Summary: Naruto has had a friend like him since the age of 3. Now their 14, and an incredible adventure awaits. Naruto and the gang come across a mysterious temple, discovering a map that shows the destruction of Konoha and the 4 stones that can prevent it. Now Naruto, along with friend Riyu, and his friends will travel in order to find the stones. But what happens when Naruto realizes something about Hinata? Will a relationship bloom. When Orochimaru finds out about the stones, will he get them first. Read and find out!

( Author notes)/ This is my first fan fiction, so no flames in your reviews please. I would love constructive criticism, but no flames. This is the prologue. I will try to update whenever I can, so you won't have to wait that long. By the way, how was the summary?

And yes, I know that a 3 year old cannot speak like a 5 or 6 year old, but most anime characters can at such a young age. Get over it. I got several reviews picking at the stupidest things. (summons an asian) Do not question me, or I shall unleash this asian to steal all of your jobs.

Oh yeah, and Riyu is not a Gary-stu, he actually gets beat more than anyone. Give it a chance please. I work hard on this. And I say that Naruto is three, but remember he is born on the anniversary of Kyuubi, so he's about to turn 4 actually.

EDIT: Okay, so I got a complaint or two about Riyu being me self inserted into Naruto. Not true. I don't think that way. I think in plot. Riyu came about when I tried to imagine if Naruto had a childhood friend. Then I created a character based on that profile, and Riyu was born. If you don't like OCs, then don't read it. There are plenty of other stories out there. And of course Riyu would get a little screen time at first, because I wanted to let the reader get familiar with him before the story developed further.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. I do however own Riyu and Zulku. Take either of them and I will sue you!

Prologue: Best Friends

The sun was slowly setting behind the mountains, leaving the villagers with a spectacular show of colors and lights. The Hokage Monument was illuminated by the setting sun. The streets of Konohagakure were still crowded, but not like earlier in the day. The crowds had died down considerably, considering it was a Friday. It was to be the next day that the people of Konoha were to gather, to honor and mourn the loss of so many great shinobi. The people had lost mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and the Fourth Hokage, the Yondaime.

The Fourth Hokage had given his life to save the village from Kyubi, the dreaded Nine-Tailed Fox, three years reason for Kyuubi's initial attack still remained a mystery. Some speculated that it was jealous of Konoha's mighty power and sought to destroy it.

Others would say that it was a summoning of some sort. Although it was thought to be impossible for anyone to summon a demon fox, except for the One-Tailed Fox. Even he was unstable. The reason being that the demons were far too powerful to handle. Their power would overwhelm the certain ninja summoning. A fox demon would appear, saying " There is not enough blood," and immediately devour the ninja, absorbing all his or her chakra. Summoning never lasted more than a minute or two.

It seemed that as soon as the day had vanished, a new day had risen to replace it. Fresh morning dew had delicately nipped every strand of grass that could be seen. An eery fog swept through Konoha as the villagers reluctantly rose to greet the new day. The day had come to be known as "The cruelest day." It was the day where the cruel hands of fate snatched their beloved ones away. Especially their village champion, the Yondaime.

Shortly after the battle against the Kyubi, the Yondaime's body was found in the middle of an open field next to a crying newborn. The three shinobi that had ventured out to find any survivors closely inspected the blonde newborn infant. He had short, spiky blonde hair. What frightened the shinobi was the swirl shaped seal on his belly, and the whisker marks on each side of his face. They were skeptical, believing this being the Kyubi. They quickly decided to kill it. One raised a kunai in the air. The moment he was going in for the kill, a feint voice caught his ear.

"..Z-Zulku..." The Chuunin known as Zulku stopped his kunai in mid-air. He turned his head to the Hokage, whose body lay barely moving.

"..Please..please spare him." Yondaime said pleadingly. " H-he h..has done nothing wrong. Raise him in t..the village..." He finished as death overtook him.

"My lord, Lord Hokage?" Zulku said, as he knelt down towards his leader. He checked his pulse. He was dead.

Zulku turned towards the screaming infant with hate in his eyes.

"I hope your happy.." Zaku said as he approached the newborn. "..Kyubi." With that Zulku reluctantly picked the newborn up and carried him back to the village.

A three-year-old blonde hair, blue eyed child was beginning his usual walk around the village. He wore a black T-shirt with a swirl in the center, and a pair of blue shorts. Without parents to tell him not to, he could do almost anything he wanted. He wore his trademark ear-to-ear grin as he turned a corner. No matter how many people glared at him, called him names under their breaths, he would never take his smile off. It was Naruto's way of hiding his inner pain.

He knew everyone was upset about today, but he didn't really understand why. He had no reason to be upset, it was his birthday. He wanted to see what al the fuss was about, so he decided to go to the Yondaime Ceremony. Then again, he didn't know many things. He was only three. No one seemed to care it was his birthday, not a single person.

He knew he was heading in the right direction when he saw all the villagers gathering around a tower. Naruto knew he would never be able to get that close, so he decided to sit on a nearby bench. He could stand up on it and see almost everything. He silently glanced around.

To his left, he could see a row of shops, but the one that caught his eye was the "Yamanaka Flower Shop," where he could see a small girl with blonde hair being tossed around in the air lovingly by her father. He wished he had something like that. To his right was a crowded street of more people, then some more shops. In front, about three-hundred feet away, was the enormous Hokage Tower.

As the crowds began to center around the tower, silence overtook the entire crowd as drums began to play, echoing throughout the village. Soon, an old man wearing red and white clothes emerged from the tower. All the villagers began to clap and cheer, yelling "Long live Hokage," every few seconds. Naruto had stopped listening soon after the start. It seemed that everybody loved the Hokage. They would cheer for him, honor him, and even smile at him. Naruto was captivated.

He made the decision, right then, that he was going to be Hokage one day. Not just Hokage, but the greatest Hokage the village had ever had. It was his dream, the one thing to keep him going.

Naruto quickly leapt off of the bench at which he stood and started to run home. At least, the closest thing to a home he had.

The villagers had given him a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment. On an almost daily basis, the land lord would inspect Naruto's living space. However, he would only check up on him briefly. Sticking his head in and out of the door was more like it.

As soon as Naruto flung the door open, he dashed into his room. It was riddled with dirty clothes and empty ramen cups everywhere. His bedroom consisted of a small dresser, a futon, a cramp closet, wooden desk, and a chair.

Naruto quickly discarded his old clothes and reached for some new clothes. Under an enormous pile of ramen cups, he found his favorite pair of clothes. An orange jacket, and orange pants. He didn't bother fixing up his hair, he liked it messy.

Quick as a flash, Naruto rushed out of his apartment, slamming the door shut as he left. He wanted to be Hokage, so he would need to mingle, right? He headed west, quickly turning a sharp corner. Unfortunately for him, he ran head first into an older boy. This caused the boy to fall back somewhat before regaining his balance. Naruto, on the other hand, had fallen back into a stand with a bucket of water on it, causing water to spill all over his head. Then the bucket fell on top of his head. He quickly removed it to find three boys, all older than him, glaring.

Naruto didn't know if it was the water or the sweat that was trickling down his face, but he knew this wasn't good.

"Hey kid", said the boy Naruto ran into, "Watch where your-." He stopped when he realized it was Naruto, and smirked.

He glanced at his friends, jerking his head in Naruto's direction. The other boys nodded with the same smirk as their friend as they approached Naruto and grabbed a different arm of Narutos.

Naruto attempted to break free, but it was useless.

"Hey you jerks." Naruto yelled," Let me -oof."

All air had left Naruto's lungs as the bigger kid repeatedly pounded his fists into his stomach. Naruto struggled, but could not get free because of the other two boys. Again and again the boy punched Naruto in the stomach.

Finally, the boys let go, and Naruto collapsed onto the ground, clutching his stomache in pain.

Naruto slowly lifted his head to see the boys walking away, laughing at the boy on the ground in pain. Naruto looked around, trying to find anyone that would help him. However, all he saw were people with approving smirks, and constant comments.

"Serves him right..."

"Damn fox..."

"I hope it dies."

Naruto sat up and brought his knees up to his chest. Wrapping his arms around his knees, he buried his face into his knees and began to cry.

No one cared. Not a single person.

"Hey kid." Came a small voice in front of Naruto, "Why are you cryin'?

Riyu was a kind boy. Although he had no friends, it didn't bother him as much as it would others. His favorite color was red, and he wore a blank red shirt with a pair of blue jean carpenter shorts. Sure, he wanted a friend, but some kids he saw were mean and picking on somebody. He could see some big kids picking on a young girl. He wanted to run and help her, but he was afraid of being called names like her. He sat behind a tree in the middle of a park, watching the torment.

He was flooded with relief when another girl her age came to her aid. She yelled something Riyu could not make out. The boys were immediately frightened and ran away. Riyu grinned as the girls conversed and giggled. The girls name was apparently Ally, that's all Riyu could make out before they got up and walked away. Riyu was relieved that he didn't have to help her. Girls were icky and had cooties. He was only three, what was he supposed to think.

He sighed as he turned around. The event causing him to wish he had someone to stick up for, or for someone to stick up for him. He thought about what just happened between the two girls. 'So, if you're nice to someone, then you get a friend.' He thought as an idea came into his head. A light smile found its way to his face as he walked away.

Beginning his journey across the village, he decided to cut through an alley that would take him to a row of stores. As he entered the alley, he could hear the feint sounds of a cry. He quickened his pace to discover the source of the noise. As he left the darkness of the alley and entered the light of day, he placed his left hand over his eyes to block out the sun.

There, across the street, was a small orange clad child with spiky blonde haired kid. He had his knees up to his chest, his legs wrapped around, and his face buried. Even with his face buried, Riyu could tell he was crying.

Riyu recalled the earlier events he had witnessed, and decided to get this boy to stop crying. He wanted to buy him something, a gift, that would make him happy, but what? He glanced around and found something. An ice cream stand sat not too far away from Riyu. It was perfect. He quickly dug his hand into his pocket and pulled out a few coins. He looked questioningly at the amount in his hands. He couldn't count, but he was determined to get a friend by the end of the day.

Deciding it was enough, he sprinted down to the stand. Discovering he only had enough money for one ice cream cone, he bought one and nervously walked over towards the crying kid. Thoughts began to fill his head, and none of them were good.

'What if he doesn't like me? What if he doesn't want a friend? What if...?' He was plagued by so many 'what ifs' he began to panic a little more.

As he looked at the little blonde boy, he felt sorry for him. He couldn't help it. He took a deep breath, and began to speak.

Naruto heard the small voice, and it sounded sincere. Naruto involuntarily found himself looking at a fellow boy. Naruto noticed he was wearing a blank red shirt and blue jean shorts. He was brunette with a diamond-shaped necklace dangling from his neck. Naruto also noticed that the boy also had somewhat bushy hair.

He looked him over once more. He was shocked someone had actually asked him if he was okay. Naruto found his voice.

"I'm fine." Replied Naruto, a few sniffles escaping. " I just..uhh..fell." A few tears escaped Narutos eyes, not going unnoticed. " Besides, why wouldn't I be okay? It is my birthday after all, believe it." He finished with a fake grin.

Riyu, ice cream in hand, plopped down next to Naruto, outstretching his legs.

"Then," Riyu began," Why aren't you at home celebrating with your mommy and daddy?"

Naruto couldn't believe it. Someone actually cared about his life. Like it held value. So, Naruto told him about how he didn't have a family, about everyone in the village hating him, with no friends and living alone. When Naruto finished, Riyu chuckled to himself.

Instantly, Naruto's hopes for a friend were dashed. This kid was laughing at him too. Just like all the others. A stray tear ran down his cheek.

Riyu quickly realized what he did wrong.

"Oh, sorry about that. It's just that we're not so different. I have no family, no friends, I live by myself, and some of the villagers hate me too. The only thing I do have of my parents is this necklace. I never take it off." Riyu finished, showing Naruto the neckalce. Naruto wasn't paying attention, he was dumbstruck.

'There's someone like me too.' He thought in amazement.

Riyu remembered the ice cream in his hand. He outstretched it to Naruto, who looked at it curiously.

"Ne, what's this?" Naruto asked, slightly confused.

"Ice cream, silly." Riyu responded with a grin plastered on his face." Happy birthday..uhh, what's your name?" He asked apologetically.

"Oh, it's Uzumaki Naruto, future Hokage." He responded. " What's yours?"

"Uzuka Riyu."

Naruto glanced at the ice cream cone in Riyu's hands as Riyu stood up and stood in front of him.

"Can I have my ice cream?" Naruto asked, almost pleadingly.

"Sure." Riyu answered as he handed the ice cream to Naruto, who gladly took it. Greedily, he started eating it.

"You know what, Naruto?" Riyu asked, outstretching his right hand towards Naruto. " I have another gift for you. I'm gonna be your first friend."

"Do you really mean it Riyu?" Naruto shouted, causing Riyu to flinch just a bit.

Riyu smirked.

"Only if you take my hand." Riyu said, grinning.

Naruto looked down at his hand, and then at Riyu's. Naruto nodded with a grin and outstretched his left arm out to Riyu. Their hands met in a firm grip.

They were best friends from then on.

(A/N) Hope you like it. Took a while to post. I swear to you that it will get better. This could be called a "Need to be put in to understand the story chapter".

Please read and review, or I'll kill a kitten. (Just kidding)