Naruto or rather, Naruko at the moment growled as she punched out her fist, launching a massive claw of chakra over twenty feet in size through the air, smashing through a boulder and pulverizing it to dust.
"Again." Daiki ordered.
"Fine!" she growled as she reeled back in the chakra arm and then thrust out her other hand and launched another one that tore through a series of trees.
Honestly, the area they were training in after an hour had passed looked like a warzone.
Currently, Daiki was having the blonde run through some basic drills with using the one tailed cloak she had managed to form around herself with only a little bit of complaint at the fox inside her.
Kurama it seemed, was feeling a little bit more generous at the moment and let her pull on the one tailed cloak without too much of a fuss. Though Daiki was betting that was more because his pride was hurt with how easily Daiki had slapped his Jinchuuriki around earlier.
Heh, others pride was so useful to use to his benefit sometimes.
Naruko snapped the chakra arm back a moment later and turned around to glare at him, crimson red eyes having replaced sapphire blue, "Why do I gotta keep doing this, it's easy, I can already do it!" she growled at him, before crossing her arms under her large, shape and bodaciously naked bust, "And you still haven't answered why I have to train in my sexy jutsu you damn pervert!"
'Because eye candy.' he thought with a snort, idly glancing over the nude blonde. Taking in her slim, stomach, full thighs, flared hips leading into a gorgeous backside, lusciously thick thighs and absolutely massive tits that might even have surpassed Anko's, "Because you're pretty good at using this technique on the fly and holding it alongside the chakra cloak, will make it much easier for you to use jutsu on the fly," he explained, which was true. He could have had him transform into anything or really use any other jutsu, "And I'm making you repeat it over and over because it's annoying you. And you need to learn how to suppress the anger that's seeping into you from the Kyuubi's chakra."
The agitation in the busty blonde was plain to see and in stark contrast to Daiki himself, who was casually sitting atop a rock behind where the blonde was training, head propped on his fist and his chakra cloak peaceful swaying around him.
Naruko's eyes twitched, "That doesn't mean I need to use my sexy jutsu, I could have transformed into anybody else," she huffed, "You're just a perv Daiki, you already admitted to having the hots for my sexy jutsu back during the prelims remember?"
…Oh, right. He had, hadn't he?
'You did.' Isobu snorted in amusement.
Daiki shrugged, "You caught me," he admitted, " But since I'm spending my time training you and not doing my own training, I should at least get something nice to look at. Man, it really is too bad you weren't born a girl."
"I knew it!" Naruko crowed, "You're just a little pervert like Ero-Sennin."
"Hell no, I'm not some little pervert." Daiki scoffed. That title belonged to someone like Ebisu.
"Oh yeah?" Naruto challenged and spread her arms, letting her huge bare breasts bounce deliciously in front of him and draw his eyes to her cherry pink little nipples, "Then what are you?"
"I'm a giga chad pervert." he replied proudly.
"…I can't believe you're the next Hokage," Naruko slumped her head in defeat, "The world isn't fair at all."
"I mean, can you really complain?" Daiki pointed out with a snort, "You're getting private training from the next Hokage himself, just because you're an utter babe in this form."
"It's just a transformation, I'm a guy," Naruko rolled her yes, "You're leering at another guy right now."
"Not right now I'm not, right now you're a chick," he denied, "Honestly, it's doing its intended purpose anyway. Didn't you make this technique to take advantage of perverts like you claim I am? Why not take advantage of me more for your own benefit."
"Well yeah…but not like this," Naruko shrugged, "I don't even get why you're so at ease with it."
In return, Daiki shrugged, "Just taking in what might have been," he replied, "You're kind of annoying normally, but if you looked were born a girl and looked like this naturally, I'd have already seduced you."
Now, Naruko not being actually real? That was the world not being fair.
"Oh screw you." Naruko rolled her eyes.
Interesting, he had distracted her enough she was more indignant than agitated and angry.
As expected, she was pretty well equipped to handling Kurama's chakra. The problem with what he noted originally, was that Jiraiya jumped ahead too quickly with her training. Instead of having him master the lower stages, he just loosened the seal and jumped to the higher stages.
"If only." Daiki smirked at her.
Naruko's currently red eyes opened wide and her cheeks flushed, "Not like that you pervert!" she screamed and punched out at him, a massive red chakra claw shooting out towards him.
Only to get torn apart as a tail swept down over his head and tore it apart, while Daiki slipped off the rock he was sitting on to stand on his feet, "Calm down, calm down Naruko, it was just a joke."
"Stop calling me that." the blonde huffed, cheeks blazing so dark he could easily notice them through the bubbling cloak of chakra around her body.
"Nah, I'm not calling you Naruto while you're like this," Daiki laughed, "But, how about I make it up to you? And teach you a jutsu."
all embarrassment was immediately forgotten, "A jutsu?" her head perked up, twin tails swaying noticeably with the motion.
God, that was sexy.
Truly the world was unfair.
"Yeah, I've got a good one in mind for you," Daiki stepped forward, "I'm pretty sure you've got an affinity for the wind element, so I'll teach you the Wind Style: Drilling Air Bullet."
One of her biggest problems in the other timeline, was her sheer lack of long range techniques. That would go a long way, with more control over the chakra cloak to dealing with that.
"…Affinity?" Naruko's head tilted to the side, confused.
And he lost her.
"Don't worry about it," he walked passed her, spanking her on the ass as he did, making the currently naked bodacious blonde yelp in shock, "Lemme just show you the jutsu real quick."
"Did you just freaking spank me you perv?!" Naruko gaped at him and he swerved to the side to avoid another chakra claw aimed at his back.
Why yes, yes he did.
Hours later when the sun hung low in the horizon and the sky turned a dusky red, Daiki found himself standing in the Hokage's office.
Two pairs of eyes giving him dry gazes.
And had been doing so for the last minute.
"…Seriously kid?" Jiraiya asked, voice deadpan.
"Don't act like you wouldn't have asked them same, honestly I bet you already have," Daiki smirked at him knowingly, a smirk which widened when Jiraiya grimaced and looked away, "Besides, while I was doing it for the eye candy, I wasn't lying. Holding a technique while using his jinchuuriki powers, will seriously help him in the long run and up his chakra control for sure."
"Honestly, I do believe I should have seen this coming," Hiruzen shook his head, "Really, If I didn't already know of your parents Daiki-kun, I would have assumed Jiraiya impregnated some poor girl and spawned you."
"As if, he wishes he could spawn someone as awesome me." Daiki snorted.
"Hey now sensei, that's a low blow, y'know I've got a seal to make sure something like that doesn't happen," Jiraiya huffed, "Anyway, I'm still not sure that was the best way to go about it kid, you were a bit too…blunt and he's still not really mastered the summoning jutsu either so giving him another jutsu to learn, an elemental one at that is a bit iffy I'm thinking."
"Learning more control of the Kyuubi's chakra will help with that, and so will the jutsu itself, the more he learns the better honestly, and it'll translate into his other jutsu skills while at it, or at least it does for me," Daiki shrugged, "But don't go doing something stupid like loosening his seal anytime soon, I've given him a bit of a reality check, but Naruto is still way too emotional to be able to filter it all out. Honestly, for the next two weeks up to the final round, you should have him using the one tailed cloak form constantly and practicing with his jutsu. Just be careful though, cuz he'll be liable to lashing out if you piss him off enough right now and he should be tough enough with it to tear apart your average jonin."
"Very well, you are more or less the only reputable master of the subject at hand, we've never trained a Jinchuuriki to use their power after all," Sarutobi mused, puffing on his pipe, "Jiraiya, do as Daiki says, have him work on using the cloak as he did today and that shockwave attack, as well as the summoning jutsu and the drilling air bullet."
"Yeah, yeah," Jiraiya waved him off, "I gotcha' sensei. Anyway, if that's all, I think I'll go keep an eye on the kid right now. I'm kinda leery of leaving him to himself right now while he's using that chakra."
"That would be for the best," Sarutobi nodded, "Besides, I have things to talk about with Daiki in private anyway."
"Ah…I see how it is," Jiraiya snorted, nodding his head, "Little secret pow wow with your new and all time favourite student. Favouritism hurts y'know sensei."
"…Yes, as many women who have complained about a certain student of mine peeking on them in the hot springs and not being arrested have attested to." Sarutobi deadpanned back.
"Huh, wonder who did that, sounds like a cool guy." Jiraiya laughed and proceeded to disappear with a shunshin. Hastily leaving the premises and the subject at hand behind.
"That boy will never grow up," Sarutobi snorted, then turned his attention to Daiki, "So, let's get down to business, shall we?"
Daiki shrugged, "Sure."
"I've decided, as you know that Anko will be your guard and escort to the Mist village," he stated, "You will be leaving tomorrow, at which time is your own choice. How you approach the negotiations is up to you, though do try not to offend the Mist too much."
"Don't worry about it, I've had two weeks to plan old man," Daiki replied, "I can't guarantee they'll be all in for an alliance, but I'm pretty sure they'll at least not be aggressive towards us."
Not with what he'd be giving back to them already with a possible offer. And the problems that stem from them he could use to throw shade at them in return for any claims they'd make. From Rin to Raiga and even Ao.
"It's good to see you're confident," the old man hummed, "I'm at least confident enough myself in your strength to confirm your safety in the mission."
Left unsaid was that the Mist was currently the weakest of the five great villages. Only an idiot would pick a fight with the strongest in their position, even if they weren't aware of Konoha's precarious position.
"Good luck Daiki-kun." Sarutobi smiled at him warmly.
"No need for luck when I'm me, but I'll take it anyway," Daiki laughed lightly, "Though, there is one thing I want to ask you old man before I leave." he said after a moment, his face turning serious.
"Oh?" Sarutobi raised an eyebrow at him.
Daiki eyed the liver spots on the old mans face for a moment, before speaking, "If you had the chance to reverse your age and become young again, would you take it?" he asked.
Over the last two weeks, he'd gathered up enough chakra to restore the man to his prime and still leave quite a bit in the tank for his own usage if needed.
"I would not." the old man denied immediately making the boy blink.
"…You wouldn't?" he gaped.
"I would not," Sarutobi confirmed, closing his eyes for a moment, before opening them again to look into Daiki's own, "My life has been hard and I have many regrets. I have lost a son and a daughter in law, I have lost my wife and too many members of this village to count. I will not ask why you are asking me this Daiki-kun, but I will say this. Despite those regrets, I am happy with my life and want to live it to the natural conclusion, at which point I will join my wife, my lost children and the leaves who have fallen from this great towering tree in the next world."
Daiki…wasn't sure how to respond. So he didn't.
It was regrettable, since the old man back in his prime would be an absolute monster.
But he would respect his decision.
"By the way Daiki-kun," Sarutobi's voice broke him from his thoughts and looked up, only realising then that the man's words had caused him to look down at the floor, unable to meet his eyes, "Here."
A scroll fell from the old mans sleeve and was tossed towards the teen, who caught it easily, "What's this?" he asked.
"You'll be on the road for a few days, so you can get some reading done in the meantime in preparation," Sarutobi replied, "That scroll contains the exercises you will need to go through to train with both the earth and fire element, just because you are on a mission, does not mean you're beloved grind can come to a halt, no?"
Daiki couldn't stop his lips twitching back up into a smile, "Definitely not, that's heresy after all."
His grind list, was never ending.
It seemed that every single time Daiki managed to whittle down his list to nothing, more popped up for him to get right back on the saddle and get back to it.
'It sure is great to be me.' Daiki whistled a jaunty tune as he made his way back towards his home, taking a leisurely stroll through the village streets for once instead of blitzing across the rooftops.
It was nice to take it slow every now and then, before returning to going fast.
Though, he was also a little amused. Thanks to Isobu's memories of Yagura's training and the scrolls he just got from the old man…there was a good chance he was going to master every other element first before his natural lightning affinity.
Granted, thanks to one of the jutsu the old man taught him during their training, he had a great idea on how to go about mastering it. And even if it didn't, it would be a step towards creating his very own S-rank jutsu.
Even if he was copying Sasuke at the brass tacks of it. It was fine though, he'd never know.
'I suppose since the old man showed me them, it'll make for a good excuse to learn the Chidori and Rasengan.' he mused. While he didn't know the instructions for learning the Chidori, he already had a rough idea of how it worked thanks to his eyes when he saw the old man perform it.
…Hmm, he supposed he could also see about learning Shadow Of The Dancing leaf as well. He'd seen multiple uses of it already since the beginning of the Chunin Exams.
'Speaking of Lee.' Daiki stopped in his tracks, a frown splaying across his lip. Perhaps he should go see him before he left the village for his mission.
Angry as he was at him for being a fool, he still couldn't help but feel for him. Once upon a time, Rock Lee and his never give up attitude had been someone he looked up to. Between him and Naruto, his love of the grind had taken shape and inspiration from them, had been what got him going to the gym in his old life.
The anger he'd felt over his foolishness and still did even, did not outweigh the good things for him in the end.
Suffice to say, Daiki decided to make his way towards the hospital before heading home and pay Rock Lee a visit.
But as he approached the hospital, something stood out.
Or rather, someone.
They were a block away from the hospital, atop a large building overlooking the hospital, and so well hidden that most wouldn't even notice them.
But there was no hiding from the the Scarlet Eye.
Not unless you were behind some crazy ass Uzumaki seals designed to block out even the Byakugan at least.
It was a familiar short redhead with a gourd atop his back, standing the building and looking directly at the hospital, arms crossed, a frown on his face.
His gaze was intense, teal eyes filled with a hunger for blood.
'Oh right, Gaara was obsessed with killing Lee for a bit because Gai stopped him during the exams, wasn't he?' Daiki mused.
Now, what to do about that? Should he confront him, or let things play out?
Actually, if he remembered right, Gaara almost did manage to assassinate Lee and was only foiled luckily by Naruto and Shikamaru, before Gai turned up to stop Gaara from killing those two.
The question was if Gai was actually there all the time and ready to step in at a moments notice, or not. Daiki wanted to believe he was, since letting a foreign shinobi get into the hospital so easily was the height of incompetence, and that was just silly considering there was an entire barrier over the village with the barrier team monitoring the village twenty-four-seven.
While it was impossible for them to scrutinize every little thing, they for sure would have around the clock surveillance on a foreign jinchuuriki.
Naruto knew about Gaara being a jinchuuriki, he wasn't supposed to learn that until Gaara tried to kill Lee which was the literal day before the third round.
'Has it already happened?' Daiki wondered. If it did though, why was Gaara still obsessing over Lee?
Well, either way, letting things play out at this point, wouldn't give him the same results, so he may as well confront the other jinchuuriki.
Sighing in annoyance, Daiki hopped up onto the roofs and made his way over towards Gaara, not bothering to hide his presence.
Gaara's eyes roamed from the hospital building and landed on Daiki as he landed on the roof. As he did, Daiki noticed, the whites of his eyes were bloodshot.
"…You…" Gaara all but growled, black ringed eyes narrowing at him and a spike of killing intent rising in the air.
The redheads bloodlust hung heavily in the air.
"Sup, raccoon boy," Daiki greeted him with a smirk, "You shouldn't be here." he added, his hands casually resting his his pockets.
A simple glance out of the side of his eye, was enough to confirm his previous thoughts were right. With his telescopic vision that could see clearly up to ten miles away, he could spot Rock Lee in his hospital room.
…Doing one handed, hand stand push ups.
Daiki resisted the urge to sigh. As much as he respected the hell out of grinding like that even in his state, he was just doing more damage to himself like that.
"You are the one…who threatened my existence before, after boasting of how you could defeat all the trash alongside me." Gaara's gaze and bloodlust sharpened noticeably.
"That I am," Daiki nodded, "Sorry about that, I was in a bit of a bad mood you see. A friend of mine, the guy you fought. crippled himself just to try and beat a weakling like you, so it pissed me off a bit."
If possible, the bloodlust in the air spiked, anger filling it and within all the time it took to blink, a large spear of sand shot through the air towards him, erupting from Gaara's back.
It didn't even make contact, the sand falling to the ground harmlessly as his armour sucked the chakra out of it.
"Having performance issues?" Daiki taunted with a smirk.
"Hmph, absorbing chakra, how quaint," Gaara scoffed, yet despite his words, his bloodlust did not lesson, "I will kill you regardless of your little tricks."
"Tricks are for kids," Daiki snorted, "And it's impossible for you to kill me. You're just a failure of a Jinchuuriki after all, not like me. I'm better than you in every single way."
Gaara's gaze tightened, "Do not speak, as if you know me, just because you know what I am," he bit out, lifting his hands, "You are just a mere human, I am the demon of the sand!"
He raised both hands up, his chakra spiking and sand erupted from the gourd on his back, swelling up into the air above them.
But, with how blatant is bloodlust was, it was easy to predict such an action. Especially with Gaara's prior track record.
That was why, the split moments his chakra spiked, lightning sparked into existence around Daiki's body and he moved.
Gaara's sand jumped to his defence.
It was not fast enough.
With the lightning chakra mode, his speed was well a match for Rock Lee when he was using the gates.
If not faster.
Gaara only had time for his eyes to widen in shock, before Daiki's palm smashed into his face and bodily lifted him up into the air, before slamming him back down onto the rooftop.
Only then did the sand reach him, switching from defense to offense, tens of dozens of sand spikes aiming to impale him from every angle.
But just like before, the second they got within the vicinity of his body, they shrivelled away as the chakra was absorbed from them.
Gaara's eyes were wide with horror…and fear.
"NO!" the boy snarled around the palm in his face and clenched his fists, the sand that had been scattered, filling with chakra once more and leaping to his aid.
"Stop, or I'll kill you." Daiki said simply, and it halted. It was not a threat in his voice, it was a promise.
And Gaara froze.
That was Gaara's biggest problem really. At this point in time, without relying on the strength of the One Tail, he was powerless. And against someone that knew his weaknesses like him and could exploit them, he was a sitting duck.
The turtle shaped pauldron atop his shoulder, had been specifically created to counter Gaara. And that was not taking into account his armour, the seal on his palm that could absorb chakra and the jutsu he'd stolen for himself that let him absorb chakra.
He literally had four different methods of absorbing chakra and rendering Gaara's greatest weapon and defence, useless before him.
Quite simply, Daiki was Gaara's worst possible match up. And unless he unleashed Shukaku, there was nothing he could do against him.
"Just as I told your sister, you really are a failure of a Jinchuuriki," Daiki shook his head, "It's sad really, the second I invalidate your sand, you're literally nothing. Without your sand, your average genin could kick your ass around."
"You…" Gaara trailed off, just staring up at him, "…I…I will not let you steal my existence."
"I don't want it, I wouldn't even be bothering with you if you weren't obsessing over killing a friend of mine," Daiki replied with a snort, "All you are, is a failure of a jinchuuriki that's too lonely and hurt to pull yourself out of your self pity."
This, was a bit of a delicate situation.
As such he handled it with all the grace of a bull in a china shop.
As he always did.
"I'm not lonely!" Gaara all but snarled, the emotionless facade he liked to portray nowhere in sight, "You know nothing!"
"I know everything," Daiki countered with a smirk, allowing the lightning armour to fade from around his body, and he felt a great relief as he did, the damage it had done to his body already beginning to heal "After all, unlike you, I'm perfect." he boasted and reached deep within and pulled.
Sizzling red chakra exploded into existence around his form in place of the lightning armour, three tails lazily swinging in the air behind him.
"You…!" Gaara's eyes widened in shock, "You're just like me? You're a demon as well!?"
"No, I'm a Jinchuuriki, we're Jinchuuriki," Daiki corrected, then shook his head, "What the hell is up with everyone thinking the Bijuu are demons? Demons are pussy ass weaklings compared to them, why the hell would you boast about being a weakling like that? Say it with me Gaara, we're Jinchuuriki, we're way scarier than any pansy ass demon."
Honestly, it was getting almost insulting at this point.
"…A different name changes nothing, I am treated as a demon, thus I am," Gaara replied, "We are demons to the world, a world that will shun us and try to steal our very lives. I will not let my existence be snuffed!"
Daiki rolled his eyes, letting go of Gaara's face and stepping back, "You're dad really did you dirty huh?" he shook his head, "About as expected, the man is a complete clown after all, as I already told your sister."
Gaara stared up into the sky, confused, "…Why did you let me go?" he asked, instead of commenting on what he said about Rasa the Clownkage.
"Why not? Like I told you, you're no threat to me," Daiki replied, then sighed, "Honestly, at most I'm disappointed in how weak you are. We Jinchuuriki are superior to normal ninja, but you've done it wrong. You can't control Shukaku at all and rely on its power over using it to bolster your own. You might have the weakest of the Bijuu, but that doesn't mean you should be a weakling."
Gaara winced at his words, clutching at his head and grimaced noticeably.
"Guess he didn't like my words huh?" Daiki smirked, then held up a single hand, chakra glowing along his fingertips, "Shut the hell up Shukaku or I'll seal you off entirely, we're having a conversation here." he threatened.
Gaara winced again, before his expression eased up. For all Shukaku played up the insane act, it was just that, an act.
And it knew better than to risk its influence over its host.
"You…you made mother quiet?" Gaara gave him a gobsmacked look.
"I could make Shukaku quiet forever if you want," Daiki offered, despite himself. Even with his disappointment in Gaara's strength, it didn't change the guy was done fucking dirty and couldn't even sleep because of Shukaku. That was bound to give anyone a few screws loose, "And Shukaku's not your mother. Your mother is dead, she died bringing you into this world, so don't disrespect her like that."
Gaara….looked as if Daiki just slapped him.
Which technically, he kinda did not long just, just with his full palm.
Daiki sighed, "Look, I get it. Your life sucks and has sucked for a long time. Your mom died giving birth to you, your dad stuck a bijuu in you that you never wanted, he forced your siblings not to interact with you, tried to have you killed a bunch of times and everyone avoided you thinking you were a demon," he rattled off and actually found himself wincing as he spoke it aloud, pity for the other boy welling up in him, "It must have been lonely and hard."
"….What…How do you..?" Gaara's voice came out in a whisper.
"Everyone in your village knows what happened to you basically, so anyone outside the village can get the information easily from their loose lips," Daiki responded, then crouched down to be eye level with the boy who had been too caught in the discussion to stand back up, "But see, despite your shitty dad, you're not actually alone, you still have siblings who love you, for all that they're absolutely terrified of you at the same time."
"Lies, those weaklings hate me." Gaara responded instantly.
"No, they don't," Daiki flatly replied, "At the very least, Temari doesn't hate you. If she hated you, she wouldn't have turned up at my room to scope me out and make threats after the first second round of the exams."
Well, he was embellishing a little. but he did know for a fact Temari loved her little brother and would give her life for him even now.
"…A weaking like Temari…threatened you?" Gaara's head tilted to the side, and he asked in a small voice, "But…you're so strong and powerful. You defeated me with ease and my sister is a gnat compared to me."
"Like I said, just because she's scared of you because you always threaten to kill her, doesn't mean she doesn't love you," Daiki replied, and leaned forward, laying his hand on the boys shoulder, "I mean, think back. Has there even been a time where your siblings treated you badly even before you went psycho murderer? Or was it all your father forcing them?"
Gaara looked away, unable to meet his eyes.
"For what it's worth, there's nothing wrong with hating the people who made your life hell," Daiki said in consolation, "But, blaming those who didn't, is just doing the same thing others did to you. And you clearly don't like it. Honestly, while I can't understand things from your view, since I willingly became a Jinchuuriki, I sympathize with you. And really, if you want to talk to someone about it, you should go find Naruto, because he was treated a lot like you growing up."
"The…blonde boy?" Gaara's non-existent eyebrows furrowed, "The one who said he has a demon…a bijuu as well?"
Hmm, so that did happen.
"Yup, and he's a whiny mess over it just like you," Daiki snorted, "I'll tell you the same thing I told him when I was teaching him how to use his power not long ago. Be proud of who and what you are. You should be, being a Jinchuuriki makes you inherently superior to normal ninja from the get go. And if you are proud of it and wear like an armour, it can never be used to hurt you. Don't brandish it like a sword."
Gaara did not reply, but a storm of emotion swirled in his teal eyes.
"Go home Gaara, spend some time with your siblings while you're a way from your father and for once in your life, make your own decisions." Daiki finished, standing back up.
As he did, Gaara slowly did so as well, "…I need to think." he said, before bringing his hands up into a single hand seal and disappearing in a swirl of sand.
As he left, Daiki rubbed his head and sighed in annoyance, "What the hell am I? The Jinchuuriki Therapist?" he groaned.
He could only hope Gaara did take his words to heart.
Because Naruto was far stronger than he was in the other timeline right now and could freely use the one tailed cloak thanks to him. Gaara might just die if they fought this time around.
…And even if they didn't, Daiki wouldn't be able to pull his punches the next time around.
Because he'd be slaughtering his way through every single invader that he saw during the invasion.
And so we return with the big ol' chapter 50. A milestone, I guess. Not really in the mood for celebrating mind you.
I'd usually go on a highlight reel for laughs here in the chapter, but honestly. My grandfather is likely to die today, tomorrow at the latest by estimates and my dog has slipped in health as well and honestly thought I was going to need to get him put down yesterday. He's perked up a little bit, but if he doesn't keep it up, he'll probably not last another week either. So yeah, not been in much of a writing mood at the moment, which is why this story is only a chapter ahead on the Pa-atreon for anyone that wants to read ahead, granted I've got quite a few chapters of Beyond Critical written the past few days in advance for things going south.
Anyway, shameless Pa-atreon plug. I've got one, go by the same username on there, easy to find and all that jazz. Support me if you want, it'd be swell, but don't feel pressured lads and ladies, I'll be uploading my stuff outside it regardless and not keeping it all behind a paywall or anything like that.