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Path of Shadows, Path of Lights

Chapter Text

Previously on Path of Shadows, Path of Lights...

The masked man opened his eyes and formed a half-Dog seal, as the canisters on his waist opened and two large balls of sticky rice cake dough flew out of them, levitating in the air next to him, before speaking in a rumbling baritone. "Pleased to meet you, Naruto Uzumaki. My name is Den Beifun...and I have been ordered to kill you. My only hope is that you will prove a worthy match for my Mochi Ninpo."

The blonde slid into a fighting stance, knowing that this was not going to be an easy fight...

Naruto's eyes scanned the intimidating form of his magenta-haired opponent and the two floating balls of mochi next to him. "Holy crap, not even the Raikage is that tall! And those balls of mochi are responding to his chakra somehow...what is he doing to make them do that?" the blonde thought. "Oh well...Ero-sennin taught me that there's always one sure-fire way to start a battle!"

Gathering chakra in his palm, Naruto raced forwards, the spiraling sphere his father invented forming into a glowing blue orb of grinding, tearing chakra. "RASENGAN!" the blonde teen shouted, driving his right hand forward towards his opponent.

Beifun remained stoic even with Naruto's first move, forming two hand seals as the balls of mochi suddenly zipped forwards and formed into a large square block. "Mochi Ninpo: Kaku Mochi!" The blonde teen's right hand sunk into the mochi cube, and his eyes widened in surprise as he felt the Rasengan's rotational forces slow to a stop.

The massive magenta-haired man walked over to one corner of the cube while Naruto struggled and picked up an enormous trident, swinging it over his head as more mochi coated his right arm, before he brought it back with a twisting motion, the tip aimed directly at Naruto. Out of desperation, the blonde formed a seal with his free hand. "Shadow Clone Jutsu!" As the clone popped into existence, Naruto finished another seal. "Kawarimi no Jutsu!"

Swapping places with his clone at the last moment, Naruto narrowly avoided the drill-like stab Beifun made with his trident. "Mochi Tsuki!" The blonde teen cringed as the memories of the destroyed clone came back to him, as the trident blew the clone, the block of mochi and a large section of the ground under them apart with ease. "That will hurt a LOT if I get hit with it" he thought.

Forming another clone, Naruto had the clone transform into a puddle of water, before running through six quick seals. "Suiton: Water Dragon Bullet!" As the water formed into a gigantic Eastern dragon, Naruto noticed Beifun form a Dog seal with his left hand and a Tiger seal with his right, before the mochi coating his right forearm swelled up and began to glow. "Katon: Yaki Mochi!"

The fist of mochi rocketed off of Beifun's right arm, propelled by the flames from the bubble popping. Naruto watched in horror as the fist cleaved through his water dragon effortlessly and hit him square in the stomach, launching him backwards into the side of the Golden Box. As he groaned in agony, his opponent crossed the distance between them in a blink of an eye and formed several extra legs of mochi. "Mochi Ninpo: Yanagi Mochi!" As the extra limbs drove into the boy's chest and stomach, he found himself inside his mindscape.

"Well, well, well, brat...looks like you're getting your ass handed to you" Kurama snarked. Naruto rolled his eyes. "Yeah, no shit. Want to do something about it?"

Kurama pondered this for a moment. "Nah. Piss off, brat." Naruto responded by marching up to the edge of the cage. "You sure about that? I'm pretty sure this guy could take Shukaku, and I know how much you love to lord your strength over him~" the blonde sing-songed, remembering his lessons from Jiraiya and Yugito on manipulating Kurama to do his bidding.

The fox raised one eyebrow and snorted. "On second thought, take it all."

Naruto's eyes shot open again, now with slit, fox-like pupils. With a single strong kick, Beifun was sent flying backwards, landing on his feet and skidding to the opposite wall, eyes widened slightly in surprise. "Where did this extra strength come from?" Naruto held his right hand out as a red chakra cloak with a single tail formed around him, as the tail began gathering chakra into a purplish variant of the Rasengan - the same one he used in the Valley of the End against Satsuki.

Leaping forwards, the blonde teen prepared to drive the spiraling sphere into Beifun's chest. The magenta-haired man's eyes widened, before he formed three seals, his mochi balls levitating back off the ground and zipping in front of him. "Mochi Ninpo: Kagami Mochi!" The rice dumpling dough rose upwards into a humans-sized rectangle, before a reflective sheen formed on its' surface. As Naruto was about to drive his Rasengan into it, an identical copy of himself leapt out of the mirror, countering his attack perfectly and forcing him backwards.

"Not enough, huh?" the blonde said breathlessly, a slight smile on his face as a Shadow Clone materialized next to him and began gathering chakra into his hand. Slowly, a spinning ball of chakra with several blades of wind protruding from it formed in his palm. As he started forwards again, Beifun held his own right hand outwards, as a swirling ball of mochi formed in it. "Mochi Ninpo: Maru Mochi!"

The two combatants thrust their hands forwards at each other, their attacks colliding and grinding against each other. To Naruto's great surprise, the swirling mochi managed to overpower a Kyuubi-boosted Rasengan, throwing him across the enclosed box and smashing him into one wall. As he groaned in pain, Beifun capitalized on this by forming another couple of seals, as the mochi on his arm extended outwards and ensnared Naruto. "Mochi Ninpo: Tori Mochi!"

Using the long whiplike rope of mochi wrapped around his foe, Beifun began to swing Naruto around over his head, smacking him repeatedly into the sides and floor of the box, before bringing him high overhead and pulling him down towards his oncoming fist. "Tori Mochi Fist!" Unable to get out of the way, Naruto found himself punched squarely in the cheek by a chakra-enhanced blow, shooting him across the box and driving him half a meter into the wall when he hit.

Once again Naruto found himself within his mindscape, facing Kurama. "Listen, you damned brat, that last hit banged you up good. Almost every bone in your face is broken, you have multiple broken or cracked ribs, and your liver and lungs are bleeding slightly. You're going to have to go up to three tails just to recover" the fox said, before its' grin turned nasty. "Or you could go up to four and run wild on him."

Naruto shook his head. "No, I'd rather not" he responded. "Three it is." The blonde's eyes shot open again, and he slowly turned more and more feral. Outside the box, Jiraiya's eyes widened in surprise as the outflow of malevolent demon chakra - his pupil was turning up the heat on his opponent, but if he went any further the entire village could get torn down. Summoning a blank paper tag, Jiraiya began to work on a seal to calm down the corrosive red chakra if it took over the blonde teen's body.

Inside the box, Naruto and Biefun had began a rapid-fire exchange of blows, mochi countering corrosive chakra and vice versa. The blonde dispatched multiple Shadow Clones to surround his foe, but a long whip of mochi cleaved through them like a hot knife through butter. "Do you like my Mochi Ninpo?" the magenta-haired giant asked. "I control my mochi with my Suiton prowess, allowing me to manipulate the water molecules within the mochi to use it offensively or defensively."

Naruto merely growled in response. Under his mask, Beifun smirked. "Tell you what: if you can land even a single hit on me - which you have yet to manage - I will take you seriously in this battle." Once again, the blonde growled, before leaping forwards with an amped Fuuton: Rasengan in his hand. The magenta-haired giant remained still other than his hands. "Mochi Ninpo: Kagami Mochi!" As Naruto engaged his mirror duplicate in battle, a pair of clones attacked his opponent from the left.

"Suiton: Water Dragon Bullet!" one shouted, shooting a dragon-shaped water jet. "Doton: Earth Dragon Bullet!" The mud below the water dragon condensed into an earth dragon, which coiled around the other attack as they raced towards Beifun. "Mochi Ninpo: Mochi Hadan!" A tiny bullet of mochi shot from Beifun's index finger, shooting past the two dragons and piercing the clones.

With their dispersal, the techniques crumbled into mud and water, and Beifun turned his attention to two more, these ones on his right. "Katon: Great Fireball Jutsu!" one shouted, blasting the Uchiha Clan signature at him. "Raiton: Lanza del Relampago!" The other clone threw a lance of roughly similar height to Beifun himself, coating itself in the fireball as it flew. "Mochi Ninpo: Mochi Tsuki!" Nearby, a tendril of mochi coiled around the large trident, before thrusting it upwards into the lightning lance, deflecting it up into the ceiling and causing the whole structure to shake.

This distraction, however, allowed the real Naruto to trade places with a clone and bring his Fuuton: Rasengan down onto Beifun's right shoulder, causing the giant man to drop to one knee and his other techniques to dissipate. As the blonde leapt away, Beifun chuckled. "It seems I underestimated you. Please allow me to not make such a mistake again" the magenta-haired giant said, removing his shredded leather jacket and black tanktop, before undoing the clasps on the mask over his face.

As he dropped the mask nearby, the light illuminated his full face. Despite the sharp teeth in his mouth, Beifun was...surprisingly handsome. For several long, long moments, the two opponents stared at each other, before Beifun raised one eyebrow. "How curious; the appearance of my face does not seem to affect you." Naruto raised an eyebrow in response. "Was it supposed to?" he asked in response.

The magenta-haired giant chuckled, then started laughing heartily. "What a riot! When I first washed up on these shores, men and women alike found my face so handsome that I couldn't get away from them. It was so troublesome that I started wearing a mask to hide my features, before I ended up in this village seeking a cure to my amnesia. Instead, I found a new home, but even then, everybody who saw my face still was troublesome, so I continued to hide it. You are the first to not have that problem; you're even more interesting than I thought!"

Back in Konoha, a certain teenaged Chuunin from the Nara Clan sneezed twice, muttered "troublesome", and walked away, not knowing this was from somebody stealing his catchphrase.

"Now then, since I need to take you seriously...allow me to do just that" Beifun finished, before slamming one hand on the ground. "Mochi Ninpo: Nagare Mochi!" A thick layer of mochi covered the ground, gluing Naruto in place. "Shit! I can't move, dattebayo!" the blonde shouted, before his eyes widened as he watched his opponent simultaneously use a Dog and Snake seal. "Mochi Ninpo: Kusa Mochi!"

And then long, thin blades of mochi shot up from the floor, skewering Naruto repeatedly. Beifun turned to walk away solemnly. "Thank you for such a great battle...worthy opponent" the magenta-haired giant murmured, not noticing the fourth tail of red chakra slowly sprouting from Naruto's body.

Outside of the box, Ogon slowly began to re-awaken after Kurotsuchi had knocked her out, noticing that her box was still up. Nearby, the Iwa Chuunin and her master were both hammering the golden box with Yoton jutsus, while Jiraiya was scribbling away at a sealing tag nearby. Suddenly, a wave of demonic chakra assaulted her senses, and Jiraiya sat bolt upright from his tag making. "Shit! He's gone beyond three tails!" the Toad Sage shouted, and Roshi's eyes widened, before he and Kurotsuchi redoubled their efforts to take the box down.

Inside the box, the mochi user stared in horror at the sight in front of him. A black ball of smoke from vaporized blood had cracked open, and he was pressed against one wall by the pressure wave from the roar of the thing he faced. It seemed to be made from red and black chakra swirling around the boy in the shape of a four-tailed fox demon, with glowing white eyes and a similar mouth. "Are you serious? That boy was a Jinchuriki?" Beifun thought, before watching as a number of tiny light blue and dark red spheres burst out of its' body, gathering into a single purple ball over its' head between the points of its' tails. "Uh-oh."

Biting his thumb, Beifun wove five familiar seals and slammed his hand on the ground. "Kuchiyose no Jutsu!" When the smoke cleared, a large pelican gulper eel had appeared behind him, itself sporting wide eyes. "Holy crap, Den! You don't summon me for a while, then bring me in to fight a friggin' Jinchuriki?!" The tall man shook his head. "No need, Nigel...I just need your help escaping that thing for a few minutes."

The eel sighed and opened its' mouth. "Just get in and I'll reverse-summon you back to Abyss Caverns" it said, and the man obliged. A moment after the eel poofed away, Naruto ate the Bijuudama, digested it, then blasted an enormous laser from his mouth, melting clear through the wall around it and shooting off into a nearby mountain, blasting it away into dust as the four shinobi outside gasped in shock.

"So this is the power of the Kyuubi..." Roshi trailed off, before his own Bijuu spoke in his head. "Of course Kurama is being a stupid fucking showoff." Roshi scowled at the intrusion, but did not respond. Nearby, the eel poofed back into existence, and Beifun stepped out of its' mouth. Naruto clambered out of the melted remains of the golden box, hissing and growling feraly at everyone around him.

"Calm down, dammit!" Roshi shouted, going in for a hit in Yoton Chakra Mode, only for Naruto to bat him into Kurotsuchi, knocking them into a nearby building. Ogon attempted to use her gold dust to restrain him, but her tendrils melted on contact with the layer of dense, corrosive chakra around Naruto's body. Jiraiya bit his thumb and summoned Gamaken again, the toad regarding the eel summon with surprise and a hint of respect, which the eel returned.

As Naruto batted Gamaken around, Beifun leapt into the fray again. "Mochi Ninpo: Yaki Mochi!" The fist exploded harmlessly on Naruto's body, only serving to irritate the Kyuubi-possessed teenager, who batted Beifun through a row of houses with a sickening crack as Roshi barely clambered back to his feet. "Dammit! Yoton: Scorching Rock Jutsu!" As a storm of burning lava meteors shot towards Naruto, the possessed Jinchuriki roared, sending them all flying into the rocky mountainsides around the village.

"Jiraiya! Is it done?!" the aged Jinchuriki shouted. "Yeah, it's done! Just need to hold him still long enough for me to put the tag on his forehead!" the Toad Sage responded. Before Roshi could do anything, however, Naruto swatted him aside and leapt in the air, landing in front of Jiraiya. Another Bijuudama began to form in his before he could fire it, a spinning wheel of mochi shot out of the rubble at the other end of the village and raced towards the possessed boy.

At the last moment, the wheel vanished, and Beifun leapt forwards with his right arm out to the side, coated by a massive club of spiked mochi. "Mochi Ninpo: Zan Giri Mochi!" The spiked clothesline connected with Naruto so hard that the shockwave tore up paving stones all down the street behind the possessed boy, while the mochi wrapped him up. "Do it now!" the magenta-haired man shouted, and Jiraiya dashed forwards to plant the sealing tag on Naruto's forehead.

A few moments later, the red-black chakra retreated into Naruto's body, and Jiraiya turned to face Beifun, who was now breathing heavily as he sat on a piece of destroyed house, clutching his head and smiling. The next words out of the man's mouth surprised the Toad Sage, however.

"I...I remember."