That Which We Fears
Warnings: Violence. Blood. Gory scenes. Murder scenes. Lemon scenes.
Disclaimer: Part of this story will have settings and events taken out from various anime like Get Backers and Jigoku Shoujo, but I do not own any of them, nor do I own Naruto or any characters in this story save for OC characters
Chapter Thirty Three: That Which We Fears
Ragnarok's Headquarters (Exilia)Twenty Miles Deep in the Sea
All of Ragnarok (at least the ones who are still conscious) are confused.
Their much esteemed leader had been spending the most part of three hours doing nothing but just staring into blank space in the command room, seated in the swivel chair there, her chin propped up by a hand.
"What's wrong with her?" Haku whispered to Hinata who shrugged. "She hasn't moved from there ever since she got back from wherever she had gone to just now."
"I think that Jiraiya-sama called her out somewhere earlier." Yugito volunteered the information, and the other two girls blinked in confusion. "It has been nearly a month since Temari had been knocked into a coma. We're down one more person who specialises in combat." She sighed. "This is going to be hard."
"I don't think that the loss of Temari will be of much loss to our current fighting strength, though the psychological states of the others are in question. I know for sure that Neji-nii-san had been going around to all the underworld gangs whilst Gaara had been going around to the informants and the runners." Hinata stated. "We're really serious now. And Shiki is furious with the ANBU. I've never seen her so angry before."
Haku sighed. "I never thought that I'll say this; but I feel sorry for the ANBU," she muttered, and the other two giggled.
Meanwhile in the command room where Shiki is the only one there, she blocked out the conversation of the three girls and frowned, thinking back to the short conversation that she had with her godfather earlier.
Apparently, rumours of Danzo had been running around once more, and Jiraiya is anxious to go and trace it. Ever since the entire mess with the ANBU, it looks like Danzo and his Ne are confident enough to come out into the open once more.
"I'm going to go investigate Danzo and the Bijuu Nine shrines. Something is amiss. Even you could tell that."
"It's too dangerous!"
"Shiki, I'll be fine. I'm a little worried about this. You had something important to do, don't you? Leave this matter to me. I want to create a better safer world where you can live in too. At least let an old man like me do what he has to do. Okay?"
Shiki sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. 'Don't you dare to die on me, you old pervert,' she thought.
The three girls standing near the doorway were nearly knocked over by Shino just then who seemed to be in a hurry to get to the command room. "What the hell are you three doing blocking the doorway?" Shino seemed quite ruffled, unusual for the normally unflappable boy. "Never mind that! Is Shiki— Ah, you're here!" Shino entered the command room, his cellphone clutched in one hand, and oddly enough, missing his laptop. The insect user is never seen without his laptop unless it's one of those rare occasions when he is involved on a mission. "Shiki, I've got some news."
"What is it?" Shiki asked, turning to face Shino.
"Sai had just sent word," said Shino, glancing at the cellphone in his hand, and turning back to Shiki. "I have no idea how the hell they found out about it, but the ANBU seems to be aware of the fact that we've been investigating the old legend about the Bijuu Nine, the gods of creation, and that we've been searching for their long lost temples that is originally believed to be a myth of some sort. They're heading towards the Bijuu Shrine."
The three girls still at the doorway froze, and Shiki frowned. "When you say Bijuu Shrine, which one do you mean?" she asked slowly. "One of the nine temples, the one at the Forbidden Forest, or…?" She trailed off.
Shino looked weary – that much was obvious even beneath his sunglasses, and he answered. "The one at the Lost Lake, the main temple of the Bijuu Shrines. The legendary cave of creation. The place where the bodies of the Bijuu Nine were enshrined." Shino's eyes narrowed. "The Lost Cave."
Shiki froze, her face one of horror.
Not even Shiki and the others in Ragnarok would go there unless they absolutely have to.
When they've first started tracking down the locations of the nine Bijuu Shrines – one shrine for each of the Bijuu Nine, they've came across ancient text that mentioned the legendary temple – the main temple of the Bijuu Shrines where the Bijuu Nine were born. And it is where they have died, and where their bodies were enshrined in the underground cave beneath the temple.
And because it is also where the most powerful gods were enshrined and buried, the power there is tremendous.
It had taken Shiki and Ragnarok the better part of nearly nine years just to find the legendary cave, the cave of creation, and also known as the Lost Cave. Shiki and Ragnarok tried to never stay in there for long unless they absolutely have to, as something always feels wrong to them somehow.
People go missing all the time at the Lost Lake, and that is mostly the reason why people rarely ventures near there. And if the ANBU know just where and what to look for…
Shiki growled. "Oh hell no!" she growled. "I'm not about to let those ANBU bastards desecrate one of the last remaining holy places left standing in the world! And not to mention that his main body is there! As well as the main part of the seal! If they break it by accident when venturing in there, we're all done for!"
The redhead turned towards the three girls standing by the doorway, shocked expressions on their faces. "Haku! Hinata! Steer the course towards the Lost Lake! And make it at full speed! Shino, contact Sumaru and Sai and tell them everything! Even the Mist! Yugito, contact Neji and tell him to meet up with us at our usual rendezvous point at Lost Lake. I'll contact Gaara. Go!"
Unknown LocationLost Lake
The Lost Lake is probably one of the mistiest places in all of Japan, with the mist never seeming to thin, no matter which time of the year it is, even if it's summer. If one doesn't literally know where they're going in the mist, they can easily get lost. Thus the name – Lost Lake.
Several people have come here in the past and never returned.
But now, because of the mere fact alone that there is some rumour going around that Ragnarok had been investigating all the places that have to do with the legend of the Bijuu Nine, and there is supposedly a long lost temple in this place that has to do with the legend, Tsunade had ordered whatever remained of Rendoku and Akatsuki to investigate. But because even ANBUs were known to get lost here, whatever members that had remained of both teams were dispatched.
"This is a bad idea. This is a stupid idea. Have I told you that this is a very bad and stupid idea?" Hoshigaki Kisame was muttering throughout their entire trip here. The ANBU members have landed at the nearest port town, and had then made their way to the Lost Lake on foot. Nagato and Sasuke – the best ones at navigation among them were leading the way with the assistance of a map and a compass.
Nagato who is examining the map rolled his eyes. "Lots. But we have no choice. It's an order," he said irritably, consulting the compass in his hand. "Now where are we?" He wondered, looking from his map to the compass and back again.
Nagato had been in quite a bad mood for nearly a month ever since Ragnarok had attacked ANBU headquarters and had left as quickly as they had arrived.
ANBU has been in shambles ever since, and are still trying to pick up the pieces. And not to mention that the entire underworld and the informant circle seemed to be on guard against them. Not even Mist is willing to assist them, despite the numerous threats from the other members of the High Council. Mei had gone as far as to state that the underworld helps their own first and foremost. She will never abandon a comrade.
Sasuke bit on his lip as he consulted the map and compass that he had with him, with Shikamaru next to him, frowning as he looked between the two items as well, and glanced around him. "Shikamaru, I think that it's this way," he said unsurely, pointing in some random direction where the mist seems to be thickest. "Now I understand why those people seemed to get lost so easily. The compass isn't exactly working right. What is with this place?"
"Well, some old legends state that this is where the Bijuu Nine had fought and perished thousands of years ago." Sasori shrugged. "Bunch of old legends, old wives' tales. But it is true that people get lost all the time here, never to be found again. There is always mist surrounding here too." He turned towards Kisame. "So what should we do?"
Kisame frowned. He is starting to find just how difficult it is to be a leader ever since Itachi's 'defection'. The swordsman then sighed. "Let's go with Shikamaru and Sasuke's suggestion," he said. "Waiting around here isn't exactly an option either. Let's go."
And he started to walk towards the direction where Sasuke and Shikamaru have both pointed out earlier where the mist is the thickest. The rest of the ANBU members followed him, all of them huddled close together to ensure that they wouldn't get lost.
To their surprise, as they continued walking on, the mist seemed to be slowly thinning out until they came to a rather desolate area with an elaborate looking temple that seemed to be built out of some strange material that none of the ANBUs had ever seen before. And if this is one of the Bijuu temples, then it must be around for a long time now. Yet, this temple looks as if it was just built yesterday. And from the looks of it, it must extend underground too.
"Wow…" Chouji whispered. "It looks so beautiful…"
"So this is one of the ancient shrines. I didn't think that it actually existed." Konan muttered, her eyes wide.
There was a sudden change in the air just then, and Nagato turned sharply. "Get down!" he commanded, and everyone immediately obeyed his commands. Those that didn't were forced to the ground by Nagato's telekinetic ability.
And just in time too, as giant balls of fire swished past the area where their heads would have been a moment ago, and sharp ice spikes surrounded them, hereby barricading them in. The mist actually thinned out just then, and three familiar people surrounded them even as the ANBU members sat up slowly, angered looks on the faces of the newcomers.
"You people sure have a lot of guts to show up here." Shisei Haku hissed, flexing her fingers. "Haven't you done enough harm to this country? You'll ruin one of her symbols as well?"
"What are you talking about?" Lee asked, perplexed.
"This temple is one of the few holy places left in this country. This is exactly why it was built here, you idiots!" Tenten hissed. Next to her, Gaara said nothing, but glared at them. "I don't even want to know just how you've found out about this place, since it even took us nearly nine freaking years to find this place, and I don't get why you've came here, but now that you're here, don't think that you're getting out of here alive."
At this, the ANBUs readied their weapons or the usage of their powers for the nin-users among their group. The tension was so thick in the air that one could quite easily slice through it with a knife. That tension was then broken by a voice that rang through the air.
"Enough!" Every single person present turned towards the source of the voice whose owner seemed to be walking towards them from within the mist. Namikaze Shiki had a frown on her face as she walked towards them, her hands stuffed in the pockets of her jacket. "Stand down." She told her comrades who frowned but obeyed. The redhead then turned towards the ANBU, narrowing her eyes dangerously. "We will shed no more blood here tonight. There has always already been too much blood spilt. Leave this place at once. This place is not yours to tread. Leave this place or die. The choice is yours." She turned on her heel to leave, but not before addressing them with her final worlds. "You have one day, and you should know by now that we Ragnarok keeps our promises." She gestured with her chin towards her comrades. "Come."
And just as suddenly as they've appeared, the Ragnarok members left just as suddenly, leaving no trace of their appearances there at all.
"Okay. What is that all about?" Deidara asked at last, confusion on his face. "They looked pissed off."
Sasuke sighed. "Every single time we'd met them, has there been just that one time when they don't look pissed off?" he questioned sarcastically, and Deidara sweat dropped.
"And besides, have you seen how they've reacted?" Lee asked excitedly. "There must be something down there." He pointed at the temple.
"Like what?" Sasuke asked sarcastically. "Are you thinking of gold coins or jewels?"
"Well, you never know." Lee defended himself. "Let's go in!" He bounded towards the steps of the temple excitedly.
Kisame sighed, following his comrades reluctantly. He knew that there is no talking them out of something once they have their minds made up. "This is a bad idea. This is a stupid idea." He groaned. "This is a big mistake! I have nothing to do with whatever that might happen later!"
Konan rolled her eyes in annoyance. "You talk as if they're enshrining a demon here or something," she muttered. "Is the door locked?"
"No," said Sasuke in surprise as he slid the bolts back that slid back easily. "Just what material is this temple built of anyway? I've never seen anything like this before." He examined the doors carefully before turning towards his comrades. "But I guess we should go in first, huh?"
"Why didn't you stop them?" Tenten asked Shiki. "You know that they will enter the shrine?"
"Something feels wrong. It feels off somehow." Shiki muttered, glancing towards the direction of the temple. "You guys should have sensed it too. Something is telling me to get the hell out of here. The same feeling that I get every time I come here. But this time, the feeling is stronger."
Gaara frowned. "What is going to happen?"
"What is this?" Deidara scratched the back of his head, staring up at the…stone statue that was standing in the middle of the pond-like area the moment that they've stepped through the doors of the temple. There is even a plaque attached to the small platform where three small glowing gems were resting in.
"It's in the Sacred Tongue." Nagato said with a frown as he ran his eyes over the strange writing on the golden plaque. "A form of ancient language thought to have been lost thousands of years ago. An old legend stated that the Sacred Tongue is the common language of the gods and Man back then."
"Can you read it?" Sasori asked, and Nagato nodded.
"My twin taught me the language when he was still alive," said Nagato with a sad smile, before he turned back towards the plaque. "'I'm the ghost that dances here, not illusion dear. I mirror your hearts' desire, shown among the liars. I'm the ghost that dances within, hearts flowing sin. Twisted and flowed with contrite. Revealed in the moonlight'."
"Huh?" Lee almost had question marks floating above his head. "What is that? Some kind of riddle?" He leaned in close to Nagato to examine the plaque, nearly breathing down his neck as he did so, much to Nagato's annoyance.
"Oi, you're too close!" Nagato jabbed his elbow into Lee's stomach who let out an 'oof', and his hand then hit one of the three gems embedded above the plaque – the middle blue glowing gem. To the astonished and alarmed eyes of all ANBU members present, the gem then flew off and landed into the water with a light 'plip'.
A moment later, there was a low rumbling sound, and the temple that they were in was starting to tremble. Lee looked worried. "Did I do something wrong?" He sounded scared. This was a pretty old temple after all. There might be ancient traps all over, and he might have triggered one by mistake.
"O-Oi… You guys… The statue… Look at the statue!" Kiba sounded scared, his eyes wide and round, staring at the statue in the middle of the pond in horror.
Every single pair of eyes went to the statue just then that seemed to be…moving? And the eyes were glowing a dark crimson. Kisame nearly got a heart attack when he saw that the hand of the statue is moving, and there was a loud roar that nearly deafened them all before a dark purple light surrounded the statue, and when it died away, there stood a man maybe about a head shorter than Kisame with dark hair that went down to his shoulders with crimson red eyes. He was wearing some strange clothing that none of them had seen before in their lives, with a series of black markings on his left arm, a sword in his right hand. And everyone present could sense that this man…isn't exactly human.
Just why exactly though?
Maybe it is the fact that malice and evil practically poured out of him. Or maybe it is the fact that he is standing on top of the water.
"At last…" The man hissed. "At last…I am free!"
In several different parts of the world, the members of Ragnarok turned sharply towards the direction of the Bijuu Shrine – the Lost Cave. Underwater, Hinata nearly lost control of the ship of Ragnarok's as she paled, looking out of the window.
"Did you feel that?" Yugito asked Hinata, and she nodded, pale.
Over with Shiki, she paled considerably, one hand clutching at the fabric around her heart. "Oh no…"
"The seal." Gaara muttered in horror. "Has it been broken?"
Haku turned towards Shiki. "Let's go!"
"W-What the hell is that?" Kiba nearly screamed.
The 'man' turned towards them, and a very malicious smirk spread across his features. "Humans." His voice doesn't even sound human, and he spat the word 'humans' out like it's something foul. "His creations. His descendants. Be gone!" He raised his left hand, and the black markings on his arm glowed—
And before he could do anything, there were bright emanating glows from the remaining two gems on the plaque before several strange glowing ropes shot out from nowhere and wrapped around his limbs.
The 'man' growled. "The remnants of the seal," he growled. "Kyuubi… You're as annoying as ever. But this won't work!" And he tightened his muscles before the glowing ropes tore like it was made from paper. He then turned his eyes towards the frightened ANBU members in front of him. "Count yourselves lucky. I need to rest now. I need to gather my strength. But once the time comes, the world shall know the terror that is the Demon God! Know and fear this name: Madara, the Demon God! The world's most powerful god!"
His body then glowed purple before he disappeared in a flash of bright light. A very long silence fell among them as the ANBU members exchanged terrified looks. "L-Let's get out of here." Kisame was the first one to break the silence.
"Y-Yeah. G-Good idea." Sasuke stammered as he finally got his legs to start moving, and moved towards the entrance of the temple, followed by his comrades.
The moment that they stepped through the doors however, they were met by the stern faces of the members of Ragnarok themselves, with them pointing their weapons at them. Sasuke recognised a few of the faces from Baled.
"Enough!" A voice rang out, and some of the people present gave way only to allow four people to walk through – Shiki, Gaara, Sai and Sumaru. And all four didn't look pleased. "We told you to leave this place or die." Shiki told them sternly. "You refused. Now you may have killed us all, for you have just unleashed a creature that we have feared for over ten thousand years. You may have just sentenced the world to eternal doom."
"What are you talking about?" Kiba questioned. "What is…that from earlier?"
"I don't take orders from you." Shiki snorted. "Now we must go and hunt him down. It wouldn't take too long for him to regain his full strength, and we must stop him before he does. Gaara. Sai. Come on. Neji, take command until I return. Sumaru, you know what to do."
"Roger." Sumaru nodded.
"You've got it." Neji grunted.
"But what is that from before? That's no human, right?" Konan cut in before Shiki could leave.
There was silence for a very long time before Shiki turned around to face them, and the expression on her face nearly caused the ANBUs to cringe.
"Know this, this creature that you speak of is no mortal," she stated. "He isn't like us. He is not of this world. He is the bringer of death, one of the first gods that had brought this world into being. He is the epitome of death, destruction and chaos. He never eats. He never sleeps." Her eyes narrowed dangerously. "And he will never stop."