Hollowfied

By: Finn Mertenz

Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN NARUTO OR BLEACH. I DO NOT CLAIM TO OWN THEM.


Chapter 3: My Name Is... Sasuke Uchiha! Pride Of The Quincy.

Wednesday 6:11am, August 17th 2020 A.D.

Disturbed by the chirping of distant birds, Naruto combed his hair with one hand before yawning. Opening both eyes, Naruto's vision was distorted by sunlight from the nearby window.

I recognize this ceiling... A single phrase echoed through Naruto's mind.

Lazily rolling over in bed, Naruto grabbed his ear-buds before plugging them in. Turning his music on, Naruto shot out of bed before stretching. popping various joints and muscles.

Startled by his missing alarm clock, Naruto dashed towards the hallway, flinging his bedroom door open. Running downstairs, Naruto was instantly basked by pillars of steam and the aroma of food.

"Perfect timing! I haven't cooked anything in decades! This was so fun!" Sakura cheered.

Placing a pair of glass bowls atop Naruto's counter, Sakura filled each of these counters with fresh ramen. Topped with boiled eggs and pieces of pork, Sakura marveled at her own creation.

"Isn't it a little early for ramen...?" Naruto muttered, earning a scowl of contempt.

"I don't know what Humans do anymore! And I don't sleep! So don't judge my habits!" Slurring these words, Sakura quickly slurped her food.

As Sakura devoured her meal, Naruto became enamored by the distant TV, causing him to walk into the living room. Exposing the damaged and demolished wall of Naruto's middle school, the local news was playing.

"An expected gas leak led to an explosion yesterday at Karakura Middle School." An elderly news anchor spoke.

"Thankfully, no fatalities were found and all children were evacuated." As this man spoke, pictures of Kiba, Rin and Hinata were displayed.

"However, due to the structural damages, Karakura Middle School will be closed until further notice." Inspired by this statement, Naruto turned the TV off.

Much had changed over the recent days in Naruto's life, but he still felt the same, he felt nothing. However, with Sakura by his side, the entire world was about to change for Naruto.


Twelve hours later.

"I just don't get out much, so I don't see the point." Naruto complained.

Strolling through a narrow dirt road that was encompassed by winding trees, Naruto and Sakura wore their school uniforms. Walking through a park on the outskirts of Karakura, these children were basked by rays of the setting sun.

"In the Soul Society, I go on walks every day..." Sakura exclaimed.

"I usually drag my bestfriend along, but now, you're her substitute." Speaking these words, Sakura poked Naruto's nose.

Bombarded by a sudden gust of wind, Sakura used one hand to pin her skirt down. At the same time, a swirl of leaves rustled through the tree-line, illuminated by the sun.

"You keep talking about the Soul Society... But If I don't see it, it doesn't exist." Naruto argued.

Approaching a wooden bench, Sakura reached into her bookbag before revealing a lunch box. Opening this container, Sakura handed Naruto a rice ball before sitting down.

"You might get to see the Soul Society, some day... Who knows, maybe I'll get to take you there." Sakura giggled.

Instinctively reaching into his pocket, Naruto pulled his ear-buds loose before raising them to his face. But, Sakura snagged these wires at the last moment, dangling them for all too see.

Teasing her new roommate, Sakura's emerald eyes forced a deep blush to infect Naruto's face. Enthralled by her cherry-blossom hair and vibrant green eyes, Naruto was easily manipulated by Sakura's appearance.

"Hey-... Um..." Taking a bite of his food, Naruto nervously sat down beside Sakura.

"How did you die?" Talking with a mouthful of food, Naruto grumbled his question.

Shoving one finger in front of Naruto's face, Sakura instantly morphed into an inquisitive pose. As this occurred, a handful of adults were walking through the background, enjoying the park.

"It was a rainy day, and I was in a car accident with my bestfriend." Sakura explained, kicking her feet with each word.

"But weren't you scared? Of dying?" Choking as he spoke, Naruto brushed the rice from his lips.

Shrugging each of her petite shoulders in reply, Sakura rested both legs atop Naruto's lap. Grabbing another ball of rice, Sakura cheerly nibbled on her food, groaning with delight.

"I used to be, but I've been dead for so long, I don't even think about it now." Sakura hummed with a lazy voice.

"Where do Soul Reapers go when they die? " Naruto asked, swollen with questions.

Interrupting this conversation, a hollowfied screech echoed through the air, magnified by a freshly risen moon. As a night sky spread across the horizon, Naruto and Sakura both heard a distant Hollow.

Inspired by this realization, Sakura grabbed Naruto's wrist before dragging him through the park. Charging towards these demonic cries, Sakura was escorted by her years of experience.


Ten minutes later.

A six year old boy known as Udon hastily scrambled across a grassy knoll, defined by the iron chain on his chest. An ethereal ghost, Udon was running through a dimly-lit park, irradiated by street lamps.

Dressed in a short-sleeve shirt with red and white strips, Udon also wore a pair of blue shorts and black shoes. Fleeing from a rampaging Hollow, Udon screamed without pause.

"No! That Hollow is going to eat that lost soul!" Sakura panicked, causing her short skirt to rustle.

Dressed in his school outfit, Naruto didn't have his shihakushō or his Zanpakutō, he was defenseless. However, this realization didn't stop Naruto from charging forward, running at the Hollow.

Known as Grand Fisher, this Hollow resembled a giant hamster with bird-like hands and talons, colored red. Stumbling with a prominent hunch, Fisher was covered in a coarse layer of brown fur.

Like all Hollows, Fisher had a circular void carved through his torso, centered between his stomach and chest. Also, Fisher wore a white mask with red-tinted lips, matching his demonic eyes.

As this Hollow advanced, the transparent image of Udon faded away, revealing a tentacle-like limb atop Fisher's forehead. A lure to attract weak and defenseless souls, Fisher drooled over Naruto's Reiatsu.

"I can taste it... Inside of you." Fisher spoke with a angelic tone.

"Damnit-... I'm such a fool!" Cursing her own weakness, Sakura held both hands against her flat chest.

Startled by this sudden trap, Naruto froze mid-step as the entire park quaked under Fisher's feet. Leaping at his next meal, Fisher was abruptly sniped by a pulsating arrow of blue Reiatsu.

Spewing black blood across the ground, chunks of disintegrated Hollow were flung in all directions. Afterwards, the looming silhouette of a twelve year old boy appeared atop a distant tree branch.

"A Soul Reaper that doesn't carry his Zanpakutō? Pathetic." Snarling his insult, Sasuke leapt to the grass-covered ground.

A member of the fabled Uchiha clan, Sasuke was the last known Quincy in existence, the heir of an extinct lineage. A group of ancient Human tribes that used their spiritual pressure to hunter Hollows, the Quincy were known for their pride.

Unlike Soul Reapers, Quincy were apart of the living world, fragile to age and disease, like normal Humans. But, the Quincy also possessed a unique list of abilities, far beyond any mortal.

Exposing his pale skin and hate-filled black eyes, Sasuke had chin-length black hair that was spiked in various angles. A stark contrast to his hair, Sasuke wore a long-sleeved white tunic, draped to his knee.

Below Sasuke's waist, this tunic was hung open on the sides, exposing his pristine white pants, shoes and gloves. Sewn into the back of this white tunic, a six-pronged black cross was on full display.

Using a glove-covered hand to tug at his raised collar, a silver cross hung from Sasuke's wrist. Sparkling with an aura of blue Reiatsu, this cross was an heirloom of the Quincy.

"Wh-... Who are you?" Stuttering, Naruto scratched his whiskers while speaking.

"Sasuke Uchiha, a proud Quincy... And I hate Soul Reapers." Spitting his reply, Sasuke glared at Naruto with unblinking eyes.

A-... A Quincy?! I've never heard of them before! Sakura panicked, despite her years of experience, she was too young to understand.

As Naruto and Sasuke became engaged in a staring contest, the clouds parted from overhead. Revealing a black sky with a full moon on the horizon, Karakura Town was basked in moonlight.

"If you paid more attention, you'd realize we're in the same class." Narrowing both eyes, Sasuke kept his distance from Naruto.

"Sorry about that... I'm usually in my own world." Admitting his deepest thoughts, Naruto rubbed his head.

Without warning, the cross on Sasuke's right wrist erupted into a hand-held arch of blue Reiatsu. Drawing a vibrant arrow from this beam of light, Reiatsu radiated across Sasuke's face.

"In the name of the Quincy, I challenge you! Soul Reaper!' Screeching these words, Sasuke fired an arrow at Naruto.

Rolling across the grass, Naruto anxiously dodged this pulsating projectile, forcing Sasuke's arrow to strike a tree. Upon impact, this wooden surface was disintegrated in mere seconds, leaving nothing but ash.

"But I'm not a Soul Reaper! I'm just a student in middle school!" Naruto protested.

Undaunted by these words, Sasuke launched a concentrated volley of Reiatsu-filled arrows. Staining his school uniform, Naruto was forced to dash and roll through an array of playground equipment.

Barely missing each shot, Sasuke destroyed various swings, slides and monkey-bars on the playground. As this occurred, Sakura was standing in the background, swollen with concern.

"This isn't fair! He doesn't have his Zanpakutō!" Sakura cut in.

Enthralled by Sakura's voice, the sheathed outline of Naruto's Zanpakutō was hurled through the air. Nervously grabbing this red-threaded hilt, Naruto's sheath slid loose from his blade, falling to the ground.

"I don't come unless I'm called." Minato teased, popping out from behind Sakura's shoulder.

Squealing in response, Sakura staggered back before recoiling with horror, causing her emerald eyes to widen. Gripping the top of Sakura's head, Minato turned her attention towards Naruto.

"Just watch... He'll surprise you." Whispering with a cryptic tone, Minato's eyes were concealed by his hat.

Sweeping his massive Zanpakutō, Naruto cleaved through Sasuke's arrows, spewing loose Reiatsu against his whiskers. Because of this, Sasuke effortlessly fired another barrage.

With each arrow that Sasuke launched, a glimmer of blue Reiatsu reflected off his black and empty eyes. Also, Sasuke's spiky hair wavered in the wind, fueled by his dense Reiatsu and Reiryoku.

Deflecting these projectiles with his Zanpakutō, Naruto's feet slid backwards across the earth. Cornered in front of lush tree, Naruto's Zanpakutō was bombarded by dozens of arrows.

Overwhelmed by Sasuke's endless attack, Naruto was knocked through several trees, promptly crushed by the debris. Scoffing in triumphant, Sasuke's black eyes began to swell with blue and white Reiatsu.

A unique trait of the Quincy, Sasuke was able to visually spot Reiraku, a distinct Soul Ribbon that every soul possessed. The physical manifestation of Reiryoku, Quincy frequently used Soul Ribbons to hunt Hollows.

Gazing through a pile of trees with enhanced vision, Sasuke dramatically gasped as his jawline fell open. Focused on the black ribbon that protruded out from Naruto's soul, Sasuke was left speechless.

A-... A Hollow?! Sasuke's eyes twitched with this revelation.

Suddenly, a screaming Naruto charged out from the debris, swinging his Zanpakutō like a madman. With each step that Naruto took, his Reiatsu doubled, forcing Sasuke to intently sweat.

Impossible! Where is he getting all of this Reiatsu?! Straining to think, Sasuke was soon shrouded by Naruto's shadow.

Hovering over Sasuke, Naruto's Zanpakutō twinkled in the moonlight, quickly sliced at his opponent. Unable to respond, Sasuke watched as Minato casually parried this strike with his cane.

Sundering the earth on collision, loose pebbles and dirt were flung against Sasuke, staining his white outfit. Easily disarming Naruto, Minato kicked him to the ground with one foot.

"Calm down, can't go around killing your classmates." Minato chuckled.

Th-... That wasn't a Hirenkyaku, it was a Flash Step... Is this man a Soul Reaper? Sasuke pondered.

"He started it! I don't know why everyone is so obsessed with me!" Naruto argued.

As Sasuke gazed at Naruto's whiskered face, the smiling memory of Shisui drifted through his mind. An eighteen year old guardian from his youth, Shisui was the only real family that Sasuke ever had.

At this moment, an earth shattering howl pierced the night sky, the demonic cry of a Hollow. Breaking the fabric of reality, a featureless void ruptured across the overbearing horizon.

Reaching out from this abyss, a pair of snow-white hands cracked the skyline, defined by jagged nails. Looming through this endless void, the red-eyed mask of a mountain-sized Hollow peered into sight.

Exposing the needle-like nose on his white mask, this demonic face pierced the veil of reality. Characterized by a plague-doctor Hollow mask, a bundle of beady red eye's polluted the night sky.

"I-... I've never seen a Hollow like that before!" Sasuke gasped.

"It-... It's a Menos! I've only read about them in books!" Sakura spoke with saucer-like eyes.

Comedically bonking Sakura with his cane, Minato's free hand pulled his striped bucket hat down. Capturing everyone's attention, Minato chuckled like an innocent child.

"It's a gigantic Hollow, born when hundreds of weaker Hollows merge together." Minato explained.

Tearing at reality with both hands, this massive Menos tore a gapping hole into Karakura Town. Revealing the Reiatsu-filled black cloak this Hollow wore, a pointy white foot stepped into the world of the living.

"This is beyond my jurisdiction… Nothing less than a Captain could stop that thing!" Speaking with disbelief, Sakura could barely breathe.

Fueled by these words, the smiling memory of Shisui drifted through Sasuke's mind, laughing. Inspired by this laughter, Sasuke charged at the rabid Menos, firing arrows without delay.

Quivering arrow after arrow, Sasuke's fingertips began to bleed, dripping blood as he ran. However, each of these arrows harmlessly bounced off the massive Menos, completely unnoticed.

"My name is Sasuke Uchiha! As the last living Quincy, I challenge you!" Shrieking in complaint, Sasuke drew a pulsating arrow.

Humming in the background, Sakura was swollen with confusion while scratching her nose. For over thirty years Sakura had traveled through the Soul Society, but she never heard of a Quincy.

Shuffling forward, this lumbering Menos kicked Sasuke without trying, knocking this young Quincy into a set of swings. Sundering the earth with each step, a distinct footprint was engraved into the dirt.

"The last living Quincy?" Naruto repeated.

"Yes... Twelve years ago, the Quincy were completely wiped out by the Soul Reapers." Minato spoke with a dry tone.

Enthralled by this revelation, Naruto gazed at Sasuke with sky blue eyes, reflecting off the full moon. Also, a gentle breeze forced Sakura to hold her skirt in place, the bane of every schoolgirl.

"I'm guess this child was taken into hiding at an early age, he's lucky too be alive." While speaking, Minato twirled his cane like a rope.

Sasuke Uchiha, a proud Quincy... And I hate Soul Reapers. Sasuke's introduction echoed through Naruto's conscious.

Pulled from these thoughts by a concentrated eruption of Reiatsu, the Menos became enraged by Sasuke's arrows. Swirling in front of his porcelain white mask, an orb of black and red Reiatsu swelled into sight.

Illuminating the horizon of Karakura, this display of Reiryoku caused currents of wind and debris to surge out. Thrown into her own dilemma, Sakura could barely hold her skirt down.

"Cero?! He's going to launch a Cero here?! That's it... Your classmate will be turned too ash!" Slurring to speak, Sakura's face was bombarded by loose dirt.

Stunned by this twisted display of Reiryoku, Sasuke became frozen with hesitation. Irradiated by the red aura of a Cero, this chaotic orb reflected off Sasuke's black eyes.

Shisui... Rippling through Sasuke's mind, a spiraling Cero was launched towards this Quincy.

Colliding against the blackened edge of Naruto's Zanpakutō, a Reiatsu-filled shockwave was spewed in all directions. Caught in this fierce force, Sasuke was flung against a dense tree, battered by harsh winds.

As this beam of Reiatsu continued to bare down on Naruto, the edge of his Zanpakutō was dug into his wrist. At the same time, portions of earth were crushed under this demonic spiritual pressure.

"We have to help them!" Sakura pleaded, taking two steps forward.

Quickly blocked by Minato's cane, this blond-haired shopkeeper was smiling with a faint grin. Caught in this breeze, Minato's hair, hat and haori all wavered against the wind.

"Stay back... They need this." Minato exclaimed.

S-... Soul Reaper?! Sasuke internally gasped.

Shielded by the same race that he cursed and hated, Sasuke glared at Naruto's back with bulging eyes. Berated by rustling currents of debris, wind and Reiatsu, strands of Sasuke's hair clung to his face.

Sorry about that... I'm usually in my own world. Naruto's nervous voice polluted Sasuke's mind.

Constantly drowning in his music, Naruto never paid much attention to the outside world. That's why Naruto was so alone, because he was to afraid too reach out for a friend.

You fool-... You idiot! Why would you risk everything for me?! Sasuke couldn't understand Naruto's perspective.

While a burning Cero scorched the side of Naruto's Zanpakutō, a steady stream of blood was leaking from his wrist. Despite the deadly circumstances of his surroundings, Naruto didn't have a care in the world.

If you're not going to run away... Then you need to fight. Encouraged by Sakura's memory, Naruto tightened the grip on his hilt.

Throughout his youth, Naruto has always been a go-with-the-flow type of child. Because that's the only way he could make it through life, by following others.

But now, as Naruto stood between his classmate and certain death, he felt a burning desire inside. The urge to protect the helpless, a defining feature of Naruto, forced him to stand firm.

Why am I fighting? What's the point? Why am I holding this sword? Thinking these thoughts, Naruto's blue eyes turned blood red.

Suddenly, a pair of transparent arms sprawled across Naruto's back, holding him in a motherly fashion. Distracted by his plight, Naruto didn't notice as a red-haired woman gently caressed him.

Defined by her ethereal appearance, this woman wore a Reiatsu-filled red cloak that hung to her ankles. Also, a prominent hood was pulled over her scalp, partially concealing her face.

Because I want to have value! I want to have purpose! I want other people to need me! Admitting his deepest desire, Naruto's Reiatsu swelled.

Forcing his feet to sunder the earth, Naruto groaned with agony while pushing his Zanpakutō towards the sky. Shocked by this revelation, a traumatized Sasuke was gasping in the foreground.

Impossible! What is he?! Sasuke could barely form a sentence.

Slicing his massive Zanpakutō against the rushing Cero, Naruto fought this beam of Reiatsu with his own. Firing an arrow shaped blob of red Reiatsu from his Zanpakutō, Naruto's attack easily overwhelmed the lethal Cero.

Carving a geyser-sized wound across the rampaging Menos, this Hollow howled with pain. Pouring black blood from his wound, this Hollow hastily grabbed the sky before retreating from reality.

His Zanpakutō isn't even released... But he could still preform an attack like that. Minato hummed with interest.

I-... It's running away?! Stuttering his thoughts, Sasuke writhed with confusion.

Plunging the tip of his Zanpakutō into the ground, Naruto panted for air as blood leaked his wrist. Obscured by singed pillars of steam and Reiatsu, Naruto's eyes became heavy and narrow.

Without warning, Naruto was tackled to the ground by a giggling Sakura, brushing his whiskers with one hand. Shoving their noses together, Sakura's emerald gaze reflected off Naruto's blue eyes.

"You did it! Do you have any idea what you've done?! That was amazing!" Shouting with joy, Sakura didn't notice that she was sitting on Naruto's lap.

As Naruto nervously scrambled a reply, Minato was grinning in the background, hidden by his hat. Turning around without another word, Minato instantly disappeared with a Captain-level Flash Step.


Thirty minutes later.

"What's the trick? Is this poisoned?" Sasuke groaned, holding a plate of food.

Situated inside Naruto's kitchen, Sasuke was seated in front of his counter, eating with a bandaged hand. While this occurred, Sakura was sitting upstand down on a distant couch, watching TV.

Instead of responding with words, Naruto grabbed a handful of freshly prepped sushi before chewing them. Suspiciously squinting his black eyes in reply, it took Sasuke several seconds before eating.

"I'll leave as soon as I get done. I don't want to owe you anything." Snarling his words, Sasuke was filled with contempt.

"You could at least say thank you... He's the only reason you're alive." Sakura cut in.

Caught off guard by these words, Sasuke briefly choked on his food before swallowing some water. Undaunted by this harsh gagging, Naruto walked into the living room, yawning with exhaustion.

Strolling behind the couch, Naruto's face turned blood red after catching a glimpse up Sakura's skirt. Oblivious to this fact, Sakura continued to watch TV, kicking her feet in unison.

"As long as he stays alive, I have a sparring partner." Sasuke exclaimed.

Leaping to his feet, Sasuke wiped the rice from his mouth before walking towards the front door. Turning back at the last moment, Sasuke gazed at Naruto with unblinking eyes.

"For what's it worth, thanks... Soul Reaper." Spitting this statement, Sasuke closed the door before disappearing from sight.


One hour later.

Crouched beside the sleeping silhouette of Naruto, Sakura lazily rested her chin in front of his face. Invading Naruto's room as he slept, Sakura was propped against his bed.

Over the past seven years as a Soul Reaper, Sakura would regularly visit the human world. But she never encountered someone like Naruto, a Human that made her feel alive.

I've been gone for almost two weeks now... Soon, they'll send someone for me. Sakura concluded with a downcast face.

Robbed of her life by an early death, Sakura always dreamed about what could have been. And now, after her recent days spent with Naruto, Sakura finally had a taste of that life.

It was selfish of me to drag you into this... I hope you can forgive me. Cursing her own failure, Sakura stroked Naruto's sleeping face.


Meanwhile.

Sitting atop the slanted roof of Naruto's house, Minato was leisurely drinking a glass of sake. An acquired trait from Jiraiya, Minato had a habit for drinking, evident by his cheerful persona.

As this ordinary shopkeeper drank his fill, the loose fabric of his haori clung to both arms. Also, Minato occasionally clapped his wooden sandals with glee, giggling like a schoolgirl.

"Ya'know, after hard days like this... I really deserve some relaxation." Minato hummed with a drunken tone.

Startled by the fuzzy paw of a black cat, this feline strolled across Naruto's roof with a swishing tail. Defined by brown eyes and jutting whiskers, this cat hissed as Minato sprang to his feet.

"Anko, baby! Welcome back!" Using both hands to cradle this fuzzy feline, Minato broke into dance.

A man with many secrets but few words, Minato knew things that others couldn't even comprehend. However, these secrets would soon be revealed to Naruto and his friends.


Meanwhile.

Gazing out the opened window of her apartment, Rin's painted face was illuminated by moonlight. Unable to sleep, Rin was focused on the whiskered memory of Naruto, the same boy that saved her from a Hollow.

Adorned with a pair of blue pajamas and a matching long-sleeved shirt, Rin was popped against the window seal. Sleeping in the background, Hinata was laying sideways in bed.

"That boy... What's so special about him?" Rin asked herself.

"Every time I look at him, my stomach feels all warm." Swollen with odd thoughts, Rin brushed the hair from her eyes.

Like Naruto, Gaara and Hinata, Rin could see the spirits of the dead, manifestations of her spiritual pressure. But Rin never understood why, because she had no one to ask.

An orphan from birth, Rin was born on the exact same day as Naruto, October 10th. This shared birthday was just the beginning of their similarities, a secret that only time would tell.

Distracted by the night sky, Rin thought about the lumbering Hollow that attacked her yesterday. Drooling and groaning over Rin's soul, Shrieker had no idea just how important she was.

Soul... A tasty soul. Shrieker's angelic memory pierced Rin's mind.

Enthralled by this voice, Rin gripped her slim stomach with both hands, oblivious to the dense Reiatsu around her. An average girl inside an average world, Rin didn't notice the power that was buried inside her.


Meanwhile.

I heard you got into another fight today... At school. A kind memory of Yashamaru rippled through Gaara's mind.

The twenty seven year old uncle of Gaara, Yashamaru was a young man with pale skin and dark violet eyes. Characterized by chin-length sandy brown hair, Yashamaru was dressed in a black suit and tie.

I can't help it... They keep making fun of my hair. Gaara remembered his young reply.

Throughout his youth, Gaara was constantly bullied and harassed for his red hair, the iconic trait of a ginger. This is why Gaara was so distant and quiet, because he just wanted to mind his own business.

As conjoined memories floated through Gaara's mind, he walked down the narrow streets of Karakura. Oblivious to the late time of night, Gaara's school uniform was half-way buttoned up.

Thinking about his past, the transparent hand of Yashamaru reached out before scrubbing the young memory of Gaara. Cleaning his bruised left eye, this was a cherished memory that Gaara clung to.

You're a strong kid, Gaara. You can accomplish anything you put your mind too. Cleaning his nephew with a rag, Yashamaru displayed a vibrant smile.

Crouching down, Yashamaru loomed in front of Gaara, holding one hand over his sore left eye. Because of this, Gaara's visible eye became focused on Yashamaru, entering an extended staring contest.

They say the left eye represents our past, while the right eye represents our future. Explaining this philosophy, Yashamaru combed Gaara's hair.

Over three years had past since this aged conversation, but Gaara pondered its meaning every single day. Inspired by these thoughts, Gaara scurried to cover his left eye, blindly walking.

You need to find it. Find your future. As these words resonated, Gaara froze mid-step.

Glancing up by the pristine moon overhead, the whiskered face of Naruto infected Gaara's conscious. Determined to find his purpose and his future, Gaara would do anything to prove his value.