So, first off, I do not own Magi or Naruto. I do own my OC(s) and plot twists! Please review and comment because I like reading what you all write/think! Also, shout out to Katsura369 and their fanfics Through the Spy Glass and Through the looking glass (second one is chronologically first) which originally inspired this fanfic. I will be switching between past and present (beginning of Naruto Shippuden) each chapter. And my one hint, there will be a pairing but it's NOT Sinbad.

Now, on with the show!

The Past…

"Finally."

A young brunette with an old hair pin, tan skin and purple eyes stands in front of a doorway, her sword in hand. On her face she has two long scars running down over her right eye and an eyebrow piercing on the left side. Gold hoops decorate her ears, a golden torc around her neck, and a pair of steel arm-braces around her forearms. Her clothes are worn, suitable for a desert climate and splattered with drying specks of blood. Calmly she presses a spherical blood-red gem the nearly the size of her head into the corresponding slot in the door.

An eight-sided star within a circle glows brightly before the doors give way before her. She enters without hesitation, entering a room filled with dusty artifacts. Her gaze flickers over the room before settling on the lone clean object: a mirror.

"Curious choice…" She murmurs, approaching it.

Gently, she touches the surface- magic sparks and an explosion of smoke billows out, solidifying as a giant blue woman with blond hair bound back in intricate braids. Jewelry adorns her neck and wrists while her chest is left bare. The djinn examines the human before her in turn before smiling.

"I am the Djinn of Renewal and Fellowship of the thirty-sixth dungeon, Gaia! So you are to be my king?"

The young woman nods firmly, keeping her gaze steady on Gaia. Gaia smirks, liking the fire in her eyes.

"Very well, I have no objections, despite your possession of one of my brethren. From this day forth, my powers are yours to command; what is your name, my king?"

The young woman opens her mouth to introduce herself only to be interrupted.

"Ilona! You beat us here?!"

She stiffens before turning her head to see one of her least favorite people: Sinbad. He smiles winsomely at her- internally she retches before choosing to disregard him. Gaia frowns at him.

"I hope you are not here to contest my king's claim: I have already chosen Lady Ilona as my king." The djinn informs him, folding her arms.

Sinbad blinks, momentarily stunned, but laughs it off.

"Is that so? Bad luck for us, I suppose! Congratulations on clearing the dungeon, Ilona-chan!"

"Please do not address me so informally." Ilona states, her voice cold.

Sinbad tilts his head, confused.

"Eh? What's wrong, Ilona-chan?"

She walks away from him, determined to not react to his antics. Gaia frowns at Sinbad's continued advances while Ja'far, Masrur and Mystros sweat drop as their king harasses one of the few woman capable of murdering him.

"Does he not understand how dangerous she is?!" Ja'far hisses, his muscles trembling with tension.

"Airhead of the Seven Seas." Masrur mutters, crossing his arms.

"Sinbad always chases after women though-" Mystros points out.

"That's not the point! Ilona-san clearly doesn't want his attentions and yet he continues to aggravate her! She's already nearly killed him twice for molesting her person!" Ja'far snaps.

Masrur nods, watching Ilona steadfastly ignore Sinbad's attempts at conversation. Mystros winces, remembering the last time Sinbad had tried to charm her- by stealing a kiss. None of them had been fast enough to prevent Sinbad's jaw from breaking or the vicious blow to the family jewels. They had managed to stop her from decapitating him. But Sinbad, being an opportunist, is still trying to woo her onto his side. An impossibility, based on what Ja'far, Masrur and Mystros knew of her.

"Sin's an idiot if he thinks he can convince her to join him," Mystros remarks.

The trio sweat drop and nod as Ilona steadfastly ignores Sinbad's advances, focusing instead on her new djinn.

"Gaia, I would like to leave the dungeon now." She says bluntly.

Gaia nods, eyeing Sinbad disapprovingly.

"Take of my treasures what you will, my king- not you!" She snaps at Sinbad when he reaches for an oil lamp.

He conceals a wince and stares imploringly up at Gaia.

"Oh, but we worked so hard to come and see you, great Djinn! Surely we might have a small token as a memento of our meeting?" He wheedles.

Gaia's glare darkens.

"No, you may not! You are not my king and only my king has the right to any of my treasures!" She snaps.

Ilona, thankful Gaia had distracted Sinbad, pulls open a small bag tied to her belt and starts shoveling treasure inside it. In fact, she shoves more treasure inside it than the tiny bag should have the capacity for. Ja'far's eyes bulge as they watch the bag continue to hold an impossible amount of treasure and Ilona steadily packs it all away. Sinbad turns away from Gaia to appeal to Ilona when he finally sees what she is doing.

"Ilona-chan! What's that bag?" He demands, his eyes sparkling.

Ilona stays silent, intent on finishing packing away her treasure- talking to Sinbad never leads to anything good in her experience. Sinbad pouts as Ilona continues her mute impression.

"Ne, ne, ne, Ilona-sama! What's that bag? Is it a magical tool? I would love to purchase it from you~!" He cajoles her.

"No." She cuts him off.

Sinbad's golden eyes bore into her violet ones- Ilona's resolve does not waver. If anything, it grows stronger against his pleading stare, her expression becoming cold and unwelcoming.

"You have nothing I want. So save your breath, Womanizer of the Seven Seas." Ilona informs him, drawing the purse-strings firmly shut and stashes the pouch safely inside her clothes.

Sinbad is frozen by her rejection as Ilona stands before Gaia once more. Gaia smiles approvingly at Ilona.

"It is good to see my king is not one easily swayed by others- if I might make a suggestion? This mirror is also a powerful magic tool left by a previous magi; it could be very useful to you!" She gestures at the mirror from which she had been summoned.

Sinbad unfreezes, his eyes landing on the mirror and then a calculating expression crosses his face. Ja'far stiffens at his expression then tries to intercept Sinbad, who avoids him easily. Ilona realizes too late what Sinbad intends to do and springs forward, attempting to head him off.

"Sinbad, DON'T!" Masrur, Mystros and Ja'far all yell at the same time.

Sinbad smirks and snatches up the mirror, opening his mouth to tease Ilona when she slams into him. They both fall, the mirror flying out of his grip. Ilona looks up, scrambles to her feet and rushes to catch it-! Only for Sinbad to tumble into her, knocking Ilona off her feet: the mirror explodes right in front of her face and a pulse ripples through the dungeon.

Gaia's eyes widen and she swipes her arm, casting a return spell for Sinbad and his party before racing to enter one of Ilona's metal vessels. A vortex manifests in the broken mirror's frame, sucking Ilona inside.

"Ilona! Take my hand!" Sinbad yells, trying to reach her.

Ilona stares at his hand, considering it- but a chilling premonition stays her hand. He will not release me if I take his hand- and I will owe him more than treasure. He would try to OWN me and consequently the power I possess for his own benefit. The shackles are invisible, but they still exist. It takes her half a second to consider her options and decide to refuse Sinbad's 'help'.

I would rather trust Fate than HIM.

Ilona spares an accusing glare at Sinbad as more of her body enters the vortex, who is frozen in shock on the floor. Gaia barely makes it, quickly taking residence in one of Ilona's necklaces before Ilona blinks out of existence. The mirror frame is also sucked within the vortex, erasing all traces of Ilona of the Kouga clan.

Sinbad, Mystros, Masrur and Ja'far are all teleported into a giant crater where the dungeon used to be. Numb, Sinbad sinks to his knees, staring at his hand.

"Sin…" Ja'far whispers, unsure how to proceed.

"… Why didn't she take my hand?" He whispers.

"…" None of his followers have an answer for him.

Meanwhile…

Madara frowns as more kunai shower down upon him, scoffing at the weak attack.

"Pathetic!" He growls to himself, barely shifting to dodge them.

Nearby, Izuna is engaging Tobirama in a fast-paced clash of blades, twisting and swiping harshly. The sun glints off the metal while they close again- Izuna uses his Sharingan to briefly throw Tobirama off guard. Tobirama quickly flies himself to one of his seals, panting from the effort. Hashirama glances at him worriedly and quickly finishes his hand seals, creating a vast forest of cavorting wood.

Clansmen from both sides struggle to adapt to the sudden change in the battlefield while Madara's eyes glint. He steps forward, his hands rising to make his own hand seals when a pulse catches his attention. His eyes turn scarlet as he activates the Sharingan, searching for the disturbance. Hashirama, Izuna and Tobirama all notice it as well, pausing their next moves as they try to identify the strange sensation.

The chakra in the air and earth vibrates, reacting to something. Abruptly the vibrations stop and a black speck appears in the sky above them. Madara frowns, trying to pick out details of the abnormality when it grows larger and something bursts out of it. A humanoid figure tumbles through the air, plummeting towards the ground.

The figure suddenly twists and starts to chant something in a bizarre language none of them recognize.

{"Spirit of Memory and Defiance, dwell within my frame, transform my body and grant me the power to write my own Fate! METIS!"}

A golden glow blazes off them and a whirl wind abruptly wraps around them. Izuna's jaw drops while Madara barely hangs onto his composure.

They didn't use hand signs! What kind of jutsu was that?! They think in tandem.

Hashirama is faring slightly better, being oblivious to the lack of hand signs, but Tobirama is in the same boat as Izuna. All four shinobi are significantly perturbed and wary- more so when the whirlwind dissipates and unveils the figure. By now they all have a better view of her, and it definitely is a HER, since she was hovering barely forty feet above them.

Her appearance changed dramatically: tattoos wind around her bare stomach and shoulders while her breasts are barely covered by two crisscrossing scarves. Around her hips there is another, longer, scarf-skirt thing that flutters around her legs and does nothing to cover them. Bronze jeweled bracers protect her shins and azure feathers grew on both sides of her calves.

Her hands also changed to clawed talons of some great beast and further up on her biceps there are bronze armbands with long trailing strings decorating them. Around her throat there is a collar-like piece protecting her neck. Her storm-grey hair flutters around her, thick bunches of it bound at the ends with golden rings decorated with yet more finery. On either side of her head are two tuffs of feathers, azure like the ones on her legs, twitching like ears.

But it was her face that arrested their attention: regal, composed and yet still feminine. A pair of parallel scars crosses her right eye, pointing to some violence in her past. A third eye sits squarely in the middle of her forehead, clearly visible. Purple eyes bore down at them, seemingly unbothered by the large number of shinobi now gawking at her. She quirks an eyebrow and floats down until she hovers a bare ten feet above the ground.

{"Can you understand me?"} She demands, one hand propped on her hip.

The Uchiha and Senju stir, glancing at each other uneasily then her. Madara steps forward, drawing her attention.

"Who are you? What are your intentions?" He states, watching her face closely.

A flicker of surprise crosses her face before she schools her expression. She eyes him curiously then the rest of the shinobi around her, seemingly searching for something. Whatever it is, she doesn't seem to find it. She turns her attention back to Madara and seems to come to a decision. The stranger extends her hands upright and speaks again.

{"Alekshef an al-zakriat!"}

A strange symbol, two squares forming an eight-pointed star within a circle appears beneath her feet. The strings on her armbands stir and change to a silvery color as they extend. The shinobi panic, sure it is some sort of attack!

Madara's hands flash through hand signs and he breathes a massive fireball at her to defend his clansmen. Tobirama flickers back to Hashirama's side, readying a water jutsu in case Madara fails. Izuna retreats to Madara's side, much like Tobirama, ready to support his older brother. The woman sees the fireball and her expression becomes annoyed.

{"Jaal al-modhawaa!"} Her voice rings out clearly.

She flicks her hand at the jutsu and the threads on that arm whip around the fireball, compressing around it and containing it. As it collapses, Madara and the other Uchiha can see the jutsu being spun and compressed into a long crimson thread. It flies and hovers around her form, similar to how her garments twine around her body.

Hashirama's jaw drops and his eyes sparkle at her strange jutsu! Tobirama doesn't share his sentiments, firing off his water-slicer jutsu in hopes of cutting her in half. She barely glances at him and flicks her hand at Tobirama: the water is gathered out of its' original shape and twisted into a blue thread, joining the crimson one. She sighs, loudly, before glaring at all the shinobi around her.

{"Are you done?"}

Her glare makes more than a few uncomfortable- she is clearly disappointed in them. If the situation wasn't so serious, Hashirama would have burst out laughing at their expressions. As it was, he tenses as she brings the two colored threads near her face and pulls them taunt between her fingers, examining them closely. Madara twitches as she blatantly ignores him (although she was also ignoring the Senju, which slightly eased the sting) and makes to attack only for Izuna to stop him.

He glares at his little brother, ready to demand what he is thinking-! Only for Izuna to nods towards the woman meaningfully.

"We don't know what she wants," He reminds Madara.

Madara glares, his eyes flashing red.

"I don't care! She's a threat! You saw what she did to my fireball jutsu and that idiot Senju's water jutsu!" He argues back.

Izuna sweat drops.

"But she hasn't attacked us or the Senju- she's clearly a foreigner, based on her language alone!" Izuna reasons.

Madara frowns, unable to refute Izuna on that point. Nearby, Hashirama and Tobirama are having a similar discussion- though the roles are reversed.

"Why did you attack her? She hasn't done anything to us!" Hashirama lectures his younger brother.

Tobirama frowns and crosses his arms.

"I wanted to make certain she didn't become a threat to us!" He snaps, fed up with Hashirama's naivety.

Hashirama merely gives Tobirama a disappointed pout. Tobirama huffs, refusing to glance at him and refocuses on the stranger. His eyebrows shoot up as she releases the threads and glances around at them all, cocking her head.

"Cha-kra?"

They all tense in surprise and she frowns. She points to the colored threads, then at them.

"Cha-kra?" She questions again.

Hashirama can't contain himself and leaps over to her- she tilts her head, examining him. He grins bashfully at her and waves. Madara rolls his eyes at Hashirama's antics. The woman hesitantly inclines her head and then points again to the threads.

"Cha-kra?"

Hashirama shakes his head and points to the threads.

"Jutsu!"

She blinks and carefully repeats the word.

"Jut-zu."

Hashirama nods and focuses, letting chakra glow visibly around his body. Her eyes widen in surprise and she floats closer. She gestures to his body.

"Cha-kra?"

This time Hashirama nods then he creates a small tree with a set of hand signs. He gestures to it.

"Jutsu. Chakra in jutsu!"

Her eyes light up in understanding and she hovers around the tree, clearly considering what she had learned. Madara can't contain himself and marches over to them- Izuna and Tobirama tense up. Hashirama watches him warily as Madara glares at the floating woman.

"Who are you?" He demands, glowering.

Her expression hardens at his tone and she tilts her head, eyeing his posture. She evidently doesn't like what she sees and proceeds to shoot back into the sky with no warning. Madara's jaw drops at her blatant rudeness.

"Oi! Get down here!" He roars, fired up.

Izuna has to restrain him, smiling apologetically at her. She folds her arms, clearly not impressed. Hashirama glances between her and Madara before hitting on an idea. He points to Madara.

"Madara!" He says clearly then points to himself.

"Hashirama!" Then he points at her expectantly.

Madara blinks then realizes where Hashirama is going with this. The woman seems surprised then thoughtful. She points to Madara and then Hashirama in turn.

"Madara. Hashi-rama." Hashirama nods excitedly then points at her.

She frowns then sighs before gesturing to herself.

"Ilona."

Hashirama beams.

"Ilona, huh? Hello, Ilona!"

Tobirama makes a note of her name, red eyes sharp- and he is not the only one. Izuna and Madara also make a note, for once grateful for Hashirama's open nature. Hashirama gestures for her to descend, sitting down on the dirt. She clearly considers it before shaking her head. Hashirama pouts, a depressed cloud forming over his head.

"Ilona won't come down and talk to me, am I that awful of a person?" He mumbles, drawing squiggles in the dirt.

Everyone sweat drops.

"Stop being depressed, idiot!" Madara explodes, kicking Hashirama in the ass.

Hashirama drags himself off his face and pouts again.

"Aww, Madara, why'd you go and kick me..? Though I suppose that's all someone like me is worth-!" He is abruptly interrupted by a flick to the forehead.

He blinks then realized he is staring right into Ilona's stern violet eyes. Everyone gapes at her as she sighs and sets her feet on the ground, planting her hands on her hips.

{"Stop that. Whining doesn't help with anything."}

While none of them understand her, they can all tell she is lecturing Hashirama, who is gob smacked. Then his expression becomes joyful as he springs onto his feet and makes to hug her.

"Ilona! You came down!"

Ilona holds out a palm, halting his advance. Hashirama pouts but stays put, guessing she is not ready for physical contact. She pushes her hair out of her face then grumbles to herself.

{"This will be a pain if I don't do it. Ugh."}

She thrusts her hand out and focuses.

{"Karaa al-modhawaa!"}

The same star symbol appears again, but includes Hashirama and Madara this time much to their concern. All her threads, including the colored ones, seem to unravel into thinner fragments before reaching out to touch Hashirama and Madara. Both men tense, ready to fight but pause when she looks at them and bows slightly. Hashirama glances between her and the threads before touching them himself. Madara waits, willing to let Hashirama be his guinea pig.

The threads between Hashirama and Ilona vibrate for a few minutes then turn gold and fall away, suddenly much thicker. Hashirama blinks and sputters in surprise- but not in the tongue of Fire!

{"Ilona? What was that? Eh, wait, what is this?! This isn't permanent, is it?!"} He babbles, beginning to freak out.

Ilona shakes her head.

{"I taught you my language so I could be understood- focus and say what you wish to say in your mother tongue."}

Hashirama smacks a fist into his palm, understanding suddenly.

"Ah! That makes sense! But that felt very strange, Ilona!"

She gives him a pointed glare and Madara finally speaks up.

"Hashirama, what did she do to you?! You sounded just like her!"

Hashirama turns and grins at him.

"Madara, she taught me her language with her jutsu- although that's not the right word but its close enough for our purposes. Do you want to try? From the impression she gave, she has enough chakra to use it one more time!"

Madara considers it- long term, a relationship with Ilona could be useful. Decided, he nods to Ilona, who clearly understands body language. She gestures again and the threads wind around his wrist loosely, connecting them.

{"Karaa al-modhawaa!"}

And Madara suddenly feels a rush of- impressions, he decides is the best word since none of them are clear enough to be considered memories. Each flickers past before he could get a good look, but words in a very different language begin to build in his mind. Basic vocabulary first, then verbs and the grammatical structure. It's as if the impressions are wearing a spot in his mind, engraving meanings and syntax.

He feels a spark of relief when the threads, now golden, unravel and drop away. Madara glances up at her and notices a thin layer of sweat forming on her face. His eyes narrow in consideration- perhaps he can use this.

{"Do you need to rest?"} He asks, trying not to scare her.

She stiffens then stands straight, completely composed- if he didn't know any better he would have thought she was completely fine! Ilona shakes her head.

{"No. Goodbye, Madara, Hashi-rama."}

Before either of them can stop her, Ilona shoots back into the sky and flies off, swiftly becoming a speck in the distance. The rival clan leaders and former friends stand awkwardly together, mutually dumbfounded by the foreigner.

"… We're leaving." Madara decides, surprising both clans.

Tobirama scowls, unhappy to be surprised by the Uchiha but let's them leave unhindered when Hashirama gives him a meaningful look. For the first time in many years, the two clans separate without bloodshed- and with no little confusion.

And so the path, well-trodden by the incarnations of Indra and Ashura, is suddenly interrupted. Even when later generations fail to hear of this meeting, the impact the King's Candidate has on the world continues to influence them…

Ilona pants as she dispels her Djinn Equip, desperately sucking in air. While she had been focusing more on making the two leaders understand her, Ilona had had a glimpse into their minds. Hashi-rama is an open, honest fool that cares deeply and despises war. Madara is very much the opposite, hot-tempered and calculating while thriving on the battlefield. But underneath both of their personalities is a strong drive to protect their loved ones and regret concerning one another.

She sighs, pushing her hair out of her face as she considers her options and then decides to interrogate the previous owner of the mirror.

'Gaia, what was that mirror?' She thinks, keeping any accusatory tone suppressed.

'My king, that mirror allowed for teleportation to other lands- the Magi would use it to reach distant troubles swiftly. But when it shattered… I believe the mirror connected to another world.' Gaia replies.

'I concur, my king.' A smooth woman's voice adds.

Ilona raises an eyebrow.

'Metis, what makes you say that?' She inquires, knowing Metis can be cagy when she wishes to be.

'Our world has two languages- common and Toran. Those men- shinobi, spoke in a tongue that was neither. And have you noticed there is another energy in the world? This 'chakra' is not Rukh- I cannot even feel the flow of Rukh. Ergo, we are in a different world.'

'Dammit Sinbad- of course you had to interferein my life again.' She curses him with a groan.

Her two djinn give murmurs of agreement, though Gaia is more enthusiastic in vocalizing her dislike for Sinbad. After allowing herself a small spat of self-pity, Ilona stands, brushing off her clothes of leaf litter.

'Sitting around and moaning won't fix anything- but at the very least I have this,'

Ilona glances at the mirror's frame in the palm of her hand: it is empty of glass but the frame itself is intact.

'The mirror can be restored, my king, but we will need to search out the missing fragments.' Gaia warns her.

Ilona nods silently.

'I expected nothing less.'

Two days later…

Izuna is traveling to Sumisu village, a valuable ally who forges the Uchiha clan's weapons, after receiving a request of assistance. Madara was reluctant to send him, being a worry-wart, but time was against them. He had not won the battle of going without bodyguards, however. Izuna frowns at the memory of Madara's pronouncement.

"You are not going alone! If Sumisu is asking for help, then it's going to be at least a shinobi clan causing trouble! At the worst it's the damn Senju! So either you take Ginru and Nobi with you or you're staying put!"

"Honestly, onii-san is too protective sometimes…" He groans.

Nobi snorts, trying to muffle it.

"You think?"

Izuna glowers at him while Ginru chuckles from his other side.

"Let's just get there, solve the problem and go home." Izuna grumbles.

His clansmen wisely say nothing, hiding their mirth as they race through the trees. Several hours later, near the end of their journey, they spot smoke. Izuna speeds up, inwardly knowing they are likely too late. They burst out of the trees into a clear-cut area: Sumisu village is built near a river they use for forging and fishing. It is running red with blood as shinobi fight the smiths.

Despite being primarily concerned with creating weapons, the weapon smiths of Sumisu are arguably amongst the best at wielding said weapons. Enough so there is nearly an equal number of shinobi dead mixed in with the villagers. Many buildings are on fire, likely from fire jutsus or explosion tags. The Uchiha clansmen charge together into the thick of the fighting, dispatching targets swiftly.

The rival shinobi quickly band together- Izuna recognizes them as the Isobe clan, a middling clan with a specialty in water jutsus and swords. The Uchiha exchange glances and target the leaders of the clan. The Isobe notice and fire off several water bullets, forcing the Uchiha to scatter or use substitution jutsu. Izuna clenches his jaw and throws kunai at them, injuring two. Next to him, Ginru is locked in a sword fight with another Isobe shinobi, trying to over-power each other.

Izuna doesn't know how long they fought- minutes, hours, days? All he can focus on is the next opponent and finishing them swiftly. His muscles start to burn as he parries blows and he uses the Uchiha's signature fireball jutsu to drive a mass of enemies back. The smiths, despite being tired, continue to press on the Isobe shinobi and support the Uchiha.

Izuna feels assured that the battle will end in their favor: there are only fifteen enemies still alive.

Then Nobi screams, gargling on his own blood: one of the enemy had cut his torso nearly in two from shoulder to hip. Izuna barely has a second to take in the brutality and with a sickening lurch in his gut knows the wound is fatal. Ginru sees and defeats his enemy to rush to Izuna's side.

"Izuna! We need to retreat!" He shouts, cutting down another shinobi.

Izuna glares at him as he cuts the throat of a shinobi sneaking up on him.

"What of the village?!" He snaps, blocking a barrage of shuriken.

"It can be rebuilt!" Ginru answers, slicing off a kunoichi's head.

Izuna hesitates, then nods.

"Retre-!" He starts to shout when an explosion goes off under his feet.

Izuna collapses, unconscious, as blood oozes from his injuries. Ginru jumps to his side and hoists him onto his shoulders, panic settling into his bones.

Madara-sama will kill me!

"Retreat!" He bellows, dodging the suddenly rabid Isobe.

Like predators, they sense weakness and swarm Ginru, eyes gleaming in anticipation. Ginru grits his teeth and dodges the blows, mindful of his passenger. He high-tails it for the trees, hoping for a better battlefield advantage but a flurry of shuriken cut off that route. With a snarl, Ginru glances around for a weak point he can take advantage of.

Surrounded on all sides, the Isobe circle him and smirk.

"Well, well, the Uchiha aren't all that after all!" One of them mocks.

Another laughs, drawing a katana.

"Can we play with this one?

Ginru glares, his Sharingan swirling as he mentally prepares himself for a death match.

Ilona watches the massacre silently, recognizing one of the men who arrived to the battlefield. She is slightly awed by the feats these 'shinobi' seem capable of. Similar to magicians and even Metal Vessel users with their bizarre magic- no, 'jutsus'.

'My King, are we only observing?' Gaia asks her, breaking her revelry.

Ilona considers the djinn's question and her eyes flicker over to the burning village. Unbidden, a memory of burning tents, screaming women and sickening laughter as heavy chains are locked on her wrists comes to mind.

"…" She shakes her head, warding away the memories, and wraps her face with a worn shemagh.

'No. We will fight. But I will not use my Djinn Equip unless it is dire.' Ilona informs her djinns.

She draws her sword, a jian, and rushes onto the battlefield. Her footsteps are unheard as the intruding shinobi circle one of the few remaining men with the red eyes, laughing. Ilona strikes decisively, decapitating two of the shinobi in one blow and spinning to the next. The red-eyed man takes advantage, rushing for the opening she had created. The marauders leap forward to cut off his escape, throwing pointy knives at both of them.

Ilona easily deflects them- years of slicing arrows midflight in the Coliseum coming to her aid. The red-eyed shinobi is less fortunate, taking one in the calf but he succeeds at breaking free of the entrapment. Ilona guards his back, deflecting an eager marauder's knife before taking advantage of their frenzy to end them. Blood splatters her face but Ilona hardly blinks as she continues slaughtering the enemy.

'My king, beware!' Metis yells.

Ilona leaps forward, avoiding the explosive ball of- water? Or is that blood? Deciding not to focus on that, Ilona ducks and severs two of the shinobi's legs off, toppling them. Nearby, she spots the red-eyed shinobi darting and weaving, carrying his clansman as if he is the single most precious thing in his life. She grimaces at the painful tug in her chest- now is not the time to be jealous!

Her blade dances, sweeping away all resistance as she covers the red-eyed shinobi's retreat into the woods. Purple eyes flicker back to the burning village, but she knows there is no saving it- the fire is devouring everything.

So long as the people live, they can rebuild. She reminds herself pragmatically.

Home is not a building, it is where your loved ones are.

Ilona refocuses on the battle and her blood turns to ice. The red-eyed shinobi is swaying, four throwing knives in his back as he struggles to shield his burden even as he bleeds. Six enemies remain, all between her and the dying man. A spark of anger uncurls in her belly before chilling, clearing her thoughts and leaving her cold, cold, cold inside.

'They will not keep their lives.'

"Spirit of Memory and Defiance, Metis!" She whispers harshly, summoning her partial djinn equip.

Her arm changes to talons and golden scales with its feathers fluttering on her wrist. On her bicep is a beaten bronze armband with its' colorless strings.

'My king! It is dangerous to reveal yourself!' Gaia exclaims.

Ilona ignores Gaia's fretting and focuses, extending the strings and ensnaring her prey. Thankfully they are too wrapped up in the red-eyed shinobi- a fatal mistake. Before they can escape she uses her power to rip away their memories.

"Qata al-mwadia!" She snarls, clenching her fist.

The shinobi scream in terror and anguish as she forcibly removes all traces of who they are, the threads binding them pulsing a deep purple. Grimly Ilona releases them, knowing they are no longer a threat. She glances at the threads she had woven and with an angry flick severs them- she does not want the memories of scum, no matter how useful. Dispassionately, Ilona kills the enemy- a mercy, honestly, as they lay listlessly on the ground unable to do anything.

New, colorless threads grow and wind around her body as she approaches the fallen warrior, her sword gleaming scarlet with blood. He is barely alive, his once bright red eyes fading into black. His eyes widen at the sight of her arm and he starts to struggle, saying something in his bizarre language. Ilona crouches beside him, knowing there is little she can do for him- the way blood is gushing freely telling her one of the big arteries was cut.

He seems to read her face- well, her eyes, and his expression grows resigned.

[I am a failure- I couldn't protect Izuna and now I am dying. How pathetic.] He says, seemingly to himself.

Ilona listens to his strange words and it occurs to her that perhaps there is one thing she can do for him. Slowly, she holds out her clawed hand and speaks her spell.

"Tetlashi al-dhakra." A single thread encircles his wrist and he gasps as his body numbs.

It pulses a deep red as it absorbs his body's current memory of pain, giving him some relief in his last moments.

Ginru doesn't know what the woman has done to him. His recollection is foggy but he can't forget the sudden switch from agony to numbness. If he were capable of it, Ginru would sweat at the woman's power. But Ginru knows his duty to his clan- if he cannot bring Izuna back safely, then he simply must coerce her into doing so. Her prowess in battle showed she was a veteran- honestly, it was impressive to see her slaying the Isobe with minimal effort without any justu.

She can protect Izuna- and that is all that matters.

Grimly, he searches for her eyes and locks gazes with her- then he activates his genjutsu. The tomoe in his eyes spin frantically as he tries to implant a suggestion.

"Protect Izuna and return him safely to our clan!" He orders.

The woman's purple eyes widen then narrow, clearly furious. Ginru barely has time to process her expression before she grabs his hair and yanks him off the ground, dragging him upright. A second thread wraps around his wrist and it pulses.

{"Karaa al-modhawaa!"} She hisses and Ginru has to bite back a scream as something invades his mind.

It feels like acid, a cold, stinging acid that burns upon contact. Under the icy burns Ginru intuitively feels her anger towards him. Ruthlessly, she pries open memory after memory taking words and images associated with them. It feels like an eternity as she rifles through his memories until it finally stops. Ginru has to bite back a sob as the angry presence inside his mind removes itself. She releases his hair and he falls flat on his face into the dirt. He reflexively closes his eyes to avoid the dust.

"I do not appreciate others trying to give me orders."

Ginru's eyes fly open in shock as she speaks perfect Fire. He hesitantly glances up at her- the woman's eyes are the only part of her face he can see, but Ginru cannot help but shiver at the steel in her gaze.

"Attempt your doujutsu again and I will remove your eyes. Am I clear?"

He nods feebly, feeling fainter by the moment.

"… You wish me to save Izuna. Why?" Her question catches him off guard.

"Madara… sama… needs him." He wheezes.

"We… need… him…"

There is silence for a long while as she stares at him, then Izuna.

"… I may not be able to keep him safe. This… land is different than mine."

Ginru meets her questioning gaze desperately.

"Please..! Save… him!" He coughs, blood trickling out his mouth.

"…" She sighs, glancing over at Izuna.

Ginru barely breathes as he awaits her decision.

"… Fine." Ilona finally says.

Ginru smiles at her- and fails to take his next breathe. Ilona waits but his chest no longer moves; she checks his pulse to find it gone. She respectfully bows her head before destroying his eyes. It was the one measure she could take upon short notice to ensure his 'doujutsu' was not stolen. Then she hoists Izuna upon her shoulders and begins her journey.

Please review and let me know what you think! I used google translate to create the spells/commands for Metis' skills. And before you ask, no, Ilona will not be shipped with Sinbad- she can't stand him ;)

Next chapter is in the present, so get ready for yet more shenangins!