Title: Inheritance of Hatred: Chapter 7
Pairing: Eventual SasuNaru
Summary: As the Fourth Shinobi World War rages on, Naruto has only one goal: Uchiha Sasuke. He’s trained, he’s chased, and he’s hoped through the past few years, all for the sake of his wayward teammate. But it will all end here.
“Kuchiyose no Jutsu.” Roughly, the gray-haired ninja slammed his hand down into a pool of his own blood, pumping out a burst of chakra to activate the summoning contract. Black script appeared, scrawling a circle around his palm before vanishing into the dirt. “Come forth, Nidaime Manda.”
Kakashi leapt backwards as the ground shuddered violently, grabbing Naruto by the back of his jacket. “Get back.”
With sharp cracks, the earth split deeply in front of them, sending rocks and pebbles flying into the air. From the furrows, a colossal serpent’s head rose out from the chasms of the ground in front of its summoner. Opening its fanged mouth, it let loose a thunderous spitting hiss, saliva dripping from it’s incisors as it reared up. The long coils of its scaled body slid heavily out into full view, the tail forming a protective circle around the injured Kabuto. It weaved its hooded head and neck back and forth, steely rolls of layered flesh thumping the floor powerfully. Four arm-like limbs extended from its hood, each ending with sharply tapering talons that clenched in anticipation.
Stopping a safe distance away, Kakashi stared thoughtfully up at the enormous reptile. It was easily as large as small mountain, towering over the trees of the forest around them. Clearly, Kabuto had done a number of nefarious experiments and cloning to produce such a monster. He doubted anything he himself could summon could subdue the beast. Beside him, Naruto cursed under his breath frustratedly. The Jounin knew Naruto could probably call on his own summons to fight Manda, but such a large-scale battle would surely not escape Madara’s notice. Which left the Copy Ninja with only one final option…
He brought his hands together into a tight seal, channeling his chakra into his left eye.
Naruto looked at his teacher, alarmed. “Kakashi-sensei, I can-”
“No, Naruto. We’re lucky to have avoided Madara so far. Just-”
“Oh crap!” Both shinobi scrambled back, jumping out of the way as Manda dove towards them, snarling ferociously. Its jaws snapped shut on thin air, just barely missing Naruto by seconds. Chunks of soil flew into the sky as it crashed down, rearing back up immediately.
Behind his giant summoning, Kabuto pushed himself into a sitting position, scowling. His legs were not responding to the healing chakra he sent washing over them, despite trying several different techniques. Naruto’s attack had done more damage than he’d expected, severing almost every single chakra pathway in his lower body. Moreover, his present energy levels were getting dangerously low, especially after summoning Manda II and the healing attempts. “Looks like a stand-off, Kakashi,” he called out over the writhing of the enormous snake. “I propose a trade.”
“No deal, Kabuto. I doubt you have anything we’re interested in,” The Jounin answered tersely, concentrating. The Mangekyo took time to activate, and the ferocious serpent circling in front of them didn’t help things.
“Maybe not to you, but I’m sure Naruto would be interested.” The gray-haired man panted, reaching a hand into the folds of his cloak. Manda continued to prowl impatiently in front of him, waiting eagerly for the signal to kill.
“If you mean Sasuke, I can get him myself!” Naruto yelled back, scowling.
“No, Naruto. I have something I’m sure you’d be interested in.” He held aloft a small vial, shaking it lightly. It was filled with a dark crimson liquid, sparkling brightly in the noonday sun.
Squinting at the small object, the jinchuuriki furrowed his eyebrows. “What the hell is that supposed to be.”
With a bark of laughter, Kabuto held the glass container in between his thumb and index finger. “Isn’t there someone you’ve always wanted to talk to, to embrace?” He smirked, a sinister expression. “I can make that happen, with my wonderful Edo Tensei.” When the blond ninja still looked confused, he went on. “In my canvasses through Konoha’s cemeteries, I came across many long-dead men who had been great shinobi in their day. But the most interesting thing I found was an unmarked grave on the far edge of Konoha’s borders. Can you guess who that was, Naruto?” His eerie smile widened at the horrified expression that suddenly lit Kakashi’s face. “Let me give you a hint: her hair was still as red as the blood of hers I hold here.”
For a long moment, Naruto’s expression was frozen as understanding hit him like a tidal wave, causing a myriad of emotions to rush forth in a violent storm. His jaw dropped open in disbelief and shock, fists clenching tight.
As a child, he’d spent many hours wondering who his parents were, sometimes walking quietly through the resting place of Konoha’s fallen in the vain search for a shared name. He thought he’d at last found peace with his orphan status after finally speaking with his mother and father for a few precious moments. But the thought of Kabuto digging up Kushina’s remains, desecrating her grave to extract a DNA sample to use as a summon…it brought a maelstrom of murderous rage bursting to the surface of his control, brushing aside caution and restraint. “Y-You bastard!”
Kakashi recoiled as a vicious aura exploded from the young ninja, surrounding Naruto with a cloud of angry red chakra. “Naruto, calm down-”
His warning was lost as Naruto surged forward towards Kabuto, a shroud of frothing fiery crimson flowing thickly forth. The mere shock-waves knocked the Copy Ninja off his feet, such was its potency. “Give it back!” he roared wildly, as demonic tails started to form from the chakra wrapping his body. “Give it back, you fucking bastard!”
“Now now, Naruto-kun.” The medical nin sneered sadistically. “That’s no way to strike a bargain.” Before Naruto could even get close, Manda whipped its steely tail forward. The blow caught Naruto mid-chest, sending him flying backwards into the ground.
He immediately jumped back to his feet, ignoring the splitting pain from his ribs. “Shut up!” By now, any semblance of discipline had vanished from Naruto, replaced with unquenchable anger. The red chakra crackled as he moved, three fox tails extending behind him. His eyes had become thin slits, tinged with bloody color. Clawing at the ground with his nails, he leapt determinedly towards Manda and Kabuto.
With a hiss, the summon easily butted him aside with another slash of its tail. It snapped its teeth menacingly, undaunted by the small ninja charging at it. This time, Naruto felt several of his ribs crack, sending sharp jabs of pain through his abdomen as he landed heavily on the ground.
Foolish boy, you’re going to get us killed over something trivial
The blond started as the Nine Tailed Fox’s low growl penetrated his mind, radiating disapproval. He pushed himself into a sitting position, wincing. Stay out of this, you dumb fox. You wouldn’t understand. Naruto forced himself to his feet, shaking slightly.
That’s where you’re wrong, stupid runt
What do you– He flinched, feeling a flare of energy spark inside. What are you doing? The red chakra that had spilled forth in his rage suddenly flickered and changed to a familiar yellow color, evening out into a more controlled form. It grew brighter and brighter until it was a pure white aura, teeming with trapped with energy.
Be quiet and let me help you crush that ridiculous worm
Kakashi’s eyes widened as the chakra levels surrounding his student spiked, completely encompassing Naruto’s body and taking on a mammoth size. A split second later, the collected energy exploded, deeply cracking the ground and sending a white cloud of smoke hurling into the atmosphere. As it slowly cleared, a chill ran down his spine as he beheld a sight he hadn’t seen in sixteen years: the towering form of the Nine Tailed Demon Fox.
You can thank me later
Naruto clenched his hands experimentally. They were now in the form of sharp claws, easily the size and breadth of large boulders. Nine long, red-orange tails whipped the air heavily behind his fox body, stirring up stiff gusts. He felt monstrous strength flowing through his sinewy animal limbs, enough to casually knock over trees and mountains and-
Manda screeched shrilly, forked tongue licking the air agitatedly. It dove forward, aiming for the Fox’s neck.
Opening his jaws, Naruto let loose an earsplitting roar, spitting out hot air and energy in a single caustic blast. It easily deflected the oncoming snake, sending it crashing into the trees behind them. Before it could rear back up, he slammed a heavy paw down on its body, pinning the writhing mass to the ground. Chakra whirled from his claws, burning at the scales touching his paw as Manda hissed in agony.
Kabuto grimaced as Naruto effortlessly tore at Manda with immense swipes of his claws, severing the snake’s head within seconds. There was no saving the snake now. He’d have to create another clone back in his lab. But that was a worry for another time. For now, he needed to retreat and recover before attempting to capture Naruto. Taking advantage of the jinchuuriki’s distraction, he hurriedly started forming hand seals to conceal his movements-
“I don’t think so.” The sharp blade of a kunai pressed to the soft skin of Kabuto’s throat, and his eyes darted to the side to see Kakashi standing firmly behind him. “I’d prefer to take you in alive, Kabuto. The Kages would really enjoy interrogating you. However, I won’t hesitate to bring in just your corpse if you give me reason to.” The medical-nin seemed to debate whether he could complete his jutsu before Kakashi reacted, but the Copy Ninja seemed to sense his thoughts. Brusquely, he brought his left foot slamming down on Kabuto’s injured one, grinding hard.
He shrieked as red-hot pain shot up his leg and through his entire body, bringing stinging tears to his eyes. The sensation was almost unbearable, splintering his reserve and draining the fight out of his form. “A-All right! Stop!” Kabuto panted through gritted teeth, biting his lip in agony as Kakashi roughly removed his foot.
Behind them, the Nine Tailed Fox kicked aside Manda’s mangled carcass, turning to glare threateningly down at Kabuto. Bending over slightly, Kakashi tore the glass vial of blood from the man’s grip and slipped it into his pocket. “This is the difference between us as shinobi. The man you are today may be stronger and less human,” Kakashi gestured over his shoulder to the rest of his team. “But you lack courage and empathy. Why would Madara agree to work with such a cretinous person like you?”
Kabuto glowered darkly at the older man, warily eying Naruto as he shrank back into his human form and approached. “You know nothing about me, Kakashi.”
“Maybe.” The Jounin took a step back as Sakura, Sai, and Shikamaru circled around the defeated man. They each took out a barrier scroll from their packs, driving them a little ways into the loosened soil. “But I know that a man who hides behind summons and immoral techniques and horrific experiments can never compare to a ninja who possesses a brave heart and compassion for his fellow shinobi.” He retreated back one more step, putting a hand out to stop Naruto from jumping at the medical nin. “Do it, guys.”
Simultaneously, the other three made shallow gouges to their thumbs, drawing red drops of blood to the surface; these were pressed to their respective scrolls. The ink characters inscribed on the paper sparked as the blood sacrifice was accepted, chakra instantly sapped from Sakura, Sai, and Shikamaru as the barrier activated. “*Mitsumata no shōheki,” they chorused together, forcing the scrolls fully into the ground.
Instantly, an opalescent film of shimmering light rose from the three scrolls, swirling in the air before surrounding Kabuto’s huddled form. It coalesced into a bright sphere, a rainbow of pastel colors feathering over its shiny surface. Once it had taken on the shape of perfect globe, the chakra solidified into a hard, semi-transparent barrier, completely trapping the incapacitated man within it. While the rest of the team worked, Kakashi quietly slipped the vial of blood from his pocket, handing it wordlessly over to Naruto.
Blinking rapidly, the blond accepted it reverently, studying it for a minute before tucking it into the inside of his jacket. “Thank you, sensei,” he said thickly, voice shaking slightly. He wiped the back of his hand briefly across his eyes, before directing his attention back to their prisoner. “What now?”
“Now,” Kakashi nodded to the others, and they held the trap steadily between the three of them. ” We get some answers.” He fixed his gaze squarely on Kabuto’s, the Mangekyo Sharingan spinning with dizzying speed as it activated. Illusory chakra, invisible yet potent, flowed from that black and crimson eye, pulling the helpless man irresistibly under its influence. “Tell me, Kabuto,” the Copy Ninja said lowly. “What is your hold over Madara?”
– Kabuto’s summon is called Manda II (Nidaime Manda), a genetically modified and enhanced clone of the original Manda. For now, he has only appeared in the manga (chapter 513)
– Mitsumata no shōheki: Literally meaning “three-pronged barrier.” This is a technique I invented for this story.
– The last paragraph refers to a part in the manga (chapter 490, page 4), when Kabuto shows Madara a mystery resurrected person to convince him to join forces with him.