She found him on the remains of a battlefield. Wrapped in the arms of a red haired woman as she lay on the ground struggling to hold on to the last remains of her life. He looked at her with blue e...
Author's Note: Maybe you'll final learn her name! Maybe not, just read on!
Fishing' - Normal
'Fishing' - Spells
'Fishing' - Thoughts, Flashbacks and Dreams (Use logic to differentiate!)
Naruto sat on the same boulder he always used to meditate fiddling with a piece of hair staring at it with frown on his face. It looked much paler then it had last time he'd taken the effort to look at it and he wasn't sure why. In fact he was sure even his skin was looking lighter.
He'd never been a boy overly concerned by his aesthetic appearance. On the contrary he cared nothing for it at all. He had no reason to. He'd never seen another human before it his in all his time with training obsessed dragon and he had no memory of a life before her. Given that he'd never given a second thought to how he might appear to other people.
He didn't know if he was considered short for his age or tall for his age. He didn't know if the way he looked was thought handsome of hideous. In fact he wasn't entirely sure if he looked much like other humans at all. This was made true even more so by the fact that he'd never had the opportunity to look in the mirror. He was ten years old now and he'd never even seen his reflection.
it wasn't like he hadn't felt his own face with his hands before he just had nothing to compare his features to. Sure he'd taken the time to look at the surface of the water and seen what he could, but it wasn't exactly a clear image. At the time all he'd been able to glean was that he had bright blonde hair and blue eyes. Now that might be changing and he wanted to know why.
Maybe it happens to all humans as they get older, he thought. They get paler and paler until they're nothing, but white sheets.
The idea had some merit he supposed, but surely he'd have been taught it in his one of his lessons by now. It seemed like something pretty important to mention. Then again she had a habit of just expecting him to know things like they were common sense.
He was going to have to ask her.
Grumbling to himself he climbed to his feet enjoying the light of the moon on his back despite his irritation. It was always such a soothing feeling. Until he'd turned eight she'd refused to let him train after sunset. His powers always felt greater at night and she'd stated that until his control was much better he wouldn't be allowed to use them at night. When he'd turned eight she'd decided he was ready and he'd finally been allowed to train under the light of the moon.
It was the first time he'd ever experienced using his powers at night and it was a feeling he'd never forget.
It was not something easily forgotten.
He jumped down the last few rocks landing silently on his feet, his movement so smooth that even the sound of his body moving through the air made no noise. At that he couldn't help but grin. She would be proud that her ruthless drilling had paid off. Suddenly a flicker of light hair caught his attention and he remembered why he was there.
"Kaa-san," he called as he walked around the corner of the cave a slight frown now marring his face.
"Naruto, you're finished with your meditation?" she asked.
"Hai, kaa-san," he replied, then paused uncertainly. He wasn't entirely sure how to broach the subject of his sudden increasing paleness. He supposed straight upfront asking would be the best route. She always preferred him to be that way. "Kaa-san, is there in particular reason that my hair is getting lighter? And not just my hair, but my skin too?"
She stared at him for several moments before looked up and out at the moon. "It comes from bathing in the moonlight," she replied.
"Bathing in the moonlight?" he questioned uncertainly.
"Hai," she replied. "It is the mark of dragon slayer of the night and moon. We are not one or the other. We are both, one in the same. Our powers increase once the sun has set though they are strongest when it is a clear night and both night and moon are there to bless us. It is not that we are weaker when the sun is out and the night is day. After all the moon is always there even when we cannot see it. But, you already know that."
"The only problem is the increase in power you feel in the night. I am a dragon and as such the power doesn't affect me like it does you. I don't mean that my power doesn't increase like yours I simply mean that my body was born and made to handle it. Even if you are a true dragon slayer and your body posses the resilience of one it isn't the same. The increasing paleness is a side effect of using your powers at night," she explained. "Even with your control is absolutely perfect the power is something that floods your every pore it affects you on a physical level."
"I still don't get why it should change me?" he said not truly understanding.
"It's a side effect. It is beyond even my knowledge how the nature of each magic acts at such a level of understanding. It is not knowledge any mortal should posses and even if I am a dragon and my life span far outstrips yours I am still mortal and one day in the far distant future I will die," she explained.
"Does… does that mean I'll eventually be pale as a ghost?" he asked in slight worry. He didn't want to completely lose something that connect him to his parents.
"No, in fact your eyes aren't getting lighter, they are getting darker. Either way I don't think it'll change much more then it already has. Your skin will never loose the slightly peach pigment, your hair will always retain a part a part of its blonde and your eyes will always be blue no matter how dark. At least this effect won't be responsible for changing it," she said.
He sighed in relief then frowned, "If the rest of me is getting lighter why are my eyes going the other way."
"The moon is not all light and the night is dark. Even if it is mostly the moon not the night that is causing this change there are always parts of one aspect within another," she said.
He nodded in agreement, "Is it permanent?"
"Hai, even if you stop using your powers at night the change won't reverse," she explained. "Anyway enough of that. We've got live combat to work on and I really am looking forward to beating you into the ground."
"Kaa-san, why must you be so cruel?"
"It's fun," she replied, not bothering to deny her training was slightly sadistic.
"Dragon Force," she stated.
"The ultimate state and power of the dragon slayer," he replied.
She grinned, sharp teeth glinting in the light. It would have had anyone fleeing to the hills, but Naruto had seen the look too many times to be scared by it.
"I'm glad to see you remember it, the last time I mentioned it you demanded I teach it to you that very instant," she said continuing to grin.
"I was four," he said deadpan look on his face.
"That's no excuse."
"I remember you saying that when you sent me flying into a rock several miles away and letting me walk back."
The grin got darker.
"It was a test of your tenacity."
"I'm sure it was," he replied trying to keep the sarcasm from his voice. "The question is why you're bringing it up now?" he asked.
"I'm going to teach you how to achieve that state," she said deciding it best to ignore the hint of sarcasm before she launched him miles away.
He frowned, "I thought you said it was impossible for a dragon slayer to activate it of their own free will unless a lacrima was infused in their bodies or they defeated their dragon. You also refused to do that to me last time I asked. In fact you decided to repeat the earlier incident of hurling me miles away, only this time it was far enough way for me to land in the ocean. It took me day to get back."
"Feeling talkative today, how rare," she said smirking.
"Besides I never said it was impossible," she added.
"You implied it."
"Yes, I did. I refuse to turn you into one of those cheating fake dragon slayers. Any dragon who does that to their slayer clearly fears they won't be powerful enough. Weaklings and fools - all of them. It is possible for a true dragon slayer to achieve the dragon force state of their own free will without defeating their dragon. It's just incredibly difficult to accomplish. It is also made more likely for you to achieve it because I am your dragon. The more powerful the dragon the greater chance the dragon slayer has of attaining the dragon force state," she explained. "The methods also differ slightly from dragon slayer to dragon slayer."
"Alright then, how do I do it?" he asked with a raised brow.
"Meditation," she replied.
"Meditation," he replied dubiously.
"Hai, meditation. Don't you remember me telling you there was a greater purpose to your meditation. Well, meditation is how you unlock you dragon force state."
"But, I've been meditating for years and I've never managed to do that!" he exclaimed.
"That's only because you've been doing it wrong," she waved it away.
"I've meditating wrong for years and you never told me," he deadpanned.
"You haven't been meditating wrong, you just haven't been meditating right to achieve it."
He refrained from any form of action knowing he'd probably do something stupid and irrational which would then lead to her sending him flying far far away. It just wouldn't be worth it. He took several deep breaths before he spoke again. "How am I supposed to meditate then?"
"In the middle of battle," she replied.
"Can you repeat that please," he said in a small voice.
"You need to be able to fall into a meditative state during the middle of a fight. It's not quite the same kind of meditation you've been doing, but it's similar enough to work."
She took no notice of his dazed state.
"What you need to do is completely immerse yourself in your core during a state of meditation whilst in battle and your magic will react to your state. It might be slightly more difficult for you because you have two different kinds of magic, but it will still work given enough practice. The meditative state isn't so much about meditation as about reached a place of complete calm, serenity and balance in the midst of battle."
"Oh…" he repeated.
This wasn't going to be easy. No it was not. Sure he could reach a meditative state fairly easy now, but doing that in the middle of battle… he had to resist using the word impossible. Whilst he knew she could be on the unreasonable side with his training she wouldn't ask him to do something impossible.
"And when you do manage to achieve it I'll tell you my name," she added.
His head snapped to her.
"Really?" he said knowing he sounded rather pathetic, but not really caring. He'd been begging her to tell him for years.
"I will," she said looking deep into his eyes.
Then I've go to do it, he thought.
"When do we start?"
She smirked, "Right now."
Why can't I get it! he mentally screamed in frustration kicking a stone as he walked past it. He doubted his anger was helping any either, but he couldn't control it right now. He'd never found himself so frustrated with a technique in his life.
He usually grasped techniques so easily, understanding them far quicker then most would. It was irritating to suddenly find himself up against this wall he couldn't overcome. Oh he knew it would be more difficult to learn then any technique he'd ever had to learn before. In fact he knew it would be far more difficult to learn then it had been to perfect his most advanced technique so far.
He growled out loud.
Jumping down several rocks on the mountain he eventually reached the cave and stalked to the back of the cave. Maybe the previous dragon slayer who'd been here had advice.
He remembered the first time he'd stumbled across the books at the back of the cave in a hidden room. He'd been around six years old and completely mind boggled by the number off books back there. Sure he was taught how to read and write, but he'd never actually wondered where the books he was taught with came from. They'd always just been there. Then he'd stumbled across the room and realised that this was where thy came from.
He'd asked her where they'd come from and had just received a snort in reply. Finally she'd deigned to say, "The last dragon slayer I trained was a bookworm."
It was into this room he stalked. Temper still flaring as he began searching through piles of books for something useful. I confused voice interrupted his search. "Naruto, what on earth are you doing?" she asked.
"Looking for book that might help me get this dragon force state down," he replied.
"Well, you won't find one," she replied.
"Why not!?" he yelled.
"Control yourself," she replied sharply.
"Gomen," he apologised trying to get himself under control. It was the only way he would get his answer it seemed. He breathed deeply for several moments before asking once again, "Why won't I find anything?" he asked.
"The last dragon slayer I had never managed to learn it," she said simply.
He stared at her for several moments.
"Are you serious?"
"Then how on earth do you expect me to learn it?" he questioned trying not to fall apart. It was freaking hopeless and she didn't seem the least fazed. How did she even know it was possible.
"Because I do," she answered. "If you don't you'll never learn my name, after all she never did."
She then proceeded to wonder off without a care in the world leaving him to his thoughts.
He spluttered. The woman was completely insane. How did she expect him to learn anything like this. He slumped, I'm going to be old and grey before I learn this technique.
I just need to…
" Dragon Slayer Secret Art: Tsuki no kurai sokumen," he murmured. It wasn't an offensive spell necessarily - he wasn't dumb enough to do that in a room full of books though he was sure his teacher would beg to differ - but it was extremely useful in battle. It was also one of the most advanced techniques he knew requiring a great deal of control to perfect and work properly. It also used up far to much magic power if cast incorrectly or if not controlled properly.
A glowing white magic circle appeared both a both and bellow his body. A wave of first silver then black seemed to shimmer over his body before slowly fading away.
Feeling the flow of magic charge through his body always calmed his nerves ever so slightly. He sometimes wondered if it was just a side effect of his magic - even his take over magic was effected by his dragon slayer magic - or if everyone felt that when they used magic. It could also just have been one of his quirks. Either way he didn't really care, all he knew was that it calmed him and that was that. Maybe one day when he met another wizard he would ask.
Sighing deeply as the anxiety faded away he slowly walked away from the books, his footsteps seeming lighter then before. Then in an unexpected move he didn't head for the door, instead walking straight through the wall. Disappearing deeper into the cave as he sometimes did when he felt so frustrated.
He was breathing deeply. His body shifting through forms in the light of the moon, the pale skin of his body glowing a faint sliver as he worked his way through several stances.
After much contemplation - meaning many, many more failed attempts at getting it to work - he'd decided that this was the best way to eventually reaching the dragon force state. After all you can't climb over a figurative wall thousands of feet high in an instance. You need to find a ladder an climb there slowly. Sure, he'd taken beginning steps to help by being able to fall into a meditative state almost instantly, but that was when he was sitting down on a rock at the top of a mountain with only the sounds of nature around him.
Trying to do the same thing in the midst of a fight was a whole different ball game. A very annoying, irritating, frustrating one. So, he'd decided that he'd take it one step at a time because getting his ass handed to him every fight with the dark dragon simply because he was trying to do two things at once was beginning to hurt a bit too much then he cared for.
This was the solution.
To be able to fall into a meditative state whilst moving through the various stances and forms he used in fighting. He was actually grateful he had any. Whilst watching his teacher had certainly been helpful in getting movement down it didn't suddenly give him the power to take her down and destroy anyone in a fight with ease. In fact he still got his ass handed to him on a daily basis even with a style to fight with. But, he was grateful for his predecessor giving him a fighting chance. She had been the one who'd had the books on it. Apparently she'd enjoyed hand to hand combat.
Of course getting the moves down right hadn't been easy either. He'd tried to mimic what he saw and read in the books, but there was only so much they could teach you. Getting them right had involved a lot of mistakes and enjoyable sessions with his teacher where she picked his form apart and sent him flying into rocks left and right. And if it wasn't a rock it was a tree.
He was sure there were still wholes in his form, but he would only be able to fix those after facing humans in hand to hand combat. But, for what little he'd had to work with he thought he did fairly well and the results were displayed at present.
It was he found, a lot easier to fall into a calm state whilst moving through the stances, but he wasn't quite there yet. He just needed a little more. Some sort of little push and he'd finally be able to get it. Once he did he even had a follow up plan. To be able to do the same thing whilst casting magic. He thought it would be harder then this.
After that he planned on combining the two. Having to do both magic and move through his stances at the same time whilst achieving that state of mind. Of course there was the whole 'bathing in you magic' thing, but he'd try that only after he'd managed everything else.
Finally after all of that.
He'd attempt to fight his teacher.
It would take a long time, he was well aware. In fact he knew it could possibly take years. He just hoped he managed to achieve it one day, then he could finally learn her name.
Yeah, it was sad to think his motivation was actually just learning her name more then anything else. There was the thrill of finally getting a technique down, but he'd be damned if he never managed to learn her name.
He began his next kata. His body picking up speed as the faint glow around him seemed to increase ever so slightly.
He'd learnt if it was the last thing he ever did.
Translation: Sorry if I get some of this wrong. Japanese is not a language I speak fluently. If I do then just pm me or review and let me know. I also know that some of it is not precise and only a rough translation
Tsuki no kurai sokumen - Dark side of the moon
Author's Note: Sorry if these beginning chapters that talk about his training seem to fast forward quite a lot or are to jumpy for your taste. I just don't want to linger on each individual aspect of his training for to long. It gets annoying. I also don't want to be a technique spammer where its fight this and battle that with a whole load of different techniques every time.