Chapter 2: A Different Face on the Wall (Kaito)

The sound of thunder jolted Kaito awake. He bolted upright and looked around. He was sitting in a clearing surrounded by lush green trees. To his left, a pristine creek flowed through the clearing, its banks covered in vibrant wildflowers swaying in the wind.

He glanced right and immediately took a sharp intake of breath. Trees were strewn about everywhere, enormous trunks split in half down the middle. The ground was a chaotic mess. Some areas were flattened, flowers patches crushed, and their roots upturned. Other sections were torn to bits. Deep gouges in the earth resembling wounds you would see in a predator's kill littered the landscape.

A bright flash followed shortly by another clap of thunder caused Kaito to flinch. He backpedaled until he hit a smooth surface. He spun to see a stone altar covered in symbols.

"Where the hell am I?"

He moved to stand up, but a scene of fire in his mind sent searing pain through his head and knocked him to his knees.

He cradled his head in his hands as another scene tore through his head, this time of a man with a mask.

Kaito groaned through clenched teeth. A small amount of spit escaped through his mouth and splattered across the dirt.

An enormous fox with nine tails swiping its claws through countless people played next in his head.

Kaito moved to stand again but failed. A sound reverberated in his head. 'Kushina, hurry!'

"Stop, please stop!" he yelled as he tore up chunks of the earth with his hands. His forehead was planted firmly on the damp earth while he contorted over in pain.

A wailing blue-haired infant on an altar. A ghostly hand covered in red beads. Violet-blue eyes staring into his own. An infant sleeping soundly in a woman's lap all wreaked havoc in his mind.

"STOP!" Kaito screamed as another lightning bolt flashed and the earth vibrated from the sound of thunder.

Then nothing.

He remembered.

Kaito gasped for breath and leaned back against the stone altar, silently thanking the halting of the mental barrage.

"Kushina!" he yelled. "Where are you?"

He looked around the clearing. Kushina was nowhere to be seen, and neither was little Naruto.

He was alone.

He pushed off the ground with one hand and gripped the altar with the other, using it to stand. He reached for the kunai that he kept in the front pocket of his flak jacket. It was quiet. He didn't sense anyone else nearby, but who knew who or what could be lurking around. Instead of the weapons pouch on his flak jacket, his hand touched his stomach. He looked down, confused, and saw the tattered remains of his green flak jacket clinging to his soaked body. The gaping hole in the center of his jacket where the Nine-Tails talon had pierced him was visible. The lack of blood surprised him. Where there should have been a gaping hole of torn flesh and muscle was instead his muscular stomach peppered with a few scars from his early years as a ninja.


Kaito glanced around the clearing again. Something was wrong. The damage in the clearing differed from what he remembered, and he was sure the altar was slightly closer to the creek when he and Kushina sealed the fox.

A silver glint caught his attention. His headband. He bent down to grab it and tied it around his head.

Kaito turned and gazed in the direction of the village. Billowing smoke rose above the trees. He put the stray thoughts out of his head. He needed to get moving. He needed to find his wife and son. With a grunt, he leapt into the trees. With his chakra levels near empty, he didn't bother trying to summon Tachi.

As he got closer to the village, blurred humanoid forms faded in and out of his peripheral vision. Ninja patrols. It was to be expected. After an attack per protocol, the surrounding forest would be swarming with ninja on high alert. A ninja in a green flak jacket appeared next to him, matching his stride.

"Hey, are you alright?"

Kaito turned to acknowledge the ninja.

"My wife, where is she?"

The man's face scrunched up in confusion.

"How would I know who your wife is?"

Kaito shook his head. He didn't have time to deal with this.

"Hey, you don't look alright. I can sense your chakra is dangerously low. You should head to the medical tent in the central plaza."

"I'm fine, and I'm already heading there. Return to your patrol."

The ninja gave him another odd look but didn't press further and jumped away.

Eventually, the outer wall came into view, its towering facade rising above the trees that gave the village its namesake. As he broke through the tree line, he flared what little chakra he had to alert the ninja manning the wall.

Not stopping to acknowledge their response, he veered slightly to the right towards a gaping hole in the wall. As he leaped from boulder to boulder, a thought entered his mind. He didn't remember the nine tails anywhere near this side of the village. Where did this damage come from? But again, he pushed the thought to the side. He didn't have time. Naruto and Kushina needed him.

Now inside the village, he climbed onto the roof of the nearest building. The ninja mentioned a medical tent in the central plaza. He doubted his wife would be there. Her relation to him would grant her immediate access to a room in the hospital. But it was closer than the hospital, so he'd check there first.

Just before he set off again, he caught a glimpse of the Hokage Monument through the veil of smoke rising from the hundreds of smoldering fires. A face he did not recognize on the fourth spot on the wall stared back.

What the hell?

Kaito took another look around the village and the alarm bells in his head started setting off. The damage was more centrally located to the southeastern side of the village, but he vividly remembered the Fox destroying the western market.

Kaito swiveled his head towards the west.

Almost no damage. Where there should have been raging fires, billowing smoke, and a flattened market stood a mostly untouched neighborhood.

A feeling of dread took hold in his gut. Something was horribly wrong. Kaito brought his hands together and formed a single seal. Drawing the little amount of chakra he had into his core, he condensed it and then pulsed it outward.


If he was under a genjutsu, that should expel the foreign chakra from his system. He dropped his hands to his side and looked over the village again.

Nothing changed.

He looked towards the monument. The same unfamiliar face stared back at him.

"Impossible." He whispered.

A sound below drew his attention. A civilian, by the looks of it, was taking cover from the rain. He was standing under an overhanging balcony jutting out from the building across from the one Kaito was standing on. The middle-aged man was dressed in tattered, dust-covered clothes. He most likely had gotten caught out during the attack by the looks of his ragged appearance.

Kaito dropped down to the alley below, startling the man and causing him to stumble back into the wall behind him.

"Hey! I know things are crazy, but can you give me some warning next time?"

"The fourth face on the wall. Who is that?" Kaito demanded as he walked forward, cornering the civilian. He didn't have time to play niceties. He needed answers.

"What?" the man said as he backed up against the wall. "Are you confused or something? You look like it."

Kaito pressed forward, grabbed the man by his shoulders, and pressed him firmly against the wall.

"The fourth face on the Hokage Monument. Who is it!"

"Minato Namikaze!" The man whimpered, trembling under Kaito's grip.

"Who?" Kaito replied questionably.

"The Yellow Flash, you delusional fool!" The man yelled back, regaining some confidence, and pushing Kaito away from him.

Kaito backpedaled until his back hit the wall on the opposite side of the alley.

He shook his head, "no, no, it can't be. This is impossible. A genjutsu of this scale is..."

Kaito looked back at the civilian desperately, "Does the name Kaito Furukawa mean anything to you?"

The man raised his arms in exasperation. "No! I've never heard of him. Now can you just leave me alone! In case you haven't noticed, the village is in shambles and I've got family to try and find!"

The storm picked up in intensity and muffled the man's last comments as he walked away.

Kaito brought his hands together in the same hand seal as before.

"Release." He yelled as he pulsed his chakra desperately.

"Release!" he yelled again as his chakra weakly pulsed. He slid down to the base of the wall, his hands falling limply to his side.

All the differences and clues twirled in his head, mixing with his most recent memories. Memories of sealing the Nine-Tails of watching his son sleep in Kushina's lap as their strength faded.

Kaito had died the night before, he was sure of it. He'd taken his last breath while cradled against his wife's side. But now he was here. In a village like his own, but different all the same. A village that didn't know who he was and with a different face on the Hokage Monument.

A flash of lightning brought his gaze to the darkening sky. Thunder rang out across the village. The rain continued its endless onslaught, pounding down on the roofs above him and cascading down into the alley he sat in.

Tears fell freely from the corners of his eyes and mixed with the rain dripping from his soaked bangs.

"Oh god." He whimpered. "Kushina, what the hell did the reaper do?"