like he dislikes Amy but feels awkward when around her and then scared the moment she makes the presence of his Piko Piko Hammer known.
"Next was Team Chaotix but they politely refused albeit offered their services when we're in need of it. Mighty was another candidate but he felt unsure and asked to be given more time to decide, Killua refused to join and we couldn't find Natsu anywhere strangely enough,"
"I recall Natsu telling me that he was looking for somebody, kinda like you and Carla," said Naruto thoughtfully, turning to Wendy and Carla with the former nodding in affirmation.
"Maybe so, but I doubt we're looking for the same person," said Carla.
"What about Knuckles?" asked Tails.
Sally frowned in thought "Considering the fact that Knuckles is the guardian of Angel Island and protector of the Master Emerald, I don't really want to bother him much,"
Sonic was quick to waved her off "I'm sure he wouldn't mind, plus we could use his help from time to time and vice versa,"
"…I see your point,"
"Hey guys, how about a feast to celebrate the completion of the HQ and putting together a new generation of the Freedom Fighters," Naruto getting nods of agreement from everyone.
"So who's cooking?" asked Rotor.
The blonde kitsune smirked "You can leave it to me, let me at the kitchen and I'll see what I can do," Kou and Yoru began flying around his head while chirping in excitement.
"You can cook Sugah fox?" asked Bunnie with mild surprise.
"All of his food tastes great!" said Milla excitedly.
"I can vouch for that," said Sonic, recalling the breakfast he had at Naruto's place with his cousins and uncle Chuck.
"Now you're making me feel hungry already, can't wait to taste your cooking," said Barby with a playful smile.
"Sure thing, keep yourselves occupied while I do my thing," said Naruto before making his way to the kitchen with the rest following his suggestion.
Tails and Rotor were at the garage checking on the engines of the land vehicles and making sure that they're in good condition, Carol was at the Firing Range to test out her Power Gauntlets and come up with ways to incorporate them into her fighting style while Lilac accompanied her. Bunnie and Barby were at the saloon discussing about various hairstyles and fashion which would be useful for undercover missions in the future, Milla along with Spicy, Wendy and Carla were at the Gardening Room to look at the plants and talk about what they could plant and grow there as well. Sally and Nicole remained at the Command Center to ensure that the systems were functioning properly while making plans to deploy a satellite to aid them for the times ahead.
Meanwhile, Naruto was really going at it in the kitchen as he deployed a number of shadow clones to act as staff and help him out in the kitchen by cooking different kinds of food after reading through a cookbook available. Kou and Yoru wanted to help out so Naruto created a shadow clone to show the Chao how to set up the table. This took some time but eventually he was finally done and pressed a button to turn on the intercom to contact everyone.
"Hey guys, I'm finally done so you can come over now," said Naruto.
The group made their way to the kitchen and were taken by surprise at the sight of the food spread out on the table before them.
Naruto had cooked chicken nuggets, Chinese fried rice, scorch eggs, fish sticks and potato salad, he followed it up with fruit salad, mango pudding, fruit juice of different flavors in separate pitchers like pineapple, orange and melon, and he also baked a chocolate for dessert.
"Whoa dude, you really took off the kid's gloves for this one," said Sonic in surprise.
Naruto smiled in response "Yeah well I need to since this an important moment for all of us, now come and take a seat before the food gets cold,"
Everyone sat down around the table and expressed their gratitude for the food before helping themselves to it, it didn't take long for those who hadn't eaten the kitsune's food before to be quite vocal about it.
"This…this tastes amazing!" said Barby in awe after taking a bite of the rice.
"You darn tooting girl, this is some pretty good eating right here!" Bunnie took a bite of a chicken nugget.
"Told ya so, Naruto's cooking is to die for!" said Carol after munching on the fish sticks with the same going for Carla who was being dainty about it.
Naruto rubbed the back of his head, feeling a bit embarrassed "Aw come on, it's not that big of a deal,"
"I'll have to disagree with you Naruto, this food tastes better than what the chefs at our castle would have done. A pity that my parents and brother are missing out on this," said Sally.
Rotor took a drink from his glass of orange juice before speaking "I might start dropping by your place more often for a bite to eat,"
"I doubt you would ever get used to heartfelt compliments Naruto," said Kurama with a smirk and mild sympathy as all Naruto had received since birth was nothing but misplaced scorn and hatred until he became a ninja.
After eating what's left of the feast, the group settled to have more amiable conversations about how the group would work with Sally presenting what she calls the Freedom Fighters Identicards for each of them which is an invention by Rotor with help from Nicole which serves as identification and also communicators and tracking devices, Naruto applied a bit of Fuinjutsu to them that the Identicard will only work in the hands of the holder it was attuned to and even warp to them when beyond a certain distance.
Soon it was time to go with Naruto warping Lilac and the others back to Emerald Town while Sally decided to return via the Quinjet with her friends back to Knothole. Naruto dropped Rotor off at his Autoshop before getting the rest back home, he then went out for a walk in Emerald beach with the Chao to relax with the sound of the waves crashing into the shore before suddenly speaking up.
"You can show yourself now, I know you're there," at Naruto's words, something shimmered into existence behind and revealed to be none other than Espio the chameleon ninja.
"Greetings Naruto, I expected no less from a ninja of the Yakan clan," said Espio with a small bow.
"Hey there Espio, what brings you around here?" asked Naruto curiously.
"I was sent by my clan's bride to guide you to our stronghold where she would like to have an important discussion. We would have done so earlier but you were quite busy with certain matters,"
"Ain't that the truth," Naruto thought back to his recent clash with Eggman and his dimensional counterpart in the mix which nearly destroy two realities "Anyways, where is it we're going?"
"Over to Chu-nan, but I would request to blindfold you once there to conceal our location,"
"No problem," Naruto activated the Holo-map from his ECG-X gloves since he had left Nicole at home with the S.A.C "Just point at where exact the country is and I'll do the rest,"
"Very well then, it is over here," Espio pointed at a certain part of the Holo-map.
"Gotcha, Dragoon!" Naruto called out to receive a sonic boom in response before the glider descended from the skies and hovered in front of them with a low hum "Hop on so we can get going,"
Espio nodded in affirmation "Understood,"
The two ninjas jumped onto Dragoon which then took to the air at high-speed upon sensing where its master wanted it to take him to. At the speed which they were going, it didn't take very long before they flying over a mountainous region with a large percentage of green vegetation, many bodies of water flowing about. Espio directed them towards a quiet mountain town nestled between tall mountains which they made their descent.
"So, what now?" asked Naruto after he and Espio got off Dragoon and watched it fly away and wait to be called upon once more.
Espio held out a bandanna to "Now I'll guide you to our stronghold while you're blindfolded,"
"Gotcha," Naruto took the bandanna and tied it around his eyes, making sure that he can't see a thing "Lead the way,"
Espio complied as such and proceeded to do so by placing a hand on Naruto's shoulder to gently guide him to their destination. Naruto had certain ideas of which way they were going, judging by the sounds of their footsteps on the graveled ground, the sound of the river flowing, the rustling of the leaves of trees by the wind then the footsteps now echoing to mean that they're now walking through a cavernous tunnel. They finally came to a stop and Espio then spoke up.
"You can take the bandanna off now," said Espio.
Naruto did so to notice that he was in a large cavern with a deep chasm obstructing the way to a door at the other side. "So where are we?"
"This is the Way of the Blind, you need to find a way to pass if you wish to meet with the Bride," Espio responded.
"So, a test of sorts,"
"Indeed, I await your arrival at the other side," Espio formed a handsign and faded away before Naruto sensed his presence leave the cavern.
Naruto crossed his arms with a thoughtful look "Hmmm, the 'Way of the Blind'…there's a lot to go on about the name itself even,"
"Choa choa?" Yoru looked at the blonde kitsune as if asking what he meant.
"Well for starters, the title is pretty much telling us that normal sight will be of no help to us here with the same for using obvious approaches. An example being I can easily jump over the gap but…Will-o-wisp," Naruto created balls of foxfire which he mentally sent to the ceiling of the cavern to reveal a gauntlet of traps and blades which were concealed in the darkness "They have countermeasures for such obvious tactics,"
"But there's more to that, isn't there?" asked Kurama.
"Besides the title, the fact that this is a clan of chameleons that specializes in invisibility. This place requires that I need to see things from a different point of view, so therefore…Aura Sight," Naruto's vision changed as his surroundings lost their color and appeared monochromatic. He looked at the chasm to see a mazelike path crossing to the other side which is made invisible to the naked eye but he can now see it glowing a bright shining gold color.
"I'm rather surprised that you thinking through these things, I recall the many times you fell into traps many times in the past," said Kurama.
"That was a long time ago and I now know better than jump into things headfirst, now let's get moving here," Naruto retorted.
He made his way through the mazelike path to the other side and opened the door to find himself and the chao inside a rather elaborate chamber where he saw someone seated on a cushion with Espio standing next to her with a teapot in hand.
She is a light-purple chameleon like Espio with some differences like the shape of the head, a longer crest and tail. She wears gold beads and jewelry on her head with some adorning her four horns. She wears a green kunoichi outfit with yellow trim, a red sash around the waist, studded bands at the wrists and ankles, and a pair of open-toed sandals.
"It is an honor to finally meet you Naruto Uzumaki of the Yakan, please have a seat," the female chameleon gestured to the cushion before her, Naruto did so as he sat cross-legged on the cushion "Would you like some tea?"
Naruto nodded in affirmation, not sensing any ill intent "Certainly," Espio passed a cup of tea to the blonde kitsune who took a sip and found it soothing to the taste.
"Allow me to introduce myself; I am the Bride of Constant Vigil, the leader of the Shinobi clan," said Constant Vigil before taking a sip.
"I have heard of your clan, I was informed of how you serve the forces of good by aiding the oppressed and oppose the oppressors for many generations," said Naruto, recalling the history lessons by Tetsuo.
"You are indeed correct, we used to police the lands and oppose the less virtuous but we were nearly wiped out due to our small numbers, it was when the Yakan clan came to aid us against the enemies. Since then, both clans became allies due to our shared goals of protecting the weak from evil. The Shinobi clan adopted more indirect and secretive methods via observation and gathering of intel to ensure its survival while the Yakan clan practice the same but would not hesitate to emerge from the shadows to operate in the light. This continued for many years until that incident,"
"We began to take note of severe inactivity from the Yakan clan as time went and repeatedly attempted to contact but to avail, we visited their known strongholds only to find no trace of their presence. Our worry grew as the days passed and we were unable to make contact with your clan till a year went by and we came to two disturbing conclusions, either you had disbanded or were wiped out. It was why we were taken by surprise when Espio alerted us about you and your supposed affiliation to the clan which was believed to be extinct, so we had our doubts about your genuineness till we saw you in action at the tournament,"
"What proved that I was the real deal?" asked Naruto curiously.
"Your use of Foxfire, a flame which can only be used by the members of the Yakan clan which is more than proof of their return. On the behalf of my predecessors, I'd like to inquire the reason for your absence till now," said Constant Vigil.
Naruto took a sip silently before speaking "I myself don't completely know what really happened, but I learnt from the scrolls and a fox spirit that there had been a foretelling about a great evil threatening to appear in Mobius and that no one would be able to survive its onslaught. All of the ninjas of the Yakan clan made the decision to face the beast with full knowledge that they wouldn't be returning alive, no doubt they refused to contact you to avoid sharing the same fate with them,"
Constant Vigil and Espio were surprised to hear such a grave revelation about their allies having sacrificed themselves to save the world, then the former spoke up "I see…then how did you come to be the leader?"
"My circumstances are slightly different but they foresaw that I would come upon their legacy and restore the clan to its former glory,"
"I wish to reform the alliance we once shared in the past,"
Naruto smiled in response "It goes without saying that I accept the reforming of the alliance,"
Constant Vigil and Espio bowed in gratitude "We are ever grateful, know that you will receive our aid whenever it is needed,"
"Same here once I've completely restored the clan," said Naruto, thinking of the recruitment he would need to discuss with Tetsuo at a later time "Anyways, I need to get going as I've had a busy day today,"
"Quite understandable, Espio will escort you on your way out. And congratulations on the formation of the Freedom Fighters,"
"Thank you," said Naruto, not really surprised that they knew.
"Though I must warn you to beware of the Raiju clan, they've bore a grudge against your clan for many years and would no doubt be seeking to destroy you to ensure that the Yakan clan would remain nonexistent,"
Espio guided Naruto back out of the Shinobi stronghold blindfolded and into before bidding him farewell and disappearing, Naruto warped back home to Emerald Town and had a mental meeting with Tetsuo to tell him what had happened today. The fox spirit approved of renewing the alliance between and also contemplated on the process and methods of how they would recruit new members to join the clan and the training needed to be planned out but would inform the blonde kitsune when he comes up with anything helpful for them.
The next day, Naruto was at home in the garage tuning up his Samurai ZR 200 with the upgrade parts which he preordered from Rotor's Autoshop to be delivered to him today with Nicole helping him, they were just about done with the installation of the parts when Naruto's ECG-X gloves notified that he had just received a voicemail which he played and recognized the speaker to be Mina Mongoose.
[Hey Naruto, it's Mina. I realize that it's been a while since we met while the last time being at the tournament, so I was hoping to ask if you would like to come over and hang out with me and my friends over at the studio which you can find in Central City. You can send a message over to let me know if you'll be coming and I'll send the address over to you, bye now]
"Sounds to me like Mina-chan wants to hang out with us, I don't really have anything serious going on after this. What do you think Nicole-chan?" asked Naruto thoughtfully.
Nicole frowned inwardly as she was actually enjoying the time alone with him at the moment before responding to the blonde kitsune "I believe we can go and visit her for the meantime," then she thought "Maybe I should start making plans for Naruto and I to spend more time together,"
"Alright then, I'll send a reply to Mina-chan before finishing up on installing the upgrades. Would be the opportune time for a test drive even," said Naruto, sending a message of confirmation to Mina who all too quickly sent the address to them.
The duo quickly finished up on the installment and let the others know that they were going out before wheeling the bike out of the garage for Naruto to get on with Nicole sitting on his hair in her faerie form as always while the chao sat in front of him. Naruto revved the engine a few times to find the growlings quite pleasing to hear before rolling on the throttle to take off at high-speed with a 7-second wheelie before getting on the highway leading out of town, he found nodding in approval to the new performance of the bike as it was doing much better compared to its previous specs and smirked at how Carol would react when she finds then would no doubt try to spec hers up as well.
He snapped out of his musings upon entering Central City and Nicole helped navigate to the address given to them to a building which seemed obsolete at first sight but Naruto figured that it was on purpose for privacy. He got off the bike with Nicole reverting to her default form as they approached the intercom and pressed the button then a voice was heard through the speaker.
[Who is it?]
Um, my name's Naruto Uzumaki and I'm being expected," Naruto responded.
[Naruto Uzumaki? Aren't you-] the voice was interrupted by another voice which is female and excited.
Naruto heard the sound of footsteps rapidly approaching the door before it was being hastily unlocked and opened to reveal Mina who smiled happily upon seeing him and Nicole
"You're finally here, come on it you two!" Mina grabbed Naruto's hands and pulled him inside with Nicole following after them "It's been so long!"
"So I heard on the voicemail and had to admit that it's true," said Naruto with a smile, getting the songstress to giggle in response. He then heard someone walk up to them and looked to see who it is.
He is a male Mobian mongoose with yellow fur and black hair. He wears a white jacket over a black T-shirt with a frowning emoticon, red-tinted round glasses, cobalt-blue baggy jeans and a pair of black boots, his ears also appear to be pierced through with studs.
"So you must be Naruto Uzumaki," said the male mongoose with a frown.
Naruto nodded in affirmation "Yes I am, who might you be?"
Mina stood in between to do the introduction "His name is Ash and he's my producer as well as the manager for the musical band Forget-Me-Nots,"
"Well it's nice to meet you, and she's my friend Nicole," Naruto held out his hand for a shake.
Ash looked at it with a small frown before shaking "Likewise, hopefully she's your girlfriend,"
"Uh no, she's a very dear friend of mine," Naruto albeit awkwardly while Nicole looked away with a blush, feeling oddly shy and happy at the same time for having assumed to be his girlfriend.
"Ash, you shouldn't say those kinds of things to the people you just met!" said Mina with a frown.
Ash looked away with a scoff "…Whatever, don't see what the big deal is anyway,"
Mina let out a groan before turning t the blonde kitsune and Holo-lynx "Nevermind that, let me introduce you to the other members of the band,"
"Lead the way," said Naruto, he and Nicole was passing by Ash and noted that the mongoose was glaring at him "What's his problem? Looking at me as if I did something wrong to him,"
"Who knows?" said Kurama with a shrug of his shoulders.
Mina took the duo with Ash trudging behind them to a lobby where they found others relaxing on sofas chatting away. They were a brown Mobian monkey, a pink Mobian rabbit, and a Mobian rooster wearing a pair of black-tinted sunglasses.
"Let me introduce you to them; they're Max the Monkey who's the guitarist, Mach the Rabbit that plays the drums, Sharps the Chicken who plays the bass guitar," Mina gestures to each respectively.
"…Yo," said Sharps with a lazy wave, showing just how relaxed he is.
"Hi there," Mach nodded in greeting.
"No way you're Naruto Uzumaki! Mina told us a lot about you like how you rescued her and then we found you take part in the tournament; you were totally off the chain!" said Max excitedly.
"Thanks, I really appreciate it. It was thanks to my hard work and training that I was able to win," said Naruto sheepishly.
"More like luck to me," Ash grumbled, causing Naruto to glance at him with a small frown and wondering what his problem was.
"I see you got a sweet pair of headphones, got any tunes on them?" asked Mach curiously.
"I do actually with several songs from your band, like to listen to them whenever I'm on the road or want to get into the swing of things," said Naruto.
"Awesome, Mina told us about you too Nicole. She said that you're pretty good with anything electronic," said Max.
"Indeed, thank for the compliment," said Nicole with a polite bow.
"So what you guys doing today before Mina invited us to come over and hang out with you all?" asked Naruto curiously.
"Well, we had finally finished up on the song we had started a week ago and were discussing on what to do for the music. Most of us figured that a dance choreography would really make the song a lot more exciting and fun to listen and dance to, but we don't really know where to start," said Mina before slumping at the head.
"And I told you guys several times already, you don't need a dance choreography as you've done fine without them so I don't see the what the big deal is," said Ash with his arms crossed.
Mach spoke up "Come on Ash, lots of other musicians do it and were able to seriously draw the crowds in. I just know that putting a dance into the song will make it unique and be a lot more fun for our fans and everyone else,"
"In that case, do you have any ideas for the dance then?"
"We're still working on that Ash," said Mina.
Ash retorted "Well I'm not see much of anything,"
"What about you Naruto, think you could help us out on this?" asked Max.
Naruto blinked and pointed at himself "You mean me?"
"Yeah, it would help if we got an outside opinion on this,"
"I don't believe this concerns him," Ash spoke up in disapproval.
"Just let him try Ash, it won't hurt to do at least that," said Mina, causing Ash to look away.
"Well, you have been watching dance videos online every now and then. Not to forget that Sonic has also been teaching you a couple of moves, it could help," Nicole suggested.
Naruto crossed his arms in thought before speaking up "I'll see what I can do, but I'll need to listen to the song first,"
Mina smiled happily "Great, let me get the recording!" she ran off to the control room and soon came back with an mp3 player in hand. She played the song for Naruto to listen to attentively, he had her repeat it a few more times while nodding to the beat and rhythm with ideas already popping into his head "So did you get something?"
"In a way yeah, just need to play it out," said Naruto.
"Well we go an empty room which you could use," said Sharps.
"Thanks," Mina led him to the room with everyone following "Now to see how it really goes, play the song Mina-chan," she complied and pressed play for the song to start (Taylor Swift - …Ready For It?) he nodded to the beat of the song and soon got into the flow as he began to perform the dance which he had visualized in his mind, the others were surprise to see how the dance and found it to be truly eye-catching while not even that difficult to do as well (Refer to the Dance Choreography by James Deane for the song on YouTube)
"Whoa dude, did you really just come up with those dance moves?" asked Max in disbelief.
Naruto rubbed the back of his head sheepishly "It's hard to describe, I just felt for the flow of the music and its lyrics then I went along with it without pushing or pulling,"
"It's a given, considering that one of your passive aspects is Creativity. You were always formulating original ideas in the midst of battles to the point of instinct so you're simply channeling that into these kinds of things once you understood them," Kurama pointed out.
"Then it's a good thing I recorded it on video, this will totally help us out. Thanks man!" said Mach with a video camera in hand.
"No probs," said Naruto before being hugged by a happy Mina with Ash scowling at the sight.
The group spent some more time with Naruto teaching Mina the dance moves and Nicole even joining in for fun whilst suggesting a few ideas for how the music video could go till it was soon time for the duo much to their disappointment but were escorted out of the studio, Naruto was passing by Ash when he heard him whisper something to him.
"You better back off her if you know what's good for you," Ash whispered.
Naruto turned to ask what exactly he meant by that but the door was shut in his face, making the kitsune scowl "Just what is that guy's problem, he seems to be the only one in the group who doesn't like me,"
"Is something the matter Naruto?" asked Nicole with Kou and Yoru wondering the same thing if Naruto is bothered by something.
Naruto waved them off "Nothing serious really,"
"So, do we go home from here?"
"…I think we can make one more top before heading home,"
"Where would that be?"
"Ahhhhhhh, this place always makes me feel nostalgic," said Naruto as he gazed upon the picturesque paradise with green fields and beautiful blue lakes that is the Green Hill Zone.
He gazed upon the small animals happily going about their business while Kou and Yoru went to play with some of them, Naruto laid himself out on the slope of a grassy hill and felt a sense of serenity which he often feels in Konoha and began to wonder how everyone is doing back in the Elemental Nations and their newfound peace. He was snapped out of his thoughts when he heard Nicole call out to him.
"Um Naruto?" asked Nicole albeit nervously.
Naruto rose up to look at her with a tilt of his in curiosity "Yes, is there something you want to ask me?"
"Well…I was hoping to um…," Nicole fidgeted, trying to get the words "Why is it so hard to ask him?" she was about to say something when something caught her attention and turned towards it "What's that?"
Naruto looked in her direction and saw a giant golden ring with a white swirling vortex at the center materialize a fair distance away from them. they saw two figures emerged through the ring and were surprised upon seeing the appearance of one of them.
"Who are these guys and what are they doing here…and why does that hedgehog look and feel like Sonic but has green fur?"
This is Hussbek online with the latest chapter, sometime after the incident with the two Eggmen and reunion with Blaze before separating once more, Naruto was researching on modifying his Hirashin to eventually be able to connect with her dimension when he was contacted by Sally about the completion of the hidden Headquarters for the Freedom Fighters and to bring the others over so they could check it out, Naruto went on to cook a celebratory meal for everyone after the tour before making their way back.
Later on, Naruto was contacted by Espio to meet with the leader of the Shinobi clan to reform the alliance between them and the Yakan clan which he accepted but was concerned about how he would recruit members for the clan. He got invited to Mina's studio to hang out with her and her friends although one of them seems to have a problem with him, a restful stop over at Green Hill leads to an encounter with a duo appearing from out of nowhere with an eerie resemblance to his fellow speedster Sonic save for the different coloration of the fur, something big is gonna happen and he's about to be in the thick of it...again.
Be sure to read and review like always.
This is Hussbek from Ghana.
Signing out and staying alive.