Druid Naruto

Chapter 06

  Chapter 6

"In a way," Michio said slowly as he looked around the devastation that was Whirlpool. "Meeting with the Elements is a right of passage." Looking at Naruto who looked despondent as he took in the destruction of their homeland he sat down on a broken wall and sighed, "Most, Uzumaki by the time they were five years old had enough experience interacting with the spirits of minor Elements that the clan would gather and introduce them to the Major Elements in a big celebration..." trailing off as he got lost in thought he stared off into the distance.

"Are you alright Michio Nii-san?" Naruto asked when Michio had trailed off and looking over he looked lost.

"I'll be fine Naruto," Michio rubbed his eyes as he tried to put on a smile as he looked over at Naruto. "It finally hit me, the loss of our family." Waving his hand around at the landscape he told him, "Hearing about the destruction and seeing it is two different things. I knew my home was gone, as was my family. But to be here and actually see it with my own eyes..."

Looking around, Naruto nodded his head. "I never knew Whirlpool, or what it looked like. Or knew any family until I found Mom's journal and started down the path of being clan head. But...but looking at my family’s home. It hurts!"

"That it does Naruto, that it does," Michio said softly. Jumping to his feet he said, "Let's get this over with." Leading, Naruto into the remnants of the village, he told him, "Your mother, Kushina, never mentioned if she had found a new site where we could commune with the Elements. She probably thought she had years after you were born to find a spot." Stopping on a cliff he pointed towards a cave near the beach, "At least the cave is untouched." Looking back at Naruto he told him, "Inside the cave is a grotto that has an island surrounded by ocean water that comes under a cliff face near the back wall. In the very center of the island is an old oak that was planted soon after this world was separated from the First World."

Starting down the path in the side of the cliff he gave Naruto a history lesson as they approached the cave. "Each Uzumaki would strip off all their clothes and take with them the offerings they had chosen to the center of the island. Once there they would connect with each Elemental spirit in turn, offering their gifts to the spirits of Nature, Earth and Water in turn." Seeing Naruto fiddle with the belt holding the vials of his gifts for the Elements he smiled. Entering the cave, he paused as he placed a hand on the small seal on the wall and pushed some chakra into it. As the Quartz crystals and flows started to give off a glow he smiled at Naruto's indrawn breath and awe struck 'whoa'. Continuing on, he sighed in relief when he saw that the cave system had remained untouched. Stopping near a small wooden bridge he smiled as he caught sight of a beam of sunlight hitting the old oak tree in the center of the island.

"Unbelievable," Naruto whispered out in awe. Looking around he saw sunlight reflecting off the crystals half buried in the walls. Eyes traveling around the wonder of the different crystals and gems reflecting the light, he froze as he spotted the ancient oak in the center of the island. Feeling an urge to touch the oak he took several steps towards the wooden bridge leading to the island. Only stopping when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"You need to remove your clothes before stepping on the bridge Naruto," Michio said softly as he saw Naruto had started to go into a trance. Waving a hand in front of Naruto's face he chuckled, Naruto was lost in a trance as the Elements called out to him. One hand holding Naruto in place, he reached over Naruto's back and started to undo Naruto's clothes. Once he had the young clan head naked as the day he was born, he let go.

Swaying, as he listened to the voices and music, Naruto felt the hand that was holding him back let go. Stepping onto the bridge he felt the warm welcome of the Tree Spirits and smiled. Hand slipping into the pouch as his bare feet sank into the rich soil he pulled the vial he had prepared out of the pouch without looking at it. Choosing the correct vial by the feel it gave off. Hand touching the oak he sent his mind out hesitatingly as if asking for permission. Grinning as the oak welcomed him he whispered, "I hope you like what I brought for you...So much wisdom," he whispered in awe as he listened to the oak.

'Joy', the ancient oak sent as it felt an Uzumaki link with it. It had been so long that it feared the clan of Druids had been lost forever. 'Happiness and love of family', the oak sent as it listened to the Uzumaki talk to it. As the offering was poured near its roots, it shivered in excitement as it felt the sheer power locked inside the young one as the fluids of life that had been mixed into the liquid was absorbed. 'Thankfulness and acceptance', it returned as the offering energized the connection between Nature and the World. In a creaky voice it spoke for the first time in a thousand years, "Call on my brethren when needed young Druid and we will come."

Leaning forward, Naruto placed a kiss on the bark of the ancient oak before slowly getting off his knees. Head scanning the island, his eyes rested on a single spot. A place where the rock wall spilled to the edge of the island. Moving slowly as he listened to the music of the Elements, he made his way to the pile of rocks. Kneeling down, he stared at the rock pile as he tried to figure out why it felt wrong. Setting the pouch down next to him, he started to pick up the rocks and sort them by type, by the feel of the Element they belonged to.

Staring at the pile of stones in front of him, Naruto immersed himself in the song the Elements were singing, hands placing the stones in just the right order according to the song. Sprinkling mixtures from his vials, in between layers, the stones stuck to one another as a shape started to rise in front of him. Closing his eyes and humming along to the song he was hearing he placed the last stone on top of the spiraling shape.

Just as the last stone touched the rest, a wave of energy exploded from the center of the structure and it started to move in a spiraling motion.

"One favor without cost young Druid," the Elements of earth chimed into Naruto's mind as he stood up.

Blinking at the spiraling pile of stones, Naruto shook his head and looked around the island for the last spot he needed to be to talk to the Elements of water and air. Moving slowly around the edge of the island, he finally spotted a small waterfall on the opposite side of the ancient oak. Moving closer he sniffed as he smelled something that burned his nose, kneeling down near the small waterfall that was splashing into the ocean, he reached out and put one hand into the water before it splashed into the ocean, bringing it back to his mouth to taste. Smiling as he felt laughter and welcome as he touched the cascading water, he knew without tasting that this was fresh water. Drinking the handful of water anyway, he looked around to see if he could find where the gaseous smell was coming from.

Finding a small depression near the hole in the wall where the breeze was coming from, he used his hands to sweep some of the sand and tiny pebbles out of the way. Uncovering a small chimney, the smell of gas increased. Staring at the tiny hissing chimney, he wondered what Element he had missed? He had greeted and met with the Nature Elements, the Elements that governed green and growing things. Then he had met with and completed a task for the earth Elements, gaining a favor from the masters of earth and metals. He had found the water Elements that he played with back home, so what was he missing besides Air?

Finally remembering where he had smelled that gaseous smell before, Naruto grinned as it sunk in he was missing meeting the Elements of Fire. Fire mixed with Air made wind, which when it blew across water made rain. Putting his finger over the tiny hole to stop the gas coming out, he used his other hand to wave around the opening to disperse the gas, so when he lit the chimney he would not burn off his eyebrows. Removing his finger, as fast as he could he went through the hand signs for the campfire Jutsu and froze before completing it. Letting the chakra disperse he thought of another way, a way more in line with the Elements. Putting a small pebble on top the chimney to stop the gas flowing he pulled his pouch over and starting to dig through the vials he brought with him. Finding the one he was looking for he stared at the slivers of soft sliver metal he had learned to create.

Digging a depression around the chimney, Naruto built up the walls so the water he was going to fill the depression with would be just below the top of the chimney. Using both hands he quickly filled the depression with water from the waterfall. Hesitating because of his wet hands, he tried to dry them as much as possible by rubbing them on his body, when they were as dry as possible, he picked up the vial and unscrewed the cap of the vial. Pouring off as much the oil as he could he held the vial above the water near the chimney and used his pinky to flip the pebble off the top. When the gas was hissing nicely, he quickly poured the silver metal into the water and smiled as it turned purple before the metal floated to the top and ignited in an explosion of sparks. With a rushing roar, the gas ignited and the flame rushed upwards a foot into the air, completely blocking from sight the small tunnel that fresh air was blowing through. Grinning as he felt heat engulf him in a fiery hug he closed his eyes as he fell backwards, his head bouncing off the soft sand as he slipped into unconsciousness.

Michio held his breath as Naruto started to channel chakra in his hands to ignite the flame representing the Element of Fire. Seeing him stop and pull his pouch over he frowned, what was he doing? Moving further down the beach, closer to the edge of the water, so he could have a clear view of what Naruto was doing, he froze as Naruto pulled out a small vial of silver. Keeping from face palming, barely, he shook his head, why had no one ever thought to use an element of the earth to ignite the fire before. Relaxing when his clan head's eyes rolled up and he fell backwards, to sink beneath the soft soil, he placed a hand in the water and greeted the element before standing up and walking across the top of the water over to the island. Reaching the spot Naruto had sunk into the ground at, he bent over and picked up Naruto's pouch and started to collect the discarded vials. All the vials collected, he made his way over the bridge to wait for Naruto to appear once the Druidic Tattoo's had formed.

Half an hour later, Naruto's form started to rise from the sand a few feet away from where he was leaning against the wall. Standing up and brushing the sand off his pants, he stared down at the design tattooed on Naruto's chest, upper arms and thighs. The area the seal that bound and contained the Kyuubi, while intact, the edges had been modified and joined to the tattoo the Elements had given him. Michio had to wonder why the seal array was modified and if it gave Naruto anything extra.

Naruto groaned as his eyes opened, "That...that was incredible." Pushing himself into a sitting position, he glanced down at the marks all over his body, "Um...I look like a child's drawing." Glancing up and over at Michio he asked, "Why?"

Taking his shirt off, Michio pointed to some of the tattoos on his own chest and upper arms as he explained, "These are the marks of a Druid. To another Uzumaki, these arrays can tell them what Elements have agreed to work with us." Pointing towards Naruto's lower arm where the lone tattoo sat he said, "That array is the promise of the Earth Elementals that you are due one favor without payment or owing a favor in return. It will disappear once you've used it."

Nodding his head, Naruto frowned as he saw the runic arrays tattooed on his body had become part of the array holding the Kyuubi inside him. Making a note to ask Rei-Sensei if he knew what was going on he stood up and moved to his clothes so he could get dressed. "If five-year-old children are introduced to the Elements, does..." pausing as he pulled his shirt over his head, he looked at Michio and rephrased what he was going to ask. "Once the Elements place the arrays on a person, do they ever change?"

"They do," Michio nodded. "More detail is added to the runic tattoos as you make friends with and call upon the different sub Elements. If you compare this one," he said as he pointed to the one on his upper arm. "With yours, you'll see that there is more detail to my array because I have befriended more Fire Elementals than you have."

Nodding his head that he understood, Naruto secured his pouch to his waist as Michio put his shirt back on. Once they were ready, he led the way down the tunnel towards the outside world. Standing at cliff’s edge and looking back over the ruins of their clan’s home he held back his anger towards the three nations that had decimated his family’s home. "One day," he whispered before turning away and starting for the portal symbol.
#
Blinking at the bright sun as they walked out of the cave, Michio turned his head and gazed in the direction the hospital had once occupied. Staring at the broken structure he dared not even think about giving in to hope. "Naruto," he said softly, gaze never leaving the hospital. "I know your mother searched for survivors, but I don't know if she searched for stasis scrolls."

"You think more of our family might be in stasis?" Naruto said quickly. He had experience with transporting injured people in stasis scrolls recently. "Is... Is, it possible?" he asked as he looked around the broken landscape.

"I don't know," Michio said as he slowly tore his gaze away from the hospital. "But I want to find out. Even if we don't find anything, at least I will know we looked."

"Where do we start?" Naruto said with a serious expression on his face as he looked at the broken buildings.

"The hospital," Michio said as he pointed off into the distance at the partially collapsed building.

Nodding his head, Naruto followed behind Michio as he led the way to where the hospital stood at one time. As they walked he kept looking for anything out of place. Picking up and discarding half burnt scrolls and rusted weapons that littered the ground. Looking at the broken sword he picked up, he felt a wave of sadness engulf him. Placing the broken weapon down gently, he picked up the pace so he could catch up with Michio.

Entering the halfway destroyed lobby of the triage area, Michio stared at the devastation and blood stains on the walls, trembling as his mind filled in the gaps of what had happened. "I wonder..." he trailed off as he spotted the broken safe in the corner.

"Wonder what?" Naruto asked as he looked over his shoulder as he picked up a scroll.

"I was thinking about becoming a med nin," Michio replied as he stared at the broken safe. "I was unsure, so I spent time observing the medical personal at the hospital. To do that," he said as he quickly tossed the debris out of the way so he could get to the safe, "to do that, I had to first go through all the safety protocols. Which means," he said as he stuck his head into the safe and could just make out the seal inscribed on the floor of the safe. Looking back at Naruto he said with hope in his voice, "In the event of an attack on the hospital, all the patients would be sealed into stasis scrolls and placed into these safes scattered around the hospital."

Moving over so he could look into the safe, Naruto used the sleeve of his shirt to remove as much dust as he could. Staring at the seal he jerked up in surprise, "That is a portal seal." Staring intently at Michio he asked, "Where is it set to go?"

"I need to remember," Michio muttered as he closed his eyes and thought back all those years ago. Snarling as his memory was fuzzy at best he went to slam his fist into the wall in frustration when it hit him, "The Vault!"

"Vault???" Naruto questioned as Michio rushed out of the building. Running to catch up, he asked, "What vault? And how come if there is a vault Mom did not empty it?"

"Kushina would not have been told about the vault," Michio said as he frantically looked for landmarks. Closing his eyes and overlaying what he was seeing, with what he remembered, he took off to the right, jumping piles of debris as he zeroed in on the ruins of a building off to one side. Arriving at the broken-down building he started to toss debris out of the way so he could find the seal he was told would be there.

"What are we looking for?" Naruto asked as he started to toss small pieces of broken wall out of the way.

"A portal seal," Michio said in a frantic tone. "I was told there would be a portal seal that would take you to the vault..." Trailing off he spotted the outer lines of a seal under a desk pinned down by the fallen ceiling. Rushing over he quickly ran through hand signs and blew gently causing a small tornado of wind to form and pick up the debris. Once the area was clear, he tossed the heavy desk away and stood over the seal. Staring in anticipation and fear. Fear of not finding anything on the other end of the seal. Moving over and staring at the portal seal, Naruto asked, "Where does it lead?"

"I have no clue," Michio said when Naruto's voice broke into his out of control thoughts. Squatting down as he waved Naruto to move near him he said, "But I know one way of finding out."

"This is a bad idea," Naruto muttered as he moved so he was standing on the seal. "You do know that right." he made it a statement instead of a question as he saw Michio nod his head.

Blinking as he appeared in another place, Naruto slowly turned in a circle to take in the room they had appeared in. Freezing when he saw a wall of shelves, filled with scrolls, he said in an unbelieving tone, "That is a lot of scrolls."

"Where," Michio muttered as he took in the room. Barely believing he was right as he saw Naruto staring at the wall full of scrolls, he spotted a dirty window. Moving over to the window he rubbed the side of his hand on the glass to clean it. Staring in shock as he gazed out of the window he said, "We're in the castle." Looking at Naruto who walked over to him, he said when Naruto joined him, "We are in the castle." Pointing across the lake his whisper turned into a roar in his ears as he said, "The Vault is in the First World!"

 

Back      Email      Next