Naruto was written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto.


Metalmancer

It was a dark and stormy, autumn night, on October 10th, six-years to the day Konoha lost its guiding light, Yondaime Hokage, Namikaze Minato, Kiiro no Senkō (the Yellow Flash). He died, along with his wife and newborn child, the night Kitsune no Kyūbi attacked the Village Hidden in the Leaves. The monster had not been seen since the time of the Shodai, and Uchiha Madara, and their legendary battle at Owari no tani (the Valley of the End), so to have it suddenly appear and lay waste to Konohagakure, for no reason, was a polarizing event in the eyes of the good citizens of Hidden Leaf Village. Konoha has a unique reputation among Go-Idaina-kuni (the Five Great Nations), because it considered all of the people living within its walls to be of vital importance, the civilians were as vital in the eyes of the Hokage, as the shinobi and kunoichi that protect this village. In Konoha, there is a fierce comradery between all of it's citizens, when one of their neighbors needs help a Konohan will do everything short of breaking the law, to aid that neighbor, whether it's something as mundane as cleaning up after a party, aiding the family of a fallen ninja, or even helping a business that's failing. Seriously, if there is a merchant in the Leaf endanger of going bankrupt, that store suddenly becomes the most popular store in the village, and as long as that store sells quality merchandise at reasonable rates, their business is saved, and the owner will be given tips on how to make sure it does not happen again. This comradery is almost entirely universal, spanning all echelons of power, from the most powerful clans, to the lowliest of orphans running around the village.

There is, but one exception to this unwritten law, known as Hi no Ishi (the Will of Fire), and while by no means universally embraced, there are enough adherents to this philosophy, to make the life of the focus of said belief a lesson in abject torture. This exception just so happens to be the most hated individual in the Hidden Leaf, not for something he did, but for something that he had no control over, something that he himself does not know about. Thanks to a well-meaning, but terribly short-sighted law, passed by Sandaime Hokage, Sarutobi Hiruzen, Kyōju (the Professor) and Shinobi-shin (the Shinobi God), nobody is allowed to even mention the reason the boy is so completely loathed by much of the populace of Konoha. Hiruzen's reasoning being that it was his attempt to try to give, Uzumaki Naruto, age six, as much of a normal childhood as possible, what the Third never reckoned was that just because they did not speak the actual reason for their hatred, did not prevent them, from venting it upon the head of the unsuspecting child. Also, not telling him, was in actuality more tormenting for the child than telling him, reasonable hatred is understandable for even one as young as him, unreasoning hatred however made him wonder if the things they called him, 'Demon-child,' 'Hell spawn," and the like, might actually be true.

From over the crest of a hill, came Naruto, he was breathing hard, he had been running since the storm began, since the good citizens of Konoha had banded together to give Naruto a very special gift just for his birthday; a lynching. Which was not anything new, because since he was kicked out of the orphanage exactly two years ago, he has had to dodge such mobs at least once a month, usually by now, the Hokage's ANBU would have moved in to quell the riot. That would not be the case today, because the Hokage was away, attending the finals of the Chunin Exams in Sunagakure, and thus, there would be no rescue for Naruto tonight. Naruto was a ginger-haired, violet-eyed little boy, dressed in cast-off clothing, he was running in bare feet, since the shoes he had been wearing earlier, were too big for his feet, and had fallen off toward the beginning of this chase.

Naruto continued to run, as fast as his little legs could carry him, the last month, he had begun to take classes at the Academy of Ninja, here in the village. It had been his belief that if he tried to become a ninja, he could at least protect himself. What he never reckoned on, the civilians who sent their children to there would never accept the Demon's presence so near their children. So, they plotted a course, that would make sure their vengeance would be carried out, and it looked as if their plan was smiled upon by Kami-sama, when an entire team of Genin, and another kunoichi, was able to make it to the Finals of Suna's Chunin Exam. The ANBU, who normally protected that thing, would be tasked with going to the foreign country, to protect their Hokage from any possible attempts on his life. The Uchiha Police Force would be no problem either, because they held as much disdain for it, as the rest of the people of Konoha, and had a habit of looking the other way, when the demon was getting what it deserved.

The Uchiha, obviously did not want the young son of their Head family, exposed to the corruption of the demon, anymore than the rest of the people of the Leaf. Uchiha Sasuke was in its class after all. The mob had chased the thing out of the urbanized section of the village, towards the training grounds, in fact they seemed to be closing in on Training Ground 44. So, it came to pass, that looming up out of the darkness and the storm, was the wall that separated the Forest of Death, from the rest of the Hidden Leaf. Naruto, came to an abrupt stop, looking around and seeing no way out, turned back to face the throng, he had a fierce look of determination on his face. He may have only been six, but he had promised himself that if his end ever came like this, he would face it without sniveling and pleading for mercy like a coward. More to the point, just looking in their eyes, Naruto knew that such actions would be futile, because mercy was not in them.

"Finally, you'll get what you deserve demon-spawn," one of the civilians bellowed, "you will pay for all the people you murdered!"

Naruto remained quiet, understanding that any rebuttal from him would only fall upon deaf ears. These people were out for blood, and nothing he said would deter them from getting it, but he would fight as fiercely as he could, he may not win, but they would remember him, with every bruise and scratch that healed they would know that Uzumaki Naruto did that to them, not the demon they claimed him to be. The weapons they carried were many and varied, from pick-axes and hoes, to kunai and swords, their metal weapons glinted with the flash of lightning in the sky.

Naruto had no weapons of his own, having only been at the Academy for a month, and though determined not to show it, he was scared, he could feel his blood racing through his veins, gushing through his arteries. Naruto's breathing was rapid, coming out in gasps, as he tried to catch his breath from the chase. Then another person spoke, this one with a vindictive leer on her face, which would have been pretty were it not marred with a mask of hatred, "from your demon mask, you seem to have forgotten what it was, you did to us, so allow me to enlighten you, as to the reason why we are going to destroy you. You see six-years-ago, the Nine-tailed, Demon Fox, attacked our village without provocation, most of us lost someone very precious to us: mothers, fathers, children, siblings… lovers. That same night, the Yondaime Hokage fought valiantly to defend our village, he did everything he could to kill the fox, but as powerful as the Fourth was, he was still a man, and tailed-beasts cannot be killed, they will just regenerate, no matter what you do to them. The only way to defeat the biju is to seal them within an object, and unfortunately, the Nine-tailed Beast is too powerful to be sealed within anything inanimate, it must be sealed into a person. Another unfortunate circumstance we know, is the sealing had to be within an infant-child, because their chakra coils had not yet, fully formed, you were the only child born that day…"

She trailed off as she watched Naruto's eyes become as big as saucers, as even he could draw the obvious conclusion to the picture, this woman painted for him. Am I, the Nine-tails, he asked himself? As he became distracted, the woman took the opportunity to strike, "and now Demon-Fox you will pay for your crimes against us," she shrieked, while casting her kunai directly at Naruto, "and because you are sealed within the body of that poor unfortunate child, your soul will be sent back to hell where it belongs!"

On instinct, Naruto drew upon his chakra and channeled it into the ground, which began to rumble ominously, then several pillars of shiny metal came shooting up out of the ground. The pillars formed into a wall surrounding him, "get away from me," Naruto shouted, as he heard the plinking of metal striking metal, but before the mob could react, more metal pillars, thrust themselves up through the earth. The entire mob was too slow to react, even the ninja amongst the group, were too caught by surprise to jump out of the way. They were impaled on Naruto's forest of spikey pillars, in all about 30 people lost their lives to Naruto's sudden counter-attack.

Naruto just looked on in horror, at what he had done, then with a cry of despair, he turned and ran away from the slaughter yard, he left behind.