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Naruto: The Outsider's Resolve

[A Naruto Fan Fiction] Make the best of what you have, they said... But what I am supposed to do when the best I have are red-eyed freaks, a child who's supposed to be the jailor of the most dangerous being in the world, a snake bastard with serious boundary issues, and a whole world of super soldiers with licences to murder. And you know the best part? None of them like me so much... Oh shut it, old man! Take that Will of Fire and shove it up your— Yeah, this second swing at life isn't panning out... --------------------------------------------------------------- DISCORD SERVER: https://discord.gg/w5dJ82SfMr --------------------------------------------------------------- PATREON LINK: https://www.patreon.com/fictiononlyreader --------------------------------------------------------------- DECLARATION: This story is also present on: FFN, Ao3, SpaceBattles, SufficientVelocity, and ScribbleHub RoyalRoad [to be verified] --------------------------------------------------------------- DISCLAIMER: I don't own any character other than my OCs. The cover pic was commissioned from Kodah.art on Instagram

FictionOnlyReader · Anime & Comics
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256 Chs

CH_6.2 (173)

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The link is also in the synopsis

———

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"This is the princess, and this is her lady-in-waiting."

Little Uni showed her ragdolls to Takuma. She would pick one, brush their hair, and straighten her dresses as she told him all about them. Takuma looked at the dolls in his lap; a part of him was fascinated by the stories Uni told him—they were childish and simple, but they were joyous and full of happiness.

Nothing Uni said was interesting, but Takuma enjoyed listening to her regardless. Children

"And this is my froggy," Uni held up a green frog crochet doll. "Mommy made it."

Takuma was impressed. He knew sewing for maintenance purposes, and he was pretty good at it because of how often he ended up tearing them. But he had no experience in cosmetic skills like crocheting or pattern making.

"Is this froggy the prince?" he asked.

"Why would the froggy be the prince, silly."

"Of course," Takuma smiled. It seemed that fairytale wasn't a thing in the world. "Is there a prince or princess who this princess fancies?"

"Yes, there is a prince!" Uni looked around, seemingly looking for another doll, but there wasn't one. She stood up and ran to the bed she shared with her mother and looked around. Every moment, she didn't find her prince, was a moment her expression turned for worse.

"Mommy, I can't find the prince!"

Miwa started looking for her daughter's doll, but it seemed it wasn't in the tent. The moment Uni found that, she started crying.

"Maybe she left the doll in Hazuro's tent. The kids were there when we were getting the food," said Nana.

"Did you have the doll with you when we went out, Uni?" asked Miwa.

Uni nodded, sniffling.

"We will go get it tomorrow, okay?" asked Miwa.

"I want it now," Uni murmured.

"Now, Uni. Don't be like this. You will get the doll tomorrow," said Chiasa.

Takuma stood up. "I will get it," he said.

"No, no, you don't have to."

"It's okay. I want to have a little walk before I go to sleep. I will just grab it on my own," Takuma didn't want to walk, but nature was calling, and he wanted to relieve himself before going to sleep.

Takuma grabbed his bag and exited the tent. He liked the two families enough, but he wasn't going to leave his belongings with anyone he didn't trust.

Almost immediately, Takuma was reminded why he didn't want to walk. His feet dug into wet mud that covered half of his shoe. He was lucky that he was partial to shinobi boots rather than open sandals. He sent some chakra into his soles to make walking easier and used his cane to inspect the ground, but the gross feeling of stepping into mud persisted.

Takuma first went into the bushes to relieve himself. The weather in the Land of Hot Waters was different. The country as a whole was cooler than the Land of Fire and much cooler than the Hidden Leaf village, situated in one of the hotter regions of the nation. And as he moved closer to the Land of Frost, the temperature went down. He loved the rain in general except for when he was traveling—and the Land of Hot Waters didn't have the problem of mixing humidity with heat, which was a problem every monsoon season in the Hidden Leaf.

Tonight, in particular, was bound to be a good night because of a cool post-rain breeze guaranteed to make a fantastic sleeping experience.

After relieving himself, Takuma went to the tent specified by Chiasa, and thankfully, the oil lamps were still burning. Takuma peeked in to the tent shared by three families and asked them for Uni's prince doll. They seemed confused at first, but when Takuma spoke of Chiasa and Miwa, they understood and handed the 'prince doll.' The doll was dressed in clothes like those worn by the nobility from the Fire Capital, the Fire Daimyo's seat. Takuma chatted with the people in the tent for a bit before wishing them a good night.

Takuma gazed at the sky as he slowly walked back to the tent. Because he was close to the border without any big settlements, the sky was much clearer. The stars were more beautiful than he had ever seen in the Hidden Leaf. It was a sight to behold. If he weren't on a journey with a clock on it, Takuma would've spent a night stargazing.

*Swish*

A sound alerted Takuma. He looked in the direction. It was faint, but he picked it up clearly. He recognized the sound clearly— the sound of cutting through the air at high speeds with a flutter of a robe. It was a common sound in the Hidden Leaf, where shinobi used rooftops as a road system. He thought it was the shinobi managing the camp coming back from the town after dinner. Takuma decided to give them his thanks now as he wasn't going to get a chance to do so tomorrow because he was planning to leave early at sunrise.

Takuma headed for the shinobi tents.

*Boom!*

Takuma felt the air shift as an explosion went off. His instincts rang the alarm bells as screams and yells sounded in the camp. Takuma turned back to locate the source of the explosion only to see a large fireball from Fire Release: Great Fireball Jutsu barrel through a row of tents, scorching everything in its path leaving chakra-fueled fires in its wake. The ground shook, and Takuma saw a number of tents collapse. Arcs of lightning with flashes sparked in another part of the tent.

The camp was under attack.

The sounds he had heard weren't the managers. They were the enemies.

Takuma ran for the woods. He all but ripped his backpack open, took out his weapon pouches before throwing the backpack into a bush, and rushed into the camp.

He pushed chakra into his feet and took the air with a big leap. He easily cleared the tent tops and reached a height where he could get a look at the situation. It was brief, but enough. Mud flew in every direction as Takuma pushed himself to his destination using the Body Flicker Jutsu.

He almost slipped in the mud as he stopped in front of the burning tents. Dense smoke rose from the flames as a man dressed in black attire spewed flames and threw explosion tags all around him.

Takuma almost vomited when the smell of burning flesh hit his nose. His being shook as he saw burning bodies slumped on the ground. Men and women, still alive, with their bodies of fire rolling in the mud to put out the fires on their bodies—but the chakra-fueled flames weren't easy to put out.

From beneath the deep shock bubbled a burning rage as Takuma shot forward with full might. He clenched his fist as waves of chakra flooded his arm.

"Hey!"

The black-clad shinobi turned. A startling surprise crossed his eyes as he saw Takuma. The surprise made the man slow, and he couldn't avoid the punch into the stomach. The man flew back like a cannonball and slammed into a burning tent that still stood.

A strong recoil almost dislocated his shoulder. It had been more than a year since he had last messed up the chakra in an augmented strike, but Takuma disregarded the dull ache and shot toward the tent.

The man in the tent coughed violently. He tried to get up, but Takuma appeared above him and slammed his heel into the man's ribs, cracking them brutally. Takuma bent down and cut the man's throat with his kunai, silencing his scream.

He dragged the man out of the tent and dumped him in the middle of the street so his body wouldn't burn because of the wet mud.

Takuma left the dead body there and shot towards the next area of disruption with Body Flicker Jutsu. It was dangerous to use the jutsu because it was hard to control—which was why it wasn't used in combat—and Takuma could rush into a ninjutsu.

When Takuma arrived, he saw another black-clad man standing over a kneeling down Takashi, the Hidden Leaf genin who was temporarily helping out at the camp.

The black-clad man raised his sword.

"No!" yelled Takuma as he rushed towards them.

*Swing*

*Thud*

Takashi's head rolled on the ground. His body collapsed beside it a moment later.

Takuma stopped in his tracks in disbelief and stared at the upside-down face of the man who had helped him a few hours ago as the blood from his neck dripped down onto his face, which was frozen in terror.

The cacophony of crackling fire, destruction, and screams around the camp struck Takuma simultaneously as his vision was focused on Takashi. He looked up at the black-clad man, who was now staring at him.

At that moment, as Takuma clutched the kunai in his hand, he knew one thing.

He was going to murder the man before him if it was the last thing he did.

He let out a battle cry as he charged for the man, who ran towards Takuma with his sword raised. Their weapons clashed. The katana was a two-handed weapon, but Takuma had one hand free. He went in for a throat-crushing augmented strike.

The man pushed his sword forward, throwing Takuma's balance. Takuma took a step back to stabilize him and pressed ahead with aggression. The two shinobi got locked in a deadly dance where Takuma pushed, and the black-clad shinobi received every strike with practiced grace.

Takuma struck his kunai and free hand as his feet remained on the ground, providing a solid foundation in the wet mud. His opponent's kenjutsu was some of the most skillful he had faced; the man used his sword to keep Takuma at a distance—a solid defense and deadly offense that threatened to dissect Takuma if he wasn't careful.

Suddenly, the man switched gears. He exploited a gap in Takuma's aggression and, with one step forward, thrashed his sword down at Takuma repeatedly, who could only use one short kunai to estimate each downward deadly strike.

*Crack!*

Takuma's kunai snapped in half under the heavy strikes, and the sword blade sliced down at him. Thankfully for Takuma, his chainmail took the weakened swing, leaving him almost uninjured from the attack.

With the sword at the lowest point of the swing, Takuma took a step forward and slammed his forehead into the man's face. As the man faltered, Takuma followed with a spinning kick to the head. But as he stepped ahead for a finishing strike, the man unleashed a lightning-quick horizontal sword swing that missed Takuma only by a couple centimeters—but it did the job of stopping Takuma, giving the man enough time to jump away to create some distance.

Both shinobi stared at each other as they slowly moved in a circle.

The opponent was tough. He was weaker than the chunin Takuma had faced during the Farm Raid, but he was stronger than any of the assassins who had come for him.

The man changed his grip on the sword to weave hand seals. A streak of lightning sparked across the sword blade.

Takuma's instincts screamed danger. As the man dashed toward him, Takuma weaved hand seals before pressing his hands into the ground. Chakra seeped into the ground, and the wet mud rose around Takuma, solidifying under his command.

Earthen Dome!

The lightning-covered sword sliced the top of the dome like a hot knife through butter, but the rest of the dome stood.

Earth was weak to Lightning.

The man eyed the opening he had made—Takuma was kneeling in the dome.

The man switched his grip to a two-handed reverse grip to stab the sword down into the hole. But before he could push the sword in, a kunai flew out, almost impaling itself in the head if not for the man to shift his head at the last moment. The kunai knicked him at the place where the neck met the shoulder.

The surprise broke the jutsu on the sword.

The man's eye naturally tried to look into the hole, but there was nothing but darkness inside the dome— Takuma was gone. But then he noticed something casting a glow on the ground. Confused but wanting to find Takuma immediately, he turned away.

Two explosive tags stuck to the dome wall exploded, and the dome's hardened earth became equivalent to pseudo-grenade pellets, slamming into the unprepared man along with the force of the raw explosion from the tags themselves.

A distance away from the dome, Takuma emerged from within the ground.

Hiding in the Rock Jutsu

The man had flown in Takuma's direction. Seeing him on the ground, Takuma charged, adamant to end the fight.

The man pushed himself using his sword as support. He saw Takuma rushing toward him. His clothes were torn into shreds, revealing burnt skin under a chainmail. There was blood dripping down the side of his head. With trembling hands, he weaved hand seals. Thick lightning arcs snaked around his arm, merging into one bolt that then shot toward Takuma.

Lightning Release: Lightning Bolt Jutsu

It was a delicate play of timing. The moment Takuma saw the lightning arcs of the C-rank jutsu, he prepared himself. With every muscle tensed in his body, Takuma dropped into a forward sliding tackle at the precise moment before the lightning bolt left the man's hand. The lazer-quick Lightning Release jutsu covered the distance in the blink of an eye.

Takuma felt every hair on his body rise as the lightning bolt shot past above him.

He breathed out and seamlessly got up and jumped up before coming down to slam an augmented fist into the man's jaw.

The man went down, but he didn't go down. He tried to raise his sword to protect himself.

Takuma threw a kunai with as much force as he could muster. It pierced the man's wrist, coming out the other way.

The man screamed as he dropped his sword.

Takuma slammed another augmented kick into the ribs to put the bastard down.

He equipped another kunai and went in for the kill.

"No, don't kill him!" a woman's voice sounded in the distance.

But it was already too late, Takuma had already released the kunai. It went clean into the man's throat.

It didn't matter either way.

Takuma was too angry.

He raised his leg and kicked in the kunai deeper into the man's throat, ending his life if there was any doubt otherwise.

Takuma didn't ease up and immediately turned towards the voice with a kunai ready in his hand for another opponent.

Standing a few meters away was a young woman. Takuma's first instinct was to take her down, but then he noticed her clothes. She was wearing a Hidden Steam shinobi uniform.

Takuma released a deep breath. He didn't put his guard down; the woman could be one of the camp raiders, dressed in Hidden Steam colors to deceive people.

Before either of them could say anything, Takuma noticed a civilian man running away from the camp with a child in his arms.

"No," Takuma muttered, a horrifying thought emerging in his mind.

He turned back and shot forward with the Body Flicker Jutsu, ignoring the woman calling out for him.

A few seconds later, Takuma stood in front of the camp he was planning to sleep in for the night. The was on fire, the flames covering the entirety of the shelter as they rose to the sky. The structure had long collapsed.

Takuma saw none of that. He weaved hand seals faster than ever in his life.

Water Release: Wild Water Wave.

He controlled the flow of the wave to spread the water all over the tent. The flames subsided, but the fire didn't go out completely, so he weaved hand seals again… and again.

By the time Takuma rushed into the tent, his logical mind had caught up to his actions.

A fear grew larger from the corner of his heart.

Another part of him didn't want to accept it.

'They must've gotten out before the tent burned out…'

In the tent, Takuma looked around, and he found what he feared.

He dropped to his knees and broke down when he saw what lay beside burnt dolls.

.

———

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The link is in the synopsis!