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: First off, "Yay me!" for having written ten chapters. Before you continue reading you should know that there has once again been a time skip. It is not far into the future. Only a few months later into the year. You'll get a better idea as you read, but I thought it best to tell you to avoid any kind of confusion.
I'm sure there are a few people wondering why Naruto hasn't managed to perfect the Dragon Force yet or even managed to get his take-over right. Well, that's because it would make the story one hundred percent boring. If he was just super powerful then there would be no form of growth to write about, which is one of the reasons I gave him two types of magic that will be used as the main focus. It means he's still strong - stronger then most - but, there's room for him to grow more powerful without the story turning into a "I'm the all mighty Naruto, bow before me petty mortals who dare not face me in battle due to my superhuman awesomeness!" kind of story. Besides, this is based on an anime - that kind of thing always has to come through in the nick of time. It's just how anime works.
'Fishing' - Normal
'Fishing' - Spells
'Fishing' - Thoughts, Flashbacks and Dreams (Use logic to differentiate!)
Naruto stared at the picture in his hands the edges of it now worn with wear and use. He ran his thumb across it. Why do I still not know who you are? he thought as he stared down at the picture. Have I not tried hard enough? Have a not taken enough time to search? Are you even still alive? He sighed and reached up towards his hair, his hand tugging at the strands near his ear. It all seemed so hopeless to him. Trying to find out who this girl was without even knowing if she was dead or alive. He didn't even know why he wanted to find her so badly, only that it seemed important.
Maybe there was a sense of obligation, for not being quick enough to save her. It was illogical and hardly made a wit of sense, but it was part of how he felt no matter how senseless. The other part of him… he wasn't sure what the feeling was. It confused him to much. The entire thing confused him to much. What was he supposed to do about it? For the time being all he could do was search without a clue. Which turned up no results because he was probably searching in all the wrong places.
With a feeling of frustration he shoved the picture back into his pocket and jumped to his feet.
Now was not the time to dwell on that. He could let his mind wonder when he had the opportunity to search for her. It was pointless to do so when he could do nothing about it. Thoughts like that wold lead to nothing, but frustration. For now he would focus on the present, most importantly the S-Class exams which would get him on harder more dangerous missions. It was what he needed for his abilities to progress. While training was helpful it would all stagnate if he couldn't keep himself moving forward.
Digging into his pocket he pulled out a strip of dark cloth specifically required for his training today. Currently he was attempted to improve his magical senses to the point where he could continue to fight without his sight. Not only his magical senses though, but all his others too. It was something that had to be perfected for a spell he could perform. He had the spell down. Now all he had to work on was meeting the rest of the requirements.
Essentially it was a spell that could negate one of the six human senses and even the magical senses in a wizard. When casting the spell he could chose which to negate sight, taste, touch, sound, smell, intuition or magical senses. He personally found it unfortunate that he couldn't negate all of them at once, but it was limited to one. It wasn't a spell he'd been taught by Margidda, but one he'd read about by chance during his monthly searching. Written by a wizard in the past who'd been fascinated by the moons negation power he'd managed to create the spell - even without an affinity to moon magic - as a torture technique to cut off one of the person's senses then attack the others. Naruto thought given enough time he could find a way to push the spell further given his affinity, but for now he'd work on what he had. Not for torture, but rather so he could attack them in battle.
It was something he'd been working on for the past month on and off. Getting practice in when he had the chance, but for the past week he'd really been pushing himself with it. He hadn't even had the chance to work with cutting of all the different senses yet, just sight. It was the sense people were most reliant on, hearing probably falling into second behind it though he supposed for wizards who favoured magical sensing would be equal with hearing, perhaps even more important. It was a pity he had to cut off his own senses as well as his opponents for it to work.
Tying the strip around his eyes he centred himself for a moment before letting his magical senses flood the area, something that had improved vastly over the course of the intense training week. Grinning slightly as he felt the visible improvements in his sensing abilities, he would say sensual improvements given it's more correct accuracy, but it just came off as a whole different vibe.
Pushing such thoughts aside he focused his magic. Sensing the environment required a whole different level of focus. Just sending out your magic wasn't enough. You had to focus like you were searching deeply into someone's magical container - only you had to do it on a larger scale. Focusing your magic as a blanket on each and everything in the area. Living things were easier to sense because they all contained eternano. Sensing things like buildings was a lot harder and required a great deal more focus. You couldn't actually sense the buildings themselves, instead you had to focus on the residue magic in the air as it flowed around the buildings. Something he hadn't managed to achieve yet at the same level. He hoped to eventually be at that point by the end of his training, but for now he focused more on the living.
Feeling his magic settle and focus in the immediate area around him he began to force it further out. Reaching about one hundred meters from his immediate person weakening slowly with the distance before he felt it filter out and he could reach no further. While he thought it could be better it was still an improvement from his first attempt which had his magic flattering at five meters.
Beginning at a slow jog he headed into the forest, an area he used to test himself, the close packed environment testing his ability to interpret what his magic read. Speeding up slightly he twisted his body mid jump to avoid the low hanging branch above the log he'd jumped. Filled with happiness over his success he nearly slid straight into a pile of mud, managing to run up the side of the tree and launch himself straight into the air. Flying over several trees before he landed lightly on a branch, his movements not making a sound.
He smiled to himself. He was nearly there with this technique. It would be ready soon enough. He just hoped it was in time for the S-Class exam. Makarov hadn't announced who was in it yes, but he had high hopes of being chosen.
Now all he had to do was figure out how to cast a spell without his magical senses falling to pieces and he was set.
Naruto moaned from where he sat his head resting on the table attempting with all his might to take a nap. Attempting being the important word here because he certainly wasn't succeeding.
"Are they ever going to shut up?" he muttered, burying his head in his arm. "First it's Natsu and Gray, then it's Mira and Erza. Who's next? Gildarts and Makarov 'cause at this point I wouldn't put it past them."
"Stop whining," Laxus said from his stool next to Naruto.
"You got something to say sparky?" he retorted raising his head with a dark look on his face. "If you've got something to say, just say it!"
Laxus glared, "I said stop whining nightlight!"
"Bring it baka."
"Who you calling baka, teme!" Laxus glared.
They both rose from their seats, energy crackling between them. Suddenly Naruto froze lurching forward he grabbed the front of Laxus's shirt, "It's happening to us!"
His mind clicking Laxus sank back down into his seat, "Someone must be spiking the drinks here."
Naruto nodded, "We never do crap like that." He sank back down in his seat he head resting in his hands. "When do you think Makarov's going to get round to announcing this years S-Class contestants. I get that he wants to build the tension, but this is just taking it too far. The exams are in a month, surely that's enough time."
"He's really taking his time with this one," Laxus agreed with a sigh. He looked round the room, his eyes lazy stopping on Natsu and Happy who looked like they were attempting to fly unsuccessfully round the room. Happy doing his best to lift Natsu off the ground with no success. Laxus smirked, "Pity he wan't a real dragon."
"I never thought he was. The egg was wrong, too small and the markings wouldn't have been there, but I wasn't about to burst his bubble. Besides he looks happy enough now," Naruto pointed out.
Laxus nodded his head in agreement. "I thought as much."
Naruto nodded weakly his head resting back down on the bar.
There conversation was interrupted by the sound of an announcement that was literally trumpeted through the air, "Magnolia will now change to the Gildarts shift. Residents please move to the designated areas!"
"Gildarts is back," Naruto mumbled turning his head towards Laxus. "Want to take a bet and how long it will take Natsu to challenge him to a fight?"
Laxus laughed and shook his head, "Given his history it'll be as soon as he lays eyes on him."
"Surely the last thumping Gildarts gave him on the beach would change his mind?"
"This is Natsu we're talking about, that kid could bounce back from anything. Plus you're forgetting that Gildarts doesn't come around too often. It's not like he can challenge him almost anytime he wishes like he could anyone else stronger then him," Laxus replied.
Given the announcement of Gildarts arrival it was no surprise when the building started shaking and moving. Along with every other building outside. Naruto groaned, he was quite sure he'd never get to sleep now. Ever since he'd gotten to Fairy Tail he hadn't gotten nearly enough sleep, at least as far as he was concerned. In fact if he bothered to look into the mirror at all he was sure that might even have black rings under his eyes from exhaustion. Good thing he didn't though or he'd be disappointed to see he looked no different then usual.
Feeling relieved when the building stopped moving he waited with the rest of the guild for Gildarts arrival. While he might not have put his thoughts to actions as Natsu did he felt a similar way. He wanted to defeat Gildarts. He wanted to prove that he was stronger and that he could be the strongest wizard of Fairy Tail - baring the Master of course, but he knew well enough that attempting to fight him now would achieve nothing. The fact that he wasn't yet a match for the red haired man was something he was uncomfortably aware of. It grated him to know he couldn't beat him or even offer up an equal challenge. That didn't change the fact that defeating him was one of his goals.
His rather depressing thoughts were halted by the door of the guild smashing open, the hinges snapping as they slammed against the walls. Naruto was surprised he'd bothered to use the door at all. It wasn't a secret that he had a habit of just smashing through the walls instead. He briefly wondered how much money Fairy Tail spent on repairs.
"Alright people listen up!" Makarov yelled from his standing spot on the bar gathering peoples attention. "Now that Gildarts is back, I will be announcing those who will be competing in the S-Class exams!"
There were shouts of joy from all those in the guild, particularly ones hoping to participate in the exams.
"In a week," he added with a smile.
Silence filled the guild hall.
"A week," muttered Laxus, "is he serious?"
"A can't believe we've been waiting forever just for Gildarts to pitch up," Naruto cursed under his breathe, shooting the man in question a dirty look.
"Come now," Master said with that infuriating - at least in Naruto's head - grin on his face. "It's the only way to keep Gildarts here for any decent amount of time."
"It's because of him again," Naruto muttered, glaring at him darkly this time. He was almost tempted to give up his idea of waiting and just full on attack the man. It was only with great will power he resisted.
"Gildarts, I challenge you!" shouted Natsu, ruining any tension that had built in the moment.
I guess Laxus was right, Naruto thought, releasing a chuckle. You've got to admire his tenacity, if nothing else.
Tomorrow it all begins, he thought as he stared out over the horizon. Actually, interrupted an annoying little voice in his head, tomorrow you will find out if it will begin at all. It'll only really begin another week after that. Naruto sighed and rubbed his head. Only he would have an annoying voice in his head just waiting to ruin a mentally dramatic moment. And even then it won't be the beginning anyway, that happened when the world began.
He smashed his head into the rock next to himself. He was sure it would at least shut up the condescending voice in his head. It really wasn't fair that he suddenly had to develop an obscure form of mental torture. Looking up at the sky he prayed for it to be temporary. When the voice didn't return he breathed a sigh of relief. He was hoping to get some simple meditation practice in and having another voice nagging on and on in your head really isn't the way to go about it.
Especially with how close he was to activating the dragon force in absolute perfection. It was like a name on the tip of his tongue. So, close and yet so fucking far. He didn't think he'd be fifteen already and still be incapable of activating it perfectly. When he'd spoken to Margidda and asked for her name he'd been honest in saying he was close. It just seemed as if his progress had slowed dramatically since then.
Really, it wasn't that he was incapable of activating it. On the contrary he had many times.
The problem was that he couldn't activate it quick enough and in the midst of battle you don't really have time to be fumbling round with a technique when someones trying to take your head off. It really is detrimental to your health. It still took him around a minute to activate it, though he'd managed to do it in thirty seconds once. Some battles don't even last that long though. It had been at midnight too when the moon holds the most sway, so he thought that might have something to do with it.
Still he wasn't going to work on that right now. All he wanted to do was a little meditation. Well, it was more then a 'little' meditation. He wanted to completely lose himself in the eternano of nature tonight. One, because it actually left him feeling even more refreshed then sleep the next day and two, because it helped with his current training.
Letting his body relax he fell into a meditative state almost instantly. His mind emptying as he sunk deeper and deeper into his magic. Following the flow deep into nature as he let himself go until the sun broke over the horizon.
Sensing something akin to a blanket falling over his magic he instantly returned to his body. Well, aware that it indicated the dawn of a new day. A day he predicated would be filled with sunshine and clear skies if the heaviness coating his magic was anything to go by. Shifting slightly he climbed to his heat almost stiffly, his body certainly feeling the night spent in such an odd position. He made a note to lie down next time, or least have the forethought to go home for it. Stretching up in a catlike manner he shook his limbs to loosen up before beginning a leisurely walk down the hill he'd been resting on until now, it's not like anyone would be there yet.
Humming to himself in a manner completely at odds with his usual morning demeanour he began his trek into the outskirts of the city. He made sure to smile and wave to all the people he saw. Even offer his help to few of them. The content smile never leaving his face. The few people who generally woke up at this time in order to set up shop felt utterly bemused by his attitude. They recognised him as a mage of Fairy Tail, the people of Magnolia being quite familiar with the large guild in their city. In fact they even recognised him, his odd outfit making him quite memorable. What had them almost in a state of shock though, was his attitude. He was generally quite polite, but unless it was a cloudy or even night time then there was usually a scowl on his face. This humming, happy person made them wonder if another mage had managed to take over his body.
Still smiling to himself Naruto happily opened the doors to the guild. The sight that greeted him was not what he expected.
The place was filled to the brim like a packed sardine can. Seemingly filled with every mage Fairy Tail had to offer. His mood immediately soured. He hated crowed places like this. It was cramped and the constant feel of people bumping against him was irritating. Not to mention how difficult it made looking out for potential threats. Even if it was Fairy Tail - a place he generally considered a safe zone - there was always the chance of an attack in such a crowd. He didn't like letting his guard down ever. Feeling slightly vexed that his good mood had been ruined he shoved his way through the crowd with a scowl now comfortably etched in his face.
He would have just cast Tsuki no kurai sokumen and walked through them like a ghost, but there were three things stopping him. The first thing was he didn't want everyone to become aware of his ability to cast the spell. The second thing was it was actually quite uncomfortable to having living life forms inside his body for long periods of time. Lastly, he just felt like shoving people the fuck out of his way. They ruined his mood and so they were going to suffer for it.
Soon, he thought as he shouldered past another mage in his way. Just a little bit longer and I'll finally be ready have the chance to move forward. If I manage to hold off going on a rampage long enough, that is.
Come on, Naruto, he mentally admonished. What would kaa-san say.
A rampage worthy of a dragon?
Yes, yes I know wise little voice in my head. Control you're temper.
Author's Note: Fuck, sorry about the start of that chapter and the fact that it was so long. I wanted to explain the technique and ended up writing more then expected. So, Naruto did not find an exceed at the same time as Natsu found his own. He will eventually get one make no mistake. But, I have a different idea about how he'll find one. Just to make the origins of the character a little more authentic. Sorry you didn't get the S-Class exams this started this time round, but you can be assured that next chapter won't be such a disappointment. I feel so ashamed for now writing three chapters in a row where hardly anything happens. In the words of Virgo, "Punishment time, hime?"
These last chapters have bummed me out, you know? If I was a reader I'd be irritated with myself. So, glad to finally be moving on! Even if the lack of progress is annoying I did get some more interaction in which I know some people prefer. Please read and review, anyway. Really appreciate it. That's why I say it every chapter.
Tsuki no kurai sokumen - Dark side of the moon
Naruto's Age: For those of you confused, this is an explanation of how old Naruto is. When he first arrived at Fairy Tail it was July and he was thirteen years old. On the 10th October that year he turned fourteen. The S-Class exams are held the year after that in December, which means that he is now fifteen years old. When Lucy arrives at Fairy Tail he'll be twenty years old. If you don't get it just know that Naruto is fifteen currently speaking.