"Just a warning, though; since this Yagura reeks of Madara's influence, the man's essence should be in his mind, controlling him. You'll have to destroy that essence, meaning you'll have to fight it. Even if it's just an essence and Madara will not be at his actual strongest, this will not be an easy fight. You must be prepared to fight immediately, Naruto."Kyūbi stated.
"Understood." Naruto verbally replied as he began channeling his chakra.
In an instant, Naruto made his mental-link and entered Yagura's mindscape.
The first thing Naruto noticed about Yagura's mindscape was the color and sense of life. Unlike the bland sewer that characterized his mind, Yagura's mind was reminiscent of a shallow pond. The water was colored a light blue that appeared completely clear in certain areas. Different colored flowers were growing out of the water. The most predominate flower featured in the pond, however, was a flower with green petals similar to the flower on Yagura's staff.
"It's so clean and calm here. This looks so different from my mind." Naruto commented absentmindedly as he walked through the pond.
The red chakra that surrounded Naruto's body reflected off the pond water, adding a dark red color to the area and making it feel more alive.
"Of course it is. If Yagura has enough control over himself to fully control his bijū's chakra, then he has enough control to change the layout of his mind. This is probably the type of scenery that he finds most peaceful or something." The Kyūbi replied.
At the sound of the Kyūbi's voice, Naruto turned his head around to look for the fox. After a few seconds of looking, the Uzumaki turned his head upward. In the 'sky' above him was a floating cage. The Kyūbi was lying down in it.
"What are you doing up there? Shouldn't you be out?" Naruto questioned.
"No. Your seal is different than others. There was a key placed on it." The fox replied. He snarled quietly, saying something about the 'fucking Yondaime' before turning his head back to Naruto. "Never mind that. I'm still here and I can supply you with necessary chakra. Now go find Madara! I can feel his presence here and it's close!"
The jinchūriki nodded his head in understanding before he turned his head forward and start running through the pond in Yagura's mindscape.
He had no clear direction or sense of where to go, but there was something inside of him that led him down a particular direction: a 'gut-instinct'. Naruto continued rushing through the pond. After nearly a full minute of walking, he found a figure lying down in a patch of green flowers growing in the pond. As he got closer to the figure, he recognized the figure as Yagura.
"I-It's him!" Naruto ran faster to his side.
Yagura's eyes were completely shut. His lips were twisted into a scowl and it seemed like his body was moving in place, as if he was writhing. His body was unable to move too much, however, as the vines of flowers underneath him held onto him, preventing him from moving.
'That's got to be him; the real him!' The Uzumaki realized as he tried to pull up Yagura's body from the ground.
His efforts failed, however, as Yagura's body remained rooted to the flowers. Naruto continued to apply more force to his efforts, but nothing was working; Yagura remained stuck to the ground. The Uzumaki sighed as he stood back a few seconds and looked at the Mizukage's body in contemplation.
"Ugh, what's going on? Why can't I pull him up?" He questioned.
"Whatever technique that filthy Uchiha is using to control him probably has him stuck like this. You probably will not be able to help him until you deal with him." The Kyūbi replied. The fox's eyes then widened. "Kid, look out!"
"Fire Style: Grand Fireball Jutsu!"
Naruto immediately jumped away at the Kyūbi's request, avoiding a giant fireball in the process. Naruto then turned towards the direction of the fire. Approaching him was a man wearing a black full-body cloak with purple lines on the collar. He wore an orange mask over his face with a black flame on it. No defining part of his body was truly visible, other than his black, spiky hair.
Naruto's eyes narrowed at the sight of the man: 'That's him, isn't it?'
"You!" The Kyūbi snarled from his cage. "Madara!"
"Kyūbi, it's been a while." The man, Madara, commented. "How long has it been? Eleven years? Twelve years?"
"Almost fourteen now, you bastard! You ripped me out of Kushina and put me in your control fourteen years ago!" The fox growled.
"Oh? It's been that long?" Madara almost seemed to chuckle. "My apologies. I'm just an imprint placed in Yagura's mind. Time becomes almost irrelevant in a place like this. I'm only really aware of things and places associated with Yagura and these last few years have been pretty static."
"You're the man who caused everything!" Naruto hissed. "You're the reason the Kyūbi was sealed in me and why parents had to die!"
"And you're Minato's son." The masked man commented, now looking at Naruto. "You do look a lot like him. I do apologize for having to kill him, and your mother, but it is all part of a much larger plan. It's for the betterment of the world."
"What betterment?" Naruto shouted as he started getting into a position to fight. "Killing people, forcing the Kyūbi to do your bidding, trying to destroy Konoha… how does ANY OF THIS make the world better?"
"It would take too long to explain to you. And it would be a waste of time." Madara replied as he started to reach inside the sleeves of his cloak. "I know why you are here; you are interfering with my plans in Kiri. As such, you need to be eliminated. It may push the plans back a couple of years, but I'm sure my original self can simply collect the Kyūbi a few years from now when he reforms. He'll understand why I had to do what I had to do. My apologies, but you aren't going to be alive to see the new world."
A small distortion in space developed directly on Madara's body. Within seconds, his body quickly moved into the distortion before completely disappearing. Naruto's eyes widened again.
"Where did he-"
Naruto's words died on his lips as he felt a presence behind him. He jumped into the air, avoiding a kunai to his back. Naruto turned his body around in time to see Madara had reappeared right behind him.
Madara released a black chain from braces on his wrists and quickly moved around Naruto's body, tying him up. Using the chains, he then slammed Naruto to the ground. The water on the pond softened the impact slightly, but Naruto still felt himself cough up blood from the force. The Uzumaki tried to pull himself off the ground, but the chains continued to hold him down.
"Well that was quick." Madara stated as he reached into the left sleeve of his cloak and pulled out a series of red explosive tags. "You may be Minato's son, but you aren't nearly strong enough to put up a fight like he did. You tried a couple years too early and now you'll have to pay the consequences."
With those words, Madara tossed the explosive tags towards Naruto's tied-up body. They quickly attached themselves to his body.
"Kid!" The Kyūbi shouted to Naruto.
'Dammit!' Naruto closed his eyes tightly. 'Come on Naruto! There's gotta be a way out of this! Find it!'
The explosive tags on Naruto's body detonated, creating a massive explosion and causing water and smoke to fill the area around him. Madara remained still, looking at the cloud and waiting to see Naruto's destroyed body. After a few seconds passed, he was greeted to a different sight: Naruto, still alive, standing up and breathing hard. The chains that had surrounded him were now destroyed and lying on the ground and a few burn marks on his skin were the only evidence that the explosive tags made contact with his body.
His body was surrounded by even more red chakra. His chakra cloak adopted a blackish-tint, but it did not cover his entire body. Two more tails of chakra were now behind him, bringing his total number of tails to six.
'So, you channeled more of my chakra in order to strengthen the chakra cloak around your body to act as a buffer from the explosion. Not bad.'The Kyūbi thought to himself. He then looked down at Naruto and noticed his expression. While Naruto's eyes were narrowed further in an animalistic manner, he still seemed to be conscious. 'And you haven't succumbed to my power yet from using six tails. Very impressive.'
"So you avoided death there. I suppose that would have been too easy." Madara admitted.
"I'm Namikaze Minato's son, after all!" Naruto replied as he a singular hand sign. "And I'm not going to let you get away with everything you have done. "Shadow Clone Jutsu!"
One hundred clones of Naruto joined him. Immediately, the clones charged forward directly at the masked shinobi while Naruto remained in the back, watching. The first clone attempted to punch the man in the face, but his fist went directly through his mask.
"What?" He gasped.
Madara responded by releasing another chain with the braces on his wrists and running forward. His body and the chain moved straight through each clone, as if he was intangible. Within seconds, the masked man and ran through all one hundred clones. As soon as he did that, his chain became tangible again, capturing all clones at once. The masked man then made a snap of his fingers, causing the chain to ignite on fire. All of the clones screamed out for a moment before they all dispersed.
The original Naruto quickly charged at Madara before he could divert his full focus to him again. He attempted to land a punch on him, but the Uchiha managed to turn around in time and grab his fist with his hand. The action caused Naruto to smirk.
'Okay, so he's not completely intangible. If he was, he wouldn't have bothered with trying to block. That means he's limited with how he can use it. I just need to figure out those limits and take advantage of them!' Naruto told himself.
Madara shook his head upon seeing Naruto's smirk and tightened his grip on Naruto's fist. The Uzumaki's body immediately vanished in a poof of smoke. Madara proceeded to turn around in time to see Naruto attempting to kick him in the head. He proceeded to catch his foot.
"Did you think the Shunshin would be enough to catch me by surprise or something?" Madara taunted.
Naruto, in response, made a series of hand signs: "Wind Style: Great Breakthrough!"
Naruto breathed out a massive gust of wind from his mouth directly at Madara's face. The wind, however, blew straight through him without hitting him. The Konoha shinobi, however, remained focused on maintaining his jutsu. A second passed before he changed targets and directed his jutsu towards the hand Madara was using to hold onto his foot. The wind made contact this time, cutting into the hand slightly. Madara immediately jumped backwards, letting go of Naruto's foot.
'There we go; one limitation found!' Another grin developed on Naruto's face. 'Seems he can't make every part of his body intangible if he's holding on to me or doing something that requires a part of him to be tangible.'
"It seems like a technique of yours connected. Not bad." Madara admitted. "However, you still don't have the strength to defeat me. And I'm not even at my strongest; I'm just an imprint of fading chakra placed inside Yagura's mind to control him. This is not even a fraction of my full strength and I can still take you down. It'd be almost amusing to see you try and fight the real me at full strength."
"I don't care how strong you actually are. I'll deal with the real you later! For now, I just need to make sure the 'imprint' of you standing in front of me is destroyed so Yagura and the Sanbi can be freed!" Naruto replied.
'He wants to free Isobu too?' The Kyūbi blinked upon hearing Naruto's words.
'Hmm. He's not easy to provoke. Guess he's more in control of himself than I thought he would have been. The taunts aren't working and are just a waste of time.' Madara realized. 'Guess I'll change tactics and simply overwhelm him.'
"You want to free the Sanbi too, huh? So you know that he is under my control as well. Well, is that really the wisest decision? I don't think you have ever seen the beast at all." Madara spoke as he started to make a series of hand signs. "Why don't I introduce you to him and show you why that is a bad idea!"
The masked man slammed his hand onto the ground. A second passed before a loud, rumbling noise occurred throughout the area. A massive creature jumped up from beneath the ground under the pond and landed directly in front of Naruto. It resembled a giant turtle but had a shell similar to a crab and three large tails. It had arms and hands that resembled a human's but had no hind legs. There was a red-colored tissue underneath its shell and spikes covered its entire body. Its jawline and forehead were heavily pronounced, which covered its face, making its red eyes the only visible feature of its face.
"That's… um…" Naruto gulped.
"Isobu." The Kyūbi shook his head. "It's been a long time. It's a shame that I have to see you like this."
The giant turtle, Isobu, said nothing in response to the Kyūbi's commented. His eyes were focused solely on Naruto.
"Well, you said you wanted to save the Sanbi, so here he is. Regret that statement yet?" The masked man questioned. "Because you're going to now."
Immediately, the Sanbi charged at Naruto.
"You… You… Kisame!" The rebel leader hissed at the sight of him. "What are you doing here?"
"Ah, Mei-san, it's great to see you again. Looks like you and your buddies managed to give Yagura-san a good beating." The man, Kisame, commented with a snicker. He grinned, showing off his shark-like teeth. "I didn't realize that we were having an old team reunion and fight, so I'm sorry for showing up late. I'm here now, though, so let's get this reunion started!"
Before Mei could respond to his statement, Kisame was already reaching for the sword on his back.
Immediately, Mei started rushing through hand signs: "Lava Style: Expanding Flame Rings!"
A ring of melting flames surrounded Kisame's body and closed in on him. Kisame jumped quickly, avoiding the flames. The flames proceeded to change direction and fly towards him. He then made a series of hand signs.
"Water Style: Water Shark Bomb!"
Water in the air began to develop into the shape of a large shark. Kisame extended his hand forward, causing the large water-shark to rush forward at the approaching melting flames, completely consuming each of them and putting the flames out. After the final flame was put out, the water-shark evaporated.
With their jutsus cancelled, Kisame pulled out his sword, Samehada, and jumped towards Mei. The Kirigakure rebel leader jumped away just in time; Kisame slammed the sword down onto the ground, creating a small crater. He then turned his head towards Utakata and rushed towards him, gripping Samehada tightly. The jinchūriki attempted to dodge, but the swordsman reached first and his sword made contact with the man's left arm. The bandages on the sword unraveled, revealing a shark-like teeth covered blade. The blade shaved Utakata, causing him to bleed heavily.
Kisame attempted to hit Utakata again, but he blew bubbles from his pipe outward directly into the man's face. The bubbles exploded upon contact, causing Kisame to wince back slightly and giving Utakata a chance to place more distance. He then took in a deep breath while Mei started to make more hand signs.
"Lava Style: Melting Apparition Jutsu!"
Mei released lava-like acid from her mouth while Utakata breathed out a white corrosive gas of acid. Both forms of acid closed in on the swordsman. Kisame immediately slammed Samehada into the ground, causing water to rush forth from underneath the earth. The water formed a defensive barrier around him that blocked the acid. After a few seconds, Mei's and Utakata's acid began to dissipate. Kisame picked up his sword, dispelling his jutsu, and looked around at his opponents smugly.
"That all you got? I watched your fight with Yagura and I assumed the jutsus you all used were stronger than that. Are the two of you tired or something?" Kisame questioned with a smug grin.
'He was waiting for us to tire out so this fight would be easier for him.' Utakata shook his head. 'Quite smart of him, but that's unfortunate for us! We need to think of a way to get out of this issue.'
Mei focused her attention solely on Kisame. She grit her teeth as her eyes narrowed in anger.
"Kisame, what the hell are you doing here?" She demanded.
"What are you so mad about, Mei-san? Last time I checked, we both ended up leaving Kirigakure and betraying Yagura. Why would you be mad at me for doing exactly what you did?" The swordsman questioned.
"You know the circumstances are different!" Mei hissed. "I'm trying to better Mizu no Kuni and end tyranny! You, on the other hand, were in favor of it and Yagura's regime! The reasons you left were because you got greedy and attempted an assassination on the daimyo of Mizu no Kuni."
"Greedy? Well, you can look at it that way if you want." Kisame shrugged. "Then again, you just admitted your reasoning; you're upset that I chose to side with Yagura over you initially."
"I'm 'upset' that you betrayed your comrades and supported the idea of killing innocent people!" The rebel leader snarled. "You agreed with the man controlling Yagura and slaughtered so many!"
"Oh, so you actually know about that? Interesting." Kisame chuckled in response.
"You did know about it." Mei's eyes narrowed even further. Killing intent leaked from her body.
"Don't know why you are pissed, though. Such a thing should make sense to a shinobi who knows about the world as much as you do. It's a fucked up, deceitful world, after all. I'll support anybody who is truthful in this world of lies, no matter what they may want me to do." Kisame replied. He then made the 'snake' hand sign. "Water Style: Exploding Water Colliding Wave!"
Kisame spat out great volume of water from his mouth and aimed it downwards. The water formed a massive wave that grew in size with every passing second. After a few moments passed, Kisame rode the wave forward towards Utakata and Mei. The two shinobi attempted to get away, but the wave collided with both of them, smacking into them and forcing them underneath the water. The wave drenched the cemetery battlefield, creating a lake of sorts.
Mei and Utakata both pulled themselves out of the water and looked around for Kisame, breathing heavily and with completely drenched clothes. While looking for their opponent, Mei noticed that the mini-lake Kisame created did not touch the part of the cemetery where Naruto and Yagura were at. Her eyes narrowed in confusion.
'I know Kisame did that on purpose to prevent the two from drowning while they are immobile like that, but why? Isn't here to kill all of us?' Mei questioned. Her eyes then widened as a thought occurred to her. 'Wait… is he potentially here to kidnap Yagura?'
Mei was pulled from her thoughts as Kisame jumped out of the water directly underneath her. The rebel leader was knocked in the air from his movement. Kisame took this chance to swing Samehada at her, the bandages on the sword unraveling and preparing to shave her. Mei, however, spat out volcanic acid from her mouth directly at the sword. The acid hit it with enough force to knock it, and Kisame, back slightly. She then took the opportunity to land safely on the newly formed lake's surface and place distance.
Utakata blew a bubble that darted through the air towards Kisame's body. Upon contact, the bubble began to consume Kisame's body, completely encasing his left arm. While it captured more of his body, Kisame swung his sword against the edge of the bubble, causing the shark-teeth exterior of the blade to connect with the bubble and pop it.
Kisame then placed his left hand on the lake's surface: "Water Style: Five Feeding Sharks!"
Chakra was released from his hand into the water, forming five large, ferocious sharks made of water and chakra. The sharks swam rapidly towards Mei and Utakata before swimming in a circular pattern around them. One of them jumped into the air, flying towards Utakata. The Rokubi jinchūriki jumped backwards slightly and threw a kunai at the shark, causing it to dissipate and turn back into water for a brief moment. The water, however, upon making contact again with the water re-formed into a new shark. It then swam forward at Utakata again and jumped at him.
As Utakata moved away to avoid the next attack, one of the other sharks jumped from underneath him and bit into his leg. The Rokubi jinchūriki winced in pain from the attack before he got dragged by the shark down under the water.
"Utakata-san!" Mei gasped.
Before she could do anything to help her comrade, the remaining three sharks jumped out around her and charged at her. Mei made a series of hand signs before spitting out lava-like acid from her mouth and formed a barrier around her body. The sharks made contact with the lava, but were unable to break through it. They, however, continued to try and destroy it, smashing their heads and chomping at the barrier.
'This is bad. I know how this jutsu works; Kisame will be able to sustain those sharks so long as there is water around him. I need to do something about that. I can't keep staying on the defense forever!' Mei told herself, realizing what she must do. 'I… I got it.'
Instantly, Mei's barrier of acid dropped. As the sharks closed in on her again, she made a series of hand signs before slamming her hands against the water. The sharks bit into her, causing her to close her eyes in pain, but she remained concentrated on her jutsu: "Boil Style: Evaporation!"
Channeling chakra into the water of the lake, Mei began to rapidly evaporate the water. The water of the lake changed into water vapor, drying up the battlefield completely and revealing the cemetery. The sharks, which still had portions of their bodies in the water, evaporated as well and disappeared.
Utakata, who had been trying to free himself from the shark that had dragged him under the water, was now freed. He fell to the ground for a moment and took in a deep breath upon being out of the water. Mei darted over to his side and helped him up.
"Are you alright?" She questioned.
"Fine…" Utakata said as he managed to control his breathing. "I don't know why I let myself get hit like that. I-"
The words on his lips died as Kisame rushed the two shinobi, gripping Samehada tightly. Utakata turned his attention to him and blew on his pipe downward, right along Kisame's path. The bubbles erupted upon contact with the ground, briefly stopping Kisame's charge. Mei then made hand signs before releasing a thick cloud of mist from her mouth directly at the swordsman.
Kisame, however, made a series of hand signs before creating a large shark from the water vapor in the air. The shark collided with the mist, piercing it. It then continued to fly towards Utakata and Mei. Utakata jumped away in time, but Mei was unable to escape and was hit by the shark. It forced her backwards into a tree and pinned her. The water from the shark kept applying pressure on her until it managed to destroy the tree. Mei's body immediately fell to the ground.
Kisame charged forward at Mei, but Utakata jumped in the way. The jinchūriki blew a singular large bubble directly between himself and Kisame. Kisame raised his sword and quickly swung it at the bubble to destroy it. Instead of popping the bubble, however, his act caused the large bubble to split into hundreds of smaller bubbles that now surrounded his body.
"Water Style: Bubble Hell!"
The small bubbles that surrounded Kisame's body exploded, creating a massive dust cloud. Utakata braced himself, preparing in case if his jutsu did not kill the man.
While Utakata for his next move, Kisame jumped forward from the cloud at the jinchūriki. Before he could properly react, Kisame swung his sword at Utakata's body. The shark-teeth shaved Utakata's skin, causing him to bleed further before getting sent flying backwards towards Mei's position. His body collided against hers, causing them both to groan in pain.
"Heh, that jutsu was actually pretty good. I felt that. Maybe that could actually a kill person." Kisame commented.
'He keeps mocking and provoking us, trying to get us to not focus fully.' Utakata shook his head after the swordsman's comment.
'This is going nowhere.' Mei realized. 'I'm pretty certain that I or Utakata could take Kisame if we were at full strength, but after Yagura, we're both drained. And hell, after evaporating that entire lake he created, I'm starting to run low on chakra.' She looked over in the direction of Naruto and Yagura. 'Naruto-san, please hurry. We could use any backup possible; even if it's just you.'
After a moment of staring into each other's eyes, Jiraiya and Itachi broke apart from each other. The two shinobi had jumped backwards.
Unlike their interaction in the world of Tsukuyomi, the two shinobi were back in a tense, fighting position. Jiraiya was breathing heavily and panting while Itachi looked at him in what appeared to be quiet silence.
"Damn you…" Jiraiya hissed at him.
"Even after experiencing my Tsukuyomi, you still remain able to fight." Itachi commented plainly. "I should have expected something like that. The title of Sannin wasn't bestowed to you for nothing."
"I'm not going to let you hit anything like that again. You die right here, right now!" Jiraiya shouted as he bit his thumb and make a series of hand signs: "Summoning Jutsu!"
Jiraiya's jutsu called forth Gamabunta. The giant toad boss stood directly between the two shinobi. He took a moment to look at his surroundings before briefly looking at the man in front of him and his summoner.
"Have I really pushed you enough to use your toad summons, Jiraiya-san? I'll consider this an honor." Itachi stated.
Jiraiya ignored the Uchiha's comment and turned his attention to the toad boss. "Gamabunta, you'll receive sake sometime tomorrow after this battle. For now, I need the help fighting!"
"Fighting Uchiha Itachi, huh? In Kirigakure of all places?" Gamabunta questioned. "Whatever, I won't question it. I'll do what I can to help you take down this traitor."
Instantly, Gamabunta spat out oil from his mouth directly at Itachi. The Uchiha jumped away before making a series of hand signs. Five clones of the Uchiha appeared, directly above the toad boss's head. Before they landed on their target, Gamabunta pulled out the blade on his side and sliced through each of the clones. Upon contact, the clones exploded. The attacks, however, did not faze the toad.
Itachi decided to change tactics and pulled out a series of shuriken. He tossed all of the shuriken at once then started to make hand signs: "Fire Style: Phoenix Sage Flower Nail Crimson!"
Itachi exhaled fire from his mouth directly onto the shuriken, igniting them. The on-fire shuriken darted through the air towards Jiraiya, the fire increasing their speed. The Sannin dodged, avoiding getting stuck by the shuriken. Itachi then made a gesture with his left hand, causing the shuriken to change direction and fly backwards towards Jiraiya again. Once again, the Sannin dodged the attack.
Gamabunta opened his mouth and unleashed a deluge of water directly at the flame-covered shuriken. Itachi made another gesture with his left hand, changing the direction of the shuriken and getting them away from the Toad Boss's attack. The shuriken were now circling around Gamabunta's body. Itachi started to make more hand signs.
"Fire Style: Grand Shuriken Inferno!"
The flames that had surrounded the shuriken magnified and expand inward, causing the area within the circle to be caught on fire. Gamabunta winced slightly getting burned, but jumped into the air to avoid the flames. The shuriken, however, started to rise, expanding the overall range of the flames. The Toad Boss, however, moved through the air at a faster rate than the shuriken. He managed to escape the circle and continued to move through the air until he was directly above Itachi's body and started to descend. Itachi quickly moved out of the way, avoiding getting crushed.
Jiraiya quickly rushed over to Itachi's new position. He created a massive, spiraling orb of chakra in his hands. Itachi turned around just in-time to see Jiraiya slamming it into his body.
As soon as the jutsu made contact, Itachi's body erupted into a murder of crows. The crows screeched as they flew into the sky to get away from Jiraiya. The Sannin then looked over at Gamabunta and nodded his head. Gamabunta proceeded to build up oil in his mouth before spitting out a massive ball of oil into the sky, directly above the crows' position. Jiraiya then rushed through a series of hand signs.
"Fire Style: Toad Oil Fire Rain!"
Jiraiya released a singular fireball that rushed through the air towards the oil ball. Upon contact, a massive explosion occurred in the air before the oil ball, now on fire, turned into multiple fireballs that rained down from the sky towards the crows. Each fireball made contact with a crow, causing it to scream in pain before disappearing.
After each crow had disappeared, Itachi had reappeared on the ground, gripping his left arm. The cloak had been burned through on the arm, exposing his skin and revealing a burn wound.
"Looks like I had caught you." Jiraiya smirked at the sight of the Uchiha.
"… So it seems." Itachi replied as he let go of his left arm. He started rotating around slightly before it bringing his hands together. "I hope you do not think I am through, Jiraiya-san. I have more in me."
"If you have any intent on surviving, you better." The Sannin replied, as he prepared for their battle to continue.
'Although Itachi, you better hurry up and get to a point where it's realistic for you to retreat.' The Sannin resisted the urge to request. 'I know you're afraid of this Zetsu guy suspecting you, but we need to hurry this up; Naruto and the others may not have much time left!'
With that thought in mind, Jiraiya rushed forward towards Itachi, with Gamabunta following behind.
Isobu, as he charged forward at Naruto, launched himself into the air and flew until he was directly above him. He then fell downward. Naruto jumped away in time just as the Sanbi's body made contact with the ground. Upon contact, coral spikes sprouted from the ground under the pond.
"He can create that coral too?" Naruto's eyes widened.
"Where do you think his jinchūriki got the ability from?" The Kyūbi replied. "If you remember anything from that fight, do not, under any circumstances, get hit by one of those. Just focus on the original mission and take down the Uchiha controlling him."
Naruto nodded in understanding. He turned his attention back to the masked man and made a singular hand sign. The Uzumaki created another hundred clones before they rushed in unison towards him. Before they could get close to him, however, Isobu rolled himself into his shell. The spikes on the shell proceeded to increase in size. He then rolled forward towards Naruto and his clones in his shell.
The Uzumaki noticed the movement immediately and cursed. 'That technique Yagura used already. We gotta get away!'
Along with the original, each of the Naruto clones jumped out of the way in time as the Sanbi, within his shell, barreled forward. He turned around instantly, however, and continued to move towards them. This time, the shell made contact with ten of the clones, crushing them instantly. Isobu continued to roll around towards the other clones.
'We won't be able to get anywhere close to Madara if he keeps doing that. We need to get him out of the shell!' Naruto realized. 'Maybe with…'
Content with his idea, Naruto pulled out a piece of sealing paper and a pen from his jacket. Seeing his action, each of the clones did the same. As Isobu rushed through fifteen more clones, destroying them, the original and the remaining seventy-five clones managed to finish their seals as quickly as possible. They then all grouped together, directly in front of Isobu and tossed the tags forward just as Isobu approached them.
"Uzumaki Fūinjutsu: Hurricane Manifestation Barrage!"
All of the seals activated, each releasing a massive tornado upward. The tornadoes managed to capture the Sanbi and hold him in place. The winds prevented him from moving and cut into his shell. After a few moments, the combined force of each tornado managed to pull Isobu upwards, knocking him out of his shell as he was sent flying outside the tornado.
"Alright, guess I can get him out of his shell!" Naruto stated as he turned his attention back to Madara.
Just as he turned his head, Isobu adjusted his body in order to face Naruto and his clones. He then started accumulating a massive amount of water in his mouth.
"Water Style: Great Water Mass Bullet!"
Isobu released a humongous ball of water from his mouth towards Naruto and his clones. None of them reacted in time; the water ball collided directly in the middle of the group and expanded further. All clones were destroyed instantly. The original Naruto was knocked away, rolling on the ground for a moment before remaining still, face-down in the pond water against the ground. He pulled himself up and looked up momentarily. His eyes widened.
Naruto was forced to jump away, the rest of his thought dying on his lips, as Isobu landed on the ground directly where he had been. Coral, once again, rushed upward from beneath the upward. Naruto ran quickly through the area, avoiding the rising coral spikes that followed him as he rushed away. Once the coral stopped, Naruto stopped running and turned his attention back to Isobu.
"I can't keep my attention away from him, even for a moment." Naruto realized. "The second I do, he attacks me. I'm not able to fight Madara at all like this!"
"Maybe-" Kyūbi was about to speak, but he stopped as he saw a mist being released from Isobu's mouth. "KID! Make SURE that doesn't hit you! That mist will trap you within a genjutsu that will force you to relieve the traumas of your past! It'll hold you still while either he or the Uchiha kills you!"
Naruto's eyes widened. He quickly started to rush away as the mist grew close to him. The mist, however, moved faster and gained on him. In response, Naruto quickly turned around and made hand signs.
"Wind Style: Great Breakthrough!"
The Uzumaki released a gust of wind from his mouth. The wind blew away the oncoming mist, preventing it from reaching Naruto. The mist, however, eventually overcame the wind and continued on its path. Naruto decided to change tactics and pulled out another sealing paper. He quickly drew the scene just as the wind was about to reach him and placed on the ground beneath him.
"Uzumaki Fūinjutsu: Hurricane Manifestation!"
A singular tornado-like developed and blew upward directly over Naruto's body. Naruto then jumped upward, allowing himself to move along with the wind. The wind skyrocketed him upwards, preventing the mist from reaching him.
Naruto was sent straight through the top and flew in the sky above. Naruto then angled his position, making it so that way his body was facing Madara's, and allowed himself to descend onto him. He then began to channel chakra into his right palm. A massive orb of chakra developed.
The masked man turned his head towards Naruto just in time. As Naruto's orb of chakra was about to make contact with his body, it moved straight through his body instead of hitting him. Naruto, and his Ōdama Rasengan, continued forward and slammed into the ground underneath, creating a massive explosion that developed into a crater. None of the debris of dirt and water hit Madara's body as it shot upward.
After a few seconds, after Naruto's jutsu faded, Madara became tangible again and grabbed him by the neck and held him upwards. Naruto struggled and began channeling chakra into his right hand again, but Madara quickly slammed Naruto's body downward, canceling the jutsu. The Uzumaki choked out blood.
"That was clever. You managed to sneak up on me like that and could've hit me. Good thing I turned back in time." The masked man commented. He grabbed Naruto again by the next and held him up, his mask pressed against the blonde's face. "Your father managed to hit me with a technique like that and nearly killed me. I'm not going to let you do the same thing to me. Now, why don't you relieve some torment while I kill you!"
Before Naruto could reply, Madara tossed his body directly into the mist Isobu had created. The mist surrounded Naruto's body for a moment as it slowly drilled itself into his ear. His eyes widened as he began to scream in pain.
"Kid!" The Kyūbi shouted.
Naruto could not hear him, however. He was already lost to the mist.
"KID! Make SURE that doesn't hit you! That mist will trap you within a genjutsu that will force you to relieve the traumas of your past! It'll hold you still while either he or the Uchiha kills you!"
Naruto repeated the Kyūbi's words in his head as he began to look at the world around him. He was certain that he was supposed to be recalling moments of his own past, but nothing about the world seemed familiar to him.
He was currently standing in the center of a plaza of an unknown village. The sun was starting to set, painting the streets and the buildings in a red-orange-ish color. People were walking around him, acting as if they could not see him. It wasn't until one person, a shinobi wearing the Kirigakure forehead protector, walked by that Naruto was able to piece together where he was.
"I'm in Kiri… but why?" Naruto blinked in confusion. "I've never been in the village until now! And I've never seen this plaza! These can't be my memories!"
"MOM! DAD! PLEASE!"
Naruto heard shouting in the area around him. He quickly rushed in the direction of the noise in time to see a group of people in front of an apartment building in the plaza. There were two elder adults, both of whom were dressed like civilians, standing in front of a boy in disapproval. They were completely indistinguishable and unrecognizable to Naruto. The boy, however was very familiar to him; he recognized the grey hair on his head. He also noticed the white shirt with green flowers that resembled a different green flower he had seen.
"That's Yagura!" Naruto shouted.
Yagura, nor the two civilians, heard him. They were too focused on their own conversation.
"P-Please! Mom, Dad! I didn't want any of this! Please! PLEASE!" The child Yagura begged. Tears were falling from his pink eyes.
"Stop calling us Mom and Dad. We aren't a family anymore." The male civilian said firmly as he looked down on the crying child coldly. "You're the Mizukage's family, now. You're his weapon."
"He's not my father! He's not taking me away and he's not my father! Please Dad!" Yagura continued to cry.
"You're his weapon, Yagura. Not our child." The female civilian replied with the same cold tone as her husband. "You're not even human anymore! He already sealed that fucking turtle inside of you."
"Leave already, demon!" The man hissed at the boy. Yagura did not move; he remained still, crying. "I SAID LEAVE!"
The man proceeded to kick Yagura's stomach. The little boy immediately fell down and gripped his stomach tightly.
"HEY!" Naruto shouted as he rushed forward in between Yagura and the man. "GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM HIM!"
Naruto raised his hand and tried to punch the man and get away from Yagura. His action failed, however, and his fist moved through the man's body. Naruto's eyes widened as he turned his head around, wondering why he wasn't able to do anything. Instead, he saw the man deliver another kick to Yagura's stomach.
"I SAID GET! You're not our child anymore. You aren't welcome here anymore. Go back to your precious Mizukage's mansion and go to some tool shack or something! It's where a creature like you belongs!" The man informed him sharply.
After the man finished his speech, the area around Naruto completely disappeared. The plaza, Yagura, and the 'parents' disappeared. Naruto remained still as he watched the world around him change. He was now standing in a small park, covered with a few trees, a swing, a slide, and a jungle gym. Kids were climbing and swinging, playing in the park.
Just as Naruto was about to question his surroundings, he heard laugher. He turned his attention and saw a group of kids kicking a boy. Naruto rushed forward to get a better look.
There were four kids who all looked around the ages of twelve to fourteen and were all wearing Kirigakure forehead protectors. One of the kids had his foot extended forward and on the body of another kid. Naruto looked a little closer and that the kid in the middle was Yagura. The boy seemed to be a few years older than he had in the previous 'image', but he still looked incredibly young.
"Ah, what's wrong little turtle? Can't get up, huh?" The kid holding Yagura down with his foot taunted.
"That's what happens when you flip a turtle on its back. They can't do anything! They're useless!" Another kid laughed.
"I'm… I'm in Yagura's memories." Naruto finally realized.
The blonde's eyes softened as he watched the kids torment Yagura. He could feel himself tear up slightly as he watched Yagura try to pull himself off the ground, only for the kid holding him down to push him down again and keep him on the ground. It felt very reminiscent to him; a few of the kids in the academy behaved like this around him.
'But these kids… they are worse. They never got this physical. And none of them knew about the Kyūbi. If they did… would they have behaved like this?' Naruto shook his head at the thought.
"Hey guys, shouldn't we stop this?" One of the kids finally asked the rest of the group. "What if the Mizukage finds out? We could be in big trouble!"
"Why would the Mizukage care? The Sandaime doesn't care about any of us! He certainly won't care about a stupid, little turtle!" The kid holding Yagura down replied. He immediately shoved his foot down harder, causing Yagura to wince in pain. "He's weak, after all. He's supposed to be some cool, big weapon but here he is; unable to beat a couple of genin. Hmph! Some weapon, huh?"
Naruto's fists tightened. He wanted badly to intervene and help Yagura up and fend off the 'bullies' holding him down. He wanted to be the person that never came to help him. However, he recalled the previous 'image'; these were just memories. He couldn't do anything about the scene in front of him.
This was, in some ways, harder than watching his own life.
"Please… stop." Naruto shook his head as tears fell down.
As if to mock his request, the scene changed again and the world around him vanished. It was, however quickly replaced by another 'image'.
Naruto was now standing in the middle of an office room that reminded him of the Hokage's office. Standing in front of the room was Yagura, who now appeared to be only a year or two younger than Naruto and was now wearing a Kirigakure forehead protector. He was bowing his head in the presence of a man sitting down at a desk. The man wore the blue robes and the hat of the Mizukage. Not much was definable about his appearance, other than the black hair that was covered fully by the Mizukage's hat and the vacant expression in his eyes.
"Yagura, I was expecting you to be combat ready by now. I need the Sanbi out in the battlefield." The man told Yagura.
"I understand, Sandaime-sama. I have not been a genin for long, but I promise; I'll be ready for combat soon!" Yagura replied, still bowing.
"Not soon enough, though. All the reports I've received about your development concern me, Yagura. Your reports show that you skipped classes in the academy and seem to never contribute to any meaningful discussion there. You are on a genin team, now, but both Terumī Mei and Hoshigaki Kisame already outclass you." The Sandaime Mizukage's blank eyes narrowed slightly at the boy in front of him. "I'm starting to wonder if I chose the wrong candidate for the bijū. At your current level, you're a useless tool like this, Yagura."
"I-I-" Yagura looked up to face the Mizukage to protest. He was silenced, however, as the man held out his right hand.
"Focus on your development, Yagura, or I will rip the Sanbi out of you and find a new host." He stated sharply, causing the boy's eyes to widen. "You're Kirigakure's weapon; your sole purpose in life is to kill enemy shinobi on the battlefield in my name."
Naruto tried to close his eyes as more memories developed for him to watch. He watched Yagura get kicked out of a restaurant that 'refused to service demons'. When Yagura was of age and a shinobi, Naruto saw a memory of a woman attempting to kill him for not being able to save her son when they went on a mission together.
Memory-by-memory continued to occur. Each one caused him to cry more and caused him to hurt more-and-more on the inside.
"Please stop. Just stop already!"
A faint voice slowly entered his mind. Naruto closed his eyes and attempted to concentrate on the voice; anything to stop focusing on the images of Yagura's childhood.
"… Are you there?"
"Kurama's jinchūriki, can you hear me?"
Naruto's eyes opened in surprise. The voice… was it calling for him?
"I… can hear you?" He finally said.
Instantly, the images around him vanished. Naruto braced himself, preparing for another 'memory' of Yagura's. Instead, however, he found himself in a black void. Floating in the void in front of his body was the Sanbi.
"Finally you broke free! I've been trying to get you out of that for a while!" The turtle declared.
Naruto's eyes widened further in shock. Was the Sanbi trying to talk to him? And not kill him?
"You… are you…" Naruto's voice was shaky, uncertain if he was hearing things correctly.
"Please don't talk and act like that." The Sanbi spoke harshly. "I don't have much time; I couldn't put enough of my consciousness in my mist to engage in useless dialogue. Besides, it would be to your benefit to listen to me and get out so you can find that blasted Uchiha!"
"I-I… understand." Naruto nodded his head. "I'm just shocked, I guess. Did you manage to break through Madara's control."
"No. However, his control was weakened slightly when you and Kurama entered Yagura's mindscape. He's had to divert his attention on you, so his control weakened slightly. Not enough for me to break free, but enough that I put a small amount of my consciousness into the mist so I could speak to you when he inevitably made me use the technique against you." The Sanbi explained. "That's why I also used that technique to show you Yagura's past. I had presumed that you would have been too focused on your history if you had seen your own. I wasn't expecting you to be so… focused on Yagura's life."
"I couldn't help it; it's not right. That's not something anybody should have experienced!" Naruto shouted as tears came back to his eyes. "I'm sorry for messing up and allowing myself to get focused on them, but how could I not? That's not right! That's immoral! No child should grow up like that!"
"I suppose that is my fault. I should have realized that you would be sensitive to those types of memories. You are a jinchūriki as well. You would naturally relate to him." The Sanbi replied.
"I stand by my point; nobody should grow up like that. Not Yagura, not me, not anybody." Naruto stated sharply as he brushed away his tears. He then looked the giant turtle in the eyes. "Not even someone like you or the Kyūbi."
The Sanbi opened his mouth to comment back, but he paused after Naruto's comment. He looked at the blonde in front of him in amazement.
"Kurama's jinchūriki, what is your name?" He questioned.
"Naruto. Uzumaki Naruto." Naruto replied.
"Naruto-san, tell me why you would care about myself or Kurama in such a fashion?" He questioned. "Aren't we the root cause of yours and Yagura's suffering? Wouldn't you wish that on us?"
"I wouldn't wish it on anybody. Nobody deserves a life like that!" The Konoha shinobi's eyes narrowed. "And you and Kur, er, I mean the Kyūbi. You two have suffered too, haven't you? You always get sealed up in some jinchūriki and have to watch the same, sad life over and over again." His eyes lowered slightly in realization. "… You two, and the rest of the bijū, may have suffered even more than all of us."
The Sanbi looked down at Naruto in amazement. The bijū had never seen a human speak so passionately like this. Even Yagura, who he had a good relationship with, did not speak like that. Naruto, however, was talking in a way that reminded him of his own father.
"… Heh." The thought caused the giant turtle to laugh. "Uzumaki Naruto… you amuse me. You speak like a man I used to know." A few more seconds passed by before he stopped laughing. "Naruto-san, please; call me Isobu."
Naruto's eyes widened at the gesture, but smiled brightly in response. "O-Of course, Isobu."
"I can tell you're a good child and I'd love to talk to you more, but we don't have time." Isobu stated sharply as his face stiffened. "I need to make sure you get out of this mist as quick as possible. Once you get out, you need to destroy that essence of the Uchiha controlling me and Yagura. Only when he's gone will Yagura's consciousness be allowed to waken and he and I can take control again."
"Do you have any advice for that?" Naruto questioned. "I've been trying to destroy him, but he seems to move faster and stronger than me. He really seems out of my league."
"You are Kurama's jinchūriki; I know you have the chakra and the innate abilities to do it." Isobu replied.
"But I can't control anymore! I'm lucky I can use as much as I can without losing control to him-" Naruto's eyes widened in realization. "… But, in this case, maybe that's not a bad thing."
"Mention me to him. Kurama's honorable. He'll let you go." The Sanbi replied with a small smile. That smile quickly faded. "Anyway, we've wasted too much time! I'm pulling you out of the genjutsu; prepare to act fast!"
With those words, Isobu and the void that had surrounded Naruto disappeared.
Naruto returned to Yagura's mindscape to find himself being held up by his neck once again. Madara was holding him up with his right hand and had a kunai in his left hand. He rushed his hand forward, preparing to force the kunai into his heart. Naruto, however, managed to react in time and delivered a punch to Madara's face. The action took the man by surprise, causing him to drop Naruto and the kunai. The Uzumaki took the moment to jump away.
"You managed to break free from the mist? I thought you wouldn't be able to do that." Madara commented, frowning behind his mask. "I guess I should have prepared in case you could've. I shouldn't have taken my time and let you suffer in those memories for too long."
The Uzumaki paid no mind to Madara's words. Instead, he turned his head upwards toward the Kyūbi's cage.
"Hey, please; channel as much chakra into me as possible. Make me enter that version two form or something." Naruto thought, hoping the mental-link between him and the Kyūbi was still working even in Yagura's mindscape.
The connection seemed to work, as he noticed the Kyūbi's eyes widen.
"Kid, there is no chance in hell you'll be able to keep control of your body in that case." The fox replied. "You'll-"
"Then why don't you take control?" Naruto questioned.
Once again, the fox's eyes widened. He was almost gaping at Naruto.
"… You're not bullshitting me, are you?" He asked quietly.
"We need to fight at full strength and the only way for my body to have that full strength to beat him is for you to take control. I trust you can do it. I trust you that you'll give me my body back once this is all done." Naruto answered, giving the Kyūbi a serious look. "This is serious, Kurama. This is so we can free both Yagura and Isobu from his control!" The blonde pounded his fists together. "Isobu met with me in the genjutsu and he tells me we need to do this. I trust you can free him and manage to defeat the Uchiha!"
Naruto's request and words had stunned the fox so badly that he didn't even correct Naruto's usage of his real name. His container was willing to trust him with his own body? He was that intent on freeing both Yagura and Isobu?
'He even used Isobu's name. And he met up with him.' He repeated the words in his head. '… Fine. We'll try it.'
"Alright Naruto, let's do this." Kurama spoke out loud, causing Naruto to grin. "This is going to be overwhelming and may hurt, but don't fight it. I'll honor your request this once, but for now, it's my turn. The Uchiha is DEAD!"
Naruto's body became covered by even more chakra. The chakra began attaching itself to his body, forming what appeared to be a layer of red-black skin. Three more tails developed. Each of the tails that had surrounded his body became more pronounced and solidified. Bones also developed on Naruto's body, creating a skeleton that surrounded him.
"Hmm?" Madara looked at Naruto's new body in confusion. "Are you entering version two? Can you control that level of chakra?
'Naruto' looked towards the masked man. A smirk developed on his face.
"He can't; that's where I come in." The Kyūbi, speaking through Naruto's body, declared. "It's about time you pay Madara!"
Madara had no time to reply; the Kyūbi-controlled Naruto already charged forward at him.
"Water Style: Four Shark Shower!"
A large orb of water developed in Kisame's left hand. He held out the orb slightly before all of the water in it surged upward. After a few seconds, the water turned into rain that covered the cemetery. The rain drops changed shape, resembling tiny water sharks.
Mei and Utakata moved around, dodging each individual rain drop and preventing themselves from getting bitten. Mei, however, was unable to get away from all and a water shark made contact with left leg. It bit into it hard, causing her to close eyes in pain as blood started to pour out. She quickly shook her leg, flicking the water shark off, before returning to her attempt at avoiding the attacks.
Kisame, however, rushed her. The swordsman swung Samehada, trying to shave at her again. Mei, however, rolled out of the way in time. She made a singular hand sign before quickly stomping her foot on the ground.
"Water Style: Water Blade!"
A column of underground water rushed forward directly underneath Kisame's body, causing him to move backwards to avoid it. Mei rushed over to the water and extended her hand into it. The column of water quickly changed shape, resembling a blade made of water. She swung it around slightly, adjusting herself to using it, before she charged at Kisame.
"Oh? Wasn't that technique made by the Yondaime Kazekage? Are you really going to use a water technique made by a Suna shinobi?" Kisame questioned with a smirk as he charged at her, gripping Samehada. "Whatever. Guess I'll get a chance to see if your kenjutsu got any better."
Kisame's Samehada came into direct contact with Mei's blade of water. The weapons clashed and both shinobi were unable to get the edge on each other. Kisame quickly swung again, attacking lower this time. Mei, however, avoided the attack by jumping into the air. She rushed forward directly at Kisame, trying to stab him with her blade, but the swordsman reacted quickly and blocked her blade with his own. The two were at a stalemate.
"I'm impressed that you actually can hold me off with a flimsy water sword like that, Mei-san." Kisame admitted as he tried to overpower her. "Certainly this is because of the jutsu, right? There's no way you could match me at like this with just kenjutsu."
"You are right; it is the jutsu." Mei replied with a smirk. "My water blade's strength is based on my own chakra, as it determined the amount and strength of the water used to forge it. It's a lot stronger sword than you would have expected."
"I see. Interesting technique. I'd try and learn it, but Samehada might get jealous if I try and use any other type of sword." The shark-like shinobi stated with a laugh.
As the two former teammates attempted to overpower the other, Utakata brought his pipe to his mouth. He channeled the Rokubi's chakra into his mouth as he began blowing.
Utakata blew a series of bubbles that were colored dark blue directly at Kisame's body. The swordsman looked over with his peripheral vision in time to see the approaching attack. He, therefore, stopped his attack and moved backwards just in time to avoid the attacks. Utakata then made a hand sign, causing the bubbles to erupt, releasing a dark blue liquid. The liquid rushed forward, again, at Kisame. The swordsman, however, continued to dodge the attacks, causing the liquid to make contact with the ground and causing the earth to melt upon contact.
Mei then rushed forward at Kisame, raising her blade of water slightly as she attempted to cut him down. Kisame blocked her oncoming attack with Samehada. He then swung his sword again at a slight angle. Mei was unable to block fully and the shark-teeth on Kisame's body punctured her arm slightly, causing her grip on her blade to weaken. Kisame then took the opportunity to deliver a kick against Mei's hand, fully knocking the water blade out of her hand and causing it to turn to plain water.
"You see, that's how I know it had to have been the jutsu and not your kenjutsu. You made a blade strong enough to match Samehada, but you clearly don't know how to fight against a swordsman with more experience than you." Kisame taunted his former teammate.
He swung his sword once again at Mei's body. She was unable to get away this time, and took the brunt of his attack. The shark teeth ripped into the skin on her stomach and chest before shaving it off. Mei shouted in pain as she fell to the ground, blood dripping heavily.
"Had enough?" Kisame taunted as he pointed Samehada at her body.
"F-Fuck you." Mei hissed as she pulled herself off the ground. Her hands started to glow green as she quickly brought them to her chest.
"Do you think you can just heal those wounds? In the middle of a battle?" The swordsman laughed. "Desperate, aren't we?"
Kisame prepared to rush her and Mei started moving backwards to place distance between her and the shinobi. Before Kisame could actually attack, however, he was bombarded by a series of bubbles. The bubbles exploded directly onto his back, causing him to fall forward slightly. He managed to catch himself before he actually hit the ground, however.
Kisame turned his head to see Utakata standing at a distance, blowing bubbles from his pipe. The shark-like shinobi shook his head.
"You tend to get some dirty hits on me, you know that Utakata?" He asked with a smirk. "I appreciate that in a shinobi!"
The swordsman darted towards the Rokubi jinchūriki, avoiding any bubbles the shinobi breathed out. Seeing his attempts to stop the man were not working, Utakata turned his body downward and blew another, larger bubble. The bubble consumed his body and started to float upward just as Kisame reached him and tried to swing his sword at him.
Now in the air, Utakata created a small hole in his bubble and began blowing out dark blue bubbles towards Kisame's body. He avoided each bubble, causing them to hit the ground and cause the earth to melt slightly after the impact. He then ran through a series of hand signs as a large orb of water developed in his hand again. Kisame held it upward, causing the water to surge upwards and create rain.
The rain changed shape into tiny water sharks. The sharks rushed forward to one spot; Utakata's bubble. The sharks were unable to pierce the bubble, but they shoved it downward to the ground. Utakata bit his lip as he tried to push the bubble upwards again, but he was unable to; the constant barrage of water sharks were forcing him downward.
As soon as the bubble made contact with the ground, Kisame charged forward and swung Samehada. The sword managed to break through the bubble. The water sharks that had been pushing the bubble downward now changed targets, focusing solely on Utakata's body. The Rokubi jinchūriki shouted in pain as multiple sharks bit into different parts of his body. A few seconds passed before he jumped away and shoved them off of him. Bite marks and blood covered his entire body, however.
Utakata jumped over to Mei's position. The rebel leader had used medical ninjutsu to stop herself from bleeding too extensively, but she still appeared to be exhausted. It seemed as if she was struggling to stand.
"We… need backup…" Utakata informed her. "Otherwise we are dead."
"I realize." Mei hissed in response as she closed her eyes.
They needed to either alert help or think of some way to defeat Kisame fast. At the rate the battle was going, neither she nor Utakata would be able to remain fighting for too long.
Gamabunta opened his mouth before exhaling a massive gust of wind from his lungs. The wind contained traces of oil inside of it and moved around the battlefield. As the wind-oil mixture was sent out, Jiraiya breathed out a spray of fire that made contact with the mixture. A giant, flaming cyclone developed and quickly ignited the area entirely.
The flames managed to pierce Itachi's body, burning it up and causing it to disappear in a poof of smoke. Crows flew throughout the area, trying to get away from the flames. The fire, however, moved too fast and had expanded far too much; the crows were unable to properly escape and were burned. One crow, however, continued to fly and get away. It flew above the battlefield and seemed to be panting.
'That had to be enough. Jiraiya-san hit me too many times for me to be valuable.' Itachi told himself. 'Any more development in our conflict and we will end up burning the village of Kirigakure to the ground. I've done my part and Zetsu will not be suspicious; I can retreat for now.'
With that thought, the crow continued to fly away further into the village, away from the battle with Jiraiya. As the crow started to fly away, Jiraiya made a signal to Gamabunta. The toad nodded before he spat out a deluge of water, completely engulfing the flames that he and Jiraiya had created, putting them out. With the fire gone, the Sannin jumped on the Toad Boss's head.
"We need to hurry into the village, Gamabunta. If Itachi was here, his partner must surely be nearby. We need to make sure he hasn't done any damage. We need to contact Mei." Jiraiya informed the toad sharply.
"Just tell me the direction to go." Gamabunta replied with a nod.
Jiraiya pointed in a direction, urging Gamabunta to start hurrying.
'I hope that was enough time. Naruto, Mei, Utakata; please be safe!' The Sannin closed his eyes to pray.
Kurama, using Naruto's body, darted towards Madara, extending his hands out like claws. He swung them directly at the man's face, but the attack failed and the claw went through his body.
"If you really are the Kyūbi taking control, I would have assumed you would have been wiser than to attack me like this. It's useless." The masked man commented.
"And if you really were the man who controlled me all those years ago, you should realize that I'm not stupid and know what I'm doing." The Kyūbi replied with a grin. "Oh wait, you aren't that man. You're just a fragment of his chakra: a leftover essence that appears to have picked up a tendency to taunt to help it cope with the fact that it'll one day fade into nothingness."
A scowl developed behind Madara's mask as he quickly jumped backwards. He brought out a chain from his wristlets and quickly surrounded the Kyūbi-possessed body. He then tossed him forward, directly in front of Isobu's body.
"Sanbi, why don't you do the favors and extinguish this pathetic fox!" He shouted.
Isobu nodded his head before it channeled chakra into his mouth. He then spat out massive balls of water directly at the approaching body. Kurama, however, grinned in response. The skeleton around his body extended outward, pushing with enough strength to destroy the chains holding him down. Now freed, the Kyūbi proceeded to move quickly, avoiding the Sanbi's barrage of attacks. He then jumped into the air for a moment before slamming his body hard against the ground.
"Tailed Beast Shockwave!"
The resulting impact of Kurama slamming himself on the ground created a massive shockwave on the ground, causing everything to shake. Isobu felt himself losing balance after the shockwaves. Similarly, Madara actually lost his balance and fell. Kurama noticed that and dashed towards his body.
Kurama reached him quickly and delivered a slash at him with his claws. His attack connected and Madara's cloak was pierced slightly, blood to pour out lightly. The Kyūbi attempted to slash at him again, but Madara's body quickly vanished as a distortion in space quickly consumed his body.
He reappeared from another distortion directly behind the possessed-body. Madara held out his hands, causing the chains on his wristlet to rush forward again towards Kurama. The Kyūbi, however, turned around in time and managed to grab hold of the chains with his hands. He gripped tightly on them as Madara tried to pull on them.
"These chains of yours have been pissing me off." The Kyūbi said plainly as he tightened his grip even further.
Instantly, the chains ignited with fire. The wristlets on Madara's hands caught on fire as well and he was forced to drop them. The chain fell into the pond water on the ground, still burning despite being in water.
"You shouldn't have done that." Madara said. Behind his mask, his eyes widened. "Amaterasu!"
Black flames surrounded Kurama and closed in on him. He managed to jump away in time, but the flames did make contact, causing him to wince heavily at the burn. The black flames began to slowly spread over his body, causing Kurama to breathe out a gust of wind from his mouth to extinguish the flames.
'This isn't my body; this is the kid's, and he's human. I need to make sure I don't get hit by those flames any more. Too much of that could kill him.'Kurama informed himself.
"Fire Style: Blast Wave Wild Dance!"
The masked man released a large stream of fire that developed into a spiral pattern as it flew towards Kurama. The fox quickly dodged the flames before rushing at the Uchiha. The flames continued to fly forward until they disappeared in a distortion in space.
As Kurama was about to reach Madara and strike at him, the flames reappeared from a new distortion in space directly in between himself and the Uchiha.
'What?'The Kyūbi's eyes were wide.
The fox was forced to jump to avoid the oncoming attack. He was too close to the flames to get fully away, however, and the flames burned at his legs, causing him to wince in pain. Seeing him in the air, Madara snapped his finger before pointing his finger at him. Isobu nodded his head, understanding the request, and began charging chakra in his mouth. A sphere of black-and-white chakra began to develop.
Isobu launched the sphere of chakra directly towards Kurama. His eyes widened in surprise as he quickly looked upward and inhaled. He proceeded to exhale a powerful gust of wind that pushed his body backwards, pushing him down towards the ground and, in the process, avoiding the attack.
As soon as the Kyūbi landed on the ground, Madara rushed him. His eyes, beneath his mask, were open wide.
More black flames flew towards Kurama. The bijū jumped backwards, avoiding the attack, before inhaling and exhaling, sending another gust of wind forward. The wind extinguished the approaching flames. They continued to rush forward towards Madara's body, but the wind blew right through him, having no effect.
"Frustrated yet, Kyūbi? Your attacks aren't working." The masked man remarked.
"I'm biding my time." The fox hissed in response.
'He has a point. I need to fight more carefully. It's been a while since I've fought, especially in a body like this. I need to not be stupid. His stupid 'intangibility' technique has a weakness and I need to exploit it.' Kurama thought to himself. He recalled the battle up to this point; even remembering Naruto's original attempt at fighting him. He made a note of every time either he or Naruto actually landed a hit on him. Finally, an idea struck him, causing him to grin. 'Got it.'
Madara made a hand sign, urging Isobu to move forward. The Sanbi rolled itself into its shell and started to roll forward directly at Kurama. The giant turtle attempted to trample him, but the fox was quicker than Naruto had been. Kurama managed to keep moving, making sure that Isobu's attack would not him. Each time, however, he would slowly inch himself closer to Madara.
After getting sufficiently close enough, the Kyūbi swung his claws forward: "Nine-Tails Twister!"
The gesture of swiping his claws created a tornado that rushed forward at Madara. The tornado reached the masked man quickly, but once again, did no damage. The Uchiha stood still for a moment in the center of the tornado. In the process, however, Isobu stopped rolling forward and trying to attack Kurama.
After a few seconds, Madara walked out of the tornado, still completely unharmed. As soon as he walked out, Isobu continued to roll forward. Kurama paid no attention to the Sanbi, however, and dashed towards Madara. He got dangerously close to his body and swung his claws at him again. The sudden movement and action took the Uchiha by surprise and caused his body to disappear in a distortion in space.
'Great. He did it. Now, Kurama; stay focused. Sense for his energy. Look for his negative emotions.' The bijū told himself.
Within seconds, the Kyūbi felt the emotions he was looking for: a sense of overwhelming despair that it was going to one day fade from existence and a sense of anger that two 'intruders' were attempting to ruin his purpose. Kurama turned his head just in time to see a distortion in space open up.
Just as Madara started to exit the distortion in space, Kurama pointed the ends of each of his tails directly at him. He channeled chakra into each tail, causing them to light up.
Each of the tails released a powerful beam of pure, reddish-orange chakra directly at Madara's body. All nine beams connected at various parts of Madara's body, causing his body to grow limp. Blood starting pouring out of the points of his body hit.
"AHHHHHH!" He yelled in pain.
The masked man tried to pull himself away from the beams, but the power was too much for him to overpower. He found himself unable to even use Kamui to make himself intangible. He was stuck like this, forced to experience the force of this technique.
"Can't become visible, huh? You can't so long as your body is linked to the physical world. My beams will do just that." The Kyūbi said smugly as he maintained the use of his jutsu from his tails. "I'd say look forward to going to hell, but you won't. You're not even the real Uchiha Madara. You're just an essence. A creature as unoriginal and despicable as you has no afterlife; there's only an eternal death and disappearance."
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" The masked man continued to scream.
Satisfied with his work, Kurama opened his mouth and began generating chakra. A black-and-white sphere began to develop in his mouth.
The Kyūbi sent the sphere flying towards Madara's body. The sphere collided with him before completely consuming him. Within seconds, the screaming stopped. Once the sphere began to fade away, Kurama saw no signs of the body. The jutsu had wiped out all traces of the essence of Uchiha Madara.
"… Hmph. Not even a body. Figures. An implant of chakra like that has no worth in this world." The Kyūbi commented.
As Kurama remained still, staring at the space that had once been the essence of Uchiha Madara, a loud thumping noise sounded throughout the mindscape. He turned his head around to see Isobu, passed out on the ground. Kurama rushed over to the giant turtle's body, climbed onto it, and placed his ear against his chest. A few seconds passed by before he sighed in relief.
"Isobu's alive. He's passed out." He told himself. "He must finally be free of the control."
Instinctively, Kurama's eyes wandered over to the body of Yagura, remaining still in the mindscape. The flowers that had been holding the boy in place had officially let go. Yagura was also no longer moving about on the floor and seemed to be at peace. Kurama jumped off Isobu's body and rushed over to the jinchūriki, placing his ear against his chest.
"And it seems as if jinchūriki is fine as well. He must be free as well." Kurama commented as he looked back-and-forth between the jinchūriki and the bijū. "It's going to probably be a little while before these two wake up."
The fox remained still for a moment as his eyes finally focused in on Isobu. A small smile developed on his face as he looked at the giant turtle.
"… Well kid. We did it." He said.
Within his body, he could feel a presence seemingly glow. Naruto was as relieved and happy as he was. The boy, the Kyūbi could tell, was genuinely happy that both Yagura and Isobu were free.
A part of Kurama realized that he still had an opportunity that he had been craving for years; Naruto had given him complete control in act of desperation. He could, in theory, keep control of his body for a little while longer until Naruto could wrestle up control back. However, the fox knew that Naruto would get control back eventually. There would be no point.
'The kid… He put his trust in me.' Kurama noted, his smile growing a little wider. 'He shouldn't have. I've made it no secret what I feel about him. But he did it anyway. Because he valued Yagura's life and Isobu's life. He'd risk it all just for a chance to do good.' A small chuckle escaped his lips. 'Heh. He even reminds me of my old man in a way. It's that same damn drive to do good in this world.'
"Kid… no… Naruto." The Kyūbi corrected himself. "I'm going to pull us out of this mindscape. I don't know how long, but both Yagura and Isobu will wake up in time. You will return to your body and have full control once we return to the real world. However, this experience battling Yagura and the essence of Madara is going to leave your body and mind exhausted. You're going to pass out. Just prepare to get some sleep for a while."
Kurama closed his eyes as he began channeling his chakra, allowing for both he and Naruto to leave.
"Thanks Kyūbi." The fox heard Naruto's reply within his mind.
The fox chuckled in response: "Hey kid; if you want, you can call me Kurama."
With those words, Naruto and Kurama left Yagura's mindscape, returning to the real world.
Kisame raised Samehada up into the air, prepared to rush forward and strike at Mei and Utakata. He stopped himself, however, as he saw something appear in the sky.
A singular black crow flew around the battlefield in a circular pattern. After flying in three rotations, it began flying away from the battlefield. Kisame's eyes narrowed at the sight.
'That's Itachi's signal. He's been forced to retreat and he's advising I do the same.' The swordsman noted. 'That must mean Jiraiya defeated him and he's coming this way. I… shit. I can't take him on. I'll get killed.'
Kisame's eyes lowered and focused in on his opponents. Mei and Utakata were still breathing heavily and bleeding heavily, but were standing and in position to fight. Mei had officially patched up enough of her wounds that she could still keep fighting for a little longer until she got forced down and Utakata's bijū had healed him enough.
'I can probably still take them, but not fast enough to get away from Jiraiya. That means I won't have time to get away with Utakata's body, Yagura's body, or the Kyūbi jinchūriki's body. Shit.' He cursed.
With a sigh, the former Kirigakure shinobi moved Samehada to his back and re-hooked it. Both Mei and Utakata tensed at the action and prepared for whatever Kisame was attempting to do.
"You both got lucky. You would have died if it wasn't for fate. Still, guess I gotta give you both props for lasting as long as you did to the point that help would come." Kisame admitted. The shark-like man let a smirk cross his lips. "I'll remember this, though, the next time. And believe me, there will be a next team. Our team has unfinished business after all, Mei-san, and I intend to have that team reunion soon!"
With those words, Kisame's body disappeared. A pool of water had seemingly replaced him.
"Which direction did he go?" Mei shook her head as she began looking around for any sign of movement. "If we really do have help coming, then we can point them in his direction! He-"
The words on her lips died as soon as they heard some small movement from Naruto and Yagura. Both shinobi turned their heads and saw Naruto open his eyes slightly and start to stagger away. Mei and Utakata got over to them as quickly as they could. Naruto's eyes were starting to close, but a smile developed on his face.
"He's alright. We did it. Kurama and I did it. We got him." Naruto mumbled quietly. Mei and Utakata, however, heard loud-and-clear and were staring at him in disbelief. "W-We…"
His words remained unfinished; Naruto fell into unconsciousness, succumbing to his exhaustion. Mei managed to catch him in time before his body could hit the ground. She continued to stare at him in disbelief before tears started to fall from her eyes.
"He did it then… my Yagura-kun is still alive…" She said happily.
A large presence landed in the cemetery. Mei looked over briefly in time to see Jiraiya jump off the head of Gamabunta, but she barely processed it. Her adrenaline was starting to fade and exhaustion was taking over her body. The weight of Naruto in her arms was also starting to prove to be too much for her. She quickly started to fall backwards; the sense of joy and relief completely overwhelming. She didn't even feel Utakata catching her body and making sure she, and by proxy Naruto, did not fall to the ground.
Everything was over. The Civil War was over. Yagura was freed.
These were her last thoughts as she drifted into unconsciousness herself.
1: The 'Madara/Tobi/Obito' (whatever you want to consider him) placed in Yagura's head was a being made of chakra left behind when Obito was forced to leave Kirigakure. Therefore, it is not actually him at full strength. That also impacted the essence's overall personality. Kurama made comments about the being bitter and sore about the fact that it was going to, one day, fade from existence. I hope that explains the behavior and overall attitude of the 'Madara/Tobi/Obito' essence just a little bit. :)