RWBY: Kitsune no Reaper Rebuild
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Chapter 20: Burning Ambition
Vale Bay, Nighttime
"That's the place?"
Ember Celica whirled alive, metal stirring metal as the brawler tested her weapon's endurance against one another. Lilac eyes glimmered in anticipation as its owner palmed her body to make sure there were no loose ends from her outfit, after finding none, a rueful grin manifested in her lips.
"Yeah, that's it."
Her companion words were low and dark, matching his stoic face with gloomy outfit, but there was no mistaking the eagerness hidden beneath his azure eyes, ones that looked at her with grand expectations.
She took a couple of steps back before running forward and jumped off the rooftop's ledge headfirst; incredibly long strands of blonde hair flapping wildly against the descending wind as the concrete streets came closer.
Her right arm extended followed by her fiery Aura becoming visible for a second before her pressing her fingers against the wall as she continued falling, until her fingers found what she needed.
Fingers curled around the window's ledge, barely stopping her decent, before her arm twisted until it was fully extended, and the momentum she had from falling was turned sideways, where she crashed feet first against the glass window causing it to explode into a million pieces as her body followed through the entrance.
The shards doing nothing to either her, or her outfit, with how thick her Aura covered her, but the breaking sound of the shards alerted to all beings inside of someone breaking through.
There was no hesitation after the word was screamed out by one of the many, numerous weapons raised towards the blonde-haired woman who continued her barely controlled descent, her lilac eyes had a second to recognize and analyze the situation she found herself in before the bullets were fired.
Over three dozen sparkles lit in the gloomy warehouse, the sound of gunfire bounced against the cold, steel walls, an echo barely audible to the adrenaline rushing through her body at that moment; adrenaline made her body instinctively move, her left arm flew forward, the punch triggered the mechanism within her weapon.
Ember Celica fired back.
All bullets missed, including hers, as she had used the recoil of her weapon firing to move out of the way from the first round of bullets, down towards the ground where she crashed into a roll with more gunfire trailing behind her, before she'd finally rolled towards her first target.
The moment for her training to bear fruit was finally upon her, and she seized the moment by driving her right fist into the gut of the heavily dressed, Faunus-masked, man.
Feel the impact, feel the body, feel the Aura.
Her fist buried itself deep within the man before it met an unseen resistance unlike armor, and she knew, she'd found her first punching bag.
Just as Ember Celica triggered, the blond-haired woman pulsed her Aura inside her fist; an audible shockwave boomed from the point of impact on the man's gut, silencing whatever gurgle of pain he'd reply in that moment, and sent him crashing against three more men similarly dressed like him, taking them all along for the ride until they crashed against containers, all down for the count.
'Four down' Her lilac eyes took a second to take in her surroundings, surrounded by several more people dressed heavily with different animalesque mask covering their faces, all with guns pointed at her.
Guns that weren't firing.
To be surrounded has its advantages; Attack from the front, and you'll be riddled with holes, but surrounded? Unless your enemy does not care about themselves, they can't fire at you.
'And they'll be forced to fight me in your element, close range'.
Just as she was aware not all of them had Aura to protect themselves, they knew they could not fire willy-nilly and risqué killing their partners, which its why the few more brave, or stupid depending on who you ask, held their guns like club and went for an offensive, close range, strike.
Feel the impact.
The first muzzle hit her forearm, the blow doing nothing to her, or her aura covered limb, but the force behind it spoke of someone with far too much strength to be normal, which meant…
Another shockwave fist hit the man right in his mask, cracking it under the powerful blow and sending him cartwheeling head over heels.
- She had no time to see where he ended, as the second and third hits impacted her body in the chest and the left side of her body.
Feel the body.
There was no strength in their blows, not even a sparkle of pain or diminishing of her Aura reserves, and she was not ready, never would be ready, to take the lives of someone else, but she would not hold back because of that simple vow.
Their attacks left them close, their surprise of it having no effect on her gave her the opportunity to grab onto their heads and smack them together with a resounding crack, before throwing them both over her shoulders towards more of her incoming attackers.
A smirk graced her lips as little by little the three dozen enemies were reduced to half their original numbers, which continued diminishing as they attacked her in waves of twos by threes, the experience she obtained in the hellish training blossomed into more groans of pains, screams of agony, and frenzied curse words by her enemies.
Until there were five left.
Until they were out of options.
When cornered, it's when animals show their true facets.
The ringing of a gun being fired echoed in the warehouse again, before many more followed as the owners cared little over their fallen partners, and more about taking down the crazy woman who assaulted them.
Feel the aura.
Adrenaline drummed loud in her ears as the bullets came closer, what was less than a second stretched into an eternity as she forced her Aura to expand outside of her body, reaching far beyond the skin to travel the vast expanse between her and her foes, until it finally reached them.
And all five had Aura.
The pellets impacted her vest, creating holes as they fizzled through her thin wear, but stopped cold once they met her skin, covered in Aura, leaving behind a stinging sensation throughout her bosom and belly where it hit; She pumped her fist in preparation to deliver the same kind of gift she'd received seconds earlier.
Up above, he watched, surprised, but satisfied.
They had far too much in common when it came to the way they battled, or at least his previous style of battling.
They had strength to spare.
They had stamina to pump.
They had creativity to adapt.
All they needed was to be shown in which direction they should apply all those advantages, and they would take it from there.
As he continued watching over Yang beating up the White Fangs member inside the Vale Bay, 4th Warehouse, without killing a single person, the pride in his chest continued swelling.
His earpiece buzzed, "zzt, I'm done, pretty sure there's none left."
"Good, round them up and tie them, I'll be down in a minute.".
He clicked his earpiece off before immersing himself in his mind, from beneath his feet a crimson pulse of Aura ebbed in a circular wave around and beneath him, covering the entirety of the Warehouse and its immediate surroundings before the very same pulse returned a second later with the information he needed.
All thirty-two members of the White Fang - The fake White Fang - were neutralized by Yang, some did require medical attention but not a single one had a life-threatening injury, an achievement he was certain would be very much different had they undertaken his mission the last time.
A second crimson pulse beneath his feet created a black, muddy, pool which swallowed him before the same pool appeared behind the blond lady tying up the last few unconscious White Fang members, his reappearance from the ground was filled with an upskirt view of her black 'tactical' shorts before she, as if feeling his gaze, turned around with one hand on her hips looking all the none impressed.
"That was intentional."
"Was not." He replied airily, a quick glance to confirm all thirty-two lackeys were bound in group of six. "You were amazing."
"Thanks, I tried really hard back there." Yang replied with a confident grin growing on her lips, one hand flared her hair over her shoulder before mirroring the other on her hip. "What are you gonna' do with all o'em?"
He gazed again at the lackeys, his eyes flashed crimson for a second before setting back into blue, "Prison, the police will interrogate them."
"… Is that what you had in mind, originally?" Yang ventured to ask a question that had been in her mind ever seen he asked her if she was willing to 'kill'.
"No." He denied with a shake of the head, before snapping his fingers. Pools of equally muddy darkness swallowed the packs of lackeys into its murky depths, "I was going to let all but one go, then make an example out of him, but this time, that won't be necessary."
Yang's grin fell, her face set into a hard scowl. "Make an example?"
"Most of these people only follow orders, others have no choice but to join them for their continued survivals… But" Naruto pointed at one portal where a single White Fang lackey resurfaced, one with a broken mask, revealing a young female face with some blood dribbling from her lips. "There are some like her, some that have taken the immunity from being in this group to commit crimes which would normally be unpunished."
Yang's face turned into confusion, "She doesn't seem all that bad to me, thought?"
Naruto smiled grimly, "That's what I would've thought too," A crimson chain whirled around the woman's head, covering her ears, and continued growing, and moving through the air with a life of its own, until the tip of the chain reached a feet away from Yang.
She knew better than to ask what it was, as they had used that method of communicating once in the past and touched the tip of the chain.
'Come on, smile little ones, we'll be safe soon!'
'Just a little bit, you see that door over there? Hurry!'
'Yes, go ahead, I'll protect you! Go!'
And the three Faunus kids opened the door, hope shining bright in their souls as they stepped through the doorway, one that would finally set them free from being tortured by the mistress of the orphanage!
Their tiny steps carried them forward, and forward, and forward….
Right into a pit.
The light above them dimmed by the second they fell, their screams echoed loudly in the tunnel they fell through, until they finally hit rock bottom. Hurt, disorientated, and confused, all three kids tried to make sense of what happened.
But the first thing they noticed was that they weren't alone.
The tunnel was growling, all around them, no - not the tunnel - fleshy paws crossed the circle of light casting over them, rabid muzzles dripping with nauseous drool, growling with red orbs approached closer to the three.
Then, from the light above them, her face popped into view, a grin, far too wide, far too maniacal, far too different from the lady that had rescued them from the orphanage, but very much the same person.
'Ah~ That look, yes! Despair more! You rotten mutts! Did you think I would save you? Hah! All you're good for is fertilizer once those take care of you'
'Animals, all of them, good riddance'
"You asked me if I was willing to kill someone before, and I told you that I wouldn't, couldn't."
Yang eyes were no longer lilac, they were a dangerous red with barely restrained harmful intent glinting int hem.
"Would it be hypocritical of me to go back on my word, for someone like her!"
"No." Naruto took hold of Yang's raised fist, ones that had moved to aim Amber Celica at the downed woman and lowered them. "There will be come a time where you can go back on your word, but now, for her? That's no such time, leave this to me."
Yang took deep breathes, her fingers tightened painfully around his, the power surging from her semblance creating such pressure that it wasn't until she heard the distinct sound of bone cracking that she realized what she'd just done.
His fingers were mangled, with bones breaking through his bleeding skin, but his face hadn't twitched a single bit.
"Oh Maidens, I'm-"
"It's alright, I'm sorry you had to see that, but at least you can now understand why… right?"
Why he turned from someone so cheerful when they hung around at school, to someone so gloomy whenever he was in a mission.
The difference between Naruto Uzumaki, the cheerful prankster, and sometimes emotional wreck of her friend, her interest, and the difference between Menma the Reaper, the Abomination that hunted monsters in human flesh and true monsters alike for the safety of all the innocents.
His fingers curled around hers, a cold shiver traveled up her spine, when she saw they were back in their proper place with only traces of blood where his bones had pierced skins, as if she hadn't just destroyed them with her strength.
"… I understand." Yang took a step forward where she could recline her forehead against his chest covered in his gray cloak.
Naruto's earpiece buzzed again, this time it was Blake's voice that came through it.
"They've loaded up all crates in the containers of Warehouse 16, are you two done? Ruby and Weiss seem like they're about to rush in."
Yang blinked, clicked her earpiece, and replied, "On our way, kittycat!"
"Do not call me that!"
- 0 - RWBY: KnRR - 0 -
Earlier that day
"I'll kill Ozpin in three months."
"Naruto, now's not the time to play games." Blake uneasily replied as she stared down at the stone-faced Shinobi.
"I'm not playing games, in three months, I'll kill Ozpin… Or at least this iteration of him," Naruto shifted on the couch until he managed to sit up, with Blake sliding to his hip.
Naruto didn't blame Blake for having that kind of reaction. As far as he was aware, there were only a select few list of people who had access to the information of Ozpin's true identity and his nature.
Asking, 'What do you know about Ozpin', would be stupid, so instead Naruto went directly into explaining what the headmaster truly was, or at least, a portion of it.
"Blake, do you remember one of the books you lent me, about a man sharing two souls in one body?" Naruto asked.
"I do, what does that has got to do with this?" Blake replied uneasily, the pit in her stomach becoming stronger by the second and it had nothing to do with her not having lunch yet.
"Oz is the oldest soul, Ozpin's the youngest, and latest, one." Naruto showed all ten fingers his hands, "Oz's been the older soul for the past 10 generations, and whatever the first iteration's mission was for staying alive for so long, it's no longer the case."
"What are you talking about?" Blake felt even more uneasy, she did not think that returning to the apartment to cuddle with Naruto would turn into a conspiracy theory afternoon. "Did you hit your head last night?"
"No, I just got tired of keeping shit to myself." Naruto grumbled. "You want us to share our secrets, this is one of the most important ones to me, to what I am, to what I've become."
That did shut down Blake's incredulousness, mostly because of the anger simmering beneath Naruto's carefully maintained composure. "… I'm listening."
"I've told you this once before, in jest, but I didn't lie to you, I'm not from this world, I'm not from Remnant. I was a human who died protecting everything he held dear, I crashed into this world thanks to some fucked up higher power which decided that tearing me away from my old world wasn't enough, but also made me into this." Naruto pointed at both his silver wolf ears that grossly contrasted with his sun-kissed blond hair, and his crimson fox tail slightly frazzled behind him.
However, the point Naruto was trying to make flew entirely over Blake's head, and she laser-focused on the wrong thing.
"… Do you detest being a Faunus?" Blake disappointingly mumbled.
"No!" Naruto growled again, "Blake it's not about me being a Faunus Hybrid or not, or not in the way you're thinking!"
Blake's head tilted down, which only made her narrowed gaze become more piercing when it set on him. "Explain."
"I'm trying!" Naruto huffed; his anxiousness drove him to grab Blake by the shoulders. "I'll use my Semblance to show you, it'll be faster, is…" Naruto slowed down to give Blake what he hoped was the most vulnerable face he'd ever made. "Is that okay with you?"
Blake shifted uneasily in his lap again, it was one thing to see Naruto, the man whom she'd crossed blades and had her ass handed to her several times in the past, looking sick, and another altogether to see him look so… torn… not even when they officially hooked up did he look as bad, but she had made her choice that time, and she would live by it.
The little piece of the original Naruto who hailed from the Elemental Nations rejoiced at Blake's acceptance, one whom feared she would walk away when he'd revealed his enigmatic past to her, the very same piece of him that despite finally accepting all the new facets he'd made in Remnant, still remained hidden deep within his heart.
The little piece of him that Ruby always interacted with.
The little piece of him that Cinder met when he was dying in that decrepit jail.
The little piece of him that -
Naruto focused his thoughts back into the memories of his past, back when it all started, and with a slight pull to Blake's shoulder which she didn't fight against, connected their lips to share with her his memories through the connections their tongues shared with his Semblance.
There was no need to give her the entire walkthrough his memories, only what truly was important to what he was trying to convey, therefore… All he shared were the memories of his birth, seen from the eyes of his father and mother before Kurama's claws pierced their stomachs, and they in turn, sealed Kurama away in his belly.
The memories of the madman who orchestrated the whole Fourth Shinobi War, and no, he was not talking about Madara, he was talking about Obito before Naruto knocked some sense into him.
It was thanks to Obito being so in love and so bitter with how'd lived, and lost his life, that the masked man had made Naruto's entire life, and many others more like Itachi's, Nagato's, Kakashi's, a living hell.
What he wanted to show Blake laid in Obito's bitterness, how higher powers used his unstable emotions for their own gain, and how Oz', the original Oz', was the very same kind of man Obito was.
A Hero in his prime, one who'd sacrifice it all for those around him, turned into a monster with how unsatisfied they were with how their life turned out.
Oz', in his Godly-imposed task of guarding the world, became the very monster that sought to control every living being's choice, becoming all the more twisted with every generation of his soul's reincarnation into a new vessel, of which Ozpin, the headmaster, was the latest one.
But Oz' was not alone to blame, because the reason he became so twisted sat on the other side of the board, an enraged, spiteful, equally God-cursed, being wanting nothing more than to lay waste to everything Oz' held dear, everything Oz' had traded her love for.
Between the two of them, they made the world of Remnant change course from what its Creators really wanted for it, for living-kind to -
Naruto and Blake separated from the kiss, both out of breath, with one hoping the other had finally understood what he'd been fighting for.
"… Is this for real…?" Blake whispered.
"As real as my desire for you." Naruto replied with what hoped she'd personally learnt with her body.
"All this time… we were pieces… of a game…?" Blake's anger grew by the word. "Humans, Faunus, Grimm… They've been using us for their own play-war game!?"
Humans put at odds with Faunus because of their differences.
Faunus comparing Hybrids with Grimm for their instinctual tendencies.
Grimm wreaking havoc from the confusion Ozpin - No, Oz' - created with his old lover between Humans and Faunus.
"And I'll stop them, I'll stop this twisted game." Naruto affirmed his decision made after learning of those very same secrets he'd shared with Blake. "I didn't want to involve any of you, but at this rate… Oz's has tried to make you pieces in his game too, and I won't stand for that, I won't let him use those whom I've come to love in this world, those who've given me back what I lost from my old world for his own gain."
Blake searched for any hint of Naruto's sudden revelation to be false within his eyes, but she found none, and she only grew more and more resentful of the role she'd been unknowingly playing in, the role all of her friends, family, community had been playing in.
"I need you, Blake." Naruto repeated his reason for claiming her. "Or I will lose myself to the same hatred you're feeling."
The same hatred that drove Nagato to attack Konoha.
Two wrongs don't make one right…
But in Remnant…
It would only take one wrong more, just one more, to turn the pile of wrongs covering the road back into the rightful path the beings of Remnant deserved.
To end the circle of hatred that Oz' and his lover, the two grandmasters, had brewed in Remnant, it would take someone like Madara Uchiha to take action, but there was no Madara in Remnant…
But there was a Naruto Uzumaki.
The Shinobi who was willing to sacrifice his everything for others, for the peace of others.
Yes, Naruto had changed.
He had killed in cold blood, he had abandoned for the sake of others, he had let go and allowed his deeper emotions to control him in the spur of the moment.
Pain, loss, and unrequited love made him mature, and understand better what Madara had been fighting for from the very start.
Madara believed the Shinobi world to have strayed from its course, and he set himself to an impossible mission to correct it, where in the end, Naruto, and everyone else had shown him he was wrong…
So… All Naruto could hope for with his suicidal mission, his suicidal path that every time he looked at Ruby he doubted of, was that when he'd reach the end of his destructive path, just as Madara had done, he would not be wrong.
The minutes stretched into eternity as Naruto waited for Blake's response, he held back from trying to read any of her thoughts, until her lips finally started moving.
Her voice started hard, with a growl. "We will stop this game, once and for all." Blake declared; a fierce bitterness simmered in her pursed lips.
Naruto breathed a sigh of relief and all but collapsed into Blake's bosom, "You have no idea how exhausting that was…"
Blake took a moment to recollect herself, "You've been carrying that secret… all this time? Who else knows?"
"You mean mine or Oz?" Naruto asked to make sure.
"Mine, five people, Glynda and Cinder being two of them, three with you. Oz's? Probably the same amount, but I can't tell you their names yet." Naruto scratched his cheek, "There's probably more people who know Oz's true secret or a portion of it, but I'm not certain of that."
"Who are the other two?" Blake pressed.
"They've asked me to never reveal their names," Naruto replied.
"I… see," Blake mumbled, the revelation gave her a sudden fatigue which left her leaning for comfort onto the Shinobi's shoulders whose head rested on her chest, "Hearing all that has left me… exhausted."
"Well… we are already pretty comfortable, Yang notwithstanding, I say we could just lay down until night and chill." Naruto said as he leaned backwards, pulling Blake along with him until they were cuddling again.
"She's not going to wake up anytime soon, right?" Blake asked while glancing at the comatose Yang right beside them.
"No, though I do have to check up on her in a little bit." Naruto started massaging Blake's shoulders.
Blake started purring, "I'll take your offer on chilling until night, I'm guessing you have something planned for then?"
"Yeah," Naruto pointed with his nose at Yang. "I'm taking her out again for my mission…"
- 0 - RWBY: KnRR - 0 -
Ruby and Weiss did not return for the evening, which lead a grumpy Yang who felt like months went in Naruto's mindscape quite frantic with searching her sister, foregoing asking the several question she had for both Naruto, and Blake, the later who'd forgotten to tie her ribbon that usually hid her kitty ears.
Both Naruto and Blake offered Yang their help in searching for the rest of team RWBY, with Naruto over using his Semblance to find their location in the city, and from there… Well…
Blake found Ruby and Weiss, visually, and she was not happy to know they had gotten involved with the White Fang, neither was Yang, which then led to a hurried team debrief of stopping whatever the White Fang was doing, and that's how Yang matched up with Naruto, and Blake matched up with Ruby and Weiss.
But all that, is a story for the next chapter in this tale of mine.
- 0 - Chapter End - 0 -
Author's Note: I have absolutely no idea if the feeling I was trying to convey in this chapter will be well received, and I also have no idea if you'll see where I'm heading with the story, I can only hope that you both continue enjoying it…
P.S: Reviews really inspire me to write faster/more, even the unkind ones like that guest who was kind enough to ask me to 'kys', I'll take that as Keep Myself Safe.
Until the next chapter or if you want to hit me up on the discord/partr-eon~
- Jas / Shiiva