Fanfic Recommendations 25
Advent of the Spiraling Ninja 11 – 12
Jaune Arc Expelled: A Different Path [RWBY One-Shot]
Fanfics that I have found interesting and have recently been updated:
A Fate Stay Night/Persona 4 Crossover Fanfic
Summary: A chance decision leads to an unlikely discovery. The mention of a rumor leads to an unbelievable mystery. And the connection to a long forgotten family leads to an unforgettable experience. Welcome to Inaba, Yu Narukami… or should I say Shirou Emiya? (Co-Authored by Nameless Flame Wielder)
A Persona 3 / High School DxD Crossover Fanfic
Summary: Igor had asked him to die for the world. She would ask him to die for her. Problem was, he didn’t really like dying, not for a second time, at least.
Beyond the Outer Gates Lies 1 – 3
A Dresden Files / High School DxD Crossover Fanfic
Summary: Harry Dresden had thought he’d seen it all. So had the voice inside his head for that matter. But when one of his all too typical wild weekends ends up with him stranded far outside the Outer Gates, beyond the stretch of even creation itself, he finds out that there are other things out there, laying in wait. Still doesn’t make it any easier to make rent on time though…
The Tale of an Utterly Gutsy Shinobi 1 -17
A Naruto / Fairy Tail Crossover Fanfic
Summary: Naruto knew something was up the moment he landed in the strange forest; being sucked into the sky should have been his first clue. How’s a shinobi supposed to adapt to such a strange new environment? Easy, one step at a time.
An SAO Fanfic
Summary: What if Akihiko Kayaba had created the Death Game of Alfheim Online rather than the floating castle of Aincrad—a world in which the nine player races are in competition to escape the game, and player killing was not a crime but rather a predictable product of human nature and tribalism in the face of mutually exclusive goals? AU reboot of the SAO universe.
A Fate Stay Night Fanfic
Summary: Emiya Kiritsugu was happy living the rest of his short days. He had put his past behind him… until he began to dream of futures that had yet to be. Let it be known that the Magus Killer was not dangerous simply because he was dying and had no plans to fight.
A Naruto Fanfic
Summary: Sakura is ensnared in a world of deadly intrigue her last year in the Academy. As an unwilling agent of Oto, can she discover what it means to be loyal in a world that promotes deception? Will that loyalty conflict with her growing sense of self-worth? AU
Harry Potter Junior Inquisitor 28
A Harry Potter Fanfic
Summary: Before the start of fifth year Dumbledore changes the plans. Unfortunately he didn’t bother to inform Harry. At his trial, Harry realises that it is down to him to save his own skin. To do so his Slytherin side must come out to play, and once it’s out it sticks around turning life at Hogwarts on its head. Warnings: EvilDumbles, SheepOrder/Staff, GoodGuysDontGetEverythingTheirWay
A Jackie Chan Adventures Fanfic
Summary: Daolon Wong’s summoning spell goes wrong; but rather than awakening an ancient evil, he resurrects a more recent threat. With Queen Jade as their opponent a race for the masks is on. Can the Chans stop Jade’s plans and save her from the darkness? NOT JxT!
A RWBY Fanfic
Summary: What does it take to be a hero? What must one give up in order to defend others? What does one gain? What if you don’t have the same advantages as everyone else? Jaune will have to find out whether he wants to or not. Jaune/Weiss.
A Naruto Fanfic
Summary: The potential of Team 7 was never questioned. But when the drums of war thunder in the distance, and a rain of blood covers the land, can three Genin and a broken Jonin weather the storm? [AU]
A Pokemon Fanfic
Summary: In a different life Ash Ketchum looks upon his world from an unique perspective.
Advent of the Spiraling Ninja 11: Towards the Mizukage
Chapter 11: Towards the Mizukage
The Depths – Strategy Meeting
“We have two jinchuuriki with partial control, summonings, a seal master, a sensor, three bloodline users, and the rest are powerful combatants adept at water jutsu and aquatic combat.” Ao summarized as he presented a map and pointed to a region to the north, where swamplands surrounded a lake that bordered a small mountain to the rear. It was where the Mizukage resided, who had to be defeated if this conflict would come to an end.
He couldn’t help but rub his chin at the prospects. “In all honesty, the thought of the few of us going against a fully matured jinchuuriki doesn’t inspire confidence, but it’s all we’ve got now that things have progressed to this point. The key point in this will be whether or not a few individuals can disable or kill Yagura while the rest of our forces hold off against the amassed army and defenses in place.”
Ao then went on to explain where the battle would take place and the groups assigned tasks. Their unit was to stealthy make their way to Yagura, going past the war zone itself using swampland that they would have to traverse quickly, where he would be waiting on a lake. There they could confront him, but the collateral damage would be lower, meaning they face the possibility of being assaulted by a Tailed Beast Bomb.
There would be two teams, one holding a jinchuuriki each, split apart and coming in from the east and the west. If one didn’t make it by some chance or there were more guards than expected and sacrifices were made, they’d still have enough to fight.
“The Seal Master will have to remain out of combat at all costs since her role is arguably the most important. I don’t need to tell anyone that failure means death”—Ao shot the jinchuuriki pair a look—”or enslavement. The purging of bloodlines will continue unimpeded and more lives will be lost as this country falls into recesses of history.”
“No puny human is enslaving me again,” Kurama snarled inside Naruto’s mind.
“I’d rather the kids not fight at all against a jinchuuriki in the first place,” Kushina stated as a fact.
“I’ve been too through much at this point to back out halfway mom,” Naruto told her. “My hands are already stained with blood…ever since I became a shinobi. It’d be better to fight and ensure that all the deaths until now…aren’t wasted.”
“I’m fighting as well,” Isaribi said coldly. “I can’t just let what happen to Villa go…this feeling won’t fade away unless I can do everything to bring down this hateful reign.”
Kushina’s face melted into one of sorrow for a brief moment before solidifying again, she didn’t want them to fight anymore but they were warriors who’d been bloodied at this point. “Damn it. Then, if we can face him near a large body of water, my summoning might be able to do something as well even if I’m not able to move personally.”
Naruto raised a brow. “You have a summoning too?”
“The guardian of the Land of Whirlpools and her kin to be exact,” Kushina said with her tone a bit mysterious. She had undergone the trial for it and made the contract. “They tend to be fond of women and are dedicated solely towards the benefit of Uzushio, which is why they aren’t fond of Konoha either since they desperately needed help during the war and never got it. You look too much like your father for their tastes.”
“That’s not fair towards me,” Naruto pouted.
“I know sweetie,” she told. “The Boss Summoning agrees that it’s petty and, while she could order her children to behave, they could still circumvent the spirit of her laws. You’ll just have to win them over in time.”
“Right…” Ao sighed. “Well, Yagura is currently positioned in the middle of a lake, so that should suffice. Moving on, Zabuza will be supporting our men on the front-lines along with Choujirou and Suigetsu. Having two of the Seven Swordsmen, as well as the brother of one, will raise morale amongst the men…”
Ao continued his role as the strategist to set up contingency plans. That night marked the beginning of the end. By the time the sun had set the next day, Yagura would fall.
The bloody mist would be cleared by the burning horizon.
The Next Day
The battlefield was a mist-blanketed swampland, thin trees with little greenery jutting out of murky water. The soft earth was packed full of hardy shrubs that reached towards where the light would break through the mist and fill them with the essentials they needed to survive. Turtles, salamanders, alligators, poisonous snakes, and all other amphibious creatures lingered below the surface along with fish, partaking in the numerous insects that dwelled within the environment.
There was a sole oasis in this swampland that encompassed the majority of the area, a lake that was not muddied by the waters of the swamps, and quiet reigned. That was where the final and most important battle would take place. A battle between beings that surpassed the norm and those that stood on top of the norm.
Naruto, Isaribi, and Haku formed a three-man team and were making their way through the swamplands towards the jinchuuriki Mizukage. Haku was in the lead with Isaribi, already transformed, and Naruto following.
The rest had decided to go through the other directions, making themselves a bigger target by having the head of the insurgency, Mei, among them. It was a strategic move, coming in from multiple sides and in waves to assault a sole target, allowances in case more than one vital member was killed, so they wouldn’t all be slain.
If one jinchuuriki fell, there was still one more. The only unacceptable losses were Mei herself, as the face of the insurgency if she died it died with her, and Kushina, which meant that a rampant Tailed Beast would be free and other countries would swarm to claim it.
“This mist is making it hard to see…” Naruto muttered, annoyed as he hopped along the trees to avoid the water and wetlands below. Isaribi could swim beneath it with ease in her Kaima-Form, and Haku was literally skating along the surface of the water. He wished he had his Nine-Tailed Fan, but that was gone. Not that he was bad at the standard shinobi tools of the trade, but goddamn it that fan was freaking sweet.
“You get used to it,” Haku told him.
Naruto thought about the current situation that led to this country becoming a powder keg and found it somewhat confusing. The routine extermination of bloodlines was something he never imagined living in Konoha. If bloodlines and power made up a part of the power base, by killing them off as they did they were weakening themselves. He, hesitantly, brought this up to Haku.
“Why is why we believed Yagura to be under another person’s thrall,” Haku replied. “The purge was only officially started when one clan that could utilize their bones caused such destruction that they were killed off with no survivors by the Kirigakure forces. While that could have been considered a necessity in the eyes of most people, from there it extended to other bloodlines, even those outside of the country and the minor villages in it.”
“… Did the people support that?” Naruto asked.
“The civilians have their own problems,” Haku stated. “Living in these lands is hard enough as a shinobi, but the smaller and rural villages have an abundance of difficulties that are much worse. I was, for example, a simple peasant born of a farmer in a small village. Food was scarce for us, most going to those who can fight as shinobi, and it was dangerous with the abundance of missing-nin that this nation births. Most of the people couldn’t tell a shinobi with a bloodline from one without, so it really didn’t matter…”
He trailed off and took a moment to think over his words before he continue. “But Yagura made a pledge to keep the smaller villages safe as long as no one with a bloodline was found alive. If they were then not only was the protection voided, but a few days later the village was wiped out in an ‘insurgent attack’ as it was told. So when my father found out…”
Naruto picked up what he was hinting. “You mean he…”
Haku nodded, his eyes slightly glazed over as he recalled the memory. “Rather than allowing his wife and son to risk the village, my father killed my mother with tears in his eyes and then tried to kill me. My bloodline kicked in and… well, now we’re heading through the mist-laden lands in order to topple a Kage.”
Neither Naruto nor Isaribi openly commented on that. Not from lack of experience, but because it didn’t need to be said. They knew all too well how the public could easily be conditioned to loathe someone simply because it was easier, mob mentality forming out of fear, ignorance, and hatred.
Discriminated because they were different, changed because of factors beyond their control, both had their own way of coping. Naruto wore the mask of a fool who cried when he was alone. Isaribi was isolated, closing off her heart and betraying her own sense of morals for the promise of being turned to normal, only to have been manipulated by the one responsible.
Their moment of silent reflection ended as Isaribi submerged and witness something surging through the water. She broke the surface and called out the attack. “We’re under attack!”
As if to punctuate the point, a chakra construct molded into the shape of an alligator using the water itself emerged and took Isaribi into its gaping maw, before dragging her below the surface and out of their sight. They stopped their advance and stood on the mangrove branches above the water at the sudden loss. But there was no time to concern themselves with their lost comrade as the scent of ozone reached Naruto’s nose from a lightning jutsu coming from behind them and the churning of water to either side of the tree reached Haku’s ears.
Taking from the reservoir of chakra he drew from, Naruto used hand-seals to convert it into wind chakra and then poured it into his lungs, expelling in a single breath a gale that was known as the Great Breakthrough technique from his mouth. The squall grounded the lightning through affinity and opened up the mist a bit as the leaves and weaker branches of the mangroves were carried by it.
The churning water to their sides became drills, liquid fangs meant to pierce through their bodies. Spiraling towards the pair, they chewed through the branch the two were on mere moments after Haku grabbed Naruto and leapt away. Like lashing serpents they gouged out furrows in the bark as they slithered up the length with a grinding noise in their pursuit.
Taking to the air in a chakra-strengthen jump, Haku ran through a set of three seals and took a deep breath. Within his lungs he melded the dual elements that composed his bloodline, wind and water, to generate a freezing squall that nipped at the inner lining of his lungs and throat as he exhaled. From his puckered lips a flurry of relentless cold and hoarfrost emerged like a billowing cloud of white and blue that swallowed the drills of water streaking towards them.
The Arctic Winds technique buffeted the drills, stripping them of their heat and freezing them over. The forming frost overtook the rotations and slowed it to a halt as it consumed every inch. Soon they were nothing more that rigid poles of ice that sought to touch the sky and fell short. From the source of the water that had served as the base of the water drills, the ice that had ran over it from the excess arctic winds served as solid surface for the two to land on.
A senbon filled Haku’s empty right hand while a kunai appeared from his gloves in Naruto’s as the water next to them spouted upwards. From it emerged the kunoichi clad in deep-green scales, her eyes as black as the night and her fins extended with the intent to use them as blades.
Isaribi, her voice less human than before, asked, “Which way?”
Naruto sniffed the air with his enhanced sense of smell. The lingering moisture made it a hindrance, since it wasn’t like he was a member of the Inuzuka Clan that had been trained in tracking, but he picked up three different scents. “Two o’ clock, Six o’ clock, and Ten o’clock.”
Haku went through single-hand seals and let his chakra sink into the moisture in the air and the water beneath the ice, clinging to it and taking authority of it. The water turned to ice and then shaped themselves into needles that stood around him at the ready, an ice variation of the Thousand Flying Water Needles of Death technique. Armed with over a hundred small ice needles, they were sent flying in the direction north-west of them.
The ice needles ran through the trunks and branches of the thin trees and covered them in a thickening layer of ice as they speared towards the shinobi in hiding. The ringing of steel deflecting the ice was heard as the shinobi avoid their cover for the sake of blocking and avoiding rather than being skewered. His location compromised, he moved to kill the bloodline-user with a kusarigama in hand.
Isaribi went through the hand-seals that she had been taught, her water element chakra seeping into the waters of the misty swamplands around them rather than generating fake water and then controlling it, reducing the cost. The water churned into a throbbing sphere twice her size. Then it violently surging out, dragging the rest of the water into the Giant Vortex technique as it barreled to the south.
The sheer mass of the destructive torrent, plowed through whatever cover that had been provided by the thin fauna and trees, tearing out anything on the surface of the water and carrying it as the path of devastation was torn straight through in a line. The surge settled as her chakra, which had held it up, dissipated with the release of the technique. For a moment all was quiet and she wondered if she killed the attacker right out, but that delusion quashed as a Tornado of Water drilled towards her and then slammed into the ice platform that had been formed, sending the ice crashing down atop her as she fell beneath the murky waves.
Naruto, now airborne again as he leapt before the ice pole he was perched on shattered, lacked the sheer destructive technique needed to flush out the last member due to his fan being destroyed, but he had plenty of explosive tags and kunai. Sending them out en masse, the rain of destruction fell upon the grove and water alike. Thunderous and deafening roars emerged as spout of water and sprays of splinters and sheered bark followed.
A bolt of lightning snaked out towards him, acting like a spear that flew toward him with the intent of piercing through him viciously. Too composed and fast for him to try anything special with wind techniques, he created a single clone and had it kick him towards the water before the lighting tore through where his chest had been and the clone was snuffed out. Naruto landed atop the water, chakra on his feet keeping him afloat, and then darting off towards the source of the last spear of lightning with the scent of ozone leaving a trail he could follow.
Lightning ripped through the air again, snaking towards the youngest shinobi who remained astride tree branches as he advanced. Naruto kept off the water as he moved, wary of the traps that may have been beneath the surface. He wasn’t Haku or Isaribi, the water wasn’t his native land that he could swim or skate over. He grew up among the land of leaves and trees, even if he left it behind. Thin as the trunks were, they still dave him a solid surface to kick off of and advance towards the enemy.
He abandoned the branch as the lightning smashed into the wood. It exploded, splinters flying and dropping down to the waters below. He jumped up for the nearest tree right afterwards and kept moving.
The opponent continuously sent out streams of lightning that darted for him, but he was fast enough to get away rather than trying to smother the element with its opposite. Extending his hands, the jounin then sent out thrashing forks of lightning that ran rampant. When Naruto leapt up to avoid it, the tendrils of lightning darted towards him like snakes seeking prey and slithered to swallow him.
Naruto crafted a Shadow Clone and used it as a kickstand to spring further, leaving the clone to soak the damage as the memory of its destruction was fed to him. Now within range, he crafted chakra chains from the palms of his hands and then whipped them down, the pointed tips seeking to cut into flesh.
The jounin dodged as the younger shinobi landed and then exploded into a billowing wave of smoke as he detonated a handful of smoke bombs. Lightning snaked into the smoke, seeking out its prey above and below the waves, only to have a gust of chakra-turned-wind smother the lightning and send him backpedaling.
From out of the water three clones shot out, propelling themselves like missiles that bombarded the jounin. His hands blurred and struck them down, one after the other, only for him to freeze up as a set of wrists grabbed his ankles. The clone that had done so was then swung around like a flail, connected to a set of Chakra Chains beneath the water, before both of them were flung like ragdolls into a mangrove tree, the clone dispersing as a final set of chain came from behind the tree and around his throat, crushing his trachea.
Suffocating and his mind left to the bombardment of signals his body was sending out, he fell still as a kunai buried itself into his chest and heart. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and he went still after a moment, death claiming him.
Naruto released the chains, dispersing them and the clone that stabbed the man in the heart. The reclaimed memories were unpleasant, to say the least…. In the last few days he had more blood on his hands than he thought was possible and the only end in sight would be when they captured the Mizukage.
His nose perked as he caught the scent of Haku darting ahead. There was even more blood in the air, hidden amongst the smell of frost. Naruto took a moment to look at where the corpse had now sunk beneath the murky water, leaving a faint tint of blood, and shook his head to clear it.
Then he went to settle things.
Haku was pretty sure he faced a jounin of the mist as he created more needles of ice and sent the flying towards the man. It was mostly done in a spread to avoid allowing him to flee, but he didn’t attempt to avoid them. Instead he spun the chain of the kusarigama around, using it as a mean of batting aside the incoming needles that he read the trajectories of and figured they would directly strike him.
Just as well, Haku kept his distance as he kept up the long range assault with more needles born of ice that whistled as they flittered through the air. The opponent was advancing though, carefully slipping within range as he battered the needles that were close to hitting him as he ran on the water. After the last barrage failed the jounin was in range.
Haku grimaced behind his mask as he drew senbon to use as a makeshift melee weapon. He was never one to enjoy violence or direct confrontation, but if he and the others were to get to Yagura then they needed to advance. To that end he wanted to use the Demonic Ice Mirrors. But against a jounin and with water beneath them, he thought otherwise.
Now he was forced into dodging as the joining welded the chain and sickle with a level of proficiency that was rare in these lands, using the weighed end of the chain to try and crack open his skull or otherwise debilitate him as he avoided the blow, only for the sickle’s blade to try and catch him. Adding to the difficultly was the irregular angles at which the chain would move, almost slithering in fact, to ensnare him. It was most likely the result of chakra manipulating through the chain.
Dealing with the jounin only became more difficult as Haku’s ears picked up a second set of chains coming from behind him and he was forced to throw himself into the air, twisting as the second set snaked past his torso. The weighed end was heated, an orange glow condensed around it as it tore through the fabric of his outfit and set it aflame. Landing on top of the water and bounding off a second time to avoid as the two chains crossed as they attempted to ensnare him, Haku noticed the Water Clone that had joined the original, more emerging from the surrounding waters.
No sooner than he touched down did he notice that the surface of the water had been changed, thickened and given the consistency of some type of mire that held him in place so that he couldn’t flee again. The clones surrounded him on all sides, twirling their scythes at the end of the chains with intent of butchering him.
As the blades closed in, Haku released ice chakra from the tenketsu all over his body and froze the moisture in the air around him in a thickening layer. The Ice Style: Ice Dome was formed in time and held fast against the blades that tried to cut into him. That was the benefit of his clan’s techniques, as long as he possessed chakra and as long as there was moisture in the air around him he could shape it to his will with few to no hand-signs.
Capitalizing on that, he called forth a blossom of ice spears around the dome, the moisture in the air and beneath their feet freezing over and into spikes that speared out and penetrated everything in its wake with frightening speed. The clones were punctured, their cohesion lost until the water that made up their bodies was loosened and froze into icicles clinging to the edge of the spears.
The original managed to avoid the ice blossom by leaping back and then upwards, only to be run through. A pike of ice rammed through his back to out his front, taking a lung out in the process as the blood and other fluids were slowly submitting to the invasive chill and freezing him over from the inside out. As he fell from the sky his body twisted to see a single mirror of ice suspended in the air behind him, then came death as he hit the water and sank below the surface.
Haku immediately set off. Jettisoning himself from the mirror he was in towards the direction they were heading.
The Tornado of Water drove the Maiden of the Sea deep into the murky waters of the swamp before the chakra holding it together petered out. Unlike the sea that she formerly swam in, doing unforgivable deeds that cost the lives of many innocent people, the waters of the swamp weren’t to her liking.
The waters of the sea were a deep shade of blue, growing dimmer the deeper beneath the surface you sank, and kelp and coral were what formed the forest that loitered at the deep. Fish and other animals darted throughout the terrain, going about their business in schools or hunting for those beneath them on the food chain should they hunger.
The swamp water was an earthen-brown color, dank and depressing, lacking the scent of the ocean breeze. Twigs, branches, leaves and roots all made up the woodlands beneath the surface, and its inhabitants were mammals that flittered to the surface rather than remain in the deep.
But, in the end, it was a matter of preference, rather than anything substantial. Her eyes could peer through the murky depths with the same ease as above, her movements less encumbered as she could sift through the water in three dimensions, and her arsenal far deadlier.
Her opponent lacked the same inherit advantages, but made up for them with the arsenal at his disposal. Dressed in a black, skin-tight wetsuit, goggles, and a simple rebreather, he was mounted on top of a rather large alligator summoning that rested at the bottom of the swamp. All together they allowed him to stay under the water to hunt down those who took to the swamps.
She moved to take him out of the equation, but more alligators came at his beckoning, all constructed out of chakra and water. They clamped down on her limbs and pulled, desperately trying to perform a death roll and separate the limbs. She wasn’t worried about the fangs of the chakra constructs breaking her scales through sheer force, but they hindered her mobility and her joints could only take so much before the twisting broke them and left her unable to swim.
Her cheeks swelled as she molded water chakra in her mouth, and then spat out a sharp and powerful burst towards the one tearing at her right arm. The Water Style: Large Projectile was made of chakra, a construct that mimicked water flawlessly at the cost of being chakra heavy depending on the amount created and then pushed out of her lungs. At such a short distance the technique wasn’t dissolved by the murky water, but punched straight through the fake crocodile like a cannon ball.
The fin on her right arm, now freed, grew hard as chakra reinforced its strength, making it into a crude blade. With it she cleaved through the other constructs and then darted towards the summoner. It was when she passed by what she thought was an outcropping branch that she realized her mistake a moment too late as it exploded as she sped past it.
A muffled blast that radiated outward in a pocket of white ripped through her and blood escaped from her mouth as she gasped, the red being pulled apart and tinting the water around her before fading away. No matter how her body had changed to be strong enough to resist the crushing depths of the sea, no matter how easily she could live under the water, none of that changed the fact that she was still vulnerable to such attacks.
Her focus shifted to the surrounding plant debris and fallen logs that had been left jutting out of the muddy bottom and caught sight of a modified explosive tag was meant to be used in underwater warfare. It converted chakra stored in to the tag as a concussive wave on detonation. As the shockwave bypassed her scales and shook her organs, it was clear that had she of been in her human state and only had mere skin to protect the organs it would have torn her apart on the inside or forced her to breathe and thus drown.
She extended her arms and used the Scale Senbon technique, firing off the scales and then reforming them in short order. The spray detonated the vast majority of the water mines as they punctured the tags rather than going off when she was in the nearest proximity of them. The tags caught in the blast radius went off as well, creating a chain of muffled explosions were followed by pockets of air that were closed in as the bubbles blocked her view.
The large crocodile summoning darted out of the veil created by her, swimming with its tail going back and forth as it approached with an open maw. Isaribi avoided its lunge, not willing to risk the sheer crushing power of the jaws breaking through her scales. She noted that the summoner had hid himself rather than risk being killed as it circled around, coming back to snap into her a second time.
Scale Senbon flew, but the hide of the alligator was too thick and the water was too much for the scales to travel through while maintaining enough force. Thus she was forced to dodge a second time, but the tail lashed around and caught her in the abdomen. The amount of force sent her straight into the tangled mess of roots that formed the mangrove trees above. She darted between the thicker roots as the crocodile pursued her, breaking through hardy roots with its bulk while snapping at her.
Isaribi eventually grabbed and tore off a thick root and crammed it vertically in its mouth as it bit down. As strong as the muscles were when closing, it snapped down with ease, but the thick roots managed to puncture it’s snout in the process and prevented it from opening up again. She used the opportunity to rake out its eyes with her fin blades and forced it to retreat into the murky distance.
Movement in her peripheral vision grabbed her attention.
Her foe trying to escape after the summoning had been dealt with. He wouldn’t get away of course. He was only human and could only swim so fast, not nearly as fast as she could in her current state.
Her fins extended and she took off. Once she dealt with him, she would meet up with the others.
At the lake
A single figure stood on top of the grey waters of the lake, the clouds above matching the hue below with the promise of rain impending. The body of the youth belied its strength, the stitch-like scar running down from his left eye a sign of battles untold. The grey, short hair that adorned his head was messy, untended to for some time as there was no need to maintain appearances.
The Mizukage, Yagura, waited in silence, both his mind and his tenant’s one in the same as they followed the commands instilled into them by the mirror-wheel eye that loitered high in their mindscape, constantly whirling in place as it tethered them to its will.
The instincts of a trained warrior, one who reached the apex known as the ‘Water Shadow’, called to him. He opened his pink eyes and fixed his gaze to the left. The fingers around his staff tightened and the muscles in his arm tensed.
Silence followed. The water lapping beneath his feet the only ambient sound hidden in the mist…
Then there was a blur as a blond child approached with a spiraling sphere of chakra in his hand from above. The air chilled as the water beneath his feet froze and then shot spikes of ice from below at sharp angles, intent on skewering his legs and hindering his escape. A spiraling vortex of water from behind roared in fury as it dispelled the mist and churned forward to swallow him in the swell. A three-pronged attack from the three who arrive first to challenge him after crossing the swampland…
All meaningless in the end.
Yagura’s staff blurred as it smashed the ice enclosing on him into frigid chunks. The butt then smashed into the frozen platform and Isobu’s chakra seeped down into the crevices, changing within and bringing forth an instant bloom of a protective tower of coral that formed an anchored wall to protect his rear. As the churning water smashed into the bulwark and yielded, parting around the sides, a mirror formed of water chakra and the water vapor in the air constructed a clone of the incoming blond and the two met, smashing the spiraling spheres into one another and dispelling themselves to reveal neither had been the original.
Such was the power of a Kage.
At a glance, all three realized this would be the toughest battle they had faced thus far. But there was too much at stake, whether self-serving, self-preservation, or simple revenge, and they had to face him. Relying on back-up was meaningless in itself as they had no way of knowing of the adults had made it as well.
Thus they resolved to do their best as the final battle began…
Okay, had to cut this early but yes I’m still working on it. Big Battle next time. Boss fight.
Advent of the Spiraling Ninja 12: The Water Shadow Falls
Chapter 12: The Water Shadow Falls
On the Lake
Gray skies overhead rumbled.
Three set of eyes, filled to the brim with righteous indignation, subtle fury, and quiet uncertainty, fixed on the blank gaze of the Mizukage who release the protective cocoon of coral that had protected him from their initial assault and stood on a platform that remained, anchored to the bottom of the lake with a single shaft of thick coral.
Standing on the water as it shifted beneath them, a cold sweat broke out on the face of the ice-user. He had lost much to this man’s regime and yet, looking into his gaze he noticed the Mizukage was nothing but a puppet. Even then, he wasn’t certain they could win.
The muscles beneath the scales of the Maiden of the Sea were strained, taut with the desire to release. She wanted nothing more than to drag him into the depths for the sake of Villa, her fin blades lengthening at the thought of rage-fueled justice. Taking a step forward, she prepared to lunge and dive down, coming at him from below.
But, before she could take that step, Naruto was the first to change forward against the Water Shadow. The sooner he was defeated, the sooner the fighting stopped and the less bloodshed. The deaths at the port, the torturous pain inflicted by the hunters, the suffering of the country and his fellow jinchuuriki, everything led up to this moment. With that in mind, he shot forward, a Rasengan forming in his right hand.
“Isobu’s chakra forms coral to restrict your movement or attack,” Kurama supplied as his container charged into the fray.
Got it, Naruto affirmed.
The Mizukage crafted another mirror from the water vapor and his chakra. The reflection pulled itself free in the same pose as its original. It would spring forth to catch him in the middle of his attack, intercepting him.
Naruto halted and spun on his foot, turning his back to the clone and thrusting the spiraling sphere forward. The clone mirrored the action, slamming its own attack through the mirror that had brought it forth. Before it could connect with the Mizukage, the mirror clone was dispelled, leaving him facing the blond shinobi that was now closed the distance.
Setting the shaft of his weapon in the crook of his elbow, hand seals faster than the eye could catch and water chakra seeped down into the lake waters. Just as Naruto was within range, the water rose and swept him up with it. The rising wall of water shot up, ascending higher and higher into the sky with Naruto atop it and trying to free himself from within it, until it reached its plateau and broke through the surface to take a deep breath.
Mizukage was still ascending higher than he was on his mushroom-like platform of coral that kept spreading as it rose. Soon he was looking down at Naruto, overlooking the lake and the lands that were his by right of his position. Thrusting the staff out, the wall of water lurched out and came down like a tidal wave, the force of the impact enough to flatten the land at the edge of the lake and the three insects that were swept in it.
Haku prepared to unleash a stronger version of his Arctic Winds technique, the Great Arctic Winds, when Isaribi grabbed him. She dived, taking him down to the deepest depths, where the pull of the water was not as great, as he held his breath. Even below the massive wave they could hear the muffled echo of the monstrous crashes from above as the neighboring trees were smashed to pieces.
But, while they had escaped the massive wave from above, the dangers below were just as great as a reef the size of the lake bottom had come into existence courtesy of Isobu’s chakra. And it was still growing, climbing and threatening to capture and flay them with jagged bits of coral.
Isaribi was forced to return to the surface as quickly as she could, shooting out of the water like a green missile and into the air. No sooner than Haku gasped for air did the spires of coral do the same, sticking out of the water like colorful spears. She grimaced as she lost one of her advantages, the ability to travel deep, as the water overflowed its natural boundaries due to the massive reef that took up most of the space beneath the surface.
“Where’s Naruto-kun?” Haku asked as they touched down on the surface of the water, remaining aloft it.
“He was caught in the wave,” Isaribi said as she raised her arms towards the Mizukage in the distance. Her scales stood up on the end. Scale Senbon were unleashed towards the jinchuuriki. “I’m not sure where he was taken or if he’s okay.”
Haku gritted his teeth. There was nothing that could be done then. If he was okay he’d rejoin them. He focused his attention on the Mizukage, who was twisting his staff and using it to block the scales that came close to hitting him, and padded out her assault with his own Thousand Flying Ice Needles of Death.
Yagura put more spring into his step as he dodged them, occasionally batting aside the projectiles until he could take refuge behind one of the brightly-colored spires from his reef. Behind it he ran through more hand seals and the water at his feet rose and slithered through the air, carrying him atop it as it surged up and then came careening down in an arch.
The force of it caught Isaribi, driving her down and against the reef of coral hard enough that the thick material formed a crater. Countless bubbles were released in the process, carrying bits of green flecks from her scales that were crumbled beneath the impact. But she managed to rise again, standing and breaking the water’s surface to see that the lashing and serpentine column of water was chasing Haku.
The ice-user gathered his ice chakra in his lungs until it was dense and breathed it out in a single push. The Ice Style: Frost Bullet was launched and the compressed element flew towards the surging tendril.
The Mizukage jumped as the condensed frost was unleashed on impact turned the water into a frozen formation that fell apart as it crashed into the shallow water. Twirling his staff above his head, he used it as a bludgeon to try and cave in Haku’s skull as he came down. He was intercepted by a blast of water from the Maiden of the Sea, sending him skirting over Haku and bounding off the water before he got back on his feet.
It was then there was a large shift in the water as the spires jutting out of it began to buckle. The coral was being bleached, breaking apart as a poison spread through its system. Yagura extended his senses and found the source of this disturbance in his chakra construct.
Naruto was below the water, pumping the corrupted yang chakra of the Nine-Tailed fox into coral at the Tailed Beast’s suggestion. The chakra that governed and encouraged the growth of life, in its corrupted nature, eroded the Three-Tailed Turtle’s own as it had eaten away at the hunter-nin when he had been cleaved by the chakra blade fueled by the same source. He was taking away the advantage over the battlefield.
Hand seals were made. The water around the jinchuuriki came alive at the Mizukage’s behest, grabbing and ensnaring the youngest of the gathered and breaking the surface as a tendril of dense water once more. It flailed around and then slammed Naruto through the remaining spires, brittle shells of what they once were and fragile enough to break as the shinobi screamed with the first, second, and third spires.
Before it could do so a fourth time, a blast of frosty air consumed the tendril and turned it into ice. A hammer-like strike followed as the Water Style: Large Projectile from Isaribi struck with enough force to shatter it. Haku appeared from a Demonic Ice Mirror and scooped him up before he hit the water barely conscious.
“Wake up!” Haku said, looking at Isaribi laying cover fire. She was barely hindering the Mizukage, who was fixed on them. “If you pass out we won’t be able to protect you and survive!”
Naruto’s dreary eyes closed. He was a mess. One of his arms was visibly broken and twisted in the wrong place. His clothing was scrapped in large places, blood staining them. Within the confines of his mind a plea went out of for mutual survival.
Then there was a pulse of chakra and he lurched. Azure-eyes opened once more and turned a shade of crimson as flesh knitted, bones reset, and strength returned to him. He stepped down onto the water and was draped in a thin shroud of the fox’s chakra, a single tail waving behind him. He roared as he charged forward to aid his comrade.
Yagura smashed his staff into the head of the Maiden of the Sea and then held his staff horizontally in both hands and allowed Isobu’s chakra to seep into it. Creeping coral enshrouded it, covering it and reinforcing it to make it a more suitable weapon against the shrouded jinchuuriki and used it to block the incoming hammer blow.
The crimson fist descended like a sledgehammer and the impact drove the guarding Mizukage downwards. Because his chakra was keeping him afloat the water, it caved in until it hit the dead coral and made it crumble over a large area.
Yagura strained his muscles and knocked the hand to the side. Bringing the staff around it slammed into Naruto’s right temple and then the left temple, before coming from below and catching him in the chest. He watched as the younger jinchuuriki went soaring backwards and then turned his attention to thickening mist in the air.
Haku stood at the center of it. Acting as the apprentice of the Demon of the Mist, he let the white shroud blanket the area. He was hoping it would by them some time and create an opening…
It wasn’t meant to be.
Yagura made the seal for the Water Style: Water Wall and exhaled the excess water. He moved it in a spiraling circle, crafting more and more as he did so. What was meant to be a defensive technique encroached more and more area as his Tailed Beast’s chakra was vast enough to do so. The mist was swept away in what was a slowly growing hurricane, sweeping in the lake water and dead coral.
“Multi-Shadow Clone!” Naruto declared, hundreds of clones forming and surrounding the perimeter of the crushing bulwark of water. They all inhaled deeply and used wind chakra to craft Wind Style: Air Bullets that were fired from every angle. The compressed air was let loose and ruptured with explosive force as they hit the water wall, tearing into the churning waters and thinning it out as it became unstable.
Naruto fell onto all fours as the clones expired, his shroud and whiskers growing thicker and his tail standing up. Then he darted forward with all his strength before the wall could thicken again. Like a crimson comet, he became a blur and slammed into the Mizukage with all the primal strength he could bring forward. The elder jinchuuriki took it head on and went flying, the constant stream of water ceasing.
“Haku, now!” Isaribi yelled as she created a Water Pillar of her own. This one she didn’t churn, but raised it to be as high as she could make it.
Haku appeared behind it from a Demonic Ice Mirror and exhaled a thick gale of frost with the remaining chakra he had in reserve. The Ice Style: Great Arctic Winds caught the water and turned it into a massive and sleek ice wall, a mini-glacier. Yagura slammed into it and the cracking of bones could be heard as he rebounded off the surface, cracks forming where he had hit.
Then he tumbled into the water below and silence reign.
Haku and Isaribi were both panting, barely afloat on the surface of the water. On the last dredges of their chakra, they were exhausted. Haku pulled out a soldier’s pill from his pouch and ate it as Naruto stalked towards them and crouched down between them.
His shroud had thinned to a coat. “Did we get him?”
The response came from the other side of the wall, as a Sonic Roar rang out. The ice caught in the wake of it reverberated violently, cracking as deep fissures formed. The mini-glacier crumbled to bits and they witnessed what lay behind it.
It was black beast on all fours, draped in a thick shroud of crimson chakra, glaring at them with empty luminous eyes. Three tails swayed in the air behind it, before curling around and changing. It turned to coral, forming an armor-like carapace with jagged bits jutting out that would flay skin from flesh. It charged with a feral cry, running atop the water with surprising deftness for its size.
Naruto let loose a cry of his own as he dashed for it and was knocked aside for his efforts. The jagged surface of the armor tore the flesh beneath his thinner shroud, and the mighty limbs pushed him beneath the water as he was trampled over, leaving the two unprotected.
Isaribi pushed Haku out of the way and took the full brunt of it, her scales breaking and the denser bones of her Kaima Form fracturing. She was sent skittering across the surface of the water, bounding off of it once, twice, and a final time before a large splash was made from the impact. Her fish-like features receded and she sank beneath the surface.
“Isaribi-chan!” Haku cried as he moved towards her, only for the behemoth to start charging him again. He put his hands together to ready a technique when the water in front of him exploded and the beast was stopped by the younger jinchuuriki.
“GRAB HER AND GO!” Naruto screeched as he strained to hold off the other beast, three crimson tails of his own acting as extra-arms to pin it. “HURRY!“
Haku swallowed and nodded. He let himself fall into the water and swam to catch her before she sank too deep. Breaching the surface with her in his arms, he used the chakra brought up from the pill converting his fat to give himself the strength to escape the battlefield and look over her injuries.
That left the two jinchuuriki to battle atop the lake that was filled with dead coral bits and ice fragments, the grey skies above letting loose water droplets as thunder rumbled. Coral began to sprout where Naruto’s hands braced against the behemoth and was crawling along the surface to consume him.
He gritted his teeth. Any advice you want to share here? Before we end up unable to move?
“Gather my chakra into your lungs,” Kurama spoke. “Let it soak in and then release a cry that makes the heavens and earth tremble. “
Naruto did as told, unleashing a Sonic Roar that knocked away the falling rain and tore apart the coral eating away at him with a sound wave laced with chakra. It pushed away the residual chakra washing over him and spread cracks along the armor of coral that enshrouded the jinchuuriki of the Three-Tailed Turtle.
But the berserk beast wasn’t knocked back by the assault. Indeed, it pressed forward with the intent of mowing him down, causing Naruto to slide back along the surface of the water while gaining speed. With no other choice, putting all his control on the line, Naruto used his tails to divert the behemoth still pressing forward and sent the beast tumbling to the side as he let go.
I need more chakra! Naruto thought. He couldn’t do that again. Not like that.
“Can you handle it without going feral?” Kurama asked. “Your mother tampered with the seal after hearing about the time with the hunters. As soon as your cognitive state falls below a threshold, the flow will cease. In the middle of this fight, it will be your defeat and I would prefer not to have to reform or end up enslaved.“
In all honesty, he couldn’t. He was too pressured fighting this thing, struggling not to break again at the memory of Isaribi being broken as the Three-Tailed jinchuuriki emerged from the water where it had been driven in. It didn’t help that the coral-covered beast just stood there.
What is he…? Naruto’s thoughts trailed off as he noticed the fissures in the coral spreading, the loosened bits shaking. Instinct, heightened in his present state, told him to move. He darted atop the water on all fours as a spray of Coral Senbon rained forth in a barrage and left sprays of water where he once had been as he circled around until the shots ended and the crimson-shrouded figure beneath the coral was exposed.
Naruto darted in before he could regrow the armor. His tails thrashed as they were reshaped into claws and then shot forth to rake across its face. The three tails of the older jinchuuriki deflected them as it brought its palm forth with the intention of repeating the Coral Palm technique from before.
But Naruto and the fox were quicker than the turtle. He ducked under the thrust and brought his sharpened claws in a horizontal swipe. The Mizukage screamed in an inhuman cry as its sight was wrenched from it, the claws taking them away as penitence for the Maiden of the Sea as the armor of coral reformed.
Naruto leapt up and over the turtle, getting to its back and circling again. He was looking for an opening before it healed the damage its sight in seconds. It needed to end while he still had strength to bring forth.
“The Rasengan,” Kurama offered as a solution. “Focus on containing it while I bring the chakra forth and move it.“
Under the thickening rain he came to a stand-still and stood on two legs. His arm drew back and the malevolent chakra gathered and condensed. Streams of the chakra spiraled around the growing sphere, throbbing violently as it yearned to be freed from the container. Veins appeared on his forehead as he struggled to contain it, maintaining it as a sphere while its ominous glow contrasted the grey skies.
The other jinchuuriki, now armored and its sight restored, charged atop the water for hi m once more. Naruto roared as a chakra arm extended, pushing the technique towards the mad jinchuuriki. The two forces met and clashed, with the carapace of coral shattering as the spiraling sphere of crimson broke through it and met the body beneath it.
Swept up in it, Isobu’s container was pressured as the arm stretched and stretched and stretched, until it could go no further. Then the Kyuubi roared within Naruto’s mindscape as it forced the chakra that formed the length of the arm into the sphere and past Naruto’s means of control. The technique ruptured as a result, the shock wave of the blast throwing the water as a wave that came crashing down on either side and swallowed both jinchuuriki….
…the rain fell down continuously with lightning crackling above as Naruto surfaced a minute later, taking a deep breath of air as he panted. Tell me that did it?
“I doubt it,” Kurama noted. “Isobu has the greatest defense amongst our kin despite being the most timid. I doubt it would be enough to cur him for long, so flee now that those fleas you call comrades have escaped and leave the rest to the Saiken.“
Far be it for the tired youth to do anything less. He turned and started swimming to the shore before the remained of his strength vanished and he was left stranded….The water rumbled, trembling as the atmosphere shifted.
“It’s too late.“Kurama snarled within his mindscape as it felt the change, its kin’s chakra no longer constrained to a human vessel as it manifested.
Naruto turned to see the surface of the water bubbling up, rising in a dome that rolled down a hard surface beneath the cascading water. As the amount of water petered out, it revealed a grayish-green crab-like shell with protrusions at the base. Rising above it were three flailing and plated tails that took the place of its hind legs. Beneath the monstrous-sized shell was a layer of red, its face resting ahead of the rest of its body with a large bear-trap like jaw and forehead with only the scarlet red left-eye exposed.
Barely able to stay afloat with his head sticking out of the water, Naruto felt like an ant before a giant as he looked to see the full transformation of the Three-Tailed Turtle looming over him. Its single eye was fixed on him. There was a sense of primal fear, seeing such a being and know it would come for you while you could do nothing against it.
Isobu’s tails sank into the water and it started moving forward, mouth gaping as if it meant to swallow him… It was then a large bubble drifted down from the air to obstruct its path and the red eye of the Tailed Beast stared at it. Then the Blinding Bubble exploded, a flare of light and force that made it cry out and thrash its arms and tails, churning the water.
“Seems like you had it rough,” said a voice Naruto recognized.
He looked to his left to see that Utakawa had arrived, sitting cross-legged on a bubble that drifted just over the water next to him. His kimono was tattered in places, signs of burnt fabric and smatterings of blood on it. Despite that he looked as placid as he had every time Naruto had seen him to this date.
He stepped off the large bubble and onto the water, letting it drift ahead. Raising his straw to his lips, he blew another bubble roughly the same size that compassed him and Naruto. They began to drift in the air, light bending around the bubble’s outer sheen and camouflaging them from sight.
“Are the others here yet?” Naruto asked.
“Should be close” he said as he steered the bubble towards the swamplands behind them and away from Isobu, who looked around for Naruto now that the blinding wore off. “We heard its roar and figured I’d come ahead just in case. Ran across the Ice Boy on my way and got the jist of everything. We need to pull back and regroup.”
They didn’t have the chance.
With a roar, the shockwave that emerged spread out and destabilized the camouflaged bubble, popping it while the pair were still in the air. Freefalling, Utakata quickly made a replacement beneath the two before they hit the water. But ultimately it did what Isobu wished, as he now found them.
Utakata went on the defense as the large Tailed Beast made for them, he focused on crafting hundreds and then thousands of little bubbles that were laced with the chakra of the Six-Tailed Slug, directing them to his will to form six trails, curving paths that flowed forward and then smashed into the beast. They popped with impudence as they met with him, smoke sizzling from where it impacted.
Naruto’s nose twinged as he caught the acidic scent and noted peculiarity.
“Such is Saiken’s power,” Kurama filled in for him “Saiken commands corrosive fluids and gases, much like Isobu commands coral. Using those ridiculous bubbles as a medium he can contain where and what it destroys… however, its potency is reduced while Saiken is sealed and will never penetrate Isobu’s shell.“
As if that last line was a trigger, the Three-Tailed Turtle sped forth, its shell smoking from where the acid had tries to melt through it as cut through the water. It would bore down on the older man before reaching Naruto, who was still unable to fight with the lack of chakra. Despite that, the man stared defiantly as he lowered his straw. Casting a shadow that swallowed him up beneath the rain-filled sky, Utakata was gone as Isobu met where he once stood….
And in his places six were six massive and white tails, slick with an unknown fluid that embraced with the Three-Tailed Turtle. They strained, moving and offsetting the mass as all six divided the strain. In tandem they rose, until it was forced out of the water with its tails lashing and roaring in defiance at being trapped.
Then they tossed the beast out of the lake, opposite the swamplands Naruto arrived in. The crash could be heard throughout the land as trees crunched beneath the behemoth, the ground itself quaking as it writhed to turn itself upright and lift itself up with its arms. No sooner than it managed did golden chains wreathe it, snaking around its limbs and mass to hold it in place as lava descended upon it from above, causing the Tailed Beast to shriek as it was covered in the melted earth.
A downpour of water followed, a floodgate that appeared out of nowhere from above like a tidal wave, slamming into the molten substance and releasing a veil of scalding steam the enveloped the entire area where it landed, shrouding it as the lava cooled rapidly into hardened stone. By the time Utakata returned to normal, reversing the partial transformation, there was now a mound of blackened slag as the steam cleared.
“So… did we win?” Naruto asked as his bubble drifted down to the panting jounin housing the Six-Tailed Slug, breaking the silence that permeated the air afterwards. To that end, deep fissures began to form in the mound. Boulder-sized fragments began to drop off and the sound of something hard grating against it filled the air.
“Doesn’t look like it,” Utakata said with a grimace.
Isobu shot out of the stone while curled into a ball that was spinning in a wheel, rolling its way back into the water and then leaping up to come down as a cannon ball and creating another billowing wave of water that was even larger than the previous time. It was going to swallow up everything that spanned the lake.
Utakata grimaced as he realized there was no way to get out of range in time, only to flinch as someone set their hands on his back. He looked over his shoulder to see Kushina there, a hand on him and Naruto. Chains erupted from her back and curved around them into the outline of a dome, the space between them filled with a shimmer layer of energy.
The wave came crashing down and dropped them down into the depths of the lake, the water pressing against the barrier as they sank down. Silence after the crashing ceased.
Naruto noticed her outfit was barely faring better than his own, points where cuts had drawn blood and there was an angry bruise on her shoulder that left her right arm shaking. Her breath was heavy, beads of sweat lining her forehead as she kept her eyes ahead. It seemed she hadn’t come out unscathed either on her way there.
“Mom, are you okay?” he asked.
“I’ll manage,” she squeezed out as she withdrew a seal slip that contained Naruto’s chakra and applied it to the back of his hand, forcibly injecting him with his own chakra to return his strength back to him. She then brought her hands together, gritting her teeth as she struggled to make the hand-seals for the Summoning technique. “Just summon the Boss Toad…”
Isobu roared, the water carrying it as a wave of pressure that told them it was close. Kushina finished her seal and slammed the palm of his hand against the layer of defense that stood between them and the Three-Tailed Turtle. The water shifted outwards as smoke was expelled and a serpentine figure slithered out of the smoke, obscured by the darkness of the depths, and met with the Tailed-Beast.
Naruto did the same, slamming his hands at the bottom of the barrier. Suddenly they ascended as a larger figure emerged and then kicked upwards with its powerful legs, breaking the surface and into the grey skies that stormed. Coming to a landing on the surface, Gamabunta surveyed the battlefield with webbed hands on the hilt of his blade as the barrier atop his head dropped. He had already been informed ahead of time, before they left, about his role.
The shifting surface of the shot into a plume as two other massive figures emerged in the distance. One was the Tailed-Beast, but wrapped around it was a creature with crimson scales that were patterned with gold ovals with black outlines. A mane of black hair that was tipped with crimson flowed around it’s body, while it’s razor sharp claws continuously scrapped at the shell. Golden eyes with white-rimmed slits were narrowed as its fox like mouth was opened to reveal fangs, its black ears raised. A fox with a body like a snake, a dragon with the head of a fox and fangs.
She was boss of the Nguruvilu Summonings, Lady Filu.
Despite constricting as tightly as she could and raking her claws against the shell, she couldn’t pierce it. Three thick and armored tails swayed madly, before lashing at her elongated body and the impacts left welts against the scales that threatened to break under the strikes, forcing her to let go. She dove back into the water and slid, her body moving in wavy motion that made it seem like she was slithering through it.
Isobu refused to let her escape that easily. Opening his maw he fired massive blobs of chakra-kneaded water, sending shot after shot of the Water Release: Great Water Mass Bullets. The water bullets smashed against the surface of the water and then ruptured, sending up spouts that threatened to send her sailing upwards.
Agile as she was, the boss of the Nguruvilu race avoided them deftly as she circled it, the shots only ending as Gamabunta laid down cover fire with his own Water Style: Gunshot technique that caught Isobu in the face. The Three-Tailed Turtle switched targets, sending out another trio of shots towards the Toad Boss.
“Hold on!“Gamabunta warned the three atop his head before he leapt into the air with his powerful legs. The shots left trails as they passed under him and continued sailing into the swamplands in the distance and displacing the mango trees and murky water with thunderous spouts.
At the apex of his jump he drew his massive blade. Then he descended onto the Tailed-Beast with all his weight and thrust the blade down. It failed to pierce the shell and was then relegated to fending off the thrashing tails with the steel in his hands.
He jumped off again, the force of his legs pushing the turtle beneath the surface. The water crashed down around the turtle while the massive toad sailed backwards through the air and back down into the water at a safe distance with a major splash. Only its head remained above the water, housing the three atop it, while the Nguruvilu’s head surfaced next to him.
“Are you all right, Lady Filu?” Kushina asked her summoning.
“As well as one can be,” the summoning responded, her body shifting under the water. “My kin and I aren’t well suited against such an opponent, I’m afraid. That shell is quite resilient.“
Gamabunta agreed. “Gonna be a pain to deal with.“
It was then that another figure touched down, her auburn hair disheveled and her cloth torn in particular places where she had fended off more assailants on her way toward the battlefield. She leapt from the surface of the water to the top of the Toad Boss’ head.
“How are the kids?” Kushina asked as Mei.
“Ao managed to get them out of the immediate area.” She pushed her hair out of her eyes and then fixed them ahead. “However, we need to end this quickly.”
Lady Filu felt the water beneath her shifting and dove down to see the growing coral tower that was rising from the bottom and encompassing where the turtle had sank beneath the wave. It was growing at a frantic rate, branching out with jagged limbs that began filling the water. Breaking the surface, she warned them of the impending threat. The branches jutted out of the water like a bulwark that drove them backwards, leaving a mound of coral that resembled a bud of a flower that had yet to blossom.
Within it, Saiken and Kurama felt the melding of Yin and Yang chakra and told their respective hosts that they were on the verge of being on the wrong end of a Tailed-Beast Bomb. Once they told the others, the summonings did their best to halt it, with Gamabunta trying to cleave the coral away with his sword infused with natural energy while Lady Filu firing a pressurized spray of water from her mouth to break through it with no success, as it repaired itself to quickly.
Utakata fixed his eyes on where the buildup was at according to the beast inside of him. Apparently Isobu had the slowest charge time, but that just meant they had another thirty-seconds. The coral that was damaged was re-growing too quickly for them to manage as they were. But…
“Naruto,” he said, grabbing the youngest shinobi’s attention. “Get ready to release a gust that’s concentrated in one spot.” He pointed towards it. “I’ll use my Acid Spray and you focus it so it gets through the thickest layers. From there the others can hit it with the hardest attacks they have until we punch a hole in it.”
“Lady Filu, can you handle that part?” Kushina asked.
“I believe so.“
“I’ll finish then,” Mei said as she began forming hand-seals.
The chakra of the Six-Tailed Slug was molded into acidic vapor within the lungs of the bubble-user and wind was formed with the blonde jinchuuriki. On a mental count of three they exhaled from atop the Toad Boss, white gas leaving Utakata’s puckered lips and was backed by the gust that left Naruto’s, his control focusing the wind chakra mimic the wind to keep it in a nice and tight stream. The resulting combination slammed against the coral and began eating away at it without mercy, its touch breaking down the hard reef into a liquid that seeped through the crevices and spread out to counter the regrowth factor until they exhausted their chakra.
Lady Filu followed up, summoning with her own chakra a dozen whirlpools that churned into existence and then invert them into drills that arched out of the water. With a yip they spiraled into one another to form a single construct, melding into one large water drill that bore its way into the weakened coral and the spun madly to grate away at it and prevent it from reforming.
Mei finished the seals for her technique as the drill broke through at last and exhaled. From her own lips emerged a dragon that was molten in nature. It bellowed as it slithered through the space and into the opening that had been forming. Within that dark space where the only light was the formation of the two chakras melding into a sphere of destruction, it spied the eye of the Three-Tailed Turtle and lunged….
The roar that followed was the loudest that had been heard so far, the anguish and agony of it making the defensive bud of coral collapse as the two summonings and their charges fled. The pain disrupted the melding, imperfection setting it off. The yang chakra over shadowed the yin and the excess that wasn’t devoured ruptured in a thin pillar that broke the storm clouds above the lake and then slowly expanded from its base, a fearsome wind ahead of it and threatening to send the summonings and the shinobi attached to them into the swamplands before it settled. The steam that had risen up and formed a wall obscured their vision as they waited with baited breath to see the outcome of their gamble….
Isobu remained a lot the water, its eye closed as light no longer reached it and hoarse groans left its mouth. Motes of light and darkness appeared once more and tried to congeal into a single mass a second time.
“He just won’t quit,” Naruto noted.
“If Isobu is under the effects of that damnable eye he won’t stop as long as he remains standing,” Kurama noted with disdain. “It forces him to move and fight, a slave in his own body and mind.“
“Lady, got it in you for another light?” Gamabunta asked. Mei nodded. “Then I’ll provide the oil, you light it on fire.“
The cheeks of the Toad Boss swelled as he rushed forth and then released a spray of black and crude oil in the form of a funnel-shaped spout. When fire emerged from Mei’s lips, it met and a billowing wave of heat formed as the combination slammed into the tailed Beast with enough force to send it reeling.
Isobu wailed in agony as the burning oil transferred the heat through his shell and to the soft flesh beneath. It dove under water to try and alleviate the burn, but the oil kept it alight. Reaching the bottom of the lake, it upturned the silt and tried to smother the flames, only for a maelstrom to form around its mass and pluck both it and the silt into it to form a dirty whirlpool that shot up into a waterspout at the behest of the Nguruvilu Boss.
Sent skyward, Naruto watched as gravity took hold of the Three-Tailed Turtle once the spout capped off and sent Isobu down at an arch, leaving the hulking behemoth crashing down with a large cloud of splinters, dust, and murk in the woodlands. The massive chakra beast groaned and was then encased in a grey-greenish light as his form shrank.
“I think he’s down now,” Utakata mused.
Kushina shook her head. “There’s still one more thing we need to do…”
The mindscape of the Mizukage and Three-Tailed Turtle was a contrast to that of the One-Tailed Raccoon and Gaara of the Desert. Instead of endless sands with only an oasis of relief, it was a never-ending body of water perpetually shrouded in mist, with the only bastion being a chunk of land that peaked in a curve at the top. Kushina, Kurama, Naruto, Saiken, and Utakata all stood there, their gazes fixed on a horrifying sight.
Both Yagura and Isbobu stood in place on the water, empty-eyed with nightmarish chains piercing their bodies and minds from above. At the other end of the chains was the source, a red wheel that spun without end, what looked to be a black three-point shuriken with a tail connecting to the next point making them seem like a second circle within the first.
“The Mangekyo Sharingan,” Kushina said softly. She could never forget those same eyes that had ensnared her at one time, forcing her to release the seal binding Kurama inside of her after giving birth. The same design as those of the masked man who threatened to kill her child.
“Those same. Damn. Eyes.” Kurama snarled. “It drove Isobu to fight but it made him lame, a puppet on strings.“
Saiken agreed. “If he had been himself, Isobu could use a mist to drive away those within it or open a rift to another pocket dimension. That battle would not have been so easy.“
“How do we free them?” Naruto asked, ignoring the fact that they called what just transpired an easy battle.
“That eye is a physical manifestation of the chakra holding them in a thrall,” Kushina stated. “Because they’re already caught they can’t escape, so we need to use enough chakra to break them free. If both of the Tailed-Beast work it tandem then it should work and I can apply the seal.”
Kurama snorted. Even as it did so, the air around it warped. “I alone will suffice.“
Naruto backed away as the fox stepped forward. The water beneath its paws began to boil. Steam rose to envelope the limbs and the curled around the tails that menacingly swayed around.
“Shameful,” the fox spat out with barely constrained fury. “We nine, the second sons and daughter of the Sage of Six Paths, the inheritors of his will and vessels that hold the power of the Ten-Tails. Betrayed by those who bore his blood, to be bartered around by the descendant of the second-born of our father and then mentally enslaved by the first-born with those damnable eyes!”
The maw opened to reveal fangs. The nine tails curled up and inwards, nine arches that touched down at the opening. Spheres of crimson appeared as his rage was given form. They gathered into one where the nine points of the tail met, pulling towards the gap the entrance of its throat. The orb that formed was a single, violent, throbbing mass of malice.
“HOW. DARE. THEY!” A crimson spear of light launched, parting the air with such furiosity that it howled as it sailed towards the spinning eye. It smashed through it with impudence. The mirror-wheel eye crumbled like shattered stained-glass, the chains connected to it dissolving as they tumbled into the waters of the mindscape.
The group watched as the pair, now freed from the chains, collapsed. To hold them under its control for so long had hollowed them out. It would take months or possibly years for them to regain the same level of mental function they once had.
Wisps of crimson left the fox’s maw as Kurama turned to Kushina. “Get to work, woman. The longer I remain her, the more my fury will boil over.“
“If it weren’t for the fact that I’m as angry as you are I’d chain that mouth of yours shut,” she responded with her eyes closed as she advanced towards the pair. Regardless of their mutual enemy, they were under no circumstances in the mood to pretend to be friendly.
Nevertheless, Kushina set to work.
Some Time Later…
After that battle, once night fell, the group reached what served as a safe-house for the time being. Naruto had showered and dressed in spare clothing they procured some time after the battle, a simple shirt and pants to go with his gloves and sandals. There were a number of rooms in the building, each one having the simplest comforts of a bed, which he desperately needed after so many nights without one, but he couldn’t sleep.
Instead he wondered into a room where Kushina sat down in a chair next to Isaribi, who was bandaged more so than when they first met her. A soft whisper was coming out of her lips, a lullaby for the slumbering Maiden of the Sea. When she turned to look at him, her eyes were downcast and somber.
“How are you feeling, Naruto?” she asked.
“Fine, I guess,” he said, rubbing his eyes. “How’s Isaribi-nee?”
“Isaribi-chan…” Kushina sighed. “If her Kaima Form had dropped any sooner, then she would be dead. It saved her and, now that I’ve gotten the Contact Scroll back, I sent for Tsunade. But the healers here say that she won’t be able to move around well for months with the damage she took.”
His expression tightened. “If I had been just a little stronger…”
He trailed off as she shook her head. “If you had been stronger, if we had gotten there earlier, if, if, if… There are no ‘ifs’ at this point. There never are once the deed is done. Especially not in war….”
Silence ensued as the weight of the words pressed against Naruto.
“We’re heading back home,” she said slowly, to break the silence after a full two-minutes. “A change in regime doesn’t happen overnight, so Kiri will be unstable for a month or so at least. Maybe they’ll have themselves in order by the next Chuunin Exams, but I’ve exposed you and Isaribi-chan to too much in too little time. I’ll maintain communication with Mei-san and Utakata-san, but it’s time we left.”
He found himself agreeing, having had enough of the Bloody Mist for the time being. It had already dyed him and his world in its colors enough.
Notes: Finally, the Arc Ends!
Nguruvilu—a river-dwelling creature and looks much like a strange fox, with a long body, similar to a snake, and a long tail with fingernails that it uses like a claw; but it’s a water-being. Nguruvilus live in and are the cause of dangerous whirlpools which kill people who try to cross rivers. The creatures make the water shallow on either ford, to encourage people to try to cross it making it seem safe.
That’s right, I found an already existing creature to be used for summoning that has to do with whirlpools and foxes all in one.