The Calling Storm
Chapter 1: Exodus
The plane of existence was glowing with light, wind rustling through the shining grass and chimes singing on the ancient houses built upon this place. Tatami rustled thanks to the zephyrs of wind, and birds could be heard chirping.
There was no sun nor moon, just light filling the sky. There was a strange feeling to it, something resembling a peaceful town and at other times, a chaotic battlefield underneath the soothing atmosphere.
Takama-ga-hara. The home of the gods of Japan.
It is the plane that the kami that are in charge of protecting Japan live, an ethereal place that only they and a select few mortals may reach. It is the 'heaven' of the Earth, or rather one of the 'heavens'. The Angels had their own Heaven plane, but that was rooted in Christianity. This place was Japan's 'natural' heaven.
It is also a meeting place for when matters of great importance were needed to be discussed by the Shinto pantheon.
And at the moment, a most important meeting was being conducted.
One that would result in a great event, that would change the world.
The head palace of Takama-ga-hara was situated in the middle of a vast town populated by spirits and ethereal houses. The palace was coloured red and white, and many decorations hung on it. It was even larger than some of the other mansions that could be seen on the horizon, towering over the ant-like spirits. However, it wasn't maloevent in meaning, but was intended to be a place that declared 'we will protect you'.
Inside the palace's 'war room', so to speak, there were several Shinto gods sitting around a table, attended to by aides that stood behind their shoulders, drinking cups of tea that the gods hadn't touched for many hours.
One god, a masked man wearing elaborate shogun armor the colour of drying blood, was eying everyone else with a shrewd stare.
Hachiman, the Shinto god of war and warriors.
A white fox lazed on the floor, dozing off seemingly while several aides scratched its fur.
Inari Okami, the god of agriculture.
An older looking god, tall and with flowing white hair and clothed in priest garb and holding a shakujo, was merely observing the rest lightly while sipping at some sake he had smuggled into the meeting. He also had a long nose, and a ruddy face.
Sarutahiko Okami, leader of the earth Kami.
Beside him stood his wife, Uzume, dressed in plain brown clothes that were easy to throw off, as well as white hakama and a black hat. She was casting gazes towards the last goddess, smiling wryly as she did so.
A blue dragon glided around all of them in a circle, flowing like a river. The scales shimmered and parted like a tide, but there was an unease to the movements, and a tenseness not usually seen. Orange eyes flickered around, slitted pupils focused and serious.
Ryujin, the Dragon god of storms and of the sea.
Ryujin focused on the last goddess at the table, it's gaze lightening but nonetheless still serious.
She was beautiful. That was the only way to describe the goddess that sat at the head of the table. She was clad in a kimono of the brightest red, with white and yellow decorating it. Ornaments depicting the sun dangled from her obi, still as she didn't move.
Long black hair fell down her back, pooling around her. Red eyes flickered around the table in a rehearsed pattern, and black fox ears upon her head did not make a single twitch.
If there was one way to describe this goddess, it would be 'blank'. Her face betrayed no emotion, but there was a drive to her that didn't suggest she had no emotions and indeed, a fierce devotion to each and every one of them. Out of all of the other gods, she was their ruler.
Amaterasu, goddess of the sun.
A golden-haired woman with fox ears and a tengu aide stood behind her shoulders, observing everything about the room. Yasaka, the former was called; ruler of Kyoto, and Amaterasu's representative on Earth; essentially Amaterasu's second-in-command.
A black crow sat on the tengu's shoulder, observing everything with keen eyes.
"Let's not pretend we don't know why we've been summoned," Sarutahiko said at long last, all focusing on him. "We're here to discuss the 'Alliance' meeting on our soil, right Amaterasu-sama?"
"Indeed." Amaterasu's regal voice answered the earth god. "The Alliance met on Japan, our country and home, and formed itself without addressing us first. This, is the height of disrespect."
The Biblical Factions had met in Japan to discuss the Khaos Brigade, the recent terrorist organization around the world, and had eventually formed an alliance to face their foes. There was no particular issue with the Alliance itself; but rather, that the Shinto pantheon had not been told of this and had been shocked to discover their ancient enemies meeting on their own ground in secret.
It was enraging, to say the least.
"Those Biblical bastards!" Hachiman growled, killing intent flowing freely. "This is our land! Our soil! It was our blood and our warriors that made it what it is! Why do they have the right to waltz onto here without giving us proper address?"
Inari yawned, stretching its jaw, always the calm yet lazy one of the bunch. "I'm not surprised. Those ones have always been arrogant, just because they created those 'Sacred Gear' things. Plus, they've converted some of our people to their causes, so they probably think they're untouchable."
Hachiman growled again. "This is the height of disrespect! They should have consulted us first before bringing their armies onto our land! It is a blatant sign of war and disrespect! It seems obvious to me what should be done to amend this slight."
"You just want to fulfill your role, Hachiman. Don't deny it; you just want a war." Inari observed, keen eyes matching Hachiman's glare.
A war. Hachiman was advocating that a war be brought to the doors of the Biblical Heaven and the Underworld, the latter where both Devils and the Fallen lived. It was an action characteristic of Hachiman; as the god of warriors and pseudo-protector of Japan, he advocated violence whenever he felt Japan was threatened. Sometimes it was advantageous, other times, like now, it was problematic.
But he was also a god of warriors: this meant he was bound to protect Japan no matter what, to honour those who fought for it and still fight for it in the modern day. That protectiveness and the desire to honour the sacrifices of the past and future often made him irritated at disrespect, and when mixed with his nature as a war god, often did more harm than good sometimes.
"We cannot afford a war, Hachiman." Amaterasu monotonously chided the blood-thirsty god. "We do not have the strength to match them in battle. Especially now that they have added the Red Dragon Emperor to their side. Combined with the many other famous warriors on their sides it would be tantamount to suicide."
Hachiman gripped his katana, laid across his knee, nearly breaking it in half. "All the more reason we should attack now before the Red Dragon Emperor comes into his own! From what I've heard he was only recently turned into a devil and has little control over his Sacred Gear! If we wait for him to come into his own, the devils will truly be unstoppable!"
"Ah, Hachi-man might have a point here for a change," Sarutahiko ignored the protest from the war god at the nickname; Uzume likewise chuckled. "We've let them step over us for too long. Sure, we might be out-gunned, but we at least need to confront them on this. Violence or not."
Ryujin narrowed his eyes in agreement with Sarutahiko's assessment. As the leader of the earth kami, Sarutahiko too wanted to protect the earth, Japan and his fellow kami. Therefore, it wasn't surprising he often supported Hachiman's advocated solutions. Though, just like Hachiman, it made him a little bull-headed at times, but he was not necessarily a bad person.
Amaterasu glanced at Ryujin, calming the Dragon down. However, the scales at its neck still glowed angry red, ready for release.
"Then there's the whole mess with the Ame-no-Murakumo," Sarutahiko continued. "Heaven needs to return that; it belongs to us by right, but they won't do that peacefully. Unless we give them something in exchange."
Killing intent blazed into existence, causing all to breathe heavily for a moment. For several seconds, they were all unable to breathe, with Yasaka nearly beginning to choke and the tengu fainting.
Amaterasu's quiet rage dissipated as soon as it came, as she turned a lidded gaze upon Sarutahiko.
"As we are now, there is no change of success. In your plan, or Hachiman's." A bitter tone entered Amaterasu's blank voice. "We will never be strong enough to face them. Not without..."
Not without them, was what she meant to say. But she couldn't get the words out thanks to her voice being clouded with emotion.
The gods, even Hachiman, quelled themselves and bowed their heads deep in respect. Inari howled, and Ryujin wept.
Susano'o-no-Mikoto, the strongest warrior of the Shinto pantheon, had disappeared after fighting his ancient enemy, Yamata-no-Orochi. The latter had been resurrected from death somehow, and the battle had been cataclysmic. By the end, Orochi was dead and there was no sign of Susano'o, except for the fallen Totsuka-no-Tsurugi.
Even the Totsuka had been stolen recently, weeks ago, by a certain descendant of Susano'o's. Both of these losses had deeply hurt the Shinto gods: though Susano'o had once been unruly, he had purged himself of his imperfections and became a better man.
He was mourned for many days. And no-one grieved more than Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi, his siblings, as well as even Izanagi, their distant father.
The crow on the tengu's shoulder looked at Amaterasu in worry.
"That is why we must fight back against them! They have claimed so much from us, and to not get it back would dishonour the memory of Susano'o-sama!" Hachiman argued, his words fuelled by hatred as much as the wish to honour his old comrade's memory.
"It'd be suicide, Hachi, or are you not getting that through your thick skull?" Inari's patience was thinning, and it growled at Hachiman, who gripped his katana in response.
"We... we must not antagonize them." Amaterasu's voice blanked out again, but sadness and anger tinged it. "And this Khaos Brigade is on our borders: we cannot fight on two fronts."
There was a resigned air about them, even about Hachiman in this regard. Dealing with two enemies wasn't their style; better focus on the greater problem, such as the Khaos Brigade, for now.
"It isn't right," Hachiman argued again, but his voice was resigned, "They shouldn't have taken those possessions, and they should give us respect as fellow deities. But then again, they'll never give anything back without being greedy heretics."
They all agreed with him, they all wanted the relic back and acknowledged, but none-the-less, they had to bitterly accept the fact they probably wouldn't get those things even through Hachiman's resolutions.
Wordlessly, Hachiman got up and accompanied by his two kabuto-helmed bodyguards, stormed out of the meeting room. Almost immediately, the rest did the same. Sarutahiko laid a gentle arm upon Amaterasu's shoulder before leaving, and Ryujin roared in grief before flying out of the window.
Storms trailed him, and the seas rose in fury.
Amaterasu, Yasaka, the tengu and the crow were all that were left in the room. The aides quickly left, shutting the door behind them.
Yasaka looked at Amaterasu in concern, as the latter's shoulders shook and her emotions began showing.
"Amaterasu-sama..." Yasaka murmured, as the crow hawked and began to beat its wings for flight.
Suddenly, Amaterasu gripped the table and without warning, slammed her head into it. The fine wood cracked down the middle, but held despite the force the sun goddess put behind her strike.
Another headslam into the table.
The table began creaking.
The table broke completely in two, and the room itself was almost ripped down the middle by Amaterasu's rage.
Yasaka sighed; there went a particularly lovely table. She'd grown quite fond of it recently, though she knew Amaterasu would end up breaking it. Just like she always broke their tables when she got angry at things not solving themselves.
Amaterasu heaved in fury, narrowing her eyes and clenching her teeth and turning her gaze upon a particular bird.
The crow had been attempting to exit the room and enter the room in the inner sanctum without anyone noticing while Amaterasu raged, but froze when it noticed she was glaring right at it.
"Get the hell out of here, you damn siscon!" Amaterasu roared at the crow. "I don't need you raiding my panties again today!"
She hurled a fireball at it; wisely, the crow had immediately began flight, so it didn't combust into a crisp, cooked crow. Instead, the feathers on its tail merely caught fire, and it flew while attempting to blow them out, back to the dominion of the moon.
When it finally left, Amaterasu sagged to her knees, sighing deeply and clutching her head. No doubt, a headache was brewing. Well, she decided, better make it a more delightful one to have than usual.
She turned to the tengu, who cowered from her frowning face.
"Oi, you. Get us some sake. I feel like getting drunk now."
With a replacement table brought in post-haste, Yasaka and Amaterasu sat down and poured the sake provided to them into cups. They sipped them at the same time; they coughed a little, for it gave a little kick in their chests, but not overly unpleasant.
They took another sip together, getting used to the taste. It was something they both sorely needed after recent events.
"I hate those kinda meetings, Yasaka-chan," Amaterasu complained after a few sips, "Nothing ever gets done anymore and it's not even fun to mess with Hachi anymore. He's just so serious and dense, and Saru's not much different."
Yasaka listened patiently: yes, she agreed with Amaterasu's statement. The council was stagnating, even more so than in earlier years. It was a combination of many factors, chief among them that because there hadn't been much conflict on their borders for years the gods had become comfortable with peace. In addition to this, they all had different agendas and opinions, thanks to their personalities and domains.
Even during wartime, the one time that they could agree on anything and act on it, there was still friction between them all. Hachiman always wanted the 'most glorious' (which usually translated into most bloodiest) outcome and never saw the bigger picture most of the time, while Inari was almost the exact opposite.
Amaterasu was a blend, wanting a resolution but sometimes acting too cocky. The point was that all of their differences, now that they were in a relative state of peace, as well as Susano'o-sama's 'departure', were coming to a head and causing the conflicts with one another to intensify.
Something Yasaka knew the devils were taking advantage of.
If it continued, it would be a problem.
But right now, Yasaka decided, as she sipped again, Amaterasu needed to let off steam like she always did. Doing it through drinking? Perhaps not healthy for the sungoddess, but it was her way of doing so.
Yasaka had no reason to go against her ruler, and close personal friend. Even if she was concerned.
"Those Biblical asses..." Amaterasu whined, her cheeks becoming even more red than before. "They keep takin' our people, our possessions and our respect! They've made us look like those weird Greeks! It-it's infuriating!"
It was to be expected, Yasaka considered: the Shinto pantheon and the Biblical pantheons had always had a tense relationship, ever since the days of when Christianity spread to Japan. The gods' relied upon the belief of their people, and Amaterasu above the other Japanese gods cared for the mortals, calling them her family on occasion when she wasn't forced to wear 'the queenly mask', and wanted to keep them and Japan safe.
Christianity spread to Japan, and people who had once believed intensely in the Shinto gods had then denounced them as fake in the face of the 'one true God'. It had infuriated all of the gods, from what Yasaka had been told: even old Izanagi, the one god she'd never seen before, had raged alongside them all.
It had been a black time, her predecessor had told her and refused to elaborate on what happened. What she did know was that for decades after, things were tense between the Church and the Shinto pantheon. Rumour had it Izanagi even faced Archangels on the battlefield alongside Susano'o.
Those were rumours however; she hadn't found evidence to support it. But, it was still amazing. Izanagi was famed for not really doing anything, preferring to walk about Takama-ga-hara; the mere possibility he had left it to fight was awe-inspiring, if a bit terrifying.
"That's always going to be the case, Amaterasu-sama." Yasaka consoled her friend as she cried even harder than before. "But, I think we've had enough depressing topics covered tonight. Would you like to hear about Kunou?"
Amaterasu's behaviour immediately made a one-hundred-and-eighty turn, and her eyes sparkled. She was fiercely protective of Kunou, and found the young kitsune to be the 'cutest thing' ever. In turn, Kunou idolised Amaterasu whenever she visited Kyoto on business- which was more along the lines of escaping the paperwork hell of Takama-ga-hara. Tales of Kunou were guaranteed to make Amaterasu cheer up, even when she was at her lowest.
Yasaka also had to admit that she loved bragging about her daughter whenever she could. The golden haired kitsune might be the responsible leader of the youkai in public, but she loved her daughter and loved gushing about her.
"Yes! How's Kunou-chan doing?" Amaterasu asked excitedly, bouncing up and down. "I've been too busy to visit, but I hear she's starting her kitsune-bi training!"
"Indeed, she's progressing quite well," Yasaka replied, a soft and warm smile gracing her face, "She's having some trouble with control, but overall she's progressing faster than I thought she would. "
Yasaka looked around briefly in a mock of spies, before whispering with a smile, "And... she may or may not have dyed my tengu servant's robes pink after a stressful education session."
Amaterasu laughed out loud, slamming her hand down onto the table with such ferocity and speed that Yasaka was briefly afraid the table would be broken just like the last one.
"Ahahahahahaha! That's Kunou-chan! She always does the best pranks!" Amaterasu cried out, swaying a little. "That reminds me of back then, when I pranked my siscon brother into peeping, but he got a faceful of Susano'o instead!"
Amaterasu laughed uproariously for a few moments, before they petered out and she was looking melancholic, a complete change to how she was just a few minutes before. It was still a sensitive subject, Yasaka gathered, for Susano'o to be mentioned. Even though decades had passed, Amaterasu still felt sadness at her brother's disappearance and likely death.
Susano'o was barely mentioned in the pantheon now, out of respect: they had all known him and even if most hadn't liked him they had still respected him and acknowledged his feats. Except for the odd gathering at the place marked as his grave, he was only mentioned and talked about frequently by his descendants on the mortal plane.
"If he was here, this mess wouldn't have happened," Amaterasu muttered sullenly, taking the bottle of sake and drinking from it a little more, "He'd have forced these guys in line or they'd get a one-way ticket to Izanami-san's residence in the Underworld. Heh, he'd go through with it too."
Amaterasu's eyes clouded in memory and the haze of drunkenness. That battle he'd had with Orochi those years ago...she hadn't expected it. Whenever Susano'o killed something, it stayed dead- nothing came back, except for that bastard snake.
Her hand clenched the bottle. The glass cracked a little.
It had been painful, and still was, to think about her brother. The last thing he'd said to her that day was that 'he'd take care of that snake and be back for dinner'. She'd waited for him all day before going out to see what had happened; all she had found was Orochi's corpse and the Totsuka-no-Tsurugi, battered and worn, its edge cracked, stuck into the plateau like a grave marker.
From then, things went downhill. First, there was the loss of the Kusanagi, 'given' to the Church- the Indian and Chinese pantheons had sensed a disturbance in the Shinto pantheon at last, and deployed forces to finally take them over. It had been a bloody conflict, one that had taken years to fix. It was only thanks to the great need of the times that Amaterasu had asked for Heaven's help in chasing them off.
"More like begged..." Amaterasu sighed forlornly, Yasaka looking concerned at her.
Of course, they wanted something in return: the Kusanagi sword. Publicly, they wanted it because it was a Holy sword and belonged with "God", but unofficially it was just meant to be a trophy to be used against them in future conflicts.
It had "mysteriously" been broken before being given to them. What a strange coincidence.
A large portion of the bottle was gone now, and Amaterasu began feeling dizzy.
Then the Devils began converting their people- Amaterasu's people- and they couldn't do a thing about it. Soon, in the blink of an eye, Amaterasu had lost everything she'd held dear for her long life: her little brother, her people, the respect she deserved, and even the present from Susano'o, which she'd held warmly for many nights after his disappearance and even before, as a token that her brother cared about her despite everything he'd done and what he'd apologised for.
What a joke. What a damn joke!
Tears prickled Amaterasu's eyes, and everyone in the vicinity began panicking.
There were several types of drunks; angry drunks, funny drunks, and sad drunks. Funny drunks were easy to deal with, but sad drunks were the hardest, mainly because they kept crying for hours and hours.
Naturally, Amaterasu was a sad drunk combined with a funny drunk.
"Otouto-ro, make everything right!" Amaterasu began crying now, unable to hold back her tears, "I want everything back the way it was! I want it back now!"
Her tears were quite literally rivers, and the attendants struggled to try and calm her down. It was hilarious how comical the scene was, Yasaka found, even if the context most definitely wasn't. Amaterasu batted away the attendants before hugging the nearest tengu, breaking his back as she called him 'little brother' over and over again.
At this event, Yasaka gave a little giggle- it was amusing, though it probably wouldn't be when Amaterasu woke up with a monster hangover in the morning courtesy of her draining the bottle of sake.
The youkai leader briefly debated whether or not she should put Amaterasu to bed, as well as maybe calling Uzume for her hangover cure, but something unexpected happened.
There was a pulse of power in the air.
They stood still, barely able to breathe around the unexpected sensation- it felt like lightning coursed their veins. Even Amaterasu had stopped weeping and was taking note of what had just happened.
There was another pulse, of something familiar. Amaterasu couldn't think straight, but her face widened into a genuine smile, because she knew exactly who the pulse was coming from. It was too good to be true, but yet...
The tengu walked to the balcony, and his eyes widened immensely at what he saw.
"Amaterasu-sama! Look!" He called to them, pointing into the sky.
Amaterasu was there in a heart-beat, Yasaka too, and they looked at what the tengu was indicating.
They stopped breathing.
A black portal, chaotic and sparking with some kind of energy, had opened up in the sky. It was enormous, to the point that even Amaterasu's divine form would be able to fit into it. That wasn't the part they were focusing on, however.
It was what was falling out of the portal.
Though it was many miles away, the object could still be seen clearly. It was a large, ethereal warrior made of purple energy, with features of a tengu. Pieces were missing from it with holes in its stomach, wings ripped asunder and part of its head missing all while purple flames tried but failed to regenerate the damage.
Amaterasu knew who that was. There was no denying it. She would be a poor excuse of a sister if she couldn't recognise him.
It was her brother. Susano'o had returned at last.
"Otouto-ro!" Her hangover forgotten, Amaterasu ejaculated that single phrase loudly and clearly. "I'm coming!"
In a flash of orange fire, and with Yasaka and the attendants forgotten, Amaterasu leapt over the balcony and headed straight for where the great warrior crashed down. The people she left behind tried to gain her attention, but by the time they tried to do so, the sun goddess was already many miles away.
She ignored the spirits she passed, blasted through trees and forests and caves to get to her destination. She was on a mission, and the sun goddess would be damned if she was going to be held up now!
As Amaterasu ran forward, a million feelings emerged in her chest. Joy, because she knew her brother had returned at last, and that he was alive. Happiness, because now they could be a family again after so many years of separation. Anger, because whoever had done that to her brother would be burned alive for a thousand years.
And finally, hope.
She so desperately hoped against hope that she wasn't too late: her senses had told her that her brother was near expiring; most of his vast stores of energy had been spent, his wounds were grievous and devastating, and he was on the threshold of dying. Even her godly senses could barely pick up the faint beating of his fading heart.
Not again. She wasn't going to lose him again!
In a flash, she had reached the crash site, looking down on it. The earth was hot to the touch as she journeyed down it to the bottom of the crater, and trees had been uprooted and destroyed. Some spirits had been observing the scene with curiosity, but at the sight of her proceeding down it had vacated the premises.
She reached the bottom of the crater, looking down in relief. The last traces of Susano'o's divine form had crumbled away, leaving a mortal body behind in the crater. Many wounds covered her brother's body, and he was practically caked in blood; closer observation noted that it had spilled from his various orifices. Her brother's chest was heaving up and down with great effort, which relieved her; he was still alive, and she could still save him.
There was something... different about her brother though, something about him that she couldn't put her finger on. It was unimportant at the moment, however.
Amaterasu's heart skipped several beats as she looked down at her brother's unconscious mortal body. It looked exactly like him, down to the black hair and pale skin, as well as those handsome cheekbones. He was wearing different clothes than he usually did- something resembling a destroyed poncho clung to his body before turning into ashes, with black clothes underneath that.
What shocked her was that he was missing his left arm at the elbow, but that was hardly important now. She had to bring him back for treatment- he was at death's door as it was, and Amaterasu didn't fancy giving up her newly returned brother to her stereotypically evil step-mother just yet.
Especially since Izanami was known to hate everything to do with her father.
It was still shocking however; her brother had been renowned as the strongest warrior of the Shinto pantheon after their lazy-ass father, and for his divine form to have been shattered and destroyed like this... it hadn't happened before.
She grabbed him in her arms, despite her brother being significantly taller than her. Amaterasu sped off back towards the palace, and in her mind made a promise.
"I won't let you die again, little brother." Amaterasu swore, as tears began flowing out of her eyes. "I can't let you die, not now."
And so she swore: she had watched her family decay- Tsukuyomi confining himself to the realm of the moon in penance, her father retreating into Takama-ga-hara in grief at his own mistakes, and her little brother die to the bastard snake he had slain before.
She would not let their family be broken again. Not when it was finally complete again, as she had always hoped.
Susano'o said nothing, except that his body relaxed into Amaterasu's grip at this declaration.
Sasuke walked through the swirling black portal of his space-time dojutsu technique, somewhat lost in thought.
He'd been scouting out several of Kaguya's dimensions once more, trying to find some kind of record or markings that indicated where she came from. The last Uchiha had taken up this mission for obvious reasons: in order to make sure no more people, or rather 'monsters' like Kaguya appeared in their world, the world of the Elemental Nations. It had taken Sasuke and Naruto everything they had to seal Kaguya away, nearly all of their gritted determination and every ounce of their power, along with a pre-prepared seal by the Sage of the Six Paths to aid them.
Remembering the utter hell of that fight, Sasuke's eyes narrowed as he walked through the portal, his Rinnegan spinning in response.
If there were more like Kaguya, he had to find them. Not just to make sure they wouldn't come to the shinobi world, but so that they could have concrete evidence that there were more of Kaguya's people somewhere, scattered around the dimensions, and be prepared for when they came knocking.
"Hn..." Sasuke mumbled, lost in thought. "This is getting troublesome..."
He had gone through several dimensions, some inhabited and some completely barren, and found no clues as to her origins. It was...immensely frustrating for the Uchiha. He had become immensely patient over the years, especially since Naruto had opened his eyes two years ago, but he still desired results.
But he'd known that it would be a long road, so there was no use in whining about the fact his self-appointed job was more difficult than he thought it would be. It had taken him several trials and experiments to even get this dojutsu technique he hadn't named yet working and functioning, and even more to establish it's limits.
"I just have to find those dimensions." Sasuke had decided back then, when he began travelling.
He had accepted that the only chance of finding any records would be in those dimensions of Kaguya's he had seen; worlds of ice, lava, high-gravity sand and even the one with a new moon courtesy of him and Naruto. They were his only shot, but it was proving immensely difficult to get through to them.
Evidently, Kaguya had been paranoid and prepared enough to make it difficult to find dimensions she herself had created from scratch. Admirable in an ally, but in an enemy like Kaguya it frustrated Sasuke immensely.
His left eye was beginning to feel heavy and began to close on its own- as it did, fatigue began to spread through Sasuke's core and into his limbs, stopping around his eye. He touched his eye and closed it, tutting as he did so. His Rinnegan was losing charge again, just like it always did when he used this space-time dojutsu technique.
That was another reason, Sasuke reflected, on why it was taking so long for him to go between dimensions: his Rinnegan was unsuited to the strain this technique brought on him, and nearly everytime he used it to shift dimensions, the eye would end up being depleted of its power for a duration of time.
Hardly unexpected, but exceedingly frustrating for Sasuke, since his Rinnegan was the sole reason he was making any progress on his self-imposed mission. It would probably help it recover faster if he didn't strain it everytime it recovered and if he gave it a chance for a few days' rest. But Sasuke couldn't do that, not when every second represented a possible danger to his world.
To his allies, friends, and even...
He shook his head away from such thoughts: there was no point in thinking such meaningless thoughts, especially when he was on the job, but all the same...a feeling of melancholy longing filled Sasuke's heart, softening his hardened core.
A feeling he hadn't felt for a very long time, not since he was a child.
Suddenly, out of nowhere the Uchiha felt his technique shift, his Rinnegan being stabbed by great pain, and the feeling of falling through the air.
He resisted the sudden urge to throw up, even as his surroundings span at a high speed, and forced his legs to stay rooted even as he swayed like a drunk. The nauseating spinning nearly got to Sasuke, but at the moment when he feared the spinning wouldn't stop, it did so suddenly and so immediately he fell to his knees in exhaustion, the bitter taste of vomit forcing itself up his throat.
Sasuke coughed roughly to get rid of the disgusting taste in his throat, swallowing it with a grimace as well. After the dizziness dispelled itself after a few minutes, Sasuke looked around his surroundings, trying to gauge what had happened.
His eyes widened in surprise before narrowing in suspicion. A rare occurance for him to do both so quickly.
He was standing on a great surface riddled with ridges and spikes, as red as a Fire Release technique. It spanned the horizon and even farther beyond that; to the point where Sasuke's Rinnegan and Sharingan couldn't see the end of the great surface. It was, at his best estimate, the size of a country. Then again, without a way to compare, it was admittedly a guess.
He was somewhat curious about why his Susano'o had activated immediately, without any conscious command from him. The purple-shrouded ribcage surrounded Sasuke like an all-purpose shield, protecting him from harm. Though what harm at the current moment, Sasuke had no way to know. At the moment, 'why' wasn't important: what was, was that he was in an unknown place.
He looked up, and he was once again surprised, without the suspicion of before, with his mouth opened to express the wonder.
The sky was completely full of colour. Red, blue, black, yellow...any colour known to man filled the "sky" and space around the surface Sasuke was standing on, blending together into some kind of rainbow. The colors should have clashed, but instead they melded together as if it was natural. They shouldn't have been able to blend together and create this scene, but somehow they did. It was like an aurora, or some kind of masterful painting that was somehow alive.
It was almost like a kaleidoscope.
"Tch, how ironic..." Sasuke mused as he took in the incredible sight.
An empty cold began to spread through his body, and Sasuke's eyes flashed. Bones spread out from the ribcage, becoming humanoid before flesh covered them. In a moment, Susano'o's third stage was active.
"Even the Susano'o's protection is disappearing..." Sasuke tutted, narrowing his eyes.
If that was the case, escaping this strange dimension was his top priority. A strange rock-like winged beast simply hung in air, in defiance of physics, briefly catching Sasuke's gaze before he gave up on it. It wasn't important to his task of escaping this dimension. And undoubtedly, escaping this dimension was the best course of action.
As he thought that, a lance of pain speared his Rinnegan, causing him to hiss in pain and clutch it. Of course his Rinnegan hadn't recovered enough the one time in recent memory he actually essentially needed it for his survival. He needed to escape this dimension before his Susano'o and chakra reserves were completely drained, but with his Rinnegan out of commission for now...
However, as he mused about his next move, something pulsed.
Sasuke stilled, eyes widened at the feeling. Like a heartbeat, there was another pulse. Then another, and another. They were soon blending together in a chaotic pattern- sometimes it slowed, sometimes it quickened. The pulse was invading his very body, every inch of it, surging through his veins like poison to the point that Sasuke had to steady himself from the possibility of falling over.
He lifted his sole remaining hand to his face, and was shocked to see it trembling.
"What the...?" Sasuke mouthed, watching his hand with curiosity as it trembled even more.
The pulses were getting stronger, and ice began to rapidly form in Sasuke's stomach. His throat was dry, his palm was becoming clammy and he could feel sweat beginning to pour from underneath his head-gear. Even as he attempted to stop all the symptoms, he knew what feeling was spreading through his body. He knew, and more importantly his heart knew.
Utterly ridiculous, he thought. What did he have to be afraid of? The only time he had felt true, unadulterated fear was against Orochimaru when he was just twelve years old: since then, he'd faced opponents so much stronger than himself with nothing but determination and no sense of fear. So why was he feeling this fear again?
He tried to calm himself, and turned his gaze forward.
His heart stopped beating.
Lazily, some distance away, the ridges and spikes opened like a great pit, exposing a great, red slitted eye. It was the size of Konoha, maybe even more, and reminded him of Orochimaru's own summons. He would have discarded that thought if not for one thing.
That eye was looking right at him.
The pulses coalesced into one surging tide of power that reached heights Sasuke hadn't thought possible. He fell to his knees at the crashing sensation washing over him; if Kaguya's power had been a lake, then this power, no, this force of nature could only be described as a chaotic ocean.
At the moment their eyes crossed contact, the last Uchiha's breath stilled in the tension-filled air. Then there was a rumble, like a great earthquake multiplied by a thousand, before there was a great suck of breath, and then...
The creature roared.
When Sasuke woke up, his vision was blurry.
His bones felt like lead, and he could barely move anything.
He could hardly make anything out, but he was laying on something soft-a bed?-, and there were shining things around the place.
Were they lights? He couldn't tell; it was an effort to even open his eyes, even more so to try and focus on those lights. When he tried, his eyes hurt and he was forced to close them again. They were so irritating, he just wanted them to go away so that he could sleep...
His thoughts were jumbled too: he couldn't really remember how he'd come to this place, and his mind was being stretched several different angles. His head hurt, but he couldn't even lift his last remaining arm to grip it.
"Where..." Sasuke managed to get out, before he coughed a little. "What..."
He suddenly realized his throat was dry and sore from something. The dry sensation was irritating, but he couldn't do anything about it. He tried searching for a glass of water, but he couldn't see any blue around him.
Colours surrounded him, and he couldn't care less about them. All he wanted to do was sleep, and he couldn't even do that.
Then, a red blur popped into his degraded vision. The red was akin to blood, and the last Uchiha forced himself not to think of that night-
-Mother and father, laying in a pool of blood-
- Blood pooling around the bodies he found in the streets, painting the stone red-
- A red moon-
- Shining red eyes, filled with murderous intent-
- "Foolish little brother. Mangekyo Sharingan!"-
His breathing accelerated, his chest heaved, his heart was erratic, and Sasuke just wanted to get outoutoutout-
The red blur caught him into a gentle hug, and said something but Sasuke couldn't even hear anything it was saying. There was one thing he could discern from the white noise, one thing...
"It's alright, little brother. You're safe."
His heart stopped. His brain stopped thinking. His body pulsed. And his head forced him to remember-
- The smell of lightning as he charged at that man-
- The hot anger at seeing him sitting on that throne, like he owned it when he didn't, he didn't deserve it-
- Two fingers poking him in the forehead, and his brother smiling a bloody smile at him-
- "Sorry Sasuke, but this is the last time."-
All those memories, all those flashes of things he'd put behind him but pained his soul, that kept haunting him...!
He couldn't take it anymore.
Sasuke didn't know what he was doing, but he needed to get away. He shoved the blur back pathetically, but all it amounted to was a pathetic push like a drunk would give.
"Go...away...!" He rasped out, trying to think of how to get out of here-! "Leave...me...alone!"
Sasuke tried drawing on chakra for a Chidori, or calling Susano'o before his body was full of pain, stabbing into his heart, soul, anything it could find like a hot knife or a cold spear.
His vision was completely red, and he coughed violently before falling on his side. He could taste metal on his tongue- was he coughing up blood again?- but the coughing just kept getting worse, until Sasuke felt something sticky cover his chest.
The blur from before caught him in its grip again, and despite his pathetic struggling, he couldn't get free.
Despite his desire to get away, his body relaxed for some reason into the soft cloth. His eyes were closing slowly again, the red not seeming so much like blood now. But beyond that, there was a feeling in his chest, something he hadn't felt for a long time.
Safe. You are safe.
His eyes closed, he relaxed into the hug, before he knew nothing more.
They were all stood in shock- Amaterasu, Yasaka, the tengu attendant- as the medics swarmed Susano'o's bloody body, doing their best to heal the wounds again and applying medical knowledge gained over many years of training.
Amaterasu's gaze was fixated on her brother's body, and her face was haunted: so many emotions coursed through her at that moment, and it was difficult to really perceive the rest of the world. She felt a gentle nudging on her shoulder, and saw Yasaka looking concerningly at her.
"Amaterasu-sama, it's best we leave for now. You need a new change of clothes." Yasaka told her, and guided her out.
Amaterasu looked down; oh, that was right. Her kimono was stained with her brother's blood, from where he'd torn open his wounds and stitches. She looked back at him briefly, at his pained face, and her heart rend in two.
What had happened to him?
Even when they'd been mutually antagonistic thousands of years ago, the sun goddess had never seen her brother so agitated and erratic. He'd always been somewhat rough and uncouth, but maintained an air of calmness and civility despite his jerkish behaviour. So, this experience was new to her, and Amaterasu didn't know how to deal with it.
The only time in recent memory when he'd been as erratic and as filled with rage, sadness and everything in between was when...
No, Amaterasu decided. She wasn't going to think about that right now. It had taken years for any of them to stop thinking about that too. It had been for Susano'o they had done so, and the reason why they had kept tending her grave after his disappearance.
She cleared her mind with focus, and followed Yasaka into a spare room near to Susano'o's. It was a small comfort, and as she stripped of her bloody garb and her attendants put out a new kimono for her, helping her into it she began thinking more through her shock and calmed down.
She was glad he was back where he belonged, even if his behaviour just then had immensely surprised her. It was going to be nice to finally talking with her brother again, in a civilised conversation. Tsukuyomi, despite how much he had calmed down over the years, still tried to get in her pants, and her father was still a lay-about in Takama-ga-hara.
Talking with Susano'o, was going to be refreshing. And the sun goddess smiled as the thought made a warm fire spread through her hear.t
"It seems Susano'o-sama is delirious." the tengu attendant told them as he reappeared shortly after Amaterasu was dressed again. "He seems to have reacted negatively to the painkillers, and his wounds certainly didn't help matters. I wouldn't be surprised if he has new scars from whatever did that to him."
That was another cause for concern; whatever had fought Susano'o. Amaterasu's lips pursed as she thought of it; the amount of wounds she had seen, and the blood that had caked his body like rust on a blade...
Whatever had done that...was certainly something 'above gods'. And that thought terrified her, because she knew of only a few beings that could be considered above the gods themselves.
And of them, only one could have caused the wounds on her brother...
"Regenerating Susano'o-sama's arm might prove even more difficult," She was brought out of her thoughts by the tengu's voice, "The medics informed me that it seems he's been without his full arm for more than two years: they weren't sure of whether or not they would be able to regenerate it. He must have fought something exceedingly powerful for that to be the case."
That made sense; the state of his divine form when he'd fallen from that haphazard black portal had, even in her excitement, made Amaterasu think about what he could have been fighting. Even from the distance she had been from it, she sensed a multitude of energies flowing from that portal.
There was only one conclusion that could be drawn from that.
"The Dimensional Gap." Amaterasu muttered, everyone's attention being drawn to her. "Otouto...somehow he ended up there and fought that being."
Cold sweat dripped down all of their spines. They all knew of the Dimensional Gap- it was common knowledge among the supernatural. And just as commonplace was the knowledge of a great being that dwelled inside that space.
Great Red. The Dragon of the Apocalypse.
"If that's true, Amaterasu-sama," Yasaka replied, her eyes narrowing a little and sweat dripping from her forehead, "Then it's a miracle that Susano'o-sama was able to return. I've never heard of anyone who met the Dream and lived."
That was certainly true. Great Red was an existence that 'could not be challenged'. Some had tried before, but none had managed to survive or even make it back from the Dimensional Gap. And despite how nightmarish it was that her little brother- the strongest of them all, barring their father- had been so mortally wounded by Great Red, it was a relief to Amaterasu.
Because, it meant that her brother was truly strong to have lasted so long. He had been in the upper tiers of God-class power when he had disappeared, and if he had managed to survive against Great Red his power must have increased a lot for that to even be a possibility.
Not even she, the strongest in the Shinto pantheon, could hope to last more than a minute against that being.
And maybe without Great Red, she wouldn't have been able to reunite with her brother.
"Or would it be 'reincarnation'?" Amaterasu mused, and everyone else caught on to her musings. "His energy is definitely my brother's and there's a taste of the divine in it but he's definitely human. It feels like he's on his way back to godhood but he's still inherently human right now."
"That could be true," the attendant complied with her thinking, "Something has definitely changed Susano'o-sama's being, and reincarnation would make much sense. He's also been missing for enough time that, even if he died against Orochi, he would have lived through at least several reincarnations."
Reincarnation... it wasn't something Amaterasu had wanted to consider in her excitement, because her brother was here and he was going to stay here, but she forced herself to look at the facts. If this wasn't really Susano'o but a reincarnation of him, she couldn't get her hopes up: he might not even remember any of this, which would mean he'd have to be re-educated.
Somehow, that thought brought her glee, and she chuckled behind her hand. When they were children, Susano'o had taken so much pride in being the smartest of them and picking everything up like a true genius: it would be fun to mess with his reincarnation, because then she'd finally be able to get back at him for those comments about her being a 'brain-dead, dead-last idiot'.
"My little brother..." Amaterasu began chuckling in glee. "I'm gonna enjoy messing with you again."
Yasaka sighed; of course Amaterasu would choose to focus on that particular reward of her brother being reincarnated. Being able to lord all of her possessions over him, like a school jockey or an incredibly arrogant rich person.
Like brother, like sister.
"And he's gotten really strong too, to have survived the Dream!" Amaterasu ejaculated, her former energy returning at last. "I still need to discipline him for leaving, but I bet those two Devils in Kuoh are gonna be surprised when I go over there, bring otouto and-!"
"Amaterasu-sama," Yasaka warned good-naturedly. "It would be best if you didn't act on passion right now; Susano'o-sama, reincarnation or no, still needs to heal properly. To act before then would be very irresponsible."
Amaterasu blew a raspberry at Yasaka; trust her level-headed, politically-savvy friend to ruin her fun! Even if she did have a point...
"I must return to Kyoto now, unfortunately." Yasaka mentioned, getting up and hugging Amaterasu goodbye. "I have a meeting with Sakra in two months, and I need to make sure everything's prepared for when I go. There's a lot of preparation that goes into this sort of thing, you know?"
Amaterasu's face soured at the thought. "I wish you didn't have to talk with that no-good asshole. I haven't forgotten what he tried to pull a while ago."
Yasaka smiled sympathetically at Amaterasu. "I know that, Amaterasu-sama, but all the same; with the Khaos Brigade probing our boundaries, and with the knowledge that they are led by the Infinite, alliances are going to be needed. Even if we don't like them."
"Bah, they'll want something in return. They always do." Amaterasu reclined on the sofa in the spare room, looking out the window in boredom. "Those greedy curry-munchers."
Yasaka sighed at Amaterasu's crude remark, but nonetheless exited the room, teleporting back to Kyoto shortly after. The attendants and such left Amaterasu too, in order to begin the process of updating everything, now that Susano'o, in one form or another, had returned.
When the moon was rising, and the sun fading, Amaterasu went back into the room that Susano'o's reincarnation was in. She looked at him; his breathing was easier, and his wounds were dressed again, and he just seemed much more at peace than before.
With a beautiful smile on her face, she leaned down and kissed his forehead. Watching as he relaxed a little more, Amaterasu walked out the door, but not before sparing a kind and relieved smile for him.
"Welcome back, little brother."
With a great effort, Sasuke managed to finally open his eyes. They were still heavy of course, and his body throbbed with pain but at least he could open them, as slow as the process was. Even if he couldn't move right then, it was still an improvement.
Light filled his vision, and he closed his eyes for a few minutes before re-opening them. The light was bearable, even if he couldn't see everything at that moment. His left eye was unresponsive too, and he was too drained of chakra to try activate his Sharingan.
He sat up; almost immediately, he clutched at his chest as pain spiked in it like a lance. It was then that he noticed the feel of rough bandages around it, and peered down; almost all of his chest and body was wrapped in bandages, which initially made him curious. After all, he couldn't remember where he got-
"That crimson beast..." Sasuke suddenly remembered, his hands tensing and sweat dripped. "What a monster..."
That was the only way he could describe that gargantuan beast. It had, without effort, wounded him to such an extent that he still felt it, and to such an extent that even moving took a lot out of him. What the hell had that been? It was strong, as strong as Kaguya perhaps.
He frowned: with this new information, he had to get back to Konoha and tell the Kage. This beast was too strong to do anything else- something with that level of power couldn't go unaccounted for. He hadn't expected to face a creature as strong as or even perhaps stronger than Kaguya, but then again...
He survived, at least. That was the best possible option at this moment.
"Yeah, I survived." Sasuke muttered to himself, relaxing a little. "As long as I survive, I can..."
Wanting to distract himself from those further thoughts, he looked around the room he was in. It reminded him of the Uchiha District, before that night. It was immaculately decorated, the tatami mats being spotless, the wall likewise and the sun shining through the paper doors. Painted plates hung on shelves, along with paintings hanging on the walls. Several weapons- a katana, tanto and a ganbai- were on shelves of their own.
The paintings drew his attention. One that caught his eye particularly was of a white, eight-headed serpent, rearing up to devour a lone warrior standing at its base, barely measuring up to the beast. The serpent's eyes were yellow and slitted, and the jaws dripped with drool at the easy meal.
Something hot spread through his body, and Sasuke clenched his fists. That painting reminded him that Orochimaru was still free in the Elemental Nations: he wondered if Naruto had taken care of him yet. Sasuke had intended to do so, but Orochimaru had promised he wouldn't conduct human experimentation any longer.
"Like that's gonna stop." Sasuke scoffed; Orochimaru not doing human experimentation was unthinkable. The Sannin liked it too much.
Then again, he mused as he opened his eyes to look at the painting again, there was another memory associated with that serpent. He furrowed his brows; he could barely remember it, but he could recall the image of a red spectral warrior spearing a similar eight-headed serpent with a yellow chakra blade.
He clenched his fists, using one of his hands to cover his eyes and rub them. Even years after, Itachi's memory still haunted him like a ghost. Maybe that was to be expected, but he couldn't hate his brother if he was. He loved Itachi too much to hate him, even for all the pain Itachi had put him through. Regret, sadness he felt: but never hate towards Itachi once he was enlightened.
And he still felt the pain of being responsible for his death, even if Itachi was a dead man walking anyway.
Sasuke froze. Something was wrong. Something he couldn't consciously acknowledge, but something was still wrong. With a slow movement, he moved his hand away from his face, and followed it to his shoulder.
He clenched his left fist. What?
How the hell was his left arm back? Sasuke prodded it for some time, trying to see if it was fake but it wasn't; he felt every sensation he put into it- if it was a genjutsu, he would have seen through it and if it was fake he would have been able to sense it. But even as injured as he was, his left arm was real.
Back then, he'd refused a Zetsu transplant. Partly because that had disgusted him, because after talking with Naruto he'd known what Obito had done when his body was literally half Zetsu, but also as a form of atonement. He'd used his left arm for bloody purposes for years, trying to kill bonds he insisted to himself were getting in his way.
He'd tried to kill his best friend several times with it, out of some misguided belief that the severed bond would make him stronger. Maybe it would have, but nonetheless, Sasuke had adamantly refused to have a transplant.
It had been hard adjusting for the first few months, he'd admit; having to do everything one handed was annoying, but he'd grown used to it and it became second nature after a year. If he needed a right hand for anything, he'd just create a Susano'o prosthetic.
He was pretty sure no-one else had thought of using the strongest Mangekyo technique like that.
Blood pulsed through it and he clenched the fist harder, feeling the not-painful sensation of his new- old?- nails cutting into his palm as well as feeling his pulse throb through it, with a somewhat morbid sense of curiosity. It was as real as his other limbs, and Sasuke was curious now.
Whatever had regenerated his arm... was truly powerful. Leagues beyond Tsunade and Sakura, maybe even above Naruto, after he'd brought Gai back to life after the latter had opened the Eight Gates, a well-documented suicide move.
That... was a somewhat unnerving thought.
The door to the room opened, and Sasuke tensed: he vaguely remembered what had happened before, when he'd woken up briefly before, and was prepared in case anything went wrong. Even if they had healed him, whoever these people were, they might still want to use him for something. He hadn't gotten to where he was without paranoia, preparation and a good, healthy determination.
The woman who strode through the door was... attractive. At least, other people would think so, but then again Sasuke hadn't really cared much about beauty in his life. At the very least, he could see that people would term this woman his age 'cute'.
Her long hair was as red as blood, matching fox ears twitching atop her head- goddamnit he kept meeting people associated with foxes!- and wearing a kimono that was predominantly white with orange parts. Not as garish as Naruto's old jumpsuit had been, this was much more tasteful.
Didn't mean he was going to develop a liking for orange in any case.
She caught his eye, and froze. He furrowed his brow in response; what was she afraid of? Or rather, why was she hesitant to approach him? Then he remembered his previous awakening, and tutted. Of course, that was fair enough. Sasuke had been mad with delirium- he knew how to diagnose the symptoms-, but it was natural that this woman would be apprehensive.
Then her face lit up and she rushed him, catching him in a back-breaking hug.
"Gah...!" Sasuke grunted; his back felt like it would break in two, and if he tried to shift to relieve the pressure, the woman just kept hugging him tighter.
And he thought that the fangirls in the Academy were prone to nearly killing him!
Then, after she stopped laughing he heard a familiar wet sound. He looked down- she was crying into his chest, clutching at him like she didn't want to let him go. He frowned; he'd never been good at comforting people that were bearing their hearts out, mostly thanks to his childhood trauma but he did the one thing he knew how to do.
He patted her on the head, just like how Itachi had done to him sometimes when they were younger.
Out of her blubbering, he heard one or two words; most prominently, 'otouto'. He tensed; only one person had ever referred to him as that, but Itachi was long dead and buried. Who was this woman to him? Was it because he was in a different dimension? He had activated his space-time dojutsu to escape that beast, and had fallen through it clearly, so he was definitely in a different world to where he came from.
He hated puzzles. They were more Shikamaru's department after all.
"Are you feelin' better, little brother?" The woman asked when she'd calmed down enough.
He didn't have a chance to answer, before she began pounding on his chest comically.
"You bastard! You left me alone with our siscon brother, do you have any idea how many times he's tried to steal my panties?! Then the Devils and Angels keep screwing us over, stealing our people and demeaning us! And dad is acting like the old prick he is, caring more about plants than the rest of us!"
Sasuke could barely understand a word coming out of her mouth, before her comical tantrum waned and she smiled up at him.
"Anyway... welcome back little brother."
"Who are you?" Sasuke asked bluntly, shifting away a little. "And where am I?"
She froze, before laughing a little. "Now now, little brother; stop faking. It's unbecoming of you."
Sasuke narrowed his eyes at her, watching as the woman absorbed his words and the seriousness of them. Then, she began crying again, even more than before.
Of course, he sighed. He always ended up making things worse through his blunt nature. Even Naruto had called him out on it multiple times, and he was pretty sure it was why everyone hated him.
Besides his various and inventive crimes, of course.
"I should have expected that my little brother's reincarnation wouldn't have any memories of me." The woman muttered, and Sasuke narrowed his eyes at the term 'reincarnation'.
He was the reincarnation of Indra and no-one else, he was sure; and Sasuke was skeptical of the possibility that reincarnation could persist through dimensions. It would be something he'd have to tackle later.
As if she had rehearsed this moment, the fox-woman gave a flourish, spinning around before morphing her face into one of calm neutrality. It unnerved Sasuke; he remembered seeing the exact same face on Itachi numerous times, and was sure his own face had reflected it too.
"I am the goddess of the sun, Amaterasu," Sasuke's eyes widened at the mention of that name, as well as her unearthly tone, before continuing to listen, "I am the oldest of the Three Gods of Japan, daughter of Izanagi. You, are the reincarnation of my brother: Susano'o, the god of storms and our ultimate warrior."
Sasuke was too surprised to answer, or even react when 'Amaterasu' relaxed and poked out her tongue at him, while closing one eye mischievously.
"Any questions, little brother?"
This is my first fanfic published in a long while. I'm sorry for keeping you waiting, but I am still working on Red Knight, though because of university my attention is diverted a lot. It can't be helped, unfortunately.
Anyway, this is idea I had for a DxD/Naruto story that really seemed to be unique for me; I'm not sure if it is, but I really liked it and with the help of Angeldoctor, have been working on it for the past few weeks.
With this story, I really wanted to focus on the Shinto pantheon since they really aren't given much focus in DxD, despite primary events sometimes taking place in Japan, as well as some of the main characters themselves being Japanese. Despite that, there has not been one instance of referring to the Shinto pantheon except when Yasaka was introduced, to my knowledge.
In addition, the reason why Sasuke is the protagonist is because of the Mangekyo technique 'Susano'o', and his status as the most recent transmigrant of Indra. You can imagine I'm gonna have a LOT of fun with this.
First off though: Amaterasu and Yasaka call Great Red 'the Dream'; this is correct to Japanese culture, where to refer to someone with their given name without permission is a grave insult. They respect Great Red enough to refer to him with his title, not his given name.
In addition, the scales that glow red on Ryujin harken back to an old myth about the 'reverse scale' of Dragons: present on their chin or neck, these scales grew inward instead of outward, and when disturbed awaken the Dragon's rage.
Also: Amaterasu basically resembles a black-haired Holo from Spice and Wolf, for no other reason than I thought it would be cool. Plus, her close friend is Yasaka, a kitsune, so it made thematic sense too.
I really hope you guys loved how I've written Amaterasu, along with the other gods, and if not I plan to improve in the future. This is just the first chapter, so I really wanna see how you guys like it.
I'll update this story roughly once a month, because I literally have no time to do otherwise. If I can put out a chapter earlier than that, I will; but don't expect great things from me.
I'm ony human after all.
Well, see ya next time guys! Be sure to read and review this first chapter!