Naruko: The Story Redone
Prologue 1: Kushina
3 years ago Kushina was the wife of a great man. To be exact, he had been Namikaze Minato, the 4th Hokage of Konohagakure. Kushina had been happy, she was surrounded by people who she loved and who loved her back. She was an expecting mother. She was even a respected ninja in her new home village as well.
Of course, none of this meant that she didn't have some less then happy things in her life. Everyone from her clan was either dead or so far scattered across the Elemental Nations that her chances or reuniting with them were always dwindling. When she was sent to Konoha, it was to take the place of Uzumaki Mito as Konoha's jinchuuriki. Sadly she had become the vessel of the Kyuubi, a demon fox that was made of hatred and anger.
But all of that was until October 10th three years ago. On that day, Kushina went into labor. Normally labor would have been a usual affair, however because she was a jinchuuriki the effort of child birth could lead to the seal keeping the Kyuubi in her to weaken and even break. So she had been taken to a hidden location where she was watched over by her husband, to keep the seal in place, and two midwives to see her through the struggle. Child birth went off smoothly, not accounting for the screaming and flared temper often included in the process, and with Minato there, the seal stayed in place.
Over the 9 months of pregnancy Minato and Kushina took great effort in thinking of a name for their child, but were unable to think of one. That was until now, Kushina had just been given the tiny wrapped bundle that held her blonde haired baby girl and she could feel her heart melting right there. This is when Kushina decided on the name; Namikaze Naruko. She knew that there was no other option, it was just the right name and she could tell. Minato gently took Naruko from his wife, and handed the baby to one of the midwives before turning to Kushina and praising her.
With all the joy she and Minato were experiencing, they both failed to notice when a stranger in a robe and mask appeared in the hidden cave and killed the two midwives before taking their daughter in his arms to use her as a hostage. He began to demand that Minato step away from Kushina while holding a kunai to Naruko. Both parents could hear the malice in the man's voice, forcing Minato to obey the man's orders. After a short lived confrontation between the man and Minato, ending with Minato using his Hiraishin to get Naruko away from the danger, the masked man began to try and pull the Kyuubi from its host. As soon as Naruko was safe Minato returned to the cave and interrupted the man's attempts and stopped the unsealing, before moving his wife to the same location as a now crying Naruko.
Once mother and child were together Minato began to hunt for the masked man back in the area of the cave. He found the man in question in a clearing quite a distance away from the cave. Both men were angry and more than ready to fight. During this exchange Minato was able to discover that the man had a Mangekyo Sharingan which allowed the masked man to perform some type of space-time jutsu involving moving his physical, but not visual, presence to some kind of unreachable pocket as well as moving targets of his choice. The fight was slowly reaching a stand still until the masked man tried for the second time to send Minato into the pocket dimension while they both fought hand to hand. It was at this point that Minato created a shadow clone with no seals to stay behind while pulling the man with him into the dimension. Once both men where in the dimension Minato used one of his three pointed kunai to take out the masked man's eye and destroy it.
Back in the world left behind, Kushina had followed the feeling of Minato's chakra to the clearing where she found the clone, that then told her of the fight and Minato's plan to hopefully trap the man. The Minato clone then told Kushina that if the real Minato had not returned in 1 day's time that both he and the stranger were trapped on the other plane and neither would return. He then begged her, that if that was the case, to keep going for Naruko's sake and hopefully move on with her life.
Kushina waited three days. The first day, she waited in the clearing with Naruko in her arms, watching intently with tears in her eyes. On the second day Kushina was joined by Jiraiya, Minato's teacher, as well as the 3rd Hokage, Sarutobi Hiruzen. The third day Kushina waited at home while ANBU units, having been ordered by the 3rd, held the clearing to watch for Minato's return. After these three days Minato was declared KIA against the masked man, who was presumed to share the same fate.
Late into the night of the third day, or early in the morning depending on how you see it, at 2:30AM Kushina was up writing a letter for Sarutobi, apologizing for her running away from the village with Naruko. The letter also expressed a desire to be left alone so she could raise her daughter in a safe home, away from the dangers of being a ninja. Kushina finished her letter and sealed it in an envelope. Sneaking into Hiruzen's office to leave the letter on his desk was easy as there was no one around. Kushina chose to leave Konoha through the southern gate, heading towards the Land of Waves, with Naruko strapped safely to her back.
Now with three years following that cursed but also joyous day, Kushina was in a soft green traveling dress, her hair died black rather than Henged, and kept up. Naruko was now three and holding Kushina's hand. She was wearing a light orange dress with brown shoes on her feet and her blonde hair reaching her lower back. Naruko's bright blue eyes looked over at her mother gently, reading Kushina's nervousness.
The past three years had been rough on both Uzumaki's. Kushina had tried to live as a traveling seal mistress under an assumed name but slowly watched herself fail. Over time Kushina had found that no one needed her services, except for the rare ninja in need of exploding tags or shrines wanting new sealing tags. This lead Kushina to sending Naruko away as she tried to work out deals for a place to stay, that too often devolved into fulfilling a man's baser desire. Kushina would not lie to herself, she felt like a failure each time. However she wanted to stay away from Konoha, the village she often used as bedtime stories for Naruko, as long as possible.
After all that, this had to be Kushina's biggest failing yet, or so she thought, as she looked at the sign over the door in front of her. The sign read, in gaudy neon yellow letters, "The Golden Garden" on a red backing. This building was Kushina's last hope before she would have to return to Konoha in shame, even though she was sure she would never be able to respect herself again. The Golden Garden is a brothel/hostess club which caters to many desires and needs from simple food and beverages with musical entertainment, to more explicit services. 'Honestly this entire village seems like a place Jiriaya would come for research,' Kushina thought when she had first come in off the road.
The Golden Garden is located in Koriyo village, a small village between Konoha and Land of Waves. Koriyo had been an average, well off farming village before the Golden Garden came around. After that, the entire village was slowly bought up by other brothels. This mass land grab was because Koriyo was the meeting place of 10, often busy, roads used by merchants and other traders. After about 4 years there was nothing but brothels in the village, this lead to Koriyo earning a second name that was vaguely ninja like; the name being "Village Bathed in Neon." The businesses here all catered to one desire or another, including one that provided "ninja girls," who were just normal girls taught to use chakra for Henge purposes to attract more clients.
Kushina gripped Naruko's hand a bit tighter as she stepped towards the door, only to be stopped by a man's voice calling out to her, "I don't know who you are, but this is no place to take a child with you." She looked in the direction of the voice, failing to believe that she could miss the tall man standing there. He wore a dark skin tight sleeveless shirt and slightly baggie pants with several pockets on the legs as well as arm warmers that were in a fading cow print fashion. This man was, to be honest, quite handsome even if he was missing both his eyebrows and his hair was kept short but wild.
Kushina could tell by just looking at him, this man was a ninja. It was in every fiber of his presence, the eyes that carried the faces of killed men, the build that must have come from wielding the large sword on his back. Even the way he stood portrayed confidence in his ability. The man did not openly wear a hitai-ate so Kushina could not tell where he was from. "My apologies Shinobi-sama, however I have no one who can watch my daughter while I go inside."
The man grumbled for a bit before returning to the conversation. "Cut the 'sama' crap. My name is just Momochi Zabuza. And you still shouldn't take her in there. If you want, leave her here with me. I was hired by this place so I will be here all night." Zabuza offered in his deep voice, showing no emotion in it. Kushina was shocked to hear his name, there was no reason that she knew of for one of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist to be in this village without displaying his allegiance to Kirigakure.
"Thank you Momochi-san, my name is Kobayashi Hitomi. While I appreciate your offer, I could never ask a shinobi of Kirigakure to do such a thing." Kushina responded, trying to draw more information from the Swordsman. At this Naruko squeezed her hand, drawing her attention to meet Naruko's eyes. "Yes honey?"
"I'll be okay kaa-san. I will stay with Moo-kun." Naruko said in her soft voice, her blue eyes expressing her will. She then looked at Zabuza and greeted him in a polite bow, "Hello! My name is Kobayashi Naruko and it is nice to meet you." Naruko states as she comes out of the bow. Kushina is glad that Naruko used the false last name she had come up with when she started her long journey.
At this, Zabuza sighed and waved the girl to his side so they could wait. "I will be back out to collect my daughter shortly Momochi-san. You better make sure she stays safe." Kushina says waiting for some kind of recognition on Zabuza's part before getting a small nod from the man. With this Kushina opens the door to the Golden Garden and requests to speak with the owner of the business, a slightly older woman refered to as "Orchid Ayame."
It takes Kushina an hour to explain why she wants to work at the Golden Garden, saying it is so Naruko can have a roof over her head and warm food. Before the owner agrees to give her the job, Ayame goes over how the Garden operates as well as the roles every girl fills. All people who live there work there also, that means Naruko will as well after she turns 5. Naruko will start off as what the Garden calls a Poppy, any girl under the age of 15, who act as musicians for guests. Ayame then goes on to explain the other roles; Lillies are the hostesses, Daffodils are the singers, Lotus are dancers, Roses serve as the prostitutes, and the Orchid is always the Mama-san.
With Kushina's hesitant agreement to all the terms, which comes with a promise that Naruko will not have to be a Rose if she doesn't want to be, she is given a job as well as a room for her and Naruko. Kushina then goes outside to collect Naruko, and finds her blonde daughter talking Zabuza's ear off about all the places she has visited. Naruko is just about to tell the man her dream of being a ninja when Kushina interrupts her and tells her about their new home.