Chapter 30: Suspicions and Decisions
A blue light interrupted the silence. Something fell on the bed between them. They looked down at a mirror. They instantly recognized the mirror, but how did it get there? A woman’s face appeared on the glass. “Ah! Good! I found you. It seems you left your things in the last world. Don’t worry. They should be arriving soon.” A few seconds later, in another blue flash, two backpacks landed on the floor with a light thud. “Now then, it seems that something has messed with your bracelets. From what I can tell, the limiter for the amount of time you spend in each world has been corrupted. From what I can tell, it keeps changing from two to ten in a random order. Right now, Naruto’s is reading four while Sasuke’s is reading five. An hour ago, it was the reverse. I don’t know what virus infected the device and I honestly don’t like one of my products going haywire. So, to make it up to you, I sent you your things. Also, I would like to ask for a favor. The next world that you will go to is called the World of In-between. It is basically a world in between the others. I have something for the guardian there. I’d like you to deliver it to him.”
“What is it?” Naruto asked.
Yuko smiled. “A glass vial should be in one of your backpacks. I believe Megami snuck it in on you, Sasuke.”
Sasuke frowned. He opened his backpack and took everything out. Sure enough, at the bottom of his backpack, was a glass vial with something blue in it. He glared. When had she snuck that into his backpack? She never got close to him except... except for when they first got to her world. That made Sasuke realize what it was.
“I’d like you to give that to him once you get there,” Yuko said. “He should give you something in return. If he does, it should further help you on your journey. As for the limiter issue, I’m sorry to say that I can’t fix it. From what I can tell, the minimum time you will spend in a world is two days. The maximum is of course ten days. How many days matters up to not only the bracelets, but you as well. Remember, there is no such thing as coincidence, only the inevitable.” She then vanished from the mirror.
Confusion laced Naruto’s face. He had no idea what Yuko was taking about. Sasuke on the other hand did. He didn’t want to believe that fate decided things. He wanted to be in control of his destiny. With a sigh, he reorganized his things, placing the vial in a safer place. He would deliver it only to see what this guardian had to give him. In all honesty, he just wanted to get back to his world.
Naruto let out a loud yawn, breaking Sasuke out of his thoughts. He glanced at the blond and could tell that he was exhausted. He must have used a lot of Chakra. Sasuke couldn’t blame him for being so tired since he himself was just as exhausted. He stood up, grabbed both backpacks and placed them on the chair with their swords. Naruto watched as Sasuke pulled out something from both backpacks, a dark blue t-shirt and an orange one. He tossed the orange one at Naruto who got the hint. Both boys stripped down to only their boxers before putting their shirts on. Then they climbed under the covers to get much needed sleep.
Levi, Eren, Hanji, and Erwin sat at a table with only a small lantern for light. They had just finished talking about the day’s events and what to do with their guests. Outsiders weren’t welcomed in their hideout. For all they knew, Naruto and Sasuke could be undercover members of the military police. Why would they send two members outside Wall Rose like that, no one knew. But they had to be careful.
Each had their own thoughts about the situation. Erwin believed that they were spies. Levi thought they were just titan shifters that could embrace some of their power while still in human form. Hanji seemed to agree with Levi simply because she wanted to experiment on them. To her, Naruto and Sasuke were Eren and Levi in different bodies. Their personalities seemed to match. Eren was the only one that trusted then. Naruto had seemed like a good man just trying to save his friend. Sasuke, Eren blushed whenever the picture of Sasuke on top of Naruto appeared in his head, was just someone that didn’t like to be protected. Actually, Sasuke reminded him of Levi. And Eren saw a bit of himself in Naruto. He blushed as a picture of Levi pinning him to a bed popped in his head. That was something he had to file away for later processing.
Overall, they had decided to watch the two closely. Eren had agreed that he’d watch them first. He climbed the stairs and creaked open the door slightly. The sight caused that file to rattle dangerously. Naruto was pressed against Sasuke’s chest. Sasuke had his arms around Naruto. One of Sasuke’s hands was oddly close to Naruto’s rear end. Eren knew that all Naruto had to do was look up and their lips would meet. Eren’s hand came to his mouth as he tried to stifle a gasp. He then silently closed the door and fell to his knees. Blood dripped down from his nose as his adolescent mind kept picturing himself and Levi in that position but with him looking up. Eren swiped at the blood as he shut himself out, not really wanting his thoughts to run so wild. Levi and him could never be like that and he wasn’t going to ruin Naruto and Sasuke’s happiness by watching them. He sighed as he took a seat across the door, just in case either needed help finding the bathroom.
Levi grabbed a lantern and headed towards the guest room. He was to relieve Eren of duty. He sighed as he saw his young subordinate. Eren had fallen asleep. He quickly peeked into the room and a raised an eyebrow at the sight. Sasuke and Naruto were in the same position as before, just slightly closer. Levi shook his head as he sat down next to Eren. He wasn’t going to wake his subordinate, but when Eren did wake up, he’d be given the lecture of his life. That was fine to Levi. The older man shifted himself closer, liking Eren’s warmth.
That was how Hanji found them. She chuckled softly as she shook Levi awake. Levi glared at her and then realized that he had fallen asleep too. With a mumble of self-hatred, Levi stood up, picked up Eren with a bit difficulty, and headed for his room. He was too tired to drop Eren off at his room so they would have to share the room. Levi removed some of Eren’s clothes before removing some of his own. He then got into bed with a pillow separating himself from Eren. He let out one more sigh before closing his eyes again.
Erwin was surprised when he found Hanji telling Naruto and Sasuke nearly everything she knew about titans and titan shifters. “Hanji.” The group looked at him. “Information like that is suppose to stay within the military.”
“But they don’t know anything about them,” Hanji said. “They said titans don’t exist where they’re from.”
Erwin looked taken back by that. To live somewhere that titans didn’t exist was just impossible. ‘Could they have been locked away somewhere that titans couldn’t get to? But then, why did they appear behind Wall Rose?’ He then realized that three pairs of eyes were staring at him. He cleared his throat. “As impossible as it sounds, there may be a place out there that titans don’t attack. We haven’t explored the entire world.” Naruto and Sasuke just looked at each other before nodding. Erwin and Hanji caught each others’ eyes. They knew that if such a place really did exist, they needed to find it as soon as possible. Two things could happen. One being that if the place was really safe from titans, then it would be better to move all the citizens to that place. However, there is a possibility that place will be in danger wither or not more people are there. Titans tended to attack the more populated areas. Could they really risk so many lives searching for a place that probably didn’t exist?
“I’m telling you that I’m really sorry Captain,” Eren said, his voice traveling up the stairs as he walked behind Levi. “I didn’t mean to, honestly. How was I supposed to know we were sharing the bed? I didn’t expect to wake up on top of you!” He paused as he laughed in nervousness. “I didn’t mean to drool on you!”
“Shut up already Brat!” Levi yelled as he stepped into the room. He glared at Eren then turned towards Erwin. “What’s up with the gathering?”
“Just a discussion about the possibility of a safe place,” Erwin said. “One away from titans.” Levi and Eren looked at each other in disbelief before giving Erwin the same look.
Naruto, not liking not only the silence but also the fact that no one believed him, frowned. He wanted to tell them that Sasuke and himself were from another world. However, Naruto knew that Sasuke didn’t want them to know this. They had agreed to keep their journey a secret. Sasuke just glared at the others. He wanted to get out of this world. His desire to go back to his own world was at an all time high. But there was still a part of him that wanted the journey to last a bit longer.
“On another note,” Erwin said interrupting Naruto and Sasuke’s thoughts. “With the small information we have, making a move would be too risky. It would be better to gather more information.” Eren and Hanji nodded. “However, based on what we do know, it seems Naruto has a talent for killing titans.” Naruto looked at Erwin. “And if I was to bet on it, Sasuke also has similar skills.” At this Sasuke and Naruto looked at each other before nodding. Sasuke didn’t like where this was going. “So since we have helped you two out with our... services, it would be reasonable for you to return the favor.” Yup, Sasuke definitely didn’t like how this was going. “Levi, take these two and a squad of six or seven to defeat as many titans as possible. You have an hour to get ready.”
“Fine, Erwin,” Levi said. “Eren, get ready. I’ll go get some of the others.” Levi and Eren left the room.
Sasuke glared at Erwin. “Who said we’d follow your orders?”
“When someone saves your life,” Erwin said with a righteous stance. “you should repay them.”
Sasuke didn’t agree with that. He hadn’t asked for their help. Naruto could tell what Sasuke was thinking. The raven believed he didn’t owe them anything. But Naruto believed he did. He had asked for their help and they deserved something in return.
“I’ll go,” Naruto said. Erwin smiled slightly.
Sasuke flinched. He should have known that Naruto was going to say that. He sighed. “Guess I’ll also go.” He stood up not caring that the others would see that he was only wearing bowers and a t-shirt. He grabbed Naruto’s bag and tossed it to him. Naruto caught his bag and got up. Naruto went to the bathroom room first to get ready. He came back to see Erwin and Sasuke finish talking. Naruto raised an eyebrow, but Sasuke said nothing as he walked passed the blond. Naruto shrugged before sitting back on the bed, waiting for his companion.
Sasuke arrived back in the room and met Erwin’s eyes. With a soft nod, Erwin acknowledged their agreement. Sasuke grabbed Naruto’s dirty clothes from him and tossed them into a bag before secretly sealing it in a scroll. He knew they were running out of clean clothes and would have to find a place to wash them soon.
Eren entered the room a minute later. “Captain Levi has gathered the troops.”
“Good,” Erwin said.
“I’m going with them,” Hanji said.
Erwin rolled his eyes. “Fine.”
Hanji smiled and jumped to her feet. “Great! Now I’ll get to see these two at work!” She grabbed Naruto’s hand and Sasuke’s arm, pulling them to the door. “Better get moving.” She dragged them down the stairs and through the halls until they were finally outside. Sasuke managed to free his arm and glared at Hanji. Hanji just smiled and let go of Naruto’s hand. Eren came up behind them followed by Erwin.
Levi stood with a small group. A girl with black hair and a boy with blond hair smiled at Eren. It was clear to the ninjas that these three had been childhood friends. Behind them stood a taller boy who looked like he didn’t want to be here. Beside him was a shorter boy that had a shaved, almost bald head. There was another girl next to him who had long hair and was happily eating a potato. Eren smiled and introduced them, Mikasa, Armin, Jean, Connie, and Sasha.
“Alright,” Erwin said. “You will take these two,” Erwin motioned to Naruto and Sasuke. “To Wall Rose. Take out as many titans as you can. This will be a test of your strength.” He paused. “My only order is to not die.” Everyone nodded.
Ten horses were brought over. Naruto and Sasuke stared at them. They had never ridden a horse before. Eren noticed the look. “If you want, you can always ride with someone.” He got on his horse and held out a hand. “Well?” Sasuke and Naruto looked at each other. Neither wanted to admit the truth. They grabbed the reins of their own horse and got on the same way Eren did. Once on the horse as comfortably as they could be, Sasuke and Naruto sent chakra to their hands and feet to keep them on their horse.
Eren just shook his head and hoped they wouldn’t fall off. With Levi in the lead, they headed out. Eren, Sasuke, and Naruto followed behind Levi. Sasha, Connie, and Armin were next. Jean, Hanji, and Mikasa took up the rear. Levi glanced at the ninjas. If Erwin was right, they could be humanity’s saving grace or their downfall. He only hoped it wasn’t the latter.