Claymore Fan Fiction / Naruto Fan Fiction ❯ A Red Dawn ❯ The Slashers ( Chapter 14 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
|Raki had to admit, the change of scenery was very nice.
From the blistering heat waves of the sand to the cool, gentle breeze of the forest they were walking through was far nicer. It also seemed that the animals here were plentiful having seen a few herd of deer, a group of mountain goats, two or three cougars and even a black bear, eating the berries it found on a tree.
It was just at the moment his stomach growled so loudly that Naruto had to turn around and look for what caused the noise. He, however, chuckled softly before flicking an apple over towards him. "Here. That should hold you for a while. We're almost there anyways."
Biting into the apple after nodding, he was surprised at how sweet it actually was. His head was swirling for a moment and he nearly lost balance as the taste was absolutely wonderful. Looking at the apple in sheer awe for a moment, Raki tore into and a moment later it was gone.
"Talk about not savoring the flavor…" Naruto mumbled as he shook his head, repressing the laughter he felt bubbling within. His reaction was similar to his own when he first ate one of Luciela's apples. How she made them so sweet, he'll never know… Or want to know at that.
"Say… I know this is a little late to be asking, but where are we going?" Raki asked, having been too distracted in keep up with Naruto as the pace he walked was rather quick and he had difficulty keeping with him.
Hearing humming in the distance, figuring that she already knew he was heading her direction, Naruto smiled softly before sighing contently. "Ah yes. We happen to be heading to one of my girlfriend's places. She owns much of the land here in the south… However I must warn you, do not get on her bad side. …She has a severe temperament and switch from blissfully happy to murderous psycho in one sentence."
"That is because you say something that pisses me off." Luciela stated, appearing out of nowhere and nearly crushed Naruto with her embrace. "And welcome home my love! Now who is this? …I thought I told you to stop adopting orphans!"
Watching how quickly she went from lovey-dovey to rather irritated, Raki was quite sure Naruto was right. She seemed to have rapidly changing mood swings and they seemed to be directed completely at the blonde.
Crossing his arms across his chest and raising an eyebrow at Luciela, Naruto rolled his eyes. "Clare doesn't count, so this would be the first one I brought back… Now promise you will contain yourself around him."
Luciela huffed as she glanced at Raki, looking over him for a moment, before turning her gaze back onto Naruto as she frowned. "Like I have a choice. I already can't eat in front of the girl and seeing he is human, I really doubt he be too accepting to my feeding habits to begin with."
Confused to the conversation that was going on, Raki was about to speak when Luciela turned to him. "However, I do believe he has the right to choose not to stay here with me… One who devours the flesh of humans."
Stumbling back, frightened at what he just heard, Raki nearly fell on off his feet when he fell back into a tree. "You're a… You're a yoma!"
"I am not." Luciela responded, her eyes glowing silver at the comparison to such a lowly creature, "I use to be a warrior, a Claymore as you call them… When a Claymore uses their yoma power to their fullest extent, they become a being far different from a yoma but possess their lust for human flesh."
Moving next to Raki's side, offering him his hand, Naruto knelt down beside him and smiled. "You don't have to worry about her coming after you or anyone you know or care for. She has regained her humanity and only eats rarely and she never eats good people…"
"Not much of a choice there either… Otherwise you would leave me." Luciela grumbled, glaring at Naruto as she would have liked to eat a little more then what she had been reduced to.
Ignoring her as she wasn't exactly helping at the moment, Naruto continued. "She is very calm and kind, despite her tough appearance and nothing like a yoma. She'll treat you far better then those back at that village would… She is more accepting then they are, just like both Clare and myself and wouldn't harm a hair on your head."
Raki was still frightened, there was no hiding that, but part of him understood what Naruto was trying to convey. But it was so hard to believe that a yoma, or whatever she was, was so… So human.
As if to respond to this thought, Luciela walked over and stood by Naruto, looking down at Raki with a tilted head and mustering a soft, caring voice, something she almost never used. "I'm nothing like those yoma. I don't go out seek to destroy families, making the ones left behind suffer. …I too, have someone I deeply care for that was taken from me by these damnable powers. I want nothing more then her to be back beside me."
Gazing at her, listening to what she had said, Raki felt… He felt like he could relate to this woman. Her pain was real and so similar to his own. And even if she was a monster, by the definition of the word, for what she ate… She was still, at least in his mind, human.
Not comfortable by his gaze, Luciela took a step back and winced as she wasn't use to such looks. But as he took Naruto's hand and was helped up, she smiled and brushed some bangs out of her face. "So I assume you are okay with living here with me?"
As he nodded, she turned to Naruto and gave him what he assumed to be a lustful grin. "Now… As much as I want you to stay here with me so I may ravish you, I have a job for you… One to collect a few more warriors for our cause."
"Where the hell do you keep getting this information?" Naruto question, really beginning to wonder how Luciela knew of everything that seemed to be going on the island continent. He had his suspicions but with nothing to back them up, he really couldn't say what they were.
Luciela only shook her head, not bothering with an explanation as she went onto the details of the job. "I've been hearing about these strange occurrences among the warriors this generation. Apparently a few have seemingly bypassed their limits yet somehow have managed to keep their humanity and not awaken."
"Well now, isn't that interesting." Naruto commented as that was certainly an anomaly for them. "Hey, they might be able to help me perfect the seal that stifles awakening. I'm not sure how long the one I placed will last on her as she struggles when she goes over thirty percent."
"I was thinking along those lines as well, but I know at least one of them has a deep hatred for the organization. …I am unsure where it stems from, but we could use her to get out of here." Luciela added before she frowned a little. "However, it seems the organization either has deemed these particular individuals as threats or knows we are after them and is about to send them on an Awaken hunt in the east that will lead to their deaths."
"So basically you want me to study them, find out how they are able to go over there limits and return, make sure they survive and recruit them to our reserves." Naruto reiterated for clarification, hoping he had everything down pat.
"Oh! And if you can pick me up a meal, I would be so happy." Luciela grinned as she hung from his shoulders, breathing heatedly onto his ear making Naruto shudder at the way she said it. It wasn't that she was blood lusting or anything… Well, she was lusting…
It was at this moment Teresa decided to arrive, looking like she was searching for something. However, soon as she saw this scene, her eyes began twitching before she finally rolled her eyes. "Is everything just blood and sex with you? You can be talking about something that doesn't have to deal with either then the moment be lusting all over him, talking about feasting on some pour unfortunate soul."
Luciela began twitching at Teresa's arrival and growled at her. "Would you watch your language?! There is kid here! You got on me about saying sexual things around Clare but when you say it is all fine!"
"That is because, he is a boy." Teresa pointed over at Raki, not even realizing he was the same kid that Clare had embraced before she pulled her out of the village. "And I have no issue saying anything in front of him as I'm not his foster parent… As what I can see, Naruto is."
Throwing up her hands in the air, entirely too frustrated to deal with Teresa at the moment, Luciela stormed away, determined to head to her garden that always calmed her down.
Smirking as she watched Luciela marched off in frustration; Teresa shook her head as she turned to Naruto. "Do you by any chance know where Clare went? I was looking for her as I was going to take her to a village just south of here to point out a few flaws I saw in her fights a few nights ago."
"Fights? Okay, start explaining. I need to be filled in on a few things anyways." Naruto responded; interested in what happened as he wasn't available to evaluate Clare's performance as he had a more important mission in the north.
"It took her some time to find the yoma and she waited to make sure it was. The warrior the village called for arrived at that time and she notice Clare acting oddly and the two fought, Clare winning but just barely." Teresa recapped what had happened before being interrupted.
"Must have been Elena or another in the low forties otherwise Clare would have been beaten silly." Naruto muttered in response, knowing Clare was no where near the strength to last in a bout against a warrior with moderate strength.
Thinking for a moment, the name registering for a moment, Teresa nodded. "Yeah, it was Elena. I didn't recognize her at first as she seemed a little stronger then before. …Anyways, Clare only won their battle as they were both distracted by the yoma slaying… Oh shit! That is the same boy!"
Looking over at Raki for a moment, Naruto groaned and rubbed his temple. "Yes… He happened to be exiled from his village just as I got there. Now if you would."
Snapping out of her trance, Teresa turned from Raki and grimaced as she realized why Clare had been so down when they came back. "Well, because of that she was able to catch Elena in that paralyzing technique and moved to take out the yoma. What she saw must have pissed her off as she let loose her emotions with a huge flame and burned the house down before slicing the yoma's head off as he survived the flame."
"Her actions caught the village's attention and because of that I had to pull her out swiftly… I didn't think about what would happen to him as I thought someone would take care of him. …But still, why did you bring him here? Wouldn't he be better off in another village?" Teresa put the blame on herself before questioning Naruto's motives.
"And what, have another yoma possibly ruin his life?" Naruto fired back, giving Teresa a challenging glare as he was not in the mood to be tested at the moment. "I brought him with me as I see a lot of myself in him and I know for a fact Clare spent a lot of time with him and feels the same."
"Now, as for where Clare is… I do know where she is. I had told Irene once Clare came back and got a day's rest to take her to Rabona to slay the yoma there to work on her stealth." Naruto informed Teresa, who know looked irate as she wasn't told of any of this before hand.
However, Naruto moved by her and to Raki and patting his shoulder. "And if you would, take Raki with you when you go. Where I'm heading I can't take him and I'm not exactly going to leave him here with Luciela yet as he knows what she is and doesn't exactly trust her. …Raki, I'll see you later. Teresa will take you to Clare."
Growling as the blonde was blowing her off, something he had been doing lately, and it was pissing her off. But despite her anger, she huffed and turned to Raki. "Are you good for another few days of walking? Irene and Clare are most likely already at Rabona, so we need to hurry if we are to get there."
Nodding as meeting Clare again was something she had promised him; Raki checked his canteen to make sure it was full. "I'm ready. I might have to fill up my canteen soon though. I only have a few more swallows left."
"We'll refill it at the creek just a little ways north." Teresa stated as she nodded north before stepping in front of him, taking the lead as she so normally did. "I would normally teleport us there, but I haven't learned how to take another along with me with both getting really sick."
"Oh, so you can use the trick Naruto used to?" Raki stated as he followed, Teresa sighing and shaking her head having a bad feeling about this.
Naruto grinned as Raki talked his ear off about Clare when they had stopped. Shaking his head, he was about to head out himself when a certain awaken slunk towards him, wrapping her arm around his shoulder. "My lovely soldier boy… Heading out so soon?"
"You're high, aren't you?" Naruto stated as he looked into Luciela's slightly glazed eyes as well as smelling the smoke coming off her.
"You're good looking." She responded immediately, hanging off of him with a brightest smile on her face. "I'm kind of hungry now… May I chew on you for a while?"
At the sound of her voice, Naruto became a deep scarlet from the way she had said. …It was very similar to her lusting tone from before. So was she suggesting…?!
Luciela just continued smiling, closing her eyes as she laid her head on his shoulder, content.
|"Okay… Now she did tell me it was this town." Naruto stated as he covered himself with a brown cloak hiding most of his face before placing an old Anbu mask, a present Kakashi gave him, over his face.
He didn't want to wear his Akatsuki cloak as that would be a dead giveaway to who he was. So far the organization seemed to have no interest in him, probably due to his connection with Luciela, but that didn't mean they weren't keeping tabs on him. So he had to disguise himself, or at least cover his appearance, to lessen the chance he would be spotted.
Nonetheless, he had to keep low key as he was going to be spying on the group of warriors he could sense within the perimeter. It wouldn't too difficult unless one happened to be God Eye Galatea… Then he was mostly screwed. That warrior could sense him before he even could catch a glimpse of her presence.
Her range was absurd, making Karin's look pitiful and the only way he could get by it was through a special seal that completely suppressed his signature. The reason he didn't like using it was that it also repressed his chakra and made it virtually impossible to use.
Naruto was sure she wasn't among the four that as he could feel how much they posed. He immediately picked out three as abnormal as, despite the amount they possessed, their yoki was extraordinarily potent and felt more untamed, somewhat like Kyuubi's. But the fourth…
"Ah dammit. Elena is the fourth member." Naruto mumbled under his breath as he spotted the four, exiting a tavern before a realization dawned on him. "Shit! They must know that I've been in contact with Elena. Why else would they send her out on a suicide mission?"
Cursing as Elena was the one he was testing his awakening repulsion seal and he needed to see how it was working, he sighed. This would be a little more troublesome as he rather needed Elena after finding her struggling to keep her mind.
And to make matters worse, the god of misfortune wanted to mess with him today as Elena turned into his direction. And of course, wouldn't you know it, she recognized him despite covering his features, masking his presence and wearing a damn mask! What were the odds?!
"Naruto!" Elena called as she realized who he was and ran over towards him.
Berating himself for his attire, figuring it was rather obvious that he would be wearing such a thing, he turned to Elena's direct and plucked his mask off. His eyebrow was twitching madly as he sternly looked her in the eyes. "Alright, what the hell do you want? As you can kind of see, I'm not here to be noticed!"
Elena stepped back as Naruto silently yelled at her, she grimaced as she immediately caught what she did to piss him off. He didn't want to be discovered and now she just blew his cover when she called out his named. "Sorry… I was just hoping that…"
"Let's talk somewhere else." Naruto stated as he noted that the other three warriors' attention had been brought upon. "I rather not speak about anything that can be reported back to them."
Glancing back towards her partners for the awaken hunt, Elena figured Naruto was worried about anything he had to say being told to one of their handlers and getting back to the organization… She rather the organization did not learn of the seal placed upon her that, at least for now, was keeping her humanity.
Heading towards Mira, Deneve and Helen, Elena stopped before motioning her head towards Naruto, letting them know what she was doing. "I need a moment to talk to him alone, so I'm going to get a room."
Miria nodded as she gazed over at Naruto, her eyebrow rising for a moment. However, Helen looked over at him for a moment then looked back at Elena, sizing the two before grinning. "Ah! I think I see… He's your little toy, isn't he?"
Naruto twitched as he heard that clear as day. Did she just call him…? Oh, she wasn't going to get away with that! He was no ones toy regardless of whatever the meaning behind it meant.
Forming a single seal behind him as his eyebrow twitched, Naruto removed his hand from behind him and turned away from the group. "Elena, let's go. I have somewhere to be."
Chasing after him as he moved to the inn to borrow a room for a moment, Helen grinned as she knew she was right. But that was very odd when all that sand swirled around her… And what in the world was that crackling noise?
Being unable to decipher where the sound was coming from, Helen finally looked up before her eyes widened. There was a gigantic, no, immense fire ball descending down towards her and her to partners. Without second thought, Helen jumped and rolled away from the falling ball flames only to see it crash down upon both her comrades.
But before she could scream out their names, the flames seemingly dissolved into nothingness, leaving both Miria and Deneve looking at her confused. Finally the latter of the two spoke, looking at her friend oddly. "Helen… What was that for?"
Looking at Deneve if she was insane, Helen pointed up to the sky as her mouth gaped. "But… But didn't you see that fire fuck ball coming down from the sky too?!"
Sighing at her old friend as Miria only raised her eyebrow once more; Deneve shook her head and walked over to Helen. "I think you are just hallucinating and saw the sun crash down onto us. We would have noticed if that were to happen."
"But I swear I saw it!" Helen yelled back, sure of what she had seen despite her best friend not believing her.
Within the hotel, Naruto felt a little better having heard Helen. Justice had been served, for now at least.
Shaking his head of that, his sight turned back onto Elena as she entered the room, giving him a strange look as she too had heard Helen, the warrior being quite loud. "If I had to guess…"
"You would be right." Naruto responded before she could finish, looking playful for a moment until his gaze become more harden before he spoke again. "Now, what is it that you want? If it is to check the seal, fine but I haven't made any improvements on it. That is part of the reason I am here."
"It's not that. The seal is holding up fine and I can even use my yoki up to thirty percent without feeling like I'm losing control." Elena told Naruto, having tested her new limits but was glad to hear that was a reason he was here, "But there was something odd that happened almost a week ago now. I ran into a girl in a small town… Her skills far above what anyone other then another warrior should be capable of."
Snapping his fingers, glad that he was correct, Naruto chuckled as he shook his head. "She would be my current student. From what I've heard, she got lucky against you though… Which means your strength has dramatically improved as I was sure when we first met, Clare could defeat you."
At first, Elena was rather stunned hearing there was another normal within their world that could slay yoma. Then she became very flattered as he complemented her strength, something she as all warriors did, prided themselves in. "T-thank you… But she still defeated me."
"Only on technicality. You were both distracted by the yoma, however you were further distracted as it is your job to slay yoma and that took priority. She took advantage and used a technique the specifically targets the opponents nerves and neutralizes movement for a few moments. Otherwise, from what I heard, you would have won." Naruto explained, attempting to puff her pride a little as he had a feeling the one that made that comment about him was going to tear Elena down along the way due to her rank being forty-seven.
Blushing as she normally was never given this many complements, Elena would have had said something else but Naruto immediately stood up and moved to the door. Looking at it for a moment, he sighed before he kicked it open… And right into Helen's face. "What are you doing here? This is a private conversation, not some sort of sexual fantasy as you seem to think it might be."
Helen cursed up a storm as she began to rub her face furiously, a bright red mark left in center of her face, focusing around the nose. "Ow! What the hell is that for?! I was just checking on her to make sure you didn't try anything funny!"
"Ha. You're worried about another warrior being taken advantage of by a normal person? Convincing excuse." Naruto commented, glaring at Helen for she was beginning to grate on his nerves.
Growling at him, feeling equally annoyed by his presence as he was of her, Helen gazed right back into his eyes. "Alright, so what? There isn't a damn thing you can do about it. If I want to hear what she wanted to talk to you in private for, there isn't anything either of you can do about it as you both are weaker then me."
That did. No one belittled him any longer. He was the leader of the dawn, one of the strongest shinobi on the planet and he wasn't in a good mood. Naruto snapped and grabbed her arm as she attempted to shove him away, showing off her superiority.
In an instant, Helen was thrown through the window and came crashing down in the middle of the street, forming a formidable crater despite the short distance she had been thrown. Both Deneve and Miria reacted immediately and came onto the scene, shocked seeing their comrade pulling herself from the caved ground.
However, Miria nearly froze as she looked into the broken window to see the same blonde Elena had wanted a private conversation with now wearing a black cloak with very notable red cloud pattern. Her entire body tensed as she had thought his description seemed familiar but now… Coming face to face with him here?
"It can't be… Why would the Abyssal Warrior be here?!" Miria stated, her hand slinking back to her sword's handle just in case he was hostile. She wasn't sure what she could even do if he was, but it was better then going out without a fight.
Looking down at her for a moment, hearing what she had said, Naruto turned back to Elena. "I'm sorry, can you pay the damages for me. I must be going."
Without waiting for a response, Naruto disappeared from all of their vision before suddenly reforming directly behind Miria, his hand gripping her blade to keep it sheathed. "Don't bother, I am no threat. …But that was a very interesting name you called me by? I am guessing that is what the organization came up for me but that makes me wonder… How do they know of my true strength?"
Miria turned her head back, her eyes narrowed as he was no longer there. Scanning the area, she found no trace of his presence before she jerked her head back, feeling pressure on her sword.
Deneve, taking a piece of paper from her sword, frowned for a moment as the style of writing was not to what she was accustomed to. She could still read it so there was no problem there, it was just awkwardly positioned and read. "Huh, what in the world does that mean?"
"What does it say?" Helen asked as she appeared behind Deneve, trying to read it and figure out what the message meant.
"It says… I'm watching you. It doesn't say anything else… So is he just watching us?" Deneve replied, confused as she could sense no one around having seen the blonde vanish in a swirl of sand. So how was he watching them?
Narrowing her eyes for a moment, Miria took the note for herself and read it. Seeing there was no other meaning or anything else to lead to another conclusion, the number six warrior shook her head as she noted Elena exit the inn. "It doesn't matter now. Just keep a close eye on your surroundings. We're heading out."
Not waiting another second, not going to sit and be watched, Miria turned and headed towards the direction of the mountain as their destination was there. The other three quickly followed, stepping in line and keeping pace with Miria.
From the outskirts of town, lying on the roof of some random person's home, Naruto twirled a kunai as he smirked. "I wondered if she even noticed the mark I left on her sword."
|Following the four warriors was rather easy thanks to the seal he had placed on the defacto leader of the four. So he had no difficulty staying out of their sensory range while keeping tabs on them. Of course in order to gather more information on them, he needed to get closer but for now this was fine.
When they had stopped for the night, a lot of pressure was placed on Elena as Helen and even Miria to an extent asked her about him. The good thing was Elena knew absolutely nothing about him other then he was rather powerful and had sealing skills that could repress awakening and yoki bursts, something he was glad she didn't tell him.
After the night, they headed out and into the cannon. Having scouted this area during the night, having sensed the awaken's presence within the area, Naruto found a good little clearing where he could watched the fight from a distance and analyze it before he had to step it.
However, the group was in trouble now as they had found the awaken they had been sent to slay. He was moderately powerful, probably a high single digit or a low teen number when he was a warrior. It was clear he was a defensive type when all his arms had been cut off but before they could even fall they had reattached and struck the annoying warrior.
Elena was in bad shape. She had stepped in and taken a claw to the ribs for Helen after already receiving a previous injury from multiple lances striking her in the chest. Still, her wounds were light compared to what Deneve had received. She had her entire arm ripped off and now even as she was regenerating it, the awakened left a gaping hole in her sternum.
Helen was in the best shape of the double digit warriors. But that wasn't saying much seeing the deep scars left on her back and was out of commission, leaving Miria on her own.
The number six was no longer holding back, releasing her yoki in instantaneous burst to travel so quickly that it was damn near impossible to see her movements. Furthermore it left an after image in the wake of her burst making those who attack the said image believe she was a phantom.
"Now that is living up to your name." Naruto commented as he watched Miria used her 'Phantom Mirage' to appear around the six armed awaken and attack it from every feasible angle. "But that is rather reckless… As of right now, she is unable to land the finishing blow so she is just wasting her power."
Knowing that he would have to intervene soon, Naruto sighed as he leapt down from his tree. Yet before he could move, he would have to undo his suppression seal so he could move quickly and deal with the menace.
Wiping away a piece of the rune he felt the release of his chakra and felt much better as it was freely flowing once. Stretching his muscles, he was about to respond when he caught an anomaly due south of his position. He caught a presence… A very powerful presence. But that was impossible… That was too far for him to feel another's…
Without another thought, Naruto went straight towards the signal he had caught and immediately found what he was looking for. "Well, well… God-Eye Galatea and your handlers… Now why would you two be here?"
The said warrior had drawn her sword, feeling the presence just a moment before as it had appeared within the area. She had sensed an irregular presence before, but thought nothing of it as it was very weak before and if it was anything of worry it would have been a yoma. But now… She felt the entirety of its being and was worried.
In the very next moment, she was forced to catch Ermita as his limp body was tossed to her. "It really doesn't matter. I can't afford either of you interfering with me at the moment, so I'm sorry but I have to put you out of commission."
Dropping her handler, Galatea grimaced as she brought her blade before her, ready to strike at him. However, to her surprised he simply vanished in a cloud of smoke before a hand gripped the back of her neck and a foreign energy began to enter her system.
Gasping as she literally felt the energy began to try and manipulate her, Galatea dropped to her knees as her vision began to blur while her body began to attempt to morph into something… Something that she wasn't suppose to turn into. "You should be able to expel it, but it should give me enough time to get out of here undetected."
Still, not feeling that it was enough, Naruto went through a few hand seals and used a genjutsu he had learned from Yakumo that would impair her senses for a while. It was nothing like she could do, but it would at least stall her when her yoki overcame his sage chakra.
Closing his eyes for a moment, picking up on the seal he placed on Miria, Naruto sighed as he didn't really want to enter like this but now he had no choice. He could sense the four were in trouble and Miria was pinned. So without regard, he was gone in a split second and suddenly was besides Miria in a blink of light.
Without hesitation, instantly catching the situation through the seal's embedded radar, he funneled chakra to his leg and drove it into the male awaken's skull, causing rocks to fall on top of him and create a tomb.
In the very next moment, it found itself driven in the cliff wall as Naruto reached down and picked Miria up, cradling her in his arms. Looking down at her, he grinned as he began moving towards the other three warriors. "Seems like you need some help and I was in the area…"
Miria couldn't believe what had just happened. Just moments ago she was being violated by the awaken's tongue, which created a fourth hole in her stomach to violate her with, and now the Abyssal warrior had appeared before her, knocked the awakened away with a single blow and was carrying her to her comrades.
"What the… What in the fuck just happened?!" The male awakened yelled out as he broke his rocky tomb, gazing across the area only to see a lone male taking the Claymore he had been playing with to her equally injured allies.
Growling at this, he lunged straight towards the blonde to make him pay for taking his toy and to get quick meal. But before he could reach him, two other males wearing identical clothing and extraordinarily same features appeared beside him and latched onto his side. He reacted immediately and struck at both of them, but soon as contact had been made…
Two rings of explosion ripped from behind him as Naruto laid Miria down next to Elena, shaking his head as the injured warriors looked up at him in shock as the smoke and debris rose behind him. "You should be more careful… Losing the four of you would make my research in repressing and reverting awakening be for nothing."
The three awake looked at him in shock, Elena somewhat less as he had saved her from awakening, Naruto moved back to his feet as the dust began to settle. Turning back, his cold eyes gaze straight towards the creature only to see the gaping wounds his exploding clones inflicted recover rather quickly.
"Seems you're a defensive type. That means there are only two ways I can kill you." Naruto stated as he drew a single scroll form his pouch, unraveling it and touching the seal.
In that moment a giant claymore like the warriors used appeared from the scroll. Grabbing the hilt, Naruto brought for the great blade as he glanced at the symbol for a moment before glancing at his enemy. "Now, I rather like to get this done quickly as I don't have much time before God-Eye regains her senses."
Naruto rushed by the awakened, who jumped to the side just in time to avoid the strike. But in the same exact moment, the three arms on his right spewed blood and pain ripped through his body. In the next moment, he had jumped up to avoid yet another strike but it was like the last time. His left leg had been severed and as he landed, he screamed in pain.
Spitting on the ground as some of the blood spewed onto his face, Naruto had misjudged his speed. He was a little faster then he estimated and because of that he had failed to take his head each time. Still, it seemed he was on his last leg as his regeneration was going slower then it was before.
But now the awaken could see what he was dealing with. He attempted to move back, a rather difficult chore as he was missing a leg, his entire being beginning to shake. "No… You can't be… You're the toy Luce…"
In the very next moment, before he could finish his statement, blood began to spew from dozens of different locations before his body literally fell apart. Behind the shredded body, Naruto flicked the blood from the blade as he gazed at the corpse. "I am nobody's toy."
Making sure the blade was clean of blood before he sealed it away, the warriors awake could not believe how quickly Naruto had dispatched the monster they had been unable to defeat.
Elena was simply surprised as it seemed what Teresa had said about him being stronger was very possibly true. Miria was still reeling over his second appearance and now with the awakened dispatched, she wasn't sure what to do. Helen… Well she was just glad she got thrown out the window. If that is what he did to people that called him a toy… She got off with a slap on the wrists.
Checking on them as they were too shocked to react, Naruto noted that Elena, Helen and Miria would be okay. Deneve however… Her odds were extremely low. If her wound didn't heal over soon she would die from blood loss and to make the situation worse he had practically no medical knowledge so there was nothing he could do about the situation.
"Crap… This isn't good. I don't suppose any of you know how to heal with your yoki?" Naruto asked as he hovered over Deneve, glancing over at them and hoping they would.
Unfortunately each shook their heads. Groaning as there was nothing that could be done; Naruto stood and moved to help Miria up as she had mostly recovered from her wound. "Then there is nothing that can be done… The only way she is going to get out of this is through her own will power."
Glancing down at Deneve, Miria nodded as that was about what she expected when she examined the short haired warrior before. Still she was rather unnerved from what he had said before slaying the awaken. "What is it that you want with us? We aren't test subject for you to play with."
The anger in her voice was rather predictable. After what he had said, he would have found it difficult to believe that she wouldn't be angry. "I know you have surpassed your limits and were able to return. I was hoping to witness such an act so I could determine how to draw back those who go over their limit and allow them to keep their humanity… And to maybe, just maybe, to revert awakens back to regain their humanity."
Keeping her eye on him as he turned his back and motioned for her to follow, so what was going to be said wouldn't be over heard, Miria did such and soon as they were out of ear shot responded. "Why would you do such a thing? You have no position in the organization and in fact are seen as a danger to them. Why do anything that would help them?"
"I would like to say I'm doing this for a noble cause, like wanting to see the warriors they use keep their humanity… But to be truthful, that is only a side-effect of my goal. …I am building an army of warriors to help me on my quest back to my homeland on a different continent." Naruto stated as he looked back at Miria, checking to make sure Elena or Helen had not followed.
Miria was once more taken aback. He was building an army of warriors… To make it back to his home on another continent. But why would he need such a thing unless… Unless. "The organization is standing in your way."
"They are… As I doubt they would just let me waltz in, give me directions along with a ship and let me leave peaceful. Even if I am a danger to them, I have many abilities they are curious about and more importantly want to implement into their own warriors to make them even stronger." Naruto replied as Miria quickly figured out what his idea in.
Knowing that to be true, Miria could see what he was doing and how it made sense. Most warriors were very loyal; however, that loyalty could only be stretched so far and if one came and offered them the ability to keep them from awakening a good few would jump at it in a heart beat. "So… You are trying to recruit us."
Nodding as that was his purpose, Naruto waited to say anything else before Miria reacted. While she gave no outward sign that she would be aggressive to such an idea, it was still prudent to be cautious. Most warriors could hide their feelings very well and despite their feelings would still fight for the organization.
"Do you… Do you think you can succeed?" Miria asked as she caught the Akatsuki leader off guard as that was the furthest thing from his mind at the moment.
Recovering after a moment of staring at her, he took a moment to think about whether he could or not before answer. "I would say I have a good chance. I know my strength very well, I already have five warriors within the organization that will stand with me and are waiting for a perfected seal and I even have a few awakens siding with me."
"Awakens?!" Miria responded immediately, taking a step back as he had contact with awakens and they had joined his cause…
"As I said with before, I'm researching into keeping warriors from awakening and even trying to revert it. There are those that wish to be human again as they can't stand their lives as it is now. I seek those out and they join my cause, knowing I'm making head way in that direction." Naruto explained in a calm and collected voice.
Still weary of him, Miria dropped her defensive stance as there, at the very least, was a chance that a few warriors awoke yet did not want to. "Are you planning on destroying the organization?"
Gazing at her for a moment, seeing that she in no way was ready to strike him, Naruto simply shrugged his shoulders. "It is a possibility, but one I'm unsure of about right now. I know they will put up a fight when I head east, but for now I don't plan on their destruction."
Frowning at what she heard, Miria closed her eyes as calmed her beating heart. Opening them, her eyes gleamed with a fiery determination. "If you cripple them enough so that I can finish the job… I will follow you."
Raising an eyebrow at her, wondering at first why she seemed so determined to destroy the organization, Naruto's face fell as he gazed at her. "You do realize what the would mean…"
"I do… And I've been battling over whether or not it is the right choice… But I can't stand idle any more when I see a chance to take care of them… They who have done this to us and treat us no better then sacrificial pawns in their game to make the ultimate weapon. …I won't let others go through the pain and suffering I have." Miria stated as she had been digging into the organizations activities and learning why it was creating.
Naruto wasn't really shocked that was their goal. There were always be those who searched for power and would do anything to get it, whether be obtain it by collecting nine beings to create a super being or simply creating it through extensive testing on humans. Hell, there were those that did things far more heinous acts to achieve it.
Shaking his head as he could see that the final warrior was waking, Naruto sighed as he moved beside her. "If you want to follow me, fine but I will guarantee nothing. There are still more important things for me to deal with then them at this moment and I won't go out of my way to seek their destruction."
"However…" Naruto continued as he noted that Elena and Helen were heading towards them, being able to move now, "I would like to know something… I've been searching for who brought me here to this land. …If they have anything to do with it, I may help you achieve your wish. I rather not be brought back to these lands after escaping."
Miria frowned as he wasn't going to promise her anything but if they had anything to do with bring him to this place, as it was obvious he wasn't from here or here on his own free will, he would help her. While she didn't like there was any doubt being left it was acceptable as she could see the organization trying to acquire some of the abilities he possessed.
But before she could say anything else, Helen had made it to them. "Deneve is awake!"
"I know." Naruto commented as he walked by the annoying warrior, which ticked her off but this time she said nothing, and made his way to the downed warrior. "Do you think you can heal over your wound?"
Remembering him from the village, Deneve was on guard before she noted Miria and Helen standing over her as well. Seeing that he wasn't an enemy, at least for now, she closed her eyes and concentrated. "No… Not like this. Even if I release my powers to the limit I wouldn't be able to heal this wound fast enough."
"So how about going over them?" Naruto stated as if it was obvious, making her look at him if he was insane before he continued. "You have done it before, have you not? Otherwise you wouldn't be here."
"So it is true?!" Miria voiced in response, glancing straight at Naruto for an answer.
Sighing as he didn't want to have to explain this, he pushed his hand through his hair. "From what I know, yes. The four of you were sent here to be put to death as each of you is a risk. …Or that is what I am told, however, I'm not convinced. Outside of you, Elena, the three of you have surpassed your limit at one point and returned. Why would the organization throw away such a soldier?"
Miria immediately caught onto what Naruto had said. "…It doesn't make any sense. From what I heard they have been conducting experiments for warriors to awake yet be brought back through some sort of bond. If we are able to surpass our limits and not turn into yoma, one would thing they bring us in to study us to further their research and…"
Seeing Miria wisely stop speaking, not wanting the other three to know of what she had found, Naruto nodded in agreement. "It doesn't… Unless they don't know. Therefore they simply saw you as problem children and seeked to rid themselves of the four of you. …But that again brings forth another question, why don't they know you have partially awakened."
"Wait, what?! I absolutely have not awakened! See! I'm still human!" Helen feverishly denied before pinching her flesh on her arm, showing she still had a human form.
Pinching the bridge of his nose, refraining from reaching out and hitting Helen, Naruto was glad Miria spoke for him. "He doesn't mean we are like the beast we just fought. He simply is stating that we have transcended our normal limits and we have begun to experience… To experience more desires like hunger and other things like it."
"I also have to point out the abilities I witnessed from both of you are on the outer fringes of our power. One shouldn't be able to extend their limbs or regenerate like either of you do with being near or passing their limit. But I bet neither of you had these abilities before you had come close to awakening, am I right?" Miria added, looking straight into Helen's eyes.
Helen would have refuted but she had been rather hungry as of late among other things as of late. She also couldn't refute that she had passed her limit as she knew of no other warrior that regenerate like Deneve or extend their limbs like she could. And it was impossible to argue as the look in Miria's eyes just told her to stop arguing.
Seeing the lack of argument coming from her, Naruto simply nodded before adding onto what he knew. "Also, your yoki has become more potent and wilder then before, possibly causing some of the side effects you may be feeling. Your limits have also now become rather vague and you may never know when you hit them when using your yoki again."
Having listened to enough, Deneve slowly pushed herself onto all fours before gripping her stomach. "I knew of this before… But the way you speak about it, I may be able to do it again… If so, I can reach my limit and regenerate this wound all at once."
"It is a possibility." Naruto replied as he could feel her yoki raging within her, being readied to be drawn forth. "But you could also not turn back this time."
"If that happens… If I'm about to awaken, don't hesitate to kill me!" Deneve screamed as her yoki flashed around her, cracking the rocks and blowing the dust away.
As Miria stepped in to try and stop Deneve, Naruto pushed her back as both Elena and Helen stepped forward with their blades, the latter speaking. "Old friend, if it comes to that I'll let you pass on peacefully."
Deneve's yoki wildly swirled around her, her body morphing into a hideous figure as she drew on all of her yoki at once. Then in a brilliant flash of light and a powerful burst of wind that blew them back, even pushing Naruto back to an extent, they were forced to look away.
Yet as their vision returned, two blades were at Deneve's neck as she laid on the ground. "Geez… I didn't awaken. You didn't have to make it that close."
"Interesting…" Naruto mumbled under his breath as he now had witnessed what he came to see in the first place, plus completing Luciela's mission in the process, "Now that isn't something you see every day. I think I just found something out."
Having all their attention brought onto him as he still looked at Deneve, he broke his stare before turning from them. "I think I understand how they created you now… Humans have energy known as chakra, despite how pathetically low it is in most people in this place. But what I just saw…"
"Before awakening your yoki as you call it isn't pure yoki, not yet at least. Watching you pass your limit like that I was able to see streams of chakra within the yoki burst, being overwhelmed by the more potent and powerful yoma energy. But somehow… You were able to hold onto strands of it and drew them back in." Naruto verbalized what he had observed, narrowing his eyes for a moment.
At first, no one was able to understand what he had said. But it was Elena that first caught the meaning. "So… In essence if one somehow able to keep their human energy… They won't be able to awaken and revert back to normal."
"It seems so. I can't say for sure, but I'll have to run some test after I create a new seal to test my theory… If you would be so willing to be my subject for the test." Naruto responded before glancing over at Elena to gauge if she would be willing for this test.
"I have no objections. You kept me from awakening before so I trust your seal will work." Elena answered, not fearing awakening as she truly believed it would work.
Sighing for a moment, Naruto turned as he reached into his pocket and waved. "Sorry, but I've got to get going now. Elena, Miria… If you wish to speak to me about something, throw these into the ground and I'll be summoned to your side. In any other event, I'll come find you when I'm ready."
Having thrown two awkward kunai at their feet, sticking them into the ground, Naruto became a flicker of light and vanished.
|Appearing in a flicker of light, Naruto groaned as night had set here as he stood before a certain holy city. "Oh this is just wonderful… So I take it the final test has started, hasn't it Irene?"
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