Chapter 2. A New Life
(Naruto age- 12)
It's been four years since Naruto had obtained his Devil Fruit abilities. By eating the Kaze Kaze no Mi and to say the blond had made progress was an understatement. In fact Naruto had nearly mastered every aspect of his fruit's abilities. Thanks to his father's rigorous training, Naruto has been able to accomplish amazing feats.
For example, Naruto could turn his body completely invisible; an ability which made his pranking much easier. Though even more impressive was his new found ability to fly. A skill which he would constantly boast about. Saying things such as who needs to swim when you can fly.
However flight and invisibility weren't the extent of the Kaze Kaze no Mi. In fact Naruto had managed to learn how to craft powerful gusts of wind; which were sharper than any blade.
These wind attacks were powerful, but Naruto still had developed one skill more deadly than the rest. An attack that Naruto discovered completely by accident while training one day. This was the skill to drain all the oxygen out of an area around him. Suffocating all that would be within his range.
His father had labeled this attack as too dangerous for training. Only to be used should Naruto need to kill his opponent. Naruto was a little upset at first, thinking his father's rule would hinder the growth of his Kaze Kaze no Mi, but eventually he gave in.
Besides Naruto also had to focus on his swordsmanship. An area of practice that his father took more serious than anything else. Rayleigh was such a stickler for Naruto's sword progression that the blond grew very talented with his sword at a very rapid pace.
This was mainly due to the fact that Rayleigh, wanted Naruto to be exceptionally strong. Mostly because he knew his son's ambition to be a pirate; which was a dangerous lifestyle. Plus if anyone ever discovered Naruto was his son. Along with the rest of his heritage. Things would be much worse for him than any normal pirate.
For now however, Naruto wouldn't be setting sail for a long time. Kushina had made it very clear that her son must be at least seventeen, before he could begin his travels.
So for now, Naruto was stuck in the same boring Sabaody Archipelago, where he has spent his entire life. Doing the same routine day in and day out. Train with with his father Rayleigh in the mornings. Then in the afternoons he would study basic knowledge of the world with Kushina.
He would cover mostly dull subjects like world history, navigation, laws of the world and also touch up on his reading and writing skills. Though not surprising enough, Naruto excelled greatly in everything he did. Which made Kushina very happy, always going on about how great of a teacher she was. Regardless that the only reason Naruto did so well was because he was a flat out genius.
Though currently Naruto's routine was shifted off balance. His father had departed to a far off island to gather supplies. While Naruto was left on the Sabaody Archipelago with Kushina. This unfortunately meant no training for Naruto, but his mother was also kind enough to cancel their lessons for a few days.
In exchange however, Naruto had to stand in for Rayleigh. By helping his mother with an assortment of chores. This being the reason for the blond dragging a large number of shopping bags, which were suspended in the air by bubbles.
"Kaa-chan are we done shopping yet?" Naruto whined, causing his mother's head to slowly turn around.
Kushina eyed her son with a critical eye, her motherly gaze causing him to shutter. "Don't complain Naru-chan we are almost done. Besides I know you're wanting to run off. So you can play with that little mermaid friend of yours." Kushina added in with a sigh, then by crossing her arms she began to walk off. "All you two ever do is get into trouble."
"But Kaa-chan it's not Camie's fault people are always trying to capture her!" Naruto shouted back, defending his friend.
"Yes I know Naru-chan, but that doesn't mean you have to nearly kill everyone who attempts to take her." Kushina replied casually, holding a single finger into the air and waving it back and forth. "Honestly if you would behave once in awhile. I wouldn't place so many rules on you. Like how you're forbidden from carrying Kurama around with you."
"Oi~! It's not my fault that pirate had it coming!" Naruto shouted in his own defense this time.
Kushina whipped her head around and growled. "He called you a snot nosed brat and what do you do? You sliced his arm off and tossed him into the ocean!"
"And don't forget, he also threatened to rob Aunt Shakky!" Naruto added in, placing his argument against his mother. "He had it coming!"
"That doesn't matter!"
"Yes it does!"
"No it doesn't!"
"It's totally does!"
Onlookers passed by the arguing mother and son pair with sweat drops. The two had taken up the entire street as their argument continued.
"That doesn't excuse you for nearly killing someone Naruto!" Kushina finally yelled at the top of her lungs.
"Tou-chan said it was ok." Naruto interjected casually, earning a fist to the head. "Owwww, what the hell!"
"Your Tou-san is an idiot and I'll be damned I you turn out like him." Kushina replied loudly however, her voice suddenly went very quiet. "Though you already act just like him."
"What did you say Kaa-chan?" Naruto asked, as he was unable to hear the last part.
Kushina huffed in annoyance, her son was too much like his father for her tastes. "You know what? I'm not arguing with my twelve year old son. If he should be cutting people's arms off. So let's get the rest of my shopping done."
"Alright Kaa-chan just lead the way." Naruto replied with gusto, slowly beginning to walk forward.
The two continued in relevant silence, Naruto was busy observing the streets for some potential pranks. While Kushina's eyes drifted around every which way, until she spotted a very familiar wanted poster.
Smirking as she recognized the face, Kushina looked down to her son and tapped his shoulder. "You know Naru-chan I talked with your uncle a few days ago." The mother revealed and snickered as she watched the boy's eyes lighten up.
"Ahhh really? Where is Uncle Shanks at right now? Is he still in the New World or has he decided to come back and visit?" Naruto asked each question right after one another, causing his mother to raise a hand to halt him.
"Yes really, he called and informed me that he got another increase in his bounty... That's all he said." Kushina grumbled in annoyance, she was a protective older sister. Who hated when Shanks would share every bit of information besides his well being. "He's such a baka."
"No way Kaa-chan, Uncle Shanks is the best! I can't wait to become a great pirate like him and Tou-san!" Naruto shouted happily, causing his mother to laugh.
"Sorry you are not becoming a famous pirate for a long time. So for now you're just gonna have to be my little Naru-chan." Kushina teased, ruffling her son's spiky blond hair.
Naruto retreated back from his mother's public display of affection. "Kaa-chan don't do that. People will never take me serious if you treat me like that." Naruto mumbled in embarrassment.
Kushina brought her hands to her hips and pouted. Naruto use to never care when she would show her affection in public. Though as he got older Kushina quickly realized. That he was starting to set himself off and trying to act more mature.
"Please I'm your mother and I will treat you however I see fit. So why don't you just learn to accept it." Kushina spoke with a smile plastered on her face. She wasn't going to give in any time soon.
Naruto hunched over and released a small sigh. He knew arguing against his mother could be damn near impossible sometimes. Hell his father and uncle have still to this day, never won an argument against her.
"Alright Kaa-chan whatever you say, but I have a question. How long will Tou-san be gone?" Naruto asked, casing Kushina to bring a finger to her lip. "I really want to start training with him again soon."
"Well Naru-chan it's a two month travel by boat, but since your baka of a Tou-san wanted to swim to the island and catch a boat on the way back. My guess would be about three in a half months, four at the most." Kushina answered truthfully, her attention slowly moving off her son.
"Oh that's great Kaa-chan! I can't wait till he gets back, I have a new idea for my Kaze Kaze no Mi. And I feel like I need to improve my Haki some more." Naruto admitted, but frowned as he noticed Kushina looking off into the distance. "Kaa-chan what are you looking at?" The blond quickly asked, moving his eyes to where his mother was looking.
Instantly turning red with anger, Naruto saw a sea of townsfolk parted in half. Though it wasn't the townspeople that enraged Naruto, no it's was the two oddly dressed men riding two other humans, like they were some kind of horse.
"Celestial Dragons." Naruto hissed under his breath.
Kushina wasted no time grabbing her son and jerking him to the side of the street. Then by placing a hand onto his head. she forced him onto his knees. "Remember the rule me and your Tou-san told you. No matter what these men do or how mad they make you. You are absolutely forbidden from attacking them." Kushina reiterated in a low voice, while placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Attacking pirates are one thing, but attacking someone like this is just suicide."
Naruto bit the bottom of his lip, he had always obeyed his mother and father's rule. Though he has saw personally what these men are capable of. Causing him to fear for his family, mainly his mother. She wasn't as strong as Naruto or Rayleigh.
"Alright Kaa-chan I understand." Naruto mumbled in a low voice, flinching as he heard the gasps of pain from the approaching slaves.
"Good just don't make eye contact, hopefully they will pass on and leave us be." Kushina replied in a low voice.
"Move faster you annoying shit!" One of the Celestial Dragons shouted loudly, followed by the sound of a whip cracking.
Naruto let loose a low and silent growl, his arms subconsciously turning into wind.
"Now now son be gentle on the slave. Unless you actually feel like walking on the filthy ground like a commoner." The voice of the second dragon spoke up, before unleashing an obnoxious laughter.
Naruto looked slightly up, so he could observe the men passing by. The eldest who spoke moments ago, was a large and portly man. With rosy red cheeks and dirty brown hair.
His face resembled that of a rat, thanks to his large front teeth, small eyes and triangular shaped head. The second man who Naruto presumed was his son. Resembled a younger and slimmer version of the father, but not too slim.
Suddenly Naruto's eyes grew wide as he watched the salve topple over. Causing the son to roll across the ground.
"You stupid bastard!" The son yelled, jumping to his feet and pulling out a golden pistol. "A slave who cannot serve his master is better off dead!"
"Please.. I beg-.."
A woman's scream went off in horror, while a pool of blood began to gather around the slave's head.
Naruto began to shake in rage, something his mother caught onto. So to calm the Devil Fruit user, Kushina gave his shoulder a squeeze.
However, her efforts to keep a low profile were about to suddenly vanish.
"Oh well look here what a beauty." The son spoke up, leisurely looking down at Kushina. "You can be my seventh wife. I've recently grown board of two through five."
The second man made a chuckle, but did not speak.
Kushina remained silent, refusing to raise her head. Maybe he wasn't talking to her. Or so the red haired beauty thought, no hoped.
"Look at me when I address you worm!" The man shouted, grabbing onto Kushina's jaw and lifting her head up. "I am the great Saint Kozan and you will respect me. So pronounce your undying love and loyalty to me. This is an order from your husband!"
Kushina moved her head to the side, still refusing to speak. She was in a hopeless situation.
"Why you bitch!" Kozan yelled loudly, smacking the butt of his pistol against Kushina's forehead.
"Ahhhhh!" Kushina cried in pain, falling to her side and holding her head. Praying she wasn't bleeding and if she was. Kushina at least hoped Naruto wouldn't notice.
"You stupid bitch!" Kozan roared, kicking the downed mother with great repetition. "How dare you ignore me!"
Kushina remained silent hoping the man would stop. Because if he didn't, the red haired beauty knew what her son would do.
'Please Naruto-chan remember what I told you. Look away and keep your anger under control.' Kushina thought to herself, as Kozan finally stopped his onslaught.
"Have you learned your lesson yet?" Kozan asked, rearing his foot back. Setting himself up for another strike, waiting on the woman to speak.
However, Kushina didn't reply. Her son was the one to speak up instead.
"Kaa-chan... You're bleeding." Naruto droned in a low lifeless voice. His eyes focused on the red liquid pouring through Kushina's fingers.
'Shit.' Kushina mentally cursed to herself. Things were going wrong very quickly. And now they were only going to get worse.
"Kaa-chan?" Kozan mumbled looking to Naruto with disgust. "So this bitch has a child. Well we can't have any of that."
Kozan held his gun right to Naruto's temple and smirked. "Life is ruff kid, too bad yours is going to be cut short." The Celestial Dragon mumbled darkly, slowly pulling the trigger.
The arrogant man smiled wide, but his smile instantly dropped.
Naruto let a out a smirk of his own, as the bullet passed through his body. Then by grabbing the man's shirt, Naruto turned his left fist completely black. "Let's see how much you bleed!" Naruto shouted in rage, trusting his Haki covered fist into the man's face. Shattering his helmet and sending him flying into an adjacent building.
The other Celestial Dragon jerked his head over to where his son was sent flying. Then he looked over to Naruto and grinned. "Hmm so that boy's a Logia Devil Fruit eater. A rather rare specimen to have for a slave, considering capturing one is very difficult." The elder noble spoke out to himself, showing the lack of care he had for his son. "Sakazuki I know you are still ordered to watch over us! Come out and capture this boy for me!"
Naruto looked towards the man with anger, still upset over his mother's injuries. However, now this man was spouting some nonsense about making him a slave. Naruto wasn't going to let that happen by any means.
Though the blond suddenly looked to his left. A powerful presence grabbing his attention.
"Are you positive Kaiden? He did attack your son and by doing so he broke a couple laws. And you know how I feel about lawbreakers." The voice of the newly arrived Sakazuki spoke up.
Naruto analyzed Sakazuki as he slowly approached. He was a rather tall and muscular man; with a square shaped face. He was garbed in an all dark red suit. Which at the neck had a light colored flower-patterned shirt unbuttoned showing of his tattoo. Finally he wore a standard Marine hat over his short black hair.
"Yes I'm sure, my son is an arrogant fool. Though if you feel the boy must be punished. Have his mother pay the price for him." Kaiden proposed, giving off a vile grin, pointing to the downed and bleeding Kushina.
Naruto jumped in front of Kushina, taking a defensive stance against the two men. He'd be damned if he would let either of the two hurt her.
'Dammit if only Tou-san was here. This issue would have already been resolved.' Naruto thought to himself, looking over his shoulder to his bleeding mother.
Sakazuki started to chuckle as he walked forward. "Alright I'll capture the boy and kill the woman then." The Marine revealed casually.
Naruto switched all his focus towards the man. Then by letting loose a growl he charged forward. "You're not doing shit!" The blond yelled, coating his fists with Haki. "I'll just defeat you and escape no problem!"
Sakazuki watched Naruto dash forward with a small amount of interest. "Hmmm a young child with a Logia Devil Fruit and training in Haki." The Marine analyzed, lazily catching Naruto's fist with his hand. "You're no ordinary brat, I can tell you've received training from somewhere. Though I'm curious as to where."
"Go to hell!" Naruto screamed, thrusting his Haki coated leg forward. Intending to strike that man in his side.
Sakazuki merely tossed the blond over his shoulder by his arm. Then using all his power, he slammed Naruto onto the ground. "You got spunk brat, but you're thousand years too young to fight a Vice-Admiral." Sakazuki spoke in a condescending voice, while slamming his foot into Naruto's stomach. Knocking the breath out of the small child.
"Now now Sakazuki-kun try to keep that boy in one piece. His value would go down if you were to rough him up too badly." Kaiden called out from the side.
"Don't worry I won't cripple the boy." Sakazuki replied, stomping a second time onto Naruto's chest. Causing Naruto to shriek in pain, from the superior weight crashing down onto him.
Kushina slowly rose to her knees and looked to her son. She saw the pain covering his face and the vile smirk the Vice-Admiral bore. However, her eyes drifted to the gun, which Kozan had dropped when Naruto attacked him. Reaching out with a shaking hand, Kushina grabbed the gun and held it up.
"Get the hell away from my son!" The enraged mother yelled, finally knowing nothing could be fixed now. So she did the only thing she could think of, she pulled the trigger. Doing so with enough accuracy to hit where the man's heart was located.
Then she fired again and again, never stopping until the gun clicked empty.
Sakazuki reminded still, his hat over shadowing his eyes. A red liquid visibly leaking out of multiple bullet holes. However, this liquid wasn't blood.
"Wha-... What are you?" Kushina gasped, looking at the Marine with fear.
"I'm a Devil Fruit user, just like this brat right here. Though I ate the Magu Magu no Mi, which made me a magma man." Sakazuki revealed, bending down to grasp down onto Naruto's neck.
"Let... go of... me." Naruto wheezed out, unable to turn his body into wind. Thanks to the magma man's Haki coated grip.
Sakazuki ignored Naruto's requested and began moving towards Kushina. His free hand already beginning to drip magma.
"I wasn't going to get involved with any of this. Headquarters did say I only had to assist Kaiden if he called for my help." Sakazuki admitted truthfully, stopping at Kushina's feet. "But unfortunately for you, your son broke the law. And you assisted by attacking an officer of the World Government. So for your crime I sentence you to death."
Kushina's eyes grew wide, as she watched Sakazuki raise his molten fist into the air. "Naruto look away!" The desperate mother ordered, but it was too late.
Naruto watched helplessly, as Sakazuki buried his fist into Kushina's chest. Causing her eyes to roll over and her body to slump forward.
"KAA-CHAN!" Naruto screamed out with all his might, trying to break the Marine's iron grip.
Sakazuki ripped his fist out of Kushina's chest and let the woman fall over.
"She's left this world and soon you'll be wishing you could join her." Sakazuki mumbled in a low voice, bringing a Haki coated fist into the air. "Welcome to the life of a slave brat." The man chuckled, striking Naruto over his head. Knocking the blond haired child completely unconscious.
(Few days later, The Holy Land Mariejois)
Naruto slowly began to open his eyes, while doing so an intense pain swept through his body. "Awww shit my head." The blond cried, clamping down on the side of his head.
"You're awake!" A young and unfamiliar voice chirped happily.
Naruto groaned as he tried to adjust his eyes to the light. "Where am I? And why do I feel so weak?" Naruto asked the unfamiliar person, his eyes finally adjusting.
Allowing Naruto to see a small brown haired child, dressed in tattered clothing. Said boy was giving Naruto a forced wide smile, while standing over top of him.
"Hi I'm Konohamaru and you're in Mariejois. As to why you feel weak I don't know, maybe you're hungry or sick." The now named Konohamaru explained, hopping onto his backside and sitting cross legged. All the while continuing to give Naruto a smile.
"Mariejois huh." Naruto mumbled, knowing very well what the city was. It was the capital of the World Government. And the last place on the world he would like to be right now. "So I really am a slave, then that means-."
Naruto balled his fist as it hit him, Kushina his mother was dead. She was murdered by that bastard of a Marine, right before his eyes.
"Of course you're a slave. Why else would you be here?" Konohamaru asked, chuckling to himself. "Though I never got your name. Kaiden-sama's guards just chained you up here and left you."
Naruto looked down to his wrists and sure enough he found himself chained to a wall. However, Naruto also had chain-less cuffs around each wrist. "These are probably made from Kairoseki, that would explain why I feel so weak." Naruto spoke to himself, before turning his focus to a confused Konohamaru. "Don't worry about that, but my name is Silvers Naruto."
"It's nice to meet you Naruto. How is your collar treating you? I hope it isn't too tight." Konohamaru spoke up, pointing to the odd piece of metal around his neck. "I'd suggest to not complain about it being too tight. Kaiden-sama will normally have it tightened even further."
Naruto felt his neck and without a doubt, he found a metal ring around his throat. Though this wasn't just any collar, it was a mechanism rigged with a bomb. Something Naruto had seen on slaves around the Sabaody Archipelago.
Whenever a slave was taken in public, their owner would hold onto a small chain. Which was attached to the collar like a leash. So if the slave would try to run, the chain would be pulled out and the bomb would explode.
"It's fine thanks for asking Kono." Naruto replied casually, trying to make the best of his current situation.
"Kono?" The small child mumbled the shortened version of his name. Confused by what the blond meant, but never breaking his smile.
"Yeah Kono it's my nickname for you, jeez have you never had anyone give you one?" Naruto asked, trying to ignore the child's smile. Which was growing more odd and disturbing as the conversion continued.
Konohamaru shook his head. "Nope I've never had one before, well Kaiden-sama calls me bastard and little shit. Does that count as one?" Konohamaru asked, causing Naruto to frown. Thinking to himself who would treat a small child like that.
"No Konohamaru it doesn't," The blond replied, slightly enraged by what the boy told him. "But tell me something. How old are you and how long have you been a slave?"
"Oh that's easy I'm seven years old and I've been a slave since the day I was born." Konohamaru explained, causing Naruto to tighten his fists. "My mom was sold as a slave to Kaiden-sama, when she was pregnant. Though she died shortly after giving birth to me. Kaiden-sama said that she passed a few hours after I was born... He said she died while polishing his parlor room."
Naruto snarled in anger, but his features quickly softened as he noticed Konohamaru's expression. The boy's smile had dropped and for a moment, Naruto could see the pain and hurt he held within.
However, Konohamaru quickly brought his smile back up and scanned the small room. Hoping no one had walked in and seen his frown.
Naruto picked up on the child's odd behavior and crossed his arms. Causing his chains to rattle.
"Why do you always smile? I can tell you are miserable here." Naruto analyzed, slightly surprising the younger child. "Don't be afraid to tell me, there isn't anyone nearby. And besides I wouldn't let anyone harm you."
Konohamaru looked down as he fiddled nervously with his fingers. "Well sometimes if a slave will cry or stop working, Kaiden-sama will have them killed. So it's best to always smile and work hard, you'll live longer that way." The small child explained quietly.
Naruto's anger had well passed over it's peak. Due to the information that Konohamaru had shared with him. Though he brushed his feelings aside and placed his hand on the child's spiky hair.
"Listen up Kono, it's ok to cry. I won't let these bastards hurt you. Do you understand what I'm saying." Naruto spoke softly, causing a teary eyed Konohamaru to look up.
"But nothing Kono, just listen to me. We aren't going to be slaves for long. If I don't find a way to escape within the next few months. My Tou-san will come and when he does, hell will be raised." The blond haired child assured, ruffling the boy's hair. "So for now just stick close to me and be strong. We will escape this hell hole together."
Konohamaru wiped his eyes and gave a smile, but this wasn't a false smile. This was a wide grin that showed true happiness.
"Alright Nii-san, I'll be strong and stay by your side." The younger slave replied, causing Naruto to smile back.
"Hehe what's all this Nii-san about?" Naruto asked, slowly growing attached to the younger child.
Konohamaru chuckled to himself. "It's my nickname for you, why do you not like it?" Konohamaru asked, his smile dropping.
"Nah it's not a very good nickname," Naruto replied, causing the boy to deflate. "But I'd be more than happy to be your Nii-san. I always wanted a little brother."
Konohamaru's eye lit up with joy, something Naruto hadn't seen the boy do since they began to talk. "Really you mean it!" The small slave nearly shouted in excitement.
Naruto looked around the small dreary room he was in. There was two torn mattresses and a bucket. The only form of an exit, was a large rusty metal door.
Most people would be miserable and an emotional wreck in this situation. But from just showing a small sliver of kindness to Konohamaru. Naruto was able to lift the boy's spirits up. While also cheering himself up and keeping his focus off his mother.
"Yeah Kono from this day on just call me Naruto-nii." Naruto replied happily, his eyes finally stopping and focusing on the small child.
They had both lost their mothers, but now they both have gained a brother. However, Naruto had also gained something else. A hatred for a certain Marine.
'Hold onto your pathetic life, I'm coming for you Sakazuki.' Naruto thought to himself, never showing his true emotions to Konohamaru.
(Few hours later)
Over the last few hours, Naruto had spent his time talking with Konohamaru. He had told the boy all about his life back home; including the members of his family. This of course urged the small slave boy to ask hundreds of questions. All of which involved either Naruto's father or uncle.
But it wasn't every day you met a relative of two famous pirates. Both of whom were on the same ship as the Pirate King.
Naruto had also shared how he consumed the Kaze Kaze no Mi. Causing the child to ask even more questions, about what kind of 'kick ass things' the blond could do.
Naruto enjoyed answer the child's questions and talking with him. In fact the more Konohamaru opened up, the more Naruto could see himself in the boy.
"So Naruto-nii I have a question." Konohamaru spoke up, smiling happily.
Naruto cocked a smirk and leaned against the wall behind him. "Another question Kono? Man you're full of them." The blond joked to himself, but motioned for Konohamaru to speak with his hand. "But I'm happy to answer any question you may have."
Konohamaru looked down, slowly drawing lines in the dirt covered floor. "Do you... Do you really think we can escape?" The slave asked, his voice low and weak.
Naruto closed his eyes, Konohamaru had been born a slave. He had never known any other form of life besides servitude. A lifestyle which heavily conflicted with Naruto's dream to live free on the sea.
"Listen Kono, I sure as hell don't plan to stay here long. In a few years I'll be sailing off to become a great pirate." Naruto explained opening his eyes and studying the boy's facial features. "And I'd love to have my little brother travel with me, but first we'd have to escape here."
Konohamaru looked up with excitement. "Really Nii-san! You'd let me be on your crew?" The small child shouted loudly, jumping to his feet almost hitting the short ceiling.
"Of course Kono, but first we gotta get out of here." Naruto replied with a wide grin. However, he stopped and seemed to blank out. Like the blond was focusing on something.
"Well Naruto-nii how can we escape-.."
Naruto stopped the boy's speech by placing a hand over his mouth. "Listen closely Kono, I sense a few people approaching. Act natural and don't give anything away. It wouldn't be good if they found out about my family or our plans to escape." The blond haired slave whispered, thinking for a moment if he should have actually trusted Konohamaru with his family heritage.
"Don't worry Nii-san I'd never give anything away." The smaller slave replied. "We are brothers, we gotta stick together."
Naruto smiled, he knew his trust was well placed. Though his attention was brought to the door, as he heard a lock click open.
"How is my new servant fairing?" The voice of Kaiden asked, before Naruto watched him walk into the small room. Flanked by two guards on each of his side.
The blond didn't utter a single word. However, he did take notice of the small pot a guard was holding. Just from using his eye's, Naruto could tell the contents were incredibly hot. Due to the steam rolling off the top of the pot.
"Is that little shit awake!" The voice of Kaiden's son, Kozan yelled from outside. "I'm going to strangle him to death!"
Naruto watched emotionlessly as Kozan entered the room. However, the blond had to quickly bite his tongue when he noticed the noble. Trying his absolute hardest to refrain himself from laughing at Kozan. His nose had been broken and twisted from the blow to the face that Naruto had gave him. While his left eye now sported a black eye patch, to cover his lost eye.
"Now now Kozan, what did I tell you about this child? he's special and cannot be simply put down like any other slave." The older noble scolded, bending down to Naruto's level. "We are above everyone else in this world, but what of our fellow Celestial Dragons? What sets us apart from them?"
Kozan crossed his arms and looked off to the side of the room. "The things we own." The son answered with a growl, already knowing the answer.
Kaiden let out a smirk and nodded. "You are right, so having a slave as rare as a Devil Fruit eater. Helps establish our wealth to everyone in Mariejois." The Celestial Dragon explained, clicking his fingers quickly. "Bring me the branding iron."
"Yes Kaiden-sama." A guard spoke quickly, rushing over to his master's side.
Naruto watched the man hand over a long slim iron pole. With some weird design on the tip. He then looked over to Kozan, who was grinning like a mad man. Naruto didn't have to be a genius to know what was going on.
"Tell me boy, what is your name?" Kaiden asked, lifting up the blond's shirt with the piece of cold metal.
Naruto thought for a moment, he could use a snappy retort or tell the man to piss off. Though for Konohamaru and his own sake, Naruto decided that playing along and being a 'good salve.' Would be his best course of action.
"Naruto." The blond spoke emotionlessly, while intentionally leaving out his last name.
Kaiden motioned for the other guard to approach. "Well Naruto I'm happy to welcome you into a life of servitude." The Celestial Dragon spoke sinisterly, dipping the rod into the steaming pot of red hot coals. "Hold the boy down."
The second guard walked over to Naruto and ripped his shirt off. Then by claiming down onto his arms, he held the boy still. Though it wasn't like Naruto attempted to struggle. He wouldn't give them the satisfaction of seeing him in distress.
Konohamaru watched his new surrogate brother with worry in his eye. Remembering how painful his own branding was. Though the small slave was shocked, he watched Kaiden press the hot iron against the blond's chest. But Naruto didn't scream or cry out in pain. No instead he looked over to Konohamaru and gave a small almost unseen smile.
Naruto was going to be strong for his new brother's sake.
Kozan caught the glimpse of this smile and frowned as he looked over to Konohamaru. He wanted Naruto to be suffering and broken, not smiling and happy.
"Hmm most slaves cry out in pain or beg for mercy." Kaiden spoke up, removing the iron rod from the blond's skin. Revealing a large burn mark; which left the symbol that all slaves bore. "I can tell you shall be a very strong and dependable servant."
Naruto didn't reply, but Kaiden didn't seem to mind. He turned to Konohamaru and gave the child a stern look.
"Patch young Naruto up, then show him where the cleaning supplies are." Kaiden spoke up, taking a small roll of bandages out of his pocket. Before he tossed them at Konohamaru's feet. "He shall be taking the same cleaning shifts you do, but since you'll be working faster with two people. You can also do some landscaping around the estate."
Konohamaru snatched the bandages up and moved over to Naruto. "I understand Kaiden-sama." The brown haired slave replied, giving his wide and fake smile.
"Good and you." Kaiden spoke, while pointing to one of his guards. "Unchain young Naruto off the wall. Then you are to observe him and Konohamaru as they work. Also don't forget to punish them if they decide to slack off."
The guard brought a hand to his head and saluted. "Understood Kaiden-sama." The man replied quickly, causing the Celestial Dragon to smirk.
"Alright everything seems to be under control then." Kaiden spoke happily, moving towards the door. "Come Kozan our morning feast is probably finished, let's leave the peasants be so we can dine."
Kozan moved towards the door, where his father had already exited out of. Then he gave Naruto one final death glare; which the blond returned with an emotionless gaze. Before the noble huffed in annoyance and stomped off.
"You know it would be best to be on Kozan-sama's good side. Though considering you are the one who defaced him and blinded him in one eye. I believe you're permanently on his shit list." The guard spoke up, unchaining Naruto from the wall.
"Thanks for the advice, but I really don't care what list I'm on." Naruto replied casually, slowly rising to his feet. "Damn it's even harder to stand with these Kairoseki cuffs."
Konohamaru quickly placed his hands onto Naruto and tried to push him back down. "Naruto-nii wait I haven't bandaged you up yet. Don't be reckless and risk your health." The small child attempted to reason, but had no success.
"I'm fine Konohamaru, a roll of bandages won't help me anyhow." Naruto replied, snatching the bandages from Konohamaru and placing them in his pocket. "It would be better to save these for a rainy day. If you know what I mean."
"But Naruto-nii you should-.."
Naruto placed a hand on Konohamaru's head and ruffled his hair. Halting the young child's speech.
"Don't worry about me Kono, it's my job as the older brother to watch out for you." Naruto replied with a small smile. Suddenly feeling the guard push him forward.
"Save the talk for later. If you're not going to patch yourself up. Might as well begin your work for the day." The guard spoke sternly, leading Naruto and Konohamaru out of the small room.
Leading him towards the start of his life in absolute hell.
(One month later)
It's been one whole month since Naruto started his life as a slave. Since then it's been a constant schedule of working, fighting starvation and being abused.
Being too proud to admit it, Naruto was near his breaking point. He had seen terrible horrors throughout his small time in enslavement. Such as small children being starved to death or slaves being brutally beaten till they died.
It pained Naruto to watch all the horrible things Kaiden, his son and their guards did. Though thanks to the Kairoseki cuffs, Naruto was so weak he could hardly summon enough strength to walk. Let alone fight a large number of trained guards in order to protect some slaves he didn't even know.
However, it wasn't like Naruto was exempt from these beatings either. In fact Kozan took a great deal of pleasure in beating Naruto on a daily basis. The noble wanted to get his revenge on the young slave by making his life hell, but Naruto didn't care.
The beatings hardly affected him, since his father would hit much harder during their training. Though when Kozan started to threaten Konohamaru. Naruto could nearly hold his anger at bay. Only once had Kozan made good on his treats.
Naruto almost snapped, when he watched his surrogate brother take a whip several times to the back. It wasn't a pleasant moment in Naruto's life, but Konohamaru did something that held the blond from losing his temper.
He gave Naruto the same smile of courage and perseverance, that the blond had showed him while he was being branded.
Unfortunate right after his beating, Naruto and Konohamaru had to continue working. This took a heavy toll on Konohamaru's small body, as intense working while bleeding out of an open wound. wasn't healthy for a seven year old.
But Konohamaru managed to push through his pain and survive. Showing Naruto his large amount of willpower. Making the blond proud of how strong his little brother could be.
For now however, it has been a full week since the incident involving Konohamaru's beating. Currently the two brothers are resting in their small room. Which Naruto had found out, was located in the lowest floor of Kaiden's massive home.
It was their own little slice of hell, or that's what Naruto referred their living space to.
Naruto found it rather difficult to relax on the old worn-out mattress. Not only did it reek of some foul odor, but it hardly provided any cushion between the blond's body and hard stone floor.
Rolling onto his side, Naruto noticed his little brother figure. He was curled into a ball across from Naruto. His back was turned towards the blond slave, allowing him to see all the marks Kozan had left on him.
Just like Naruto he refused treatment, saying he was alright. Though Naruto knew this was a lie, but he didn't want to give the boy pity. He knew that was something Konohamaru didn't need. Pitying him would only make the child feel worse and weak.
"Hey Kono how you feeling?" Naruto spoke up, his voice laced with concern. "You've been pretty quiet lately."
Konohamaru curled up tighter, causing Naruto to frown. So the blond slave rose weakly to his feet, then he slowly moved over to Konohamaru.
"Kono what's the matter? You know that you can talk to me." Naruto spoke softly, taking a seat by the child's side.
"It's nothing." The small child mumbled out, his voice sounding on the verge of tears.
Naruto sighed and brushed a hand through his messy blond hair. "Look Kono you're a pretty shit liar. So why don't you open up to me. I'm your big brother after all." Naruto spoke with a small smile at the end.
"It's just I've been thinking a lot lately. You know about escaping from this place." Konohamaru took a pause and took a deep breath. "It's been over a month since you arrived here. And we've made no progress in escaping."
Konohamaru moved his body up and looked into Naruto's blue eyes. Letting the older boy see the tears running down his cheeks.
"I don't want to die a slave Nii-san! I want to be happy, I want to see the world, I want... I want to know what freedom is like!" Konohamaru cried out, as he balled his hands into fists. "I want to be free from this place, I WANT-.."
Naruto stopped the child by placing a hand on his head. "Kono it's fine, believe me when I say we will escape. I promised you that I'd get you out of here. So have some faith in your older brother."
Konohamaru took a deep breath and attempted steady his rapid breathing. In order to calm himself down.
"Alright Naruto-nii, I'll keep believing in you. It's just I've been a slave for so long, I don't what to build my hopes up only to fail." Konohamaru admitted, slowly wiping his tears.
"I know Kono, but like I said. No matter what happens, we will escape soon. My Tou-san shouldn't be another month or two. Then he will find us and I bet even my uncle Shanks would also come to our aid." Naruto explained trying to refill the boy with confidence. "
Konohamaru chuckled a little bit, just using the notion of famous pirates storming the city to save him. Brought a great deal of happiness into his small heart.
Though just as Konohamaru opened his mouth to speak, the door to their room clicked open. Then without warning swung completely open.
"Get your sorry asses outside!" A gruff voice demanded. Before the voice entered the room to reveal one of Kaiden's guards.
Naruto cocked an eyebrow, he wasn't intimidated by the guard like most of the slaves were.
"Why should we? Our work shift is finished for the day." The blond haired slave replied casually, not affected by the cold stare he received.
"Because you little shit, Kaiden-sama demands that all slaves report to the main foyer." The guard replied, with a small amount if rage behind his voice. "Apparently he has a very important announcement, so get off your lazy ass!"
Naruto snorted as he watched the guard walk off. Silently thinking of the fate that will befall the man and his fellow captors.
'Whatever either way you're going to die bastard. It may be done by my hand or another, but you I'll die. Just like those three bastards. Kozan, Kaiden and worst of all Sakazuki.' Naruto thought to himself darkly rising to his feet. 'I'll make them pay for what they did. They will die by my hands and my hands alone.'
Naruto let a small smile grace his lips, then looking down to Konohamaru. He held out a helping hand for the child.
"Come on Kono, looks like we have somewhere to be." Naruto spoke up, using his normally happy and carefree voice. "Don't want to keep everyone waiting on us."
Konohamaru took his older brother's hand and rose weakly to his feet. Never knowing what the older slave was truly thinking.
"Yeah Nii-chan let's go." The boy replied calmly, before they began their way towards the foyer. Where Kaiden and his big news awaited them.