Chapter 18: Plans, Past and More Plans.

Dracula let out a long string of colourful curses that would have put Hidan to shame, as he struggled to keep Hades' blade from doing more damage than it already had. The long bleeding gash on his left arm, where Bloodshed had hit him because he hadn't been able to block it with his sword, was apparently the latest addition of the blood it had drawn this night. So there he stood, his blue blade against Hades' red one, protecting the blond ninja behind him. Gathering his strength, Dracula pushed Hades backwards. Hades, however, soon regained his footing and took a stance, sword levelled with Dracula's heart.

"Hello Dracula-sensei. Mind explaining what you're doing here?"

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Naruto frowned in confusion. 'Dracula-sensei? What the hell is…?'

His chains of thoughts were broken and he gasped when an excruciating pain threatened to split his skull. Then, memories from two years started emerging. And suddenly, Naruto remembered meeting Dracula. Well, he remembered Dracula holding him, and glimpses from what Naruto called his private sewer. Or better known as the place where he talked with the beast sealed inside of him. Looking wildly from Hades, meaning looking around Dracula's form, and to Dracula, he decided to be silent for now..

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Dracula was about to answer Hades, when a gasp behind him drew his attention. Venturing one quick glance at Naruto, he just caught sight of what only could be described as hate in the young man's eyes. Reading Naruto's mind in less than a fraction of a second, Dracula more or less mentally groaned.

'Just great. Now I have to deal with Hades and a kid who hosts the Kyuubi. I guess I can't blame Kyuubi for breaking the seal though. Knowing him right, he hoped to use his host's emotional turmoil to get loose. Sorry Kyuubi, but the memory seal also worked as an extra safety measure to keep you sealed. Now, you just have to break Minato-kun's seal. But back to more serious matters.'

Frowning at Hades, Dracula spoke. "Hades: I could ask you the same thing."

Dracula tensed slightly as Hades twirled Bloodshed a little. "What does it look like I'm doing? I'm finishing off one who challenged me to a fight. He even said I should be welcome to use my Jigokugan when he said I should feel free to use my strongest jutsu. I took him on his offer. Now, back off… Dracula-sensei."

Dracula couldn't believe his ears. Someone had asked Hades to use his strongest jutsu? You had to be incredible powerful to say such a thing. That, or plain out insane or stupid. Especially if you didn't know about it before you engaged Hades in battle. Then again, he had heard the rumours of Naruto being a knucklehead, and it had also been his first impression of the boy when he met him two years ago. Now he found he had to revaluate that.

'Not a knucklehead. Complete and utter idiot with a death wish more like it.'

Dracula sighed. "Hades: You can't kill this boy. He still has a role to play, and an important one at that. It would ruin our plans if he was to face an early demise. Speaking of plans…"

Dracula narrowed his eyes dangerously. "When were you planning to tell me you already knew about Vader? Or his little connection to Orochimaru?"

Hades chuckled, ignoring Naruto who had gasped in shock. "So you had a little chat with him then? Good. I was wondering when you would catch on. As for when I would tell you: When I wanted. Not much point in doing so now, is there? Now, if you will excuse me, I have training and business to attend to."

Before Dracula or Naruto could utter one word of protest, Hades vanished in a burst of green flames. Cursing in his own, and very old tongue, Dracula made his sword disappear.

"Boy: I don't know what kind of gods you pissed on to be endowed with that brains of yours, but some one must really like you, considering how lucky you are. Not many have lived to tell the tale after pissing off Hades."

Naruto, understanding the barely veiled insult but ignoring it, stared at Dracula's back. He felt trembles of fear run through his body from the massive amount of power and cruelty he sensed within Dracula. Finally, he found his tongue as his anger and disbelief vanquished his fear.

"Lucky? Lucky? You call this lucky? He crushed us like bugs! He almost killed…"

Dracula cut him off. "Exactly my point, boy! The three of you are still alive, are you not?"

He sighed when he saw Naruto's gobsmacked expression, reigning in his growing anger and blood thirst.

"Naruto-kun: Do you really believe that the three of you would be alive if Hades wanted you dead? Hades missed the girls' vital parts on purpose. Although I'm not sure of his reason, I can always guess: He only wanted to show his face to you. And the girls were in the way. They aren't dead, just unconscious. In other words: They haven't heard a word of what was said or done right after Hades took them out."

Naruto stared at Dracula, completely flabbergasted. He spoke, just as Dracula turned to face him.

"In that case, I will just have to train to become stronger so that I can bring Kakashi-sensei home so that he can explain why he kicked our asses. And he better have a damn good one for doing what he did."

Dracula stared at the boy, kneeling before him. The only reasons Dracula didn't outright kill Naruto on the spot was because he needed him for his plan and he had to make Naruto understand not going after Hades again; even if it meant beating him to the brink of death. He growled, hoping to get through that thick skull of Naruto's.

"I know what you're thinking boy. And I say: Give it up. Hades might have been lenient this time around, don't count on him being so again. Nor will I come to your aid. Also: You won't surpass Hades. He is genius you see once in a millennium."

Naruto glared as he gritted his teeth, slowly regaining his composure. "Yeah, I know Kakashi-sensei is a genius and I'm a dropout. I'm sick and tired of people thinking some are better than others because they are geniuses! With hard work, a dropout will surpass a genius!"

Dracula stared at Naruto. 'This boy: He is determined, I will give him that. That, or too thick-headed for his own good.'

"With hard work, a dropout might surpass a genius. But hard work won't be enough to surpass, let alone defeat, a god. And that is what Hades is. Or at least what he will become after he and I fight for the last time. He is a direct descendant of my nephew, Lycan Vampire. One, who was feared on the same level as me during his short life. Hades is the last link in the Vampire clan who have been able to unlock his dormant Death powers. And ever will be, since the Vampire clan's kekkei genkai, or in your tongue, Bloodline Limit, has thinned dramatically since Lycan's time.

He paused when he saw Naruto looking at him with a baffled facial expression. Dracula mentally groaned as he lowered his voice.

"You just need to understand this: Kakashi Hatake is dead, and he isn't coming back. Nor will Kakashi's heirs inherit the Vampire clan's powers."

Still baffled, Naruto spoke up. "Dormant Death powers? What the hell are you talking about?"

"Kakashi Hatake became Hades Vampire when I unlocked his dormant powers. When I did, I was in for a big surprise. He had recently tapped a little into those latent powers, using them to bring himself back to life in his human form and later to enhance some of his jutsu's destructive and protective power. The quality of his Death chakra was unlike anything I had ever felt before. It was so high it made my entire fortress tremble."

Dracula sighed.

"If I had know from the beginning what I was dealing with, I would have thought it over more than once. But when I found him, lying there on the shore in front of my gates, I couldn't believe my luck. I had been hunting him for a while to punish him for a crime he had committed years ago, and there he was, lying right on my doorstep. When I found him, it took some time to realize it was true. But as I felt his latent powers, it all made sense. I realized I had felt his powers when I had been looking for him while I had a young girl as my ward. And I finally understood while my curse hadn't been able to take him out and why he could hide from me for so long. One with the Vampire clan's powers wouldn't be affected by my curse. So I took him into the deepest chambers of my castle and unlocked those dormant powers of his. Goodbye."

Naruto, not really caring about what Dracula had just told, managed to call out before Dracula teleported away.

"Wait! What do you mean I still have an important role to play and it would ruin your plans if I died?"

Dracula turned around, the hint of a smirk gracing his features. "Well, about that…"

But he was cut off rather abruptly by a sound. A sound he had heard many times before, mostly on the battlefield. His gaze shifted upwards and he burned an arrow to ashes by merely looking at it. Naruto watched in fascination, and slight, horror as a creature tall as man jumped out from one of the trees, aiming at Dracula with a longbow, arrow ready to be fired. It was only thanks to his Sharingan Naruto saw two red knives appear from Dracula's sleeves, one in each hand, before he had thrown them at the charging monster. Naruto successfully bit back a shout of astonishment when he saw one of the knives was in line with the arrow before imbedding itself in the creature's yellow right eye. But he couldn't hold back a gasp of surprise when the second knife hit another attacker in the throat. Especially considering the second one had been in their blind spot behind the first one. They hit the ground as Dracula drew another knife from his right sleeve, moved his hand over his head and threw, just as another attacked with an iron helmet, shield and sword stormed out of the trees.

Naruto eyes widened when the Sharingan saw the knife spin around its own axis before hitting the armoured creature right between the eyes, piercing the iron like nothing. The attacker's head snapped backwards from the sheer force, causing him, or rather that, to fall on its back. Naruto stared at the three dead opponents to Dracula with awe. The two first ones should have been impossible kill like that since they both were moving and one was in their blind spot.

He looked back at the three creatures and spoke, disgust in his voice. "What the hell are those?"

Glancing through the trees and sensing more enemies approaching, Dracula answered, his blue sword, about same attributes and length as Hades'.

"They are Uruk-hai, creations of the Necromancer Mordred. I will tell you this: If you ever encounter a Necromancer, run. Your Sage jutsu won't help you against them."

Again, Naruto was completely lost, eyes shifting from their surroundings to Dracula's lethal looking sword to Dracula.

"And what the heck is a Necromancer?"

Growling, Dracula blocked several arrows. "A long time ago, the Necromancers were my elite forces. A lot like the Hidden Villages ANBU. To make a long and boring history short, they betrayed me and became a brotherhood that was researching the secrets of my clan and other forbidden jutsu. They were believed to be destroyed almost four centuries ago but I know for certain two are still roaming the lands and have joined Akatsuki. Naruto-kun: Return to the village with the girls. I will take care of things here. Go!"

To emphasize the urgency that Naruto needed to get out of there, he created two Shadow Clones that each hurried to the girls sides, quickly mending a little of the damage Hades had done, before scooping them up in their arms and taking off in the direction of the Hidden Leaf.

Naruto looked at Dracula, before giving a curt nod and took off too. He glanced over his shoulder, just in time to see Dracula beheading three Uruks. Looking forward, his face contorted with determination.

'Kakashi-sensei: I will become strong enough and drag you home, if it's the last thing I do. Believe it!'

Dracula chuckled as more Uruk-hai came. "Well Ghostwind: Seems you will have cutting to do."

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Shizune watched in growing despair at Tsunade, just lying on the sofa in the Hatake Mansion's living room. The other inhabitant and gone to bed long ago. Not so strange, considering it was 3 in the morning. She sighed.

"Tsunade-sama, I know you probably can't hear me, but if you can, I'm going to bed now. Goodnight."

With that she walked up to the room she had been sleeping in for the past weeks. When he was sure she and all of the others were out of the way and sound asleep, he stepped out of the shadows and walked soundlessly to Tsunade's side. He chuckled.

"I'm gone for some time and immediately the village go to the dogs. This isn't the time to be sleeping, Old Lady Tsunade. Time to wake up."

With that, Hades placed two fingertips on Tsunade's forehead, before gently transferring a small amount of his chakra into her. He couldn't risk giving her a too great dose as it probably would kill her. When he saw her wrinkles starting to disappear, he vanished without a sound in green flames. The sudden and sharp light caused Tsunade to stir before slowly opening her eyes.

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Danzou was sitting in the Hokage office, back to the window reading some reports, and he was in a good mood. His troops had managed to sneak into the Hatake Shrine's two first rooms before the wolves had stopped them. Although the mission wasn't completely successful, it wasn't an utter failure either. Also, he had finally managed to find get rid off Tsunade and the Uchihas in one go. He smiled in spite of himself. Soon he would have the Sharingans of Itachi, Sasuke and Obito. Simply put: He would frame the Uchihas for murder. Victim: Tsunade. Of course he would have to use the Sharingan in his right eye, but it was his impression that Sasuke was easily manipulated. Reaching for a glass of red wine. However, just as his left hand reached it, he felt cold steel against his throat. The metal against his throat was followed by low, menacing whisper.

"Don't move… Hokage."

End chapter 18