Naruto 18

Chapter 1

Heavy panting was all that could be heard, as a child leaned against the base of a mighty oak. A pair of hard cobalt eyes shown through the night, as he eyed the forest behind him. Warily observing the shadows for any hint of pursuit.

Once the boy was satisfied with his search, he allowed himself the chance to relax. Sitting down between two large roots, the boy looked up to the moon.

Tonight, he has done it. He left the wretched orphanage. Tears tracked down his face, as joy racked his small body. He was free, free from his oppressors, tormentors, and captors.

He now had an issue; the boy had no training in survival. He lived his entire life within that accursed building. Except for recently, he rarely ever witnessed the light of day. A majority of his memories derived from the broom closet. This room was his prison. Never being allowed out, the boy only received the smallest of glimpses of the world outside. Though, these moments were only brought on by his tormentors.

They would only grace him with their presence when it was time to retrieve his waste bucket or to provide him with rancid food and water. Never did they enter without purpose. On one occasion, the child had attempted to flee, only for them to beat him within an inch of his life when he failed. On occasion, they would beat him without cause. At least to him, there wasn't a reason that he could discern.

It was the last bout of torment that finally pushed him over the edge. The small boy coughed up blood as he laid broken on the floor. His face and body were swelling with bruises. A half-lidded eye looked up to see his oppressor. His gaze was apathetic to the situation at hand. Suppressing his emotions and pain, he showed nothing to the woman before him. Knowing that it would please her if he did.

"You dare look at me with such eyes you wretch!" stated a relatively young woman with a sneer. "It's all your fault!" The woman emphasized these words with a kick to the ribs, while the image of her late husband entered her mind. The child grunted in pain but didn't react otherwise. She stood there above him. Anger soon became irritation as she failed to get a rise out of the child. The only sound being the wheezing and labored breaths of the boy below her.

With a glare, she spat at his crumpled form. With that, she turned around and walked out of the door. She made sure to latch the door with her departure. On the other side waited another caretaker. "How'd it go Himari?" Said woman looked at her colleague. Her temper slowly diminishing as most of it was spent on the demon. She sighed as she reached for a towel "As usual, Maiya." Said Himari, as she wiped any residual blood from her person. Maiya nodded, satisfied by her answer.

She began walking down the hall with Himari at her side. "Lady Kudo has decided to take the children out to the park today." Merrily stated Maiya. Himari smiled at the prospect. "The kids would love that. Have their lunches been prepared yet?" Himari asked her friend with a turn of her head. "Yes, we did so while you were occupied. It didn't feel right to interrupt you on your anniversary." Stated Maiya. "Thanks, I needed that."

Back in the closet laid the broken and disfigured form of the young lad. The youngster wiped off the saliva from his cheek, before pushing himself back up. He propped his form against the wall adjacent to the door. He stared at it with a blank face. It wasn't till he was certain that the tormentors wouldn't return, did he allow tears to fall from his eyes. He'd had it. Anger, despair, pain and so much more stormed within his mind. He glared at the door that barred him his freedom. He didn't know why they hurt him, but he would be damned if he didn't do anything about it.

He was aware that they wouldn't return to his domain anytime soon. He recalled the term park. He didn't know what it meant, but he knew that no one would be present for quite some time. Not only that, but they wouldn't enter his cell for another seven footfalls. Unknowingly, he had developed the concept of days or nights. Able to measure the passing time through the bouts of activity and inactivity.

Thinking things through, he realized if he wanted to leave the best time to do so was now. It took considerably longer for his caretakers to return when the went to a park. If he wanted to escape, now was the opportune time to do so. Now he just needed to formulate and enact it. Once out, he knew they wouldn't take note of his departure till another seven footfalls.

Searching around, he found nothing he could use. The only things he had at his disposal were his provisions and a bucket. Carefully the child observed his surrounding's some more, before resting his head back onto the wall. A headache was keeping him from thinking clearly. Though with time, he knew it would dissipate into nothing. The four-year-old sighed as he laid onto his side, facing the opposing wall.

The boy slowly reached out to touch the barrier that enclosed him. Sorrow encompassed him as he quietly sobbed in despair. He placed his hand onto the coarse timber. Absentmindedly feeling it for no other reason than to pass the time and occupy his mind.

His fingers traced the bands of the lumber. Doing so till he felt a splinter dig into his finger. WIth a hiss, the boy retracted his hand in surprise. His eyes focused onto the offending shard. This wouldn't be the first time he had come across the nuisance. The lad reached for it and began to trace the protrusion with his fingers. Curiosity seeped into him as he tugged on the shard.

With a little more effort, a snap occurred. The boy's eyes widened in surprise as he held a piece of the wall within his hand. Observing the splinter within his grasp, the child looked up to analyze what he had accomplished. Straightening himself up, the youngster focused onto the fissure he had created.

The child attempted to repeat the action with marginal success. Only able to remove a couple of small fragments over the past few minutes. Looking at the results of his labor, he spotted seven small splinters on the ground. With sore fingers, he laid back to think over this new development.

The little boy contemplated on this new information. He couldn't claw his way through the wall as he had hoped. At least not at the pace required to do so. Slowly standing up, the child limped towards the door that barred him from freedom. He had studied this door on many occasions. The only thing that had ever stood out to him was the minute hole in the handle. He had always wondered about its purpose.

Looking at the splinters in his hand, he began to ponder on a way to use them. After minutes of contemplation, a peculiar thought caught his attention. He picked up the timber fragments. Analyzing the pieces in his hand, the child picked the thinnest piece. Carefully, he placed shard into the hole, pushing it through till it stopped. The piece had widened near the base. He pulled the piece out to inspect it.

After some deliberation, the boy peeled and chewed on the splinter, reforming its dimensions. He then eased the stick back into the opening. The sliver hit the back of the knob, causing him to cock his head in confusion. Attempting to discern its purpose, the boy began to fiddle with it. He then froze when he felt it give ever so slightly when it was turned. This action was only reinforced when he heard the bolt in the door wiggle as well.

He placed his ear onto the door, as he hesitantly began to turn the sliver once more. This time he could hear the inner workings slide along with it. Do to his excitement he turned it with more force. The lad's elation quickly transformed into horror. He looked to the broken splinter within his hand. Searching the knob, he found the second piece stuck within the little chamber. With some effort, he was able to pry the second half out of the hole.

He sighed in relief before refocusing on the task at hand. He took another shard and shaped it to the required shape. He cautiously slid the new splinter into the chamber of the knob. The boy hesitated before taking on a determined look. This time, he wouldn't allow his emotions to influence his actions. This time he would be careful.

Gradually, the splinter turned within the hole; he could feel the end catch. Ever so gently he rotated the sliver. This lasted no more than a few seconds, yet it felt like hours had passed. Then with a click, the tension left. He pulled his head back from the knob to get a better look at it. He instantly noticed that the splinter was turned entirely to its side.

The little boy stepped back to analyze the situation. The child took note of the sound the handle he had just made. With an apprehensive raise of his hand, he grasped the knob. Unlike his other attempts to turn the handle, this time it turned. Unable to withhold himself anymore, the boy threw open the door.

Blinded by the light, the boy stumbled back and fell onto his rear. Minutes passed by before he was able to squint and partially see through the light. He made his way to his feet. Without hesitation, he stepped out into the light.

Outside of the room, he looked to either side to find himself in a hallway. Looking back, he observed the room behind him. For as far as he could remember, this little room has been his home. No, this was his prison, not his home. With that, the child closed the door, vowing never to be placed within it again. Taking a closer look at the handle, the boy found a dial sticking out from the knob. After some deliberation, he turned the dial. With a click, the knob would no longer turn.

He stared at the device. Realizing that such a simple mechanism has bared him his freedom for so long. Misty-eyed, he turned toward the right. Leaving his past life behind him, never turning back.

Walking forward, he came across another set of doors. Opening the first, he found himself surrounded by many multiple cribs. Having never seen such things, he didn't understand their purpose. The child searched throughout the rooms. The youngster attempted to decipher the uses of the items held within. He found a plethora of bags, bottles, soft wrappings, etc. During his exploration, he made sure not to disturb his surroundings.

The blond continued his travels to the next rooms. He found them remarkably similar to the first. The cribs were replaced by bunk beds, while the rooms d├ęcor were vibrant and unique in color. One seemed to be accented with pinks, the other with blue. He had seen a few of these colors displayed on the clothing of his captors. Walking into the rooms, the child walked up next to the beds. He placed a hand on them and found the pads to be quite soft. He wasn't sure as to what their purpose would be, so he left to explore the ret of the room. To the side of the beds, he found drawers. Stepping up to one, he pulled on the knobs. Within he found similar garments to that of his tormentors. Looking into each of the drawers, he found many types of apparel. Glancing to his naked form, he decided against doing anything just yet.

He left these rooms to continue his search. Two more doors were placed before him. Within them, the boy found himself in clean and tiled rooms. Though he froze when he entered, another person was present in the bathroom. But, after minutes without movement, the child twitched. When he moved, so did the other. This action, in turn, created confusion. He made a couple more gestures to test the other child within the glass. The other boy had mimicked every maneuver. Looking down at himself, he then realized something, the boy within the glass not only mimicked him but had similar features to him. That was the moment when he realized that he was, in fact, the boy in the mirror. They shared the same filth and marks on their person.

That is when he took note to his appearance. He looked disheveled. His body caked in dirt, grime, and blood. His hair plastered with filth and an unkempt mess. The child himself seemed displeased with his appearance. Deciding he had spent enough time on himself, he began to analyze the sinks, showers, and toilets. Once he discovered that they dispensed water, he took the opportunity to quench his thirst. The orphan savored the sensation for as long as he would allow it. Knowing his time was limited, he went off to explore the rest of the compound. Throughout the structure, he had come across many other closets and rooms. It was when he found the kitchen he rejoiced internally. His eyes had lit up when he stumbled upon the food and beverages within the pantry and refrigerator. With great care, he made sure not to disturb or make a mess of the area. With restraint, he ate. The child didn't want his caretakers to find out that he had escaped before he was far from this place.

He savored the meals. Through trial and error, he figured out that many of the foods were surrounded by a protective layer. He quickly discerned they were designed to keep everything clean and organized. Once he was through, he concluded that he had no way of disposing of the evidence. Though, the situation was quickly remedied once he had discovered the trash can.

The boy ensued his movement about the house. He needed to move quickly he knew that the others spent a considerable amount of time out when they left. But, they weren't all the same. At times it would be quick, while at others it would take a considerable amount of time. Probing through the final rooms, he came across one with many desks. The room held many strange and colorful symbols and images littered across the walls.

Looking around, he found shelves seemingly overflowing with objects. Walking over to it, he analyzed the items. Curious about their purpose and abundance, he picked one up. With great care, he opened one. Within, he was surprised to see a mix of pictures and symbols. Looking through he could see pictures of a child playing outside. He witnessed many strange structures that the child seemingly played on with others. It was an interesting thing to observe.

Moving on to another book, he found another child eating with what looked like older versions of herself. After going through the two books, he had learned many things. They may have appeared insignificant to others, but to him they were gold minds. He had already grasped how people ate, a little on interactions, and so much more. The foundling wondered if the others were interacting with each other as shown in the picture books.

He made it his mission to look through all of the books held within these shelves before he left. Though, he was ultimately disappointed by his lack of understanding, when it came to the symbols. This displeasure only increased when he came across small novels made entirely of these symbols. He went about spending his time researching life through this treasure trove of knowledge. He learned the uses of the many things held within this orphanage. He discovered the uses of the many rooms, machines, and objects.

Slowey but surely, a plan formulated within his mind. He needed to find surplus and unused items he could take. But first, he wanted to take a shower, and put some clothes on his person. Now that he understood that everyone wore them, it felt off-putting not to do likewise.

Reentering the bathroom, he glanced at his appearance in the mirror. He is stepping in front of the shower, anxious about the experience. He looked toward the knobs, knowing that they operated the machine. With a couple of tries, he had learned that one brought on hot water while the other was cold. With the use of his hand, he was able to gauge it to a preferable temperature.

Once he had entered, the child couldn't help but relax. He had never experienced anything quite like it. THe foundling sat down and watched the dirt, grime, and blood wash away. After minutes of this, he decided to follow what the book instructed him to do. More and more filth was expunged from his body. After half an hour of enjoying the sensation, he decided to depart from the activity. Quickly drying himself off, he went back to the kitchen to prepare for his leave.

Though, before he could depart from the room, he paused once more to see himself in the mirror. Surprised that he no longer looked like a monstrosity but like an ordinary boy. He did notice that there was something off by his appearance. Unlike the other children he had seen in the books, he had three lines marking either cheek. Were these lines the reason for his treatment? He couldn't comprehend such a thing but accepted that hiding his appearance might be for the best. With that though he left to accumulate his supplies.

He began the collection of materials with the kitchen. He went to the pantry and placed a hefty sum of prepackaged snacks onto the table. The child then progressed to the dormitories. He went after clothing that fit him, or that was larger than him. He had learned that he would grow. Since he didn't know when he would be able to acquire them later, the boy decided to do so now. The child made sure to not take to many from either drawer, not caring as to who he acquired it from.

After his plundering, he decided to wear a few of the items he had gathered. The blond had put on a green t-shirt, khaki shorts, and a pair of sandals.

Going back to the kitchen table, he began to place the clothes and assortment of materials he scavenged on top of it. The boy also made sure to obtain caps and scarfs to his collection. They would be useful in moving among others without being noticed. Soon enough the table had a pile of food, clothing, hygiene products, and a pillow and blanket. With that taken care of, he went to the kitchen drawers and acquired him some knives and utensils.

Now with his stash complete, he now had to discern a method of carrying it out with him. He had no desire to return to this place once he left. Not to mention the risk of returning while his caretakers returned as well. With that in mind, he left to look for a bag. He had seen them around, and the books showed that they were designed to store and carry items around.

With haste, he searched the closets that he had previously seen them stored within. Finding a backpack and a duffle bag, the four-year-old began to place the supplies within them.

With everything finally placed upon his person, he gave the place one final look.

Observing the inside of the orphanage. This was his hell, and now he was free from it. With those final thoughts, he went to the rear of the building; he remembered an exit that showed that was close to the tree line. He planned on using it to hide his escape. The child didn't know if there were any other individuals outside of the compound. Walking up to the door, he opened it. The fresh air and a breeze is what greeted him. He inhaled the air, hesitation seeping into him. Though, once he exhaled all thoughts of indecision left him. All that was left was determination. With that, the child stealthily maneuvered himself to the safety of the foliage.

At that moment a, withered and powerful, man sat upon the throne of Konoha. It wasn't the chair nor the desk that made it similar to a throne. No, it was the power he held politically and in combat that made it a throne. At this precise moment, nothing happened. Not a thing told the Hokage that something went amiss. Hirizune did not feel a disturbance, nor did he get notified of the departure of one whiskered blond.

"Hokage sama, one Fugaku Uchiha is here to see you." Said the Hokages aid. The elderly Sarutobi sighed in displeasure. "Let him in Akiko." Stated Hirizune. This was an issue that took up most of his mental faculties, the devolving situation with the Uchiha Clan. With that said. The Uchiha Clan head entered his office with a frown on his face. "We have much to discuss Hokage Sama." With a reserved nod, Hirizune motioned for Fugaku to take a seat. He did so without hesitation, and with that, the meeting commenced.

A few hours later the instructors returned with their children in tow. Outside of seeing a few items out of place, there was no record of the four-year-old ever escaping the facility. The items out of place were common amongst the residents. When in the presence of kids, things were bound to be out of place. They were none the wiser, and it would remain as such for now.