A/N: So, this is basically a place for me to put one shots from the various plot bunnies that are bugging me. I’m hoping that someone reading this will get inspired and rewrite and/or continue one of them, so feel free to write me an email or a review if you want to do it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Fullmetal Alchemist. They belong to Masashi Kishimoto and Hiromu Arakawa respectively.
--Long ago, the continent was ruled by a great civilization. They possessed a wondrous power, far different and, some say, far greater than ninjutsu. It is said that this power could turn lead into gold and even grant eternal life. But the people grew arrogant with their power and began using it for twisted means. In time, the civilization’s leaders sought to subjugate the rest of the world.
The neighboring nations watched anxiously and attempted to appease this mighty giant. It was to no avail. However, before their conquest could begin, the nine bijuu descended upon them. In a single night, they were wiped from the world along with the secrets of their great power. Time passed and the great civilization faded into the stuff of myth and legend.
Many sought to reclaim their power and spent lifetimes searching for any clue of it. Then came the Rikudo Sennin, legendary possessor of the Rinnegan and the creator of ninjutsu. With the invention of this new power, the legendary civilization’s power was forgotten by most. Some still searched for it in a vain effort to prove it was superior to ninjutsu, but to no avail.
Even now shinobi villages compete to unearth these ruins and discover their secrets. Should one successfully do so, they would no doubt have a great advantage over all others. Yet one could only hope they would learn from the mistakes of the past.
Minato pushed back a yawn as he stepped into office he had secured for Ito. Ito Hideki was the Fire Country’s most renowned archaeologist whom Minato had employed to examine some artifacts recently unearthed from a site near Konoha. Of particular interest to the Yondaime Hokage were a series of books written in a strange script with drawings that resembled seals, but where unlike any seals he had ever seen. Ito had set to work attempting to translate these texts almost immediately.
Currently, the unassuming archaeologist was wrapped up an particular text, taking many notes while being extremely careful not to damage the book.
“How goes the research?” Minato asked.
Ito jumped slightly, then smiled apologetically at Minato.
“You startled me, Hokage-sama,” he said, before his eyes lit up, “It’s the most astounding thing I’ve ever seen! These texts detail the use of the ancient power, which they refer to as ‘alchemy.’ This is quite possibly the greatest discovery in the history of archaeology! You won’t believe many of the things I’ve discovered! Once I finish my translations I simply must see the place where these were found!”
“What specifically have you found out?”
“Well, a lot of it details alchemic theory and these seals which the books refer to as arrays. I’ve translated that as best I can, but a lot of it doesn’t make much sense to me. There are also many lists of compounds along with their compositions and other details. However, the book I just finished working on is proving to be the most interesting. It is entitled “Forbidden Alchemy” and consists mostly of broad generalities about the topics which wouldn’t be useful for actually trying to perform them. That is, unless someone hadn’t inserted several pages of personal notes into the book, detailing each in great detail.”
This piqued Minato’s interest greatly. Had he finally found what he was looking for? Was there a way to do that one thing that no ninjutsu ever truly could?
“Go on,” Minato said.
“Well, the first parts detail things such as turning lead and other metals into gold, the creation of something called a ‘chimera’ by combining animals and, if desired, humans, and bringing the dead back to life. The final part goes on to describe the creation of the ‘Philosopher’s Stone,’ apparently the ultimate goal of alchemy. The notes go on to give great detail on each, so whoever wrote them was very knowledgeable.”
Minato’s heart skipped a beat. It could be done. He could bring Naruto back to life. The poor infant taken by death before he was even a few hours old would be back in his father’s arms. Then he, Kushina, and Naruto could be a family again.
“But that isn’t the most interesting thing,” Ito said, drawing Minato’s attention back, “The last set of notes speak of the creation of the bijuu.”
Minato gave the man a stunned look.
“They created the bijuu?” he asked.
“If these notes are correct, yes,” Ito replied gravely, “You see, the Philosopher’s Stone was an amplifier that allowed users of alchemy to do the impossible, to break even the established laws of alchemy. But there is a price, the Philosopher’s Stone is made from human souls and it requires thousands. The first recorded attempt used a group of people from what is now the Wind Country. A tribe of nomads was sacrificed to create a Philosopher’s Stone, but before it could be used, it shattered into sand then reformed into a beast made of sand.”
“Shukaku,” Minato said.
Ito nodded in response before continuing, “They managed to bind it and attempted to learn from their mistakes. They tried eight more times, each time using more and more people from disenfranchised ethnic groups. Each attempt created a more powerful bijuu, all the way up to the Kyuubi no Yoko itself. They bound them each time, but couldn’t bring themselves to destroy them. The author of the notes even expresses concern that the bindings wouldn’t hold, which was apparently the case.”
“I see,” Minato said, “This is all very interesting.”
The Yondaime made an almost imperceptible movement and in an instant three ANBU were in the room. Two of them already had Ito in their grip.
“What’s going on here?!” Ito demanded.
“Ito Hideki, I am placing you in protective custody to prevent these secrets from falling into enemy hands,” Minato replied.
With that, the ANBU holding the archaeologist disappeared.
“All of these materials are officially S-ranked secrets. I want them moved to a secure location where only I have clearance,” Minato said to the remaining ANBU.
“Yes, Hokage-sama,” the ANBU replied.
The timing was so great Minato could laugh. The Kyuubi had descended upon Konoha on the very day when Naruto was supposed to have been born. It had to be destiny at work to everything had worked so perfectly. Minato had had Naruto’s remains secretly unearthed and had spent the previous month studying alchemy during any free time he had. All he needed was a power source and is if a divine gift, the wonderful fox had come to him of its own accord.
Even before he reached the fox’s location, he ran through the hand seals for an earth moving jutsu. If anything good had come from the war with Iwa, this jutsu was it. Upon reaching an area far enough from the Kyuubi to give him some breathing room but close enough that his plan would work, Minato released the jutsu. Instantly the earth caved in around the beast, forming an array.
Wasting no time, Minato set the bag containing his son’s corpse just inside the array. The Yondaime clapped his hands and slammed them onto the ground. The array lit up instantly, first deep blue and then dark red. The Kyuubi let out an unearthly howl as the light in the array began to swirl. As the fox struggled, its body began to dissolve, starting from the feet and moving up to the head and tails. With one final deafening growl, the most powerful of the bijuu vanished completely into the intense red light.
Instantly Minato found himself in a vast endless expanse of nothing. Before him was an immense gate decorated with statues of damned souls. The gate swung wide open to reveal inky blackness from which small hands emerged. They pulled him into the gate and reached inside of him pulling out his organs. The pain was unimaginable, but was somewhat blunted by the knowledge being forced into his brain.
He found himself back in the world after what felt like forever. He could feel his life slipping away as his body shut down. With the last remnants of his strength he forced his head up to look at the spot where he had put Naruto. Standing there was a boy who looked to be about twelve with spiky blonde hair, violet eyes with slit-like pupils, and a tattoo of a serpent devouring its own tail where his navel should have been.
“Naruto…” Minato whispered as the world faded to black.
It wasn’t long before several ANBU showed up and retrieved the boy and Minato’s body.
Sarutobi took a long drag from his pipe as he listened to the reports from the various ANBU before him. If only he had realized how distressed his successor had been over his son’s death, this all could have been prevented. But just as he had failed Orochimaru, he had failed Minato. But to think he would try to use the power of the lost civilization.
Then there was the boy. Sarutobi had no idea what to make of him. His chakra seemed so off, so wrong. It was practically inhuman. However, the boy had never offered to do anything more than stare off into space.
“You’re all dismissed, but leave him,” he said.
The gathered ANBU nodded and then left. Sarutobi let out a long sigh. He was too old to be Hokage and was in no mood to deal with the Council at the moment. Still the boy’s ultimate fate needed to be decided and he could only delay the inevitable. A meeting of the elders and the clan heads would be necessary, even if he intended it as a mere formality.
“That abomination must be destroyed!” Fugaku declared, “It’s a danger to the entire village!”
“I am inclined to disagree,” Danzou replied, “Whatever it is, it may prove to be a valuable asset. A weapon created by the lost power may very well prove to be the solution to ending our stalemate with Kumo.”
“How do we know it can be used as a weapon? Could we control it if it was?” Koharu interjected, “We must proceed with caution.”
Sarutobi took in the discussion silently, waiting for Kushina to arrive. This would ultimately have to be her decision. The boy still seemed blissfully unaware of his surroundings as he sat at the aged Hokage’s side.
“I have examined the boy with my Byakugan,” Hiashi said, “His chakra network is odd, but I have faced several very human opponents with equally as odd chakra networks. I see no reason why we should assume he is either a monster or a weapon.”
Fugaku seemed ready to object when the doors of the room swung wide open. Escorted by two ANBU was Uzumaki Kushina, her eyes red from crying, but her face resolute. It was at this moment the boy showed some signs of thought. His face brightened noticeably and he stood up. He rushed toward his ‘mother’ and the ANBU tensed and prepared to defend her. She simply waved them off and allowed the boy to embrace her.
“Mama” he said.
Kushina’s expression was fairly neutral as she regarded her ‘son.’
“Naruto?” she said.
He let go of her and looked up at her. A wide smile was plastered on his face as he nodded. In a flash Kushina slashed a kunai across his throat. However, rather than blood spilling out and Naruto collapsing, the wound simply glowed and was gone almost as soon the kunai was put away. Apparently unaware that his mother had just tried to kill him, Naruto continued smiling up at her.
Everyone else in the room, for their part, was too dumbfounded at what had just happened to really react. Danzou recovered the quickest and quickly tried to lay his claim on the boy.
“See, that proves it! We must train him as a weapon. I will even volunteer to personally to train him,” the old war hawk said.
“Don’t bother,” Kushina replied blandly, “He’s my responsibility. I will train him.”
Without another word she took Naruto’s hand and led him out of the room. Sarutobi could only watch sadly and wonder what the future might hold for those two.