KG: Less than a week away from the greatest holiday of the year (for me)! And in the spirit of giving, I give you this. Go. Enjoy!
Music of the Week: We Have Returned by Brian Tyler.
Quote: "Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines," by Leroy Satchel Paige.
Naruto ran through the endless wasteland. Every step he crashed into the earth left a deep crater before he jumped out and kept running. His aura burned, but he continued. He could feel his mother's power continuing to rise along with a massive amount of chakra gathering at that location. Currently, the blond cursed. He really wished he'd saved those charges of his teleportation technique. All of this running just pissed him off more.
A god. A true god stood in front of him, having turned the elemental nations into his own kingdom in less than twenty-four hours. Never had the blond seen such destruction. Never had he seen such a world devoid of anything resembling life. With a scowl on his face, he looked down at the seal on his hand covered in fresh blood stains from his attempts at summoning the Shinigami. Unfortunately, they were all failed attempts. The God of Death had not answered his plea and that made him all the more worried.
"Come on, Shin! I really need your help! Why won't you show up?!" Naruto questioned, his worries starting to pile on top of each other. The blond quickly infused his eyes with honshou. He locked his gaze with one of the spirits in the air and ordered them to fly as fast as they could to the location where Kushina was. He ordered it to report back all that it could.
The spirit obeyed without question. It flew off into the distance while Naruto landed on the ground. His chest burned and his legs groaned. He slowly got back and before he winced in agony. He looked at his arms, helplessly swinging in the air. Even if he got to the battlefield, what could he do with broken arms? What was even the situation happening over there?
Slowly inhaling, Naruto steadied himself. He quickly took into account everything that'd happened. Guren and Komachi were dead, their spirits trapped by one of those black spires. Even with the power of the spirits and the Kyuubi together, Jashin had all but mocked his blow before he touched the Kyuubi Jhinchuuriki's chest. Just that had propelled him all the way to Sunagakure. Never had Naruto felt such a power as that. Even standing in the presence of the Kyuubi seemed to pale in comparison. So how did his mother gain so much power that she'd contend like that?
Heh. What a stupid question.
"What am I talking about? Kaa-chan's always been strong. I wonder which one of us really deserves to be Shin's summoner," he thought before he clenched his fists. Naruto then quickly closed his eyes for a moment. He opened them and looked up at the red sky.
"Ha?! You, the Hokage? An idiot, a failure like you? Hahahahaha a dropout as our Hokage! Hey guys, listen to what the class clown said! If anyone's gonna become our Hokage, it's probably Sasuke!"
"Someone like you doesn't deserve the honor of Hokage! A good-for-nothing orphan who can't even pass the Academy exam?! How about you quit leaving your head in the clouds and come back down to earth?!"
"Do you think Hokage is something you obtain simply by wishing for it? Think about all the people throughout history who have been selected to become Hokage. They obtained it because it was their destiny. And, your destiny is to lose to me. That is your fate!"
"You know Naruto, sometimes I think the title of Hokage is too small to contain someone like you."
"I think, it's only when a person has something they want to protect that they become genuinely strong."
Naruto wiped the rain of blood off his face. "What the hell am I even doing? Kaa-chan, I might be your son, but I'm also the man who will be your husband. If I hide behind you, then I never deserved to have you at my side," the blond said before he smirked.
Though his body was still racked with pain, he persisted through it. Naruto jumped out of the hole and slowly exhaled. Darkness inside him or not, Naruto didn't have the luxury of caring. Indeed, he was scared of what happened if he lost himself. The damage he'd done to his own, the pain he'd inflicted on his own family, the thought that there were beings out there even stronger than any conceived by those in the Elemental Nations horrified him. Yet, if they were that powerful, then they had the strength to help him hopefully contend with someone of Jashin's level.
Unfortunately, he had no choice of whether should he or shouldn't. He had to. By the power of the Shinigami, he'd slowly begun to rebuild the ashes of his family. A boy who had nothing, wishing he had the same life others did. Now, by the grace of the Shinigami, he'd actually gotten a chance to have that. Now was he going to risk losing it because he was scared? Was he going to lose it because he'd run away from the thought of channeling that strength?
Naruto exhaled slowly. His eyes burning with white fire, he jumped out of the crater and landed on a piece of land not drowned in the blood of millions. He stared off into the horizon. His mother's aura grew stronger, but so did the power of Jashin. "Wish I could fix my arms though. Won't do much swinging without them," he said, a frown on his face as he looked at his floppy arms.
"And out of the stage of Death that surrounds our King, who else but his loyal follower shall provide him the means to release his grand will upon this world?"
The Kyuubi Jinchuuriki's ears quickly picked up on a familiar voice, and it wasn't one that he enjoyed a whole lot… if even at all. Naruto turned around and saw the Regent standing on a lone rock a few feet from the crater he'd created. When did this guy get here?
The Regent grinned behind his mask when he saw the fury of his king's power in response to his presence. Of course, he wondered how threatening the Uzumaki patriarch could be with such worthless arms. Of course, even a toothless lion still had claws. The Regent slowly held up his hands. "My King, I am not here to fight. In fact, I wish that you'd show your servant more honor and praise, for I am here to help you!" he said, elegantly bowing his head like a butler to his master.
Naruto's glare hardened in suspicion. "I don't have the time to deal with you. In case you haven't noticed, the world's gone to hell. If you know what's good for you, you'll get lost!" Naruto growled before he heard the Regent chuckle.
"You worry for my life brings me great joy. However, I shall be the necessary evil to your glory. My Lord, you do realize that in your state you will die fighting the power of the false god!" The Regent said while Naruto raised an eyebrow. This guy was aware he was calling a true god a false one? Maybe he was more insane than Naruto gave him credit for.
"And how do you know that? I've survived a lot of things that most wouldn't," Naruto said with a confident grin. Unfortunately, the Regent matched that smirk with a chuckle. He then pointed to Naruto's arms.
"My King, shall you truly place your faith in mortal techniques to heal your broken arms handed to you by the hands of a god? Even the proficiency of your Hokage and all of her medic staff shall not be enough to repair such damage. Of the many things that you are, my Lord, you aren't selfish. The forces of this world gather toward the summit that will either be recorded throughout this world's history or become an empty void in the realms to come. Many will die, more than you have ever seen in your life. That is inevitable, not even you can save everyone. And yet, is that not the beauty of humanity? To continue struggling against the fate of the gods who toy with their very lives? In a single day, you have seen your normal life descend into the bowels of the abyss. No doubt the same way that many people see their lives crumble to ashes by the hand of many shinobi and its vagrant system. What shall you do then?" The Regent asked.
Naruto stared at the man before he felt the ground tremble in the distance. He briefly glanced back to his mother's battle. Thunderous shockwaves bounced through the air, their distant booms getting stronger. He looked back at the Regent. He then looked at his arms. Something indeed seemed to be stopping his relatively quick healing factor. Granted, he'd gotten lots of broken bones over the years of his shinobi career, a lot of them couldn't simply be fixed in less than a day. "And let me guess, you have the solution to my problem?" he asked.
The Regent grinned. "Indeed, I do, My Lord. However, the tragedy of life is the nature of its give-and-take creatures. You would no doubt question my integrity were I to just give you the solution," the man said and Naruto snorted, already knowing that this was the truth.
Naruto leaned up and sucked his teeth. "And what do you want from me? You can think again if you want me to revive your friends. That's not gonna happen!" he replied adamantly before the Regent laughed.
"Hahahaha, surely you jest, My Lord. Why would I desecrate their sacrifice for such a noble goal as allowing you to fulfill your divine purpose? I have no wishes such as that. All I ask is that you make use of this blade when you battle," The Regent said, unstrapping the sword from around his waist and holding it up for Naruto to see.
The Kyuubi Jinchuuriki raised an eyebrow. This guy's desire was for him to use a sword? What was the point of that? This actually started to sound more and more suspicious the longer the blond stood before this masked bastard. "Oh yeah? And what does it do? Is it gonna suck my soul away the longer I wield it? Is it cursed or something?" he asked. He would have folded his arms if he could.
"Cursed? Most definitely not. However, it is a royal disposition, one fitting to be used by my King, My Lord, the one true god. That is what I request," he said.
Naruto didn't know why, but he felt something odd about that blade. Something not quite like chakra. It was purer, more refined, and more powerful. Yet, his natural Uzumaki senses also made him wary of the sword. Still, he didn't have time to keep second-guessing all of this. The chakra gathering in the distance was getting stronger.
"Why are you helping me? What do you get out of this?"
"And would you believe my answer if I told you?" The Regent asked.
After a moment, The Regent's demeanor changed. He looked up at the stormy, turbulent skies. "I wish to see something worth dying for in the name of my King. Grant me a stage where I might fulfill my purpose," he replied.
Despite the mask on the man's face, Naruto heard a bit of a solemn tone behind it. He looked at the sword and then looked back at the battlefield. "I'm gonna regret this. I just know it," he thought to himself before he slowly nodded.
"Fine, I'll use the sword. Now, tell me how you plan to fix my arms," the blond replied.
"Give me your word. If there's one thing Uzumaki Naruto does, he never goes back on his word," The Regent answered back almost immediately. Naruto, feeling a bit annoyed and pressured for time, inhaled and exhaled slowly.
"You have my word I will use the sword! Now, tell me because I run off anyway," the Summoner of the Shinigami groaned out before life came back to the Regent's body.
He then clapped his hands. "It's not a difficult matter to heal your arms. Since your associate has been temporarily disabled, then we shall make use of another. I believe the two of you have some history?" The Regent asked before Naruto saw the space warp around the area of the Regent. A small, familiar black hole appeared, and out came… Obito, Pain, Zetsu, and Kisame.
Naruto then watched five other bodies of Pain come out, lining up next to him. He stared at the four Akatsuki members, and the five extra bodies surrounding them. His frown deepened. "Goddammit."
Kushina scowled as she swung and swung. Tsunade, Mei, and Ay watched in shock as shocking blows crashed through the air. She and Jashin clashed with their weapons before Kushina leaned in Jashin to her body. She rolled her fist back and slammed it into his face. His head whipped to the side in surprise before a smile appeared on his face. Kushina quickly saw it, but before she could warn the others a foot was planted in her chest. A rough cough expelled from her throat.
"Kushina!" Tsunade shouted as she watched the Uzumaki matriarch crash into the ground, splitting the earth in two. Ay and Mei widened their eyes before the three Kage noticed Jashin staring at them.
"I feel insulted that you mortals have time to worry about her. You ought to worry about what I shall design for you," the God of Slaughter said as he wiped his cheek.
Tsunade felt her fists trembling. She'd never felt a presence like this before and suddenly Kushina's words started to make sense. The Godaime Hokage had been through many battles and suffered numerous defeats, a lot of them where she felt like she could have lost her life and reunited with Dan. However, this was one situation where she felt like they were actually going to die. They were actually going to meet their own ruin.
Suddenly, the Raikage screamed as his body burst with lightning chakra. His hair straightened as the ground cracked under his feet. Mei and Tsunade stared at him in shock as Ay gritted his teeth. "I don't care whether you're a god or not! I'm not gonna die here like a dog!" He shouted.
The Sandaime Raikage sucked in his legs and blasted into the air. Jashin raised an eyebrow in surprise as the men sped past him faster than a bolt of lightning. It was actually quite impressive for a single mortal. Jashin watched the clouds thunder as Ay came down, a trail of lightning following him as if he were guiding the heavens themselves to their target.
"Raigyaku Suihei Choppu (Lightning Oppression Horizontal Chop)!" Ay shouted at the top of his lungs as he slammed his hand into the neck of Jashin. Bursts and spouts of lightning struck the ground and the air as Mei and Tsunade covered their eyes from the harshness of the bright light. Once its brilliance faded, they gazed back at the scene and they stood stunned.
Ay widened his eyes as Jashin stared at him with an almost bored look on his face. He then grabbed the Raikage's hand, holding him in place above the ground. Ay pulled at his hand, but the horrifying strength of the Slaughter God soon came upon him. Even with his strength, he couldn't budge his hand from the neck of his opponent.
"Impossible!" he said to himself until he screamed in pain when Jashin clenched the Raikage's hand with enough force to break his fingers.
"You remind me of my brother, mortal. However, you have yet to fully tap into the true power of lightning. Had you met my brother, he'd be embarrassed to have someone like you under his realm," Jashin said before he threw the Raikage away.
Ay slammed into the ground while Tsunade quickly surveyed the damage. Her skills as a medic quickly took over as she coated her hands in green chakra. "He withstood the Raikage's attack like that and even blew away Kushina. I don't think we have the time to rest like this," Mei said as she glared back at Jashin, but she stilled when she saw that he was gone.
"Mizukage!" Tsunade suddenly screamed as Mei slowly turned around to see Jashin standing over her, his spear prepared to impale her right through her chest. However, before the God of Slaughter could follow through with the blow, a massive pillar of light exploded in the distance. Instantly Kushina appeared between Mei and Jashin. She swung her sword up and parried the spear.
"If you're not gonna fight, then get lost! You're in the way!" Kushina exclaimed as she buried her fist in Jashin's gut. Her sword was then coated in fire and wind chakra, producing a furious firestorm that Mei could feel searing her back. Kushina then swung her blade and drowned the Slaughter God in a sea of flames while the inferno pushed into the air like a searing tower of sun.
The redhead didn't even wait for the flames to subside. She jumped into them and unleashed a flurry of blows, one after the other on the god. Dancing in the flames, they traded left and right. Jashin laughed as Kushina gritted her teeth, her fists being encased in the white-hot flames as she blasted Jashin's face left and then right. Her lightened form glowed bright while she grabbed her sword and slashed it into Jashin's chest. With a fast swing, an arc of fire pushed him out of the flames and through the air far away from the three Kage.
Once the flames dispersed, Kushina panted as she slowly tried to heal herself for what seemed like the eightieth time since this fight began.
"Thank you, Kushina," Mei said while Kushina's legs wobbled.
"Thank me later when we're alive," she replied while Tsunade slowly inhaled and exhaled.
"From that blow from the Raikage, I think we can guess that none of us are gonna be hurting that guy. However, it should be possible for us to support Kushina while the rest of our forces catch up with us. Once that happens we'll be able to…"
"No," Kushina said as the three Kage looked at her.
"If you bring more people here, then I fear it's only gonna make him more powerful. He's a damn slaughter god. Bring people here and he'll probably grow even stronger than this!" Kushina said while Mei sighed.
"Then what would you have us do? You can't hold him off forever. Despite this… transformation of yours, you look pale. You're also breathing hard!" Mei said, growing more concerned.
Meanwhile, Kushina chuckled and tried to move. The spirits in her body were starting to run rampant. It was taking a lot to keep them all from overwhelming her, but that too was failing. It was true. At some point, she'd lose control of the spirits and she'd lose control of her technique. She actually felt like she was being split apart, but she had to hold it together. She knew what was at stake if she didn't.
"Is it possible to seal him away?" Ay asked as Mei scoffed.
"How do you seal away a god?" Mei asked.
"I don't think we'll have much of a choice other than to try," Tsunade said next as the Raikage clenched his fists, them having been healed by the Godaime Hokage. She then formed some handsigns and the diamond seal on her head came undone allowing her to make use of the Strength of a Hundred technique.
The Raikage's body also exploded in lightning chakra as he stood up, his fingers healed quickly.
"Mizukage-sama, we have joined up with the Konoha and Kumo forces. Sensors indicate that Iwagakure and Sunagakure are headed this way as we speak. We approximate the former's approach in half an hour and the latter's in one or two. Though there is much animosity between the people, a lot are willing to look past it for right now in favor of just making it out alive from Jiraiya-sama's words. Our respective Jonin Commanders have split us into varying factions. You will all have support soon enough!" a voice said within the heads of all four on the battlefield.
"Ao?" Mei asked.
From where he stood, the one-eyed man nodded, answering her back. Behind him, people were scrambling and moving materials between themselves. The assistants to the Kage were also scrambling, each of them barking orders to their respective loyal shinobi while a sensor corp comprised of those stubbornly, yet willing, to work together was formed.
"All of you get your shit together! We have work to do!" Risa shouted at the top of her lungs.
Meanwhile, Kushina glared back as she felt the presence of Jashin stir. Tsunade, Mei, and Ay quickly felt it as well. Each of them getting ready for combat. "It's quite sad it took the end of the world to bring us together," Mei said, a bit of a smile on her face.
"And you shall all die together as well. Of course, if you entertain me enough I might be willing to keep a few of you as pets. Ruling my realm does tend to get boring after all. It would be nice to have something to make sure I don't grow too comfortable," Jashin said as he appeared over their heads again.
Kushina rolled her shoulders and tightened her grip on her sword. "I'll do what I can, but you three better start working together. Don't worry about hitting me. Whatever you can come up with, then do it," Kushina said as she applied Honshou to her legs. She then blasted herself toward the God of Slaughter. Jashin rolled his swear around his neck and clashed with Kushina's sword once again.
"How long do you think you can have them? You've been fighting at your limit for this long. I can sense that you're slowing down. You can't have more than an hour of time left. After that, there'll be no one left to stop me. I think you've only amounted to this much. Not bad, but not quite what I'm looking for," Jashin said while Kushina grinned.
"Anyone ever tell you, you talk too much?" she asked before a mountain of molten lava erupted underneath them both and overwhelmed Jashin. Kushina then ducked her head as Tsunade grabbed the Raikage by the arm and threw him as hard as she could. With great speed, the Raikage blasted Jashin out of the lava and through the sky.
"Get his ass, Red Death!" Ay exclaimed as Kushina landed on the ground and sped off. She quickly appeared beneath the slaughter god. Five spirits exploded out of her body. With her, they vigorously slashed together. Their blades passed through Jashin's physical frame, frantically attacking his spirit over and over. Meanwhile, Kushina attacked his physical form, each swipe of her blade changing the landscape around them. With one final swing, Kushina punched her blade through Jashin's stomach. For the first time, the god showed a modicum of discomfort as the ground beneath her feet turned red.
Vanishing in a burst of speed, an outburst of lava pushed out of the ground and consumed Jashin once again.
Kushina landed far off and called her sword to her. She was thankful that her legs were sucked up to her knees in water. The hot handle of her blade would have seared her skin otherwise. She quickly decided to press her advantage. Merging her spirit with one from a world known for its speed, she pushed in her legs and shoved them out, gliding through the air until she appeared before Jashin again. However, before she could strike another blow at him, her head whipped to the side when a fast blow from him. Thinking quickly, she used that momentum and crashed her foot into the side of his face. That barely gave her the chance of not getting skewered by the spear which had been aimed at her head. Instead, its sharp tip barely scraped the edge of her cheek. Even that scrape burned her illuminated skin until the two clashed again. "I see. It's not a bad strategy, but I think you're overestimating yourself a little too much. Do you really think you're enough to hold me?" Jashin asked before Kushina stiffened. Instantly, the God of Slaughter was gone.
Immediately, she sensed him near the three Kage. Scowling, she sped off. Moving as fast as she could, she appeared behind Jashin and the man appeared behind Mei once again. Gritting her teeth, she swung her sword down while Jashin grinned. It was too late. His face filled with glee, his spear pierced through Mei's stomach. However, that glee didn't last long before Mei vanished in a field of smoke. His eyes narrowed while Kushina quickly noticed the smoke turn into a very thick mist. Slamming her hands together, ten chains of honshou expelled from her back.
Jashin quickly found himself bound by the chains as the air above their heads shook with the voice of thunder and the tears of lightning. Tsunade roared as she swung Ay faster and faster with her great strength. The circulation of lighting through the stormy skies brought down further and strong blades of the crashing sky. Ay then grabbed Tsunade's arm, coating them both in lightning chakra as they charged at Jashin. Like a mega-charged bullet of lightning, they soared through the open sky while Mei stood from afar. She furiously sped through handsigns and inhaled.
"Raisuiryūdan: Byakūgo no Ryūten'nō (Lightning Water Dragon Bullet: Strength of a Hundred Dragon Emperors)!" Mei, Tsunade, and Ay shouted at the top of their lungs, the roar of a great and mighty dragon descending down upon the god. He watched the clouds themselves illuminate with bright, large blue seals.
"...Not bad," Jashin thought to himself, knowing that this had to be something from Kushina. The others wouldn't have had nearly enough power to try and make such a reckless technique work. From the seals came at least twenty water dragons. Each of their heads opened their mouths and oceans of water sprawled over the ground, drowning Tsunade and Ay thus creating an upper torrential sea storm. The tidal wave and the two Kage crashed into Jashin while Kushina held onto him, increasing her defense with as much divine energy as she could muster.
Tsunade and Ay barreled their fists into Jashin's face as the ocean of lightning-infused water crashed down on top of them all. The force of the collaborated technique was so large that those shinobi racing toward the scene were forced to dodge away from the torrential flooding. Some quickly cast earth techniques, raising high platforms for everyone to stand on.
Yet, when they looked out, two pillars, one of water and one of lightning, flew themselves into the sky and parted the blood-red clouds. From where she stood, Mei was vigorously weaving through handsigns. She then slammed her palms on the ground.
"Suiton: Nami no Kanmuri (Water Release: Crown of Waves)!"
"Raiton: Dairaiki (Lightning Release: Grand Lightning Tree)!"
The pillars of water and lightning sprawled out together, mixing with each other without issue. Mei then brought both techniques down, lighting up the skies of the battlefield. As they came down, an explosion came out of the waters below. Kushina flew into the air and held up her sword. Both the water and the lightning in the sky caught her blade and she swirled them around her head.
The oceans below exploded. Tsunade and Ay groaned as they were blown away effortlessly. The former crashed far off into the ground, her body skipping painfully across the sharp stones and ruined earth. Meanwhile, the latter was buried deep into the face of a hill. Jashin looked up as he saw Kushina's blade, keeping a furiously spinning maelstrom of water and lightning circulating around her blade, held together by her slowly diminishing power. Clenching her teeth, she swung it down upon him.
With an amused grin on his face, Jashin swung his spear, and the two collided. Tsunade, Ay, and Mei covered their eyes when harsh, turbulent winds blew over their bodies. Their pressure was so great that the three Kage had to channel chakra into their feet lest they be blown off, swirling through the air without a prayer to save them.
"Come on, Kushina! We're all counting on you!" Tsunade thought, one of her eyes cracked open to see the result of the battle.
Kushina snarled, struggling to fully release the weight of all the Kages' efforts put into her sword onto her opponent. "Seeing you trying so hard to resist, while amusing, is also quite tiresome. Shall I teach you again, the terror of my power? The power of your new ruler?" Jashin asked, making Kushina watch when he raised a finger and pointed it toward the three Kage. Her eyes widened.
"MOVE!" she shouted through the air while Jashin's face morphed into a cruel smirk.
Hearing Kushina's voice, the rest felt the ground tremble beneath their feet. "Shit!" Ay said before his body flared up with the lightning armor. With his speed, he pushed Tsunade and Mei away before another black totem pierced through where they were standing. Luckily, Ay found his footing and blasted off as the spire tore through the earth, rising high into the sky. Its towering spears quickly started to branch off after them.
Ay fled in one direction, while Tsunade and Mei fled in the other. Kushina glared at Jashin, but he looked back at her. "Don't mistake yourself. You can't contain me. I'm here to contain you!" Jashin exclaimed as he parried Kushina's sword, flinging the massive maelstrom to the side. It fell into the ground, slashing through whatever remained of the Lands of Oto. The slash released a wave of lightning and water flying and tearing through the ground, splitting even a mountain in two. Were anyone to see it, they would have borne witness to a technique of chakra and Honshou continuing to rip through the ground for miles. The land split itself in two, and any buildings caught in its path were torn to pieces, not even their wood remaining between the network of slashes hidden deep within the piercing strength. Its end only came when it crashed into the sea, blowing up the tides and flooding the coasts.
When Kushina landed, she quickly dashed off to protect the others. Jashin watched her go for a moment before he instantly appeared in front of her. The redhead halted to a stop. "Don't fret for them. Even with you there to help them, it won't change your fate," he said. Kushina frowned before she threw a punch at him, but Jashin caught the blow. The ground around them ruptured, a hotbed of steam hissing out from below. While the God of Slaughter looked at her, Kushina's vision suddenly got hazy. She then saw the white glow surrounding her arm slowly begin to fade away, a far cry from the brilliance it was hours before.
Kushina then coughed violently, placing her other hand over her mouth. Her legs wobbled, and holding up her other hand, she saw it splattered with her blood. Then, came the headaches and the violent voices. She clenched her head while the spirits within her started to rampage, each of them attempting to wrestle control of her body not just from her, but from the others.
"It seems your power is fading. It's no surprise. You're just a mortal woman after all. You may die knowing that you provided me with a bit of fun before you watch your world turn to ruin," Jashin said before he clenched Kushina's fist. The redhead screamed in pain when she felt the bones in her fingers snap into pieces. Jashin then pulled his spear back. Kushina tried to pull herself away from him, even while the spirits raged inside her body, but his godly strength was too much for her.
With his spear primed overhead head, Kushina closed her eyes and exhaled. "You all serve me, not the other way around!" Kushina screamed within her mind as the spirits quickly stopped quarreling when ten of them were burned of their entire essence, rejuvenating not only her body but healing her of every wound she'd recovered from the hours of fighting. The reserves of her Honshou were also immediately replenished, burning through the very souls of those who dared defy her with ruthless efficiency. Unless by the will of Kami herself, these were five souls that would never know of being revived ever again.
Jashin thrust his spear forward, but Kushina instantly moved to the side and grabbed it. The God of Slaughter raised an eyebrow before the redhead's power instantly exploded. She rolled her leg back and kicked him in the chin. His head whipped up in surprise until he was sent flying, courtesy of Kushina's blow. His head then flew to the side. In front of him, Kushina roared as she swung her fists back and forth, fusing her soul with three spirits: one for strength, another for endurance, and the last one for speed. Her blasts were a flurry, rolling through the sky until she clenched her hands together and over her head. She slammed one big blow into Jashin's back. He flew through the sky and blasted deep into the ground. Kushina panted while she landed on the ground.
Kushina then grabbed her sword and dashed off, hoping she wasn't too late to help everyone else.
"Kushina! Can you hear me? KUSHINA!"
Through the veil of noises in her mind, Kushina was able to quiet them down and pick one out that seemed to be calling her. She quickly realized it was Risa. "R-Risa?" she asked.
"Looks like you've gotten yourself in some shit, cousin! I'm currently using several of the Yamanaka to communicate with you. Just one wasn't enough. Whatever you're doing it's taking a lot of chakra to connect to your mind. Anyway, can you try and hold that bastard off for like ten minutes? Whatever you can works! We'll be there soon!"
"What?! Don't you dare co…"
Before Kushina could speak, the connection was cut. Her mouth seethed before she felt Jashin's great power begin to overwhelm the air once again. She grabbed her sword. "Sochi…" Kushina thought until she inhaled deeply, wincing at her sore ribs. She then forced herself to stand up.
Tsunade and Mei jumped off the side of a large ledge. Entering the grounds below, they glanced behind themselves to see two of the spears from the spire continuing to tail them. "Dammit, are they gonna follow us until we tire ourselves out?" The Godaime Hokage questioned to herself as they landed on the ground and dashed off.
"These things are persistent. If only I could meet men like this," Mei laughed, trying to make light of the situation despite how concerned she was. Fortunately for her, Tsunade shared a brief laugh even though her lungs burned.
"Then let's give them something to look at," Tsunade said as she formed a handsign. Mei quickly followed her. The two immediately created five shadow clones of themselves. The Mizukage then created a thick mist from her mouth to cover them all. Nodding to each other, they quickly split off while the clones went their own way. The spears entered the mist.
Meanwhile, Tsunade and Mei landed far off, huffing as they stared at the cloud of mist from afar. "Do you think we're really facing a god? I've not seen such a mess since… any point in my life," Mei said before she and the Hokage heard the explosions going off where the true battlefield was.
"I can't believe Kushina's been fighting someone like that for so long. He pushed all three of us back even with her help. I don't remember believing in the gods but… I wouldn't mind a prayer for help right now," Tsunade said before she and the Mizukage stiffened. They turned around and saw the spears appear behind them. How did they even track them here?! None of the clones had been popped!
"Dammit! Fuck this! I'll just punch the damn thing with all I've got!" Tsunade said as she began channeling her chakra into her fist. Mei quickly slammed her hands together before the two felt the backs of their necks pulled. Widening their eyes, they were tossed back as a large mane of white hair. Tsunade and Mei backflipped through the air as hands were slammed on the ground.
"No man nor monster may lay a hand on beautiful women when the gallant knight, Jiraiya, makes his stand. Kuchiyose no Jutsu: Gōju Rashōmon (Summoning Technique: Five-Layer Rashomon)!" Jiraiya shouted as the two toads on his shoulders slapped their hands together.
Tsunade and Mei watched as five massive doors with the giant faces of demons on them appeared out of the ground. The tips of the spears effortlessly broke through the first, the second, the third, and the fourth until they were finally slowed to a stop at the fifth. However, Jiraiya felt a bead of sweat fall down the side of his face when even the fifth door showed signs of cracking. What kind of crazy fucking power were they dealing with here?
When Jiraiya was sure that they all weren't going to get impaled, he breathed easy and turned around, "Missed me, princess?" he asked with a smile while Tsunade grumbled.
"Like a hangover," Tsunade before she noticed the two toads on his shoulder. She acknowledged them both while Fukasaku spoke, staring at the sky.
"We heard the story from Jiraiya-boy. You seem to have gotten yourself in a whole heap of trouble," the male toad said while Mei walked amongst the group.
"That puts it lightly. We still don't know the situation regarding the Raikage. It was because of him that we even escaped. Speaking of which…" Mei stopped speaking as she, Jiraiya, and Tsunade jumped out of the way of the blow of Jashin. Just the force of his thrust terraformed the earth as a large wedge drove between the two Sannin and the Mizukage.
"What's even going on over there?" Shima asked, staring at the battlefield that was miles from where they were standing. Tsunade, Mei, and Jiraiya narrowed their eyes.
The latter of the three turned to his Hokage. "Tsunade, it'd be best for the both of you to rally the troops. Everyone's in position. I don't know how powerful Kushina's become, but we need to get her out of the crossfire. Once we've alerted that guy to our presence, there's no going back for any of us. I will go and help the Raikage. The both of you should get your chakra resorted. I think we'll all have to be at our very best for this," he advised while Mei chuckled.
"I see tales of Jiraiya, the Sage, were not exaggerated," she said, a smile on her face.
Naturally, the Toad Sage couldn't resist a small blush on his face at the praise. Meanwhile, Tsunade scowled, sucking her teeth. "If you two are done flirting, we have a god to stop!" She said as Mei waved at the Toad Sage. The two Kage then ran off while Jiraiya watched them go.
"Strange, Tsunade-chan has never been so angry toward your tendencies before. You're becoming quite the lucky man, Jiraiya-chan," Shima said with a bit of a smile on her toad's face. To be honest, Jiraiya might have scoffed at the idea. As if Tsunade would be jealous of his actions. Sure, she'd been a little weird as of late, but he just assumed that was just from the pressures of her job.
"Don't make a fool outta me, Ma," he replied before he quickly vanished in a burst of speed.
Kushina and Jashin clashed with sword and spear once more before they landed far from each other. The former's eyes burned with white fire while the Slaughter God continued grinning at her. She looked up and saw clouds starting to gather. After a moment, she then looked back at Jashin. "What do you think has befallen your allies? You continue to stand alone and though you can replenish your strength, the fatigue on your spirit is evident. No matter how many spirits you burn away to revive your might, your might will fall eventually. Mortals were not meant to fight forever, especially at this intensity, but allow me to show you… a step further," Jashin said.
The instant he said that Kushina widened her eyes before her head was blown to the right. "W-What?" she thought to herself when a load of pain greater than any she'd felt before landed on her via a blow from Jashin's fist. She then doubled over when his fist struck her stomach. Resisting the pain as best she could, Kushina just barely dodged having her head blown off via Jashin's spear. She swung her sword, but before she could even realize it, he was gone.
Kushina then screamed in pain when her leg was pierced by the black spire torn from the tower before. She turned her head and saw her enemy behind her. When did he…
Kushina swung her sword, but he was already gone. Another scream came when the spear pierced her arm. "He's too fast. I…" Kushina staggered in pain, a gob of blood pushed out of her mouth and onto the ground. The spear punctured her stomach, forcing her to her knees. She looked up and saw Jashin standing in front of her.
"Something this simple is beyond you? I believe I've told you, you might have this beyond mortal power, but your body has not been tested and molded in divinity as mine has. You stand no chance of overthrowing me," he said while Kushina coughed. She slowly grabbed the spear and held onto it as tight as she could. The ground around her was then pierced through by her divinely-constructed chains. Two of them wrapped around Jashin's arms and five more captured his legs. Six others grabbed a hold of his neck.
"Maybe I don't, but I doubt anyone will pray to you any longer once they learn you had trouble taking down a mortal," Kushina said as she grinned, a trail of blood running down the side of her busted lip.
Jashin stared at her with great confusion before the ground immediately started rumbling. This seemed strange. He hadn't exerted so much power to cause a trembling like this. That said, he could tell that this wasn't caused by his playmate either. A bolt of lightning struck the ground next to them and Jashin stared up at the sky. His eyes narrowed when he saw a mixture of white and black bolts roll through the red clouds.
"Hmph, how simple," Jashin said as he tried to free himself by breaking through Kushina's chains. However, his eyes widened when he found the chains much harder to break than he thought. In fact, he could feel himself oddly getting weaker. It wasn't by a considerable amount, but he felt the minuscule amounts of his strength being drained away. Were he to stay like this, in the next ten millennia he might actually feel something akin to exhaustion. Still, he found himself intrigued.
Immediately, five loud roars pushed through the clouds. On a far-off mountaintop, Darui glared down at Jashin. His hand was covered in a large bolt of black lightning. He held it up to the side. The God of Slaughter frowned before he saw an entire ocean's spread of water come upon him and Kushina. He tried to move his arms, but Kushina continued siphoning his divine strength, grinning tiredly at him.
In the far distance, Jashin saw a combination of Konoha, Kiri, and Kumo shinobi standing together. At least fifty of them spewed copious amounts of water out of their mouths while Darui exhaled slowly.
"Raiton: Shinrai-jō (Lightning Release: Divine Castle of Thunder)!" Darui yelled as he threw his hand downward. Jashin watched the incoming tidal wave of water as the skies roared. The God of Slaughter turned back to the Uzumaki matriarch before the two drowned beneath the colliding waves. The clouds then parted as a rain of black and white balls of pure lightning crashed into the sea. Each of them boomed, a combined force enough to bring down an entire country. The lightning sailed through the water, hoping to fry anything that might be living within it.
"Unleash the next assault!" Darui commanded.
Far off, Ino, Inoichi, and the other hundreds of other sensor-type shinobi sat together. "We hear you. Those with Earth-style. Attack!" Inoichi exclaimed as the chakra-intensive message was broadcast for over ten miles to everyone who could hear.
A hundred shinobi slammed their hands on the ground. "Doton: Chijin no Kōrin (Earth Release: Descent of the Earth God)!" they shouted as they poured their chakra into the very heart of the earth itself.
Immediately, the earth around the area where Kushina and Jashin had been struck by the ferocious techniques of water and lightning opened up. The thoroughly and dangerously charged field of water was poured into the earth, its sharp spikes and blades like the teeth of a mighty beast. The earth then quickly closed its mouth, shifting the rivers of blood this way and that.
"Next, fire and wind users!" Darui commanded.
"Don't you dare command us, Kumo filth! We know our role!" someone shouted through the telepathic connection as Fuka, Kurenai, Anko, and several other shinobi through Konoha, Kumo, and Kiri that were proficient in fire techniques stood together. Those proficient in wind techniques stood next to them.
"Hang on, Kushina! I won't lose my family a second time!" Fuka thought to herself.
"Katon: Jigoku Shōbō Kunren no Jutsu (Fire Release: Hell Fire Drilling Technique)!"
"Futon: Kaze Shinden no Sōken (Wind Release: Foundation of the Wind Temple)!"
A bright hue of flames mixed together with the turbulent blasts of wind. The techniques mixed together, channeling themselves into an open groove of the earth crafted by those of the Inuzuka clan and their ninken. The burning trail of flames flew down through the canals of the open ground. Like a burning serpent, it scorched the body of the stones on its way down until it finally met its target. The chamber where the two had fallen was quickly overcome with flames so hot that even the stones began to melt. The lightning and the fire bashed ferociously against each other, breaking and tearing in such unorthodox ways that one could go blind just from staring upon them for too long.
Outside, the ground erupted when a tower of fire with streaks of white and black lightning broke into the firmament of the air. The very top of its body spread out like the limbs of a broken tree. The Elemental Nations were illuminated by its brilliance.
Risa and Fuka covered their eyes from the harsh glow from one side of the battlefield. Tayuya, Hinata, Neji, Tenten, Lee, and the other members of the Hyuuga Clan did the same from the other. "Holy shit! If that doesn't fry the fucker, I don't know what will!" the former Sound kunoichi said.
"But wasn't Kushina-san in the middle of all of that? How is she going to survive?" Hinata asked, clearly worried for Naruto's mother. As blood clans, they'd become basically family. Hinata couldn't imagine if they lost someone like her.
"Don't worry your pretty little head. Kushina's tough! She won't go down from just that!" Tayuya said as she picked up her flute, the others around her ready to make their next move.
Meanwhile, Darui wiped the sweat from his face. Just standing where he was, the heat was almost unbearable. However, something like this had to be necessary. The sensor types had been adamant about the battle. This guy could even overthrow three of the five Kage. Such an existence had to be dealt with decisively. He just hoped that Uzumaki Kushina managed to escape the explosions. He really didn't want to tell Shi that she'd potentially died in the crossfire.
"Sensor team, status on target?" he asked through the collective minds connected by the entire Yamanaka clan.
Far off into the distance, Uzumaki Risa, along with Ao and several other sensor-type shinobi, sat together. They were all protected by at least three squadrons of shinobi from the three nations. At the center of them was Risa, having chakra pouring into her thus making her natural abilities as an Uzumaki more potent. "No visual just yet," Risa alerted, a scowl appearing on her face. Worry soon began to spread through her for her cousin. Even Shi was sitting with the other sensors, clearly worried as well.
"Come on, Kushina. Where are you?" Risa thought to herself. She and the others were trying as hard as they could to sense anything unusual, but nothing seemed to be coming. It was greatly frustrating. The battle over there seemed beyond the realm of ninjutsu.
Darui exhaled slowly and continued to stare out into the raging inferno. "Once you've locked onto his position, then we'll continue the assault. Until then…" the right hand to the Raikage suddenly stopped his orders. He quickly pushed chakra to his feet, allowing him to stick to the top of the hill. He immediately braced for impact as a body came crashing from one end of the hill and into the other before he could even register it.
The hill immediately began falling to pieces. Darui jumped off, watching the one who'd been blown through where he'd been standing crashing into the ground. Their body left a blazing trail of embers and Darui quickly moved to investigate. However, as he left, the ground immediately began to crack and tremble. What seemed like red steam began to protrude from its depths.
On the other end, Darui landed near the source of the crater that had been created. He cautiously approached as the smoke cleared. His eyes widened and he felt his body shaking uncontrollably. There seemed to be great fear, yet unnatural reverence in his eyes. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't stop this shaking which seemed to pierce deep into his very core.
When he looked inside, he saw a pair of eyes he could only describe as utterly divine staring back at him. When the dust settled, he was stunned when he saw Kushina lean up. Her body was battered with every type of bruise and wound. It looked like she had a broken neck, broken jaw, and at least three broken limbs. It was a wonder how she was even alive at this point. Nevertheless, he got his answer when her body started to radiate with the same power he'd seen Uzumaki Naruto use when he fought against Kirabi. No, maybe it was more precise to say that this was even greater than what he'd produced.
One by one, all of Kushina's injuries were healed. She leaned up and spotted Darui staring at her. With a frown on her face, she grabbed her sword and stood up. "Are you gonna just keep looking at me, or are you gonna tell me what you're doing here?" she asked. Indeed, perhaps a bit ruder than she'd intended, but Kushina wasn't worried too much about etiquette at this point. She also had a rather difficult history with Kumo that she'd not gotten rid of just yet. Of course, Shi had done a lot to mend that.
"Well, if you can continue to hold him, then we'll be able to coordinate our attacks and take him down. Think you can do that?" he asked.
Kushina continued to look at him before she jumped out of the hole. Darui immediately took an unconscious step back. "Fine, but none of you will fully engage. All of you will only slow me down if I have to protect every single one of you. Especially you. You should fall back as well," she said. She then sucked in her legs and blasted off.
Darui watched her go and rubbed the back of his head.
Kushina landed back on the battlefield, her eyes glancing at the red steam that began to populate the ground. Her eyes narrowed before she immediately turned back to see Jashin floating above her. "It seems you have some worms aiding you. Still, I suppose I can indulge you and this little farce a little longer. After all, not all of the characters in this play have arrived just yet. Until then, continue to satisfy me. It'll make you live longer," Jashin said.
Kushina's frown deepened. She then pulled up her sword and got into her stance. Jashin watched as she removed ten souls from her body. She then filled them with her Hoshou and each of them fashioned weapons for themselves. Each of them quickly charged at Jashin. He quickly readied his spear. The God of Slaughter quickly parried one and slew the other, absorbing its essence into his spear before his body staggered from the fierce blow Kushina delivered to him. Holding him over her body, she drove him straight into the ground head first.
The other spirits quickly followed her lead, assaulting Jashin with all manner of thrusts and stabs. Each strike tore through the ground like a boom of thunder. Kushina gritted her teeth and swung her leg, burying it into Jashin's stomach. However, the Slaughter God absorbed the kick and quickly killed another spirit by piercing through it. He then swiped Kushina's leg with his spear. The pain was maddening, but Kushina quickly followed with another blow, sending his face into the bloodied dirt.
She grabbed her sword and raised it over her head, but the strike she'd been planning was blocked by Jashin's hand. He grinned at herm, but she ignored it. Her senses heightened, her eyes turned downwards, watching as a myriad of other black spires exploded out of the ground between her and Jashin. Acting swiftly, she jumped away, each spire deadset on breaking her body to pieces. Nevertheless, they were unable to catch her. Her speed was too great. When one had come close, she blocked its coming strike and used it to propel herself over it. Sliding back on the ground, it was only thanks to the other spirits and her sense of divine danger that she could duck her head from the spear that would have blown through her otherwise.
With her chest burning, Kushina swung her left leg and knocked Jashin off balance. The other spirits swarmed him, but the god's strength wasn't to be underestimated. Kushina was momentarily stunned and frustrated when three spirits stabbed their weapons into Jashin's body. However, he'd used that to grab a hold of two of them, not even so much as acknowledging the blows that they'd given him.
He stared at them, promising pain upon their worlds once he was done with this one. Then their souls were lost as well. Four more remained and Kushina's pants deepened. She staggered back when Jashin buried his fist in her gut. She barely managed to block the thrust of his spear.
For what seemed like the thirtieth time, Kushina burned through another spirit's entire soul, replenishing her body and power. However, that did nothing to her mental fatigue. She still felt tired and the pain seemed to be exploding all at once within the realm of her mind. Plus, she had to keep doing this while dodging all of the ninjutsu being thrown their way. She couldn't count the number of times the earth was terraformed or lightning and fire struck the ground around them, all while Jashin seemed to just barely be getting out of her reach.
By the time Kushina would swing at him, Jashin had already landed two blows on her. Her vision blurred more than once, and she was sure she'd lost consciousness at one point as well. Whenever she blocked one blow, Jashin was assaulting another four parts of her. She didn't even know where her other spirits went. Had they been destroyed? She didn't remember.
The last time Kushina saw anything it was Jashin's fist bashing into her face. Then came the hard ground. The Uzumaki Matriarch fell and panted heavily, the mental fatigue and the adrenaline beginning to fade away. Dust stuck to her lips and the explosions in her ears seemed so quiet all of a sudden.
Instantly, Jashin appeared over her. "I expected more, but… I suppose this is all you shall amount to. And, shall I let you in on a little secret?" The God of Slaughter asked as he stabbed his spear into the ground. He then knelt before Kushina and placed his hand on her back.
Before the Red Death could even brace for it, every single spirit within her had been gone immediately. The divine power that had flourished inside her was gone, sucked away into the body of the god before her. "Did you truly believe that you commanded such a divine energy that I'd not be able to take control of it? I could have done this whenever I wished. It was simply amusing to see your resistance against me. I shall reserve your soul for a special place. You have barely made it as a worthy trophy," Jashin said, taking his hand away only for Kushina to quickly grab it.
"You didn't take away every piece of it. I burned all of the others," She said as she held up her other hand. A white orb quickly appeared on her palm. One by one, hundreds of spirits gathered around as its form got bigger and bigger. For once, even Jashin widened his eyes as the piercing white light of the ball illuminated the dark skies around the ruined fields of Otogakure.
People miles from the battleground stared in awe. Risa's concentration had quickly broken and so did Tayuya's. Tsunade's eyes immediately widened as did Mei's. "Move. Move. MOVE OUT! Battle squads prepare to engage the enemy!" Mei shouted. Inoichi quickly began transmitting her orders to any mind that was available to listen.
Meanwhile, Kushina closed her eyes and smiled.
"I'm Uzumaki Kushina, dattebane! I… I will become this village's first female Hokage!"
"Tomato! From today onward your name is 'Tomato.' If you're a hated tomato, there's no way that the people of the village will ever acknowledge you!"
"As if an outside can become Hokage!"
"It's very beautiful hair, so I noticed it immediately."
"Kaa-chan, even rubies would be jealous of your hair. I love your red hair."
"Kaa-chan, marry me!"
"R-Rasengan: Kami Haken (Spiralling Sphere: Divine Supremacy)!" Kushina shouted as slammed the sphere into Jashin's chest. Numerous seals spanning the historical records of the Uzumaki clan scattered over the orb and across Jashin's body. The redhead roared as she pushed further and further until her arm gave out. A thousand beams of light flew through the air when Kushina clenched her hand. The cloth on her arm was blown off and the bones in her arm were torn to pieces.
The ground under their feet immediately split in two. Steam pockets rumbled into the air and the force of the blow took Jashin off of his feet. Stunned into silence, the God of Slaughter felt every piece of divine energy pierce into his skin. Stones and land, trees and rivers of blood levitated into the air. Lightning tore through the skies and struck the ground. The clouds parted and Jashin swore that he saw his younger brother, the Shinigami, standing behind Kushina. He placed his hand on top of hers. Kushina screamed so hard, she thought her lungs might puncture. Her red hair turned from white to sparkling silver. It was then that Jashin saw it. The God of Slaughter who he'd been around since before man had been crafted by the hand of Kami saw the future which might remain if this woman stayed alive.
He had to kill her.
Chains sprouted out of Kushina's back and grabbed a hold of Jashin's body, preventing his escape from her technique. The earth tore apart from the east to the west. A white robe made of Honshou surrounded the redhead's body as gathering spirits submitted to her, submitted to their queen. One by one, they humbly laid down their lives, their chance at hell or heaven to abide by her commands. They offered up themselves, strengthening her technique until even those approaching the battlefield couldn't approach.
"Kushina…" Risa thought to herself as she covered her eyes and so did many other shinobi. Even Tsunade, Mei, Jiraiya, Sasuke, Mikoto, Kakashi, Yura, Yura, Yugao, and anyone else couldn't keep their eyes open when they saw such a grand display.
With one last shout, Kushina propelled Jashin away with the rasengan. The sphere sent him flying into the air and threw the clouds. Were anyone to see its explosion, if they dared open their eyes, they would have been blinded by its brilliance. The shiny silvery glow of the jutsu shined over her portion of the land and the earth shook like the end of days. Thousands of spirits still present laid their heads on the ground, bowing and showing reverence to the queen, their queen, their king's equal. In time, she and no other would rule over them at his side. For she had proven her worth.
The Queen, The Light, The Joy, The Love of He Who Summons Death, Uzumaki Kushina.
Tsunade and Mei landed on the battlefield with their forces. Even now, the land was rich with divine energy making them all still fearful for their lives. However, the two Kage wondered if they were hallucinating because they saw ten spirits, holding Kushina's unconscious body. They carried her over to them and laid her down in front of them. The spirits bowed once more and faded away.
"Kushina!" Risa shouted as she pushed her way through the groups of people standing around. Tayuya quickly broke from the others as well and both saw the Uzumaki matriarch. The latter stilled, anger beginning to burn within her.
"I-Is she…" she dared not even finish that question.
Coming to herself, Tsunade immediately took off Kushina's shirt and began diagnosis. "She… she's alive, but barely. She's got deep lacerations, fractures, blood loss, and a punctured heart. To be honest, I'm not sure how she's alive right now. At this point, I think it's only the grace of God," Tsunade said as Mei walked over to her.
"Can you save her?" Mei asked.
Tsunade didn't respond. Instead, she continued working. Never had she seen injuries this complex. Just what had Kushina endured to get a body like this?
"Well, she at least put the bastard down right?" Tayuya asked before Tsunade started calling for other medical personnel. Mei had no idea how to answer Tayuya's question but started commanding other shinobi to secure the area. Soon, the field was covered by forces from Kumo, Kiri, and Konoha.
In the meantime, Risa turned back to those Konoha forces under her command. "I expect you to update me when there's been any change," Risa said, not expecting a response. She then tasked a few members of the Hyuuga clan to start looking over the spires. Hopefully, they could bring them down and maybe right the wrongs of this night. However, the cousin of Kushina wasn't sure why she still felt this sense of great dread.
Suddenly, a burst of lightning came upon the ground and everyone bore witness to Darui, the Raikage, and Jiraiya standing in front of them. "It seems you survived, Raikage-dono," Mei said while Ay rolled his shoulders.
"Those things were fast, but I was faster. Anyway, what happened here?" he asked.
"Kushina!" Jiraiya suddenly gasped. He knelt down next to Tsunade, but she quickly turned him away as she and the other medic nin continued to work. Sweat was already pouring down the side of her face.
"Move Jiraiya. You're distracting me," Tsunade said urgently. Medic nin were already trying to gently urge Jiraiya away while the Godaime Hokage worked. There was so much going on with Kushina that Tsunade had no idea where to begin. She only decided to start with her heart from the sword wound that had been inflicted upon it. Tsunade didn't know by what god's grace Kushina was still breathing, but perhaps she needed to start praying to them as well.
Mei, Ay, and Tsunade turned to see a Kirigakure shinobi quickly heading over to her. He bowed. "The spires are acting strange, Mizukage-sama! They appear to be…" the informant never got to finish.
In fact, the Kiri shinobi didn't need to. The ground immediately started shaking once again. Ferocious winds began to circulate around the multitudes of shinobi stationed throughout the land.
"Hinata, look out!" Tenten shouted as she pushed the former Hyuuga heiress out of the way. Hinata backed away when another black spire pierced through the air. Others weren't so lucky. Screams of terror and horror came upon the masses as handfuls of men and women were struck and overtaken by the black fluids that stained the body of the manifesting powers.
One man screamed as others watched his body turn into a lifeless husk. A woman cried for help as the spire continued to absorb her being. At least five people tried to pull her out, but soon they too were taken as well.
Hinata widened her eyes, shivering when she started to see the continued rain of blood upon all of them. "Hinata-sama, get out of there!" Neji shouted as platforms of earth-style techniques were brought up to cover those from the falling rain. As each platform was struck, a nauseating hiss of steam ate through the rock.
"Why is this happening?! What's even going on here?!" Tsunade asked, she and several medic nin covering themselves with an earth dome. It protected them from the rain as the winds continued to circulate viciously.
The answer to her question came in the form of laughter. As soon as it began, the rain stopped. Yet, the laughter didn't. Its cruel supremacy seemed to penetrate into the very ears of every shinobi that had come together against this threat. "Hahahahahaha, I shall remember you, Uzumaki Kushina. Of the mortals who have stood before me, I shall indeed remember your resistance. I commend you and i shall honor your will by granting you a glimpse of my power. You and these mortals you so wish to protect!"
Before anyone realized it, the stone structures that had been the shinobi forces' protective covering from the rain dissolved immediately. This granted all an uninterrupted view of the outside. Tsunade, Mei, and Ay widened their eyes. Darui dropped his sword and his mouth.
"Holy… shit," Tayuya murmured, her flute falling out of her hands. Even Risa felt her legs go weak, staring upon what she thought was utterly impossible.
"Hehe… hehehhee… hahahaha… are you fucking serious?" someone asked, tears in his eyes. His very body had effectively succumbed to despair. He took a kunai and jabbed it into his throat, killing him instantly. At this point, death was preferable to what he saw. His body slumped to the ground next to someone else who continued staring up.
Ino fell to her knees next to her father, Chouji, Shikamaru, and their fathers. "W-What… what even… is this?" she questioned.
For everyone who'd been there, they'd never forget this night. For a lot of them, they wondered if they'd ever be whole again, the stuff of nightmares and the divine coming into their minds. The clouds and the firmament in the air, the waters in the ocean, the stones which made up the lands of the earth, and the flames which danced from the destruction flew up into the sky. One by one, they collected and compiled upon each other. The face of Jashin formed in the sky. His face was like a maelstrom of wind, and his hair was bright like fire. Every environment of the Elemental Nations attached itself to his divine body. His eyes blazed with the same power that had been coursing through Kushina's body.
The shinobi forces watched as stars fell from the heavens. The space beyond their earth glowed with the majestic might of a divine, yet evil god. "Mortals, as I am a gracious god, unleashing fury upon my enemies and blessings upon my followers, I offer you one choice. Kneel before me. Pledge the allegiance of your souls to Jashin, the God of Slaughter. Your greatest champion has felled before me and her fate you too shall share should you not bend. Lower your heads and speak the praise of Jashin this day!" The God of Slaughter said, his voice sounding like violent thunder.
"D-Dammit! We can't beat this," a woman said while another clenched her family's keepsake, praying to any other god that might be answering them.
Tsunade scowled as did Ay and Mei. Yet, their forms trembled. The former of the three still continued to heal Kushina as best she could. She knew that if she stopped this would be another in the long list of mistakes that she'd had in her life.
"Servitude or death," Darui muttered as everyone continued to look up at the mystic sight before them.
"My patience grows short. I understand that mortals are fans of… counting. Very well, I shall count. Those who do not bow shall die, and those who bow shall be spared! One. Two. Three. Four…"
A hundred people bit their lips, falling to their knees. Each of them from Kiri, Kumo, and Konoha.
"Five. Six. Seven…"
Five hundred total people.
Six hundred. Hinata gasped while Tsunade clenched her fists. Ay gritted his teeth and Mei merely stood dumbfounded.
"Spineless! You shitstains are all fucking cowards!" Tayuya screamed.
The men and women knew that the redhead was right. Some of them sobbed like frightened children. The blood on the ground stained their pants. A few gritted their teeth. Of course, they were cowards. They wanted to live. What person didn't want to fucking live?
Risa bit her lips enough to make them bleed. Her cousin had literally laid down her life trying to protect the world that all of these fuckers should have been protecting. Rather than be inspired by her courage, they spat in her face. The mother of Tayuya would most definitely not forget this!
Jashin's grin lengthened as more than fifteen hundred men and women lowered their knees and bowed their heads. Did you not see, Uzumaki Kushina? Mortals were not meant to defy a god. Their existence was simply to serve and worship. If even you could fall, who else could contend with him?
Suddenly, Jashin stopped counting. Tsunade, Ay, and Mei watched as the space in front of them began to distort itself. A small wormhole swiftly appeared in front of them. "Now what?!" Ay asked until the three Kage's eyes were filled with a black cloak and red clouds.
Obito materialized himself. He spoke not a word to the three Kage and turned his attention back to the God of Slaughter. Eyes narrowed, he activated his Sharingan again. Out of his eye came Pain and the other members of the Akatsuki. After them came the Regent. His grandiose theatre mask granted him a wide view of the masses.
"Akatsuki? Why would they be here?" Mei questioned with great suspicion.
"Remember, we are not your friends. This alliance stands only until this threat has been dealt with!" Obito said with a glare behind his orange mask as he formed the Kamui once again.
Once this Kamui activated, everyone gasped as a vibrant, white light came over the fields. Jashin narrowed his eyes as Naruto stepped out of the Kamui. Yet, his body was unlike any Tsunade, Tayuya, or even Hinata had seen before. Over his face was the Shinigami's mask, horns, teeth, and all. Gone was his spiked, blond hair. Yellow had been replaced with long strands of silver.
Jashin stared at the intruder. His eyes focused on the ground beneath Naruto's feet, being blessed by the divine energy of the Shinigami which poured out of him in droves. In fact, it rode through the crowd like a sea of vast spiritual comfort. His normal Hinoken attire had been replaced by a large, open, white robe.
"Is that… Naruto?" Sakura asked in shock while Shi stood next to her, equally as stunned as the apprentice to the Godaime Hokage.
"Brat!" Tsunade thought with a small smirk on her face before she, Ay, and Mei stiffened when his eyes fell upon them. He only lingered on them for a second and then let his eyes fall down to his mother's battered, broken, and unconscious form. His eyes softened in an instant. Were anyone capable of seeing them, they would have borne witness to the spirits bowing their heads to the ground. Each of them was quiet as the summoner of their god stood before the masses.
Soon after, Naruto's gaze tightened in silent fury. He glared back at Jashin and pointed the sword the Regent had given him toward the sky, toward the heavens, toward the realm of Jashin.
Come down, God of Slaughter. Naruto wasn't done with you.
…And clearly, you weren't done as well.
KG: Whew, finally done. May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Bye.