The Maelstrom of Chaos
AN: Wow, it has been nearly three years since my last update. Again I want to apologize and to thank you all again for your patience. I also want to reaffirm that I have taken renewed interest in this story and I look forward to bringing out its fullest potential. Now without further ado, I present to you the fourth chapter of Maelstrom of Chaos.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Fairy Tail
Chapter 4: Elysium
Naruto remained silent as he stared at the gravestone in front of him. He ignored the cold downfall of rain that poured around him. The feeling of the rain was nothing compared to the icy feeling that had a firm grip on his heart. His eyes focused on the message engraved into the stone.
"Here lies Honomaru. Respected mage and devoted Master" he made sure to add the last part.
He heard movement behind him as a voice spoke up, "You know you can get sick like that."
He glanced behind him to see his teammates Gajeel and Juvia. His hair was pulled back into a ponytail and styled in a way that flattened his locks and he wore a black suit. Juvia was wearing a black dress with a matching black shawl.
"Thanks for coming... I really appreciate it." He whispered with an apathetic tone. Juvia handed Gajeel her black umbrella and walked past Naruto. She bent down and placed a bouquet of flowers on the gravestone. The action brought a small smile to Naruto's face.
"Thank you Juvia. I am sure he would have loved the gesture."
Juvia couldn't help but release tears of sadness. "Juvia is sorry. The last thing you would have wanted is for a gloomy and depressing day like this." Juvia's eyes widened when a gentle hand placed itself on her shoulder she turned around and was met with the hug from Naruto. She was caught off guard by the action, but she soon overcame her shock and returned the embrace.
"You are never a burden to me or your comrades Juvia. I want you to remember that." Juvia's whole body was shaking from her sobbing. She could not help but scold herself for her weakness. Here she was feeling guilty about herself at the funeral of her friend's master and here he was comforting her. It was supposed to be the other way around. She smiled and nodded as they separated and she took her umbrella back from Gajeel. Suddenly, they both felt the wetness of the rain stop. Looking around they noticed that the raindrops were falling around them instead of on them. Naruto looked back and nodded in thanks to the water mage. All three of them stood and muttered a silent prayer to the departed. As they prayed, each one of them recalled the events which led up to this moment.
Over a week had passed since Aria returned to the guild in his injured state telling everyone that Honomaru had been killed. When Naruto had heard the news he immediately went in a fit of rage, destroying tables and furniture around the guild house. It took the full strength of Gajeel and Juvia and even the intervention of Jose to quell Naruto's rage. But in the end it did little to douse the negative emotions burning in his heart. A few days later Jose had made preparations for Honomaru's funeral and made sure that everyone in the entire guild went there to attend it. The funeral was a short one as there was really no body for them to bury. The only thing they could retrieve was his master's broken sword and scabbard. While everyone left, Naruto stayed at the spot for hours.
"I will find him." Naruto said catching Gajeel's and Juvia's attention. They noticed his clenched fists and knew right away who the blond was talking about. "I swear on his grave that I will find the one responsible for killing him." He spoke without emotion, but they knew he was feeling the opposite when they noticed the sight of blood dripping from his clenched fists.
Gajeel looked at his friend before turning to look at. The sky, "So what are you gonna do now?"
Gajeel's unexpected question managed to snap him out of his silent rage. "What do you mean?" He asked.
Gajeel looked him in the eye with a serious look, "I mean are you gonna leave Phantom?" Naruto was genuinely surprised by the question. Juvia gasped and was about to reprimand Gajeel, but a look from him kept her silent.
"I mean you said that one of your main reasons for being here was mostly because of this Honomaru's influence. Now that he is gone... Are you gonna leave and find some new purpose?"
Naruto closed his eyes as he thought of the meaning behind Gajeel's words. He then looked back to his master's grave as a flood of memories of him and Honomaru came rushing at him full force. Finally, he took a deep breath and exhaled. "If I do leave... Then that would be the same as giving up. If I did that not only would I be dishonouring my sensei's memory, I would also be throwing away my morals as well... And if I give up then that means that I'll be proving that bastard that I am weak." A fierce look replaced the despair in his eyes as he glanced down at the grave.
"Besides I still need to understand what it was that Honomaru was trying to tell me. I want to find out what it is that makes a person truly strong. If I find that out then I will be able to overcome any force that tries to keep me down." He raised his hand and clutched his red streaks." Something is telling me that the only way to figure it out is if I stay here."
Gajeel looked at him and smirked, "Idiot. I only asked for a small answer. Not a freaking sermon." He dug into his pockets and pulled out a piece of iron and began to chew on it.
"Besides If I left then I would breaking my promise to you and Juvia. If I leave then that means this guild won't be the strongest anymore." He said with his own smile. Juvia smiled at her friend's compassion, while Gajeel punched him in the shoulder.
"What you saying that she and I aren't strong? Don't be getting cocky you hear me." He shouted.
"Of course that's not what he was saying Gajeel! Besides read the situation! Now is a very inappropriate time to go and pick a fight with him!" Juvia berated her teammate and waved her hands causing the rain to once again fall on him, earning a shock of indignation from Gajeel. Naruto rubbed his shoulder while chuckling. Eventually Gajeel joined in and Juvia watched her two friends with a small smile.
"We should head back." Naruto nodded and followed his comrade. But not before giving his master's grave one final prayer.
Jose looked through the windows of his office while pouring himself a cup of tea. He was dressed in his wizard saint uniform with a black band around his arm. He glanced down at the band and frowned. He then ripped it off and threw it over his shoulder. He then returned to his makeshift throne, stepping over the band for good measure. He sipped his tea, sighing in satisfaction as he felt the liquid revitalize and warm his body right down to his core. He was silent for a few moments before putting down his cup and without opening his eyes he spoke out loud to his empty office.
"You don't have to hide you know, I designed the security for this room myself. Nobody gets in without my knowledge. So, you can come out." He said speaking to no one in particular. He received no reply and was met with only silence. Suddenly out of the shadows a figure emerged. The mysterious individual bent down and picked up the black band.
"Are you not going to feel remorse? He was after one of your men after all."
Jose hummed as he stood up and walked back to look out of the windows of his office. "Do you know what makes an army strong? It is when a general's soldiers obey him without questioning his authority. That fool on the other hand was doing the exact opposite. He was questioning my orders and even went so far as refusing to obey me. A real subordinate does not hesitate to obey his master's orders. Anybody who does not must be cut loose."
Jose sipped his tea before speaking, "I do care however that you almost killed Aria. After all the man is in intensive care at the hospital right now due to his wounds. I gave you specific orders that he was not to be harmed."
The figure spoke again, "You promised me a fight with your strongest mage. While that fool was certainly useful in helping to lure Honomaru into my trap, that is where his usefulness ended. Then he made the outrageous claim that he would use his Drain spell to weaken Honomaru. I may be a mercenary, but if anyone has the audacity to get between me and my target… then I will not hesitate to end them." The figure stepped out of the shadows to reveal a teenage boy with black hair extending upward in the back. He looked to be around sixteen years old, wearing a dark blue sleeveless vest which parted down the middle to show his bare stomach. He had dark shorts and open toe sandals, as well as a chokuto blade wrapped securely behind his back by a thin rope. He had, what appeared to be bandages from a recent fight around his forehead, cheek, waist and arms. "Your Aria should count himself lucky that I allowed him to leave with his life at all." He said applying a bit of killing intent to his words, but to a man like Jose this merely caused him to chuckle.
"Come now my dear boy let's not get upset over matters of the past. What's done is done and you did manage to accomplish you're original mission. For that I am grateful. Though I am surprised you returned from your fight with far fewer injuries than I originally thought you'd have, Mr...? You know, now that I think about it, I never did get your name?" Jose inquired.
The boy looked at him with a glare, " It is my... Groups policy not to reveal our names to anyone." He answered apathetically.
Jose shrugged "Fair enough".
The teenager looked outside the window and observed the town overshadowed by Phantom Lord's headquarters. "The matter concerning your mages strength. I will admit he was powerful and probably one of the most skilled fighters that I have fought to date. If he were fighting any other opponent he probably would have won. However, there was one thing he did not anticipate..."
"… And that would be?"
The boy looked away from the window and at his palm. He lifted his right palm up and instantly a small ball of fire appeared. Even from the small distance between them, Jose could clearly feel the intensity of the heat as it vaporized the curtains near the window to ashes. Jose was forced to shield his eyes due to the radiance of the flame's light. The flames were unique, casting a strange ethereal glow with a blend of black and gold flames.
"The one thing going against him in our fight... Was that I was his opponent." He whispered as he watched the flames dance in his palm. He became lost in the fires movements as memories of his last fight were brought to the surface.
Honomaru frowned as he felt the searing heat from the incoming attack. He quickly struck d his hand on his palm creating sparks which morphed into giant flames.
"Fire Make: Shield".
A giant shield of fire appeared in front of him just as a wave of fire washed over him. He held his ground and his barrier was holding steady, but the force of the flames were still strong enough to push him back several feet. Honomaru grunted as he felt the force and intensity behind the attack increase drastically. Honomaru gasped when he felt the flames break through his shield, sending him flying back. Honomaru rolled on the ground before flipping back onto his feet, digging into the earth to stop his momentum. He cursed under his breath and shook the feeling of pain from his hands. It had been a long time since he felt the burning sensation of fire like that.
He looked up as a ring of fire encircled him. He watched in both shock and fascination as giant streams of fire rushed out of the ring, converging towards a single focal point overhead. He watched in both fascination and shock as he was trapped within a cage of dark golden fire. Suddenly, the cage of fire parted open for only a couple of seconds, allowing someone to enter before closing. Honomaru looked on in shock once he finally got a good look of his attacker. He had prepared himself to face off against a veteran mage of the highest caliber, but instead he was met with something completely different. Standing before him was a sixteen year old adolescent. He had a unique upwards hairstyle and two black bangs framing his face with a sleeveless vest opened at the front.
Honomaru silently took in this new information as he quickly scanned the new arrival from head to toe. His eyes then quickly darted from the unique dark golden flames and the intense heat they released. Suddenly his mind went back to the sight of the villagers' charred corpses and the arrows sent flying towards him early on. Suddenly it all clicked as Honomaru finally understood who his opponent was.
"Kid" he said getting the boys attention. The teenager looked up at the man with onyx eyes and nodded his head showing he was listening. "Are you the one who was responsible for what happened?" He demanded with a serious tone. His hand's grip around his katana's hilt tightened as trails of blood leaked from his palm. The teen was silent for a while, just when Honomaru was about to ask again the boy answered.
"Yes... I am"
Honomaru was shocked, not just by the boy's response, but by the way he said it. He could find no emotion. There was no remorse in his voice or in his eyes as he uttered those words. "Why attack the villagers here? They had nothing to do with this."
The boy narrowed his eyes "Nothing to do with this you say? I am afraid you are mistaken. These people were not civilians. They are… or rather were in fact members of a dark guild." He revealed shocking the man in front of him.
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"They had established a base here and were posing as normal villagers so that they could send and intercept supplies from Bosco to Fiore which they would then sell to other dark guilds. Their position at this location also allowed them to the perfect opportunity to gather information from along the borders of both Fiore and Bosco. As a result they would also sell to dark guilds from both Fiore and Bosco information for a certain fee. Thus providing them with the means to blackmail and extort from other merchants and businesses."
"You're kidding me! Every last one of them was a member of a dark guild?" Honomaru cried out incredulously. Then he remembered the moments when he first saw the charred remains of hundreds of people. However one of the saddest scenes was when he walked into a burned home to find four people. One was a man who was lying on his back and three other people behind him. One was the charred remains of a woman who was embracing two younger charred corpses. Honomaru growled in anger at the memory.
"That's a load of bull There was no way that they were all dark guild members. There were clear signs that there were civilians among them!" he roared in defiance.
"… Even if what you are saying is true… it makes no difference to me." He said much to Honomaru's shock and horror. "Besides these people were merely a necessary sacrifice that I used in order to complete my true objective."
Honomaru narrowed his eyes in anger, "And what exactly is your true objective?" he asked. The boy's hand moved towards the back of his waist were a sheathed katana was strapped. He bent his knees, placing one hand on the sheath while the other tightly gripped the hilt. Then within a few moments, he had cleared the distance between him and Honomaru. Then he pulled out his sword in a single fluid motion.
In a flash he swung his sword aiming to lop of Honomaru's head. Honomaru retaliated and managed to block his katana with his own blade. The collision of swords was strong enough to generate a small scale shockwave as they both struggled to dominate the other. Honomaru pushed against the boy with all of his strength and forced him back. He rushed at him swinging his sword with such speed that it appeared only as a blur. The teen's eyes quickly darted from left to right easily following Honomaru's movements. He then swung his sword at speeds matching his own, countering every single one of his strikes. He then got within Honomaru's guard and twisted the blade delivering a reverse slash with enough force behind it to send him flying back. However, Honomaru quickly recovered and using the momentum of the counter he back flipped away in order to create some distance. Upon landing he vanished in a blur as he kicked off the ground. The speed he traveled creating several after images that converged towards the teen. However, the teen's eyes moved wildly as they worked overtime to track his movements. Honomaru, the real one, reappeared in front of him, stabbing his sword towards his chest. The teen did not flinch as he parried the stab to his chest. He then went on the offensive, forcing Honomaru to go on the defensive. The teen came down with a downward slash while Honomaru sidestepped and swung his blade in a vertical arc. However, his opponent spun his blade in his hand and blocked his strike with the blade's flat end. He slid it along the length creating a shower of sparks and aimed for a knee strike to Honomaru's stomach. The incoming attack forced Honomaru to disengage. He jumped back, his opponent hot on his tail.
Soaring through the air, both mages unleashed a flurry of strikes at one another. Blades clashed and sparks showered over them. If there were any witnesses watching they would have been astounded by the speed which both swordsmen displayed. Their arms moving swiftly to the point where normal eyes could not even perceive them. The only noticeable sign that their swords even existed at that point were the slash wounds that started to appear on their bodies. It was clear that both were experts in the art of the sword, but only one would emerge victorious.
Suddenly both Honomaru and Sasuke's sword arms were encased with their respective forms of fire. When they collided a giant explosion soon followed as Honomaru was sent flying through the air. Luckily Honomaru managed to recover while in mid-air and swung his sword, unleashing an arc of crescent fire. The teen jumped over the fire and continued running towards Honomaru. Finally when he was within reach, the teen leapt at him. Honomaru then released a torrent of fire from his mouth in order to avoid the sword strike aimed for his neck. He then gave a powerful roundhouse kick that Sasuke blocked by crossing his arms. Both fighters landed on the ground and the teen unleashed a flurry of stabs at Honomaru who did his best to dodge and deflect them, but the speed in which they were being unleashed left him with more than a few cuts. Then both mages unleashed two incredibly powerful swings.
"Art of the Fire Sword: Prometheus Bane" a red fire engulfed Honomaru's sword as he swung it down leaving an arc of red fire behind him.
"Eclipse Sword Style: Sun Cleaver" the edge of the teens blade was covered in black golden fire as he swung upward to meet Honomaru's.
Both swords collided and both of the mages visions were engulfed in red. Then n from the point of collision a massive explosion was created. From the smoke of the explosion two figures from opposite ends came flying out. They both crashed into the ground leaving imprints of their bodies in the earth. Honomaru and the teen then emerged from the ground. Both fighters then took a look at their blades. The collision was packed with enough power that they were now both destroyed. Shattered beyond repair. Honomaru looked up to meet the black haired teen's eyes. He smirked and let go of the hilt of his now useless sword. Then all of a sudden he vanished shocking Sasuke. It was then he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.
The teen looked behind him only to feel Honomaru's fist smash into his face. The man's fists were aflame, a sign showing his use of Fire Make. The teen's eyes widened as he felt the temperature around the limb increase. He observed with intrigue as the fire morphed into a small cannon.
"Fire Make: Bazooka" Honomaru shouted and from his fist an explosive wave of fire sent the enemy flying. Honomaru rushed his opponent intent on delivering the finishing blow. He slapped his palms together, releasing a giant sphere of fire that engulfed him. The fire then quickly spread all over his body and transformed into several battleship cannons that formed on both of his arms, shoulders and legs.
"Fire Make: Imperial Bombardment", he cried out before his voice was drowned out by several large booms. From the barrel of the cannons, several hundreds of missiles made of fire erupted upwards towards the sky before heading straight towards the downed teen. He looked up with his eyes narrowed as the missiles came down on him. What followed was a series of explosions that lit the area up with large mushroom clouds.
'Time to end this' Honomaru then dispersed the fire cannons and brought his hands back into the Fire Make stance.
"Fire Make: Blue Lotus Formation: Noble Leo" Honomaru opened his palms outward and two giant lions made entirely of blue fire materialised around him. They roared furiously as they charged towards the most concentrated area of the blast site that resulted from Honomaru's bombardment. Sasuke looked up to gaze into the whites of the beasts' eyes right before their fangs came down onto his body and was further engulfed by a giant dome of blue fire.
Honomaru watched the spot intently and made his way to the area. He felt a little bad about using so many of his stronger attacks, especially on someone that was the same age as his Naruto. But after what he did, Honomaru could not afford to make any mistakes or underestimate him. Despite his age, he spoke and acted like a cold-hearted killer. The last thing he wanted to do was let his guard down and show him any form of weakness that he could exploit. Plus the teen used some very strong form of fire magic, so he was certain that he could survive. As he got closer he failed to notice movement behind the cloud of smoke. Suddenly a streak of dark golden fire shot through the smokescreen. He barely had time to react as the ball of fire pierced his abdomen and exited the other side. Blood flew forth out of the wound, before being cauterized shut. Honomaru coughed up blood, but swallowed the gasp of pain that threatened to leave his throat. He flinched as he placed a hand over the gaping wound in his gut. Never before had he felt such an intense amount of pain that was caused by fire. Even though he was aware that he had built up a natural tolerance to fire up to a certain degree, he knew very well that he was not completely fireproof. However even he was flabbergasted by the intensity of his opponent's flames. To feel this kind of pain meant that the fire was incredibly potent and deadly.
"You're still alive? You've got quick reflexes for an old man." his eyes widened, recognizing the voice. The smoke cleared and he watched in both fear and awe at the black haired teen who did not look hurt in the least. Aside from the dust and slightly torn clothing, he appeared completely fine. What's worse, was that he was holding onto both of his fire lions by their necks. In his right hand he clutched tightly as the dynamic make creation struggled against his grip. Honomaru was speechless. Here was one of his strongest creations and it was being man handled by a sixteen year old. In fact, he did not even looked the least bit fazed by the fire. The teen narrowed his eyes as he increased his grip. He ended up crushing the beast's trachea, causing the construct to burst into wisps of dying embers.
"You're flames are strong. However against me…" he left his sentence hanging as he opened his mouth. What happened next struck a chord of fear in Honomaru's breast. He watched as his second fire lion was slowly being absorbed into the teen's mouth. The lion roared weakly as its final remnants were slurped up and swallowed by the black haired teen.
"… They are useless."
Honomaru got up and held onto his sides weakly as he wearily watched his opponent. "Who... No… what are you kid?"
The boy looked at him with a face devoid of emotion, "I know it sounds a bit cliché saying this, but I believe that every man deserves to know the name of the person responsible for ending their life."
The teen let his arms drop to the sides as light began to surround him. The light flickered as flames began to encompass his body. From his fists, shoulders and the left side of his face everything burned black while the other half of his body radiated with a golden light. Honomaru took an unconscious step back as he felt the teens killing intent.
"My name is Sasuke Uchiha and as for what I am..."
Sasuke took one step and it was followed by an explosion of black fire. Honomaru felt a chill as he felt a burning wind race past him.
"It would be much easier for me to just show you."
Honomaru jumped back out of reflex and turned to see Sasuke standing behind his last position. The teen stared at him apathetically. He could feel the sweat running down his brow as his eyes bore into him. He noticed that Sasuke's onyx eyes had now changed color. His right eye was now a brilliant red, while his left was but a bright white light shining behind his shroud of fire.
Sasuke then took a deep breath and his cheeks swelled. Honomaru's eyes widened in shock, recognizing the familiar stance. As Sasuke opened his mouth black flames with a golden spiral in the form of a beam tore through the air. Honomaru barely managed to dodge the beam, but even though it barely grazed him, the heat radiating from it was still intense.
'That almost looked like…!' Honomaru's train of thought ended when crossed his arms in time to block a powerful straight kick aimed for his head. The flames around the limb nearly made him cry out in pain, but he kept his mouth shut. The kick catapulted him through the battlefield until he crashed into the ground further away. He spit out some blood and looked up as Sasuke came closer and closer towards him.
"Correct" he said as he approached him at a slow and leisurely pace. Every step he took scorching the earth and turning it to black glass. "I am... A God Slayer!"
'He's just like Naruto! A being born from the union between a god and a mortal with the power to slay deities! A God Slayer!'
Honomaru looked at Sasuke with an analytical gaze. "I see. Honestly, I wasn't expecting that. So tell me, why is it that the Fire God Slayer has come to see me?"
Sasuke frowned at that," You have the nerve to compare my flames to the level of some measly fire god? Mine are so much more than simple flames." He crossed his arms and clenched his fists a gathering large amounts of power.
"Also you can drop the act. I already know about your pupil and that he is also a god slayer like myself."
Honomaru growled in anger. He acted quickly, striking his hand against his palm. "Fire Make: Blue Lotus Formation: Imperial Dragon God!" He spun around before extending his fist outward, blue flames concentrating around his fist. The moment the flames left his fist, they expanded and grew in size until they became a life-sized Chinese dragon made of blue fire. It roared as it flew towards Sasuke, fire streaming out of its open maw.
However, Sasuke shook his head, "It's useless. I already told you you're flames are no match against a being that controls the power of the ultimate flame!"
Time seemed to slow down as Sasuke crossed his arms. "Allow me to demonstrate, the power of the Sun!" He thrusted his arms outward, the radiance of his fires light increasing tenfold.
"Sun God's Solar Flare!"
Honomaru barely had time to be surprised when he heard Sasuke's divine element as both fire and rays of light expanded outward with the radiance and intensity of a supernova. It was at that moment when his fire dragon crashed against the dome of burning energy. However, against such a superior level of fire, the dragon broke apart and was swallowed by the light. The radiance generating enough force that it not only sent Honomaru flying but also forced him to close his eyes lest he risked having his eyes burnt away.
Once the blast wave and light subsided, Honomaru slowly got back up onto his feet. He was barely given a moment of reprieve as he felt a flaming fist bury deep into his stomach. He gasped as he felt his insides being boiled and the skin around the wounded area began to burn away. He clutched his stomach but missed the follow up kick to his chest sending him flying and skipping across the grounds surface. Sasuke flew into the air using the flames on his feet to propel himself upward. Sasuke raised his arms overhead and slammed his palms together. The flames flowed upward into the shape of a giant golden katana blade with black outlines.
"Sun God's Amaterasu"
He brought the sword down and the blade grew in both length and size as it tore through the earth heading straight towards Honomaru. Honomaru watched as the giant fire blade come towards him and quickly struck his palm, generating blue sparks, "Fire Make: Blue Lotus Formation: Lotus Prison".
The blue flames surrounded him and quickly grew in size. They flowed like water as they took on the form a giant lotus flower that was kept closed by two giant chains that kept it tightly shut. Sasuke's attack collided and Honomaru's fire-make creation struggled against the force of Sasuke's blade. However, the struggling was pointless as the dark golden flames proved to be too strong as the sword sliced through the defensive construct. The force generated by the swing created a wave of dark golden flames that stretched out far beyond the point of impact. Sasuke dissipated the flames around him as he landed on the ground. He looked at the destruction he caused and waited for the smoke to clear. His ears twitched and raised his arms just in time to block a punch to his face. The fist was covered in blue flames that burned away the sleeves of his shirt, but left his skin unharmed. He narrowed his eyes at the owner of said fist. Honomaru glared at Sasuke, his face was covered in burns. Half of his face was badly burnt and his right eye was now gone. Furthermore, the entire right side of his armor was missing exposing the third degree burns on his exposed chest and abdomen. Honomaru looked down at Sasuke with a serious gaze, while Sasuke smirked. He could not help but be impressed by the elderly man's perseverance and endurance. He spun his body, generating a small pillar of flames that made Honomaru jump back. The pillar then dispersed as Sasuke kicked the ground and used the momentum of his spin to launch himself at Honomaru. Fire surrounded both of his arms and claws of black fire with golden wings emerging from the sides materialized around his arms.
"Sun God's Radiant Fist!"
However, he became confused when Honomaru suddenly closed his eyes and began taking deep breaths. Then much to his surprise, Honomaru's movements became blurry. One moment he was about to be crushed by his attack and before he knew what happened Honomaru easily sidestepped both of his strikes and got within his guard. He frowned as Honomaru's fist was inches from his face.
"Have you gone deaf old man? I told you fire doesn't…!" Sasuke gasped when he felt the fist crash into his cheek. However, right before the impact, he witnessed the fire move down from his arm and was released from the tip of his elbow. The action led to the increase in speed, as well as power behind Honomaru's punch. Though the heat of the fire didn't burn him, the force behind the blow was intense. He flew back from the strike, skipping across the earth like a stone over water. He looked up just in time to see Honomaru descending from above. His leg was raised in preparation to deliver a powerful axe kick. Time slowed down as Honomaru got closer and closer. Sasuke tensed and he prepared to unleash his own attack as flames gathered within his palm.
'It will only take five seconds. Plenty of time to put this old man in his place.'
He was confident that he could defeat Honomaru before he could reach him. However, Honomaru smirked and to Sasuke's surprise, a jetstream of blue fire erupted from the tips of Honomaru's toes accelerating the speed and power behind his kick. The blow connected and forced Sasuke to crash face first into the ground. The impact was strong enough to create a small crater.
Sasuke cried out in pain and drew forth on the power of his own magic. He released a small burst of fire, sending Honomaru back. From there Sasuke flipped back onto his feet and began to launch his counter attack. He unleashed a series of quick strikes while Honomaru dished out a few of his own. At this point Sasuke became aware that the force behind Honomaru's blows were stronger than before. Jumping back to get some breathing room, he noticed how at the tips of his elbows and heels of his feet were smoking and covered in the remnants of blue flames.
'I see he's become wise that fire doesn't affect me. So he's instead focusing his fire to erupt at certain key locations on his body delivering short bursts of power and speed. A clever way to compensate for his disadvantage. However, He can't keep this up indefinitely.'
Sure enough Honomaru's breathing started to become more labored with every passing minute. The locations of his body where he released the flames had already begun to show signs of severe burn damage and necrosis. Honomaru knew that unlike Ice Make, users of Fire Make, were more at risk of being harmed by their element when used in excess and especially when channeling that power internally through their bodies. This was why some mages compared Fire Make to the likes of a double edged sword.
Sasuke blinked when he heard Honomaru laugh through his labored breathing. "What are you laughing about old man?"
Honomaru wheezed and chuckled as he looked up at Sasuke and gave him the most defiant look he could muster. "It's… nothing… I just find it ironic that… you claim to have the powers of a god… yet your body is just as fragile as any other humans."
Sasuke clenched his fist in anger, "I think it's about time that I burned off that tongue yours."
Honomaru chuckled," You can try, but I won't go down easy you little bastard."
Sasuke and Honomaru launched themselves at each other. They collided in mid-air releasing waves of fire that rolled through the bars of Sasuke's cage. Each strike unleashed an intense wave of heat that rose upward into the sky. This resulted in the quick formation of storm clouds as lighting flashed through the sky. Sasuke may have been immune to Honomaru's flame but it was clear that the elderly mage was using his years of combat experience and superhuman strength to his advantage. But he soon realized that what Sasuke lacked in experience, he easily made up for it in speed, as well as his magic. For with every passing second, Sasuke's flames continued to grow more and more intense. At this rate, all that Sasuke had to do was to bide his time. For as strong and resilient as Honomaru was, even he could not keep this up forever. Honomaru looked up into the sky as the lightning strikes became more and more frequent.
' Just a little longer'
Sasuke attempted to deliver an uppercut to Honomaru's chin, forcing him to lean back. Going with his momentum, he went into a backwards flip, sending a kick right at Sasuke's jaw. However, the teen turned his head enough that the kick grazed him. When Honomaru landed the earth cracked from the force as he pushed off and flew right at Sasuke. He unleashed a barrage of blows, but Sasuke took a page from his book and used his fire to unleash short bursts, accelerating his movements and generating minor explosions. It was a perfect defense. Every time he missed, Honomaru only had a second to retract his fist before it was further damaged by the small scale explosions. As Honomaru went in for another strike he suddenly hesitated as waves of pain tore through his body. It lasted for only a second, but this was all that Sasuke needed.
"It's over old man!" He clenched his fist and channeled his energy through his arm. His entire right arm was soon encompassed with black and gold fire.
"Sun Gods Avatar", he cried out as a giant hawk made of dark golden fire materialized around his arm. He charged forward aiming his attack to pierce through Honomaru's chest. Meanwhile Honoamru felt static electricity course through his beard. He glanced up at the sky as arcs of electricity raced through the sky.
'NOW!' He quickly canceled out the fire surrounding his arms and legs much to Sasuke's confusion. He then pulled his left elbow into his side and pointed his other hand towards the sky with all of his fingers closed except his index and middle fingers. He then cried out in fury just as a bolt of lightning shot down from the sky towards him. Sasuke watched in shock as the bolt of lightning came down from the heavens, through his cage and struck Honomaru.
'What is he…?' his eyes widened as he saw Honomaru was still alive. The lightning that struck him was slowly being absorbed into his body through his fingers that he had pointed upward. Once he finished absorbing the lightning he brought his hand down and closed it into a fist. He then brought his right hand into his side before raising both of his fists into the air as arcs of lighting danced around him.
"What the hell is going on? I thought you only knew how to use fire magic!" He yelled incredulously.
Honomar smirked, "Never judge a book by its cover kid. You know what some people call lightning?" he asked as he finished his movement by bringing both of his arms over his head. "They call it the cold blooded fire!" he finished as he brought his fists down and slammed them together generated an explosive thunder clap.
"RAILGUN HAMMER" he shouted as he gripped his left arm with his right hand just as a giant electrical current blasted forth from the palm of his hand. Sasuke's eyes widened as the blast of electrical energy flew towards him. He frowned and growled before unleashing a yell of his own and struck the current with his own attack. Upon contact, Sasuke was blown back from the force behind the blast of electrical energy. However, he refused to give up. He dug his feet into the ground and gritted his teeth as he fought against the electrical currents. His entire arm was trembling as he fought to push back the lighting. The currents from the lightning slowly began to weaken and disperse his flames, making him lose ground.
'NO! I … Refuse… to be beaten here! I will not allow myself to be defeated! Not until I've beaten him' he unleashed a loud war cry and pushed everything he had into his arm. The dying flames surrounding his arm suddenly erupted into a blazing inferno. He pushed forward and slowly started making his way towards Honomaru.
'This isn't good! I am starting to lose power!' Honomaru could feel that the energy he had absorbed from the lightning strike earlier was starting to dissipate. Sasuke was right about him not being able to use lighting magic. In truth, because he was an experienced fire mage, he could draw in lightening from the surrounding area and then redirect it towards a designated target. However, because this technique required an existing source of electrical energy, he could only maintain it for a limited period of time.
Sasuke then reached out with his other arm in the opposite direction. Suddenly a giant blast of his signature fire erupted and started to push him forward against the lighting current bringing him closer and closer to Honomaru. Finally, with one final blow he completely dispersed the lighting currents. He cried out as he brought his fist towards Honomaru who did not even have the energy left to dodge.
Honomaru gasped as he felt the attack pierce through his abdomen and exit out of his back. He coughed out copious amounts of blood as a giant fire bird flew out of his back and into the sky. The attack was devastating, it had completely burned away his internal organs. Sasuke then brought his other hand and delivered a jaw shattering punch to Honomaru's cheek sending him flying back. Honomaru crashed onto the ground and his breathing started becoming slower and slower as he fought to stay conscious. It took him everything he had just to keep breathing and even then, he was pushing his limit. The adrenaline in his body was slowly starting to dissipate and he began to feel the full force of the damage he received. Honomaru's eyes suddenly became heavier. He tried to fight his body's wishes to force him into a state of unconsciousness. However, he was slowly beginning to give in as reality hit him. His body was pretty much destroyed at this point. He had pushed it to the point where he literally burnt himself out. His body was covered in severe third degree burns and a large portion of his internal organs were reduced to ash. His death was inevitable.
'This is it I am going to die here' Honomaru stared up at the storm clouds which slowly began to disperse. Sasuke then appeared next to him. The teen looked down at the old man, his face void of emotion. He looked at the arm he had used to attack him with and saw that it was covered in electrical burns.
"You fought well. I'll be honest I thought that this fight was going to be one sided, but you proved it to me otherwise. Therefore I find that it is only right to show you a fraction of what the Sun God Slayer is capable of." He slowly raised his hand into the air. The wind began to pick up and at the epicentre of the storm clouds a radiant mass was starting to form. The cage of fire that was keeping them imprisoned was being drawn into the slowly growing mass. Honomaru suddenly felt himself go weightless. He looked on in awe as he saw nearby trees and rubble being drawn into a growing sphere of dark golden flames.
"God Slayer Secret Art: Cosmic Radiance: Sun God's Nova" Honomaru was speechless. In all his life, he had seen many amazing things, but this was on whole other level. Sasuke had just created a miniature sun. He watched silently as Sasuke brought his hand down, the giant sphere of light following its motions. "You have exceeded my expectations. Farewell Honomaru of Phantom Lord. No… Honomaru of the Great Flame"
Honomaru could not help but chuckle as he was forced to watch the incoming attack head straight towards him. 'Damn so this is how it ends huh? If I had known that I would die here I would have taken more opportunities to beat the hell out of Naruto. Damn, he is gonna be devastated. Sorry kid, but looks like you'll have to go on in this world without me.' Honmaru closed his eyes, accepting his inevitable fate.
"I won't give up."
Honomaru's eyes snapped open as he remembered the last conversation he had with his student. 'I'll show you old man. I'll become a wizard saint. Once I do that, I'll challenge every one of the four gods of Ishgar and win. That's my dream!'
Honomru smirked just as the attack collided with his body. The impact was strong enough to create hurricane force winds. Sasuke watched from a distance and turned around to walk away from the impending explosion. Suddenly his eyes widened when he sensed a sudden increase in magic energy. He quickly turned around as an even brighter light illuminated the center of the sphere. Sasuke narrowed his eyes to see the cause of the phenomenon. He was shocked to see that it was Honomaru and he was standing firmly in a stance that he was unfamiliar with. His arms were outstretched and crossed over each other where his hands closed over one another.
'Impossible! The flames of a Sun God are absolute! There shouldn't even be his ashes so how is he able to survive within the flames?'
Sasuke blinked, on closer inspection he noticed that parts of Honomaru's body were staring to crack. From those cracks pure white flames erupted from within his body. The sphere suddenly began to decrease in size and to his shock began to enter Honomaru's body further boosting the strength of the eruption of the white flames from his body.
"What does it take to kill you old man! I don't know what you are thinking of accomplishing by absorbing my attack, but its futile. Absorbing that attack will kill you, so just give up!"
Honomaru couldn't help but chuckle at Sasuke's outburst. "Give up you say?"
Sasuke growled as he sensed the incredible power accumulating in his opponent's body. The cracks on his body continued to spread and the flames output increased as eruptions of fire flew out from nearly every pore on his body.
"You know, my student is one of the most stubborn jackasses I know. No matter the challenge presented to him, he will do whatever it takes to overcome it. So as his master, it would be insulting to my pride if I were to give up without a fight."
Sasuke was soon being forced back as the magic energy reached critical levels. At this point, all of Honomaru's hair, as well as the back of his body had transformed into a torrent of white flames.
"If I am going down, then I am going out fighting like man. No matter the cost… I WON'T GIVE UP!"
Sasuke's eyes widened as he watched him uncross his arms. In the center, floating between his palms was an object of such brilliance that it looked like a miniature star. He could not help but be captivated by its beauty. Meanwhile, the remnants of Honomaru's armor finally crumbled to pieces, unable to handle the strain from the power his body was gathering. On his chest was a tattoo with a unique design. The tattoo was bright orange and in the shape of a 'G'. It had a draconian appearance with spine like emblems jutting out from the G's outer rim.
'So long Naruto. I have faith you will succeed. I truly regret I won't be there to see the man you will become. But on the upside it looks like I might finally make my dream a reality.'
Honomaru's mind went back to the day when he told Naruto about his dream.
"You want to create the ultimate flame?"
'Well not exactly the ultimate flame. That kind of sounds that I would imply that I want to make a fire that is destructive. What I want to do is create the ultimate fire in terms of beauty. While it is true that fire can be destructive and can consume everything around it. It is also a source of life that gives hope and warmth to people in moments of darkness and ensures the survival of the human race. You see brat, I grew up in a village were the people worshipped a giant fire that's been burning for over four hundred years. Growing up, I thought that the fire was the most beautiful thing in the world. I would spend countless nights sleeping next to it and letting its warmth wash over me. It inspired me to create my own brand of Fire Make. On that same day I also aspired to create the most beautiful flame. One that would serve as a beacon of hope in mankind's darkest moments. Then one day, the Eternal Flame heard my desires."
"Wait did you just say that it heard your desires?"
"That's right. It gave me that knowledge on how to create the world's most powerful and most beautiful flame. However, like with the legendary spell, Iced Shell, it can only be created in exchange for the user's life."
"That's messed up old man. You worked so hard only to find that it was out of your reach? I mean you aren't gonna actually do it are you?"
"Who knows? Maybe once I am at the end of the road and this old bag of bones reaches its limit. I might use the spell. Then again I doubt it would work for such a selfish reason."
"Does this spell have a name?"
"Of course, the spell to invoke the fire of hope and life, it's called…"
"FINAL ACT: DIVINE WHITE FIRE FORMATION: …"
Time slowed down for both Sasuke and Honomaru as their visions were filled with a bright white light.
"PHOENIX REQUIEM: ETERNAL WHITE LOTUS!"
The landscape erupted in a burst of brilliant white fire that engulfed the mountain top. The dark clouds that had gathered were blown back from the shockwave revealing a brilliant twilight that lit the sky with an array of colors. The radiance of the light slowly died down revealing something truly amazing. Engulfing the battlefield was now a giant lotus flower in full bloom made from pure white flames. Rising from its sides were two arches that were reminiscent of rainbow colored wings. The white flames shone with a warm divine light. The light's rays landed on the destroyed landscape and from the ashes leaf buds started to sprout form the earth. Within a matter of seconds, flowers bloomed all across the field wherever the light of the fire reached. It was a truly beautiful sight and could be called nothing short of a miracle.
However all of a sudden the area around the giant lotus started shaking violently. Pieces of stone began to rise from the earth, shattering into dust from the intense pressure. Suddenly a black speck started growing in size within the white lotus. It continued to grow until it turned into a massive black hole that completely encompassed it. Once it had fully swallowed any trace of the lotus, the black hole shrunk down in size, until it vanished completely.
Within the cloud of steam created by the remnants of the White Lotus, a human figure could be seen. As the smoke started to vanish the figure became more and more visible. As the smoke cleared the figure was emitting a dark golden light. The only part of him which was still visible were the two massive golden wings with black feathers that emerged from his shoulder blades. Without warning, the light collapsed inward and then a shockwave dispersed the remaining smoke, revealing the smoking form of Sasuke Uchiha. He was on his knees panting and his clothes were all but gone. Slowly he stood up, his whole body trembling from the ordeal he just went through. A magic seal appeared under him and a spare set of clothes materialized on his body. Sasuke looked at the spot where White Lotus once stood.
Then without warning he laughed. He did not know why, but he could not stop himself from bursting into fits of insane laughter. He stood and laughed without a care in the world for what seemed like forever. Finally his laughter died down to a chuckle then he stopped completely, although he was still smirking.
"I severely underestimated him. To think that he could have forced me to unleash my 'Ascension' like that. Unbelievable. All in all…" The boy dug into his cloak and pulled out a spherical object. It was about the size of his palm and smoke radiated off of it from the source of a white glow located within the spheres center. "… I's say that this was all worth it."
Jose stared in awe at the small black sphere Sasuke summoned from a pocket dimension. It was no longer smoking and was now contained in a powerful cube shaped barrier. " 'The Eternal White Lotus'. To think that fool actually succeeded to pull of one of the most powerful and ancient spells in recorded history. It is rumored that these flames are so intense that not even the indestructible Iced Shell can withstand their power. Up till now I only believed it to be a myth, but seeing it in your hands like that… I can't even begin to comprehend how you managed to pull it off." Much to his disappointment, Sasuke returned the sphere back to its pocket dimension in a flash of light.
"I see no need to explain myself further. In any case, this concludes our contract Jose. Do NOT contact us again." The boy then turned around and in a burst of dark light, he vanished.
Jose growled as he turned around and sat back on his throne. "Cocky brat"
Sasuke reappeared in a flash of dark golden fire in an unknown location. Looking around he saw that he was in a cave, the only source of light was from a set of Lacrima crystals that shone down directly from overhead. The rest of the caves surroundings were shrouded in shadows. All of a sudden, Sasuke's ears twitched as the sound of slow clapping reached his ears.
Then without warning Sasuke fell flat on the ground just as a powerful air current swept the area above him. He jumped back up and observed his surroundings. He could not see anything but he could definitely feel something was there. Without warning he tilted his body and barely avoided another powerful gust of wind that grazed his cheek drawing a faint line of blood. He then brought his leg up and managed to feel it impact against some large furry surface. He heard a loud whine as the fire generated from his kick created faint shadows revealing the large mass of some kind of dog like creature. He heard a loud crash that shook the cave and prepared for the creature's next strike. However it never came. Instead he was met with a loud whistle followed by more clapping.
"Well, well, well. The prodigal younger brother has indeed returned" a cocky voice with an English accent echoed through the cave. From the shadows a figure emerged. He was male and he was wearing an expensive black business suit with a red tie. His face remained hidden within the shadows.
"I am going to be honest. I didn't think you could pull off your first big solo mission without big brother around. You've got quite the spunk little man."
"Mind your tone hell spawn. Don't think I can't hear the sarcasm within your voice."
The man chuckled, "OH. So scary!" he cried in mock fear waving his arms about in an exaggerated manner. He calmed down and let his arms fall in front of him. "Well if it's a fight you want, I wouldn't mind playing with you little man. My pets could use the exercise." The man soon released an intense pressure that made even Sasuke sweat. If he could describe the aura in one word, it would be pure evil. From behind the man, several sets of red eyes materialised in the shadows along with the low growls of dozens of beasts.
A calm voice interjected and almost immediately the tense atmosphere went completely dead. The growls stopped and the eyes of the creatures faded to shadow and the man's aura disappeared. From the shadows, another man stepped out into the light. Sasuke stood calmly as the man mad his way over to stand in front of him. He looked like an older version of Sasuke. Only his hair was much longer and was tied into a pony tail and he had two thin line like scars located under his eyes and on either side of the bridge of his nose. He was wearing a cloak like Sasuke's with the hood down, along with an unfamiliar symbol on the back. The man looked at the man in the shadows, the gaze in his eyes clearly showing that he was in no joking mood.
From the other end of the room, a child's laughter could be heard, "Someone's in trouble" he spoke in an in a sing song voice that echoed through the cave.
"What did you expect was going to happen? To be honest these little games he's so fond of playing are starting to get old real fast." The voice was female and sounded quite cold and harsh.
Another voice joined in the conversation, "Well it's not really a secret that our dear 'King of Hell' finds enjoyment in tormenting his juniors." The voice was also female, but was more mature with a sensual undertone.
The older man next to Sasuke ignored the other people present in the room and continued to glare at the man in the shadows. The man's eyes glowed red and his aura slowly leaked out of his body, releasing a wave of killing intent into the cave. The other man retaliated by releasing his own wave of killing intent.
Suddenly the energy vanished as the man with the man in the shadows gave a somber chuckle. "Well looks like big brother comes to the rescue once again. Shame. I was looking forward to playing a little more with our latest 'king'. However, looks like that we will have to continue this at a later date. So with that I'll take my leave."
The man suddenly vanished into thin air, leaving no trace of his presence. The older man looked towards the source of the other voices. "I wish to talk to my brother in private. You are all excused."
One of the two younger voices, the male one, whined in disappointment, while the younger of the two female voices released a sigh of exhaustion. "Whatever, do what you want." The younger female voice chided before they felt her presence vanish.
"Farewell" the sensual voice said with an amused chuckle.
"Bye, Bye!" the childish male voice yelled as both brothers felt his presence vanish last.
Once he was sure everyone was gone, the older man turned his attention towards Sasuke who pulled out the black sphere containing the White Lotus. The older man took the sealed cube and gazed intently into its contents. He hummed in thought and then nodded.
"Well done little brother. You've done well. The master will be quite pleased that you've acquired something as valuable as this."
Sasuke simply nodded his head at the praise, "Thank you Itachi"
Itachi turned around and started walking towards the shadows, "Rest for now little brother. You have earned it. Welcome home…. To our Elysium"
Chapter 4 END!
Phew! Finally finished it. This has been a long time coming. I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. So many new and mysterious things were introduced. What exactly is Elysium? What is their objective? Who are these Kings? Just how powerful are God Slayers? What will happen next for Naruto?
All these questions and more will be answered in future chapter of "Maelstrom of Chaos" so stay tuned!
For now I must take my leave! Until next time, don't forget to read and review! No flames please!