Waking up already walking is a rather jarring experience; so jarring, in fact, that I nearly fell flat on my face. Luckily I had a staff to catch myself on and didn't wind up with the first moments of my new life being an impromptu make out session with a dirt road.
I wasn't really surprised to see the "staff" I had used to prop myself up was actually a tri-bladed scythe. See, I knew exactly where I was and how I got here. Jashin wasn't too happy with Hidan going out like a dumbass bitch, nor did she particularly like the relationship they had.
Hidan never quite grasped what being Jashin's champion meant. It wasn't like a normal worshipper; they offer prayers and sacrifices and in exchange are given a limited form of immortality and sometimes some extras based on the amount of sacrifices offered up. Jashin's champion on the other hand was a much more intimate relationship; closer and more personal, not just sexual.
See, every god chooses a champion, and when they do they can't help but fall in love with them, no matter how much such a tender emotion clashes with their nature. As the god of murder, violence, war, pain, chaos, death, torture, rape, etcetera Jashin naturally chose the strongest and most prolific of her followers; Hidan just managed to steal that title by massacring Yugakure.
Unfortunately for him Jashin realized after his live burial that she didn't like him enough to save him; so she cashed in a favour with the ever uncaring god of time to go back to the moment she chose him and make a different choice. She rather quickly realised that she'd never get the relationship she wanted from the sycophantic morons that worshipped her and decided to branch out, snatching me from a hospital wing and offering a deal. See, I was just the right kind of monster she was looking for; amoral and generally uncaring whilst still capable of forming bonds. I had never become a killer simply because I thought it wasn't worth the effort and whilst I could abandon friendships as easily as choosing what to have for breakfast, I still did care while they lasted. My disdain for authority told her I wouldn't turn into a sycophant, my capacity to care told her the relationship she wanted was possible, and my amoral nature told her I wouldn't have a problem getting her sacrifices.
The fact that a god of slaughter considered me good boyfriend material was mildly concerning; though I couldn't really say I was that upset.
Waking up in Hidan's body was a bit of a surprise; the fact that he was mid step when I replaced him made me think I may be getting pranked.
"I swapped your souls at the exact moment I chose him as my champion." And that would presumably be Jashin herself. "Indeed, my champion." And she can read my mind… lovely. No really, having absolutely no privacy is really good for the old mental health.
I smirk, hefting my shiny new scythe on my shoulder, "Meh, sanity is for the weak." I turned around, intent on robbing the village "I" just massacred; Hidan may have been content with his single jutsu and no money but I'm certainly not. Even a minor village like Yugakure has to have some techniques; hopefully some Kinjutsu I can use my immortality to abuse the fuck out of!
Searching the blood streaked (wow, Hidan does not kill clean) streets of what was ostensibly my home was mildly disturbing; I felt nothing but mild amusement at all the mutilated bodies around me, but I still vaguely expected one to attack me. The thought that technically I killed these people somewhat bothered me; though not as much as it probably should have. I went from house to house, shoving valuables and currency into a convenient sack I found in the first house I searched. Having to lower myself to lugging around a burlap sack full of goodies like a common thug made me place learning sealing on my priorities list; besides, who knows what kind of crazy tricks I could pimp out my scythe with if I figured out sealing!
A rising pillar of smoke led me to a section of Yugakure I decided to loot quickly (can't let the fire steal all the swag now can I?). Upon seeing what exactly was on fire I nearly sank to my knees in a puddle of ash and blood.
Turns out, Yugakure did have a library… until Hidan burned it down. I rushed into the glorious institution of knowledge collection, trusting in my Jashin granted immortality to get me out alive; I simply couldn't let all that knowledge just burn away! Only a couple of scrolls managed to survive, most of them were basic chakra control exercises and a rare few mostly intact jutsu, but nothing advanced or unique.
Dejected, I headed to the Kage tower; if I'm lucky my bodies former (and totally unworthy) owner won't have bothered burning the forbidden scroll or the Kage's personal library. I know basic techniques are still things I need to learn, but damn was it demoralising to see all that literature just dissolve into ashes before my eyes.
Normally robbing a Kage tower would not be an easy task by any stretch of the imagination for anyone below S-rank; thankfully this one came pre-slaughtered! The conveniently smashed open (and blood splattered) door did nothing to bar my passage into the gore streaked interior of the former head of this nation's governance. Seeing a half liquified body stuck to a wall by its own drying blood and entangled intestines as I walked up the stairs was a bit of a novel experience; luckily putrefaction hasn't set in enough for the wretched smell to violate my nose (much like the pens jammed into the apparent secretary's nose and rammed into the brain with skull cracking force).
I searched around the Yukage's office, noting the distinct lack of Yukage in the room. I found a bunch of paperwork that told me very clearly that this town was a bit of a shithole even before Hidan (I?) decided to redecorate a bit; no wonder they were switching to a tourism based economy if the whole ninja business was going down in a flaming zeppelin like these reports suggested.
Eventually I got bored of looking for secret triggers to open secret passageways and just began slashing at the wall with my giant fuck off scythe, which proved much more effective… and taught me just how hard it would be to effectively wield a scythe as a primary weapon (first chance I get I'm sharpening the top of each blade). The third wall I eviscerated proved to have been false and revealed a beautiful, virgin library all for me!
I didn't bother reading more than a few titles before shoving every last scroll into a second sack I had kept just for stealing scrolls and books. Moving at ninja speeds (thank Jashin I didn't have some period of adjustment for the shiny new body) it only took me a few minutes to collect every scroll in the small library, and less time to find the false wall near the back. Stepping through the door, I smirked at the massive scroll sitting on a pedestal in the middle of the room; this is the real reason I came back here.
I tentatively approach, searching for traps the whole way and being very surprised to find none (though, judging by Naruto's ease with stealing Konoha's equivalent, perhaps I shouldn't be). I slowly unfurled the scroll, and smiled.
Being a small village, I wasn't surprised that Yugakure didn't have much in the way of forbidden techniques; but Kakuzu stealing the Jiongu from Taki told me that Yu might have something of value. I was glad I bothered checking; this scroll contained little, mostly just suicide techniques (that I made a mental note to go over considering my immortality made such techniques viable); but what the Yukage considered worth banning that wasn't suicidal made me grin. This confirmed a theory I had held for a long time; non-physical bloodlines are bullshit.
Within the large scroll was the instructions for learning the Boil Release without possessing the bloodline. Based on the details, the techniques were developed when a Jonin decided that he should honour his village by designing techniques that used hot water. He succeeded; but then he decided to push it further, and accidentally utilized the Boil Release. The Yukage of his time, upon seeing this, immediately forbade him from using it and labeled it a forbidden technique; apparently he feared the Terumi clan would come and cull their village if they discovered that their techniques were being stolen. As both an immortal and a rogue; I couldn't give less of a fuck what a near extinct clan thought about me stealing their techniques. In fact, I intended to use this primer on mixing elements to learn all the sub-elements; maybe even make some new ones.
People underestimated Hidan as the weakest of the Akatsuki; they weren't entirely wrong. Amongst the Akatsuki Hidan was by far the weakest; but he was S-rank for a reason and it wasn't just his immortality. His weapon was deadly and unique, designed to be very difficult to block without receiving damage; and he wielded the cumbersome weapon masterfully. Many claimed it was his lack of intelligence that made him weak; I disagree, his easy understanding of unfamiliar jutsu showed a high intelligence. No, what always held Hidan back was arrogance and a lack of techniques. If he hadn't been blinded by his arrogance he may have actually trained, utilizing his incredible durability to push himself further than most. If he hadn't relied so heavily on the single technique he used he may have been a serious threat to a great many people.
A maniacal grin spread across my face as equally twisted laughter crawled between my teeth; with this I could propel myself into the true upper echelons. With my immortality I could push my body to limits most couldn't ever reach in training, without Hidan's arrogance I could see just how useful versatility and trickery was. Warfare is deception, after all.
I gently set the large scroll into my second sack amongst its brethren before turning to leave; whistling a merry tone the whole way. I wasn't here to save people, couldn't care less for peace and global happiness. I'm a very selfish man; I'm here for my own entertainment and to save myself. Leave all that hero shit for the dull masses; villainy is far more fun. The terms Jashin gave me in exchange for coming here were simple; be her champion. She had gone on to explain what that meant; all of my kills count as sacrifices to her (and I was strongly encouraged to provide as many as possible) and I need to have a close relationship with her. I was more than happy to accept; immortality and all I need is to be friends with a murder god? Hell yeah.
Something caught my gaze as I walked out and I turned toward the large window in the Kage's office. For a moment I stared at the moonlit village, looking for any sign of what caught my attention. I almost turned away before I saw it; movement. Someone or something was moving through the shadowed streets.
I frowned, it wasn't impossible some animal had come from the surrounding forest, or perhaps a pet got free (I have no idea if Hidan killed them along with the humans) but somehow I doubted it. The possibility that that flicker of movement in the shadows was a shinobi (either returning from a mission or sent by another nation) was too high to ignore.
"It is likely a shinobi." How exactly did she know that, now? "I can sense violence and purveyors of it; shinobi drip with blood, no matter how hard they try to scrub it off." Huh, I have a built in sensory ability not based on chakra like Naruto… good to know. Wonder what else being Jashin's champion came with?
I shook my head; now isn't the time to be experimenting with my abilities. My frown twisted into a scowl; I have no idea what rank Hidan was, but I have no training or combat experience whatsoever. I could try to sneak out but I highly doubt my stealth skills were good enough to evade anyone a village considered competent enough to send on a solo mission.
My lips turned up in a vicious grin, "Well, a crucible of fire it is." At least I had the handicap of immortality to fall back on if things (inevitably) went to shit. I turned away from the window, taking my time to walk outside and doing nothing to hide my presence; I wanted them to find me.
I wasn't disappointed; I had barely took a step out of the Kage tower when a figure in dark clothes and a vaguely owl shaped mask appeared before me. "Hidan-san!" They called, "Did you see what happened?"
I shrugged, unintentionally drawing attention to the bags I held slung over my shoulder if the way their yellow eyes darted to it was anything to go by; evidently their mask was meant to be ironic if it took them this long to notice such an obvious detail. I smirked as their eyes narrowed, "Nah, I just got here a little before you." Technical truth; the best kind of truth.
Disdain was simply dripping off them, "Hmph, always knew you were the opportunistic sort but I never thought you'd stoop so low as to rob your neighbors during a crisis." Apparently he still hadn't noticed the blood splattered on my clothes; either that or he thought I got it while I was looting. Not the sharpest hammer on the tree is he?
My smirk grew, "Neighbors?" I asked faux-innocently, "What neighbors?"
Narrowed eyes widened in shock as he took a stumbled half-step back, "Wh-what do you mean!" There was anger in his voice, barely masking the confusion and fear.
My smirk turned to a sadistic grin, "Did you think there were survivors? Yugakure's dead, boy; along with everyone in it." Was it my imagination or were those tears in his eyes?
His posture screamed despair for a moment before shifting to rage, "You lying piece of shit! When Yukage-sama gets here he'll-"
I cut him off, "Oh, I'm so scared of what a corpse is gonna do to me for my insubordination. I'm fairly certain the Yukage is resting in pieces a little ways that way." I jerked my head over his left shoulder.
He turned to look, exposing his back to me for a brief moment… and I ruthlessly capitalized. Perhaps he heard the disturbance my scythe caused or perhaps he merely expected my betrayal; regardless, he ducked under my scythe as it passed through the air once occupied by his neck.
He whirled to face me as my massive blade passed over his head, pulling a kunai from a pouch on his thigh as he turned. He snarled, flinging the short blade at me. "Traitor!" he screamed, voice cracking from his shear rage.
I smirked, leaning my head to the side; letting the kunai pass me by in a move I never would have been able to pull off in life. I watched with half-lidded eyes as the probable Anbu leapt away to try to get distance. Pointless.
I whipped my scythe forward, letting go part way through the swing and using the attached wire to use the blade like a flail. The crimson crescents sliced through the air like a bird of prey, intent on skewering my prey. The more experienced ninja's reaction took me by surprise, though truly it shouldn't have.
He stepped forward, stretching out his arm to catch my scythe well below the deadly blades. My shock didn't last long and I yanked back on the wire, wrenching the shaft from his grasp and slicing him near in half… or at least it should have.
Rather than try to hold his ground and get minced, he let my (subconsciously chakra enhanced) pull drag him to me. My eyes widened as he was carried along with my blade; apparently I was stronger than I thought (and my bodies muscle memories still existed).
I could see the empty satisfaction in his glowing eyes as he approached, a kunai in hand. My eyes widened as I tossed my bags aside, going for a kunai of my own only to find Hidan didn't have any (maybe people weren't to far off with the stupidity theory). My wide and panicked eyes locked with his grimly smug gaze as he grew closer.
His blade slipped into my throat just as my hand wrapped around the haft of my scythe. I stumbled back, a hand flying to my throat as shock spread across my face. Slowly I turned around, collapsing onto my scythe to keep my body from falling.
The pain was incredible, though it had nothing on the disturbing sensation of my lungs filling with blood. Even so, I couldn't keep the blood stained grin from spreading across my face as I purposely directed my thoughts to Jashin, "Can you tell how far away he is?" I mentally asked. As an Anbu his footsteps were far too quiet for my (mostly) untrained ears to detect.
"I can." I could feel her pleasure at my asking for help; apparently Hidan never did. Odd considering how much he revered Jashin.
"Then can you tell me when he's in range?" I projected an image of what I had planned to her.
A moment passed in silence… then another…
"Now." Her voice was as calm and deranged as always.
I whirled, holding my scythe in a reverse grip. His skill showed even then; for rather than the middle blade ramming through his side, the top blade carved a deep gash across his chest.
I grinned, flinging the kunai once impaled in my throat at the man as he stumbled back. Even taken by surprise and wounded he managed to redirect the blade with the back of his hand.
My smirk returned as I scooped up a handful of the blood pouring from my throat, tossing it on the ground before repeating the process a few more times. I stepped on top of the puddles of blood, sliding my legs around to draw the symbol of Jashin around me. It was rather crude compared to Hidan's work, but Jashin assured me it was serviceable.
The injured Anbu stared at me in shock, "How the hell are you alive!?" he shouted.
In lieu of answering I raised my scythe to my lips, licking some of the blood from the longest blade with a gurgling laugh. As I swallowed the blood I couldn't feel anything change but I could see as my skin blackened and white, bone like marks appeared.
"What the hell did you just do!" Not very cool under pressure this guy; surprised he managed to make it into the black-ops division with that attitude.
I just laughed, the gurgling leaving as my regeneration kicked in to heal up my throat. Slowly, I raised my scythe to my neck; a sadistic grin stretched across my face as I gently pressed the blade into my flesh. "You cut my throat…" my voice seemed to shock him into stillness, "Perhaps I should repay the favour?" So saying I pulled my blade sharply to the side, cutting so deep into my flesh I could feel it scrape my spine.
The agony was exquisite, like fire tearing away at my throat. Even with what should be unbearable agony imposed on my inexperienced mind, I couldn't keep my eyes off my opponent as my wound stretched across his neck. My pain seemed to fade as Jashin settled more heavily over my mind; perhaps she was protecting me from it, perhaps she was encouraging the development of masochistic tendencies to match my sadistic ones.
"Both. Your life will be much easier if pain doesn't bother you and the rituals will be more effective if it gives you pleasure…" She trailed off for a moment before haltingly continuing, "I… do not enjoy seeing you suffer." She seemed honestly surprised by this revelation.
My smile gentled at her words before becoming all the more cruel as blood spurted from the Anbu's throat, splattering all over his shirt and the ground before him as he sank to his knees. His hands shook as he raised them to his throat, animal instincts desperate to stop the flow his mind knew couldn't be halted. His breath came in desperate gurgles, blood filling lungs that hungered for unreachable air. This wasn't like the movies, it took several minutes for him to finally succumb to his wound, and his eyes were locked on mine for every second of that time.
I laughed as the light slowly left his eyes, the sound growing all the more maniacal as he teetered for a moment before collapsing fully to the blood splattered earth. My laughter only grew louder and more psychotic as the seconds ticked by; my whole body leaning back and shaking as my crackles split the night. Tears streamed from my eyes as I repeatedly slammed my scythe into the ground beside me; the shock and thrill of such a near death (my mind still hadn't quite adapted to immortality) experience followed so quickly by my first kill getting to me more than I thought it would.
Jashin had no words of comfort; I suspect she didn't know what was wrong, couldn't understand how murder could mess with even the coldest of minds. "I have seen the effects of every conflict throughout all of history. Suffering is my domain and I know all it's causes. I'm just more experienced at exploiting weaknesses, not patching them up." A long moment passed with only my hysterical (and increasingly breathless) laughter to fill the void before she spoke again. "I… want to help you… but I do not know how." She finally admitted.
My laughter slowed to a stop and I wound up hunched over clutching my knees to keep from falling; desperately sucking in air to appease burning lungs. "Heh... heh… I suppose I'll simply have to get used to this. At least it's kinda fun." I muttered, slowly straightening out my stance. I shook my head rapidly, trying to shake off the horror of my actions. "For now, Jashin; your intention is good enough. Knowing someone, even a god of evil, still gives a fuck is comforting in a way." I felt her influence settle over my mind, dulling my emotions to a degree. It felt like she was eating them, draining the pain away into herself. A moment passed and I felt fine; my panic sucked away and replaced with my underlying humour.
"Well that certainly helped; what exactly did you just do?" I questioned as I walked over to the fallen nin (my first victim), flipping him over with my foot (note to self; get boots). To my surprise he was still (barely) alive, his now dull, sightless yellow eyes moving rapidly from side to side as if searching for something. I frowned and stomped on his head, my bodies great strength easily reducing it to so much paste.
"I found a way to help. I am the god of pain; I simply took yours away." Makes sense, I suppose; it is one of her domains so why shouldn't she be able to control it? Shrugging and accepting her revelation, I began rifling through the dead ninja's pockets (immediately strapping his Kunai pouch to my own leg) in search of anything useful or valuable.
My search uncovered several weapons (all of which I stole), a photo of what appeared to be a small family (which I tossed on top of his smashed skull with a snicker), and a Bingo Book. I smirked, flipping through the book for a time (occasionally pausing on familiar names or interesting people) before finding a circled image. I reached down and pulled off his crushed mask, thankful that my impulsive execution hadn't mangled his face as much as it could have. His face, while smashed and perforated by the fragments of his shattered skull, was still recognizably the same as the circled image.
My lips curled up, it seems my little Anbu was a touch prideful; he kept track of his own bounty, seeming to be affronted by his relatively low stats and bounty. I laughed, "Lucky me, I stumbled into my first bounty." Hmm, bounty hunting… a decent way of attracting Kakuzu's attention whether he's in the Akatsuki yet or not.
Not to mention all the money I could make.
I picked the body up and tossed him into the air, catching him on my scythe and leaning it against my shoulder before collecting my bags and strolling out of the village as the fire from the library spread across the town; whistling a merry tune as I went. Time to try and find a bounty station… and a good place to train.
I stopped at the village gates, reaching up to grab my hitai-ate from around my neck. Slowly I pulled the symbol of my affiliation from my neck, turning it around to stare contemplatively at the scarred surface and crossed out symbol. My eyes turn to the dead Anbu impaled through the chest on all three of my blades, spotting his own untarnished hitai-ate strapped to his upper arm.
I never understood why missing-nin kept these or why black-ops agents would wear one at all; wasn't the whole point of both that your not affiliated with your village (at least officially in the case of black-ops) anymore? It especially confused me that people like Hidan and Kakuzu would keep theirs when both hated their villages and felt betrayed by them.
I glanced back at the ruins of Yugakure as they were slowly incinerated before shoving my head band in my loot sack, pulling the Anbu's from his arm and shoving it in as well. It might be fun to start a collection and I'm sure the headband of a now defunct village will be a rare piece to make other collectors jealous.
I smirked and walked off into the dark.
Hidan blinked awake, staring at the sterile white walls in confusion. Where was he? A voice drew his gaze to a tall man in a lab coat checking over a clipboard. He spoke in a unknown language, seeming to think Hidan understood him. Is this a hospital? Hidan had never been in one, being immortal and all (he usually just barred the doors and set them on fire when he was purging a village).
A dark grin spread across the reborn mass murderer's face as he slowly stood up; ignoring the supposed doctor's shocked gasp. He started babbling, gesturing at the bed as Hidan pulled the tubes and wires from himself. The serial killer's grin widened as he pricked his finger on the I.V. needle.
The doctor's increasingly frantic gesturing and calls are silenced as Hidan's hand wraps around his throat. "Rejoice, sinner! For I shall bring an end to your fear with the love of Jashin-sama!"
So saying he plunged the needle into the doctor's eye with a joyously psychotic laugh.