AN: The story is complete, this is just a side story for those who wanted to see more of little Thea, Naruto, and Diana.
Side Story - Part 1
A young teenage girl was walking around aimlessly in the garden of her family home. Though using the word "garden" was a bit of an understatement given its sheer size: it covered an area of a dozen hectares - it wouldn't be wrong to call it a private forest instead.
After a while, the girl stopped and suddenly kicked one of the nearby trees in frustration. In a show of brute strength completely unexpected from someone who looked as delicate and pretty as her, a shockwave burst from the impact. The branches of several dozen trees were pulverized and their thick trunks were broken and flattened to the ground!
When a sharp barking sound came from her side, the girl turned to look at the pure white fox cub next to her.
"I know, I know, I'm sorry, okay?" the girl said as if she could understand what the little fox was trying to tell her. "I'm just soooo bored!" she said and threw her hands up in frustration. "Nothing ever happens in this country! No, on this planet! Nothing ever happens anywhere!"
Due to her Uncle Kurama's omniscience through karma, no evil deed ever went unpunished. It was a utopia for the average people living there but for someone with a desire to prove themselves and with more energy than they knew what to do with it, it was the worst.
The tiny white fox flicked her two tails and snorted at her before turning its head the other way.
"Aww, come on, you know that dad will make the trees grow back in a second. What's the big deal?"
Not waiting for an answer from the little fox, the girl started walking ahead and began talking to herself.
"I can't go to school, I can't spend time with my friends anymore, and mom and dad won't take me with them to bounties because I'm too young! Ugh! What am I supposed to do here?"
Having reached the age of 13, Athena Uzumaki could not hide her divine origins from her classmates anymore. With her appearance gradually becoming nearly identical to that of her mother, and with the three pairs of whisker-like birthmarks on her cheeks betraying who her father was, as she grew up, her teachers and classmates eventually caught on to what her real identity was - after all, there were giant and life-sized statues of Naruto and Diana all over the capital of planet Karna, the Great Naruto City. The residents of the city were deeply familiar with the appearance of the gods that made up God Kurama's family. Little Thea got the shock of her life when she went to school a few weeks ago and found hundreds of students and teachers welcoming her on their knees.
For the first time in her life, she was starting to dislike the fact that she was a goddess, that she was not... normal. She wanted friends, not slaves that worshipped her! She wanted people to appreciate her for who she was, not just for being God Naruto's daughter or God Kurama's niece.
When the tiny white fox yipped something at her, Athena crossed her arms stubbornly and said:
"I won't use a henge! Why should I hide the beautiful face that I got from my mother? Hmpf!"
But then, she blew out another sigh and sat down on the grass-covered ground under the shade of a tree. When the two-tailed fox cub walked with her tiny limbs in her lap, Athena found herself smiling at how adorable she was. She took her in her arms and embraced her dearly to her chest. As the fox cub started purring like a little engine from her caresses, Thea said:
"I wanna go with mom and dad in space... I want to see the black hole that made dad immortal... I want to see the Earth where mom and dad met for the first time... I wanna fight together with them and beat up bad guys! I want to be a famous bounty hunter like them!"
Naruto and Diana often told their daughter many stories from their adventures across the Universe. Little Thea had grown up fantasising about going on an adventure in space and becoming a mercenary just like her parents.
Grabbing the cute fox with her hands and raising her in the air above her, Athena declared:
"And then I'll get my own bounty hunter name too! Can you imagine it? Athena Uzumaki: The Berserk Princess! No, no, how about this: Athena Uzumaki: The Battle Angel!"
The more she was speaking, the more excited she became: "Or even better: Athena Uzumaki: The Goddess of Slaughter! Yeah, I love the sound of that! Ahahaha!"
She could already imagine herself wielding her mother's God-Slaying Sword and her Aegis Shield, launching herself at a horde of Gordanians and mowing them down like cutting grass! Spewing a sea of fire over their warships and rampaging like a juggernaut, an unstoppable force to destroy all evil!
Unable to hold in her rising excitement, she jumped up to her feet and pumped her fist in the air.
"Ah! I'm going to be so awesome, just you wait! I'm going to be just like mom and dad!"
The little fox somehow managed to free herself from Athena's grasp and ruffled the girl's silky raven hair as landed on top of her head.
"Kyuu!" the fox let out a few yips, only for the girl to retort vehemently:
"You wish! My daddy is way cooler than yours!"
"So what if your dad is an emperor? My dad is the best bounty hunter in the whole world!"
The two-tailed fox snickered at her.
"Har-har, you just don't get it! You're too little to understand how great mom and dad are! They're the most famous mercenary in the known Universe!"
"No way!" Athena shouted. Whatever the little fox told her must've really offended her. "Uncle Kurama is strong but my dad is way stronger! My dad could beat your dad!"
"Yes, he would!"
Eventually, their argument went beyond just heated words. No different from how Naruto and Kurama used to brawl back in the day, their daughters, Athena and Miyuki jumped at each other in a mess of limbs, clobbering each other with their punches, tails, and kicks.
Half an hour later, mounted on a horse-sized two-tailed white fox's back, Thea caught her neck in a triangle choke and was squeezing her tight. Not one to be outdone, Miyuki also wrapped her two tails around the girl's neck to submit her.
"Yield!" Athena shouted and further tightened her squeeze.
A few seconds passed before the white fox released her tails' hold on Athena's neck and let out a sad "Kyuu" sound.
Out of breath but her face rosy with excitement from the violent brawl she had just won, Athena sat down on the ground sprawled on her back and breathing heavily.
"You're so much stronger than last month! You almost had me at the end!" she said in encouragement to the fox who had now returned to the size of a tiny cub and curled up into the crook of her neck.
"Kyuu!" Miyuki barked happily and licked Thea's cheek a few times.
There were no hard feelings between them. Brawling like that was nothing unusual for them. The tomboyish little goddess desperately needed an outlet for her endless reserves of energy and the rambunctious baby fox wanted to let out her innate desire to battle and violence somehow too. It was win-win for both of them... ...though the little fox really wished she could win more often than in the present.
Ever since Thea stopped going to school, time began to pass at a snail's place. Nowadays, she was being home-schooled with private tutors but every time her parents went out on one of their usual bounties, she felt like walking on the walls out of boredom.
Not today though. Dressed in a set of armour that looked like a miniature version of her mother's - golden greaves, golden pauldrons, white skorts and a white combat tunic with a golden owl motif on the chest - and with a round golden shield and a silvery sword fitting her size strapped at her back, Athena Uzumaki looked like a girl who was on a mission.
Even in spite of her stature - she was just a 13-year-old girl - she would still look like a valiant warrior... ...if it wasn't for the ball of fluff and fur sitting on top of her head.
"Ready?" Athena asked in a whisper.
"Kyuu!" Miyuki yipped excitedly.
"Once I cast the jutsu, you can't move, ok?"
Taking Miyuki's happy little bark as her agreement, Thea put her hands in a tiger seal and became still. A few seconds later, the girl and the little fox both became transparent, almost invisible.
Befitting mercenaries of their strength, fame, and wealth, Naruto and Diana Uzumaki had more than one spaceship these days. Aside from the ship they were using in the present, a hangar at the outskirts of Great Naruto City (planet Karna's capital) held five more spaceships of various sizes and specs.
Fully confident in his expertise with seals and his wife's proficiency with divine spells, Naruto didn't hire any people to keep a watch on the hangar. Realistically, nobody except for him and his family would be able to set foot in that place as long as the defences were up.
Although she knew there was not a living being in sight, Thea was flying at a slow speed as she maintained her invisibility technique. At the quiet yip from the little fox sitting on her head, the girl bit her lower lip anxiously.
"I don't know, I also think it's too easy. Surely, they must've put some protections to stop me if I ever wanted to sneak out, no?"
But, so far, there had been no alarms, no barriers, nothing. It was almost as if her parents didn't even consider the fact that their daughter might be trying one day to steal one of their ships and go out on her own adventure.
That thought made little Thea pause in her flight and she looked down guiltily.
'I didn't know they trusted me so much.'
Yet there she was, about to break their trust and make them sick with worry.
"...Miyuki-chan, maybe we shouldn't do this?" Thea asked the little fox in a whisper.
But the white fox cub didn't seem to have any second thoughts like her and she made it clear with her yips.
"I know it was my idea but..." Thea said, still hesitating.
But when the little fox jumped off her head and ran by herself to one of the ships, Thea found herself following her. It looked like it wasn't just her who had been bored to death lately, Miyuki seemed just as eager as her to go on an adventure too.
But the moment the trapdoor of the ship opened and she found herself face-to-face with the sleek interior of the gorgeous ship, little Athena forgot all about her guilt. The girl was a space geek. Her parents had taken her on training flights before and even allowed her to pilot a few times under their supervision but now she was all alone! She could go anywhere! She could fly however she wanted, with as much speed as wanted!
"Where should we go first?" Thea asked, her voice giddy with excitement as her fingers blurred over the keyboard of the computer on board.
"Kyuu! Kyuu!" little Miyuki also barked excitedly.
"Eh?! Debstam? Are you crazy?"
"Kyuu!" (tl: what, you scared?)
"But of course that I am scared! We're already going to be in big trouble when they catch us but if they also find we went to Debstam? Mom is gonna kill me! No, she's gonna kill us both!"
Though a vein started pulsing on her forehead, little Athena did her best to ignore Miyuki's mocking sniggers and accessed the Interstellar Map.
"How about Genesis Stadium? It's where mom and dad had their first date ever!"
"Kyuu. Kyuu. Kyuu!" (tl: Boooring. How about Earth? Let's mess with Superwoman and the rest of the heroes!)
At her answer, Athena palmed her forehead. Debstam was known as a rather dangerous sector of the Universe because of the Yellow Lanterns that were often active there and Earth was not welcoming towards aliens either in the last few years. Under the leadership of Superwoman, the reformed Justice League ruled the entire planet with an iron fist. Thea recalled what she often heard her parents say about Miyuki - "She really is her father's daughter". The little fox's desire for violence and thirst for battle seemed impossible to quench.
But when Athena palmed her forehead in exasperation, little Miyuki suddenly jumped on the board of the ship and quickly typed in the name "Debstam".
"Wait! STOP!" Thea yelled and grabbed the fox by her two tails and threw her away before she had the chance to confirm the destination and trigger the wormhole.
She quickly deleted the coordinates introduced by Miyuki but she unexpectedly found herself pressed flat against the board when a huge fox slammed into her from behind.
"Ah! That's it! I'm kicking your ass big time!" the tomboyish little goddess said in irritation and jumped on the fox in retaliation.
Miyuki was in the middle of chomping on Athena's right forearm and the little girl was in the midst of punching the fox in the ribs with her left hand when they suddenly heard a peculiar noise. Momentarily, the fox and the girl froze in a posture that wouldn't look out of place in a Renaissance-era painting.
That's because the sound that they had just heard was the one that the AI of the computer on board made after the coordinates of the new destination had been set.
"Kyuu." (tl: Fuck!)
The two of them swore at the same time and immediately disentangled from each other and rushed to the computer.
"No! No! Ah, what did you do!" Athena said in a panic when she realized it was too late to stop the activation of the wormhole.
"Kyuu! Kyuu!" (tl: It wasn't me! You pushed me against the keyboard!)
Her parents had repeatedly warned Thea about the dangers of using a wormhole and they had not allowed her to pilot the ship through one either before, not even for training. The Universe was vast beyond comprehension and if an accident happened when travelling through a wormhole, one could be lost for eternity.
Athena didn't know for how long they had been travelling through the impromptu wormhole but the entire time, she had been on the verge of crying and biting her nails in anxiety. The little fox was subdued and well-behaved too, not making a sound.
When the spectacle of grey, black, and white colours in front of them suddenly turned into a pale violet, almost pink colour, the girl and the fox's eyes snapped towards the front window. All they could see was an expanse of dark green and grey rocks below and a pale violet, cloudless sky.
They didn't have any time to study their surrounding though because as soon as the spaceship exited the wormhole, a deafening alarm started blasting from the speakers and all sorts of notifications written in red popped up on the large screen of the computer on board.
"This is bad!" Athena said and grabbed the steering wheel with one hand and pulled a lever with the other hand, releasing a blast from the ion engines, intent on propelling the ship upwards. But then, a sound like something snapping was heard and the entire spaceship creaked dangerously.
There was a good reason why wormholes were always opened outside the atmosphere of the planets, in space. The sudden transition from the state of weightlessness in space to the gravitational pull of a planet and suffering the full brunt of the change in the atmospheric pressure severely destabilized the ship. Not knowing what to do, Athena and Miyuki could only hug each other and yell in panic as the ship spiralled out of control, falling head-first towards the ground.
"Naruto, I'm going to be frank with you... The world will come to an end if either one of us dies," Sasuke told Naruto who was distracted over the safety of Kakashi and Sakura who were barely hanging on. "You need to understand. In this situation, your life and mine are far more important than theirs. Focus! Don't be distracted!"
Naruto looked at him angrily but he couldn't find a retort right away. Even he understood how dire their situation was: the entire world had been placed under a genjutsu, and the four of them were the only ones still awake. Kakashi and Sakura were having a hard time just surviving while he and Sasuke were severely outclassed by their enemy.
A sea of lava below, a jagged rock ceiling above... A frozen world where one would be turned into an ice statue in a few moments lest they protected themselves with chakra... A world with a gravity many times higher than that of their planet, to the point where they could not even stand. And the Rabbit Goddess who could switch between dimensions and control the environment at will. Even with the powers they had been granted by the Sage of the Six Paths, Naruto and Sasuke were mostly on the backfoot only just managing to stay alive under Kaguya's onslaught of attacks.
"Sasuke! Protect Kakashi and Sakura with your Visual Prowess!" Naruto insisted and yelled when he saw Kaguya's hair enlarging to enormous proportions, seeking to entrap everyone.
That moment of distraction, however, had been his undoing. Before he could react, a dark portal was ripped in the air behind him and a pale white hand grabbed him by the collar of his flaming trenchcoat, pulling him inside.
'This is the worst!' Sasuke ground his teeth and bit out a curse. "Damn it!"
They had been separated and Obito was already dead now. He couldn't think of any way to get back to Naruto. Furthermore, he was also stuck with protecting Kakashi and Sakura who seemed unable to contribute anything to this fight because the Rabbit Goddess was simply out of their league.
A few moments later, Kaguya reappeared from a dark portal and Sasuke's face morphed into an expression of anger and despair.
'That idiot! I warned him! I told him not to get distracted!'
Despite the feeling of helplessness that threatened to engulf him, Sasuke stood his ground. Encased in his enormous Susano'o, he prepared himself for what was most likely going to be his last stand. It was not that he had no regrets - oh, there were so many of them! He had not managed to achieve his dream of rebuilding his clan and he could not reform Konoha and bring an era of peace either. However,
"As far as I'm concerned, there are far worse ways to die than by the hands of a goddess," he unknowingly muttered out loud.
Kakashi and Sakura who were inside the Susano'o with him gasped at his words.
"Sasuke-kun, it's not over yet! We can-" Sakura began to say but Sasuke didn't even spare her a glance.
Two enormous swords appeared in the hands of his Susano'o. Resolved to fight until his last breath, Sasuke was about to lunge at the Rabbit Goddess with all his might when a grey and white circular portal, different from those created by Kaguya, suddenly ripped the violet skies above the gravity world open and a large metallic object came out of it, falling towards the ground like a meteorite.
AN: call it bad luck, call it fate, Thea accidentally managed to do what her father had not been able to for over 100 years - she found a way back to the Elemental Nations.
Side Story - Part 2 coming soon.