Got Nothing but Time
Every Konoha citizen knows the story of October 10th. The day the demon, the Kyuubi no Kitsune, wreaked havoc onto the village and caused the death of over 400 citizens and shinobi combined. Whether it be brothers, sisters, friends or family, all suffered from the unprovoked attack that left many homeless, jobless and, in extreme cases, forever disabled. No one in the village went unaffected by the Kyuubi's attack and many to this day are still mourning for their lost.
However, more than the attack itself, many remembered the name and actions of the man that saved them from destruction. His name was Minato Namikaze and he was the Fourth Hokage of Konohagakure no Sato (Hidden Leaf Village). On the day of the attack, he fought and triumphed against the demon that laid waste to his home, but at the cost of his own life. Many were told that he killed the Kyuubi no Kitsune and many believed this tale, but many more knew the truth.
A few days after the Kyuubi attack, there was a huge assembly at the Hokage tower with all shinobi present and many civilians awaiting their Hokage's speech. It turned out the Third Hokage of Konohagakure no Sato, Hiruzen Sarutobi, was reinstated and he wanted to lift the spirits of his people by telling them the final wishes of the Fourth Hokage. He wished to reassure the masses that the Kyuubi was indeed defeated and reveal the true hero of Konoha.
Newborn Naruto Uzumaki, son of the Yondaime and the one who now held the strongest Bijuu in the Elemental Nations within himself and becoming Konoha's next Jinchuuriki.
Unfortunately, Hiruzen vastly underestimated the hatred that ran through his own people. Instead of people praising the boy like the Yandaime wanted, they spat curses and demanded his death. On that same day, a law was passed. No one was to speak of the Kyuubi's host on punishment of death. Naturally, this brought more outcries, mainly from the civilian populace, but after many trying, and failing, to end the 'demon child's' life, most by execution by Konoha's elite ANBU forces protecting the child, people kept their scorn to themselves and swore to get their revenge for their lost love ones in other meaningful ways without losing their lives.
This was how Konoha was for the next 12 years. Licking their wounds while making one Naruto Uzumaki's life a living hell on the side. Whether it was overcharging him for food and other items, or outright throwing him out of their shops, they were all getting their pounds of flesh slowly.
However, to everyone's shock, horror and frustration, he never cried. He never screamed, retaliated, or even showed a frown. In fact, as the years went by, it became harder and harder to take their frustrations out on the emotionless blonde. Mind you, not for a lack of trying. He just seemed to be able to avoid trouble all together and never got caught committing crimes despite things magically disappearing whenever he was around. If that wasn't frustrating and scary enough, the fact he has been caught multiple times talking to himself throughout the years had both citizens and shinobi on their toes.
In one particular incident, the blonde laughed out of nowhere, the first emotion ever seen on the blonde, that the people around him felt a sudden shudder go up their spines and backed away from him slowly. and many shinobi and citizens alike reported it to the Hokage that same day. The blonde was forced to visit the Hokage that day and nothing like that has happened ever since. Some thought he was talking with the Kyuubi, while others thought the blonde had finally snapped.
But only Naruto knew, and would ever know, what was so funny that day.
Now, there is a clear reason why the Kyuubi attack on Konoha was so important to history itself. It was the day the Yondaime died while sealing the Bijuu, yes, but the important part of that was how the Yondaime sealed the beast. In another time (or alternate reality), the Yondaime would have used the Fuinjutsu: Shiki Fujin (Sealing Technique: Dead Demon Consuming Seal) to seal the beast within his son. But in this time and space, he did not know such a jutsu.
Instead, he used the only other sealing jutsu he knew. A time-space jutsu that would seal the Demon's chakra fully into his son while taking his life in the process. It was a jutsu he and his wife Kushina had worked years on and was forced to use in its incomplete state. He had gotten the idea from his signature technique, the Hiraishin, and put it's space-time elements into a seal that would put the being it was sealing into a completely different dimension while still being connected to the individual it was being sealed into. It was supposed to be a last resort just in case anything was to happen to Kushina's seal, the Jinchuuriki of the beast at the time, and they needed to quickly transfer the beast away before it got lose and killed her and the people around it. It was a complicated process, but they were so close to completing it.
Unfortunately, the time for it to be used came closer than they would have liked and both perished after using said jutsu to transfer the kyuubi into their only child while being impaled by said beast. Their deaths were not in vain since they succeeded in sealing the demon. However, there was a golden rule with seals. If a seal was incomplete on one forced chakra into it, it would have one of two effects: it would either blow up in the user's face causing little to serious bodily harm depending on how many characters are drawn, or it will act like a dud explosion-tag and fizzle out until the paper was nothing but ashes.
In this particular situation, the explosion is what occurred, but not in the outside world. Once the demon was secured inside the new Jinchuuriki, an explosion occurred in the alternate space within the boy—causing a tear in the very fabric of space and time and pulling the confused and distressed Kyuubi through the black hole. After said hole fully devoured what was once known as the most powerful Bijuu in the Elemental Nations, it closed unceremoniously—leaving the space the Kyuubi once inhabited as void as it was created.
However, just before the tear in space and time closed, a small figure fell through the crack and landed softly on it's back. The figure looked to be a young girl with parakeet green hair that went all the way down to the back of her shins. If anyone were to gaze at the girl that seemed to be peacefully sleeping on the ground, then they would notice 3 very important aspects of her character.
The first would be that she was as naked as the day she was born. The second would be the fact her ears were longer and pointier than any human had a right to be. The third, and most prominent, would be the wore looking weapon she held tightly to her chest. It was a double-edged blade that had the pointed edge of a blade, but had the fuller designed like a human spine with cracks and all and seemed to be longer than the girl herself. The guard of the blade resembled that of dragon wings while the rain guard was wide and had a hole in the center. The last notable thing about the blade would be the shocking fact it was glowing and fading red as lava, as if mimicking the heartbeat of its current holder.
In this dimension, no one knows of the little girl that now slept peacefully within the Jinchuuriki of Konohagakure no Sato, but in a completely different dimension and time, this girl was widely known as the pillar of the world and one who is known throughout every church in the kingdom of Fodlan.
This one switch between one godly being and a demonic fox would change the course of history and the life of one Uzumaki Naruto. For better or for worse? That has yet to be seen.
The first time Naruto heard the creepy voice, he was scared. It came out in bits and pieces and it was extremely hard to understand, but his little mind was too focused on the fear of something he couldn't see talking to him to worry about the fact the ghost was speaking in a language he didn't yet know. He had tried many times to tell the adults that something was following him around, but the mean orphanage people wouldn't believe him.
As time went by, the voice began to get louder and louder no matter what he did to get away from it. He tried hiding under his covers at night, but the blanket never protected him. He tried going into groups of other kids, no matter how much the meanies say he can't play with them, but that only seemed to annoy the ghost more. He tried telling the adults again, but they would just punish him for no reason like they always do.
It wasn't until a week went by that he finally got the courage to speak to the ghost terrorizing him. To his surprise, the voice spoke right back to him and he could somewhat understand what it was saying. The words kept coming back in jumbled sentences and he could barely understand a word, but he learned that the more he talked to it, the more he was starting to understand it. Single words turned into sentences, and sentences eventually turned into paragraphs.
At first, he really didn't like the ghost. It kept calling him names like idoit, buffoon and other mean names he didn't understand, but the little praise gave him occasionally more than made up for it and, for once in his life, he felt... happy. Unlike the adults and other kids, it actually listened when he talked. It helped him when he didn't understand something (however reluctantly), it cheered him up (well, tried) when he was down, and it scolded him whenever he did or said anything stupid (as in tear his ear off until he understood what he did or said wrong). It never held that same hateful tone the adults had for him and it began teaching him things that he would never had been able to learn from anyone else.
The only downside to the ghost was it was always sleepy. Like, really sleepy. It would always nod off during their conversations and he wouldn't hear from it again till the next day, couple of days, or even weeks. Those days were lonely, but whenever Ghost-san was back, it would have his full attention.
The ghost was a lot of things: very smart, mean at times, a slob, and a total loner!
But it was a friend…
His first friend.
It had been an entire month since the orphanage had kicked him out. At first, he was really angry and wanted nothing more than to scream and hurt all those unfair and mean adults, but his only friend stopped him. Instead, he let it go and was forced to survive by eating the trash out of garbage bins or whatever he could successfully steal from shops. It was a hard life and the cold didn't make it any better, but he truly believed that as long as he had Ghost-san by his side, then anywhere in the world would be home.
Speaking of his only friend, it was currently sleeping once again while he walked through the dark streets of Konoha. Unfortunately for him, the alley he had been sleeping in for the past few weeks were guarded by angry civilians that he once stole from. He had absolutely no intention of knowing what they would do to him with those bats and pitchforks so he decided it would be a good idea to find somewhere else to sleep for the night. It's not like that was the only alleyway in Konoha anyways, right.
It was as he was walking to another alley ahead of him that he was forced to stop. The blonde's eyes widened when he saw a black figure turn his direction while holding a small bundle over his shoulder. Now, Naruto have seen many ninja in the village. Most tended to ignore him (which was good considering he would never make it on the streets if they chased him down), but every last one of them had one thing in common. Every one of them had a headband that signified Konohagakure no Sato.
This man, however, had no headband at all and from the bundle that seemed to be moving on his shoulder, Naruto immediately knew this ninja was not one of Konoha's. After coming to that quick conclusion, he immediately opened his mouth to scream for anyone that could come and help.
Before he could even get any air out of his throat, he suddenly heard a very weird and nasty sound ring through his ears. It was followed by an intense pain he'd never felt before in his life and air refusing to come out of his throat. He stumbled back before he felt his entire body get colder and he fell to his back. He tried opening his mouth to scream for someone to stop the pain he was feeling, but all that came out was this nasty metallic taste that kept escaping his mouth.
Panicking, he tried begging Ghost-san for help, but there was no answer. He tried moving his body but could only move his arms to the place that was hurting so much. He felt something sticking out of his throat, but he couldn't pull it out.
And it was as he was desperately trying to remove the thing that was causing him so much pain that he realized something no 5-year-old should ever realize.
He was dying. He was dying alone where no one would help him and he was dying before he could truly experience the life he didn't really even know.
Despite knowing that his end was coming, he couldn't help but think of his one and only friend. If he was gone, who would Ghost-san talk to? Who would Ghost-san scold now? Would Ghost-san even miss him if he were gone? What would happen to Ghost-san if he was gone? Tears and other liquids were pouring down his face as he realized he would be leaving this world and his only friend far too early.
As his body began to go numb and his eyes began closing, he could only think of one thing: "I-I want…to…li…ve…"
And as if answering the only wish he had ever had, the sound of glass shattering echoed through the world and a purple haze covered the Elemental Nations and the world beyond.
Naruto stopped on his walk to the alley and suddenly jerked before taking in deep breaths as if they'd be his last. He felt extremely dizzy and couldn't stop himself from falling to his knees while quivering uncontrollably. His hand absentmindedly came to his neck as if expecting it to no longer be there. A second later images invaded his head and bile along with the little he had eaten that day emptied from his stomach to the pavement. After emptying his stomach of all its contents, he got control of his dry-heaving and stood to shaky legs.
'What happened?' he asked no one as he looked forward. A shiver suddenly went up his spine as he looked to the alley that was just 50 yards in front of him. Vision suddenly assaulted is mind and he had to stop himself from throwing up again as he remembered the black figure throw something through his neck.
"Hide NOW you idiotic child! Quickly, before your fate is renewed!"
He didn't have time to question the distorted voice of his only friend since his body was too busy subconsciously following orders. Taking cover in the bushes conveniently to his left, he made sure not to move as he peaked through the leaves obstructing his view. Moments later, his heart nearly stopped when he saw the same black figure once again running towards him. Not a sound left his lips this time as he watched the figure run closer and closer to him. Thankfully, this time he ran right past his hiding place and down the path he had previously been coming from.
The blonde didn't even have time to feel relieved since the second his eyes followed the black clad ninja, said ninja was falling to the floor in a boneless heap as another man in a white robe had a palm outstretched to where the ninja's chest used to be. Many things happened after that. More people in robes and Konoha shinobi gear appeared and even knew shinobi wearing strange animal masks appeared to take the body away. They were there for a good 15 minutes before everyone cleared out. He could swear the white robed man that saved the girl in the bundle was looking his direction before he too left with the little girl Naruto's age that was once wrapped in the bundle.
Only when he was sure everyone was gone did he leave the bushes and run as far away from that place as possible. What he experienced that night and what he saw would give him horrifying nightmares for the next few months.
Naruto held up his rusted kunai as he slowly backed away from the old man blocking his way out of the alley. He had only stopped for a second to check his steal of the day, but it would seem that second was his downfall since the moment he was about to eat the bread he had stolen, a shadow covered him completely and he turned to see this old man wearing white robes and a strange hat was blocking his way. He didn't look like much and Naruto was sure he could outrun this old fart, but something deep inside him told him that this old man was strong; crazy strong. And the smile the old man kept giving him only made his nerves that much more jittery.
"I see the spirit of a fighter is strong with you, young one." The wrinkly old man chuckled as he got closer to the blonde who backed away unconsciously. "Ohohoho, please don't be so fearful, child. I can promise you this old man has no ulterior motives. I just wish to talk to you. Honest!"
The way the old man spoke and the smile on his face would have normally reassured most children, but Naruto Uzumaki wasn't a normal kid. After living on the streets for more than 6 months, he had learned that the only one he could trust was himself and Ghost-san. Anyone else always took advantage of him and he always paid for it in the end. He still bore one particular mental scar from a shinobi he once trusted and after that event, he swore never again would people take advantage of him. This wrinkly old man was no doubt the same.
"Tell you what, if you sit down with me for only a couple of minutes, I'll let you wear my special hat. How does that sound to you?"
Naruto only raised an eye brow as he looked to the hat on the old man's head. The only thing the blonde could find unique about the hat was the single kanji on the front of it that was surrounded by white while the rest of the hat was red. Since he couldn't read well, he didn't know what the symbol on the hat stood for and it only made the blonde think even less of it.
"What's so special about it? It's just a stupid hat." The blonde grumbled, surprisingly getting a wider smile from the much older male.
"Ah, but this is a very special hat." The old man said as he removed said hat from his head, revealing his grey locks to the world. "Tell me son, do you know what a shinobi is?" Naruto didn't know where the old man was going with this, but he nodded slowly anyways.
"They protect the village from bad people… and kill those who hurt others." The blonde said, having flashbacks to the night the man in white robes killed that bad enemy ninja. The old man simply nodded at the blonde's answer.
"That is…somewhat correct my boy, but there is more to a shinobi's life than that." The old man said as he looked fondly at the hat in his hands. Then he began speaking fondly, soundly like a record that has repeated the same song over and over again. "A shinobi's job is to defend their homeland from threats both inside and out. A shinobi is someone who is willing to risk their lives for their home and the people within it. A shinobi is one who trains relentlessly to protect the things and people they care about and open a future for the home they are protecting. A shinobi is one who willingly goes through days of torture to keep the secrets of their home away from enemy hands even if it kills them in the end." He then sighed longingly as this look came across his face that the blonde could not understand. The words that came out next was almost a whisper, "…for the true measure of a shinobi is not how he lives, but how he dies. It's not what they do in life, but what they did before dying that proves their worth."
Naruto didn't realize he had fallen out of his battle stance as he began getting more and more engrossed in the old man's words.
"This hat is a symbol that you understand and uphold the shinobi code. The one who wears this hat is not only viewed as a true shinobi, but also holds the power and allegiance of all Konoha shinobi. In other words, this hat is the symbol that you have not only been acknowledged as the strongest ninja in the village, but have achieved the peak of a shinobi's career in Konohagakure no Sato."
Naruto couldn't remember the last time he was this excited about something in his life. He had seen the cool ninja before throughout the village and would embarrassingly admit he has mimic some of the cool things they do when he was alone, but he never thought how cool and important their jobs really were! And this old man in front of him was at the top! He had gained the respect and acknowledgement of everyone in the village just by wearing that hat! He wanted to wear that hat! He wanted people to stop looking at him so hatefully and look at him like the old man before him now was! If he had that hat, then people would finally acknowledge him for who he is! They'll have to respect him then!
He didn't realize he was reaching out to the hat that was being held out in front of him until the old man suddenly pulled it away and placed it back on his head.
"It is unfortunate, but I can clearly see you aren't interested in such a profession." The old man said sorrowfully as he turned to leave. "I guess I'll be taking my lea-"
"No!" the smile on the old man's face returned when he saw the boy looking at him with a frantic expression on his face. Yet, a second later, he seemed to have realized just how desperate he looked and coughed into his hand. Seeing the boy try to keep his image made the old shinobi nearly chuckle. "I-I have an interest in being a shinobi… so… umm…" The old man had to stop himself from laughing at the clear embarrassment the boy was showing in asking for something he clearly wanted. Who knew a 5-year-old already had pride?
He didn't stay sheepish for long however, since a second later he gathered his wits and shouted right at him. "Please tell me more about the Hokage, Jiji-san!"
If possible, the smile on the old man's face became even wider.
"Tell me son, have you ever had Ramen?"
Naruto stood still in the middle of a 4-way intersection. It was one of the only streets of Konoha that was not currently lit with fancy lanterns or decorations for the yearly Kyuubi festival. However, this day was special for Naruto since it was not only the day the Kyuubi was defeated by the Yondaime Hokage, but also his birthday.
Now, normally kids his age would be celebrating with friends or family for the only day in the year where you can be thankful for the day you were born. However, Naruto was not one of those kids. In fact, he hated his birthday since it was one of the days of the year where angry and drunk people actively hunted him down like he was a raging animal that needed to be slain (even if he gave them good reason to do so).
That, however, did not mean he didn't celebrate his birthday. Oh Kami no. He celebrated his birthday every year a month early with Ghost-san. The only difference between this year and the other 3 he celebrated was the fact Hokage-jiji and the nice Ramen stand people all gave him gifts that he now had hidden in the apartment Hokage-jiji happily gave him. He wouldn't lie, the gifts they gave him were pretty good and he would treasure them for as long as they last, but it was the gift Ghost-san gave him a month ago that completely trumped anything the other three most important people in his life could ever give him.
It was as he was thinking about the gift that he realized people were finally starting to turn three of the four corners on the street. Like he was expecting, it was a group of angry villagers he had very recently stolen from, or others who were there for other nefarious reasons. Within seconds, he was completely surrounded, yet his mask of indifference stayed present even after looking at the sneers on faces of the people surrounding him.
"Nowhere to run you little demon!" One of the angry villagers yelled as they all began to close in.
"You guys seem angry." Naruto pointed out the obvious with a tilt of his head. That only seemed to make the people surrounding him angrier and a second later the first civilian, an old woman the blonde remembered stealing fruit daily from for kicking him out for no reason, came charging in with a torch and ready to use it like a mace. The boy did nothing but watch every movement of the woman as she raised up the torch and brought it straight down to meet his emotionless face.
Then suddenly, the sound of glass shattering echoed through the village and the entire world stood still; quite literally. Everything animal, human, insect and item stood frozen in a distorted purple haze that touched every inch of the Elemental Nations and beyond.
The only living being in the world unfazed by this unnatural phenomenon was the blonde that was now curiously looking up to the fire that was only a few centimeters away from his face with new glowing, sea-foam eyes. He raised his hand and grabbed the torch that was once unfrozen by time out of the woman's hand. The torch once frozen in time suddenly came back to life with all it's fiery glory. He stared at the torch for a second before staring back at the woman who had tried burning his face off. Without hesitation, he casually tossed the torch into the woman's face and watched as the wood first splintered before the fire completely engulfed the old bat. the fire spread over the woman's figure for only a second before it too became frozen by time once again.
"I wonder what your screams would sound like. Maybe then, we could understand each other." he thought darkly, but as he expected, nothing happened. No burn, no reaction from the one now on fire, nothing. He knew why, but he could never get used to the feeling of the world itself standing still at just a simple thought. The things he could, and would do to the people that wronged him always threatened to take over his mind. However, Ghost-san would have none of that. She had warned him that just like she gave him the power, she could just as easily take it away and he was not too keen on pissing off his only real friend even if that meant he had to suppress his darker thoughts. It was the least he could do for the one who had technically raised him for the past 2 years and hearing it's disappointment was far scarier than anything these people could say or do to him.
Ever since the day that strange ninja 'killed' him, he has been eagerly using the power given to him by his best, and only, friend. After he had ran to safety that day, Ghost-san had told him all about what had happened and the fact it had basically saved his life. The moment those words left it's mouth, he wanted to hug the voice so bad that tears poured out of his eyes for the second time that day in his whole life.
Now, almost a year later, Ghost-san was still protecting him by using it's power whenever his plan to steal food went wrong or when the civilians cornered him and nearly did very bad and painful things to him. Then Ghost-san taught him how to use it's power and he has loved it ever since.
But alas, every power comes with a price. After using it multiple times, he soon learned that 7 times in a day is his limit. He had tried using it more once, but it ended up strangely draining his stamina dry and he had to spend a week in the hospital since he couldn't move a muscle. Thankfully, Hokage-jiji came to visit every day and left some of his animal friends behind to make sure he was safe from the stupid villagers.
The other thing he learned quickly was the more he used it, the more Ghost-san slept. One time, he used it every day for a week and Ghost-san didn't speak again for an entire 3 months. Those months were singlehandedly the coldest and scariest of his life and he swore to use Ghost-san's abilities sparingly from that day onward.
The last con of this time stopping ability was the fact he couldn't disrupt anyone frozen in time and however far back he wanted to go, he would have to follow. For instance, this stopped him from stopping time and moving yards in front of someone and starting time again. He had tried and would always end up wherever he was when time began again at that point of time. Ghost-san tried explaining it once, but it got really angry when he didn't fully understand the big words and fancy sentences it was using to explain to him.
All in all, he loved this power and he loved the one who gave it to him more.
Back to the present, with just a thought, the people around him began walking in reverse while Naruto stayed where he had been for the past 10 minutes. He sped up the process and watched as the bodies ran backwards slowly and into the corridors they came from. After making sure he had rewind time back far enough, with another thought the purple haze slowly phased out and he was once again alone in the clearing.
Naruto grinned happily as he put his arms behind his head and walked down the only path the civilians didn't appear. He kept the rare smile on his face as he continued to use his gift to make it all the way to his apartment—not passing a soul along the way.
*Academy Year 1*
"We are training to be shinobi. Why should I care whether or not I fight fair?" Naruto asked in genuine confusion despite the plastic stare he was giving his scar-faced academy teacher, Iruka Umino. The scar-faced man could only sigh and rub the bridge of his nose. He would be angrier at the boy's oblivious attitude if he hadn't dealt with this exact situation many times in the past. The boy genuinely didn't understand what he did wrong and it was up to Iruka to try and explain, once again, something he thought was common sense.
"Naruto, the point of the exercise is for me to grade you on your Taijutsu skills. Though your reasoning is logical, and I truly applaud you for your train of thought, it sadly defeats the whole purpose of the exercise if you don't follow the kata you were taught." Iruka did his best to not turn and look at his assistant teacher, Mizuki, who was on the ground cradling his family jewels while trying to rub away the dirt that had been thrown in his eyes. Iruka couldn't help but thank Kami he wasn't the one demonstrating kata today. That punch to the balls from the 7-year-old looked really painful.
Naruto blinked up at his teacher before tilting his head in confusion. "But Jii-san said a shinobi should always take advantage of opportunities—training or no."
"That's true, but-"
"And you once told us that shinobi must do whatever they must to survive."
"Yes, I did. However-"
"Then why does it matter if I cheat to-"
"I KNOW IT DOESN'T MATTER OBJECTIVELY! JUST FOLLOW THE DAMN-" the instructor stopped himself and clenched a fist before he took in a breath to calm down. Yelling at the blonde would get him nowhere. The kid was absolutely right in his way of thinking, but he clearly didn't understand the meaning of the phrase 'a time and place'. The only thing he could think to do in the future was be very specific when teaching this particular troublesome student of his. Oh joy.
"Look, Naruto. Please, just, follow the kata like you were taught. Your are correct, but the only way we can grade you on what you've learned is if we personally see it. Going outside the assignment parameters defeats the whole purpose of the test."
"But Iruka-sensei, you said-"
"Do. The. Damn. KATA."
Naruto stared back at his teacher with that same impassive look before turning back to the now recovered Mizuki and getting into a stance that seemed awkward to the blonde. Restarting the spar, Iruka frowned the longer it went on. Naruto was performing the kata as told, but the technique and execution of every strike seemed to be off in one way or another. Where one would usually transition to another move when blocking or attacking, Naruto performed it as if trying to connect different segments together to make it work. No surprise, it didn't work and it only ended up leaving huge gaps in the young shinobi in training's guard that was life threatening. He didn't know why he was doing it, but it was quite uncharacteristic for a student as bright (if not a bit too straightforward) as the Uzumaki to not soak up the kata Mizuki teaches him like a sponge the way he does the rest of his work. It would just have to be something he brought to the blonde's attention in the future.
Seeing enough, Iruka called the match. However, while Naruto dropped his guard, Mizuki continued the assault with a sneer that Iruka would only acknowledge after the event that was about to occur. The Chuunin's leg came up in a roundhouse kick that went unseen by the turning blonde. From the speed and the angle the kick was coming at, Iruka was sure only disastrous results would come if that kick connected. Not even with all his speed as a Chuunin could aid him in stopping what he knew was going to be lethal.
His fears were confirmed when a sickening snap echoed through the school grounds and young Uzumaki Naruto was sent flying until another 'snap' was when the boy's head smashed into the tree bark. There was but a second of silence before horrified screams echoed from the children watching. Iruka was immediately at Naruto's side and almost emptied his stomach at the eyes that stared into the distance without an hint of light. He barely registered his best friend frantically cursing aloud before it followed by the sound of a sword leaving it's sheath and a wet splat silencing him and emitted more screams from the kids. He barely registered the shadow of multiple ANBU standing over him. He barely registered someone speaking to him before others tried taking his now dead student from his-
…Seeing enough, Iruka called the match. However, while Naruto dropped his guard, Mizuki continued the assault with a sneer that Iruka would only acknowledge after the event that was about to occur. The Chuunin's leg came up in a roundhouse kick that went unseen by the turning blonde. From the speed and the angle the kick was coming in, Iruka was sure only disastrous results would come if that kick was connected and not even with all his speed as a Chuunin could aid him in stopping what he knew would be lethal.
However, what actually happened was not something the instructor, or anyone for that matter, was expecting at all. Almost in slow motion, Iruka saw the blonde duck as if knowing the kick was coming, then reached into his back pocket and quickly popped something into his mouth. The blonde then stood up with a lighter (of all things) open in his hand and took in a deep breath. The unaware Mizuki had already made a full 360 degrees and was now looking back at the blonde who stared back with puffed cheeks.
A second later, Iruka's, and nearly everyone in the class, jaw dropped as a stream of fire escaped the blonde's mouth and completely engulfed the sky blue haired Chuunin. Mizuki let out a cry of anguish as he tried patting out the flames that didn't last longer than a few seconds. If things couldn't get any worse for the man, the second the blonde stopped spewing flames, he dashed right in front of the panicked Chuunin and jumped into the air with his legs drawn back. Then he kicked forward with all his strength and into, once again, the balls of the screeching Chuunin. The older male was launched off his feet and out of their makeshift arena wall that was nothing more than a circle on the ground.
Naruto looked down at the whimpering Chuunin once again cradling his balls before looking back to Iruka-sensei. The teacher's mouth hung agape along with half the class as the blonde just tilted his head. "…He was open."
Iruka could only slowly tap his clipboard repeatedly against his forehead while the rest of the class laughed. No one saw the cold look in the blonde's eyes as he glanced down at his 'instructor' before rejoining the rest of his class.
A month later, an investigation was made on Mizuki for suspicion of treason. An anonymous source had delivered heavy evidence of sabotage of one Naruto Uzumaki. On further investigation, it was shown that not only had he been sabotaging Naruto, but the entire school by altering curriculum and slowly lowering the quality of textbooks and stealing from school funding. Multiple letters written from an unknown source was found in his home while he was in captivity. The letters confirmed that he was being given orders by an outside source that had not yet been identified.
He was trialed and found guilty a week later. That same day, he was executed for treason and the shinobi academy went through some changes. The curriculum were back in order and many shinobi in training quit from the increase in their training and studies. This event would turn out to the betterment of Konoha as a whole and it was all thanks to the 'anonymous' individual for smoking out their little traitor.
If anyone would ask Naruto what his social life was like, then he'd probably tell you it consisted of two old men, a girl 5 years his senior, his teacher, and a voice in his head (not that he'd tell anyone the last one considering the ramifications of said confession).
In his defense, it's not that he hadn't tried gaining friends in the past. He had tried gaining friends his age many times in the orphanage, but they would all scorn him the second his name was even mentioned because of the caretakers. He had saved a pink haired girl once and she actually played with him up until the time her mother came and told her she wanted her nowhere near him ever again. In the academy, he just had no need to speak to the rest of the kids because either their parents told them not to, or they were not able to keep a steady conversation with him due to his advanced way of speaking molded into his mind thanks to conversing with a being in his head that could verbally insult you in ways you wouldn't understood unless you had a dictionary.
That being said, there was a particular event that stopped all chances of ever getting friends in his class.
It was lunch time and Naruto had been present in the class along with about 9 other students that either decided to eat in the class or forgot to bring their lunch. Instead of eating, he had been working on a Fuuinjutsu tag that would seal his windows and doors while he was out. It was a tough seal to make, but was one of the only seals he could make in the class that didn't have nearly as much blast power behind it if something went wrong. The worst that would happen if a mistake were to occur would be the tag would knock him out of his seat and everyone around him would laugh. probably a problem for the other kids, but nothing to someone who didn't care about his social image.
He was just about to draw the finishing touches into the paper when something smashed violently into the back of his head so hard it made the blonde smash his face into the desk and into the seal he was creating. The ink he was using splashed over the paper and like he said, a force blasted him off his chair and into the wall behind him (maybe a little more force due to the amount of ink on the paper, but details). The classroom that was once filled with childish chatter became dead silent at the commotion. Then laughter broke out from the kids Naruto could only assume were the perpetrators from the unprovoked attack.
"HAHAHAHAHA! Whoops! My hand slipped!" Naruto immediately recognized the kid as the class civilian bully. The bully who didn't get good grades, was average at Taijutsu, and only put others down with his group of friends because they hated the clan kids, or they were (in a word) pricks. However, they normally left him alone and Naruto had no reason to interact with the waste of shinobi tax dollars. This was the first time they openly did something against him and he had to give them credit for 'going in hard or going home'.
Slowly raising himself from the ground, ink flowing down his face like blood from a wound, Naruto turned his head to the object that had assaulted him. It was a brown tether-ball that looked all too similar to the one that was supposed to be at the playground. Why they had it? The blonde honestly didn't want to know.
Getting up from his seat, he slowly walked over, picked up the tether ball, and calmly walked back to the ones who were now standing with smirks on their faces as if daring the blonde to say something they didn't want to hear. Luckily for them, Naruto wasn't one to lash out childishly. He knew that they knew anything he did to them physically would just end up with them crying to the teachers and said teachers taking their side without even listening to his story.
"I believe you dropped this." Naruto held out the tetherball to the bullies who looked taken back from the blonde's lack of attitude. The one closest to the blonde hesitantly reached out to grabbed the ball and looked almost confused when the blonde simply walked away. That interaction would have, and should have, been the end of it. The blonde would walk away and not retaliate to the obvious bait to rile him up. They would let this go and that would be the end of it.
It would seem his thoughts were all wishful thinking because not even 5 steps to his chair something impacted the back of his head once again and sent him to the ground. Once again, the bullies were laughing, and Naruto had his face planted into another hard surface. For a second time, Naruto slowly picked himself up, grabbed the tetherball and was back in front of the bullies who grins were down right malicious. "Sorry, just can't control my hands now-a-days. It was an accident! Honestly!"
Naruto showed no emotion as he looked to the slightly taller boy smirking down at him. It would seem he made an error of judgement. He had thought not showing aggression would dissuade the bully from taking any further action since it seemed to work with the adults, but he forgot this person was not of the same maturity as the people he had dealt with in the past. He would have to fix that; consequences or no.
He held out the ball for the boy to take and was not surprised by the snarl on the bully's face.
However, when the boy went to yank the ball out of the Uzumaki's hands, he found that it stuck to the blonde's hands like glue. It wouldn't budge and no matter how much he pulled, he couldn't remove or move the blank faced blonde. "Hey! Let it go you freak!" the boy yelled, but got no response from the blonde.
"Did you know that there are over 200 bones in the human body?" the blonde ask as if he was asking the weather. "What I find more fascinating than the number is the fact that every bone can be as hard as steel if they are aided by calcium and other vitamins while the body grows."
"I don't care, freak! Just give me my damn ball already-"
"I didn't really believe this until I tested it in person." The Uzumaki continued unperturbed. "Much to my surprise, I found that bones were, indeed, as hard as steel. So hard in fact that if sharpened, there would be no different between it and a normal steel sword or kunai." The bully suddenly went quiet at the blonde's words. "In fact, they work so well that I made multiple weapons out of said bones. Be it animal or human, I used their remains to make an entire collection of weapons and various other tools for my everyday needs. I find it to be tough work, but I am good at making the best out the little I am given... That being said, my supply has diminished somewhat over the pass weeks due to the increase in studying and training I've had to undergo."
Suddenly, the room felt a lot colder the blonde stopped and stared directly into the eyes of the boy before him with his now sea-foam eyes that sent shivers up his and the bullies' spines.
"So, if your hands just so happen to slip again," faster than a kid his age should be capable, the blonde's hand shot out and stabbed something into the ball in the boy's hand. The ball deflated while the boy holding it fell down to his rear in fright. He looked to the deflated ball and his eyes went wide from the white tool that looked like a sharpened bone sticking out from the now useless piece of leather. Shakily looking back up, he and his friends were met with the cold stare of the boy they thought they could take on together. They were wrong. Very, very wrong. "I will permanently remove them from your body and use the bones as my future kunai."
On a good note, since that day, no one ever tried bullying him again. On a bad note, his reputation had dropped even further than even he had predicted and no one ever approached him again unless it was life and death (and in their minds, that's what it would be).
Despite the outcome of that encounter a year ago, he still believed that was the best course of action. Not only did others leave his to his devices, but it gave him more time to work on his shinobi skills and talk to Ghost-san. In his mind, who needed friends when you had one as great as Ghost-san anyways?
Now, at 9 years old and a year higher than his former peers and supposed bullies, he was now a grade higher than most of his peers. He would have been even higher, but due to the 'Uchiha Massacre' in which Itachi Uchiha massacred his entire clan to 'test his abilities', there were no more grade skipping for anyone—genius or no. Some say the Uchiha snapped under the duties he must have had as the villages youngest ANBU captain,some say he fell due to the cursed hatred born 'every member of the Uchiha Clan, some even say he was a sleeper agent for another village put in to weaken Konoha. Either way, thanks to the Uchiha, he put a damper on the blonde's plan for graduating the next year. A small setback, but that just meant he had more time to sharpen his skills before actually going to the field.
However, that did not mean he had to like his current situation. For the past month he'd had to continue sitting in a class he found boring and useless to his future duties as a shinobi. Everything he's learned over the years were outside the school grounds and even after being in this new class for a month, nothing has changed for him mental or social wise. He got the odd stare and glare from people who didn't even know him, but that was normal and was put to the back of his mind. The one person he thought would understand him was a Hyuuga by the name of Neji, but he was, if he could put it in a way his former classmate Kiba would say, a dick. Didn't even acknowledge him when he approached. It probably didn't help either since the next day he threw a flash bang tag in the Hyuuga's eyes to win the Taijutsu test. In fact, he went from unapproachable to downright hostile after that little 'stunt'. Wasn't his fault the Hyuuga and the rest of the class didn't understand there was no rules when it came down to a fight.
Nevertheless, that was fine with the Uzumaki. He had been a loner for the year he had attended the academy already. What was another four years to him?
That's why you will have to understand the shock he was feeling from the bun-haired girl currently smiling down at him during their lunch break. She was wearing a Chinese style sleeveless orange shirt with baggy black blue pants and shinobi sandals. She was about his height and, if he could remember correctly, her name was… Benten? Tenben? Something like that.
Anyways, from what he knew about her, her Taijutsu was just as average as his, but she excelled at shurikenjutsu and was the only one in the class capable of throwing kunai better than Neji and himself. Not the most sociable of girls, but she wasn't really unapproachable either. She's currently the kunoichi of the year and a shoe in to graduate on her first try. What someone like her was doing standing before him? He could only imagine.
"Hey there, Uzumaki-kun! Mind if I sit here?" Naruto didn't know what to say to the chipper girl, so he just nodded and watched as she sat down right next to him. She continued to smile as she watched him continue the seal he was currently working on to keep himself occupied. About a minute went by before the bun-haired girl decided to be the one to start up a conversation. "Ssssssoooooooo, whatcha working on?"
Naruto stopped for a second before replying in his usual monotone, "A seal."
"What kinda seal?"
"An important seal."
"…What kind of important seal."
The blonde looked away from his work and to the prying girl with furrowed brows and suspicion. "I am under no obligation to provide you with that information, Benten-san."
The girl's eye twitched, but raised her hands in a placating manner. "Sorry, didn't mean to pry. Just really wanted to know what kinda seal you were working on is all!"
The bun-haired girl tried her best to keep the smile on her face, but it was hard when she couldn't decipher the emotion on the face of the individual she was currently trying to strike up a conversation with. Naruto Uzumaki, a prodigy in his own right, was someone she'd never even thought of approaching. In the month he had been here, he hadn't spoken to a single person and, in the beginning, was regularly called out in class by Shitori-sensei for working on other projects during her lessons. She was sure the only reason the teacher never really punished him was because he seemed to get every, single question asked of him right. Soon, the teacher stopped calling on him all together seeing that he was clearly (somehow) still paying attention despite his eyes and hands being occupied by other tasks.
The kunoichi in training didn't really care what he was working on in the beginning until yesterday when she caught a glimpse of exactly what it was he was working on. She could still remember first the confusion of the scribbles written on the thin piece of paper, then the excitement that went through her body when she recognized some of the characters.
He was working on Fuuinjutsu, and from the complicated characters she could see on the paper, he was in the advanced stages; far above her own! At that moment, she felt as if she had found a kindred spirit among her peers and she just HAD to get the Uzumaki to tell her more about the art she heavily sought after!
Meanwhile, completely different thoughts were going on in the blonde's head. To the average shinobi, Tenten's persistence would immediately draw red flags. Just her demeanor alone leaked suspicion and could be pointed out even by a toddler. Her smile was too big for someone she had never spoken to, her posture showed submissiveness, and her tone was so bland it might as well have been plastic. She wanted something and she wasn't really the best at hiding it. That was OK. She was a growing shinobi-in-training and still had 4 years to master the art of deception before she graduated and was on the field.
However, the circumstances and timing of which the girl's 'curiosity' sparked was what put the young Uzumaki on edge more than her obvious ulterior motives. You mean to tell him that the day he decides to change the expired barrier formula for his home is the same day she grows interested in seals, while at the same time she 'just so happen' to talk to him when he's working on it? Well, Uzumaki Naruto was born over night, but not last night and could see through these childish games of sabotage in his sleep.
Ignoring the chuckles that echoed through his head, he 'interrogated' the kunoichi in training to find her true motives. "And what exactly would you do with that information, Benten-san?" the girl's eye twitch became more noticeable over her confusion at the question. "For all I know, you could use what I tell you to break through the defenses at my home and kill me when I am asleep. Or you could use what I tell you to sell off to other shinobi to do the dirty work for you; washing your hands of any future suspicion if the shinobi in question never got caught. Sorry, Benten-san, but I see through your plans and your attempts on my life will not bear fruit."
Tenten could not help the dumbfound look on her face. Her jaw hung agape and her brain went blank as it replayed everything in her mind. "What the-I'm NINE! Who in their right mind thinks like that at that age?! And my name is TENTEN, stupid! TEN! TEN!"
Looking nonplus at the girl's outburst, Naruto replied dryly, "We are training to be shinobi, Tenten-san. Paranoia comes with the job description. Said paranoia has kept me alive for all these years and has helped me improve myself as a future shinobi. If anything, you do not fear enough and that shows bad qualities for a future shinobi."
Tenten gawked at the blonde before a sneer appeared on her face and she stomped the ground angrily. "What's that supposed to mean?! You callin' me a bad shinobi you…you…blonde loner!"
Naruto seemed to frown as he thought over the brunette's words. A second later he bowed slightly to the brunette, much to the confusion of the bun-haired girl. "Forgive me. It was not my intention to berate your line of profession. I simply thought it wise of me to point out the flaws in your thought process when pursuing a career as treacherous as the one we both willingly enlisted in. I meant no disrespect by my words and hope you can forgive me for my offense."
Tenten couldn't say anything to the blonde's apology…more like, she couldn't really understand half the words used in that sentence and it showed from the strained look on her face. "…I didn't understand half those words. I know you're some kinda genius, but you can't make me believe you talk like that to everyone."
The blonde had to blink in confusion at the brunette's words. "Why wouldn't I speak like this to everyone? I thought my vocabulary was relatively normal. Is there perhaps another way of speaking that I was not privy to 'til now?"
"No! Just. Stop talking like that!"
"…Please elaborate, Tenten-san."
The blonde's confusion began showing on his face the angrier the girl got. "…You have me at a disadvantage. I do not understand your-"
"THAT! THAT RIGHT THERE! Just! UGH, stop using big words! You're hurting my brain, dang it!"
Tenten had to calm herself before she tore her hair out. Unlike the time she spoke to Neji (the resident stuck up prodigy prick), this kid genuinely seemed to lack the social norms every kid his age should be privy to…great, now SHE'S even talking like him! "Just. Look. Imma keep it simple. No, and I mean NO, normal kid talks the way you talk. To some people, it makes them see you as stuck up, while others find it hard to keep a conversation. How do any of your friends keep a steady conversation with you when you talk like you're just picking random words from a dictionary?"
"…I see. I did not know my vocabulary was too advanced for my peers. I will see to it to dumb down my vocabulary in our future conversations to fit the social norm."
'Deep breaths, Tenten. He didn't mean it. He has the sociability of a brick. Deep. Breaths.'
"However, I do find that task more work than it is worth. For one, I do not have acquaintances my age. Most who I converse with are of older age and understand me more than my peers ever have. They are few in numbers, but do not admonish me for the way I act, accept me for who I am, and do not talk down to me as if I'm not their equal. Though I am of younger age, I find their company more comforting and enjoyable than I've ever had amongst my peers."
Tenten…honestly didn't know what to say to that. He was younger than her, yet those eyes and those words did not belong to someone her age. To have no one your age who understands you had to have been lonely, right? She didn't honestly have many friends, but the few she could honestly call friends and the only older one she could think of was her father. Maybe that's why he was always alone? Because others didn't understand him? Really, what a stupid reason to isolate someone who, she believed, was just misunderstood. "Wow. That's…kinda sad."
The blonde shook his head. "Please do not show pity on my behalf. Though my precious one's are low, I do my best to cherish the one's I have and would not trade them for the world. If anyone else has a problem with the way I am, then they are not worthy of my time."
Wow, way to bring down the mood. Exactly what was she supposed to say to that? Tenten has seen sad people before, the Hyuuga princess being at the top of that list, but this kid, despite his isolation, genuinely feels the way he feels with no remorse. In fact, despite the way she would feel in his situation, she could see no hint of a lie or loneliness and it just felt so...wrong.
Then an idea suddenly struck the bun-haired girl. An idea so genius to her 9-year-old mind that it would be beneficial for both her and this poor, poor soul!
"Then how about this!" she declared, standing to her feet while pointing down at the blonde smugly. "From today onward, I, Tenten Higurashi, am going to be your first real friend! I will teach you the do's and don'ts of being a human being while also teaching you the various social norms that you obviously need in your life! In exchange, you are going to teach me Fuuinjutsu, train with me everyday after school, AND be my target practice buddy from here on!" ...what? she had to think about herself as well. There was no way she was going to do this and not get anything out of it. It's called equivalent exchange, people! Equivalent exchange! "So, whatcha say? Good deal, right?!"
No, it was not a good deal and Naruto didn't need a calculator to see who benefited more in this little 'mutual' exchange.
"I do not find this to be a mutual-"
"A good deal, right?!"
And that day, Naruto Uzumaki found his first, real friend.
"And what in creator's name am I, Child?! A phantom of the mind?!"
…Emphasis on real.
"This time you've completely gone too far!" an angry Iruka roared, a vein ready to pop on his forehead as he stood next to an unmoved Naruto Uzumaki, a Hokage gradually taking deep puffs from his pipe, and a voice in the blonde's head laughing hysterically.
"I am confused, Hokage-sama." Naruto said in a monotone. "All I did was show up for class this morning and suddenly I am dragged before you. Did I perhaps do something wrong?"
"You POISONED the entire class! For a Taijutsu test!"
Naruto looked to his fuming teacher with his usual look of impassive confusion that you could only see if you've known the blonde for years. "What proof do you have of that claim, Iruka-sensei?"
"Proof? PROOF?!" Iruka yelled, nearly hysterical from the amount of anger already built up from the blonde's denial. "What other PROOF do I need?! Everyone, and I mean every, SINGLE, student aside from you have magically come down with food poisoning, the flu, stomach viruses and various other conditions I'm sure not even Tsunade has fucking heard of! You've been picking herbs and ordering other shady materials from merchants for the past week wondering suspiciously close to clan compounds and civilian households! And if that wasn't the vinegar on the damn cake, you were the ONLY ONE who showed for the Taijutsu test this morning, healthy as the day you were fucking born! If that's not suspicious as all hell, then I'm not a goddamn Chuunin!"
"…So what you're telling me is, you somehow have been keeping tabs on your 9-year-old student's daily life outside of school grounds, dragged multiple bystanders into your investigation without probable cause, and somehow have come to the conclusion that I am the perpetrator of a serious crime that you have no solid proof of me performing? If anything, I am the victim here, while you seriously need to see a Yamanaka for psychiatric therapy. Having random delusions and conspiracy theories on the field can only bear negative results to both your health and your teammates' safety in the future... or you're a pedophile. And if that's the case, then you should be immediately detained and put on trial. Pedophilia of any kind has a zero tolerance for shinobi of the Leaf and you could be looking to face anywhere from thirty years to life in incarceration."
Iruka could only gawk at the nerve of this…of this…completely insane little shit! Not only does he deny the crimes he had obviously been weeded out committing, but now he's turned it on HIM? The NERVE of this little…!
"Don't turn this on me, damn it! Do you have any idea the uproar you've caused? We had to compensate civilian families for the week their kids were out of school! Not only that, but they demanded repercussion for your actions that we couldn't legally do since you're yet a registered shinobi! Hell, you're lucky the clan heads found your actions amusing, otherwise you'd have every clan in Konoha on your fucking head! You're lucky I'm your teacher or I would have thrown your ass at the first parent ready to take your ass!"
Iruka finished with heaving breaths as he looked down to the shinobi-in-training who looked back nonplussed. Seeing he was out of tobacco, Hiruzen reached into his desk to grab the extra, stronger, batch he always kept in his office just for situations like this. Guilty or no, he couldn't deny what Naruto had done was impressive. Hitting every clan and student without getting caught by a soul had to be one hell of a feat. He would praise the boy if the reasoning behind it wasn't so…plain. Though this was a story he would surely tell when he returned to his clan halls, he was supposed to be the Hokage at this point in time and it wouldn't look good if he was praising the boy for crimes. However, he wouldn't deny watching his Chuunin lose his wits was quite amusing to see.
"…I… see how that could be a detriment to my shinobi resume in the future. To be on the watch-list as a potential threat to both my teammates and sensei would be a problem for my future shinobi career. You are correct sensei, and I finally see the seriousness and consequences that would befall me from this incident." Iruka seemed to sigh in relief, thankful his student was finally fessing up to his crimes like the adult he portrayed to be. "…if I did it."
The guffawing in the blonde's head increased tenfold.
Inside the most infamous training ground in Konohagakure no Sato, also known as the 'Forest of Death', where monstrous animals and insects alike roam and poisonous plants you wouldn't find growing anywhere else in the Elemental Nations, sat a youth with spiky blonde hair and a foam green strand hanging in front of his face. He currently sat alone in one of the few clearings in the heavily forested area, crisscross with closed eyes as if meditating. The boy currently wore a black sleeveless jacket with fishnet underneath, orange trousers with a pouch strapped over his leg by tape and completed the look with black open-toed shinobi boots that went halfway up his shins and had the cuffs of the pants tucked in.
If anyone were to come across this scene, they would be wondering just what the hell someone his age was doing a place where the death toll was over 100 every year in the village. This forest was heavily contained for a reason and was only meant for the Chuunin Exams. It was not meant for shinobi-in-training, or 'wet behind the ears kids' as most Jonin would put it, to be roaming around without the supervision of a Jonin or higher.
However, Naruto Uzumaki was no normal trainee.
He was here for a reason, and said reason was currently embedded into the ground before him. A double-edged, two handed sword that had the pointed edge of a blade, but had the fuller designed like a human spine with one side sharp, the other with vertebrae edges, and every 2 inches of the blade splitting like disks. The guard of the blade resembled that of a dragon's wings while the rain-guard was wide and had a hole in the center. You would think the blade's design by itself would mark it as 'unique', but you'd be wrong. This was no ordinary blade.
And that fact was proven a second later when, of all things, a giant centipede came rushing out of the closest bushes and right at the unmoved blonde. Just when the monstrous insect was about to close in on it's prey, azure eyes shot open and immediately grabbed the embedded sword before jumping over the incoming threat. While airborne, the sword seemed to come to life as it pulsed red before the spine-like sword seemed to break apart into multiple pieces. Many would be confused at the sudden destruction of the sword, but would be more shocked at the cord that connected each separated piece. The once 4-foot sword was now over 10 meters long and was currently being twirled wildly around. At a closer look, the blonde could be seen twirling the handle of the sword above his head almost lazily. The ease at which he twirled the weapon while making sure the sword stayed controlled showed both rigorous, nonstop training and dedication to his art.
A second later, the now Whip Blade was swung towards the insect that had missed its pray. With little effort, the tip of the blade broke through the armor of the giant insect and continued completely through the bug until it was feet deep in the dirt. Landing on a branch, Naruto watched the insect he had impaled writhe in pain for a few seconds before recalling his weapon. More green blood was sprayed over the land as multiple jagged blade edges ripped more out of the insect than it did going in. Another second later, the sword was back in it's base form and Naruto had to swipe the sword to get the insects blood from his now most precious treasure.
He didn't have time to watch the insect die since not even a second later, a barrage of kunai was thrown from his six. Quickly following his sixth sense, he hopped off the branch before he could become a human porcupine. Now mid-air, he was once again forced to take action as an axe, or all things, came spinning out of nowhere. Quickly dodging the spinning projectile, he allowed his sword to extend till it was embedded into a nearby tree. He quickly let the sword reel him in and out of the previous dangerous position. However, he was not able to rest just yet since a rain of kunai, swords, axes, lances, and many other sharp tools he couldn't identify at a glance began to rain from above. With one hand-sign, he had been replaced with a log and watched from a secure location as the log was peppered by sharp silver steel.
Now hidden in a nearby bush, Naruto took the time to search for his attacker. From where he could see, there was no one around. He had a suspicion of where the attacker could be based off the direction the weapons had all been thrown, but was sure his opponent was smarter than to stay in place when their location can possibly be discovered from their weapon's trajectory.
After a few minutes of watching and seeing nothing out of the ordinary, the blonde allowed himself to relax and close his eyes. To anyone watching, it would have just been a second since the blonde relaxed, but to the blonde he had gotten everything he needed to know in that small second without anyone being the wiser.
His eyes were suddenly back open and he immediately threw multiple kunai with pinpoint accuracy to a bush 30 meters away at his 5. As if predicting the future, he dissembled his sword and whipped it out towards just above the foliage as a figure shot into the air.
He was rewarded by his whip sword wrapping around his intended target, getting a squeak of surprise as he reeled it in. The human figure landed hard in front of him while whispering curses at its harsh landing. The figure, most definitely female, looked up to her captor with a sneer as he casually bent down to…poke her in the head.
"Poke." Naruto said with as much emotion as a rock. "I win."
Tenten only grew angrier at the blonde's attempt at humor. "You're cheating! I just KNOW you're cheating you blonde prick!"
Naruto stared down at her blankly as if that was one of the dumbest things she had ever said. The bun-haired girl grew flustered at the unspoken lecture and looked away with flushed cheeks. Cheating or no, asking Naruto to fight fair was like asking a brick to be soft.
"…Can you at least tell me how you cheated this time? If you're going to keep kicking my ass, I at least have a right to know how you're doing it."
Naruto looked up in thought for about half a minute before looking back down at his expectant friend. "No."
Ignoring the curses being spat from his prisoner, Naruto couldn't help but admire the hilt of the sword he had been using now for the past 6 months. No matter how many times he looked at it, it was still as beautiful as the day he woke up next to it. This very unique sword had been one of the yearly gifts given to him by none other than Ghost-san herself.
Yes. She, had told him it was the best, and last, gift she could give him and he had accepted it wholeheartedly without question of how she even got it into reality. It was just one of the many mysterious he was happy not knowing about since, secrets or no, Ghost-san was his most precious person and he believed she would tell him when she was ready. It was because of Ghost-san that he would be graduating soon, it was because of Ghost-san that he was able to have more time than most to train his skills to his fullest, it was Ghost-san who was always there to fill his void of loneliness when no one else would, and it was because of Ghost-san that he still drew breath.
He didn't know when, but one day he would pay back Ghost-san for everything she has done for him. And that was a promise of a lifetime, Dattebayo!
"UNTIE ME DAMN IT!"
A couple years ago, Naruto would proudly declare that he hated reading. It was an activity that was not only extremely boring and lacked any physical exertion other than turning a page and moving his eyes, but he couldn't deny the benefits he reaped from reading a good book or scroll. Just by reading a few scrolls, he already knew more about history in the span of 3 months than he would have learned in the next year at the academy. Though he's learned much from that prison he'd call a school, the speed at which the teachers taught were just not to his liking. The fact that the school literally wouldn't teach the kids anything above a D-rank jutsu was off-putting in and of itself. So, what they couldn't (or wouldn't) teach him at the academy, he would learn at the library.
Now, he didn't just up and decide he wanted to go to the library and learn more about the history of the Shinobi World. No, this decision to read about history came straight from Ghost-san itself. For some reason, the distorted voice in his head told him it wanted to know more about the 'World of Shinobi' and basically demanded he read more about it or he would stop supplying him his 'gift'. Remembering just how useful the ability he was given for his birthday, plus how much Ghost-san had taught and saved him many times in the past, he speedily, yet reluctantly, went to the library every day to read up a scroll or two about the history of Konoha and the entire Elemental Nations.
He would be lying if he said he got nothing out of the experience. Quite the contrary. Since he became an academy student, there was a section he could visit without the librarian getting on his case. It wasn't much at first glance—just a bunch of scrolls about chakra control and hand-signs that he was not so good at. However, he came across gold in the form of a book written by none other than the Yondaime Hokage himself.
Fuuinjutsu for Beginners.
Naruto was hooked the moment he saw who the book was written by.
Namikaze Minato. The Fourth, and greatest, (in his mind) Hokage of Konohagakure no Sato. The man that almost singlehandedly ended the Third Great Shinobi War with the use of his Hiraishin Jutsu. The man also known as a Fuuinjutsu master as well as one of the best Shinobi to ever live.
Naruto had a dream to become the greatest Shinobi that ever lived. It was a dream he decided to pursue the day he ate Ramen with the current Hokage of Konoha. A dream that he would achieve by any means necessary. So, in his mind, whatever the Yondaime had his hands in had to be something worth investigating.
Unfortunately, he underestimated just how hard the art of Fuuinjutsu would be.
On paper, Fuinjutsu was just an art where you wrote a bunch of characters on a piece of paper and the paper would come to life to whatever was written. In reality, it was a complete complex system of Kanji and mathematic equations that one had to be spot on with or you would either get no result, or, in worst case scenario, get an unwanted, and sometimes devastating, backlash. He learned this the hard way when he attempted to make a paper bomb at home. After reading the book for 3 months, he figured he was finally ready to move on to more advanced material than putting blocks together with chakra paper and solving stupid puzzles, so he decided to move straight to the final intermediate challenge of the book instead of going through the rest of the challenges one by one like he had been doing.
One, slight, character out of place and the use of the wrong kanji completely turned his apartment floor into nothing but rubble. Thankfully, Ghost-san, like always, reversed the fabric of time and brought him back from the spirit world. However, he was forever scarred mentally and did not attempt Fuuinjutsu again until 3 months later. Once he finally completed the book, he completely understood why the Fourth called Fuuinjutsu the hardest art to master. He believed his head would explode any minute from the amount of mathematical equations and history he had to store into his tiny brain.
But nonetheless, the positive outcomes of learning Fuuinjutsu far exceeded the minuscule amount of cons. For one, his grades in class had improved drastically from his first year. He went from being in the top 20, to sitting comfortably in the top 10 much to everyone at the academy's shock. Skipping a year was just the icing on the cake. If that wasn't good enough, then the fact that Hokage-jiji himself said that he would give him the second part of the Hokage's book once he was evaluated by the current and only seal master of Konoha, Jiraiya of the Sannin, make the blonde feeling excited at the future possibilities. Just thinking about the proud face of the Hokage made the Uzumaki want to work even harder towards his ultimate goal and he was sure the old man would be there to help him every step of the way.
But at this current moment in time, Naruto couldn't help but glare at the aging Hokage before him as he asked the one question that has been on his mind for the past week. "Jiji, am I a Jinchuuriki?"
Hiruzen nearly swallowed his pipe from the gasp that left his lips. After a few seconds of choking and regathering his composure, he looked into the eyes of the frowning boy he would be proud to call someone important in his life. He knew Naruto Uzumaki was a bright boy for his age and knew it was only a matter of time before he came across the truth considering his found interest in the art of Fuuinjutsu. Not only that, but the fact he completed the Fuuinjutsu book that not even high Jonin could complete within a year told Hiruzen a lot about the boy's talents.
He could still remember the retired shinobi librarian's fearful report 4 years ago when she came across the Jinchuuriki delving heavily into the art of sealing. Thankfully, after talking to the boy, and having ANBU observe him closer every day for the next 6 months, he didn't seem to know anything about the Kyuubi nor had any interest in Jinchuuriki at all. But, like everything, eventually problems you hold off comes back to bite you right in the ass. Hiruzen only wished the boy was older before he heard the truth from his mouth.
With a hand-sign, he dismissed his ANBU and activated the privacy seals in his office. Hiruzen put on the mask of the Hokage he was supposed to be and stared intensely at his favorite 'unrelated' grandson. He couldn't be any more enthusiastic about the conversation he was about to have even if a kunai was to his throat, but from the look in the youth's eyes there was no way out of it. Better now than never. "Before I answer any of that Naruto-kun, may I first ask why questions of Jinchurriki have crossed your mind and how you've come to the conclusion that you are currently a vessel?"
Naruto's frown stayed put for a second before he spoke back to the man he currently had mixed feeling about, "I was in the middle of completing one of my Fuuinjutsu assignments. The current topic was sealing specific items into scrolls or paper tags. It was as I was completing the assignment that a question began running through my head: 'If you could seal objects into other objects, then would it be possible to seal things into other beings?'" Here, the young Uzumaki's frown seemed to deepen. "It was only by coincidence that this month also happened to be the same month I celebrate my birth that I remembered the seal that appears on my stomach whenever I use chakra. Before I delved into Fuuinjutsu, I had no idea what the characters on my stomach represented or why it was there. However, the more I advanced, the more some of the complicated formulas began to make sense. Before I knew it, I was able to piece together the symbols that were similar to that of a sealing scroll. I tried researching characters to uncover whatever it was locked away, but to no success. So, in other words, there was something sealed inside me that I never remembered putting there."
Hiruzen would have defended the actions taken by the Fourth, but couldn't since it didn't seem the blonde was finished.
"That same day I remembered someone in my childhood throwing the word 'Jinchuuriki' at me—a word that literally translates to 'Power of Human Sacrifice'. Everything began piecing together after that. The Kyuubi attack 9 years ago, my birth date, Jinchuuriki, the hate from the people," Naruto was now openly snarling at the man he called 'Jiji'. 'Please tell me, Hokage-sama, what else have you been keeping from me?"
The Hokage let out a breath before looking down to his unrelated grandson—preparing to give news he wasn't too keen on revealing. "Listen, Naruto-kun. What I'm about to tell you is an S-rank secret and it can never leave this room. Do I make myself perfectly clear?" he received an answer with a short nob before closing his eyes, knowing this was inevitable.
And so, he told him everything; beginning to end. From the day the Kyuubi attacked, to the eventual sealing of the beast. From the Fourth's words of how he wanted Naruto to be held as a hero, to the eventual law that was passed to protect the boy from the village he called home. Nothing was left out and Naruto stayed silent throughout. Once he was finished, the Hokage sat with bated breath on the blonde's response. He had told him everything he knew and the blonde barely blinked throughout the fifteen minute long explanation. That's why it was so baffling to the Hokage when he did finally speak.
"…And what of the Fourth… my father?" The flabbergasted look the Hokage showed told the young Uzumaki more than he would have liked. "…And Kushina Uzumaki?" at this point, the Hokage had his head down in shame. The blonde could only shake his head, disappointed in the one man he was sure he could trust with his life. "…I see… You still keep secrets from me even now." He spoke in a low, detached voice before standing from his chair and walking towards the door. The Hokage could only stare speechless at the boy he'd called 'family' walk away from him in disappointment. Before Naruto left, he turned to his grandfather figure with utter disappointment plain to see on his face. "I… do not wish to see you for a while, Hokage-sama."
Neither knew, it would be far too long and far too late before the young blonde ever forgave the current God of Shinobi.
Naruto looked around as he wondered aimlessly through the empty void. For the past month, he had been having this same dream without ever making any progress on why it was happening. He had tried confiding in Ghost-san, but he hadn't heard her voice in the past month either—not on the day he normally celebrated, and not even today, his actual birthday. As usual, he couldn't help the paranoia he felt without her constant protection, but he soldiered through. Now he knew there was a reason behind her silence and he was sure it had something to do with the void he currently found himself exploring.
It would seem his wandering bore fruit since not even 100 ft into his usual walk, a 20 ft tall wooden door blurred into view before him. The oak wood looked worn. Multiple vines poked through the cracks on the surface and the metal twirling dragon emblem in the center was rusted and cracked along the beast's neck. He would have examined it more, but his curiosity of what laid inside overrode his appreciation for the architecture of the door.
Not wasting any time, he pushed forward on the door and was surprised at just how light the 20 ft structure was. The door let out an ominous 'creek' before it was fully open. Taking cation, he walked in and looked in all corners. The wooden door led to an open cobblestoned corridor that stretched far
It was as he was observing the room that his eyes finally stopped on the steps of stone that lead further to the ceiling. His eye slowly traveled up each step until his eyes land on the throne at the top. He couldn't stop his eyes from widening marginally at the figure he saw sitting on the throne.
The figure, definitely a girl, was sitting on the throne with one leg up on the throne while the other dangled over the edge—one hand sat lazily across her lap while the other sat on the arm rest and held up the petite face that was smirking down at the blonde. She had long, spiky parakeet green hair that went down to her ankles, red and white ribbons tied together the front of her hair into two braids and a golden heart shaped tiara kept the rest of the hair behind her. She had matching colored sea foam eyes that shined with amusement and long pointed ears much like an elf that seemed to be twitching every now and then. Her attire consisted of a dark blue dress that showed her midriff and above her nonexistent breast freely—covering only the important part of her female anatomy. The dress was a double slit that stopped just below her hips while the back overflowed to the ground. The last notable thing about the girl's attire was a necklace made of rope connecting into diamond patterns from her arms, neck, and finally, a totem pole-like object hanging from the rope going down to her high thigh.
Naruto had never met this girl. He had never seen anyone that remotely resembled this girl. However, that did not mean he didn't know exactly who this girl was. It was a feeling, but that feeling rushed through the rest of his body and for the first time in his life, his heart skipped a beat.
"Seems we finally meet face to face, Uzumaki Naruto."
And he already knew her name. A name that had been whispered into his ear for the past month. A name he had wished to know for over 9 years.
"It's good to finally see you too… Sothis."
New world, new warden
The Kyuubi no Kitsune, the strongest Bijuu to ever walk the Elemental Nations, opened his eyes to look down at the green-haired woman that looked back to him in wide eyed terror. The meatbag wore relatively dark clothes that consisted of a cloak that hung from her shoulders, a skirt that went to her mid-thigh along with strange pattered stockings that accentuated her long thighs. A black plated armor covered her midriff and a strapless tank top perfectly hugged her rather sizeable bust.
This woman. This weak, pathetic excuse of a flesh bag was nothing compared to the many that walked the Elemental Nations. He could eat her right now. Tear down these bars and devour her whole. Make sure she never gets the chance to use his power. However, that option was off the table. There was no chakra in this new world and if she died, he wasn't so sure he would reappear 5 years later like he would in the Elemental Nations.
So, he would let her live. Let her pitiful existence entertain him more in this world so much different than the one he'd lived in for multiple millennium. He'd let her use his power, even if that meant he had to give this little insect the power to take over this new world for her goals and his own amusement. With that being said, it wouldn't do for him to not be the first to speak in their first conversation. After all, he had to make sure who would be the dominant species in this new 'relationship'.
"So, my warden finally decides to grace me with her presence."
A/N: I just had to get this idea out of my head. Been having it in there for weeks and just couldn't get rid of it until I had it on paper.
Before anyone else ask: No, I am not going to be stopping my other story. This, along with 60,000 words of other things, I had to get out of my head were now on paper and whether or not I post those are completely up to me. Whether or not this continues is completely up to how people react to it.
To be honest, I don't really know if I should post this here or on the non-crossover page since the crossover here is major to the plot, but minor in terms of character representation. Tell me what you guys think and I will decide then. If this chapter suddenly disappears on my page, then you will know where it went.
I will also be posting the other things I've been working on some time this or next month. Want to get all my skeletons out of my closest and finally finish my other story, or hopefully, start a new story that a lot more people can enjoy. If this or some don't get the attention I'm looking for however, then I will gladly put them up for adaptation in the future just to see what other people turn it into!
The rating for this story will be T, but could change in the future when the violence and other scenes kick up.
The next chapter to my other story shouldn't take too much longer. Life, writer's block, lack of actually motivation, and multiple other story ideas dominating my brain honestly kept me away from it. Hope to get it out sooner or later though!