Look at that a new chapter! :D Yay! Finally right?

Sorry it took so long, but I was at a writer's block with this chapter. Thank you for your patience and hopefully I will be getting started on chapter six soon – with school in the way, it's gonna be difficult I warn you.

Please read and review! The more you do, the more I will have ambition to continue the story!

Naruto doesn't belong to me.

Summary: Five young maidens descend into the fiery world of demons to compete for the title of "Maiden of the Mizu Shrine." They will face dangers and horrors unimagined. They will need all their training and courage to face the evil and malignant creatures that dwell there, thirsting for their flesh and blood. One will prevail in a world where failure means death.

~ Ghost By Mystery Skulls ~

And I'm feeling like a ghost
And it's what I hate the most
'Cause I'm giving up again
And this time (this time, this time)

Rating: Teen

A Kyuubi's Kiss

Chapter 5: Naruto

It wasn't long before day turned into night.

The night was dark and desolate, void of all life. All the small critters of the forest quickly scampered to their nightly resting place to hide from the predators that stalked through the darkness. The stray clouds fluttered through the sky subduing the full moon momentarily ceasing their bright, persistent rays. The eerie noises crept through the forest like a phantom. If a mere leaf were to fall onto the grassy meadows it would sound like a scream. The trees created a never ending maze of misfortune, but Kabuto knew exactly how to maneuver through this menacing path as if it were forcibly encoded into his memory.

He passed through the string of bushes and found the entrance that he sought out so thoroughly. It appeared as if it was a dead end where the rocks were stacked high up towards the sky, stretching for the unreachable heavens. With a wave of his hand, he instantly vanished from view and teleported through the stones in a gust of wind.

Kabuto found himself within a large circular room. The walls were built with cobblestone, with moss growing from each crevice. Chains lay on the walls, with hammered metal shackles on the floor. "I am here to report some rather magnificent news, Lord Orochimaru." He crossed his arm over his chest and knelt, with a brief glance at his master he inclined his head low and awaited for further instructions.

The faint florescent glows illuminate the small space, casting tall distorted shadows that twisted and altered from the flames gleam. The snapping of the torches created an irritating yet soothing rhythm. An enormous stone throne towered high, the frames of it swirled and jagged outwards in disarray. The edges of the chair had a transfixed and oddly hypnotizing design carved into it. It depicted a snake gracefully slithering over the arms and coiled up until its neck craned at the very tip, its fangs were barred in warning to those other than its master not to lounge on the rocky indent.

The thick scent of incenses overfilled Kabuto's senses. It was a thick and pleasant aroma that flooded his nostrils. The scent almost disguised the bitter fragrance of death and suffering which hung profusely in the air – it was so thick he could practically taste it on the tip of his tongue. Glancing threw the silver curtains that concealed his eyes; he noticed there was a strange cold that surrounded the back of the room. On the side of the wall, there was a menacing ebony stain that smothered over it. He was sure that one of his lower subordinates must have displeased his beloved overlord.

Orochimaru palms caressed the arms of his throne. "You may speak." His embers eyes glinted in the darkness of the shadows. "Entertain me. What, pray tell, is this magnificent news, Kabuto?" His voice was soft – almost gentle per se – but that was a façade that the Snake King had perfected in his years of conquest. His pallid flesh glimmered in amusement as his lips curled into a smirk. As usual he expected nothing but good news from his most trusted disciple.

Kabuto straightened his neck upwards and adjusted his spectacles. "It appeared that fox, Kurama, will no longer be an issue to your plans anymore." His face twisted into a dark grin.

His master hummed and leaned forward. "Go on." There was an unreadable spark within his gaze as he intertwined his fingers over his lap.

"That idiotic Fox was unfortunate enough to somehow get himself bonded to a pathetic priestess, well he was more so forced into the transaction." Kabuto revealed a hint of fangs remembering the look on the Fox's face when he was forced to fight against his will. "She is nothing more than a weak human female that was desperate enough to partner up with that obtuse canine in order to rid me, it failed miserably of course." He chuckled darkly. "Her power levels were so low compared to that of a normal priestess. I fear even the great Kurama was reduced to nothing when they merged auras," he said sardonically. "It was quite a sight to behold to see a demon of his level downgraded to nothing more than a weak feeble man."

Orochimaru closed his eyes as if trying to imagine it. The magenta markings that enclosed his slanted orbs became more defined and distinguished. "That must have been a spectacular sight. I would have loved to see that half wit be ordered around by a human woman." He cackled lowly, opening his eyes. "Which forsaken priestess was unfortunate enough to find herself bonded to that Kyuubi?"

"I believe her name is Sakura, milord," Kabuto informed.

"Sakura?" Orochimaru tested the name on his lips and curled his eyes up as he gave a contemptuous smile. "Well that is a rather pretty name for a priestess." He lightly mocked. "I wonder if she has what it takes to tame our little mongrel." The snake demon held his cheek and shifted to one side of his chair.

"She's not terribly impressive, my lord." His loyal servant shared his smile. "It's highly unlikely."

This lord chuckled low in this throat, but the amusement was quickly wiped away as he frowned. "Though I do enjoy this predicament that worthless Fox found himself in, I feel that this sort of lifestyle is too." Orochimaru paused and turned his head to the side and stared at one of the snapping torches. "Becoming, too peaceful. I don't want him to settle down in a normal village and forget the life that he once knew. He might actually find himself enjoying it." He looked at Kabuto from the corner of his eyes. "But by no means does he deserve a serene way of living. I want him to suffer for all those times he's foiled my plans of taking his land and most of all for giving me this horrid scar!" He growled through his teeth, he traced the scar on his cheek down to his cracked lips. "He will pay dearly for scratching my beautiful face." The accursed moment still burned in his memories. "I want nothing more than to smother the grounds with his blood." He clenched his fist. "I want to have his carcass mangled and mutilated beyond recognition. No one, not even his priestess would be able to recognize him."

Kabuto smirk widened. There was a certain charm that he absolutely adored about his master when he became like this. "As you wish, Lord Orochimaru, I'll send someone to stir up some ruckus then."

"What other information do you have on this priestess?" Orochimaru crossed his legs and leaned back into his throne.

Kabuto brushed his bangs out of his face. "There wasn't much on her that I could find, all I could come up with is my sources tell me that her surname is Haruno." With the edge of his palm he pushed his glasses up. A slight glint reflected off of them.

Orochimaru was suddenly bare of any emotions. If anything, the grip he held on his stone arms tightened so much that the rock actually began to crack and crimple. "What did you say?" He hissed. His expression rapidly went ridged and animalistic, lengthy strands of his obsidian locks rose and lashed out threatening.

Kabuto was taken back, why was he not satisfied with this information? With Kurama out of the picture, that only left a few more high ranking demons to take out until their rein would commence generously. "What ails you, milord?" He quickly inquired. Forgetting himself, he stood to his full height and advanced to his master.

"A Haruno!" Orochimaru roared, lifting his fist high. "You allowed a fucking Haruno to slip through your grasp?" He slammed it down, completely crumbling the left side of his favorite chair. He forced himself out of his collapsing seat and sauntered down the bolder steps.

"What's wrong?" Kabuto came to his side and stooped low on his knees.

In a flash of ivory, Orochimaru coiled his palms around Kabuto's neck and squeezed hard. This caused his minion to gasp for breath, he didn't block nor did he dodge the attack. Unflinching, Kabuto welcomed the violence, it was better to take the beating rather than displease his dear master. "A Haruno is wondering freely in my territory and you wonder why I am so displeased?" He snarled, his eyes flashed crimson.

His grasp tightened around his neck, out of instinct Kabuto latched onto his wrists and pulled at them, Orochimaru's grip didn't loosen. If anything, this made him strangle his favorite servant more unyielding. When he felt Kabuto learned his lesson of his ignorance he effortlessly threw him across the room.

Kabuto harshly collided in the stone wall and slid onto the cold ground with a silent thud. In his tracks the rocks began to crumble and shake from the impact. He grunted as he forced his body off the floor. "I apologize, my lord! Please forgive me!" He staggered onto his palms and bowed low. He deeply hoped that he didn't anger his lord to the extent of disposing him. He wanted to be by his side when he took over the Demon Realm, there was nothing that he wanted more in this world. What importance does this priestess have to his beloved master?

Orochimaru panted. "As long as you have learned your lesson, I'll forgive you this time." He took a deep breath to calm himself, he pulled back his dark hair out of his face and soothed it back into place. "I want you to make sure that you do whatever it takes to dispose of this priestess." He quietly took his seat in his favorite spot.

"Yes, milord." Kabuto cautiously met Orochimaru's heated gaze. "Forgive me for my curiosity, but what does her being a Haruno make her a threat? Her spiritual powers are hardly considered extraordinary or powerful."

His lord narrowed his snake like orbs. Just this once would he allow himself to enlighten his uneducated subordinate. "She is her child." There was edge to his voice that even sent shivers down Kabuto's spine. "Mebuki Haruno, a woman that has been a major distress in my plans for ages, if it wasn't for her I would have already taken over this godforsaken world. Damn that wrenched woman, even in death does she mock me so!" His fangs dug into his cheeks, drawing blood. "If she shares the same linage as that woman then I know she'll definitely find a way to foil all my plans. It's only a matter of time till she finds a way of become a hindrance." Red liquid dribbled though the corner of his mouth. "Destroy her and the fox, Kabuto."

Seeing his lord's anger slowly dwindling away, Kabuto felt it was safe to stand back to his full height and picked up his fallen glasses. He polished the glass with his sleeve. Inspecting them, he noticed there was a crack in one of the lenses. "What shell I do, milord?" He placed them back on their rightful place.

"Give the fox what he wants most." Orochimaru curled his lip and held out his hand. The tip of his tongue slithered out of his mouth and licked the blood that dripped down his chin. "Allow him the freedom to slaughter that Haruno girl. I'm quite sure he would jump at any opportunity to gain back his freedom." He threw his head back and laughed manically. "After that, the Fox will be reduced to nothing without his darling priestess! What is a familiar without his master? A dead familiar!" He hollered in between croaks. "He will certainly have his freedom again in the pits of hell!"

"I will carry out your orders, Lord Orochimaru." Kabuto crossed his arm over his chest and inclined his head. Knowing his new mission, he began to take his leave. There was no point in staying, he was simply there to please his lord and master – that was his only purpose.

"Kabuto," Orochimaru called out. His servant stopped in his tracks, but kept his gaze on the wall. "Do not fail me this time." Kabuto was swallowed up into the darkness.

Sakura sat comfortably atop a hill, she tucked her legs underneath her and serenaded in the pleasant shade. The morning's air felt so refreshing; it was nice to get away from Chiyo's stuffy hut and stretch her limbs. From a far she was staring peacefully at the village. It gave her a great view of her temporary pit stop.

She drank in all of the refined workmanship the villagers put into their shops and homes. In an odd sense it reminded her of home, Lady Kurenai always did her utmost best in insuring that the village remained in tip top shape, if not, be ready for her unmatched wrath and strength. She released a giggle when she thought back to when she was a child and accidently broke a food stand. This had Lady Kurenai chasing her throughout the village trying to get her to fix it – it was a close one, but somehow Sakura managed to escape.

The breeze blew a gust of wind that carried her rosy locks out of her face. They soared into the air in a graceful motion. She tucked a stray strand behind her ear and sighed softly. Too bad this only brought her a moment of peace. She closed her eyes and remembered back to what had transpired just last night. Chiyo didn't allow her a wink of sleep because of the long and painstaking slow conversation that they had. She could practically feel the throbbing headache coming back with a vengeance.

"What you just did could very well be risking your own life!"

Sakura felt her heart sink into her stomach. A deep gut wrenching sensation suddenly came rushing through her feeble form. She had to be joking, how would her bonding with a demon be risking her own life? Yeah that's it. She almost thought that she didn't hear Lady Chiyo properly that she must have misheard something. "What are you talking about?" She questioned softly almost too weak to raise her voice. Today has been a hard day and she was drained to the bone. All she wanted to do was sleep all her troubles away.

Chiyo pursed her lips and gave her an intense stare. The silence was unnerving to Sakura, it made her nervous somehow. She could feel herself fidgeting within the hay bedding. Chiyo collected her thoughts for a moment until she decided how to approach this issue. "When a priestess partners with a demon, they will go through a phase in which their energies morph into one entity– this is what we call a bond. I am sure that you already heard about this from your mentor? I believe that it should be Tsunade." She held her chin thoughtfully. "Now that I think about it, it's been ages since I've last seen that child."

Sakura nodded. "Yes, Lady Tsunade has educated me in the ways of the bond. She has told me as well as my priestess sisters that creating a bond with a demon is having our auras merged with that being." She smiled when she remembered the way her mentor seemed to beam when she talked about her trusted friend. "For we will in a sense gain a partner that we can share our entire selves too, no secrets could ever be kept from them nor will there ever be any reason to keep that secret hidden, in a way it is a close friend that you will never grow tired off." Word for word, Sakura recited the exact way that her mentor described it as. "This is how Lady Tsunade explains it to us."

"What else has she told you about bonds?" Chiyo folded her hands in her lap and straightened her back. It was as if she was prying for more information that Sakura has yet to tell her.

Sakura thought about it. "She told us that the stronger the physical link is when we create the bond, the stronger the priestess's power is over her partner."

"Yes. Go on," Chiyo beckoned her to continue.

Sakura bashfully glanced to her hands. "Well that's all she really told us, it was mostly about how we create the bond and what happens afterwards, never anything else really." She clenched and unclenched her fists watching her veins along her wrists bulge out.

Chiyo rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Oh dear me, I swear that Tsunade, even when she knows that exposing you young ladies into this harsh world filled with demons, you would think that she would teach you everything that you would need to know about bonds, but no, she has to make things difficult." She huffed out a breath. "Even when she was first starting out as a priestess and doing her test, she felt that it was always best to learn while on the mission too. That child will be the death of me, I swear," she whispered covering her eyes with the back of her hand.

"Is there more that we needed to know, Lady Chiyo?" Sakura switched her gaze back to the elder woman. Her curiosity has been perked and now she needed to know what Lady Tsunade has not told them. What has she been holding back?

"I can't believe that Tsunade would withhold such important information from you girls." Chiyo placed her hand back on her lap. "I realize now that she has not properly educated you in the ways of the bond. You do not understand the full extent of this bond for you do not comprehend that you do not only join physically but you also join in mind and soul as well."

"In mind and soul?" Sakura whispered to herself. Her heart skipped a beat. Does that mean that the Fox demon she formed this partnership with will be connected to her mind and soul too! The thought was absolutely mind blowing, she just couldn't understand it. She felt the dread creep through her; she didn't want a demon like that to be tied to her in such a way!

Chiyo nodded. "Yes, eventually on your travels together your minds with become one. It will come that one day you will communicate telepathically with one another." A memory flashed in her mind of the time when her and her familiar were traveling together on their journey. "When the bond between you becomes more personal and you begin to care for one another's wellbeing, your souls will connect in a way that will leave you completely fulfill. It will leave a tender warmth within you that will comfort and calm you in bad times and will leave you happy and cheerful in good times. In time, you might not be able to imagine a time without your partner and friend." A wave of sadness flickered in her eyes. It was so profound that it made Sakura's heart ache to see the kind woman in such sorrow. "I suppose, it is like your creating your very own soul mate that will be by your side till the very end." She lightly laughed at her own joke.

Sakura's lip twitched, she wanted to share that smile, she really did, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. She felt like she didn't have the right to. Instead, she remained silent. She honestly didn't know what to say to Lady Chiyo. That she was glad that this is what she would be expecting with that fox demon? Could she possibly imagine a time when her and her familiar would share such moments? Such welcoming and joyful memories?

It sounded highly unlikely.

She clenched her fist. "What does this have to do with me risking my life?" she impatiently questioned. For some odd reason, she didn't like talking about some demon she just met becoming her soul partner – she has been alone since she was a child and it would remain that way. The purpose of finding a familiar was just so she was able to fulfill the one prerequisite that Lady Tsunade demanded from her priestess underlings.

Nothing more.

Chiyo narrowed her eyes that this child's insolence. This wasn't a time to act rash and lash out like that, this was a time for her to listen and learn. "You are not fully bonded to that demon you call familiar." She stood up and found herself next to the scorching fire. "You are what we call an in-between – a partial bond."

"What?" Sakura gasped and glued her eyes on Chiyo. What was she talking about? That couldn't be! She recited the mantra perfectly and even placed a kiss on that vile demon's mouth to seal the partnership!

"The bond goes both ways. The priestess chooses the demon," she said placing more firewood into the burning blaze. "But also the demon must choose the priestess as well. This is a partnership that must never be forced." She gave Sakura a pointed look which had the young teen avoiding her eye by turning to look at the wall instead.

Chiyo switched her gaze back to the fire. "When the pure aura of a priestess intertwines with the demonic aura of a demon it must be done in a certain sync with one another, it is a delicate process that must be done by trusting your partner. If not done properly the demonic energy begins to dominate and consume the priestess's spiritual powers until nothing remains. The priestess will have all life drained from her and she will be nothing more than an empty vassal that wonders the earth till her death." Chiyo poked at the burning lumber and moved them around with a metal stick. The flames snapped at her in reply. "I've only seen it a handful of times, but I have deduced that it only happens when a priestess forces a demon into a bond, the process of connecting energies is disrupted from the demon's rage and wrath." She closed her eyes and quickly reopened them. "Unfortunately, I can sense that within you as well. Your familiar's demonic aura is trying to consume your spiritual powers as we speak thus endangering your life."

Sakura snapped her head towards her. "How can that be, Lady Chiyo?"

"Was the demon willing when you made the bond?"

Sakura felt her eyes fall to her lap. "No, he wasn't." She clenched her fists on her blanket.

"I see." Chiyo heaved a sigh and situated herself back by Sakura's side. "Then there is only one solution to your problem." She took out a cup filled with grinded herbs and brought it to the young blossom's mouth. "Here, drink this, it will help resort your strength."

Sakura quickly lapped at the bitter liquid and forced it down her esophagus. She gagged at the burning sensation in her throat. "What?" She inquired as she quickly wiped her lips and slammed the stone bowl onto her thigh.

She would do anything! There was no way she was going to be like those other priestesses that were unfortunate enough to wonder the earth until their death. She just couldn't see her life take a turn like that. She was a survivor, her childhood proved that much! Sakura Haruno was by no means a weakling! That would be unacceptable! She had taught herself to be tough in dire situations. This was an obstacle that would be overcome by her! Her emerald eyes burned with a new found determination that left Lady Chiyo breathless.

With those eyes, she really did look like her mother, if not a spitting imagine of her. They were eyes filled with purpose and self-confidence. Eyes that was ready to take on the entire world.


Chiyo almost smiled at her eagerness. At least she wasn't so prideful not to fix all the things that she had done wrong. "It's quite simple, all you have to do is have your familiar complete his half of the bond the same way you initial started it."

"Lady Sakura! Lady Sakura! What do these herbs do?" One of the village children excitedly questioned.

Sakura snapped out of her daze and glance at the young child that flopped down on her knees next to her.

The little girl grinned and thrust a hand full of green herbs in Sakura's face. The leaves were long and thin and coiled around into mini tresses. At first the priestess stared at the herbs, but something else caught her eyes. The child's hands were covered with dirt and had minor scrap marks along her arms, some of them were length glazes.

The blossom ignored the herbs and grabbed the child's hands. "You're hurt, what did you do to them?" She brought the limb to her face and inspected the wounds. They didn't appear too deep. If she's learned anything since her adventures here, it was that the wounds would probably be healed by the end of the day with the child's demonic healing.

The little girl scratched her cheek and gave a coy smile that exposed the tip of her fangs. "These plants were in a tree I climbed, my arms slipped and I fell and hurt myself." She blushed and glanced to her knees in embarrassment.

Sakura laughed and patted the girl's head. "Moegi, you're so cute." She plucked a leaf out of her chestnut hair and brought it to the little girl's face. "Now we need to fix up your hair, it's positively a mess now. You have a lot of leaves in your beautiful hair!" She picked out a few more leaves.

"Huh?" Moegi was expecting her to freak out and lecture her how unladylike it was to climb trees. That is, this is what most of the villagers always tell her. She was beginning to believe them. "Aren't you going to say it's bad for a girl to do something so dangerous?"

Sakura let a leaf slip through her fingers and blow away with the brisk breeze. "Why would I tell you something so ridiculous? If you want to climb a tree, then climb a tree, that's that." She patted her lap. "Now come here and let me do your hair."

Moegi nodded and beamed. "Okay!" She happily sat on Sakura's thigh and leaned forward so that she was able to get full access to her hair.

Sakura smiled at the child's enthusiasm. She kind of reminded her of Konohamaru in a way, perhaps it was because they looked around the same age – well physically anyways. She knew that demons aged differently than humans did, so for all she knew Moegi could be fifty years old, but have the body of a ten year old.

The blossom untied the young child's red ribbons that held her hair up into twin ponytails and watched the hair spill down her back. It was quite a bit longer than she thought it was. From the bizarre hair style that Moegi placed them in before it didn't appear that she had a lot of hair. Sakura ran her thin fingers through the little girl's mane. It surprised her how soft it turned out to be.

"Your hair is very soft, Moegi." Sakura complimented as she combed through the kinks and tangles with ease. "It makes it easier to do things to your hair. I'm sure we could do many different hair styles that could make you even cuter than you already are." She flinch back one of her hands and saw that she pricked her finger on something sharp. A drip of blood seep through the small scratch. Sakura blinked slowly. What was that?

Moegi's pointy ears burned a bright crimson shade that ran down to her face. "T-t-thank you," she stuttered softly. She didn't really have any girl friends, the majority of her friends were boys that liked to rough house and get dirty rather than comb each other's hair. This was a new type of comfort that she wasn't used to. It was nice. She's always wanted an older sister to do her hair and call her cute.

Sakura looked over little girl's head and saw that she had two miniature horns atop her head. "What kind of demon are you, Moegi?" She rubbed the blood on her kimono and continued her pampering.

Moegi slightly turned her head to Sakura. "I'm a troll demon."

"Eh?" Sakura gapped. "Really? You are too cute to be a troll demon!" Curiosity got the better of her as she lightly brushed the horn with her fingers. It was a quick feather movement.

The demon giggled and returned to her previous position. "Hey that tickles!" She shook her head as Sakura retracted her hand with a smile. "That's what my mother tells me all the time. She sometimes says that she couldn't believe that her blood line could produce such an adorable child."

Sakura nodded. "She must feel lucky to have a daughter like you then." There was a tint of sorrow in her eyes as she pulled back the chestnut hair.

"Really?" Moegi chimed.

"I'm sure she does," Sakura said with a bright smile. This conversation was bringing forth some old memories that she didn't really want to remember.

"Yay!" The trolled demon cheered throwing her arms in the air and swinging them around. "How about you, Lady Sakura? I'm sure that your mother is proud to have a daughter as beautiful as you!"

Sakura's eyes lost their brightness for a moment, but came back almost instantly. "I wouldn't know." She split Moegi's hair down the middle and began braiding one side.

"What do you mean?" Moegi glanced back to the priestess.

The blossom sighed and forced Moegi to face forward again. "I've never met my mother. She died after she gave birth to me." She tied the ribbon on the end of the braid and began working on the other side. "I guess I wouldn't really know what my mother would think of having me as her daughter."

Moegi fell silent. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "I didn't know. I didn't mean –"

Sakura lightly flicked the troll demon's head and laughed when she nursed the bump. "Its fine, it doesn't really bother me anymore. I was way too young to even remember her anyways. There's nothing to be sorry about." She finished the other braid and bound it with the other ribbon. "There all done!" She clapped. "I think this really suits you, Moegi!"

Moegi stood up and faced her. "You think so?" She felt the braids and lightly tugged at them. "No one's ever braided my hair before! Thank you, Lady Sakura! I love it!"

"You're welcome! I enjoy doing things like this." Sakura grinned. "Back home, the village child always loved when I played and did things to their hair especially the girls."

The next thing Sakura knew, a pair of small arms engulfed her into a tight embrace. "Thank you, thank you, you're so kind, Lady Sakura!"

Sakura gapped, but closed her mouth as she closed her eyes and returned the hug. She stroked Moegi's hair and rubbed her back in gentle circles.

Moegi was the one to break the hug. She glanced to her feet and began to fidget slightly. "Um, Lady Sakura?"

"Yes?" Sakura cocked her head to the side.

"C-ca-can w-we do s-something like this a-a-again?" The troll demon stuttered, keeping her stare on her feet.

"Of course!" Sakura chuckled. "I would love to do this again, Moegi. You don't have to be so timid with me."

The child beamed. "Pinky promise?" She held out her pinky.

Instantly, this moment brought forth memories of her departure from the human world – back to the time when Konohamaru and her said their farewells. The image still burned in her mind. She really did miss him, almost to the point that it was painful. Her heart longed to see his grinning face once more. He was one of the only villagers that didn't treat her badly, if anything he treated her like family.

"Sakura?" Moegi called, she cocked her head to the side.

The priestess shook her head and smile. "I pinky promise." She hooked her finger with the child's and gave her a gentle squeeze.

The troll demon cheered and advanced away from Sakura. "It was really fun today, but I have to head home, I have to help my mother prepare lunch!" She waved happily. "I'll see you later, Lady Sakura!"

Sakura returned the wave. Once the child was out of sight, she stood up to her full height and dusted off the small particles of dirt from her kimono. The priestess brushed back her bangs and stared off into the distance. It felt nice – this feeling. It was peaceful and calming. It reminded her of home – well of what little she could consider a home.

"Well aren't you just peachy keen with brats?" A voice snarled sardonically.

Well there went her peace.

Sakura glanced up towards the tree and saw Kurama lazily lounging on a tree branch. His leg was sluggishly swinging back and forth as his finger tapped the wood in an insistent rhythm. She frowned at this display. "Why don't you come down from there?"

"Like hell," he retorted while baring his fangs. Kurama didn't want to be anywhere near that blasted female! The only reason he was this close was because the damn bond willed it.

"Do I have to make it an order?" She placed her hands on her hips.

"Resorting to threats are we?" Kurama turned his head away from her and found staring at tree leaves more entertaining. "This is a fine way of making me like you, priestess."

Thought it might annoy her, he was right. They needed to get alone. Just this time, she would swallow her pride. Sakura heaved a sigh. "Look, I'm sorry. I just want us to be friends." Each word she uttered felt like venom on her lips, but she kept her face composed.

The demon foxed snorted and turned his body the opposite direction so that he wasn't looking at her. "Ha, friends she says," he hissed. "More like servant and master."

"Come down," she called. Sakura knew that her voice wasn't strict enough for the bond to activate. She learned from Lady Chiyo that the stricter her voice came out the more powerful her words had on her familiar – that would probably be most helpful in her journey with this defiant familiar. "Please, I just want to get to know you."

She was only met with silence.

Sakura scoffed at the childish behavior, but she would let it slide for now. He was still not accepting the predicament they were in. "Fine, be like that," she whispered to herself. "At least tell me your name then. It's the least you can do!"

Kurama gritted his teeth and stood up to his full height. "I don't own you anything, human!" He pointed his finger at her, the tips of his claws began lengthy from the rage radiating off him. "You are the reason why I am forever bound to your servitude!"

The priestess shook her head. She should be frightened but this fierce display, but she knew the bond wouldn't allow him to harm her. She was safe from him. "If you won't tell me your name, I'll just name you myself."

He bit the inside of his cheek and dug his claws in his palms. "Do as you please, master," he spat.

"Have it your way. I'll name you," she stared at his person closely. If she was going to name him, it should be something easy to remember and also very unique. A demon like him deserved only the best name. Sakura smiled when she finally made her decision. "Your name from now on will be... Naruto!"

Kurama could suddenly feel himself lose his balance as he toppled over the branch. "What!" He landed head first in the bushes.

Sakura winced back when he collided with the ground with a loud thud. She gingerly neared the bush that he landed in. "Are you okay, Naruto?" She called out softly. When he didn't answer, she brushed her finger through the leaves and pulled them apart. "Naruto?"

He wasn't there.

Kurama was watching the insufferable human searching for his fallen form. When he fell into the bushes, he took that opportunity to vanish and reappear at the other side of the clearing. He almost allowed a ghost of smile grace his face when he saw how frantically she was digging through the surrounding bushes.


Is that really going to be his new name?

Was this human going to mold him into the perfect familiar?

He growled deep in his throat. God damn priestess!

How dare she give him a name that was positively ridiculous!

A child's name.

A demon of his caliber and magnitude should have a powerful name, not a childish and foolish one! Kurama was the only name meant for him – a name that could make the strongest of opponents weak to their knees. For all who knew that name knew that for those unfortunate enough to come across him will certainly be met with suffering and death.

"Naruto!" The woman shouted out again. "Where are you?"

Oh what he wouldn't give to pierce her heart right now. All he needed with an instant – a single moment to get the deed done. That's all he asked. Just enough time to slaughter this female and wreak havoc in the small village she stayed in.

A sudden burst of smoke snapped him out of his daze. Kurama reached out his hand to grasp the being unlucky enough to catch him in a foul mood. "So this is where you've been, Lord Kyuubi." A small demon floated around his shoulders. "We've been searching high and low for you, milord. What has delayed your return to the shrine?"

Kurama relaxed his arm and allowed it to fall limp by his side. It was only one of his servants from the shrine. "Ah, I've been quite busy around here," he quickly lied. He didn't want his servants to think any less of him – he was a demon lord after all. He did have a reputation to maintain. "There has been something here that has caught my attention so I won't be returning anytime soon." The demon reached into his kimono sleeve and pulled out his favorite pipe. "Is there any news to report?" He put the pipe between his lips; the servant quickly lit it for him.

The smaller demon bowed low. "No, milord, all is well at the shrine." The demon fidgeted nervously with his fingers. "But..." He trailed off.

Kurama blew a puff of smoke at his servant's face and frowned. "What is it?"

The demon didn't bother to wave the intense fumes from his face. "There have been rumors spreading around the shrine about you, milord."

"Rumors?" The demon lord leaned casually against the tree bark and crossed one his arms over his abdomen. He inhaled more of his pipe and released it into the air.

"Yes." The demon nodded. "The rumors are spreading tales that you have been swayed and captured by a human woman."

The grip that Kurama held on his pipe caused it the snap in half. The lower part of the pipe was still in his mouth, while the tip of it descended to the ground. The look of pure horror ran across his pale face. How did that information reach his homeland in such a short amount of time! He could just feel his image as the great fox king dwindle into nothingness! "Who's been spreading these lies?" He demanded tossing the remaining part of the pipe.

The demon floated further from his lord and waved his hands frantically. "Everyone has been talking about it, milord. Just about all your servants know about these rumors." He laughed uncertainly, scratching the top of his cheek. "They aren't true, right, milord?"

Kurama turned away from his servant and rested his forehead against the tree. This day just could not get any worse.

Everyone knew.

Everyone fucking knew.

His reputation was tarnished for sure. He was probably the laughing stock of the demon realm now. A great demon lord reduced to nothing by a mere human female – now that's something all his enemies could laugh and joke about.

The small demon cocked his head to the side. "Milord, if all these rumors are certainly true, then perhaps I have a solution to your problems."

Kurama snapped his neck towards him. "Come again?"

His servant smiled as he rummaged through his worn yukata and pulled out a small crimson crystal the size of a pebble. "This item has the special ability to temporarily relieve the bond long enough for a demon to escape his fate as a familiar." He held it out to his master. "All you have to do is crush the crystal and throw the ruminants of it at your current master."

Kurama picked the stone up with his thumb and index finger to inspect it closer. It appeared like any other crystal. Did it really have the ability to release him from his bind? He hoped so. "Where ever did you come across such a magnificent stone?"

"It is a stone that has belonged to my family for generations," the demon explained. "In any case if I were to be bonded to a human, I would use this, but I have no use for it. It appears it would be more of use to you, milord."

The fox demon stared at the crystal in wonder. "All I have to do is crush it then throw the powder at her?"

"You are correct, milord."

"The bond will have no effect on me once this happens?" He held the gem to the sky to see the sun's ray glint off it.

"Correct, milord, it will render your master's will over you nonexistent for a few moments."

Kurama smirked devilishly. "Perfect." He could taste the sweet nectar of revenge on his lips.

"Is that all that you will need of me, milord?"

"Yes, you are dismissed." Kurama waved him off. He was too fascinated with the crystal to pay any mind to his servant.

The demon dipped his head low. "Thank you, until next time, milord." He disappeared in a cloud of smoke that instantly evaporated from sight.

Kurama ranked his eyes at Sakura. Finally, he has found his trump card in ending her existence. He had the power of her life within his palms now. Oh, how the tables have turned. As tempting as it might be to activate the gem now, it was best he found a better location. Where they were at the moment was too close to the village, they might smell the blood of the maiden and come to her rescue and he couldn't have that now, could he? If he was going to take his revenge, it best be in a place where he had the upper edge.

"If I were you human I'd watch your back," he purred. "You never know who might be clawing at it." There was a reflective glint coming from his lengthening claws. They begged for the taste of her flesh.


Very soon.

He would kill her.

The small demon teleported away from his master and found himself in front of a new demon that lurked in the dark forest.

"Is it done?" Kabuto emerged from the shadows, half of his body was ensnared in the darkness.

"Yes, I have completed the task."

"Thank you for your service. You've done well." Kabuto smiled and made a move to return back into the forest, but the demon called out to him.

"Wait! What about your end of the bargain?"

Kabuto adjusted his glasses and smirked. "Oh how silly of me, how could I have forgotten?" He turned back towards the weaker demon. "You wanted your freedom from Kurama, correct?"


"Very well." Kabuto instantly materialized in front of the demon and engulfed the small being into his fist.

"What are you doing?" The demon screeched in agony. "This wasn't a part of the deal."

"I'm just giving you what you wanted." Kabuto effortlessly squished the demon. "Your freedom." Green blood oozed between his fingers. He flicked the carcass away and brought his hand to him mouth. "Lord Orochimaru will be greatly pleased with me." With the tip of his tongue, he drank the fluid down with a sinister sneer.

This time I might just disappear (Alright, whoa-oh-oh, oh)
This time I might just dis-... (Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, Alright, Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh)
This time I might just disappear (Whoa-oh-oh, oh)
This time I might just dis-... (Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, Al-..., Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh...)

What did you guys think? Do you like how Kurama is taking the bond and what about the scheme that Orochimaru has planned out for him? Do you think that our demon lord will actually kill his master?

Find out in the next chapter!

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