Naruto is born 6 years before his parent's death, the Kyuubi sealed into his younger brother, Menma. Experiencing loss, Naruto grows very differently, unlocking a long lost Kekkei Genkai and receiving a gift from two lost friends. With the gift of his friends and his Mokuton, Naruto will make a lasting name for himself in history. Smart!Powerful!Calculative!Mokuton!Naruto.

The Wolf and The Fox

Prologue 1 – Uzumaki Namikaze Naruto

XXXXX

A young boy panted, hearing screams of pain echo throughout the village as the ground rocked and vibrated for miles around him. His cerulean blue eyes looked in fear to the large creature assaulting his home, everything he'd known for the past five years of his life. Those blue eyes widened however when his spiky blonde hair was pushed back by a clearly man made wind, the sight of a massive orange toad landing directly on top of the orange fox who had destroyed his home in moments.

"Tou-chan," He whispered, knowing that only two men could call on such a toad and one was far from home at the time. The six-year old's eyes hardened, the once dominating fear seemingly leaving him as his little legs carried him off, his senses picking up the mixed chakra of his father, his mother, that large fox and a small, new chakra. The boy knew what he was doing endangered him, knew he wouldn't be able to help; but, he had to, something was dragging him there.

A silver haired masked teen looked in fear as he caught a glimpse of golden hair running through the streets ahead of him, his eyes widening in horror when he saw the boy seemingly running towards where the demon fox had just reappeared and the giant toad was forced to disappear. "Naruto," The boy called, falling on deaf ears before he growled and gave chase.

Behind the silver haired teens mask, a strange red-eye spun, allowing him to see an unusual amount of chakra running from the blonde boy's legs increasing his speed to keep them apart. "I have to catch up before he reaches the Kyuubi and Sensei, he'll only be in danger," he thought aloud, pulsing chakra to his own leg muscles.

He wouldn't catch the blonde in time, not before they both came into a clearing as a massive claw imbedded itself straight through an older blonde haired man. The man looked to them, both now seeing his eyes not those similar cerulean the seemingly carbon copy Naruto had. They were golden and toad like, red markings around his eye lids. "N-Naruto, Ka-kashi, I'm sorry," He whispered, his changed eyes going to a woman with long red hair, golden chains sprouting from her back. "Kushina," he breathed, the woman looking at him weakly with emotional and physical pain written all over her face. The blonde haired man made a final hand seal and with a shout of "Fuin," the beast that had destroyed their home vanished, sucked into an alter holding a newborn baby boy.

"Tou-chan!" Naruto screamed, tears long since running down his face as he ran to catch his much larger and heavier father. Kakashi saw Kushina begin to teeter forward, and vanished and reappeared in front of her, catching her gently. He then looked up to see the young blonde cradling his father, Namikaze Minato the Yondaime Hokage, his small frame shaking in anguish. The silver haired teen removed the white anbu mask from his face, revealing pain stricken mix matched eyes and tears of his own.

"T-Tou-chan, say something," the boy begged, gritting his teeth as he used all of his strength to shake the limp body of his father. When the boy got no response, not even an inkling of motion from his father, a cry erupted from his throat aimed straight to the heavens. As Kakashi stood, gently laying the still breathing Kushina on the ground, he felt a firm grip on his shoulder. Looking back the young teen was beyond shocked to see a blonde haired woman, a purple jewel mark in the center of her forehead.

The woman with a face of pure remorse, easily pushed the teen back down to sit with Kushina and walked past him towards Naruto. "Minato, I should've been the one to use such a technique," He heard an aged voice lament, turning back to see a much older man encased in black shinobi garb. Looking back the both watched as the blonde haired woman pulled the child into a hug, gently setting the motionless body of his father on the ground. The young blonde could only cry into the woman's chest, having no strength to fight back her comforting attempts. "The entire Uzumaki-Namikaze family made a great sacrifice tonight," The old voice once again brought Kakashi's attention.

The teen watched as Sarutobi Hiruzen, the Sandaime Hokage, walked to the alter and gently picked up the form of a crying crimson haired child. "Forced to be such a hero on the day of your birth, and to witness the death of your father at such a tender young age, this world truly is unforgiving," the man whispered in his own anguish, he too had lost family tonight, his wife.

"Kakashi," the boy's attention was pulled by the blonde woman's voice. "Take Naruto and carry him back to the village, I will take Kushina myself," she requested, walking forward with the boy passed out in her arms.

"What about Minato-sensei, Tsunade-sama?" He asked, looking back to the motionless body of the closest thing he had to a father since his own died.

"I've got him," Hiruzen said, as a copy of himself went and picked his successor up gently. With that they left the clearing where a family had lost their father and the village had lost their leader.

XXXXX

A few days later found Naruto sitting bedside of his hospitalized mother, a cold emotionless look on his once boisterous young face. His head shot up as he felt her limp hand grip his own, but was saddened to still see her completely unconscious. His godmother, Tsunade, had told him that it would be sometime before his mother awoke, if she even did come out of this coma-like state. The young boy never imagined going through this, his father dying to seal a Bijuu within his newborn brother and his mother's life still in jeopardy. "Naruto-kun, I see you haven't gone home to rest like I asked," Tsunade sighed, walking in and placing a comforting hand on the boy's shoulder.

"I-I'm not ready for this, Baa-chan, why did it have to be them?" He begged, and it was all Tsunade could do to fight back her own scars of loss.

"Naruto," She whispered, kneeling down beside his chair. "I've lost a lot of people, it's never fair or easy and it won't be. But, someone once told me, that someone gives their lives for others so that their precious people can keep on living. Even if their sacrifice means they won't be able to see them grow or tell them every day how much they love them."

"I want to make Tou-chan proud, and Kaa-chan, I don't want to lose her; but, I know…. I know she doesn't have long baa-chan," He whispered, his long spiky hair hiding his eyes.

"Why do you say that Naruto-kun," Tsunade asked, hoping that the child would hold onto hope that his mother would live.

"I just know," He said sadly, looking at the dirt floor of this secret facility they had brought his mother to. However, his head shot up when his mother's grip tightened on his small hand finding her conscious and in pain, judging by the look she gave him.

"Naru-chan," She whispered, her violet eyes looking into his blue-eyes with nothing but love. "I'm so sorry for all your father and I have put you through the past couple days," He could see the regret forming in her eyes as she struggled to find the breath to speak. "I-I want you to be the best big brother you can, and look after M-Menma for me; I know you'll do so great a-and I wish I could stay with you both," He could see the pride in her eyes as a lone tear ran down her cheek, a river flooding down his own. "Remember everything your father and I taught you, and pass it on to Menma…. he's always going to need you…"

The tears seemed to hasten as he felt her grip loosen and the solitary drone of the monitor filled his ears. "K-Kaa-chan…." He whispered, lowering his head so that his spiky long blonde hair hid his eyes. His free hand gripped her limp hand tightly as he felt something strong rise from within him. He felt overwhelmed with power, and before he knew it a scream escaped his lips and roots burst from the soil. The cave soon filled by trees, all surrounding the hospital bed his mother laid in, cherry blossoms blooming from the branches.

Naruto looked around at what he'd just created, shock evident on his face, Tsunade mirroring his look from where she had been unintentionally thrown to. But, when he turned to where his mother was, he saw the smile etched onto her lips. "I'll never let you down Kaa-chan, Tou-chan," He choked, soaking in the serene look she wore.

"M-Mokuton," Tsunade gaped, unable to fathom what had just smacked her into a wall.

XXXXX

It was roughly two weeks later, and it found Tsunade sitting in her private study of the Senju clan compound. She sat relaxed with a saucer of sake in her hand and a sleeping Naruto's head on her lap, in her other hand was a file. One specifically that brought tears to her eyes, bringing up memories she had long since buried and tried her best to forget about. "I guess, it all makes sense now, ne, Naruto-kun," She whispered, gently running her hand through his hair. "What you awakened, your father's ability- "

"So," a deep voice stopped her train of thought, sounding mirthful yet sorrowful. "It seems you've found that old file and connected dots long forgotten, Tsu-hime," her eyes widened as she looked up, seeing a giant of a man with long spiky white hair.

"J-Jiraiya," She mumbled, before setting down her sake and the file, gently moving Naruto's head from her lap. "When did you get back," She asked, hesitantly walking towards the man.

"Not long ago, seeing you has always been my first stop when you were home," he smiled, though it seemed a bit forced. "I guess it was only a matter of time before you found out who he really was," he sighed, closing the gap between them and pulling her against him in an embrace. He felt her shake as sobs immediately began to wrack her form, and she wrapped her arms around his waist pulling him as tightly to her as she could manage.

"Our- "he hushed her, and she realized that he too was crying, mourning his lose as well.

"I know, I wish it was me instead of him who invoked the seal, it should've been me," He whispered, showing her a weakness she hadn't seen in years. "If I wasn't out of the village, I could've stopped him and…" His self-blaming path halted when she pulled just far enough away to pin him with a weak glare.

"You wouldn't have stopped him, he wouldn't have let you, and you know it, baka," She choked, and his head fell to rest on her shoulder finally letting the dam completely break. His large arms wrapping around her as he sobbed like a child, and rightfully so. Sannin no Jiraiya had lost more than a student and apprentice because of the attack, as had Tsunade.

XXXXX

The sound of flesh hitting wood resounded throughout the clearing, a young Naruto beating his fists into the worn trunk of a tree. The young boy was going about his recently started routine, throwing the odd kick in, uncaring of the presence he sensed observing him. "So, this is why Tsunade has to clean you up every evening, ne, Gaki," The voice of Jiraiya asked, making the boy pause for only a moment before he continued on. The white haired Sannin sighed, resigning himself to watching, figuring he might as well pick out the boy's faults and help him correct them. "Tighten your stance a bit, you're making yourself open," once again Naruto paused, however this time his stance became just over shoulder length apart. Jiraiya smiled at that, he understood why Naruto was acting this way. He himself had been very similar when things affected him in the past, quiet and focused, needing some way to physically vent his emotions. "You know, the academy will be starting soon, but if you'd like I can teach you as much as you want."

"All I want," the blonde paused, standing normally. "Is to protect Menma, just like I promised," He turned, showing his blue-eyes in a hardened state not usually seen in a six-year old as tears fell from them.

Jiraiya stood from his sitting position, walking over to his Godson and placed a comforting hand atop his head. "Naruto, I'll teach you everything I know and then some, I promise," He smiled at the boy, earning a sad smile from the boy. "But, we need to talk about what you did the other day, and what it means."

"You mean the Mokuton, Jiraiya-Ji," Naruto asked, earning a smile from Jiraiya at how quickly he connected the dots, just as intellectually sharp as his father before him.

"That's right, it's an extremely rare technique, so rare that the only documented user was the Shodai; no one before or after him ever having it, until you," the Sannin answered, now sitting down in front of the boy bringing them to the same height. "Until you master it, I want you to keep it hidden because it could put you in a lot of danger," Naruto was surprised at how serious Jiraiya was being, it wasn't something he often saw, but it earned the man a nod of understanding.

"But, how will I master it if no one knows how to use it?" He questioned, concerned that he may always have something to hide.

"Your Baa-chan is the granddaughter of the Shodai, as such he left scrolls for the family in case anyone awakened it; I've already begun reading those scrolls to help you learn and when you're older she and I will give them to you to study," the Sannin explained, Naruto accepting his explanation easily.

"Can we start training now?" The blonde asked, earning a small chuckle from the man.

"Yes, we can Naruto, but let's give it a bit more time before we start with your Mokuton," he smiled, earning a determined nod from the boy. "For now, we'll start with chakra control and refine your taijutsu, have you ever heard of the style your father used?" The blonde boy shook his head in the negative, earning a small nod from the man. "I think he would've wanted to see you use it, so it's where we'll begin," the blonde gave him a nod, and the godson and godfather set off on their training. Both determined to push Naruto's limit and see the boy make his wish come true.

"I won't let anyone I care about ever be hurt again," He swore to himself, listening intently to what Jiraiya was explaining about his father's style.

XXXXX

Seven years later, Naruto found himself thinking of that promise he made himself as he looked at the reflective metal of his headband. He moved his finger to trace the engraved leaf before he wrapped the black cloth around his head, his spiky blonde hair now slightly slicked back. He looked out over the horizon from atop the Hokage monument, his father's stone carved head to be specific. On either side of him stood two of his former classmates now teammates and friends.

The first, was a girl with brown hair allowed to flow freely down her back. Her eyes were black and her skin pale, showing a bit of a contrast with the violet high collared sleeveless shirt, grey pants tucked into brown shinobi sandals and red forearm covers she wore. On the back of her shirt, the Uchiha clan fan symbol was emblazoned proudly. This was Uchiha Izumi, clanswoman to two of his best friends and top female student of the academy.

The other was Hana, the heiress of the Inuzuka Clan and one of Naruto's oldest friends. The girl also had long tamed brown hair kept in a ponytail, tattoos on her cheeks that were customary for any Inuzuka who had been given their ninken companion. She wore a black tank top that was slightly covered by a tan vest, black skin tight shorts and a matching pair of black shinobi sandals. Hana was very skilled in her clan's secret jutsu, a key point being the fact that she was given three companions instead of just one. She was also studying the arts of a medical specialist.

"I wonder if Shishui-nii and Itachi-kun have heard we graduated, yet," Izumi wondered aloud, smiling as she enjoyed the setting sun.

"They haven't but, I'll be sure to tell my son that you passed Izumi-chan," a teasing voice made the girl jump and spin around with a crimson blush. "I'm sure you'll let your big brother know," a woman with black hair teased, her matching black eyes seeming mirthful.

"Mikoto-sama, what're you doing here," Izumi asked, as Naruto stared at his mother's best friend in confusion.

"Mikoto-kaa-chan, you're our Jounin sensei, aren't you?" The woman smiled warmly and nodded at the blonde, enjoying the title she had earned from him.

"That is right Naruto-kun, I, Uchiha Mikoto, will be in-charge of Team 7," A wide smile came to her face, as she gave them a wink and thumbs up. "I can't wait to see what my cute little Gennin are made of," she giggled, earning a determined look from Naruto as the two girls sweat dropped.

"But, why were you chosen for us, don't you have things to do with the clan," Izumi asked, earning a small smile from her clan's matriarch.

"My husband is the clan head, as appointed by my father," she reminded the young Uchiha. "Besides, who better to train you with that Sharingan of yours while Shishui-kun is busy, and I did promise to look after Naruto-kun and we can't forget my little protégé Hana, I'm the best suited to train her with medical ninjutsu."

All three gennin smiled at the recognition Mikoto gave them, looking forward to working under the woman. "Now then, you three should go and rest for the night, tomorrow I'll be putting you through your first test as a team."

All three saluted energetically, making the Uchiha matriarch giggle and then smile as she watched them leave in their own ways. Hana leaving by simply strolling off, her three ninken in tow, most likely taking it easy because of the test in the morning. Izume used a shunshin, slightly surprising Mikoto that she had already learned it, most likely from her brother older than her by two years. Lastly, Naruto just simply sat down faced towards the slowly setting sun, not actually leaving and confusing her to a degree. "Is everything okay, Naruto-kun," she asked, the blonde haired boy she thought of as another son.

"I just wanted to sit here and watch the sunset, Mikoto-sensei," he earned himself a frown from the black haired woman, having grown rather accustomed to the honorary "Kaa-chan" suffix he had been adding to her name. But, she also knew he still thought of her in such a way, and the bond of a student and sensei was very important. "Do you think they'd be proud of me, sensei," he nearly whispered, the Uchiha's frown deepening knowing who he meant.

She didn't hesitate for a moment to sit down next to the boy, and wrap her arms around him in a comforting embrace. "Both of them would be unbelievably proud of the young man you have become, how diligently you work, the way you look after your otouto, and becoming the rookie of the year thanks to your studies, there's no doubt in my mind Naruto-kun," she whispered in a soft, gentle tone. Mikoto pulled away slightly, and wiped the tear from his cheek, smiling when he smiled at the gesture, even if there was sadness still present. "I'm going to head home, but promise me no more questions like that, you know they loved you and even in death their love can reach you and guide you," She said standing, before leaning back down to kiss his forehead as she often did. "Don't be up here too long, I wasn't kidding that I'm going to test you three tomorrow and I promise I won't go easy." The blonde blushed slightly at the gesture of affection, but agreed to her instruction none the less and watched as she disappeared in a shunshin as Izume had.

Naruto turned his blue-eyes to the setting sun once more, "I promise, Kaa-chan, Tou-chan, I'll make my dream come true; I'll find peace for the shinobi world," his eyes hardened slightly as he spoke to himself.

XXXXX

"Again," the blonde called sitting in the Lotus position shirtless with his eyes closed. Across from a seemingly mini version of the blonde but with crimson red hair, who glared at him with violet orbs. The smaller version, was upside down on his back, his butt against the wall as if he'd just rolled down it. "Don't give me that look Otouto, you're the one who demanded I train you."

The crimson haired boy spun himself around, coming to his feet with a pout on his face. "But, all you've had me doing is walking up this stupid wall with chakra, and I can't even do that," the boy pouted, earning a smirk from the elder brother.

"Your chakra wells are half the size of my own and you're six years younger than me, you need this more than anything else, Menma-chan," the slightly older Naruto opened his eyes, revealing the piercing blue eyes he was becoming famed for. "You master this and the next step and I promise to teach you the Hachidori ken," his eyes shutting once more after seeing his brother seemingly satisfied with the compensation offered and running off to his task, right up the wall. For him to only, moments later, roll right back down the wall much to his own ire. None-the-less, the boy shot back up to do the same thing several more times, getting slightly higher with each try.

The door to the training facility opened, bringing both Uzumaki's attention, though you wouldn't be able to tell from Naruto not moving or opening his eyes. "Naruto-kun, Uchiha Izumi-chan is here looking for you," a woman with short brown hair in a grey kimono said, smiling at the unmoving blonde.

"Send her in Shizune-nee-chan, thank you," he responded, before standing up and looking towards Menma who seemed to be getting higher and higher every try. The blonde smiled at that before turning his head as the brunette Uchiha walked into the room, his smile growing in size.

Izumi walked in, not much having changed with her appearance wise, aside from a red and white string hanging tied from the kunai in her thigh holster. The girl blushed slightly at seeing the shirtless form of the blonde, doing her best not to look at his defined abs as she greeted him. "Good morning Naruto-kun, I see Menma-chan has pressured you into training him today," she said with a small giggle, earning a bashful look from the blonde as he rubbed the back of his head.

"Yeah, I figured it would be a good time for me to train on what the Okami tribe left me with, but he's not been much help to my concentration," he chuckled, watching as this time the boy did an elaborate flip from the wall before charging it again.

"You mean your new summons; didn't you just get the contract a couple missions back?" Her head titled to the side slightly making Naruto smile at her action.

He nodded, "I did but, since I was already a toad summoner and unconsciously broke my deal with Gamabunta-sama, Shiro-sama has promised to teach me some of the stronger techniques to make up for me having to deal with Ero-Sennin," he chuckled slightly, remembering how furious his Godfather had been. "Anyway, was there something you needed, Izumi-chan?"

The girl, Naruto unaware of the fact, blushed at the suffix he used and smiled, "Mikoto-Sensei asked me to come get you, she wants us to meet at the training grounds for something very important." Naruto easily nodded, grabbing his long sleeved black shirt and pulling it over his head, proudly displaying the symbol of the Uzumaki clan on his back.

"Otouto, keep it up, I have to go meet my team," The blonde called, throwing a kunai just above where the boy flipped from on the wall. "Get back up there and use that to mark your progress."

Menma smirked seeing how high the Kunai was, almost near the ceiling, before smiling foxily at his brother. "Sure thing, be safe Onii-chan!" That earned him a thumbs up from the exiting blonde, making him smile a bit more before he returned to his task.

Naruto stopped just outside the door, in front of his weapon rack and grabbed the katana hanging there. He smiled as he unsheathed it slightly, just checking the blade, before slinging it over his shoulder by the red and white string that held it there firmly. "Ready when you are Izumi-chan," he smiled, and began leading the way through the Senju compound that Tsunade had raised them at. "Any idea what Sensei wants us for on our day off?"

Izumi shrugged at the question, having wondered the same but was waved off when she asked the woman herself. "Not sure, but I guess you already figured it's important if she's calling us on our day off," as they exited the Shinto styled pagoda manor, immediately taking to the trees. The compound of the Senju was not only surrounded but, also slightly hidden in the forest that encompassed the ground. It was also beneficial that it was on the other side of the training grounds making it a rather short commute for the pair.

When the two came into the training grounds, they were met with the sight of their sensei in her normal anbu styled attire and their third teammate, surrounded by her three pups. Both women smiled at their arrival, before the pups made a b-line towards the blonde tackling him to the ground yipping happily as he laughed. "Hey guys, I know it's been a whole day since you saw me," he chuckled, moving his hands over their fur.

"I swear, they're more excited to see you than me some days," Hana giggled, making the thirteen-year-old blonde chuckle more before she called them off.

"Hello Naruto-kun, Izumi-chan, I'm sorry for calling you three here today but, I wanted to give you these," She said with a smile, handing each child a slip of white paper with writing all over it. "These are your passes into the Chuunin exams."

"C-Chuunin exams?" Izumi questioned, her eyes widening as she read the location of the exams. "But, sensei it says here they're taking place in Iwagakure," the brunette Uchiha yelped in surprise, earning a slightly tense nod from the matriarch.

"That's correct, some of you may have heard that Sandaime-sama has been in talks recently with Tsuchikage-dono for an official truce. Part of that will be a Chuunin exam within both our lands, this year's being in Iwa, which I took the liberty of nominating my cute little gennin for at the Jounin Council Meeting," she smiled proudly at the stunned trio.

"Mikoto-sensei, don't you think me going to Iwa will be a bit terse, given how much they hate Tou-chan," the blonde asked, showing a rare bit of worry to his teacher.

Mikoto shook her head in the negative, "While there are some that may hate your father, for his actions against Iwagakure during the last war, the fence sitter has sworn that you'll be safe as long as you remain in their village; so long as it's during the exams." She noticed Naruto sigh, but he immediately gave her one of his most confident looks.

"Then, I guess I better show them what Uzumaki-Namikaze Naruto is capable of," Mikoto smiled at his claim, knowing full well the boy was far more powerful than his years would make you believe. Not only had she been training him, but Sharingan no Kakashi and two of the Sannin had been training him as well.

"Shishui-nii-chan and Itachi-kun will be so surprised," Izumi remarked happily, mentioning two of the blonde's best friends and sparring partners.

"Actually, your brother and Itachi-kun will be a part of our guard detail, Hokage-sama added two guards to our requirements of participating," Mikoto smiled at the giddy girl, most likely due to the fact she'd be able to travel with her crush, which just so happened to be the matriarch's own son.

"When do we leave, Sensei," Hana asked, looking up expectantly at the woman.

"Within the next three days, so that we may arrive before the beginning of the exams next week," She smiled, before pointing at the papers she had handed out. "Keep those on you and sign them, we'll need them to enter Iwagakure, and this is official business with another nation, so I expect all three of you to remain on your best behavior." The three immediately saluted, earning a giggle from their leader, "Dismissed!" Following the order, the three nearly jumped when she vanished in a puff of smoke.

"Kagebunshin," Hana asked, earning shrug from the blonde.

"She must still be meeting with the Hokage and sent a clone to tell us," Naruto guessed, a yawn escaping him. "Well, I've got to get back to Menma, he's probably making it to the ceiling by now," he smiled with a wave before disappearing in a swirl of leaves.

Several miles away, an aged man in white robes with red accents smiled, a pipe in the corner of his mouth. "He is quite the sharp shinobi, much like his father was," the man said, looking up to Mikoto, her black eyes fondly looking on as her team went on their way.

"He is much like his father, but anger him and his temper is as explosive as Kushina-chan's, and just as leveled as Minato-sama's," she admitted, stepping back to the front of the desk.

"I must admit, I was a little hesitant about letting you step away from the Anbu to take them under your tutelage, but all three have become strong in just a short time of six months," the man praised, blowing a cloud of smoke from his mouth. "I have no doubt they'll do well in these exams and go on to be splendid shinobi," he smiled, the mystic ball fazing to a new image of the blonde now training with his crimson haired brother.

"Thank you, Hokage-sama," Mikoto bowed, making the Sandaime, Sarutobi Hiruzen chuckle.

"No need for that, I've taken it upon myself to keep a close surveillance on our young Uzumaki brothers, and I appreciate you not mentioning that a full Anbu squad will be following them alongside your clansmen," she nodded in understanding. "I'm not quite sure why Onoki-dono has extended his hand out in this manner, but I suppose maybe the old midget has grown tired of the wars as I have."

"Does his decision reflect throughout his forces is the question however," Mikoto questioned, her Sharingan flaring to life at the thought of a betrayal.

"Exactly my thoughts, which is why I'm giving you explicit authority to kill any who try to harm your young ones excluding their exam opponents," she nodded, while she hated killing, she had no qualms doing so for her loved ones.

XXXXX

A month and five days later, found Uzumaki Naruto standing with his katana drawn across from the granddaughter of the Sandaime Tsuchikage, Kurotsuchi. The fighting had yet to begin but, the blonde and the black haired girl had quite a bit of a grudge between them since the beginning of the tests, hence why he was already in his strange kenjutsu stance. "He really is the son of the Yondaime and that Uzumaki girl, just seeing that stance brings back memories of the second and third shinobi world war," a short old man, Onoki the Sandaime Tsuchikage, said his face tense. "My granddaughter is no slouch, but he certainly has held back his true abilities until now," he commented, earning a sagely nod from the Hokage next to him.

"Naruto-kun is at the top of his generation in all but genjutsu, those Uzumaki reserves hinder his ability to use them, but make him quite able to break them," Hiruzen smiled proudly, looking fondly to the serious blonde.

"Hm, well I suppose I should get my speech over with before they begin their battle prematurely," the old man chuckled, before surprisingly floating from his chair and standing on the bannister of the balcony that was the Kage viewing box. "Iwagakure, I would like to take this moment to thank our potential allies and guests of Konohagakure for appearing here today and testing the gennin of our village in these exams," He paused, noting that all eyes aside those in the colosseum proper were on him. "Regardless of the outcome of this final match we will be entering into a time of peace with Konoha. One that Hokage-dono and I believe will be prosperous for both villages in the many years to come!" He was nearly surprised by the resounding cheers amongst his people and Hiruzen's. "Now then, for the main event, Gennin of Iwagakure Kurotsuchi and Gennin of Konohagakure Uzumaki-Namikaze Naruto, you may begin!"

The moment the words left his mouth, both gennin charged forward, colliding in the center, Naruto pushing the girl back with his katana against her kunai. Both gritted their teeth Naruto clearly winning with pure strength, but surprising her when a wolfish grin came to his face as sporadic bolts of lightning emanated from his blade. The result shocked her when the amplified sharpness of the blade began slicing into her kunai, forcing her to jump back and create some distance between them.

She flipped one more time making several hand seals as she did, landing in a crouch only to slam her hands to the ground. "Doton: Doryuso!" she called, spikes of earth racing towards the blonde.

Naruto made the ram seal with one hand, holding his katana in a reverse grip with the other. "Uzumaki Kenjutsu: Ōkami no Rakurai (Uzumaki Sword Style: Lightning Stike of the Wolf)," he growled, before making a large sweep with his blade that unleashed a lightning bolt with the head of a wolf. The bolt easily decimated her attack. However, when the girl got a clear view she was shocked to see the boy gone. Before he suddenly reappeared sliding in below her, landing the strongest kick she had ever felt against her jaw. "U," she heard him call before another blonde appeared from a puff of smoke. Shooting up to her with a flying knee right into her gut, "Zu," it called before two more clones appeared from it, using the original clone as a spring board. The quickly landed twin elbow strike sent her soaring higher than the open roof of the stadium, "Ma-Ki," she could still hear them yell. "RENDAN," the shout from behind her sent a chill down her spine before what she guessed was the original blonde slammed a chakra enhanced kick in the center of her spine. The result was the girl making her own personal crater, able to feel several of her bones either shift or break. Unfortunately, looking up she realized there was no time to worry about that, the sight of an infamous ball of blue chakra in the boy's hand as he dive-bombed her prone figure. She closed her eyes fully expecting the worst to become of her. However, as more than ample time for the jutsu to hit her passed, she opened her eyes.

"I'll only ask you once to forfeit, I'm sorry but, you won't be a match for me," The blonde proclaimed, the coldness in his deep azure orbs frightening her. It was like she was staring into the eyes of a predator, one that knew the battle was his.

"Proctor-san, I forfeit the match," Kurotsuchi whispered.

"The winner of the Chunnin exams is Uzumaki-Namikaze Naruto of Konohagakure no Sato," the announcement was met with a stunned silence, aside from a handful of Konoha shinobi cheering quite loudly. But, as the infamous jutsu disappeared and the blonde offered a hand up for the girl, the crowd reacted with a slow building roaring applause. Kurotsuchi for her part felt her cheeks heat as she witnessed the kind smile that came to the boy's face, his entrancing orbs now showing a surreal warmth instead of the glacial chill from a moment ago.

"Thank you for the match, Kurotsuchi-chan, I look forward to a spar in the future with you," he said, before vanishing in a body flicker. The girl watched the place he had been, not knowing quite exactly how to feel. Especially not after he had been so kind to her at the end, when she had been so awful to him during the exams prior.

"Don't try to understand it, try as you may an Uzumaki will always surprise you," the proctor said from behind her, a smile on his face. "I told you before the announcement even came Kuro-chan, your hate not only blinded you, but made you underestimate him."

The black haired girl looked down sadly, "I know, tou-chan, I guess Ji-chan will be happy that I stop trying to argue with him about it." She sighed, a small sad smile coming to her face as she found the blonde in the stands now, crowded by his loved ones. "I look forward to the next spar Naruto-kun, I won't lose again."

XXXXX

Naruto appeared in the Konohagakure section of the viewing area, immediately swamped by all that had come to watch him fight. The fastest, and first to reach him was his sensei, the black haired woman nearly knocking him down with a mighty hug. "Naruto-kun, that was amazing, I'm so proud of you!"

The blonde chuckled, "thank you Mikoto-kaa-chan, I wouldn't be here without you," he said, hugging the woman back.

"That was a really nice combo Otouto, you did well," a silver haired young man, wearing the Konoha Jounin vest said, his tone rather lazy. But, he knew exactly which style the blonde had derived that taijutsu technique from.

Naruto smiled, as he was released from the hug. "Thanks Kakashi-nii," he smiled wolfishly at the lazy jounin. Before he knew it, his teammates, Tsunade, Jiraiya, and Menma as well as the Sandaime all surrounded him.

"That was a wonderful display Naruto-kun, throughout the entire finals, I'm proud to welcome you to the rank of Chuunin," The elderly hokage smiled, holding his pipe at the corner of his mouth.

Naruto smiled wide, bowing his head slightly, "Thank you, Sandaime-sama," earning a small chuckle from the Hokage.

XXXXX

A/N: HEY GUYS! It's been a really long time, since I've been able to write, read or post anything on this site. A lot of things happened in my personal life that not only forced a hiatus, but made me need to take a step back and reevaluate a lot of what I valued. So, needless to say it's been a long road for and I'm very thankful that road has allowed me to come back here and pick up one of my favorite hobbies, and a story I had many plans for. Now, given such a long break, I saw the need to take what I had and completely rewrite it too an extent. The reason not just simply because of my time away, but the changes I've made in my life that have made me see this story and my original plan for it in a different light. Hence, beginning a complete and utter rewrite of the chapter I have posted, and the ones I dug out of my logs that I was never able to post. This has been an undertaking of mine in what free time I have for many months now, but no just this story. I have stories in other fandoms that also have followers that deserve my attention for their interest in my writing and will get it. Eventually.

I have specifically chosen however, to make this story my main focus, because of my personal love for the Naruto I brought to life and my plans for him. You may have already noticed some stark differences from the original prologue, hopefully the first being this one says "prologue 1," but also many others following.

To start my explanation, first, yes there will be multiple prologue chapters to expand on the original that left many holes for me to later explain in the story. While there will still be much for me to explain of these prologues within the story, I wanted to address certain things. Namely, one reviewer's worry over Naruto being in an Iwa chuunin exams. Hopefully, I explained it in greater detail of the circumstances which brought this on and I assure you while not in the actual story, but here, that things won't be simple.

Secondly, and honestly lastly, because I want to share Naruto's experiences a bit more before we dive into the shared story of Menma and Naruto. You may have also noticed some differences for Menma that, yes, another reviewer had me take into consideration.

Anyway, I don't quite know where I was going with the explaining but if you have questions feel free to message me and I will get back to you as soon as I'm able. Otherwise, please review, follow and favorite so that you can follow me on this journey. Thanks guys!