Enter Koenma, Naruto's Test pt 1
Chapter Two: Enter Koenma, Naruto's Test pt. 1
Naruto could not believe the speeds at which the pair traveled and he could only marvel at the dimensional portal that opened up in the sky to allow them passage into Reikai, where a divine emissary was waiting for him.
He had never felt lighter or freer than he ever had in life.
He'd definitely have to learn how to fly under his own power when he got back to Ningenkai, as Botan had called it.
The sight blew him away. All he could see was endless pink skies and yellow clouds that extended for miles without end. It was sometime before off in the distance he could see a tower gradually getting bigger.
They landed on the platform and were faced with a humongous gate.
"Sugoi (Amazing)..." Naruto whispered.
Botan giggled at his child-like wonder. Naruto definitely harbored an innocence rarely found in people his age, especially those in his chosen profession. She found it to be very endearing to watch.
"Yeah, even after all this time I find it to be quite the sight," she said.
"It's gotta be awesome working here," he said with a smile.
Botan sighed, "It would be... If my job wasn't so depressing sometimes..."
"Err..." Naruto "Gomen... I forgot..."
He gave her a sheepish look as he scratched the back of his head.
"It's alright, Naruto-kun," said Botan, "Now, let's go see Koenma-sama. It's best if he isn't kept waiting. He's a fairly busy man you know."
"Who's this Koenma guy any way?" asked Naruto with genuine curiosity.
"He's the son of Yamma-sama," said Botan.
"Yamma-sama..." Naruto whispered, and then stopped in his tracks, "Like KING Yamma... THAT Yamma?"
"Yep, that would be the one!" said Botan cheerily.
"Oh relax, you're not going to be seeing Yamma-sama anyway," Botan assured him. "Even I don't see him all that often. When I do it's usually when we're in a state of emergency."
"So... Why does Koenma want to see me anyway?" asked Naruto.
"It's hard to say exactly," said Botan, "Like I said you're not the first, but each time is a little different."
Naruto nodded, but didn't really understand. Hopefully this Koenma would clear it up.Every so often, they would pass other beautiful girls in kimonos, whom Naruto assumed were shinigami like Botan. One in particular caught his eye, she had pale white skin, black hair and wore a black kimono.
'Boys...' Botan thought shaking her head.
"What?" Naruto asked in confusion.
"Nothing..." breathed Botan, "That was Ayame. Koenma-sama is quite taken with her, as are many others who visit here."
"Jealous, Botan-chan?" asked Naruto teasingly.
"Of course not!" Botan protested. "Why would I be?"
"How should I know?" responded Naruto, "You're really pretty and nice when you're not sneaking up on people."
Botan blushed at the compliment, 'Looks like he's getting better...'
Naruto smirked as they walked in silence, mentally jotting down a point for him. 'If only I could talk to Sakura-chan, or anyone else, like this back home...'
Naruto's smile weakened a bit, showing less genuine happiness, becoming more bittersweet. Botan noticed, but said nothing.Along the way they also passed humanoid creatures wearing strange, to Naruto anyway, clothes Some had horns, other didn't. They had blue, grey, red, and various other colors of skin.
"Hey Botan-chan... What are those... People?" asked Naruto hesitantly, trying to find the words.
"Those are Ogres," said Botan, "They do most all of the administrative work around here as you can see."
One such Ogre passed by them with a rather large stack of paperwork.
"Reminds me when I was younger and Ojii-san was still Hokage," said Naruto, "The Chuunin on duty would sometimes bring in stacks of paperwork like that..." Naruto sadly smiled at the memory, silently vowing that he would find someway to get back at Orochimaru for messing with his precious people.It wasn't long before the two made it to the majestic doors that led to the office of Koenma.They entered a rather large room, that was currently mostly empty other than a desk with a few small stacks of paperwork. Behind the desk was a large, imposing chair. Naruto found himself getting rather nervous at the prospect of meeting the son of one of the most powerful beings in existence.However, that changed when the chair, that had been facing away from he and Botan, turned to face them."What the...!? Who? Wait a second..." Naruto stumbled out."Very articulate, isn't he," said the one known as Koenma. The entity in question was just over two feet tall, had a pacifier in his mouth and wore a tall blue hat that was almost bigger than he was. There was a black 'Jr' written on the hat."Is this supposed to be a joke?" asked Naruto annoyed. "This can't be the oh-so-great 'Koenma-sama'! He's not even potty trained yet! Not to mention even Konohamaru's a foot taller than he is!""I assure you Naruto-san, though I appear to be quite young, I am far older than you'll ever be," Koenma assured him. "But that is neither here nor there. Because you are a unique case, you will be given a gift very few have ever received."Naruto nodded. "Botan-chan said you were going to bring me back to life.""If only it was that simple..." said Koenma downcast."How come?" asked Naruto.Koenma sighed, "The Kyuubi no Youko."
Naruto stiffened at the mention of the entity sealed within him since just after his birth that was responsible for the villagers hatred of him.
He stole a quick glance at Botan, but she didn't react to the mention of the kitsune, much to his relief. "What does the furball have to do with anything?"
"Tell me Naruto-san, have you felt lighter than you've ever been? Do you have a sense of freedom you've never felt before?" asked Koenma.
"Err... Yeah... I guess..." said Naruto hesitantly, before worriedly asking, "What's going on?"
"It is because in death, you have been freed from the burden that had been placed on your soul. Now then, on to business. I would like for you to be my representative in Ningenkai, as Reikai Tantei," said Koenma. "However, you are unique amongst your predecessors. Most have been full human, though some have been Hanyou (half-demons), and even the occasional Demon has been known to sprout up. You can not be classified as any of the three."
"What do you mean Koenma-sama?" asked Botan, "I can feel the energy he's putting out. It's pure Reiki."
"Yes, his soul is purely human, but because the Yondaime Hokage sealed the Kyuubi no Youko into his body just after he was born, his body his not," said Koenma. "Biologically speaking, Naruto-san, you are human, however, your body as adapted and evolved to accommodate both Reiki and Youki. In a sense, you could ALMOST be considered a Hanyou with your ability to use both. But the Youki belongs to a separate entity entirely. One that was sealed inside your body just after your birth and while it is apart of you physically, its energy does not actually belong to you."
"Wait. You said WAS sealed inside of me... What happened to the Kyuubi?" asked Naruto.
"Due to the design of the seals placed on you by the Yondaime, the Shiki Fujin, in conjunction with both the Shishou Fuin and the Hakke no Fuin, not only sealed and contained the Kyuubi within you, but converted its' Youki into your Chakra, as well as allowing you direct access to it as a secondary power source in cases of extreme emergency. Subsequentially, it also ties the Kyuubi's life force with yours. Meaning when Uchiha Sasuke killed you, the Kyuubi also died." explained Koenma, "Therein lies our dilemma."
"So what's the problem with that?" asked Naruto.
Botan sighed, though she couldn't exactly blame Naruto for not fully understanding, the whole thing was pretty hard to follow.
"In a nutshell, your body has become accustomed to having a source of both Human Reiki and Demon Youki inside of it," explained Botan, "When you died, your body lost it's source of Reiki, meaning not only could the Kyuubi NOT take over your body, but it would die along with you."
"Yeah, yeah..." said Naruto impatiently, "I got all that! Get to the point!"
"The Yondaime's Seal Array not only bound you and the Kyuubi in death, but also in life," said Koenma. "Meaning, if we put your soul back into your body, it would only be a matter of seconds before you died. Again. Only this time it's because your body is without a source of Youki."
"So... Basically, the Kyuubi died because I died," said Naruto, "And since the Kyuubi is dead, I can't come back to life?"
"Then get his lazy ass up here and let's get back to my body!" said Naruto, "Because not even death will stop me from becoming Hokage!"
"Impossible." declared Koenma.
"How come Koenma-sama?" asked Botan.
"The Shiki Fujin," stated Koenma, "It is no ordinary seal, but a contract between the summoner and the lead Shinigami. The particular terms for this particular case state that the Yondaime's soul would belong to the Shinigami until such time of the Kyuubi no Youko's timely demise. The price the Yondaime paid for sealing an entity as powerful as the Kyuubi inside of you was for his soul to reside in Limbo, within the stomach of a Shinigami, constantly being tortured beyond all physical limitations until the very moment the Kyuubi died. Luckily enough for the Yondaime, the Kyuubi's death came a few decades early and he has been released from Limbo after only 12 years of torture. Unluckily for us, we are currently without a source of Youki to sustain your body because you did not absorb enough of it before you died."
"Huh?" asked Naruto dumbly.
Koenma sighed, and then glanced at the thick folder on his desk,"Had you not gotten yourself killed, you would have lived well into old age, however, due to the uniqueness of your seal, the Kyuubi's life span would have been significantly shorter. Though you would have lived until you reached your 90s, the Kyuubi's entire source of Youki would have been completely transferred into your body around the time you turned 30. Meaning the Kyuubi, without anything to sustain its' own life force, would have died. Thus, it's soul would have been turned over to the Shinigami and the Yondaime would have been released from his torturous prison. Despite no longer having the Kyuubi within you, the Youki would have remained within the seal on your naval as a secondary power source. Though it would have been less potent than when it belonged to Kyuubi and would allow you to retain more control when using it."
Koenma picked up the folder and tossed it into the waste bin. "Yours and the Kyuubi's premature deaths, however, has made everything in that folder nearly obsolete. And we are at a loss for what to do."
"Well, Botan-chan is a shinigami, just have her release the Kyuubi so we can get me back home," suggested Naruto.
"I'm afraid it's not that simple," said Botan, "The Shinigami in question is older than all of us that you've seen. He's even more ancient than Koenma-sama, and very powerful in his own right."
"Yojimbo will not give up the Kyuubi easily, as a prize as significant as a bijuu is very rare indeed. Especially when a good portion of it's Life Force is still intact."
"So what do we do?" asked Naruto.
"I suppose I could always give myself back up to him to let Naruto fully absorb the Kyuubi as originally planned," suggested a new voice.
Naruto's eyes widened when he saw the speaker. He found himself gaping at none other than his childhood hero, the man who sealed the Kyuubi no Youko within him, the Yondaime Hokage.
"As great and powerful of a human as you were, Minato-san, even you are an insignificant cast away compared to that of the Kyuubi," said Koenma, "Plus, you have already served your time in Limbo, I would never force such a fate on anyone who did not truly deserve it."
"I met a soul down there that suggests otherwise," responded Minato.
"He... Was a special case," said Koenma, turning to Naruto and Botan he explained, "He specifically requested to be sent to Yojimbo's realm and would not let me send him elsewhere."
"So if we can't get Kyuubi back, what do we do now?" asked Naruto.
"I foresee one of two alternatives," said Koenma, "Which is why I sent for Minato-san. Our first option is to find another Youko that will allow us to seal him inside your body. There is one such individual who might, but he is also one of Reikai's most powerful allies. Allowing Yojimbo to have him as well is simply unacceptable, but still an option. Minato is one of the most advanced Fuin Masters, even here in Reikai. The complexity of the Shiki Fujin is such that I'd rather not risk anyone other than it's creator to tamper with it."
"What's the other option?" asked Botan.
Koenma sighed. "For Naruto-san to absorb an ample amount of Youki to resurrect him. The process would be similar to what a former Reikai Tantei, who currently resides in Makai, had to go through when he was just older than Naruto himself. Only on a much larger scale."
"Something like that could kill him!" shouted Botan, "And because he doesn't have a body, that would mean his soul would be destroyed!"
"No, even though the Shiki Fujin, Shishou Fuin and Hakke no Fuin are all on Naruto's physical body, because the Kyuubi had been sealed inside of him, they have left impressions on his soul and should help facilitate the absorption of the access energy," Minato explained, "However, we'll still have to set several binding seals on him to contain his new power and keep it from harming his physical body."
"There is still the problem of getting enough Demons willing enough to give up a small portion of their energy, especially for a Human," said Koenma, "And I fear that Youki from Demon types other than Kitsunes would be rejected by his body. There simply aren't enough Youkos in existence with that type of power that would be willing."
Naruto was deep in thought, which was very uncharacteristic for the normally boisterous boy.
"There is one that IS powerful enough, and he wouldn't even have a choice." he said at last. "The Kyuubi. I've got an idea just take me to the Yo-whatever his name is and leave everything to me."
Koenma raised an eyebrow, but didn't press for details, "Very well. Botan, escort Uzumaki-san to see Yojimbo."
"Hai, Koenma-sama," said Botan bowing.
"Would it be all right if I accompanied them?" asked Minato hopefully.
"By all means," responded Koenma.
It didn't take long for the small entourage to reach the Majestic gates of Yojimbo's Realm, the Rosuto Reikon no Kajuen (Orchard of Lost Souls).Unlike the rest of Reikai that Naruto had seen, which was asmittedly not much, this place had an aura of foreboding that screamed agony, pain and torture. Despite his instincts telling him otherwise, Naruto stood his ground. In his peripheral vision he watched as the Yondaime Hokage visibly shuddered, no doubt remembering his own time here not so long ago.
"Well... Here we are..." said Botan nervously. "A-Are you sure you know what you're doing."
Naruto grinned at Botan. "Just leave everything to me!" He puffed out his chest and thumped it with his fist as he said this.
Naruto then started for the gate.
"Naruto," the Yondaime said as Naruto was stepping through. "Remember, no matter what happens in there, I am proud of you, my son."
His eyes widened in shock.
"Th-thanks..." said Naruto, still half shocked as he entered the Rosuto Reikon no Kajuen. His mind was still on other things when he felt a sudden chill run up his spine.
Naruto hesitantly made his way through the sakura grove. The entire landscape seemed to be locked in a perpetual autumn, though in Konoha they were in the hottest week of one of the hottest summers they'd had yet. Of course he wasn't in Konohagakure no Sato, or even within the Elemental Countries anymore. Those were back in Ningenkai, blissfully unaware of the trials he faced all the way in Reikai.
The pinkish white petals gracefully fell from the Sakura trees, and swirled around Naruto, caught in the gentle, yet biting breeze.
'Now all I have to do is find this Yo-guy...' Naruto thought.
As if summoned by Naruto's thoughts, a cold, echoing voice called out, "Who dares enter my domain?"
"U-Uzumaki Naruto..." Naruto said hesitantly. In the distance, Naruto could hear heavy, clanking footsteps moving closer towards himself.
Naruto turned to the sound of the approaching figure and was in awe of the entities' stature.
The 'man' was huge, though his face was hidden underneath a large, round brimmed hat and he was wrapped in a heavy cloak.
"Your spirit... It's familiar, yet foreign to me... Odd..." said the figure Naruto was sure was Yojimbo. "Ah yes... Your spirit is very similar to his, the one recently released, yet was marked by the one currently residing within the depths of my stomach. You are that child... The only being touched by a Shinigami and lived to tell the tale unscathed, though you were too young to remember or even truly understand. What brings you here gaki?"
Naruto bristled at the nickname, "I need Kyuubi's power and I want you to give it to me!""What the heck does he think he's doing making demands like that!" shouted Botan who, with Minato, was back in Koenma's office. The three of them, plus Koenma's Ogre Assistant, George, were watching what was going on in a crystal ball.
"Winging it, I suppose," said Koenma, "I was almost certain he'd do something like this, though I hoped he'd keep his head."
"He might be able to pass off as a mini Bunshin of myself, but he's definitely his mother's son through and through," said Minato chuckling.
"How can you be making jokes at a time like this?" seethed Botan.
"Because I believe in my son," said Minato proudly, his eyes never leaving the crystal ball.Yojimbo chuckled.
"And why should I give it to you?" asked Yojimbo.
"So I can be brought back to life and be the first Hokage to be Reikai Tantei," declared Naruto.
"Reikai Tantei, eh," said Yojimbo evenly, "It's been sometime since we had one of those. You still haven't answered my question though. Why should you be given the Kyuubi's Youki?"
"Bebi-sama said something about my body not being able to live without Kyuubi," said Naruto.
"And why should I allow you to cheat death, to deprave a shinigami of it's prize?" asked Yojimbo, "What makes you think you are worthy of being resurrected?"
"Because they need me!" shouted Naruto impatiently, "Everyone's hurting down there because of me!"
"Why should you care?" asked Yojimbo, "You're dead. They're not. In time they'll just forget about you. You'll become a forgotten shadow, a mere impression easily forgotten and barely remembered."
"Because they're my precious people and I will do anything for them, even kick your ass if I have to!" stated Naruto firmly.
Yojimbo chuckled. "I am far above your level Mortal Gaki, however, you are in luck. There is something I want, SHOULD you become Reikai Tantei."
"Fine, what is it?" asked Naruto impatiently.
"Some time ago, I was summoned to Ningenkai," said Yojimbo, "I was summoned by an old man, who currently resides within me."
"Ojii-san!" gasped Naruto.
"He attempted to seal another within him," said Yojimbo, "But the sealing was incomplete, which is the only reason the old man resides within my gullet. Normally, I could care less, but the fraction of soul I devoured from the other, was disturbing. It wasn't pure. Not exactly tainted, but impure all the same. As if multiple souls had been forcibly merged together in an effort to escape the ultimate fate of all mortals, the chilling grip of the Shinigami. I want you to eliminate the one called Orochimaru."
"Why can't you do it? You're the ALL POWERFUL Shinigami," said Naruto.
"Only within the Rosuto Reikon no Kajuen, is my power supreme above all others. Outside these walls my powers are limited, doubly so in Ningenkai," answered Yojimbo, "With techniques such as the Shiki Fujin, I retain more of my power when crossing the realms, but my strength is still widely dependent on the will of the summoner."
"Your hard work will not go unrewarded. In return for your service, I will release the old man in exchange for the Konkui," said Yojimbo.
"All right, deal!" said Naruto excitedly. "Now, give me that power!"
"Not so fast mortal gaki," said Yojimbo, "You must prove yourself worthy."
"Grr... How in the hell do I do that!" demanded Naruto.
"You must fight a Champion of my choosing," said Yojimbo.
"Bring it!" said Naruto, who was more than ready for a fight.
"Very well," said Yojimbo, "Now... Since you are trying to become Reikai Tantei and fighting for the right to possess the power of the Kyuubi, it is only fitting that you should fight one of the most clever and powerful demons in Reikai. Youko Kurama."
In a swirl of Sakura petals, a new figure appeared. He wore a Chinese style long sleeved white shirt with yellow trim, and a red sash around his waist. The pants were also white with yellow trim and he wore black shoes. He had long red hair and green eyes and was currently engrossed in a green book. Naruto almost growled in annoyance until he noticed the book as a simple one on gardening, not the latest Icha Icha.
Without looking up from the book Kurama said in a bored tone, "I am ready to begin whenever you are."
"Aren't you going to at least put your book away?" asked Naruto gritting his teeth.
"I don't think that will actually be necessary," said Kurama calmly.
"Grr... THAT'S IT!" shouted Naruto, "I'm gonna show you what I do to people who underestimate me! Tajuu Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Mass Shadow Clone Technique)!"
Unlike dozens, perhaps hundreds, of times before, nothing happened.
Focusing again, Naruto summoned up his powers.
"TAJUU KAGE BUNSHIN NO JUTSU!" he yelled. He looked around him but did not see a single clone in sight. At this point he'd settle for even one of the half dead useless ones. 'What the hell is going on! That should have been enough power to summon at least a couple thousand Kage Bunshin...'
Flipping a page in his book, Kurama spoke up. "Your techniques require chakra, correct?"
Naruto looked at Kurama confusedly, "Err... Yeah..."
"Then they will not work here, at least not in your current state," said Kurama.
"What do you mean?" asked Naruto.
"Simple, the Chakra you use in your techniques is a source of energy that consists of combination of your Reiki and the physical energies of your body," explained Kurama, "As you are but a simple ghost, an entity made completely of Reiki, you have no physical energy to draw on. Meaning you can not use chakra."
'Kuso... This being dead stuff is causing more problems than it's worth...' thought Naruto frantically trying to think of a way to fight his new adversary. 'Note to self, never die again...'
"Oh yeah! Well I won't need Chakra to defeat the likes of you!" declared Naruto.
"We shall see," said Kurama, still reading his book.