Calm before the Storm
5 years old Naruto
For little Naruto, it had been years since he first opened a pair of sparking orbs to the world. That said, his appearance hadn't changed much except that his spiky hair had become even more disheveled and spiky. A cute whiskers continued to cover most of his cheeks which could make someone diabetic if they stared too much, also adding to his chubby face shape. Mah, just kyun.
If only the villagers could notice it rather than seeing the reincarnation of a demon when they look at him...
Naruto also discovered that he had options to learn magic and possessed large amounts of magicules. The first and only person to tell him about this was Rimuru. It seems that his body can, through her presence alone, transfer magicules into his body that he can use. This is a natural process created by mixing his DNA with Kurama's as well as Rimuru's. In other words, it means that Naruto will be super overpowered in the future.
That is, Naruto can not only use chakra but also magic in addition. He also wondered what would happen if he combined chakra with magic, is there even a way? Possibly, a whole world of discoveries lies ahead of him.
Imagine spells like fireball combined with Katon techniques. If you think this combination is rather boring and unconventional simply because it should only increase the power of basic Katon techniques, you are sorely mistaken. By uniting chakra and magic one can create entirely new techniques only based on old ones.
The use of Katon fire techniques is too much of narrowed. Spellcasting, on the other hand, can include the ability to imagine an attack, so manipulating fire alone shouldn't be a problem. Imagine a way to manipulate and control all those attacks! Well, it's not Avatar, of course, but it should still work if you get the right magic and chakra control.
It was a routine day for Naruto Uzumaki at the orphanage. Leaving separately from the others, the young shinobi found himself in his hidden spot among the branches of a huge oak tree growing near the playground.
Naruto breathed in the fresh air while the rustling of leaves moved in synchronization along with his hair through the gentle breeze. The sun, on the other hand, was pressing its rays against his face at this time, almost as if it insisted on adding a deeper tan to his skin. Really, annoying-ttebayo!
Naruto often spent hours there for the children's playtime and sometimes even snuck out the window in the middle of the night.
Possessing [Night Vision] definitely made it easy. The thought of it all the way made the characteristic foxy smiley appear across his features.
"Okay, time to try this out."
Naruto raised a finger against his face and closed his eyes in concentration, "Burn." The very word set a faint flame above the tip of his finger ablaze.
Naruto grinned up to his ears, not getting bored every time he did it.
"Okay, great. Now try doing what I taught you last time."
The girly's voice in his head didn't startle Naruto; following the instruction, he raised all of his hands' fingers and pronounced the incantation, "Burn." In the blink of an eye, all the palms ignited in the same way as the first one and their burning was calm and steady.
'Why do I need an incantation in the first place? You said it wasn't needed!'
"It's easier with incantation, and you've only recently learned to control your magicules."
Also, Naruto is just a kid so his control over magic is very unstable which is why Rimuru hasn't taught him any offensive attacks yet. 'Ruto's use of unique abilities is good for now, he's already used to [Night Vision] for example.
Naruto pouted with crossed arms,'But you say incantations when you say those awesome spells of yours! Woo~ Hell Flare or whatever.' Rimuru coughed embarrassedly.
That said, Rimuru doesn't need to pronounce the names of these spells at all. However, who wouldn't want to shout the names of super spells ok!? Got it!? Is it really that weird!?
"Hahaha, and here the kid got you!" Kurama laughed mockingly, his sharp teeth even set themselves into a wide infuriating grin for anyone that would look.
She squealed/scowled at him, "Shudup!"
"She only shouts spell names because she thinks it sounds cool!"
"Kurama, that's not true!" Rimuru pouted.
"This is the truest truth."
"No, it's not and you know it!"
No, it's actually the truth.
"Ok, well fine, how about I make you a separate cage like last time? You will no longer have any of the luxuries I have created here."
"What, you ran out of words huh. Oh my, how sa-"
"Aalalala-I'm not listening to some stupid you in child's body! I'll tell him what the person he admires so much does all day!"
"You wouldn't dare you fat fox!"
'What are you two talking about?! What Rimuru-nee does all day? I mean, it's obvious she doesn't have time for anything since she's busy defeating legendary dragons!'
"Really, just... I don't know what to say sometimes. What kind of nonsense did you tell him at bedtime? No, actually I'm more wondering how dumb you have to be to believe that. He will inherit your stupidity."
"I'll tell you, Rimuru what he does all day is laze on the couch an-mhm?!"
'What couch?!' Naruto almost shouted out loud, near learning the truth of what special things Rimuru cool-nee-san does.
"Ku-ra-ma!" Rimuru flushed and something crashed inside Naruto's mindscape.
"What yo-!? Ough!"
Naruto didn't know what was going on in his head, but he began to hear disturbing sounds as if someone had smashed a wall, 'Kurama-nii...' Blond asked quietly, getting no answer, 'Are you there...? Dattebayo?'
"Haha, now you know not to fu-!"
"Uh, um, yes? What is it 'Ruto-kun?" She asked innocently.
'What happened to Kurama-nii...? Did he...?'
"Oh, it was nothing like that, sunshine. Kurama-nii just went to-uh-meet with the wall. Face to stone! Yes, he likes it very much, ahahaha-ha..."
The innocent way she said it only burned with suspicion, skipping an awkward laugh of course.
One day Naruto will access his mindscape and see what's going on in there! It's driving him into a headache-ttebayo!
Naruto swiveled his head to check that no soul was around. He was on the training grounds which fortunately were empty.
"Katon: Uzumaki Fireball! Magic Edition!" His lungs filled and a meter long fireball flew out of his mouth after a moment. The fire sped towards the rock, seemingly a fireball barely a meter tall should not be able to do anything to the large stone and only disperse against it. But nothing could be further from the truth, as shortly afterwards, the stone was found to be melting.
You rather guess what Naruto did right? Old guy Kakashi showed him a rank C technique that created a giant fireball. Naruto was unable to perform it due to his lack of chakra control, which he doesn't know how to learn. So instead he used another substitute, in other words magicules~.
It's not something Rimuru taught him, the blond found the idea of replacing chakra with magic on his own. Though it wasn't easy due to the fact that chakra comes from a source inside, while magic comes from the outside. All he had to do was concentrate the magicules at a specific point where the main reaction of transforming chakra into a technique occurs.
Of course, it's not like he made it the first time, but we know Naruto right? If he is stubborn about something and works at it then nothing will stop him.
"Now you succeed what you've so wanted to do all along, Mister: I wanna become ultra awesome~"
Naruto flushed furiously. Until recently, Naruto was very fond of the word 'awesome', so he used it a lot, a lot. Maybe not as often as he accidentally pronounced 'dattebayo' but still.
"Hey! You promised not to call me that again! I said that when I was a kid!"
"Pfft, and you're not? All I see is the same little kid~"
Kurama snickered, "Phah! Look at him! All red like a tomato! Yahahaha-!"
"So cute!" Rimuru squealed, "He's more red than your eyes' color, Kurama-ki."
"Nee-san! Nii-san!" Naruto tangled his words from embarrassment.
He cut the connection for a moment and headed towards a tree branch nearby, getting comfortable, Naruto pulled out the nuts he found in the trees not far away in the forest earlier that day.
"-ahaha... Uh, I can't. I'm gonna choke."
"Oi, I told you not to say when you eat. Especially when you're stuffing yourself with nachos! Look what a mess you made!"
"Told you not to call me that!"
"What are you guys even doing! Are you having a snack over there while watching me or what!?" Naruto exploded.
"Heh, you'd be suprised." Even now the little blond could feel the smugness even without seeing Kurama, "You're kind of like...a show to us here."
Naruto felt his brow twitch, 'Anyway! Check out this!' And began manipulating the flames and moving his fingers something like painting. This surprised Rimuru and Kurama when the flames created writing: UZUMAKI NARUTO! Naruto beamed seeing the success.
"Hm..." Kurama murmured, "Well...it's not that bad...for a human that is."
"For someone who just started magic, you're doing very well. A pink-haired kid I used to know had to work really hard to get that kind of control, and he was supposed to be a champ in fire, hah!" Rimuru praised.
Clapping! Gimme the applause!
'Yatta! It's the first time I've gotten it right-ttebayo!' Naruto grinned happily, 'I will try to do other things later by manipulating the fire! Maybe I could make a moving one? I might try later 'ttebayo.'
The big question is, why fire? Why does Naruto primarily focus on fire when he was better at honestly doing techniques and spells related to wind and water, so why? There isn't much to it really... It's actually pretty obvious... It's all about the color of fire of course! The yellow mixing with the red gives the fireball a nice flaming orange color! Fumu, fumu!
And everyone knows that orange is the best color!
Nodding to himself with a self-praising smile, Naruto didn't survey the area for a moment.
Suddenly a single shadow flashed through the trees.
'EH?! Got it!' Uzumaki was startled by the abrupt outburst but quickly recovered. Naruto raised a finger in the air awesomely, his smile wide! "Naruto Chameleon Mode!" After that Naruto's body was covered by a colorful gradient. The shadow seemed to look around, as if trying to sense something, but after a moment it resigned and disappeared shortly thereafter.
"Uff." Blondie released the breath he was holding and wiped his forehead from cold sweat.
"Close call, huh?" Rimuru sighed with relief.
'Very, thanks' He stood up, 'Stalker-san tried to find me again, hm.'
Naruto peeled himself away from hugging the bark of a tree and tripped on a leaf and fell down, his face meeting the grass, "Ptooey!" Spitting out the dirt, the future shinobi-mage shook himself off and ignored his previous fall, throwing the clumsiness into oblivion.
Yeah, let's forget about it. He cut off contact with the two occupants of his mindscape so as not to hear their laughing.
'Ehem, If it wasn't for [Chameleon] I probably would have been caught!'
[Chameleon] is an ability Naruto discovered when he really wanted to hide from an angry matron. Then the ability activated and Naruto blended into the wall. The skill works best in dense areas such as treetops or bushes. If he stood in the middle of a field and used [Chameleon] then there would be a high chance of detection.
When he asked Rimuru about this skill, nee-san only shrugged and said that she herself didn't know all her skills, and besides, she could become invisible so camouflage was never necessary for her. Nee-san claims that she must have absorbed this ability from some lower monster or whatever.
"But crap, Mister Stalker's shunshin must be really powerful since it almost felt like he teleported." Naruto pondered as he headed towards the orphanage thoughtfully.
"Pff, please this is nothing like a teleport."
Naruto sighed, wondering what more today would bring.
Unbeknownst to him he was being watched by a coal pair of eyes, curious and perturbed, "Hn." The petite figure disappeared after a moment.
Croc searched the area around the orphanage and couldn't find one stupid brat for an hour now! All over Konoha he jumped like a fool and searched, but nothing! And this has been happening for several months now when even an experienced ANBU can't find it!
"Tch, damn kyuubi brat." Croc clicked his tongue behind another failed attempt. He might as well be lounging on a tree branch and not give a damn about the whole thing. Maybe it's because Croc is more worried about what would happen to him if, say, Kakashi saw him relaxing in a tree instead of watching his pet-mini-student.
It's been a huge amount of time since the special Anbu has been watching Naruto... Ugh, even voicing his name in his mind somehow sickens him, but after this long time Croc doesn't hate him anymore at least. He only feels a slight anger as he looks at him, now only replaced by most annoyance.
Croc looked around once more this time searching more for his meaning of being here than Naruto.
"Screw it, I give up."
Croc found himself later that evening in the Hokage's office. Normally at this hour he should be watching Uzumaki brat but well, orders are orders. The god of shinobi who stood gravely looking, a single lamp in the corner of the room lit up and illuminating half of the Third's face, no one dared to say anything - it's not their place.
From his right flank he could see other ANBU waiting for orders, not moving like statues. Well you could even call them that due to the fact that you wouldn't even hear them draw air. But he's an ANBU too, so they shouldn't be able to hear his breathing either, right? Didn't he train that special technique? After all, he could hear his own breathing, hmm.
He shook his head off from such introspectivels, there would be time for such important thoughts later, now he needed to focus on something else.
Old Sarutobi gave them definitive glimpse, "As you may know, Danzo has been stirring up the village's politics for a few years now, but now he's moved into active duty as well it seems..." That the war veteran was meddling more and more in the politics of the village was already known for a long time, but active activities that are even padded officially? That's something new. One of the ANBU standing by, Tenzo, was it? Somehow that's what they called him, and now he flinched almost imperceptibly - almost.
"You may not believe it but Danzo, yes that Danzo I repeat, built an orphanage for post war children who lost their families." The ANBU were waiting for him to continue, normal shinobi if they heard this would gasp but here they are only special forces, "It is a unarguably good action that will benefit Konoha indeed, but there is a 'but' here."
Hokage sighed, "As much as I would like to believe it, Danzo just doesn't make a good heart out of his soul, only profits count for him as I know him well. I fear that something more entrenched than a simple orphanage may be at stake here. As you know, lately I've been receiving false reports coming in from the Bureau of Missing Persons and the Konoha Military Police Force. Anyone can deduce that something is wrong, the outside actions are present. Who also blames the false reports of missing orphans on the Police Force, but after further investigation done by Inu I can say that the Uchiha Clan is clearly not behind it."
The disappearance of the orphans started a few years back, around 5 years, it was also a few weeks after the Nine-tailed Beast attacked the village, do these two things have anything to do with each other? Additionally, after the Demon Beast destruction, the oppression of the Uchiha Clan began. This stuff is too synchronous to not have connections.
'This is getting messy, clearly there's some serious plot going on, but then what am I doing here? After all, calling Kakashi's squad alone should be enough...' Thought Croc.
"Personally I think Danzo is not a suspect here, but that's what Sarutobi Hiruzen thinks and not the Third Hokage. I would like Inu and the squad to carry out further investigation, and increase patrols over all of Konoha, but I don't believe that will solve the major problem. The place where they keep the children is probably somewhere underground. That's all for Inu squad."
The ANBU squad disappeared inaudibly as if they had never been there, and Croc was left alone in the office with the Hokage, "Ehem, now regarding young Naruto." He could feel the cold sweat dripping down his back, "So far you've done a good job, the child hasn't held any complaints or aversions to you either, although I have to admit he's made some very interesting jokes about you." Hokage chuckled while Croc felt as if a ton of weight had been lifted off him.
But that didn't stay for long when the Hokage turned serious one again as his eyes hardened, "I want you to monitor everything around Naruto even more carefully from now on, nothing can escape your attention. Naruto could also be the target of a kidnapping, if Danzo is actually behind everything then the likelihood of Naruto being his next target is high. If you thought that only street kids are kidnap victims then you are sorely mistaken."
"You're probably wondering what this is all about right? Disappearances have also occurred in orphanages, but it was perceived as a simple escape of children until the matter became more widespread."
Does this mean that the kidnapped could also be ordinary kids from the orphanage who were taken just because they went too far out of the orphanage's area...?
No...no no no.
Croc's, no, Urigiri Hoshoku's hands began to tremble uneasily.
"I visited the orphanage that Danzo built." The Hokage's eyes visibly became distant, as if he was remembering something sorrow, "The children there were different, their smiles seemed glassy and their expressions themselves had nothing to do with the emotions they had in their eyes. It was as if someone had remade, reconstructed 'em."
The warning fell on him, "That's why I say, don't let anyone suspicious get close to Naruto."
Once this finished, Urigiri hurried to Naruto's orphanage but not to check on him but rather someone else.
Seeing the target person peacefully sleeping in bed, Urigiri got out his throat-hiding tongue and exhaled a sigh of relief.
"Do you want to play?"
Naruto stood there in shock, unable to say a word, he never expected that finally some other boy in the orphanage would talk to him. Isn't that great!? He's so damn-ttebayo happy!
"Really-?! I mean, of course! D'ya want to go outside or do ya wanna play tag? Oh! Oh! I also know the best places to go if you want to play hide and seek, I mean, with two people it can be hard, but when we're having fun things always works out-ttebayo!" Naruto was beaming with such amounts of joy that someone could lose sight from his wide grin. That said but the boy across from him remained unfazed and only continued to smile dryly.
"Yeah, that's all right with me. Maybe you show me first these hiding places." Unbeknownst to Naruto but the boy before him could already speak so well despite being a five year old, a real talent. While Naruto was able to speak because he had the kind-of-like skills of improved memory and faster learning.
Although many children were jealous of these abilities, not understanding the reason behind which Naruto could speak and count so fluently.
Naruto was highly sensitive to things like friendship or the simplest relationship of talking to someone his age. Since his birth, he had had no one at all until some time later when he managed to talk to Rimuru nee-san and Kurama-nii. The blond's so afraid of making a negative impression that he will try to treat the first friend he makes as best he can. And it will also be the first normal conversation with a kid his age.
Naruto is and will be treating his friends very dearly in the future, but that may not only be his advantage but also a serious misconception. As long as he doesn't treat 'em more important than himself, it's okay then.
Somehow Rimuru and Kurama have not spoken to him throughout this entire conversation, Naruto is puzzled.
The moment in which Naruto talked to the boy.
Rimuru stopped chewing her chip and stared as if into empty space while Kurama had a scowl look on his face as he stared at the plasma TV screen.
Kurama's eyes narrowed, sharpening his slits even more, "Through the seal, I can no longer sense emotions, but this kid stinks to me."
The crimson-haired man addressed her, "What do you think we should do? It's a bad idea to just watch while something might happen to our Kit."
Rimuru started eating the chip again without looking at Kurama, "Gotta warn him tonight, though nothing should happen yet today."
She looked at Ruto's laughing happiness, 'He seems really happy now huh.'
If by some chance something happens to Naruto whether emotionally or physically, Rimuru will make them suffer. That she can promise.
"Now now, let's drop off this gloomy mood because I'm starting to get evil thoughts." She decided and picked up the remote and then began switching the channel to something else.
"Oh, wait! Leave it at that!"
"Uh-huh." Rimuru sneered, "Really? Animal planet?"
Kurama defended, "Today's episode is about Arctic foxes!"
Rimuru responded making a Tibetan fox face.
Naruto had a good day, showing the boy all sorts of places, taking him to the training fields and showing him a few tricks on how to climb trees the easiest way. Naruto didn't pay attention to it, but the whole time he was rattling the boy with all sorts of things this boy usually would respond with something along the lines of: "Oh, that's amazing." , "You have to show it to me one day." , "I think so too." with the same smile while his answers were pretty shallow with no value.
Obviously, the blond didn't know how to pay attention to it yet, especially because he was completely unfamiliar with how one should talk to a person of his age, or more precisely: whether it was normal for a person to respond in the same way as this boy.
The young Uzumaki was dazed, and no one had yet cleared his eyes to see the truth that the smiles this child was making were glassy and never reached his eyes in the first place.
The day was approaching its end, and the sun was already setting behind the horizon of Konohagakure Village's sight, while the two boys were returning to the orphanage.
"Oh man, sorry! I kinda forgot to ask ya your name cuz I was having so much fun!" Naruto was genuinely embarrassed right now.
The boy held up his hands. "Oh no, no problem here. My name...it's Tanketsu Hoshoku."
"...So, wanna be friends?" Naruto radiated, hiding a particle of uncertainty and hestination.
The blond held out his hand, awaiting an answer wearily.
For the first time, something flashed in the boy's eyes, but it happened so fast that Naruto couldn't identify it.
"All right." He expected to feel a warm sensation when the hand touched his one, but yet...he only felt cold.
With that, Naruto Uzumaki said goodbye to Tanketsu and today as he turned away and went to his room, continuing to stare at the hand that was supposed to start something new.
Behind him, the boy stood still but...his smile, it cracked.
Scene Change - Naruto's Room
Naruto lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling unblinking and blankly expressive.
"Kit, you better be careful around this one. I smell trouble all around him. No, it's even better if you keep your distance."
Naruto frowned in disagreement, 'What, why? Besides, I had fun today, I want to do it again.'
He heard a sigh. "That feeling I had back then, Naruto. I have a bad feeling, that's why I'm telling you this, it's hard for me to admit it but...I'm worried Kit, about you." It was hard to detect because of Kurama's voice being so rough and demonic, but there was a soft tone there that he never thought he would use in his life. Naruto, though, didn't notice it.
'What is that supposed to mean? I just met him today, it is wrong to judge a book by its cover after all.'
"You know that, right? You noticed it after all, you're smart Kit. His smile all the time, was fake, his voice dangerously close to monotone." Kurama didn't want it to sound that negative at all, but then again, he's a demon, not too good with words.
And Naruto took it very negatively.
"Listen to me, Naruto-"
'I won't! He's the first friend I ever made, I'm not getting rid of him just like that! Today was...today was the first time I felt so comfortable talking to somebody from the outside. I won't let that be taken away from me!'
Kurama growled angrily, "Ugh! You human beings and your stubbornness! I'm just trying to warn you! That's why I don't like your kind, you won't let anyone tell you anything, always know best yourselves!"
Something in Naruto snapped finally, 'I finally have a friend, why do you want to take that away from me so badly!? You saw how much fun I had right?! I was alone, pretty much always alone! And now that a chance like this has popped up! You want to ruin it!? I SAY NO!'
"Ugh, damn it! You have us right?! We were here practically from the beginning!"
"BUT I CAN'T EVEN SEE YOU! IT IS NOTHING MORE THAN SUPPOSED IMAGINARY FRIENDS, JIJI LAUGHED AT ME WHEN HE HEARD I HAD TWO!" Naruto screamed aloud.
"..." The demon seemed speechless after his outburst, he never would have guessed it would end like this.
Naruto kicked the bed with rage, "I CAN'T EVEN TOUCH YOU! That's goodbye!"
Kurama couldn't finish anymore because Naruto cut the connection.
'Forgive me, Kurama-nii-san, but until you understand me you won't hear from me again.'
"UGH!" The sounds of smashing and crashing echoed everywhere. The nine-tailed Fox Demon smashed everything that came under its tail.
The platinum-blue-haired girl sighed, "Could you please not blow everything around?" The Monster Queen flew up to him on her wings and landed on his nose. She had her arms crossed with calm expression.
Red slitted eyes full of fury greeted her, "You! Why haven't you said anything?!"
Rimuru just stared at him, not even considering the question, "I was wondering how a conversation like this with a human would go for you, well I won't say I wasn't expecting it. Your ability to comfort let alone parental skills is rock bottom."
"If you spoke, I'm sure he would listen!" Kurama argued.
"Maybe, but it's too late for that now so calm down, he cut off connection."
"Nice try. When the time comes and someone hurts Naruto, don't worry, I will take care of them personally."
Rimuru blocked with her index and middle finger the sharp shiny claw that was already about to pierce her.
"You're too frustrated, but the game is over." Rimuru began draining his chakra, reducing the size of the massive demon more and more until a small cute fox remained.
Kurama saw that something was wrong because he suddenly saw Rimuru from below.
Kurama looked at himself and then at her, then at himself again, only one conclusion was drawn: "I hate you."
"Ohh! I love you too!" Rimuru hugged the little fox that he couldn't breathe.
"Now just clean up all the mess you made!" The True Demon here beamed and presented him 'the mess' she was talking about.
Kurama felt some strange liquid begin to gather in his eyes. What is this ?
"Oh, don't cry, after all you have a lot of time, I can control the flow of time here."
It doesn't comfort me at all!
"Now go full kyun kyun for me please! Here, I've brought the camera!" She sing-songed happily.
For the first time in his life, Kurama did something he thought he would never do.
"Are the preparations ready?"
"Yes Danzo-sama. It's already started, the approach on Jinchūriki was a success."
"No, it will all start only on that day, October 10."
One eye gleamed with malice in the dark.
"The Jinchūriki will be mine."
"Even if he cuts the connection we will always keep supporting him."
"No matter what happens, we will destroy anyone who tries to harm him."
Two pairs of eyes gleamed.
"Because that's what we promised."