Prologue: The demon's gift

The world had become silent. So insufferably silent. With the end of the war also came the end of everything else. Nothing had remained. Every country, every village, every person... all swept away by the war; a world drowned in its own blood.

And only one person had persevered, though she was barely alive after the final fight. Akahana Uzumaki; former Jinchuriki of the Kyubi no Yoko, weapon of Konoha... there were many ways to describe her, but none could grasp what she really was and what she really felt. All her life she had served others until they betrayed her in the end. But despite that, she still continued fighting, never backing down until the last of her enemies had fallen.

But the price was high... too high. She was too late to safe anyone. Not even those precious few that knew her true self had survived. Now she was alone, well not entirely alone as the root of all her suffering had escaped its confines. In her weakened state she could do nothing to prevent the Kyubi from escaping the nearly broken seal. Oh the irony. Now she lay there, slowly dieing from her wounds and the demon watched her with what must be a gleeful expression. But she couldn't bring herself to care. Her mind was already clouded by the fever that resulted from her untreated wounds.

"After all those years of incarceration, all those years of watching you grow from a pathetic human to a worthy kit, it all ends here. An unfitting end for one who has endured so much and almost gained her dream." The demon spoke with contempt as he looked at Akahana's wounded form on the ground.

"Shut up, stupid fox. Just let me die in peace after you have taken everything from me..." Akahana mumbled somberly.

The demon let out a dark chuckle as he heard her words. "So this is how you wish to end your existence? In blood and mud, not even close to the ruins of your destroyed home? You disappoint me, kit."

"What do you want from me? You are free, just go!" She replied loudly. "Not long and I will finally have peace..."

"Pathetic. So in the end they managed to do what Danzo and his torturers tried for so long. They broke your spirit, your will to live."

"There is nothing left to live for... they are all gone... all dead..." Akahana mumbled among sobs and tears. "Ever since you entered my life, you have taken everything from me."

The demon watched the wounded girl as she leaned against a tree, a hand holding her wounded side in a feeble attempt to stem the blood loss. But the act was more an instinct then an attempt to preserve her life.

"What happened to the kit that fought through the harsh childhood in the Root program? What happened to the kit that learned to live a normal life and made friends with so many people even though the majority of her village despised her? What happened to the kit that fought against all those enemies to the bitter end?" The demon growled angrily at the girl.

"She's gone... and all that is left is the dieing husk here. Just let me die and do whatever you want with your life... there is no one left to oppose you." Akahana replied with a loud sob. "Just why are you here? Do you really have to mock me in my last hours?"

"I hate you." The demon replied with a malicious smirk, showing his sharp teeth to the girl. "But you also gained my respect for all you have suffered through in your life. Only few can claim to have suffered this much and remain sane. But you continued on your path, never giving up. And now I see your spirit crushed; you giving up after you finally defeated all opposition. It enrages me to see this kind of hypocrisy."

"Deal with it, demon... it is not like you can change it even if you wanted to. My reason to live is gone and not even you can revive the dead." Akahana replied with a mocking smile.

"No, but I can force you to live on." The demon replied with a chuckle.

Akahana looked at Kyubi in shock at first, but it soon morphed into anger. "Do you always have to do what don't want? Is this some form of sick amusement for you`?"

"See this as my way of repaying you for eighteen years of incarceration." The demon replied with a menacing growl. "And don't even think about sicking your toads on me, I've replaced your contract with something much more useful for me to keep you in line."

"Damn you, Kyubi. Just let me die already. Let it all end." Akahana shouted out in anger before her other words became an incoherent mumbling and her mind lost itself in a fever induced haze.

"One day you will thank me for this, kit." The demon said with a chuckle before he drew a seal on the ground with a claw and empowered it. But Akahana was already too far gone to realize what he was doing, or to see the shimmering light of the demon's Jutsu as it engulfed her.