"Interes-s-sting...", There was a soft hissing voice in one of the dark dungeon rooms.

A long-haired brunet with whitish skin was standing over a wide stone table, scrutinizing an open green scroll with a strange spiral-shaped pattern consisting of indecipherable ligature, remotely resembling Japanese writing.

After running his hand over the rough paper, the man slipped his right hand into the broad left sleeve of his snow-white kimono, pulling out another, but empty scroll, along with a calligraphy kit.

After he silently folded a few intricate seals with one hand, a massive stone throne suddenly rose from the ground. The man sat on it without hesitation, unwrapping the blank scroll at a time and beginning to move the thin wooden brush rapidly across it, leaving behind long black ink hieroglyphs.

Finally, after several hours, when the space on the rather wide scroll was nearly exhausted, the man stopped soiling the paper, looking at his work with a half-crazed gaze.

"What a pity that Kabuto-kun is away on a long business trip to the Land of Lightning, and won't be able to see my triumph", Sadly, he said, folding up all the open scrolls.

"But to think: Uzumaki was engaged in the development of such a wonderful seal!", He thought happily, looking lovingly at the unremarkable scroll in his hand. "I never thought they could have been interested in such a subject as tying one's soul to the world of the living", The man laughed mentally as he folded all the contents of the table into the sealing scroll.

"If everything works as I intend, I won't have to find new followers to install the cursed seal, or worry about finding new bodies. I can simply fly around the earth as a ghost, and inhabit recently deceased strong shinobi", He grinned, tossing the scroll excitedly in his hand.

"What a way to gain new knowledge, isn't it?", He said thoughtfully, heading for the exit of the room. "The main thing is not to get caught by Naruto-kun. I'm afraid his amazing ability to see ghosts isn't something even I can get around"

Fixing his long bangs, the man stayed in his thoughts, tucked the scroll behind the belt of his kimono, and began folding a small series of hand seals.

After he slammed his palm on the wall, the passageway began to rapidly overgrow with stone, causing the vaults of the cave to shake slightly. The pink glowing chakra crystal that was left by Guren, which was being used as a lamp, shook violently, causing it to almost fall to the stone floor.

"Hop", Orochimaru said, picking up the crystal that had fallen out of the small metal stand. "Almost broke", He said cheerfully, putting the crystal back on the stand.

Suddenly there was a wide crack in the pink crystal, and Orochimaru, sensing something was wrong, reinforced his skin with chakra and covered his eyes with his right hand.

His intuition was right, as in the next instant the crystal exploded with a loud crack, scattering sharp shards across the corridor.

Orochimaru frowned, and clucked his tongue in annoyance at the shrapnel-cut kimono, which suddenly began to expose an inordinate amount of skin.

But in the next second, he panickedly began groping for the spot where he had put the scroll with the fuinjutsu.

"Phew", he exhaled in relief as he examined and groped the miraculously surviving scroll, "that was close".

But then when Orochimaru unwrapped the scroll, in the next instant he tried to throw it away from him as far away as possible. But it was too late.

The ancient writings that had been mixed with Orochimaru's fuinjutsu writings began to glow with a bright scarlet light. No sooner had they left the hands of the serpent sannin, at the center of the drawn spiral, space itself began to curl into the same spiral, pulling the now truly pale man into it.

And only the broad spiral on the floor showed that something had happened here before.

"Fucking seals, fucking Uzumaki," Orochimaru swore under his breath as he carefully surveyed the area, "fucking Guren!"

Blaming all and sundry who were at least indirectly to blame for his current situation, including himself, Orochimaru didn't even notice how he made it out of the large park, which he had mistaken for a small forest, and into the urban area.

"What strange houses", he remarked, peering at the facades of the identical-looking houses.

"What ugliness", Orochimaru grimaced.

As an ardent individualist, he had never liked the idea of collectivization in any form. And the erection of such identical buildings, which in their gray mass lost all their individuality to each other, was among them.

"A few years ago, I probably would have summoned a couple of big snakes to this village. To have some fun", Orochimaru grinned sadly, remembering the old days. "Yeah, and Manda probably wouldn't mind a feast like that either", He thought, feeling the vitality of the many people around him.

"But let's not talk about the past", he said, looking around among the thousands of identical houses, trying to sense at least one shinobi.

"It's no use", he sighed, "apparently this is a purely civilian village. Though for such a densely populated city, it's strange not to have at least a team of genin's as a patrol", Orochimaru wondered.

"Apparently, the next shift hasn't arrived yet. What a sloppy thing to do", He smirked, carefully losing sight of the real culprit behind his current situation.

As he flew over the city for a while longer, he noticed one unfortunate thing.

"Well, apparently, as a method of espionage, this technique does not justify itself." - He frowned, staring at his slowly melting limbs.

"We need to find at least someone dying right away." - He panicked a little, frantically searching for any smoldering life energy at all.

"There it is!", he exclaimed to himself, quickly flying over to one of the identical cabins that was slightly more well-kept than the others.

He quickly made his way across the roof of the house, through someone's bedroom, and into a cramped closet that, for some reason, served as someone's bedroom.

"Not much", he grimaced as he looked over the small, bloody, skinny body of a nine-year-old child.

"Not only is it a civilian, it's an underdeveloped child", He thought, contemplating the dying boy.

"If I seal most of my chakra, this body should be enough for a week, I think", He hummed, staring at his already decaying ghostly body. "And then I'll find something better."

Finally, the boy seemed to finally let go of his spirit, and his body was left free.

Orochimaru immediately began to inhabit the boy's dead body, but he was suddenly actively interrupted by someone.

"Someone's damn seal?!", Immediately he decided when he saw someone's piece of the soul. "But what's the point of branding this puppy? What's so special about him?" But all those thoughts immediately disappeared as the unknown's onslaught intensified.

Orochimaru couldn't stand such insolence, and kicking as hard as he could, immediately kicked the unwanted neighbor out.

The next thing, with the final occupation of the dead body, Orochimaru, through the strength of trying not to lose consciousness, began to draw his own blood seal of the five elements on his abdomen.

After a while, when sleep began to take its toll, Orochimaru finished drawing the seal, and fell into a saving oblivion.

At the same time, Orochimaru's new body began to undergo both familiar and unexpected changes.