Author Note

Hello everyone and welcome to another chapter of Cursed Eyes.

First of all, here we are in the year of 2024. So, allow me to wish everyone a wonderful year full of fanfiction we all know and love.

Now, we are moving towards a more detailed-oriented arc that is going to be filled with information about the series concept.

For sure, the readers enjoy originality, however I cannot nor will I ever deviate from the original concept of things. That being said, the reasoning behind Tobi's actions, the war itself, will not deviate much from what actually happens. Obviously, I have many ideas to use. The variables in this story are of course centered around our main protagonist. This Naruto isn't a happy go lucky fellow and not one filled with idealism that will drive everyone into unity. Different choices will occur of course and different battles as well. Furthermore speaking about this chapter and the next one, he is bound to have an encounter…or rather three different ones.

Okay, I will stop beating around the bush for the moment and get right on it.

Cursed Eyes

Chapter 39 – Kurama

Beta: Scheffinator

The overall discussions about the formed Shinobi Alliance would have to be put on hold, since the villages still needed the unanimous decision of the Daimyos.

It was decided that their next meeting shall be held in Tumatakuru and then in Konoha to finalize the preparations for the war. In the meantime, Konoha had a major milestone to divulge for their next meetings or rather the last living Jinchuuriki has. Uzumaki Naruto needed to find out a way to master the Kyuubi's chakra or else the Alliance's chances will be slim at best. Sure, the villages had their shinobi to use, but against eight tailed beasts, they would be toast without the Kyuubi. Tsunade, Naruto and Kakashi sped their way back towards Konoha, since time was of great importance right now.

The Hokage and the scarecrow Jonin were up ahead with Naruto bringing out the rear.

It may serve as a protection detail for their leader, but he was not really inclined to talk right now.

It was of course understandable to the senior shinobi in front of him…the load that he to this day carries on his shoulders was already quite high…and it has only tripled right now. Essentially, Uzumaki Naruto has become the sole one responsible for the Elemental Nations' tipping balance of survival. Tsunade wondered if there was a shinobi in the past who has ever felt such a pressure aside from perhaps her Grandfather, the Shodaime Hokage. At least, by being co-leader of this Alliance, she could ease up the cargo, but only slightly. This war will bring casualties for sure and he will feel each and every one of those casualties.

It was unavoidable, unfortunately. Because of this, she would attempt to focus on anything but his mental state for the time being…they must focus on pragmatism.

"Kakashi…" The gray haired Jonin stopped seeing Naruto and turned to her. "As soon as we arrive in Konoha, you and Naruto are to locate this tablet that Madara mentioned."

"We do not know the tablet's true location, Hokage-sama…plus, like Madara said, we would need the Rinnegan to read it fully." Tsunade nodded, remembering it.

"I may have an idea about the location, Kakashi…the Uchiha Clan would have their reunions in the Naka Shrine. They always did their reunions there, it was not a secret. We can't do anything about the Rinnegan, of course, but we can at least recover the tablet and work our way around it with cryptanalysis. What you and Naruto can read shall be used as a starting point. We shall leave the rest to Konoha's researchers." Kakashi nodded, as the three shinobi proceeded on their path towards Fire Country, no longer feeling the cold of Iron Country.

"What you said back there about having a plan for me and for the fox…" Tsunade and Kakashi looked at Naruto who was quiet until now. "What do you mean? To this day, I had never heard of this plan existing."

"We shall speak in further detail once you and Kakashi finish the tablet assignment and Jiraiya shall be the one who explains it further to you…suffice to say that the sealing method performed by the Yondaime has a 'key' if you can call it that." Naruto had never heard of this, but then he had never paid much attention to the workings of the seal used by his father. However, from Naruto's limited knowledge in Fuuinjutsu, utilizing a key would mean that he could open the gate that is keeping the bastard fox at bay. And that could easily backfire…

"You wouldn't be considering using this key in the middle of the village, would you?" Tsunade snorted at that.

"Of course not, but Jiraiya shall explain it further…"

===In Konoha===

It didn't take long for them to arrive in Konoha and despite it being night time, Tsunade was adamant for the Sharingan users to go to the Naka Shrine at once and get it done with.

Pein's attack did some damage to the Shrine, but not much and the building was passing through reform.

Still, despite knowing about the location of the Uchiha meetings, it doesn't necessarily mean that such a historical artifact would simply be right there once they pass the front door. Kakashi and Naruto looked around the Shrine, finding only plain walls and tatami floors. That was nothing in plain sight that could indicate a secret entrance of sorts or even a mechanic switch that could open a doorway or passageway. Kakashi and Naruto walked around for a while, eyeing the different ornaments in the darkened Shrine, before Kakashi lit up a flashlight to help.

"Finding their meeting location is one thing, but knowing about the clan's secrets is another, Kakashi…how are we going to find it?" The seasoned Jonin placed one hand on his waist and briefly activated his Sharingan.

However, he couldn't see anything amiss.

"The walls are plain as we can see, so I don't believe it's our focus. The tatami, however, could show us something. There's nothing much we can do but lift the tatami floors and see if there's something hidden beneath."

"We could call Kasumi-neechan to help us find it…her Byakugan can at least find the secret hidden door and we can work from there." Kakashi hummed at that notion. Considering the Sharingan's enemy Dojutsu, it would be expected that the clan would have fail safes against the Hyuuga's Dojutsu from snooping inside. For now, they had gone with the plan of flipping the tatami floors one by one. If they can't find it, then a strong Byakugan user could be summoned to aid them in finding it. When Naruto next lifted the seventh tatami mat from the far right, he had seen the Sharingan inscribed in the middle of It, together with what appeared to be a sealing formula.

"Kakashi-niisan, I found something." The scarecrow Jonin soon appeared next to his surrogate brother as Naruto yanked the tatami fully.

"Okay, it seems we won't be needing Kasumi here after all…" Kakashi then kneeled on the ground and passed his hand over the sealing formula, trying to understand it, before looking back at Naruto. "Perhaps, you know how to unseal this barrier?" Naruto had his Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan active as he looked at the sealing formula. "If you have Itachi's memories, then perhaps the technique shall appear in your mind." Naruto acknowledged the thought and closed his eyes, searching his brain for the information, while picturing the eldest Uchiha brother and the last conversation they had after receiving his eyes.

Kakashi allowed his little brother figure some time, while crossing his arms.

Right now, Uzumaki Naruto was perhaps the village's last possessor of the information regarding the Uchiha Clan and the Accursed Dojutsu.

Soon enough, Naruto's hands moved slowly as his eyes remained closed. His chakra reached for the sealing formula and he could feel it resonating with the Sharingan-like sealing array. As far as everyone was concerned, Naruto nowadays was as much an Uchiha as he was an Uzumaki, thanks to both Itachi and Sasuke. As soon as he finished the hand seals sequence with the serpent hand sign, the ground started shaking as the rather thick platform started hovering up in the air. Kakashi whistled at the display.

"Impressive, to believe that the Uchiha Clan had indeed a secret access like this…let's go." Naruto nodded as both jumped into the void, until they had reached a small hallway that led straight to the room with the stone tablet in the end. Torches from both sides immediately ignited, as both Sharingan users looked around for a while, marveling at Konoha's founding clan. The room they were in right now was of similar design to the room upstairs, with the difference that this one had the tablet located in the far wall. Naruto then turned to the senior Jonin.

"Do you want me to read it all or do you?" Kakashi negated the notion.

"Go right ahead, for me to use the Mangekyou Sharingan, it would take too long and too much chakra needlessly. You can dictate and I shall catalog it." Naruto hummed as Kakashi picked up an empty scroll.

"Okay, then, let's proceed. First, I shall only use the regular Sharingan to see how much of it I can read." Kakashi nodded as Naruto began. "Okay, the first few lines match the material I had studied of the Uchiha Clan files, about the Mangekyou Sharingan and how to obtain it. It's said the Mangekyou Sharingan has the ability to control the Tailed Beasts." Kakashi nodded as Naruto began to recite word for word. The rest of it was blurry, so Naruto had evolved his eyes into the Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan and a lot of lines became clear for him to read. However, simply because he could read it, it didn't mean that he was voicing what he had read out loud.

Kakashi turned to see what was wrong when he saw the look of astonishment from his brother figure.

"What is it?" Naruto took a long breath, wondering if he had read right, but indeed his eyes didn't seem to be playing tricks on him.

"Everything that Madara said to us at the meeting is indeed written on the tablet. There are a few lines I still can't read, but it explains what Madara said about the Infinite Tsukuyomi. Can you write it down?" Kakashi hummed as he eyed the rest of the parchment already filled with plenty of intel for the Allied Shinobi Forces to go on as Naruto spoke. "Seeking stability, one god was divided into yin and yang, these opposing two acting together shall obtain all things in creation…When someone who possesses the power of Samsara approaches the moon, an eye will open that is reflected on the moon to grant the eternal dream."

Kakashi had written it all as Naruto wondered about the information also contained in the tablet.

"Hmmm, it lastly says that the Uchiha Clan would be saved by the Infinite Tsukuyomi. Could it be that this is Madara's hidden reason for waging war?"

Kakashi then closed the scroll, before taking pictures of the tablet…even if only he and Naruto could read the tablet contents, the cryptanalysis could run some hypothesis to figure the rest out.

"Living in a dream world could essentially bring back the dead, Naruto. When the dream world becomes the new reality, adversities no longer exist…death is no longer a factor…pain is no longer a factor…"

Naruto released the Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan before he turned to see Kakashi's eyes lacking focus.

The scarecrow Jonin was no stranger to the effects of suffering in his life. First the loss of his father, who committed suicide after a failed mission…then the premature deaths of his teammates Obito and Rin, both of them in such extreme ways that Kakashi sometimes wondered how the hell he managed to get going. His sensei's sacrifice to seal the fox inside Naruto…before Naruto and Kasumi, Kakashi was at best a living corpse, empty inside just going day by day, performing missions. As such, he could certainly sympathize somewhat with Madara's ultimate goal. It was indeed a compelling thought to lose one's self in.

Naruto was no stranger to the effects he could cause in others using the Tsukuyomi. However, he also knew that it was a powerful illusion, but an illusion still.

"Well, there is more material to be read, but only the Rinnegan can read the rest." Kakashi awakened to Naruto's pondering and quickly realized that he was also in dream land, remembering about what happened to his friends.

"Right, let's deliver what we found to the Hokage. I am betting that Jiraiya is already there as well." Naruto nodded, as both left the Uchiha Shrine, before Naruto sealed the hidden entrance.

===At Tsunade's Office===

Naruto and Kakashi now stood in front of Tsunade and Jiraiya as they had delivered the material collected about the Uchiha stone tablet as Naruto pretty much confirmed the information provided by Madara.

To say that Tsunade was astonished would be an understatement. So much of Konoha's history, of her family's history, was indeed hidden from view and controlled by the Uchiha Clan. She wondered if her grandfather and granduncle knew about this stone tablet, but it was extremely unlikely. Her grandfather wouldn't do much about it, but for sure one Senju Tobirama would have, had he known about it. Going back in time by this much was a dangerous subject for everyone to linger, however.

"Shizune shall handle this information going forward with the Cryptanalysis department. Understanding Madara's objectives is of no importance…stopping him from getting what he's after is what matters."

No one could argue against that in the end as Tsunade turned to Naruto.

"Now, Naruto, in order for us to equal their tailed beast strength, you must be able to master the fox's chakra. The Allied Nations, us included, are right now gathering their forces, cataloging weapons, forming up teams…so that when the war starts, we can be ready. Right now, your mission Naruto is to focus first and foremost on becoming a full Jinchuuriki." Naruto wondered about what that entails, as Tsunade turned to Jiraiya who smirked, before clearing his throat.

"Right, that's my cue…Naruto, your seal is a masterpiece instilled by the Yondaime Hokage. I won't bother explaining it technically, since I won't bore you, but suffice to say, that it not only imprisons the fox inside your gut, it also slowly siphons the fox's chakra, purifying it and mixing it your own. That's why I trust you had felt your chakra becoming more potent and its capacity increasing, surprising as it is to consider that an Uzumaki ever needed a chakra boost." Naruto nodded, concurring with the feeling and the fox had explained in their conversations. "Now, however, the speed in which you assimilate its chakra is too slow for what you shall encounter in this war.

Minato had placed a key for the tetagram seal to get loose so to speak and soon free all of the fox's chakra into your core, like an onslaught avalanche."

Naruto narrowed his eyes at the notion. He has already felt the equivalent of two or three tails worth of chakra, but all of it in one go was simply impossible.

"I can't handle all of that and stay sane…the fox would take over." He then turned to the Hokage. "I thought you said you won't be releasing the seal here."

"Relax Naruto, we won't be doing this procedure here." Naruto turned to the smirking Jiraiya who continued. "I shall take you to a special place that's quite far from here and the procedure can occur without harming the village. Also, do not worry about the fox taking over, I never said that the seal would be removed, now did I? No, I shall provide to you the key so to speak for you to increase the pace you assimilate the fox's chakra into your own. Of course, however, we have to take into account that the Kyuubi won't be too receptive with the idea." Naruto couldn't give that assurance as the all so talkative Kyuubi no Kitsune went dead silent ever since Madara appeared in the meeting.

It both surprised him and scared him at the same time, thinking that the nine-tailed beast might have a different agenda in all of this.

However, he couldn't afford to over think this…in a matter of months, this could be all over and this could be the tipping point for his and everyone's survival.

Kakashi sensed his little brother's inner turmoil and approached him to place a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"Fear not Naruto…you have overcome all of the obstacles set in front of you until now, I have faith that you will overcome this as well." Naruto looked at Kakashi for a while in wonder, before nodding with a more relaxed smile.

"Right, so when shall we leave for this place you're talking about?" Jiraiya only smirked, keeping up the enigma.

"Oh, It won't take long, I can assure you. Go get some rest and meet up at the front gates tomorrow."

Naruto then turned to the Hokage who nodded back at him, before Naruto vanished in a shunshin before saying his goodbyes to everyone, leaving only Jiraiya, and Kakashi in the room with the Hokage.

===Next Day====

The next day, Naruto arrived at the front gates to see Jiraiya.

Yesterday, he had a long chat with Itsuko after getting home.

They had talked in great lengths about the upcoming war and that Itsuko would be removed from the ANBU forces to form a team with her old teammates, while Naruto left to perfect the usage of the fox. The war was already brimming on the horizon and it was only a matter of time before all hell broke loose. As such, it was ventilated in the middle of the conversation about the worst case scenario. Being in ANBU meant that Itsuko faced this on a daily basis and Naruto wasn't that far off in terms of the shinobi life expectancy and the risks. As much as their chests ached at the possibility, Itsuko asked for them to cuddle one last night together.

There was no love making or anything close to it…they just fell asleep in each other's embrace, trying to memorize the feeling of each other.

Naruto in particular felt the pain in his brain at the thought of losing her. He could feel the power generated by the anger of losing his most precious person. However, he learned to cool it down and trust that they will make it through in the end. He has faith in her and he has faith in the ones who will be with her to guard her while he can't join the battlefield.

When they had woken up and got dressed, Naruto got to see her in a regular Jonin outfit for the first time in his life and they made a commitment to come home together.

Now, meeting up with the Sannin, Naruto was surprised to see another being next to Jiraiya. A small toad from the looks of things, with white hair and dressed in a small cape.

"Good morning Naruto, I trust you had a good night's rest?" Naruto nodded and looked at the small toad from the corner of his eye, before looking back at Jiraiya.

"As much as can be expected considering the circumstances…" Jiraiya smirked and then took a side step.

"Nice, well, allow me to introduce you to Lord Fukasaku, he's the leader of the Toads." Naruto looked back at the small toad and saw it smiling at him.

"It's nice to meet you Lord Fukasaku-sama." The toad was impressed.

"Oh, such manners…It's good that Jiraiya-boy hadn't passed on his lack of manners to you my boy…it's truly a pleasure to meet Minato-boy's offspring." Naruto looked at the toad strangely. It was the first time that someone mentioned him as such out in the open. The topic of being the Yondaime's son has somehow got stored inside his brain and cataloged as rather unimportant compared to the onslaught of the load he received from Uchiha Itachi and Uchiha Sasuke. Assimilating their Sharingan as well as dealing with the Akatsuki on a daily basis and also having to endure the fox's long conversations…well, it was safe to conclude that he hasn't dealt with the information as he should have.

It hasn't sunk in yet that he was the son of the Yondaime Hokage and what that entailed.

He then turned to Jiraiya, who was crossing his arms in an indignant behavior to Fukasaku's comment.

"Why is he here, though? I thought we were going to this place where I could release the fox's energy without concern in harming the village?"

The perverted Sannin smirked at that.

"Well, Lord Fukasaku here shall take us to the Land of the Toads, Mount Myoboku, through the use of Reverse Summoning Technique." Naruto looked at the pervert in doubt.

"But how, I mean, I don't have a Summoning Contract with the Toads." Fukasaku only smiled at that.

"There is no need for concern Naruto-boy, I happen to know of your affiliation with the Tigers. I happen to be good friends with good old Shirotora and explained to him about it all. He has agreed to extend you the contract with the toads. As a matter of fact, he shall be there in Mount Myoboku to stay with us throughout the procedure. Now, would you please sign here and we can be on our merry way. The sooner we can conclude it all, the sooner you can get back." Naruto saw as the small geyser toad released the scroll containing the names of the previous summoners. He took a while to sign it however and then looked at Jiraiya for clarification.

"So, if the worst came to happen, the fox would be loose in the land of the toads?" Both Jiraiya and Fukasaku felt the apprehension and concern in his tone, so Fukasaku saw fit to explain further.

"Naruto-boy, you should trust your father's work more…Minato's seal will make sure that everyone proceeds accordingly. Plus, Jiraiya-boy shall provide you with the key once we get to Mount Myoboku."

"If you say so…" The Sharingan user needed no more convincing, before signing his name to become the next summoner of the Toads as well as with the Tigers.

"Now, then, let us go…Ma is preparing us a nice meal once we arrive…" Naruto only had time to see Jiraiya's body stiffening at the mention of food, before both vanished in smoke.

===At Mount Myoboku===

When both next opened their eyes, Naruto was astonished to see them appearing in a completely different forest with giant trees, long waterfalls and toads where he could see them.

And just like Fukasaku explained, Shirotora was there as well, simply lying down with his paws crossed as he lifted his head.

"Oh hello there Naruto…" The Jinchuuriki ran towards his friend and looked up to greet him.

"Hi there Shirotora, I am glad to meet you in other circumstances aside from fighting. I take it you weren't too injured after the fight with Akatsuki'" The tiger leader only showed his full teeth in an equivalent to a snort.

"Please, it takes much more than that mutt to harm me…you had made the Tiger Clan proud in defeating the almighty Rinnegan and saving Konoha." Fukasaku smiled as he approached the two's conversation. "Also, Lord Fukasaku has approached me with the upcoming events and what is required to increase your control over the Kyuubi no Kitsune. You shall count on the Tiger Clan to aid you in your endeavors against Madara Uchiha and the rest of the dreadful organization."

"Thank you Shirotora, for sure I shall count on your strength to get by this…and the toads as well."

The tiger nodded as Fukasaku urged him and Jiraiya to follow him for a nice meal before beginning it all. One look at the menu for the day, however, and Naruto's and Jiraiya's stomachs both protested loudly.

===In Konoha===

Back in Konoha, Tsunade had called upon an urgent meeting with the clan leaders as well as her advisors in order to assemble the village's gear, supplies and discuss battle formations as well as team formations together with the other villages. The village needed to assemble the list of the shinobi and kunoichi who were either main battle or support. The other villages were doing the same and all material would then be assembled by the Raikage and the Hokage, together with Mabui, the Raikage's secretary and Nara Shikaku, the lead strategist of the Allied Shinobi Force.

There was also the matter of separating the chakra sensor shinobi who would also aid the co-leaders, directing intel and pinpointing the enemy's position. This unit would be led by Inoichi Yamanaka from Konoha, Ino's father.

Outside the meeting, the village was in abuzz with workers finishing the repairs from the damage done by Pein. Also, most of the shinobi and kunoichi were inside the village, assembling everything that was needed for this upcoming war. Of course, some were still of the opinion that this was all just a waste of time, considering they were doing all of this for the single reason of protecting the Jinchuuriki, however orders were orders in the end. Itsuko, in her full Jonin clothes, was gathered with her original teammates Izumo and Kotetsu. She was already getting fed up with the obvious murmurs.

"The nerve of these fools, as if they don't know what is truly at stake here…who are they to talk about Naruto like this, huh!" Itsuko was making a fist in anger and was about to charge in to teach them a lesson.

"Whoa, easy there Itsuko…you will only make things more difficult right now…" Kotetsu said as he and Izumo quickly grabbed her arms.

"He is right. Take it easy, okay!" Itsuko quieted down and released herself from her teammate's hold.

"I know that, damn it…it's just hard okay…to listen to what they are saying about him." The last part was expressed with sadness in her tone as both of her teammates nodded along, understanding it completely.

"I know…it hurts us too. Naruto is our teammate as well, Itsuko. But going there will only make it worse." The former ANBU nodded sadly.

Meanwhile, Ino was chatting with Choji and Shikamaru a short distance away from Itsuko's team and she had witnessed Itsuko's outburst. She blinked a few times in wonder as to who this woman was and why she was so protective of Naruto.

"What is it, Ino?" She turned to Choji who was busy eating his chips.

"Do you know her, Choji? Did Naruto say something to you about her?" The Akimichi heir looked at Itsuko with a puzzled face.

"Not really, no. Though, sometimes I hear Naruto and Asuma-sensei chat, something about him dating someone, but they stopped talking once I arrive, so…and Naruto has always said that he couldn't reveal much about her, so I respected his privacy." Ino's gossip radar went on full wire at this. Naruto was always secretive about this, but she knew that he was seeing someone. Could this woman be her friend's girlfriend? The signs were there alright…the way she was stepping up to teach those fools a lesson…just like she wanted to. Choji looked at Ino's face and frowned, knowing about that look.

"Don't…" Ino looked scandalized at being caught, when Choji looked at her seriously.

"What…I was just going to introduce myself, that's all." Choji wasn't buying it, however.

"We are his teammates Ino…he asked us to not pry about it, so let's respect his privacy. After this is all over, I am sure he will introduce us…he must have a reason for hiding her identity." Ino, as per the usual, showed a big enough pout.

"Fine…okay. But, wow, she's quite the figure. And bossy too…I mean she must be the one." Choji was at least happy that Ino would count on her imagination for the meantime.

===At Mount Myoboku===

Once the meal was served, Naruto and Jiraiya slowly followed Fukasaku towards somewhere in Mount Myoboku, while Naruto was glaring daggers at the pervert, despite still feeling the results of their meal.

"You could have told me beforehand…" Jiraiya chuckled despite also feeling the strain. "They served bugs and caterpillars for Kami's sake…it's been a long time since I had stomach problems. I didn't think I would ever get it again."

"What did you expect…ramen? They are still amphibians, Naruto."

Naruto's look however promised him bloody murder, despite him having to know better.

"You still could have given me a warning."

"Enough chit chat back there, you two…I am just glad Ma didn't have to hear you two complaining about her cooking. It would have certainly hurt her feelings. Now, we have arrived." Naruto's stomach stopped hurting a bit as he looked upward to see an enclosed structure of sorts, similar to Konoha's buildings. Once they got inside, Naruto and Jiraiya saw an enormous and quite old red toad with eyes closed and filled with wrinkles all over his body. However, it appeared as if he was sleeping.

"Who is he?" Jiraiya turned to Naruto.

"That's Gamamaru…more commonly known as the Great Toad Sage. He is the one who revealed to me the prophecy about my life choices and then meeting Nagato." Naruto looked at the tall elder toad in awe, wondering about fate and destinies.

"I see, so what's going to happen now?" Jiraiya soon joined hands for the serpent seal, before opening his mouth wide. Naruto was surprised to see a stretch looking toad emerge from the pervert's throat, before appearing before them.

"So Jiraiya, I take it you have decided, then." Jiraiya nodded at the red and black toad, before he turned to Naruto.

"Naruto, this is Gerotora. He is the key to Minato's Fuuinjutsu." The Sharingan user looked at the serious looking toad who crossed his arms, while looking at the Jinchuuriki. "Gerotora, if you please…" The toad in question, however, didn't respond to Jiraiya's request, at least not before taking a serious and long look at the Jinchuuriki. This being the first time the two had met, so it's not surprising that the toad had its utmost reservations about going forward with what the perverted Sannin was intending.

"Are you sure about this, Jiraiya?" The pervert frowned as the toad continued. "The key that corresponds to Naruto's Eight Trigram Seal is transcribed on my belly! As we speak, the seal is getting weaker and weaker. The key remains in order to re-seal it when it becomes necessary! To place such a key next to the safe is unheard of, Jiraiya." The toad then turned to Naruto. "I personally believe it's much too soon to do this. I can somewhat attest to his capacity, but the fox is a massive will of anger and hatred…the mere thought of loosening the seal could already spell trouble."

"Considering the circumstances, Gerotora, we all believe it to be a necessity, besides Minato always meant for it to be given to Naruto."

Gerotora was still in doubt, however, when Naruto next spoke.

"I understand your concern, Gerotora and I share it as well." Gerotora nodded. "However, the fact remains that the enemy has eight tailed beasts at their disposal and won't hesitate to use their combined might if it means winning the war. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the Allied Nations' only possible asset against such an awesome force is for me to get full control over the Kyuubi no Kitsune's chakra." It was strange in a way. The term 'asset' has been used by others to mention him and his status as Jinchuuriki. Now, he's the one referring to himself as such.

"Hmmm, still as much as you are somewhat confident in all of this…however, you don't simply expect to take only the fox's chakra and assimilate into your own. Its will is heavily linked to its chakra, so you can't take one without the other."

"I acknowledge that, Gerotora. In all of the times I had used the fox's chakra, I could feel my insides burning at the accumulated rage. And I happen to know that the fox enjoys seeing my suffering when I use it." Naruto had spoken that in hope that he would receive feedback from the creature paying rent, but once again, only silence responded.

"Well, as much as I still think it's too soon, the others are vouching for this to happen. So, let's get on with it, then." Gerotora's body then expanded into what looked like a scroll, before the scroll unrolled to reveal the complex Fuuinjutsu formula. "I hereby present to you the formula key left by the Yondaime Hokage that locks and unlocks the sealing jutsu on your stomach! With this you can let the Nine-Tails run free, if that's what you want. You only need to press on the square area in the middle with your hand using your chakra." Activating the Sharingan and surprising Gerotora, Naruto tried understanding the mechanics behind the seal in front of him.

He was never the academic type to study Fuuinjutsu in detail, but he was by no means a novice in the subject.

Closing his eyes for a while, then, Naruto's right hand fingers became alive with blue chakra as he approached the formula and placed the glowing fingers at the square area in the sealing formula. He observed as the scroll closed, before Gerotora went back into regular shape.

"Right, the only part that remains is the storage. Now, you have to open your mouth."

Naruto only lifted an eyebrow in question and Jiraiya chuckled at the scene he was about to witness.

"What do you mean, open my mouth?" Gerotora though only insisted, with an aggravated tone.

"I don't think I need to explain it further, open wide like this…ahhhhh!" A small sweatdrop formed on his forehead as Naruto looked at Jiraiya to see him smiling. As soon as Naruto opened his mouth as wide as he could, though, the Jinchuuriki became quite surprised to feel the small toad attempt to climb inside his throat. He was gagging and tears easily came out of his eyes at the grotesque feeling of having to swallow a toad…a slimy toad. For a toad summoner, this was just a walk in the park, but the first time it was indeed a tough pill to swallow, no pun intended.

Much to Jiraiya's amusement and Naruto's pain, the perverted Sannin decided to be of assistance and pushed Gerotora further, before the storage became complete.

Naruto was still gagging on the ground, as he once more looked at the pervert with bloody murder for yet again forgetting to inform him beforehand. The pain in his throat subsided somewhat as he wiped the drool from his mouth and tears in his eyes, before eyeing Jiraiya and Fukasaku side by side, waiting for him. The Elder Toad behind them was still fast asleep.

"Okay, now what's the next part?" Jiraiya didn't respond to it right away and Fukasaku also had a stern facial expression. The answer, however, was quite obvious. "I get it…now comes the hard part."

"Indeed, everything up to this point was just to provide you with the means necessary…it's up to you, in the end, to go through with it, Naruto. We had set up a special room for your endeavor, of course. This happens to be a sacred place for the toads. Please follow us…" Naruto nodded as he didn't believe that they would allow him to do it in the presence of their most revered elder toad. If the fox somehow escaped, Gamamaru would have been the first victim. This so-called room was actually adjacent to the shrine they were in before, with the difference that the walls were filled with seals of all kinds, seals similar to design in his stomach no doubt.

He didn't need the Sharingan to spot the similarities in design.

Once they stepped inside the room, Naruto could see that the sealing formula formed a special circle in the middle. The reason for it all was quite simple, in the end…

"I am guessing that if things go south, then the fox shall be locked in here and the Akatsuki won't get their hands on him." Jiraiya smirked and Fukasaku cleared his throat.

"A precaution indeed Naruto-boy, but I trust you understand it. Like I said, we have full trust in Minato's Fuuinjutsu, but like Gerotora explained, the fox's will shall follow along with its chakra." Naruto understood of course.

"Of course, let's get this over with then…the sooner I finish, the sooner I join the others in this war."

The Sharingan user took a seat in the middle of the circle, followed by the perverted Jiraiya who took a seat in front of him.

"You didn't think I would leave you alone in this, did you? Huh, plus, the sealing formula in this room is linked with my chakra.

I have to be the one to activate the sealing technique in case the fox takes over."

"Understood…I guess I shall meet up with the fox now. Whatever happens after I close my eyes, who knows…"

Jiraiya smirked at that, before he saw Naruto's onyx eyes close.

===Inside the Seal===

It didn't take long for Naruto to appear in front of the cage, before the majestic sight of the almighty Kyuubi no Kitsune appeared, albeit lying down appearing to be fast asleep.

Naruto waited patiently for the fox to begin a conversation, however when it barely registered his presence, the Sharingan user decided that enough was enough.

"You seem awfully quiet for someone who mostly wishes to share a talk or two every now and then." The fox's giant eye slowly opened as the image of his jailer appeared. The eye went back to closing, however.

"It doesn't seem like you came here with the intent to talk, Naruto…"

"Ever since we found out about Madara and his so-called Moon Eye Plan, you've been strangely quiet…for a good portion of two days, I barely felt like I was a Jinchuuriki at all, you know with the exception that Jinchuuriki is how people normally refer me as." Kyuubi snorted at that, the typical bigotry behavior of human beings. Still, if the brat thought he would attempt such commentary to get him to open up, he needed to do better than that. "You know that I had read the tablet left the Sage of the Six Paths. It all but confirmed what Madara said about the Infinite Tsukuyomi."

"Hmmm, also the control the Sharingan has over us tailed beasts…it is what you came here for, isn't it. You said before that you would never attempt anything in that regard, but perhaps I was wrong. Now, you come here with the key provided by that bastard Yondaime Hokage in order to finish the job of taking my chakra by force. You mention Uchiha Madara…as if he is the villain in all of this, but here you are doing the exact same thing he did to me. Abusing my chakra as if you have the right to do so, because of those eyes." Naruto had already lost count on how many times he had to explain himself about this situation.

"I have already told you that I would never force anything, fox…"

"Sure and yet you came here with the key needed to open the seal that's imprisoning me, only to use the Sharingan to control me." Naruto rubbed his forehead, knowing this talk wasn't taking them anywhere.

"Look, like I said before, all I wished for was that you could be free to do whatever it is that you wished to do. However, Akatsuki has amassed the other tailed beasts and they are targeting the hidden villages. Two-tails worth of your chakra isn't enough against eight tailed beasts and certainly won't be enough against Uchiha Madara." Kyuubi snorted at the notion. He had heard plenty of the conversation his jailor had with the so-called Uchiha Madara. It was laughable to assume that any human being could have such a life span and still be considered a threat.

"I see, so enlighten me, my little jailor, what is it that you request of me? Show me just how different you are from Uchiha Madara." Naruto took a breath at that, wondering what possible answer he could give right now.

"With the key I now possess, I can now release this gate that traps you inside. I can't promise much else in terms of freedom of movement, but at least the feeling of the outside is easier to supply without the seal tampering it."

The fox wondered about that.

"Oh and you aren't afraid that releasing the seal would allow me to possess your body as easily as breathing…you would be my puppet to control? Or you would use the Sharingan to subjugate me?"

"Listen, Kyuubi, this war is bigger than everything we can possibly think of. Losing this to Akatsuki means that both of us shall cease to exist. I am not particularly fond of that idea and I truly wish for all of this to be over as quickly as possible. After that, who knows, perhaps we can see about a way for you to truly be outside. The other Jinchuuriki learned how to, we can do the same as partners." To that, the fox began to chuckle…it began so quiet that Naruto didn't hear it…but then, it grew louder and louder, before it started echoing all throughout the corridors.

"Hahhahaha, oh dear, that's so precious…so entertaining…you consider us partners…hahahahahaha. This is perhaps the first time I had ever laughed uncontrollably." That only infuriated Naruto.

"Hey, what's with the mockery huh…I am serious here." The fox kept on smiling as he looked down to see the kid in his indignant expression.

"I wonder about that. Hmmm, interesting. I can see that you truly think like this. Which is all the more interesting…hmmm…" He eyed the Jinchuuriki with crossed arms.

"I am going to open the gate and if you truly wish to take over my body, I shall defend myself without using the Sharingan as a control tool against you." Kyuubi lifted his body off the water and stood, before taking a comfortable seat.

"There is no need in that regard, my jailor. You shall open the gate and I won't offer any resistance. However, you know what comes along with it." Naruto nodded, before a smile surged on his face. Hovering until he came face to face with the seal in the middle of the cage. Quickly removing the giant sealing, the sealing formula known as the key appeared in his right palm and then along his arm. All it remained was for him to twist the seal in his stomach to open the cage. However, before he could do so, the fox had one last word to speak to him. "I have one more stipulation for you, going forward, Naruto…from here on out, you shall address me by my real name…" Naruto looked quite surprised at that as he stopped in the middle of the seal release.

"Your real name? Huh, sure what is it? You can also stop calling me your jailor or your Jinchuuriki…" Kyuubi nodded with a smile.

"Of course…Kurama…that's my true name."

"It's a pleasure to finally meet you then…Kurama." The fox smiled as he saw Naruto twisting the seal and the gate opening, before the fox stood majestically towering over Naruto.

As soon as the gate opened, Naruto felt the immense chakra flowing his way unhindered. The fox merely observed, as his chakra as well as his will charged straight at Naruto, who took it all in with but a snarl. The fox had faith that his jailor would assimilate its chakra in no time. With his Sharingan, Naruto was no stranger to the feeling of malevolence…to the feeling of anger…hatred. Uchiha Sasuke and Uchiha Itachi had provided his jailor with enough experience that he could fly by this experience, with minimal efforts.

It has taken little over five minutes for the tails to subside behind Naruto, until Naruto's body has begun to glow golden. Looking at his hands with the Sharingan, Naruto could feel the amount of power that now surged in his coils.

"Huh, now, I take it you should know…" Naruto then looked at the fox towering over him. "that we aren't alone here…"

The look of complete surprise appeared in the blond's face as two shadows appeared in front of him.

Author Note

Ok, that's it for now.

I apologize if the stone tablet contents part was a bit messy, it's just that neither the manga nor the anime went into further detail about the contents, apart from two mere lines and it isn't clear which part it's only accessible to the Rinnegan. Madara did read it all with only the Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan. He went into hiding after his battle with Hashirama and only activated the Rinnegan decades later, so it isn't clear if he went back to the village to read the rest of the stone tablet contents.

Next chapter shall be one hell of a conversation that's long overdue.

Please give me your insights about this chapter.

Lastly, I have recently created a P-atreon account for those who wish to follow my stories more personally, sending suggestions.

Also for those who wish to make a pledge there, it will be highly appreciated.

P-atreon: Anime-Enthusiast

Next update: Nidaime no Sairin