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Chapter 1 – The Will (1)

I should've expected that life in Konoha a couple of years prior to the First Shinobi War was going to be… terribly slow.

It wasn't like I was annoyed by the fact that I wasn't put in a dangerous situation, in fact I was enjoying that I had yet to be forced getting my first kill.

War was going to happen eventually, but it was far enough for me to evaluate any chances of improvement available in Konoha. Which meant training both at School and back home.

The simple life of one of the first students at Konoha Academy ended up being fairly easier than anything shown in the Manga and it didn't occupy as many hours of the day as its 'future' version would. The lack of many of the subjects that were in this time period labeled as 'civilian only' meant that all 'Ninja-based' topics were expanded and prioritized with incredible scrutiny.

Shurikenjutsu, Tainjutsu, Genjutsu, and Ninjutsu.

This last subject wasn't going to be taught until we were 'mature' enough to handle the lessons.

History was the only non-fighting related topic that was mostly left to families to explain to their children to dispense.

The Warring Era was a bloody and confusing one, and nobody was yet capable of offering a full-fledged explanation of the various events that happened before and during the conclusion of these unpleasant years.

I had the chance of speaking with my 'Okaasan' about the time when both Otousan and Ojijisan were still alive and fighting 'bravely' for out clan.

The memories were painful to remember, and I could see the woman flinch more than once in her narration. But I knew that receiving positive inputs during these tales, especially now that I was 'tiny and adorable' would've avoided unpleasant circumstance with the lone parent.

About this very matter, I had also seen to mention to the neighbors about the fact that my mother would get 'distracted' while talking about my father. The implicit request would then result in various people, mostly fellow mothers and wives that had taken sympathy over my 'nervousness' and my mother's depression, visiting and inviting Okaasan while I was away either for School or for outdoor training.

With that base covered temporarily as I knew that things could be solved just by offering 'external support', I shifted my attention over the Academy and… its teachers.

It's still odd to think that the more important classes were taught by the Senju Brothers.

The First Hokage was the man-child kind of guy that knew how to speak with the students and somewhat 'relate' to them. He was rather experienced with kids… which was quite odd since he had yet to become a father.

He was married, the union between him and Mito Uzumaki having happened just a few months before the formation of Konohagakure no Sato.

Still, despite being one of the beloved teachers in the school, his presence was somewhat lacking most of the time. With Hashirama being busy with his tasks as the leader of the village, his younger sibling was given full control of the Academy, and, with this much power under his belt, the guy created the basis of an educative system that will improve and prosper the more time passed and experience was gained over this project.

It was good work that genuinely helped with the awkward state the school was and, surprisingly enough, it was also one devoid of the biased opinion the man had with the Uchiha Clan.

Some of the students were part of that family, and I failed to see instances that made their lives difficult compared to their peers. Everyone, from civilian-born kids to the heirs to the Clans, were treated with utmost equality and meritocracy.

And that made me contemplate when things spiraled out of control and rendered this place of culture in a corrupt system to favor certain groups.

Two weeks went by swiftly and mostly uneventfully, with only a couple of unique circumstances genuinely bringing me to a grimace or even to outright fuming before certain people.

Hiruzen proved to be a good friend, one that would accept my moments of venting in exchange of receiving my own ears when he needed to rant himself about his own troubles.

It was unnerving how this degree of frustration had become a normality for both our lives, especially after we had accepted the 'rewards' offered by the 'Bickering Leader Trio'.

While the rewards promised counted two Fuuton and a Katon ninjutsu, the rivalry between Madara and Tobirama spawned an extended training schedule.

I considered myself partly at fault for the circumstance, something I had never told to Hiruzen out of the fact that I wasn't sure how Tobirama was training him.

I only knew that Madara was a massive bastard when he was teaching people. This very detail not only explained why Hashirama didn't trust his 'counterpart' in teaching at the Academy, but also why there was no canon apprentice known to have been taught by the Clan Leader.

Obito counted more as an unwilling student that hardly learned something from the real deal and was conditioned by Zetsu.

Still, the spark that escalated the simple reward in full training could be identified in a minor mistake I made while trying my best in learning the Fire Ninjutsu picked by Madara.

The Great Fireball Jutsu was the first ability anyone that had an affinity with Fire should be training with when starting elemental-based learning. Mastering the technique was also considered a test for any Uchiha Shinobis and Kunoichis to prove their worth as proud warriors of their clans.

But I soon found the 'only day offered' to learn the Jutsu to be incredibly unfair on my part. I wasn't sure if Madara had seen to check if I had Fire affinity, but I knew already from Canon that Danzo's affinity was Wind, with minor hints of Earth and Water.

I wasn't supposed to get the Ninjutsu going. In fact, I think I ended up surprising Madara himself when I ended up replicating the 'simple Ninjutsu' after six hours of continuous attempts.

It was draining on my Chakra coils, but the sizzling noise and the fiery explosion that ensued once the modest-sized fireball collided with the nearby trees was more than enough to leave me with a cheeky smile.

… I suppose I should explain how I, a seven years-old Danzou Shimura, managed to make use of that powerful ninjutsu after so 'little'.

The key to my success was tied to two minor factors that not many children in my situation would've been able to make use under the pressure exerted by the Sharingan-wielder.

The first thing was that I knew the supposed effects the jutsu was supposed to cause to the user while preparing. The sensation of burning by the lungs, then by the throat, and finally by the lips.

Fire had to be coaxed carefully during the complete process, as a simple mistake on this part would result in my concentration getting disrupted by the unpleasant sensation. I had to spend a couple of attempts just to get a grasp over the first step before proceeding to the next and last one.

'Spitting' the Fireball sounded quite easy to accomplish… and yet the issue that found me stuck for hours was that I couldn't get it to properly form out of my mouth. The sphere would just leave in a lengthy lick of fire that would swiftly reach my target without actually forming in a compact Fireball.

Despite my surprise at becoming a human flamethrower, the attempt was ignored by Madara as the man calmly exercised nearby with his Gunbai.

It definitively didn't help my morale when the guy supposedly offering 'teaching' was wasting time training on his own.

I didn't even try to ask for any advice as I was unsure how the man would've taken my uneasy steps toward success. He was prideful alright, and I didn't need to get in his bad side considering the massive difference between him and me.

Which meant I was left on my own to get this blasted Ninjutsu cooked properly. And it worked… kind of.

The Fireball former with some quivering by the edges, as if it was ready to disperse in an explosive manner, but I managed to send it soaring right at my target and get it to destroy it.

I waited for a few seconds, trying to normalize my breathing after the umpteenth itching enveloping my lungs at the fiery technique, and my 'first' training session came to an end when Madara saw it fit to provide some 'emotional' support in the form of… a single rough headpat.

To be honest, I almost yelped at the unexpected touch, expecting for my head to be squished for having messed up somewhere in the process.

"You've done well. You may go now," The Uchiha Clan Leader commented curtly.

And he left at that point.

Confusion had swelled for just a handful of seconds before I decided to accept the dismissal and finally return back home.

Okaasan was impressed by the fact I had gained Madara's attention, but the way she praised my good work seemed more of a chiding than else. Maybe the woman knew it herself that the Uchiha wasn't one to keep close by.

And I knew that her common sense was correct by the time I was 'picked up' at school by the man the very following day.

There was no word spared, not even a greeting as Madara walked toward me as I followed the small group of students out of the Academy and led me away from the path from home and… right to the training grounds we had used the day before.

Training ensued and, differently from the 'first lesson', the Uchiha actually gave attention to my progress. Taijutsu was given priority since my close combat was severely lacking.

The Academy was offering a limited fighting style to its students. One that was easily outmatched in raw power and speed by the Uchiha Clan Taijutsu.

It was terrible the first week. Madara was relentless with his comments, bringing up in punctual details how my stance was either too rigid or too at ease, how my reaction time was crappy in the worst times, and how 'he was hitting me softly, and tears were not going to make him stop'.

To be fair, what made some tears fall off wasn't the fact I wasn't expecting this much pain, but the fact that my tiny body was more sensible than an adult's one. It didn't have the same pain endurance as my original body, and thus everything coming my way stung harder than expected.

I wasn't really crying at getting wrecked by a veteran Shinobi, but rather my body reacted in that manner at the sudden and intense pain.

When the second week began, things took a strange positive twist. And not only about the training sessions.

I was gaining more resilience and understanding of the Uchiha Taijutsu the more time I spent training with it and against it. Madara wasn't merciful, but he would concede a couple of pauses along the sessions.

It was tough, but not impossible by the end of the day.

The change that actually caught me off-guard was that I somehow got popular at the Academy because of it. While people weren't unsure what I was doing with Madara, the fact that the Uchiha kids were spending an unexpected amount of time close to me and trying to build up social relations was more than enough to warrant quite the inner inquiry about the matter.

Maybe the family thought of me as am honorary Uchiha since their clan chief was teaching me, but I was quite sure that Madara himself had no implication on the matter. It wouldn't help me nor him at training, and he wasn't certainly trying to flex his 'apprentice' so strongly before the Senju Brothers.

Tobirama was fairly moderate himself from what I knew from Hiruzen. Whatever bet had been made once Madara had gone to him and Hashirama to gloat over my 'abilities', it didn't seem worth of making a large fuss over it.

Still, this very subversion of my lonely pace at school left me with a single positive change that would end up becoming useful in the future.

Kagami Uchiha, one of the 'low-born' members of the clan, was someone that didn't seem interested in making ambitious gains by befriending me. He was more of a follower than a 'rival' and someone that just ended up following the 'collective thought' and try his efforts and reaching for me.

What truly made him stand out compared to the rest was the kind of question he asked me when we ended up sitting near to each other.

"Is Madara-sama tough with his lessons?"

I was almost surprised when I first heard the blunt query, and I spared some moments of silence before giving him a quick 'Yes' while I glanced back at him.

If I had to make a comparison between other members of the Uchiha clan, Kagami was a strange mix of Obito and Sasuke.

He was naive just like the former, and terribly silly when it came in making friends outside of his Clan, but he was also attentive to class and seemed to have already a good understanding of the Great Fireball Jutsu.

Adding him to the conversations with Hiruzen brought up a quality element I would've never expected the boy to bring up.

With the young Sarutobi being initially uneasy while having a member of the Uchiha clan listening at our discussions, the brunet seemed to change approach when he noticed that there was nothing of the arrogant and pompous elements that made up a large majority of the family.

In fact, I could tell that both him and Kagami were bonding quickly. Way more quickly than I expected it to be.

Still, it was good to be broadening the circle of peers with a third member, and thus our little group started to get more livelier thanks to our newest mutual friend.

But while things might have been pleasant because of these developments, I sure hadn't expected for Tobirama and Madara to take their bet to the next step.

It all started when Hiruzen and I were called to reach the Academy. It was Sunday morning and… there was no one waiting for us at the entrance-

"Do you think that they are waiting inside?"

I glanced at Hiruzen with a half-tired look. I had woken up in a panic as Okaasan had rushed to my room with an urgent letter from Madara requesting my immediate presence.

I had planned to spend the early hours of the morning in my futon, preparing physically and mentally for today's afternoon session with the Uchiha Clan leader.

With my plans burned so suddenly because of some petty and childish rivalry, and with me rushing through my usual morning routine to not turn out late, I ended up finding Hiruzen waiting by the gates. He had been summoned with a letter similar to mine, this one actually signed by Tobirama.

The young Sarutobi didn't look any better than I was. Maybe even worse considering the sleep bags underneath his eyes.

"The gates are closed," I pointed out calmly.

The boy blinked at me, glancing back at the gates and… then back at me.

"I didn't… notice."

Mighty God, Kami-sama, and Tamamo-chama, why are we suffering for two morons' bet?

Sighing at the response, I turned back at the gates, but more specifically at the small wall that I knew both Hiruzen and I could vault with little effort.

"We can still check inside," I muttered quietly, gaining once again Hiruzen's attention on me.

"But the gates are closed," He repeated my words, and I almost facepalmed at the lifeless voice it was all delivered.

"We can still check. Maybe they were busy and couldn't receive us at the entrance," I commented back, pointing at the small wall as we both approached it. "Anyway this situation goes, I don't think we can get in trouble for merely snooping around."

The young Sarutobi looked uncertain at first, but the unwillingness to keep waiting standing up under the sun eroded any moral reluctance to 'break' that implicit rule of not entering the building during weekends.

Nobody was there to check the place, and so our 'infiltration' proved to be as easy as drinking from a glass of water.

The Academy was desolate as we ventured inside and… we couldn't hear anything that could help us in our search. If the two adults were indeed within the premises of the building, then they had to be somewhere near the Principal's Office.

Tobirama was known to keep to that room during most of the time at the school which wasn't spent to give lectures to his assigned classrooms.

After going two floors up thanks to the simple staircase built by the entrance, we started to wander by the administrative area of the Academy.

The zone was forbidden to students in normal circumstances, but there were occasions were teachers would send kids to pick up books that were available by the library in the specific floor.

Right now, Hiruzen and I were keeping a somewhat attentive stance as we delved deeper in the silent halls of the school.

Could it have been a ploy to annoy us?

No. Even though Madara would've done this to me, I couldn't see him actually agreeing with Tobirama about the matter.

Something was indeed off with the lack of someone waiting at the entrance, and perhaps something bad had happened before we arrived there.

Staring left and right, I took a sudden pause as I finally heard a noise. It was muffled, but I could recognize the difference from the continuous silence surrounding us.

Hiruzen seemed to have heard it too as he tensed up right as I did. Our pace increased a little bit as we rushed to where we heard the noise and… another one reached our ears.

Confusion swelled as we stopped before the door that led to the room in which the ruckus was going on. Things were muffled, but we could hear some brawling happening inside.

But wasn't the Hokage's office meant to be empty today?

During the weekends, the Hokage was allowed to deal with paperwork right at home. One of the few situations that had changed by the time the Sandaime would take over the role.

And that meant whoever was inside it was neither the Hokage, nor someone with friendly intentions.

Madara wouldn't have concocted something this complicated, and not this malicious. I had done everything to keep him pleased, or at least happy with the way I handled training.

There were no guards around, and there had been no Shinobi Wars to reinforce the need of keeping watch over important places-

A foreign intruder? Could it be that an enemy spy had infiltrated Konoha?

I gritted my teeth at the chances of this being the truth and, I glanced at Hiruzen with a serious look. The brunet had sobered up and listened to my whispered orders of keeping close quite earnestly.

I took a couple of steps toward the door, reaching for the handle with my left hand while my right one was inside my pouch to fish out a kunai.

Holding my breath in, I carefully unlocked the mechanism and peeked inside.

I tensed up again, this time a light blush erupting on my face as I saw that there were two individuals there.

One, a man from his muffled voice, was sitting by the chair behind the desk while the other, a woman, had settled by the man's lap.

I couldn't see perfectly the features of the man, but since I recognized the red hair combed in two buns that were telling hints about a certain character in this era, I felt dread at what I was looking at.

Mito Uzumaki let out a brief giggle as she tried to unfasten Hashirama's shirt. Her kimono was slightly unraveled, but I could see only her pale upper back from my current position.

Gulping nervously, I felt paling as I soon realized that this was much worse than a spy stealing military secrets.

We just ended up catching the Hokage and his wife ready to go through the 'deed'. And his wife was a red-haired Uzumaki.

I didn't linger any longer with the stare, carefully closing the door. I glanced at a confused Hiruzen, the boy growing nervous at my panicked look.

"W-We need to leave," I whispered quickly.


"I will tell you later," I answered swiftly. "We can't get caught by them."

"What is going-" He didn't finish the sentence that he ended up tripping on some uneven part of the carpet. The fall ended up with Hiruzen landing on his butt, but the impact was enough to warrant a noticeable 'thud' out of it.

My eyes widened even more at the noise, feeling thousands screeches exploding in my head at what had just up.

I heard something shuffle inside the office, and then footsteps-

Pulling Hiruzen up from the ground, I pushed him to start to run.

"Gogogogogogo!" I whispered furiously, paying no attention at the sudden slam created by a furious Uzumaki trying to catch us in there. But I pumped more chakra in my legs, and urging Hiruzen to do the same.

The young Sarutobi made the mistake of giving a quick glance behind and, from the way he suddenly paled and increased his pace, I knew that the situation was as ugly as I thought it to be.

It was just as we turned the corner that I remembered that we weren't dealing with simple individuals.

The entire section of the hall between us and the emergency staircase was filled with a mix of vines and golden chains blocking the passage.

Our pursuers were catching up without any pause, and I knew that we couldn't get caught like this. Not with Mito Uzumaki giving chase to us!

So I decided to make a hasty decision and indulge Hiruzen to prepare one of the Fuuton techniques that Tobirama had taught him.

At first the brunet was confused as Wind Style: Great Breakthrough didn't have the power to break the chains, but he still complied the very moment he noticed that I was making hand seals myself.

Snake – Ram – Monkey – Boar – Horse – Tiger!

I felt the blaze building up in my lungs as I waited for Hiruzen to let out the C-Rank Wind Style Jutsu, releasing the fire only as I noticed the gust rushing out of his lips.

The two jutsu combined in a magnified attack. One that easily melted through the chains and the vines keeping us from leaving the place.

We didn't wait any longer as we found our way cleared. Both Hashirama and Mito were moments away from turning the corner, and we had to quickly reach for the staircase.

It was an intense chase, one that I was expecting to leave unscathed with Hiruzen… but then I remembered that Mito could do much more with her chains if she had her targets on sight.

I yelped as I felt two cold and metallic restraints wraps around my legs, and I saw the young Sarutobi beside me fall the same moment I did.

Before we had the chance of crawling away, a voice breached our hopes of survival.

"Well, well, well..." Mito muttered calmly. "To think that we would end up finding two young peeping toms while we were busy."

Hashirama sighed. "Danzou-kun, Hiruzen-kun," The man mentioned with a disappointed tone. "I can't believe you both decided to do this-"

"We didn't do anything willingly," I stated fiercely. "We were called by our Senseis through urgent letters."

Hiruzen nodded frantically. "To-Tobirama-sensei said that I was needed at the Academy, and Uchiha-sama did the same to Danzou-kun."

They looked at us with a stern look, but then the redhead sighed.

"Do you have the papers on you?"

We nodded, and we presented the respective scrolls with the messages in those.

Mito took these in her hands, reading each silently and blankly.

A tense minute passed and… she sighed.

"Dear, did you tell Tobirama-kun that we were going to be spending time together?"

Hashirama frowned at the question, but he gave a calm nod. "It was just to avoid him interrupting us-"

"And I suppose the same reason is applied to why you told this to Madara-kun too."

There was an awkward silence from the Hokage, with the Senju giving an uneasy look at that.

"I didn't think that-"

"We will discuss about this later, Hashi-kun," The woman rebuked softly. "First, we should let the boy stand and go. Wouldn't want to traumatize them with what I've planned to do to you."

The man actually shivered at the implied threat, and I found an interesting opportunity to get some revenge at our 'absent' teachers.

"Actually, Mito-hime," I interjected with the most appeasing of tones possible, drawing both the woman's and the Hokage's attention. "I think it wouldn't just do to let us go. In fact, if Madara-sensei and Tobirama-sama were able to do this so easily, then it wouldn't be wrong to assume they could do worse to prank you and your husband."

Her eyes narrowed with a fascinated glint. "Are you suggesting a lesson to impart to them?"

I had expected her to be a little more… stern about returning prank to prank-

But then again, I was talking to an Uzumaki.

If Kushina and Naruto were clear examples of the prankfulness running rampant in the family, I shouldn't be doubting that Mito herself was a Queen of Pranks in her younger days.

"Something that would require yours and Hokage-dono's assistance," I replied with a nod. "It's nothing harmful, but it will be decisive in making it clear that they shouldn't be using Hiruzen and I for their silly antics, and not disturb you in your alone time."

Mito nodded intrigued, ignoring the fact that a Seven years-old had just addressed what they were doing as the subject of the 'Talk'.

Hashirama didn't from the way he blushed, but he seemed to calm down as I started to explain the simple plan meant to humble the two morons to a proper degree.

I wasn't sure that Madara's arrogance was going to be weakened by this, but he surely was going to learn to not use me as a tool of 'jealousy' to get his rival's attention.

And boy, revenge was going to be as sweet as chocolate milk!


Operation: Prank the Fools will be enacted by next chapter.

Stay tuned for lots of humiliation for the sillyheads.

And Mito. I love the potential her character has. She is known as a serious and powerful Fuinjutsu-based kunoichi and the first Jinchuuriki, but I will sure as hell make her 'uzumaki' traits stand up for the sake of comedy and amusement.

About the Beta-reading offer: I've already sent a PM. But I can't wait eternally, so an answer there would be nice.