"What the hell are you talking about?" Person talking
"What the hell?" Person thinking
"Jutsu name." Jutsu
"What the hell?" Kyubi, Shinigami (or other deity's talking)
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of its characters. Neither am I making money by writing this fanfiction.
Last time on : From the shadows we serve
"Oh, and come on, don't you remember me purple-chan?" he asked a certain emphasis on the name he just called her.
Yugao at first gained a tick mark on her head. She really did not like it when people gave her nicknames. The nickname for that being that the nicknames usually revolved around her purple hair. She did not know what was wrong with her purple hair. Yet, people always seemed to make fun of her hair. But after a few minutes the tick mark disappeared. The expression on her face now completely impassive.
"Naruto?" she asked, a slight amount of hope in her eyes appearing. Though she had hoped or maybe even suspected that the hunter nin was in front of her was Naruto, she quickly dismissed the idea as just wishful thinking. "Yes, purple-chan it is me." Now Naruto expected many things. He expected Yugao to leap over the table and hug him, he expected her to shout at him. Yugao did none of those things. She just sat there as if they had talked about the weather. She did not even raise an eyebrow.
Instead, she just smirked. "It is good to have you back." She said. She meant what she said. The last time they talked was seven years ago. A week before the Uchiha Massacre. They had been a team. Team 12 composed of Uzumaki Naruto, Uzuki Yugao, Uchiha Itachi lead by Uchiha Shisui.
But in that week Yugao's life took dramatic turns. Their sensei- who had been a father figure towards her after her real parents died- died. A week later a teammate of her massacred one of the most powerful clans in Konoha- the Uchiha Clan. The third member- a certain black haired Uzumaki could just not be found. That week had turned Yugao's live for the worst.
Years she tried to figure out what happened in that one- week time span. But she could not. Eventually she promised herself that she would move past her team and not try to figure out what happened in that one week but could she now with all the answers seemingly… sitting right in front of her . She bit her lip. Finally, having built up the courage she asked: "What happened that week?"
Chapter 5: The Anbu
What is a shinobi ? Is it a person who can use ninjutsu? Or is it something more? Many people in Konoha say that the four Hokage were the best shinobi of their generation. They might be biased nonetheless there is a little bit of truth in the statement that the four Hokage were the best of their generation. But being the best in this context means being the strongest.
The first Hokage, Hashirama Senju, was undoubtedly the strongest of his era, the warring states era. Though Naruto remembered Madara constantly reminded Naruto that he could have won the battle at the valley of the end if he actually wanted to. But it should also be noted that Naruto always rolled his eyes at that statement whenever Madara made it. Naruto wasn't sure if the Uchiha patriarch actually said what he meant or if he was just for a better word arrogant and prideful. Though Madara would never admit, he had an arrogant and prideful side to himself.
Tobirama Senju, the second Hokage, was also considered the strongest of his generation. The same could be said of the Third and Fourth Hokage. But is a good shinobi one who wields power? Is being the best shinobi being the strongest one? Of course not. Power is one of the most important things you can possess as a shinobi. Naruto's grandfather and even some Kage (mostly all the Kage of the first Generation and the second and third Raikage and Tsuchikage) have stated that power is one absolute in this world. Without power you are nothing in the world of the shinobi. Without power you will get trampled on. Without power you can't defend your ideals, family, country, or nation. It's a sad reality really. But power is not anything that defines a shinobi.
The ideals also do. The two founders of the leaf wanted to bring peace to the world. They wanted to create a village where once opposing clans could live peacefully with each other. One village where they would not see anyone, they cared about die in a battlefield. Like everyone before them they failed. Ever since the foundation of the five Great Nations there have been three great wars. The war seemingly always more brutal than the previous one. And although they both had the same goal, Madara and Hashirama ended up fighting each other. How can that be? The answer is fairly simple. The Uchiha patriarch valued his family more than his desire to bring peace to this world. And when he had to choose, he chose his family over his manifested dream- which he named Konoha. Hashirama on the other hand valued his dream above all else. Even going as far as saying ," I'll protect our, no, my village. No matter what. I'll not forgive who threatens the village. Be they a friend, sibling or even my own child." When he delivered the supposed final blow to the Uchiha at the valley of the end. Madara's response to that was, "Hashirama, you got your priority backwards. Ultimately this mindset shall lead the village to darkness." Madara could never raise the sword against his own family. For a person who the history books describe as cold and uncaring, he just did not have it in himself. He measured his own family above all else. He would do anything to protect it from harm. Even that meant to not protect the village.
The history of mankind is a history of war. A history of ideals who clashed. Madara's ideal of family clashed with Hashirama's ideals. And when ideals clash, people fight. At the end of the day, the people who win decide which ideal is right and which is wrong. For history is written is written by victors- always will and always has been. Madara went down as the black page of Konoha and the Uchiha Clan. A traitor.
Yet, Naruto thinks that neither Hashirama nor Madara were the greatest of shinobi.
Naruto had a bit of the tendency to get philosophical when he was sitting on top of one of the Hokage's heads. Just like he was doing now. It had been two days since he last conversed with Yugao. Ever since he had not seen his favorite purple haired Uzuki. Maybe she did not want to talk to him after their last conversation. Maybe she needed to get over the shock of the revelations. Yeah, maybe that was it. After all what he had revealed in that conversation would have shocked anybody.
Looking down, Naruto could see children playing in the streets. He could hear the birds chirping. The sun was shining. All in all, this seemed to be the perfect scene. Except that it wasn't. And Naruto knew that.
Flashback – In your average master villain's hideout
The valley of the end. The place that honors the legendary battle between Hashirama Senju and Madara Uchiha. The place that signifies the border between the Land of Fire and Rice Country. What nobody knew was that inside or rather under Madara's statue was a hideout. In that hideout Naruto could be seen on the ground.
He was currently trying to stand back up again but failed miserably. After an exhausting training session with Madara he just couldn't find the strength to stand back up again.
"Did you have to go so hard on me?" he questioned his grandfather. "Yes, it will make you ready for the future war." Madara answered.
"What war? The elemental nations have been at peace for over a decade now." Said an eight-year-old Naruto.
"Wars can be fought for money, power, influence, revenge, love, to protect and many other things. A war between the elemental nations can break out any second. To protect and achieve your goals you need power. For power is one of the absolutes in this world. For the shinobi world does not respect much but it has no choice but to respect pure power. There will be a future war that I can guarantee you. Someday you'll thank me for putting you through this."
"Do not think that just because the five elemental nations have been at peace for over a decade that that will remain the case. Like I said, 'A war can between the five elemental nations can break out any second'. This era of peace is nothing but a façade. All it needs to crack and eventually break is a shift in power. A Jinchuriki dying. A village having one more S-Rank ninja than the other villages will allow. That is all it takes. Behind that peaceful façade the real world lies. And I'm telling you the real world is ugly. You're also a Jinchuriki as such your village will heavily rely on you in a future war. I'll get you something to eat. In an hour we will continue your training." With that Madara left the training dojo.
"Fucking great. I still can't move." Groaned out Naruto as he saw Madara leave.
"Is this what a ninja is, a murderer, Shisui-sensei? " asked a teary seven- year- old Naruto. Moments ago, he had just taken a life. For a civilian this would be the traumatic event in their life. For a ninja however this was everyday business. Ninjas did everything they were asked to do. They killed, murdered, stole, seduced, infiltrated anything or anyone if the client offered the right amount of money.
Shisui sighed. This was supposed to be a simple mission. Itachi wasn't here because his father requested his presence. Probably to discuss some clan business with him. He was the clan's heir after all. He needed to know if something was happening in the clan. Yugao was in the hospital due to an injury which she got while training. Normally if one or two members of a team could not for whatever reason participate in shinobi duty that would mean that the team would take no missions. The only reason he went on this mission is because of Naruto's deep-rooted stubbornness. He insisted that they should go on a mission. Stating "If I don't go on a mission soon, I am going to die of extreme boredom.".
Shisui at first said that it was dangerous if the two left Konoha alone. Naruto's reply was "Ah, Shisui aren't you an A-rank ninja. Surely, you could protect me from a few thugs or bandits." After a bit of swaying from Naruto's part Shisui finally agreed to go on the mission with Naruto alone. A decision he now regretted. Their mission was to bring a simple scroll to Hidden Sand's council.
On the way they were attacked by a bunch of bandits. Bandits were no threats to a shinobi. It would take 6-8 bandits alone to kill a good trained genin. But Naruto killed a bandit in self-defense. The bandit nearly succeeded in slicing Naruto's throat open. Naruto however was quicker and killed the man first. He did it not even aware of what he was doing. But this was the shinobi world. Kill or be killed.
Seeing Naruto have a battle with himself on what he had just done, Shisui did the only thing he felt was right at the moment. He moved towards Naruto and rested a hand on his shoulder. Naruto spun around and looked at Naruto. Shisui almost gasped. Standing in front of him was a teary-eyed Naruto. But this was not the reason Shisui gasped. The reason was the blood red crimson two tomoe Sharingan in both of Naruto's eyes.
"How can that be? He isn't an Uchiha? If the clan finds out about this, they will…" but Shisui's thoughts were cut off by a crying Naruto who pulled on his jeans. Realizing that he forgot Naruto for a second, he kneeled down on his level. "Look at me." He said. But Naruto did not do as told. Instead, he kept staring at the ground undoubtedly thinking about the fact that he just killed a human being. Grabbing Naruto's chin, he moved it in the direction of his face, making Naruto look into his eyes. "Yes, this is what a shinobi is, Naruto." He said pointing to the man Naruto killed, bringing a look of shock and horror onto the raven haired Uzumaki's/Uchiha's face.
"Yet it is so much more. A shinobi is one who fights to protect. Good shinobi do not fight for personal glory or money or power or women. The best example for a shinobi are probably the Anbu. The Anbu's moto ever since its founding is 'From the Shadows we serve.'. And they do. The Anbu serve and protect Konoha from the shadows. The Anbu are tasked with leading shadow wars. If the five elemental nations are not in a state of war, they (the Anbu) lead the shadow wars. It's a secret organization who eliminate threats, terrorists, and dangers to the village. If they do not eliminate threats, they are covert agents. People who gather information on enemies to the hidden leaf village and other individuals Konoha's hierarchy might be interested in. Anbu are considered the darkest of shinobi due to the fact that their mission is often nothing more than to kill an individual. I however disagree with the statement that the Anbu are the darkest of Shinobi. In fact, I believe that they are the purest of shinobi. Yes, they may sometimes take missions to assassinate certain people or even groups but the Anbu only act if Konoha's hierarchy is absolutely certain that those individuals are planning something against the hidden leaf village. Anbu only show up when the hidden leaf village is being directly threatened and, in most cases, kill people who pose a threat to the village."
"Most cases?" inquired Naruto his voice just above a whisper. "I won't lie to you, Naruto. Yes, most cases. Even Konoha Anbu sometimes kill people because of money, power and so on. But those are the minority of cases."
Sighing Shisui continued, "Killing is part of being a shinobi- make no mistake about that. However sometimes we must kill to protect ourselves, others or even just to make the world a better place. Take these bandits for example. I know that the world is better off without them. Most bandits kill the travelers they meet and then take their money. Many of them rape women. And if you as a shinobi allow them to live and see another day you are responsible for any crime or bad thing, they may from that day forward. And I am telling you if you let them go, they will continue to kill travels for their own greedy purposes and they will continue to rape women. My point is that sometimes-killing people is justified. You killed those bandits in an act of self-defense. Anbu kill threats to the hidden leaf village. Hunter nin missing nins and so forward."
"Normal shinobi, genin, chunin, jonin however kill for the right amount of money. Anbu are fundamentally different in that mentality. Anbu missions may be darker, and you will kill more people then lets say if you were a chunin or jonin however you will do it because they are a threat to your village not because of greed, money and power.
I am not saying that you shouldn't feel bad about killing the bandits. You should regret having to take a human life however you should also remind yourself that taking a human life is sometimes- even if just to defend yourself- nessary.
Hearing this Naruto had a lot to think about. Something Shisui took note of. After all nobody could miss the look on Naruto's eyes. Shisui smiled. It was obvious that he was comtempating on what Shisui said.
"Now let's get on we have to reach Sunagakure by the end of the day." "Hai, Sensei." Naruto said running off still unaware of the fact that he had awakened the Uchiha dojutsu. Shisui just stared at Naruto's retreating form wondering what this would mean for Konoha or more precisely the Uchiha Clan.
2nd Flashback end
Back with Naruto on the Hokage's mountain
Naruto did not fight for the villagers. He fought for one person and person alone . Tsuki Uchiha. The villagers did not matter to him. Not after the hell they put him through. Not after they hunted a five-year old boy down on his birthday in the so-called fox hunts.
No, they didn't matter to him. They were irrelevant. Not worth his time. What mattered to him was Tsuki. That's all that mattered.
Naruto knew that the illusion of happiness he saw before him was just that- an illusion. An illusion that would come to pass.
Deciding it was time to stop to think about the past, he stood up and then vanished in a bunch of white flames, signifying the use of his classic Shunshin (Body Flicker).
Hokage's office two days ago
Sitting behind his desk Hiruzen Sarutobi the third Fire Shadow did the thing he hated the most, paperwork. "Curse you Minato for leaving me with this nightmare." He thought looking at the large pile of paperwork he still had to work on.
Knock, Knock. "Come in." said the aged Hokage more than welcoming the distraction from the paperwork.
Opening the office an Anbu captain by the codename of Tiger walked in. The Hokage sighed. It seemed that the following conversation would be anything but a distraction from his paperwork. In fact, this conversation would probably the most important thing he would have to do today. Walking forward the Anbu captain stopped in front of the Hokages's desk and kneeled down. "Hokage-sama I am here to report about the new village forming in Rice Country." The Hokage stood up and walked towards the window. Looking outside the window he could see all of Konoha. Usually, he just did it to remind himself for what he was fighting for. Hiruzen Sarutobi almost worked 40 years as Konoha's Hokage. And the years took its toll on him. He had many failures in his office as Hokage. Itachi Uchiha, the whole Uchiha Clan, his former pupil, Orochimaru, his teammate, Danzo and last but not least Naruto. What happened to Minato's son he still did not know. Maybe Itachi took him with him after his mission to massacre the Uchiha Clan. He had Anbu search for Naruto, but all the searches came up empty. Everything he could do was hope that he was somewhere out there and happy.
The day after the Uchiha Massacre he had gone missing. He still remembered how angry a white haired Sannin became when he told him the news. Jiraiya had nearly killed him that day. From that day there was always a certain wedge between him and Jiraiya. Jiraiya treated him with nothing more than professionalism since that day. That was what he thought was the worst. Jiraiya did not openly despise him he just treated him without professionalism. No sign of affection. No sign that he had once been his teacher. But when Lord Third looked into Jiraiya's eyes he could see how disappointed he (Jiraiya) was in him ( Hiruzen). He did not even call himself Sensei anymore just Hokage-sama. Oh, how he hated when Jiraiya addressed him that way.
Flashback- Hokage's office a week later after the Uchiha Massacre
Leaning back in his chair the third Hokage sighed. It has been a week since the Uchiha Massacre took place- a week since Uchiha Itachi had been branded a missing nin- a week since Naruto Uzumaki had gone missing. Moments ago, the third Hokage just delivered the eulogy at the grand funeral of the Uchiha Clan. Hiruzen felt like trash. He had failed. Failed the Uchiha Clan. Failed Itachi. Failed Minato and Kushina's son. While he was against the extermination of the Uchiha Clan he had still allowed Danzo to act in the shadows. A fact which he deeply regretted. He should have known that Danzo ordered Itachi to massacre the entire Uchiha Clan. After the Uchiha incident he disbanded Root an Anbu faction which Danzo commanded. But he doubted that that would change anything. It wouldn't bring the Uchiha Clan, Naruto and Itachi back. The third also had his suspicions that Danzo was responsible for Shisui Uchiha's death. But without proof he could not do a thing against the old war hawk. Maybe Itachi had been right. In his parting words he had said that he was not fit for Konoha's leadership any longer. He had called him a narrow minded, idealistic, fool. At the time Hiruzen scoffed at Itachi's words however from today standpoint he could see where Itachi had been coming from. He allowed Danzo to practically do as he wished, let himself be politically overwhelmed by his former teammates (current advisors) many times and in general just lost his grip on some situations. If there only was a worthy successor to him as Hokage. But there wasn't. Usually, the Hokage passed the job onto one of his one pupils. Yes, Hiruzen's pupils. What a bunch of failures they turned out to be.
Orochimaru once hailed as a genius now as a psychopath experimented on children and was now branded a S-rank missing nin. Tsunade who blamed the village for the death of her lover and younger brother. Jiraiya turned out the best of them. But even he was stuck in the past. Consumed by regret and self-loathing. He blamed himself for Minato's death, Naruto's disappearance, and the death of the three Ame orphans he met during the second Shinobi World War. Two other worthy candidates for the Hokage position are Hatake Kakashi and Might Guy. Well Might Guy was out of the question. People could hardly stand to be around him more than five minutes. The man was just to eccentric and … weird. Kakashi was not fit for Konoha's leadership for the same reasons as Jiraiya. He too was consumed by regret and self-loathing. His fathers, sensei's, Obito's and Rin's death had him hard. Ever since he was living in the past. Falling into depression he spent most of his days at the memorial stone beating himself up for his earlier mistakes.
The only other guy who had even a chance at the Hokage position was Danzo and Hiruzen would be damned if he allowed that to happen. The consequences would be catastrophic. The fourth Great Shinobi War would take place within a years' time.
"Let the past be the past, Hiruzen Sarutobi." berated the aged Hokage himself in thought. It would not do him good to live in the past, no, not when there were people who depended on him and leadership in the present. "This is the reason I keep fighting. Those people depend on me." He thought looking outside the window, smiling. It was a sunny day in Konoha. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining, a perfect scene he looked on outside of the window. This was the reason he fought for. After all this time, after every shortcoming his village and its inhabitants – mostly the treatment of the Uchiha Clan and Naruto Uzumaki- he just could not stop himself from loving the village. Not turning around to face the Anbu captain he asked, "What do you have to report, Tiger-san?"
Authors Notes: I decided to change the name of the story from 'We are what we are' to 'From the shadows we serve'. I thought that it would be much more fitting because this story will involve an older, wiser Naruto who will eventually be an Anbu and later on in the story an Anbu mentor.
Please comment on my story, share it with your friends and leave suggestions for the future chapters of this story.
Till next time, Riyu out