A/N: Notifications are still broken. Hopefully folks can see this.

Warning, slightly spicy chapter here.

Squeaking this one out real quick before the DLC officially drops and blows the Lore out the water.

I'll not spoil anything but hoooo boy, its a doozy that none of us saw coming.

So let's prepare!

I've been here for Sixteen Years, and despite my current monetary woes, and stuck caring for my sickly sister, I haven't been this excited for a game in a good long while.

Sixteen. Long. Years.

Of course, I try not to dwell on the latter overmuch; I'm still alive and still writing. In an ideal world, I'd like to keep doing so for as long as I can. But old age is catching up to me and these days, the world is filled with so much madness and death. Feels like everyone's lost their minds sometimes. Even before that, so many friends and fellow writers I once knew are gone, now. Will I still be here in twenty years? Ten? Five? Its a chilling thought. But for now, I'm still here, still writing.

So here we go. The fate of this story depends on you, the reader. Your feedback determines the fate of this tale, and many others.

As ever, I own no references, quotes, themes or memes. They're tributes to legends far greater than I.

I'm just a humble author trying to make his way in this wild world, one word at a time.

Time and feedback will determine if this remains a story. Simple as that.

In other words...its up to YOU, the reader. Do let me know~!

"Mother, wouldst thou truly sanction Lordship in one so bereft of light?"



...I see. So that is your answer. A most inauspicious choice.

Very well, then. The game is set, the die cast.



Into the Shadows

Burn them all.

Burn all of them!


Naruto jolted awake with a start and a strangled snarl, heart in his throat, chakra flaring, pulse pounding in his ears. His fingers fumbled for a weapon that was no longer there and closed around empty air instead. Even then it took him a moment to realize where he was, let alone the lack of danger.

Safe. Relax. Breathe.

Kurama rumbled his concern. "You good?"

"Yeah. He hunched down under his blanket, quietly cursing the chill. "Just a bad dream."

The four of them had taken refuge in a crumbling church for the night An old broken down thing framed by a statue of Marika. Frankly it had seen better days.

I resent that!

Oh, so his connection to her was still there. Good to know.

Latenna shivered a little and snuggled closer for warmth as they shared a blanket. Huh. She wasn't as slim and slender as she looked under all that armor. She had curves and hew as keenly aware of them as she pressed against him.

"Are you awake, my lord?"

He muttered his assent and let her lean into him."

Good." she cuddled closer."We are close now. Will you journey with me still? Even once I've completed my task?

What kinda question was that? He looked her way and nodded. "Of course I will."

Her pale face dimpled in a small, reserved smile. "Wonderful. You've no idea what those words mean to me."

Her hand drifted lower, caressing his thigh. His eyes widened.

"Oi," he hissed at her. "The hell're you doing?"

"Worry not," she crooned. "Our companions are sound asleep...

And they were. He glanced over and found Milicent all but dead to the world, chest rising and falling loosely in sleep. Nor was she alone in her repose. Even from here he could see Melina tuked into a dark corner near the fire, her good eye closed in a rare bout of rest. Good on her. She hardly seemed to sleep at all, these days. She must be weary indeed.

Latenna kissed his chin, demanding his attention

She lifted the blanket with a trembling hand, exposing the rest of herself to him, curves all, not a stitch of clothing to be seen. "Lay with me."

His throat went dry. So that's what she looked like under all those robes.

Daaaamn. Sneaky girl must've disrobed when he wasn't looking.

"They'll hear us. We'll be caught."

She smiled. "Is that risk not worth the reward?"

Before he could think to answer, she rolled onto his lap with surprising dexterity and mounted him, warm and wet for him already.

Her forehead kissed his. "As I said before, I will not fall behind."

Well, damn. How could one argue with that.

She gripped him with her legs and unbidden he found his hands settling on her hips, content to let her ride him until she found the release she sought. It came suddenly and quickly as they explored one another's bodies, her sharp cries of pleasure hastily muffled against his mouth as she planted her hands atop his chest and pushed.

Her body trembled atop his once, twice, thrice now before she was content, and he with her.

From there, she tumbled off and tucked herself against his side.

Sleep came quickly.


Melina knew.

He didn't know how she knew, only that she did; because her very first words to him as they set out the next morning were thus.

"The albinauric woman lacks stamina. If you craved a true night of passion, you should've come to me."

Naruto nearly tripped over his own two feet. "Are you...are you actually jealous?"

Her good eye glanced his way as they crunched through the snow. "No."

Light laughter bubbled up in him." You definitely are!"

"I said nay!"


She stomped his foot as he laughed, for all the good it did her. He took it with good grace; no, better than grace; he grabbed her by the hands, and seized by a sudden fit of inspiration, swept her off her feet into a dance. The maiden's yelp was sweet music to his ears, but as he had his feet directly under hers -literally forcing her to stand on them as he moved- their was naught she could do but hold onto his hands for dear life and shout at him as he swayed the two of them through the snow.

"What the devil are you doing?!"

"Have a bit of fun~!" he beamed at her. "Might as well have one last dance."

"We should not tarry here overlong." she glared up at him, but didn't release his fingers and let him have his way. "A sacrifice must be made, and soon."

He stuck out his chin, content to ignore her as they danced. "This again?"

"I would rather not die if necessary." She granted him a small, sad smile. "I have become rather fond of these Lands Between. I suppose I've you to thank for that.

Naruto hummed, considering what Shabiri had said.

"If you wish to save your Maiden...

"About the frenzied flame-

No. Now it was her turn to be stubborn. "However, broken and ruined this land is, birth still continue. Life endures. Is that not worth protecting? I would not have you burn it all just to save my life."

"But if I could handle it-

"No." she glared at him sternly.

"Alright, alright. When did you become so bossy?"

She kissed his cheek, drawing a smile to his lips. "When you convinced me to live."



...fair enough."

Before he could say more, someone coughed.

"...I can be silent no longer. Please, let me speak."

He looked back and Milicent scowling studiously at her boots.

Reluctantly, he released Melina and turned to face her sullen counterpart. "Milli?"

As he looked on the redhead knelt, drew her blade and set the sheathed weapon atop her lap. "If there is a sacrifice to be made, let it be mine. Allow me to take my life for failing you."

Shock. Incredulity. Denial. All these emotions at once had Naruto nearly choking on his own spit. "Excuse you?!"

She bowed her head. "I have disgraced myself and broken my vow, raised my hand against you-ow!

Now it was her turn to yelp as he thumped her over the head. "That wasn't you!"

Her golden gaze creased with sorrow. "But as your Blade I have dishonored myself and you both.

"Nonsense!" Melina bulled in beside him, fury writ across her face. "I won't hear of it! You weren't in control of your actions. That is all."

"See?" Naruto slashed a hand through the air. "Not happening."

Milllicent tried to protest, but the word stuck her throat. "I...

"Wait." Melina looked past him suddenly, alarmed. "Where is Latenna?"

Naruto looked back, belatedly realizing he hadn't heard from the Albinauic archer in some time.

Where had she gone?

Hadn't she been right behind them?

Stranger still, Forge of the Fire Giants was nowhere in sight. Strange. He could've sworn it was close.

His brow furrowed as he cast a glance about himself. "Where are we?"

The ground shifted ominously underfoot.

It proved their one and only warning.

The treacherous earth gave way.

Then they fell into shadow.

A/N: But to where did they fall.

Ought to be obvious. We'll cut it here for today~!

Well? Did you like this story? Yes? No? Maybe? Would you like weekly updates? By all means, speak up! Make yourselves heard! Your voice matters~!

Silence hurts worse than any flame. Looking forward to reading your feedback when I get home from work~ If this chapter gets a ton of feedback-hopefully!-then I'll do my best to ensure another early update again. If not...I don't know. I really don't.

Once more, we're sticking with the "Embers" rule for this story.

If folks don't like this, it won't be continued. Meaning that if the story itself isn't popular? It will remain, but it won't be continued! I'm working two jobs to keep the lights on, as such I barely have time to write; as such, I cannot afford to write something folks don't enjoy. So by all means, speak up! Your voice matters! Make yourself heard! As ever, reviews are the fuel that sustain me. Without them I cannot write a single word. Simple as that.

So in the Immortal Words of Atlas....Review, Wouldst Thou Kindly?

And have some previews. Some are quite a ways off, but still...

Mind you, most of these previews are the same.

Wouldn't do to spoil what's coming up.

Vote for what you want to see!

And as ever:




(Previews. You all know the first one~!)

Listen, you! These days you're too damn much like the monsters we fight. That's the problem. Too damn head strong. Too damn angry. Too damn scary for your own damn good.

You ain't the same kid you used to be; that hopeful brat who could talk anyone the right way round. And we need that guy again. We need him real bad. "Let ME be the one they're scared of. You be the one they fall in love with. "That's all I'm asking."

"Whoa, now!" He waved up at the fire giant. "Friendly! Friend! No stomping, please!"

The behemoth squinted down at him in utter confusion. Progress.

Naruto beamed up at it. "Wanna be friends?"

It stabbed a hand into its stomach.

"Whoa, hey?! What're you doing?!"

Flame flared forth and took on a strange shape...almost humanoid in nature...

They had him by the throat. So why...why was he smiling?

Naruto grinned, heedless of the blood on his face, the fingers biting down into his windpipe, even the crater he was being crushed into. "Not bad! Lets kick it up a notch or two!"

An open palm smashed into their ribs and they went flying.

The Roundtable Hold lay in tatters. He flung open the doors. A man's dead body lay on the floor, broken and twisted with black briars.

Of Fia, he saw nothing; she was gone, and his unborn children with her.

All that remained was a note nailed to the wall.

...what is that thing?"

Hewg offered him the Weapon.

"Its what she asked for. The power to kill a god."

"I'm so sorry!"


He grabbed the needle.

"Please don't go...please...I can't do this without you...



Two titans collided with a snarl. And the Erdtree trembled.

Naruto's head snapped back against a rousing right hook barreled into his face, leaving him spitting blood.

Godfrey did the same, eyes squinted shut as he reeled in pain.

They reared back and struck as one with a mighty roar.

Their fists collided in a shockwave!

EDIT: Hey, you made it! Hope you enjoyed this!

Once more, we're sticking with the "Embers" rule for this story, and others. If folks don't like this, it won't be continued. Meaning that if the story itself isn't popular? Well, it won't be continued. I'm working two jobs -might need a third soon!- so I barely have time to write; as such, I cannot afford to write something folks don't enjoy.

So by all means, speak up! Your voice matters! Make yourself heard! As ever, reviews are the fuel that sustain me. Without them I cannot write a single word. Simple as that. Working nearly all hours of the day keep me absurdly busy, and I can't bring myself to write something folks don't like.

Silence...silence only hurts.

Looking forward to chatting with you all when I get back from work~!

May you have a good day filled with luck and peace,