Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto nor The Gamer. I own nothing, really.

Cover Art: Kissuli.

Chapter 142

[Years Later]

"For all your power and smarts," Kabuto said, making Eiji smile. Mainly because he knew more or less what would follow. "You are pretty stupid."

"Am I?" he asked, very sure that he wouldn't be able to convince the mednin. After all, he'd barely convinced Tayuya as it was. The rest of the squad had been firmly against his decision, but it was his decision, and they followed it. Especially Kabuto, even if he had been the most vocal about the whole thing. "This'll speed up your work, Kabuto. I know you and everyone else are giving Tayuya's and my recoveries a lot of your focus, but this will make it go even faster. You are the only one that can actually give it full focus as is," he explained, and the mednin knew he was right, but that didn't mean he liked it.

"I hate it when you make sense with your insane ideas," Kabuto grumbled, making Eiji smile. "At least it's over," he sighed.

"Was gonna say, a little late to keep complaining, right?" Eiji asked, chuckling as Kabuto looked away. "I appreciate that you care, but Tayuya and I are fine and we still have plenty of time. We can afford to push this a year or two if it'll increase our chances."

"But what if you can't?" Kabuto said, snapping the pencil he'd been working with. "What if waiting means you won't recover?"

"You think you'd have progressed that much faster without their help? Because they do what they can, but it's not that much considering their situation," Eiji replied, drawing a grimace from his mednin. "I believe this is the right call and I get why you don't, but I'm grateful that you followed through with what I asked. Can't have been easy."

"You can say that again," Kabuto muttered under his breath. "You got any idea how difficult it was to focus on this while knowing that I could be making progress to heal your lost lifespan?"

"I have an idea, yeah. Tayuya and I had to wait for each other's recovery, after all," Eiji answered, making the man sigh.

"I'm sorry, I just…" Kabuto mumbled, struggling to find the right words for a long moment.

"I get it," Eiji reassured with a soft smile. "Tayuya and I talked about this a whole lot, even after we decided to follow this path. At the end of the day… It wasn't all that long, even if sometimes it felt like it. What's a year and a half, in the grand scheme of things?"

"Besides," his redheaded girlfriend started then, meeting them in one of the halls at their base in the Land of Rain. "I prefer to get this out of the way as quickly as possible. We definitely can wait a bit to recover our normal lifespan, if we can."

"You can," Kabuto corrected resolutely, getting mirrored smiles from the couple.

"We appreciate that, Four Eyes, but you don't know that," Tayuya said before palming the guys' arm. "Let's get this out of the way, yeah? That way you can stop complaining and can actually get to work on that damn cure, yeah?"

"When did you become reasonable?" Kabuto asked, receiving a punch on his arm. "That's more like the Tayuya we all know and… Yeah, the one that we know."

"Fuck you, Four Eyes."

"Very original, Tayuya, very original indeed."

"Children, in the past, now and forever," Eiji mumbled to himself as the three of them started walking. Behind him, he heard a chuckle coming from both people. "Tayuya's not wrong though, let's get this out of the way."

Inside him, at that very moment, he felt Tsuchigumo's already nervous and anxious self get worse. 'It'll be fine, girl, I promise,' he reassured in his mind, doing his best to project calm towards the Chakra Beast. It didn't help much, but he knew she understood and that she was ultimately fine. She was still young though, even if sometimes it was easy to forget.

"Took your time, I've had the seals ready for a good while already," Naruto said, cracking his neck as his eyes scanned over the writing on the floor of the room when they entered it. "Everything ready? No second thoughts, no last minute changes?"

"I think we are as ready as we'll ever be," Kabuto said, taking a deep breath in before letting it out in a sigh. "Eiji?"

To that, he shared a look with Tayuya, who smiled encouragingly at him before nodding towards the seals.

"Get on with it, Fearless Leader. The sooner it's over, the sooner we can get to other things, right?" she told him, before giving a look to Naruto and Kabuto. "And if they messed up… Well, I'll deal with them."

"No pressure," both men replied wryly.

"Oh no, all the pressure, you fuckers," the redhead told him with a smirk. "This is my boyfriend you are messing around with. If you screw up, I'll screw you up."

"Very reassuring, yes," Kabuto said, deflating. "Now, Eiji, if you could sit in the middle seal?" he asked, making him nod and do as the mednin said. "Legs crossed, back straight and place your hands, palms down on- Right, there," he started ordering, walking over the outside of the seal array, sometimes trading looks with Naruto while Tayuya stayed away, standing against a wall and out of the way.

"Now, once we start… Well, you know the drill. Focus, separate," Naruto continued then. "The seals will take care of everything else."

"Good, let's get started," Eiji mumbled with a nod.

"Ok. Then, in three, two… one, go," Naruto said, before the seals on the floor started shining. Then he felt the pull in his mindscape. It wasn't painful, nothing quite like when Tsuchigumo had rampaged through the place. However, it was very noticeable. Like whenever the twins would make changes without him being aware of it. Weird and uncomfortable, but it was what it was.

The process continued for a good while, but it went smoothly.

A year and a half of work for something that took less than half an hour.

Ultimately, it was worth it, at least in his opinion.

"And done," Kabuto said, checking over the other people that now found themselves on top of the other seals. That was the part that he was in charge of. Making sure that those two were fine. "They are good. Moreover, they should be waking up-"

"That was strange," a new voice said, groaning as he sat up. "Very, very strange."

"And very, very uncomfortable," the other one continued, hissing under her breath. "Let's never do that again."

"Good thing we aren't likely to, huh?" Eiji said, his voice weary but happy. "Welcome to the world, Kage Satou, Hachi Satou."

"Good to be here, brother," Hachi replied with a grin, while her brother scoffed, even with a smile on his face.

The very first project that he'd set Kabuto (and later Naruto) on was giving the twins bodies so that he could get them out of his and his mind. Not only because he owed it to them, for all the help they'd given him when he most needed it, but also because it'd allow them to do a lot more than they could while confined in his mind. Eiji had no doubt that between the twins, Kabuto and however much help they could get with other experts, Tayuya and him would get their full lifespans back, at the least.

"Did you have to be stubborn about the DNA thing?" Kage said, looking at himself in the mirror. He wasn't that much different from what he looked like in the mindscape, but there were some very noticeable changes all the same. Mainly that Eiji had all but demanded that their new bodies be made with a part of his DNA. After all that they'd gone through, they were as good as family, maybe more than Naruto, the group and the squad, and he wanted to symbolize that.

That's how the twins' usually straight hair had come to be the slightest bit messy and how their slitted eyes had ended up being red instead of yellow.

"Stop being a whiner for once, Kage," Hachi told her brother – their brother – with a grin. "Thanks, Eiji, we appreciate it."

"I'm not a whiner," Kage hissed before giving them an annoyed expression that contrasted his next words quite a lot. "Now, lets get this happy couple their lives back, ok?"

"Finally," Kabuto groaned.

"Welcome to the family, you two," Naruto told the twins with a big grin. "If you guys need any seal help, give me a call. With that said… We'll be waiting for you back in Konoha, ok?"

"We'll visit soon," Eiji promised, still sitting on the ground. The process had been more taxing than he expected.

"Get some rest, Eiji," the blond said, before disappearing in a flash of orange.

"Come, you two, I have to do some more check ups… And we should leave these two alone for now," Kabuto said, directing the twins outside of the room, to which the two nodded immediately.

"He's quite smart," Tayuya commented once they closed the door behind them. A second later, her lips were already on him. "Yes, so much better knowing they are not there," she mumbled when they finally separated for a second. "You are mine today, Fearless Leader."

"Today and everyday," he mumbled against her lips.

"You got that right."


[Unknown, Years Later]

It was yet another day for her in the trash heap, searching for things of value to sell. Well, that was what she was supposed to be doing, but she'd already picked up some things for the day and had decided to allow herself a moment to indulge in her hobby. So, with a needle and some string, she sewed a new piece of clothing for herself.

Sure, the cloth left much to be desired, but it would be nice to have another shirt to wear.

As the woman that usually took what they gathered to sell approached, she hid her project. The girl had learned already, after all, that it was better to not show her sewing. It was a waste of time and resources, as far as the others were aware. Well, it was for them, at least, especially the woman.

After all, what good was it for her if the girl had a new piece of clothing? That wouldn't increase their earnings. The girl was sure the woman would think very differently if it was her that got a new piece of clothing, but she would never sew something for her. Not after she'd ripped apart many of the girl's previous projects.

Once she moved away, she started working again.

The unfortunate thing with her hobby was that more often than not, she'd get too into it. So much so that she forgot to check her surroundings as she continued sewing and sewings. That was how many of her clothing projects had been destroyed too, but she couldn't help it. It was that fun for her, after all.

Eventually, she was done.

The result of her work was shoddy, the cloth was rough, the stitches standing out, glaringly ugly. However, she had made it and the girl was happy just knowing that. One more piece of clothing for her "wardrobe" as it were.

She brought it up in front of her and smiled at it happily.

"So, what do you say, guys?" someone asked and the girl jumped, looking around and noticing several people sitting around the trash heap that surrounded her. All of them stood up, their clothes clean, their bodies healthy, their expressions clear of any of the helplessness that permeated the girl's "home". "I'd say it's a pretty good shirt, honestly," the person that spoke said then and the girl turned towards him.

A man, but barely so, from what she could tell. Tall, with messy black hair and bright red eyes. His clothes seemed to follow a similar scheme, with the black and red coat he wore over a white shirt, the dark gray pants and the black boots. He was a ninja too, the girl realized, noticing the protector that read "Silk" on his right arm.

"Didn't mean to scare you, little one," the man said, and the girl only then realized that she'd taken several steps back. As if to punctuate that, she stumbled over a piece of trash and fell backwards on the ground. Or would have, if the man hadn't suddenly appeared next to her to catch her. "Come on, this place isn't for people at all. Everyone's being taken away from here."

"I… Where?" the girl mumbled.

"To new homes, the adults will be given jobs, the families will be given homes," the man said, extending a hand towards her that she hesitantly took. "And orphans will be given a place to grow in."

"Really?" she asked, staring up in awe. She would be away from the trash heap? She would be able to… "And what… will I have to do?"

"Be a happy child, that's all. My friend likes to give children all the opportunities he didn't get. You'll be fine and nothing is expected of you. Only that you live a happy life," the man said, not letting go of her hand as he gently led her down a path in between the garbage that surrounded them.

"Nothing?" she asked, disbelieving.

"Nothing at all," the man said. "Say, you seemed pretty into sewing."

"I love it," she replied instantly and decisively, which seemed to surprise a laugh out of the man.

"Oh, I like you," he said, chuckling. "What do you say, Tayuya?"

"As if there was any answer I could give, Fearless Leader," a woman that the girl hadn't noticed was walking on her other side answered. The girl could barely focus on anything but the flowing, beautiful red hair she had. "I think you mean more than you are letting on though. Are you sure?"

"Why not?" the man asked with a shrug.

"Who are you?" the girl asked the man, drawing another chuckle.

"When was the last time someone asked us that?" he commented, before giving his attention back to the girl. "I'm Eiji Satou, and I'm going to give the chance of a lifetime, I think. For now though… What's your name?"



[Eiji Satou]

"So, let me get this straight," Eiji said, sitting on a comfortable couch with three IV lines connected to his arm that went up to three bags set on the pole next to his seat. All around the room were the rest of the squad in similar situations. More or less, at least. "You found a way to make everyone live longer?"

"Not quite," Kabuto answered, shaking his head. "We just found a way to make sure we live the best life we can. Illness shouldn't be a problem, even when we reach old age. In the end though, the body will still shut down. We aren't made to live that long, naturally at least. We won't be able to go further than what is naturally possible."

"Good enough for me, I can tell you that," Tayuya commented, poking at her IV bag, the one that was added on top of the standard two everyone had. That one was supposed to help her get over the damage the Cursed Mark's procedure had done to her lifespan. Jirobo had one too, but he would be on that a lot less than she would.

As for Eiji, he had his own special bag, with a drug designed to battle the effects of World Ender. As he heard it, everyone would have to take regular doses of the medicine Kabuto, the twins and several other experts (Tsunade and Chiyo included) had come up with. However, Eiji would need them more often and he'd need to add the third bag forever. Overall, it was a low price to pay, all things considered.

Moreover, there was always the chance of new procedures being found. As it was though, it was as his girlfriend said. Good enough for him. Considering that up to a few months before, when they had a breakthrough, he wasn't even sure a cure would be found for him or Tayuya… Well, he was happy with whatever he could get, honestly.

"Good job, guys," Eiji said, smiling up at his IV bags. "Very good job," he mumbled, leaning back against his seat. It was one less weight on his shoulders and those were vanishing more and more with the pass of time.

Four years.

It had been four years since that day when Obito died and with him most of Eiji's fears. Even then, there had been things to worry about. However… Akatsuki had been dealt with and was now a thing of the past, even if Nagato and Konan insisted on calling the Squad the new iteration of their group. Obito was out of the picture and so was Zetsu and with them, apparently, the rest of the plot he'd known of.

The Nations were keeping to the peace, even if sometimes some of them could get in a mood. Most of those situations the Squad would mediate in to solve diplomatically. If they refused to see sense… Well, the rest of the situations were dealt with by smacking one or several people around for a bit.

The twins were free and there were plans in place for Tsuchigumo to be set free eventually. As it was, the Chakra Beast refused to separate from him and Tayuya had been amicable enough, so long as he put a good barrier between him and the eight-legged wolf sometimes. Which was fine with him, all things considered.

He was also training Hebiichigo to wield Nuibari. It was weird, of course, to train someone that wouldn't be part of the squad, but it was time for him to seal that deal with Kirigakure. Besides, considering how they were practically raising that girl, she would always be an honorary member of the Squad. There'd be many tears the day they'd have to let her go, that was for sure.

And now, the situation with their lifespans was solved too.

"We are just getting started," he heard, and he turned towards Tayuya.

As he did, he grinned.

"This is just the beginning," Eiji agreed.


[Unknown, Many Years Later]

Four figures sat around a six sided table, their hats laid on the table as they waited for the missing two to join them. Behind them stood their guards and advisors. Most small talk had been had at that point, leaving them to wait in semi-amicable silence.

"So, he's not here yet?" a voice said as they entered the room.

"Naruto," Gaara greeted with the smallest of smiles on his face. "He's late, as usual."

"He does it on purpose," Kurotsuchi muttered, feigning an annoyed expression. "Says it's so we can be more friendly with each other without him having to mediate."

"He's not entirely wrong, I suppose," Choujurou commented, drawing a scoff front the sole female Kage at the table. "Even if he could be less annoying about it."

"You got that right," Darui grumbled, looking as bored as one could be. The Fifth Raikage then opened his mouth to say something else, but he didn't get to do that. Instead, all the people in the room heard the sound of steps. It made them all frown, since they were light steps, contrary to the loud, heavy boots they expected.

"He didn't," Naruto mumbled, a grin spreading over his face.

"Oh no," Kurotsuchi groaned, but she once more fooled absolutely no one with her attempt at hiding her true feelings. "He brought them, here of all places?"

"Auntie Kuro!" a voice squealed as new people arrived at the room. A missile of black hair flying over the table and hugging the Fourth Tsuchikage.

"Uncle Gaara!" another voice cried out, much better mannered as the little child circled the table and hugged the Fifth Kazekage.

"You guys, I'm right here, you know?" Naruto asked, feigning being hurt. "No hugs for Uncle Shika and Uncle Naru?" he asked, drawing groans from both children.

"Uncle Shikamaru," the boy muttered. "Uncle Naruto is being troublesome again."

"Don't I know it, kid?" the lazy Nara replied with a sigh as he stood behind his Kage. "Is your father gonna be troublesome too or-?" He didn't get to finish the question though, because then they heard the boots that signaled the person that was missing from the room and the table.

"You brats," a woman said, as three people walked past the door. "What did I tell you?"

"That if we were going to leave, we should tackle them to the ground. I tried, mom!" the girl cried out, pouting. "Auntie Kuro didn't fall though."

"Yeah, Princess was always a stick in the mud like that," the redheaded woman commented as her children approached her. The black haired girl to her right and the red haired boy to her left. "Now, Tetsuya, Eri, stay next to me, ok? Dad has boring stuff to talk about with the old people and then we can go play."

All five people at the table grimaced at the "old people" comment, drawing a cackle from the woman and a chuckle from the two men that accompanied them. Then, one of those stepped forward, the sound of his boots resounding around the room. The Kages could only sit that little bit straighter as his presence became even more noticeable, somehow.

"Let them be, Tayuya," the man said with a warm smile on his face. "Come on, we don't have anything serious to talk about, do we?" he asked, his red eyes expressing to the Kages that there better not be anything serious to talk about. Quickly most of them gave a negative response to that, drawing a nod from the man. "Come on, you want to sit with me?" he asked, and before he was done, both children had already darted towards him, each claiming one of his legs.

"Was about time, Eiji," Kurotsuchi pointed out, drawing a chuckle from him.

"Sorry about that, the kids were showing me this neat trick," he commented, placing a hand on each of his children's shoulders. "You see, I taught them Living Thread the other day," started, either missing or ignoring the shivers that traveled down the backs of the people in the room. "And they've been training a whole lot. They love it, honestly."

"We managed to make a string Tsuchigumo," Eri said with a pleased grin.

"She really liked it apparently," Tetsuya commented, more calmly than his sister.

"I'm sure it was great," Naruto replied, being the first to get over the dread that came with the knowledge that there'd be two more "Weavers" in their – maybe – not so distant future. Hanabi and Hebiichigo were enough of a nightmare as it was, and they were even worse when they got competitive, but it seemed the world was just never going to be without the thread users ever again. "Maybe you can show Boruto and Himawari later, yeah?"

"Of course! And everyone else too!" Eri announced enthusiastically.

"I'm sure it'll be playdate to remember," Eiji commented, planting his sole remaining hand on top of his daughter's head.

"You wanna take it off, dad?" Tetsuya asked then, pulling on the puppet arm.

"Sure-" he started, but his son had already taken away the prosthetic. With a chuckle, he watched the boy take the arm like it was a sword and wave it around. "You like doing that too much," he mumbled.

"Hi~" the kid greeted, waving his father's arm at the Kage's around the table.

"Hello there," Choujurou waved back.

"For now," Eiji said then, smile still in place as he regarded the Kages. "Anything we have to talk about?"

[} The End {]

Hey guys! How's it going?

So… Yes, this is officially the last chapter of Game of Shadows.

Man, I feel so empty inside right now.

I kind of already left an end of the story "speech" but I guess I can come up with more for this chapter. One thing I didn't mention is that this story has been with me through a lot. Literal years of my life poured into this and… It was all worth it, I think. Of course, there were times when I wanted to take a break, when burn out got the better of me, but I managed to keep going. With the bad comes the good though and there were times when writing was all that I cared about and all that got me through my days.

Well, writing and reviews. Because, I like writing, I really do, but there's something… more, more special and meaningful to knowing that someone likes what I write. Because these stories are mine, I write them as I'd like them, I write them as I want them. I have never bothered to try and write what others would like, honestly. So, it makes it that much more wonderful to know that there's people that like what I've created.

So, thank you, especially to everyone that has left at least one review or came to my Discord server to talk about this. You've made countless days of mine with just your praise or words of encouragement or just generally showing me how excited you were for this story or how much you liked it. I assure you that I've enjoyed reading those at least as much as you enjoyed the story and likely more.

With that said… Well, this is the end. It feels a little wrong to put this here, honestly, but I've already started posting the story that will take Game of Shadows's place in the update rotation: Darkest Before Dawn. So, if you feel like it, go and check it out. I hope you like it.

I also hope you enjoyed Game of Shadows. Thanks for accompanying me during this journey.

If you want to support my writing, you can do so in my Pa tre on:

P a treon . com (slash) AdrianKing

Discord Link: discord .gg/UTDransjJZ

Random Question: Anything you want to tell me about it, now that the story is over?

See you.