I do not own "Naruto" or "Bleach."-"Naruto" is the copyright of Masashi Kishimoto and "Bleach" was created by Tite Kubo.-I do not publish this work for the intent of self profit, or any form of monetary gain.
The Cherry Blossom Valkyrie
Chapter 1: Declare, Gamuza
"Man," sighed Sakura heavily, "this just keeps getting worse. First we had to fight that weird freak Orochimaru, and now both Naruto and Sasuke are completely knocked out. He even did some weird things to both of them. I fell useless." Sakura finished her vocal rant with a frown and a lone tear coming from her eye. She hated not being able to help her teammates more. While she may not get along with Naruto, she still cared for him as a teammate, and she had taken Kakashi's words from the bell-test to comrades to heart.
As she was looking for a place to hide and put down her knocked out comrades, Sakura felt a strange pull coming from a nearby hollowed tree base. She couldn't put her finger on it, but if felt, comforting for some reason. After making sure to put down her teammates underneath the cover of the tree, she moved towards the pull. As she got closer, she discovered a sword that was embedded in the ground and covered in vines. The sword itself was a long curved blade, had a very light green handle, and a double crescent moon-shaped guard.
"Come here," said a voice
"Whose there?" asked Sakura as she pulled out a kunai, preparing for an enemy.
The voice gave a distinctly female giggle and said, "Relax I am not your enemy, in fact I'm right in front of you."
Sakura got wide-eyed and looked at the only thing in front of her and said, "You're the sword!? How the heck can a sword be talking?"
"Simple really, I am a person sealed inside of the sword. Well not really a human, but an Arrancar. My name is Nel, Neliel Tu Oderschvank, and I got this way after a very difficult battle, along with a few others. Shimigami and Arrancar alike suffered this fate to stop Aizen's plans," said the newly identified Nel.
"Wait," said a very confused Sakura, "Shimigami, Arrancar, what in the world are you talking about, and who is Aizen?"
"Shimigaimi are beings that help ferry souls into Soul Society when they die and fight Hollows, or fallen souls, from devouring the souls of the living or the dead. Arrancars are fully advanced Hollows who have regained much of their humanity and attain powers similar to a Shimigami. I am an Arrancar. Aizen was a rogue Shimigami who wanted to rule Soul Society and kill the Soul King, ruler of all Soul Society. I was one of the strongest Arrancars, an Espada, the Tres or third strongest, at the time. I along with a two other Arrancars left Aizen during his self-made war and worked with three other Shimigami to seal him away along with a few of his remaining Espada. However, the combinded seal we did not only erased Aizen's and his remaining Espada's very souls, but it sealed us within our swords as the price. We were scatered across the continent and have been this way for over a millenia. No one could even hear any of us unless their soul was very similar to our own. It looks like your soul synchronizes with mine," explained Nel.
"Woah," said Sakura in awe at what had happened, "but who are the others that were sealed away. I could help find them for you if you want?"
"Thank you for the offer, but I am afraid that when we were all sealed that any form of communication between us was lost. As to who they were, the Arrancar were the Primera Espada Coyote Stark and the Sexta Espada Grimmjow Jeagerjaques. The Shimigami were Ichigo Kurosaki, Rangiku Matsumoto, and Kyouraku Shunsui. If I had to guess, I would think me waking up will help them find the people in tune with their souls as well," said Nel, who was very touched that this girl would care for them like that.
"Oh, well I hope you can meet them again some day. My name is Sakura Haruno by they way," said a smiling Sakura.
"Nice to meet you, Sakura," replied Nel.
Just then one of the traps Sakura had set up to protect them had gone off with a loud bang. Sakura immediately got up and rushed to find out who was there and ignored Nel's call to wait.
When Sakura got to the opening of the tree trunk, she saw that it was the sound team who had attacked Kabuto at the beginning of the Chunin Exams. "What do you three want?" asked Sakura while holding a kunai to protect herself and friends with.
"We have come to kill the Uchiha," said the guy who looked like a mummy and had the strange gauntlet on his right arm.
"Jeez Dosu, could that have come out any lamer," said the boy with spiked up hair.
"Like your one to talk about lame Zaku," said the girl of the group while rolling her eyes at her teammate and the two began glaring hotly at each other.
"Kin, Zaku enough. For now we complete the mission given to us by Lord Orochimaru and kill the Uchiha," said Dosu in a cold, emotion-less voice. The other two stopped their bickering and once again focused on the Sakura.
Sakura herself was starting to get really nervous. They had just said Orochimaru sent them to kill Sasuke, and she was in no condition to fight all three of them so soon after what Orochimaru himself had done to them. "What am I going to do. I can't beat all of them, but if I don't they'll kill me, Sasuke, and probably Naruto too. I need help!" thought Sakura in her panic. While she was thinking all of this, Nel's sword was beginning to glow and hum with her reiatsu, or spiritual energy, and freeing itself from the vines and earth.
"Let's get this done," said Dosu and he then charged at Sakura with his melody arm out front, going in for the kill.
Sakura went wide-eyed and screamed out, "Help, NELIEL!" When she called out Nel's name, things went crazy faster than Naruto can eat ramen. Suddenly, Nel's sword shot out from underneath the trunk and headed straight towards Sakura. Just before it reached, it turned into a beam of pink light and engulfed Sakura within a dome of reiatsu, seperating her from her attackers.
(Inside of Sakura's Soul)
"Where am I," asked Sakura aloud. As she looked around, she saw she was in a cherry blossome forest with a large crystal clear lake in the middle.
"You're in your soul," said a voice.
Sakura turned about and saw a young woman by the lake. She wore a white full-body dress, had light blue hair, a red stigma across her face, a large goat skull on her head, and a familiar sword in a green sheath on her waist. It took her less than a minute to realize who was really infront of her.
"Nel!?" shouted Sakura in surprise at seeing the real Nel.
Nel giggled into her hand and nodded in confirmation. "Got it in one Sakura-chan. I really am Nel. But now we need to worry about those three jerks on the outside," said Neliel in a serious tone at the end.
Sakura got a bit wide-eyed at remembering her situation and nodded fast enough to give whiplash. "So, what are we going to do to stop them," she asked in a worried voice.
Nel sighed and said, "'Well since our souls are in synch you can pull me into your soul and gain my powers, even my Resurreccion, and fight off those three jokers pretty easily."
Sakura was obviously stunned at the prospect of having the power to protect herself and teammates, she was tired of being useless. "Okay, I can do that, but are there any side-effects I should know about before we do this?" she asked in curiousity.
"Well," began Neliel, "besides being irreversable, because our very souls will be linked, you will probably gain a few of my traits to an extent and I would become a second being that would live inside you and talk to you through your mind."
Sakura nodded in acceptance and smirked, "Well if that's it, then let's do this thing, Nel-chan!"
Nel smiled and said, "Right!" The soul space suddenly faded out and Sakura returned to the outside world.
(Back in the Forest of Death)
As the three Sound genin covered their eyes from the light, the dome of reiatsu condensed into a pillar and dispersed in a flash. When the light faded, the three were in complete shock at the changes that had occured in Sakura. She now wore a pink version of Nel's Espada outfit, had gained Nel's stigma in the same place under her eyes, and had her sword in its sheath on her waist. She had also gained a few inches in height and her breast size had increased from an A to a medium B as well.
"What the HELL!?" shouted Zaku in shock.
At his shout, Sakura suddenly snapped her eyes open and took a look around, she then turned her gaze upon herself. She smirked and said, "Mama like, oh yes mama like."
"You have got to be shitting me! Who the HELL are you!?" screamed Zaku while Kin and Dosu took a cautious step back from the transformed girl.
Sakura then tilted her head and looked at the Sound genin with something akin to boredom. "Oh, I almost forgot you three were there for a minute," she said while gazing at them impassively, "I'll give you one chance to get out of here right now, or else, I will crush you." When she was finishing, Sakura had tapped in to her new reiatsu from Nel and increased the pressure in the air dramatically. The genin were finding it dificult to even stay concious, let alone stand up.
"What in the world," thought Dosu while breathing heavy, "this isn't killing intent or chakra, it's something entirely different! If we don't go, she could really kill us!"
"Kin, Zaku, we need to get the hell out of here-NOW!" said Dosu between ragged breaths. Kin nodded her agreement and was getting ready to go, but Zaku wasn't having any of that.
"Screw you Dosu! I can take her easy," said a smug Zaku while he raised his arms that each had a metal tube in them. Before Dosu could get him to stop, Zaku launched his attack.
"Decapitating Air Waves!" declared Zaku. From his palms shot out pressurized blasts of chakra laced air. As the wave began to reach Sakura, she simply put her hand up and caught the very chakra in the air wave. The chakra split into the spiritual and physical parts. The physical part dispersed as the air and simply became a breeze. The spiritual part condensed as reiatsu and became a glowing orb in the air. Then Sakura did something that scared the very souls out of the Sound team.
She began to rapidly inhale the reiatsu like it was nothing. When the last dreg was swallowed, she reeled her head back and then whipped it back and attacked. "Wraaaah!" she shouted as the added reiatsu combined with her own into a large pink blast shot from her mouth.
As the blast headed towards him, Zaku simply slumped his shoulders, gained a pout,and deadpanned, "Fuck me." Then the blast hit with a roar. Kin and Dosu were just outside of the blast radius and stared wide-eyed in fear at the attack, stunned into silence.
The smoke from the explosion began to clear. When it did, it revealed a still standing Zaku, however, he was covered in scorch marks all over his body with his eyes rolled into the back of his head. He was still breathing, but he was completely knocked out.
"Zaku!" shouted Kin and Dosu as they ran to get their teammate.
As Dosu slung the unconcious Zaku over his shoulder, he pulled out an Earth Scroll from his pouch and tossed it over to Sakura, who caught the scroll with a raised eye-brow.
"Take that and allow us to leave, deal," asked Dosu. Sakura smirked, pocketed the scroll, and nodded in response. With that the Sound team sped off with utmost haste.
After some soft giggling in Sakura's head, Nel said, "Good job there Sakura-chan. You seem to be a natural with my Cero Doble technique."
"I guess," thought Sakura modestly in reply, "I should go ahead and see if Naruto and Sasuke are awake and try to head out to find a Heaven Scroll now though."
"Agreed," responded Nel without a second thought.
Sakura then got over to where Naruto and Sasuke were resting under the tree. When she got there, her reiatsu reacted to the strong spiritual energy residing around the curse mark Orochimaru gave Sasuke. She could feel how corosive the mark was.
"Nel," thought Sakura seriously, "is it possible for me to remove the reiatsu in that mark and break it?"
Nel nodded and said, "Yes, all you need to do is place your hand over the mark and we both channel our reiatsu into it, and pull with everything we have while focusing on the image of ripping that thing out."
"Got it," said Sakura aloud to prep herself. She then did as said and poured a ton of her reiatsu and Nel's directly into the mark. It took thirty minutes of continuous focusing, but then she felt the mark giving and gave one more huge pull. When she did, the mark turned into a white lump and made a plop noise when it came off Sasuke's neck.
"EWWWWWWW!" said Sakura and Nel at once. It only increased when the lump turned into a small white snake and hissed at her. Sakura's face gained a frown and she then fired a small Bala from her finger and irraticated the vile reptile.
(With Orochimaru in the Forest)
Orochimaru hissed as he clutched his heart in pain. "How, how in the world did someone destroy my soul fragment in Sasuke's curse mark so quickly!? Damn them! Damn them to hell!" thought Orochimaru in sheer fury at this turn of events.
(Back With Sakura)
After several minutes of shouting, shaking, and smacking, Naruto and Sasuke were finally fully awake again and soon gained their bearings. However, when they saw Sakura both of their jaws dropped and they starred at her with wide-eyes.
"H-hey guys," said Sakura nervously from the looks that they were giving her.
"Sakura-chan," said Naruto being the first to regain the use of speech, "what happened to you? You look really different with the clothes and sword. Plus, what's that under your eyes?"
Sakura shyly glanced down to the ground and explained to them what had happened from when she met Nel to when they removed the curse mark from Sasuke. When she was done Naruto was in slight awe and Sasuke was rubbing his neck, his face in a disgusted look ever since she described exactly what she pulled out of him from the mark.
"Thanks," said Sasuke while looking away with a small smile on his face. While both his teammates stared in shock at his words, he was thinking, but would never voice it, a large bit of appreciation of who his teammates were. He wouldn't have wanted anyone else.
"He actually said 'Thanks', DAMN, I don't believe it," thought Naruto, Sakura, and Nel in happy surprise at the Uchiha.
"So," said Sakura while turning her gaze back to the ground,"do I look okay? I mean, I think my new form is nice, but, well, what do you guys think?"
Naruto stared at her with wide-eyes for a minute, but then gained a happy smile and pulled her up to look at him. "Sakura-chan, you still look great, and you always will. Plus, that stigma looks really cute with your pink hair," said Naruto while sporting a blush at the end.
"Dobe's right, you look fine Sakura, don't stress it," said Sasuke in a surprisingly friendly voice.
Sakura looked at them with the biggest smile possible, pulled them both into a tight hug, and said,"Thanks Naruto-kun, Sasuke-kun, that means a lot!"
When she finished, Naruto and Sasuke turned to face each other within the hug with bug-eyes while thinking the same thing.-"Did she just call me/him Naruto-kun!?" While Naruto was obviously overjoyed at this, Sasuke actually was too! He was finally beginning to change his attitude after Sakura removed that, thing, from his neck. He still knew he didn't care for her in a romantic way, but he was actually gunning for Naruto to get her now!
"Hn, maybe the dobe can get some good luck after all?" thought Sasuke wtih a mental smirk at the blushing Naruto.
"Okay," shouted Naruto after the hug, "let's get that other scroll and beat this exam-Dattebayo!"
Sasuke and Sakura nodded in agreement to his exclamtion and then set off together to collect the other scroll. The first team they ran into didn't know what hit them. The screaming was so terrifying that even Anko went out of her way to avoid the source.
(One Day later at the Tower)
As Team 7 arrived at the tower, they were in staggeringly good condition and spirits. Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke were all smiling happily and walked into the tower without a care in the world. The only thing that even made them a bit nervous was the mark they had found on Naruto's stomach, and it wasn't the Kyuubi itself that worried them!
After gaining the Heaven Scroll and seeing how things had been going, Naruto had worked up the courage to finally tell his teammates about the Kyuubi and him being its container. After explaining, Naruto thought they would shout or be angry, he couldn't have been more wrong on how they acted.
Naruto looked nervously between Sasuke and Sakura after explaining his situation to them and was starting to believe they hated him.
"If you guys hate me too it's.."Naruto was immediately cut off by him being hugged by a crying Sakura and Sasuke putting his hand on his shoulder and giving him a look of understanding.
"You worry too much, Naruto," said Sasuke with a smirk, "if I can handle Sakura getting a new soul from a sword, I can sure as hell handle you having a a demon fox in your gut."
Sakura looked down at Naruto, given that she had grown a good bit taller after merging with Nel, gave him a warm smile, and said, "I'm sorry for being such a bitch to you before Naruto, and I can now get a pretty good idea of what it's like to have another being stuck with you for life. I really do apologize though."
Naruto looked at her with a true and overpowering smile in return, and said,"I could never be mad at you Sakura-chan, you didn't know, but hearing that from both of you means more than you'll probably ever know. Thank you." With that Naruto pulled the both of them into a tight embrace and neither, even Sasuke, seemed to mind and returned it wholeheartidly. Sakura was blushing the entire time at what Naruto had said and Nel was giggling her head off at Sakura's predicatment with absolutely no problems.
Once he had explained it all out, he had planned on showing them the seal and got a shock. He discovered the seal Orochimaru had placed on top of the seal to hold the Kyuubi inside of him! When Sakura examined it in hopes of removing it like the curse seal, she told them that it didn't have the reiatsu like the other and it could either kill him or unleash the Kyuubi if she tried. They decided that they would inform Kakashi as soon as possible of their run-in with Orochimaru and what had taken place after.
When they had entered the main foyer at the base of the tower they notice the Heaven and Earth inscriptions and decided to open both of the scrolls then and there. As soon as both began to unravel, they began to emit large amounts of smoke and they were both quickly tossed onto the floor. When the smoke finally cleared, Kakashi was there giving his patened eye-smile.
"Yo, how hav..."started Kakashi as he opened his eye, but stopped aprutly upon seeing how different Sakura was in sheer shock, "Okay, what in the name of Kami happened to you Sakura?"
"Oh not much, just that we had to fight Orochimaru, I got a new soul partner inside of me and look like this as a result, I pulled off a curse seal that Orochimaru put on Sasuke, Naruto told us about his tenant, and Orochimaru put a restriction seal over said tenat's seal. The usual Kakashi-sensei," said Sakura with a splitting grin.
Kakashi was in so much shock that he dropped his book and just stared in shock and awe at his students. "Well damn, that is some of the most fucked-up shit I have ever heard of happening in so short of a time, and I lived through the Third Great Ninja War for crying out loud," Kakashi responded at last with his voice rising in hysterics at the end.
"Well, if you don't mind, we would really like to get some rest, but could you take some time to look at the seal on Naruto soon. He says he can't really focus his chakra at all since he got it," said Sasuke while sounding slightly, but sincerely, concerned for his teammate.
"Ya, what teme said. I can hardly pull on my chakra like I normally could," cried Naruto in a huff at his predicament.
"If Orochimaru really is the one who put that seal on, then I don't have the skill to safely remove a seal of that caliber. Sorry Naruto, but I'm afraid you're going to have to wait until after the second exam fully ends before we can get anyone to properly check it and get it fixed," explained Kakashi with regret and a frown under his mask. Naruto and his teammates frowned at this turn of events, but could tell their sensei meant what he said.
"It's okay Kakashi-sensei, but I bet I can stil beat anybody-Dattebayo!" shouted Naruto with a foxy grin. His teammates and sensei chuckled at their teammate and Kakashi ruffled his hair playfully.
"I'll hold you to that, Naruto," said Kakashi, "but I expect you all to tell me and the Hokage about everything that happened immediately after the exam, okay?"
"Hai sensei!" said the three genin. With that Kakashi gave them his patented eye-smile and shunshined off in a swirl of leaves. Naruto pouted on seeing his sensei use the technique.
"I have got to get Kakashi-sensei to teach me that. It's so cool!" whined Naruto while his teammates smirked at his playful pouting.
Team Seven then made their way to their team's designated waiting room in the tower to wait until the full five days were up and all the other teams could get to the tower. They just knew they were going to need all the rest they could get, and soon.
(Back in the main foyer room)
From the shadows a grey-haired shinobi was adjusting his glasses and had a cold smirk on his face as he had heard everything that Team Seven had just discussed.
"I do believe Lord Orochimaru will want to hear about this immediately. He could make good use of that girl if she was capable of removing his Curse Seal of Heaven. Things are about to get very interesting around here," said Kabuto to himself as he went to relay his findings to his reptilian master.
To be continued...