Disclaimer: BLAH BLAH BLAH
Story written & developed by Nightmares Around Winter.
Author Note: So I saw that there were a LOT of these 'their life is a video game' type of stories before and I thought I'll try my own hand at it and see what other's reactions would be and... well speaking as a gamer since the ole 64 Nintendo days I felt that I'm culturally obligated to at least TRY. So with that out of the way, I hope you enjoy this short chapter and please leave a review telling us what you want to see with this story. Please also note that there will be REFRENCES to other anime and video games, NOT full-on crossovers but REFRENCES, and one OC but luckily they won't be in the story THAT much.
"Demonic/out worldly voices or thoughts"
(Author's Note/Translation) The ANs are that are numbered are at the bottom.
Chapter 1: Please Press Start
Pure, horrid darkness. Blank, hollow nothingness. That was all Naruto could see, all that Naruto could hear. He couldn't tell if his eyes were open or closed or if he had been here for a few days or weeks or months or even years since the pure void made such things confusing. He shivered in the cold as he pressed his back into the corner, or at least he thought it was a corner, with his arms wrapped around himself in an attempt to save his body heat. He almost longed to be back in the belly of the snake that ate him when he was in the Forest of Death during the second part of the Chuunin Exams.
He didn't know why he stopped when the reptile swallowed him whole. The one thought that went through his head was 'Why?' Why didn't he try harder? Why didn't he fight? Why didn't he try to cut his way out with a kunai? Why didn't he burst the snake open from the inside by mass cloning himself? Why did he freeze? Why did his muscles stop working as if death stalled them? Why is he here in this black room? Why wasn't there anyone else here? WHY WAS HE IN HELL?!
He mashed his head against a wall in frustration; he felt blood go down his face. He reached up and ran a hand through his hair and felt the hot blood on his hand. At least it felt good; he had the insane idea of smearing the blood on his arms and face like it would heat him up but soon cast that idea out like the insane raving it was.
His eyes started to well up but he refused to let tears go down his face. He was better than that, much better than the others gave him credit for. He then started wondering if he would be missed or not though in his stomach he knew for a fact that it was a definite NO. The Hokage will shed a tear or two for him but his job to the village and his own family would take over. Iruka would be depressed but soon get over it. Sasuke wouldn't care, that was obvious. Sakura...well...she had Sasuke and she was more than quick enough to tell him that he was useless and replaceable and Kami knows that other villagers would be happy that he's gone.
That was one thing about this room: The sheer, insanity-causing solitude was a lot better than those hateful glares and harsh whispers about him when he wasn't looking...though not by much. He felt the cold creep into his spine causing him to shiver lightly. He wondered how he didn't get hypothermia or how he had not frozen to death..wait...he's already dead. Dead things don't die...unless they come to life and were never dead in the first place but then again...the room was messing with his thoughts again as he slammed his head against the same wall again.
He felt the blood once again go down his head bathing his face with warmness. Like a yoke from an egg...hehehe...egghead. He heard a faint click in the distance causing his eyes to open fast as a harsh light burned his eyes. He yelled in pain as he rubbed his eyes before looking up, making sure to not looking directly at the light source. His underused eyes looked at the blurry figure coming towards him. Strange though no sound could be heard from the person, no footsteps, no rustling of cloths, not even the sound of breath.
His eyes corrected themselves as he soon came face to face with the familiar scared face and high, spiky ponytail hair of Iruka. Naruto was shocked as he slowly stood up. "I-Iruka?" He said as he reached for him. Iruka's expression was so...monotone for lack of a better word. It was the same expression a person would give to a stranger. Naruto paid it no thought as he smiled widely. "Iruka!" He shouted as he ran to embrace the brotherly figure but was shocked as he passed right through it.
Naruto's eyes went wide as he looked back at Iruka only to see a black silhouette appear then reform into Iruka. Naruto jumped back in fear as he stared at the figure. "W-What the HELL ARE YOU?!" He shouted.
The Iruka imposter bowed lightly. "I apologize, but as you can tell I am not the one you call Umino Iruka."
"No shit!" He shouted as he started to step away. "You...You oni! You're an oni! Here to torment me!? Aren't you!?"
"Oni: an aggressive being often depicted as a demon with horns. Often uses a kanabo in Japanese myths," it said as he came closer to him. "No, I am not such a thing."
"OH SUUUURE YOU AREN'T! I TOTALLY BELIVE YOU!" Naruto snapped as his mind raced with insane thoughts. "Then what are YOU IF NOT AN ONI?! A DRAGON? A MONKEY-MAN? THAT THING THAT HIDES IN MY CLOSET?!"
"I am none of those. I am a simulation like you," it said.
Naruto just kept staring back at him till his back hit the wall. "A-A what? What's a simulation?!"
"That is unimportant. All that I can easily tell you at this time is that I am here to offer you a second chance at an improved life with more benefits that you can't even think off." The fake Iruka said.
Naruto just stared at him with a confused and suspicious glare. "What are you talking about?" He said. "What's your name?"
"The world that you knew is a highly advanced virtual reality designed to amuse others. In other words, a game. I can provide ways to not only improve your life in this second time, but to help me as well," fake Iruka said.
"Help you? How?" Naruto asked as he relaxed and crossed his arms.
"As you can tell, I am not really Iruka. My name is Graphical Enhancement and Programming Editorial Worker, though most prefer to call me G.E.P.E.W. or Gepew. My duty is to fix graphical and programming errors known as 'glitches' when they first appear so they will not show up again. As you go through your second life, you will encounter these glitches and you will have to report them to me. More glitches will show up when you use things called 'exploits' and enter codes that will grant you more benefits."
"So...you basically want to help...because it will give you something to do?" Naruto asked.
Naruto noticed how the eyes turned bright blue and saw lines of white ones and zeros flash in his eyes before turning normal. "Yes...more or less. Now do you wish to help me?"
"Yes," Naruto said instantly. "Get me out of here."
"Good, but there are some questions I need to ask of you before we go on." Gepew said as several screens flashed into existence. A large one had his face, both profiles and him looking forward. The others had several sliders or adjusters with words like 'Eye Color' or 'Chin Width' written above them. "Are you happy with your current appearance?"
Naruto looked on with shock. "You could do that?" Gepew nodded as he shifted one of the sliders. Naruto gasped as he watched his skin turned darker and darker till it was ebony and then watch again as his skin became paler then snow before going to normal and gasped as his nose grew to a full six inches in length and shrunk into a button then to normal.
"If you want I can also change your gender?"
"NO! NO!" Naruto shouted in horror. "I'm fine the way I am. Thank you."
"Okay," Gepew said as the screens went away only to get replaced by one that had Naruto's name on the top and the rest read as the following:
Strength-6: Physical strength. Higher strength means more powerful Taijutsu strikes and can carry heavier weapons and more items into missions.
Agility-4: Speed and Flexibility. Higher agility means faster strikes and an increased chance to dodge on-coming attacks.
Intelligence-3: Mental Strength. Higher intelligence means advanced learning abilities, strength against genjutsu, and increased chakra control. It also allows the creation of weapons, traps and puppets along with tactical knowledge.
Charisma-5: Personality Strength. Higher charisma means you are more popular with other people and earn a discount in every store. It also allows the ability to access certain benefits unlocked by completing certain speech checks.
Endurance-7: Physical Durability. Higher endurance means the more damage the character can take without blacking out or dying.
Perception-5: Senses Strength. Higher perception means the more the character can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. It also gives the ability to detect traps, ambushes, and other things that may or may not harm the character.
Chakra-10: Chakra level. Higher chakra means the more chakra the character has in general which can be used in jutsu.
Luck-10: Chance. Higher luck means the more likely a random event will happen in the character's favor.
Gepew looked up at him. "Is there anything you want to modify in your attributes?"
Naruto looked at the numbers as a thought came into his head. "Can you...by any chance make them all maxed?" He asked. "After all, it would be a head start on those glitches you want fixed." Gepew nodded as a new screen came up, a black one that reminded Naruto of the black room he was confined to. He saw that there words where in it before going away again. All the numbers jumped up to ten and Naruto soon felt a rush of power go into him as he started to flash a bright blue. Naruto gasped at that and looked at his hands as if he could see the difference. He sighed in shock."That. Felt. AWESOME!" Naruto said excitedly. "Can you improve anything else?!" He asked.
Gepew nodded as screens with more numbers and words came up. Naruto saw that they all said things like Ninjutsu, Genjutsu, Puppetry and others. "I'm afraid I cannot change the level of your skills to their max, but I can, however, put them all at fifty. Which is a lot more then you would need starting off. Plus, I will teach you how to exploit the system so you will get them maxed out before too long. You won't feel much of a difference as opposed to maxing out the attributes."
"Do it!" Naruto said as he watched all the skills go up to level fifty. He felt nothing like Gepew said but lightly felt more confident and... bold for lack of a better word. "Right, so what else is there?"
"We have to determine your persona and targeted starting point." Gepew answered as some more screens appeared.
Naruto noted all the words that described his current personality: wild, energetic, annoying, loud, unpredictable and brave. Overall intelligence level was shown as a solid 87. "HEY! I'M NOT LOUD AND ANNOYING!" Gepew expression changed for once to a light glare at him. Naruto crossed his arms and said nothing in return.
"...So I take it that you don't want to change your personality? Very well then. How about your home village?" Gepew asked as its expression changed back to its dull, uncaring state.
Naruto was silent, he did have some friends. He would surely miss Hiruzen, Ayame, Teuchi and Iruka...the REAL Iruka. Yet those cold stares burning into his back and eyes like dry ice came to mind. He didn't want to go back, not when he had a chance at a better life. While all he wanted was to be accepted by them, he knew that he didn't need their approval but his own. He would regret leaving those who did care for him, so he made a promise that he would come back to Konoha one day as a guest and see how they would react to him as a stranger. "Yes." He said.
"Very well, I can send you to any of the hidden villages. From the major superpowers such as Kumogakure and Kirigakure and Sunagakure to the smaller ones like Takigakure or Yukigakure. Is there anywhere that you will want to live in? It's also important to understand that some hidden villages have certain talents and special skills and clans so if you-."
"I don't care...you pick one." Naruto said as he clenched his fist in renewed determination. "Either way, I will be the kage of that village! Be it Konoha or Suna or even Kiri!"
Gepew was silent as it resumed typing, "...Done. One last thing, do you wish to activate the Random Paradox Coding?"
"'Random Paradox Coding?'" Naruto repeated.
Gepew nodded, "It is a name given to a series of coding that, when activated, will ensure that the player will never have the same exact world twice. By shifting the balance of powers between villages and changing the landscape to better suit the names. It will also shift the positions of clans as well as rewrite events passed to reflect these changes in history. It will also change your relationships prior to the start of your game."
"So...in other words, everything will change."
"Mostly, save for the exact shape of the map. Everything else will including the topography and political power."
"Well...I've already committed to starting a new life, so...sure. Activate it." Naruto answered.
Gepew nodded as a screen appeared, in red letters the letters 'RPC' appeared. "I must inform you that you will be the only one who will remember such a change. No one else will. It may disturb or confuse you."
Gepew nodded as as he pressed on the screen. Gepew was silent as he resumed typing, "...Done." He said as a white bar with black words that read 'PLEASE PRESS START'. "Press the button and we will get started."
Naruto nodded as he clicked on it. In a bright flash Naruto was gone leaving Gepew alone. Gepew shifted out of the Iruka skin and turned into a black, inky ball. It brought up the personality tablet. With a sound that was too similar to an electronic screech the words on it changed to form a new personality before disappearing.
So that's the end of the first chapter, we hope you enjoyed it and thank you for voting on which story would be. The second most voted story will be published later on. Till then please leave a review telling us what you think will change as a result of the Random Paradox Coding.