A/N: Hey guys and gals, this is my very first fic. I am posting here. I have been reading FF here for a few years now and only set up an account last year. There are quite a few stories I like on FF and wanted to submit my story to express my ideas.
I appreciate all reviews and constructive criticism. My aim is to make the story as water tight and enjoyable as possible; 9/10 times I will explain why I did certain things in the story and will explain anything on request. Techniques, jutsus and any other information that I think might need explaining, I will do so at the end of the chapter.
I have no idea how long the story will be but I have a mental picture of how I want the story to go.
I would like to give my deepest thanks to my beta Lacy Sprouse, thank you for taking the time and effort to look over my work. I would also like to thank ld 1449 for a very interesting and informative conversation that really gave me a lot of ideas for my work; and your generosity is highly appreciated. Thanks also goes out to Shivakashi whose constructive criticism really helped me with the presentation of my story. There is one other person who was of great help to me, but for the life of me I cannot remember who you are. Nonetheless thank you very much, when I remember who you are I will certainly give you the credit that you deserve.
This story was inspired by my fascination with samurai. Alot of what I will be writing is based upon ancient Japanese and Chinese history that modified to fit the story. As you read, you will get where I am coming from (don't want to give out everything at the beginning)
As all the other authors on this site. I don't own Naruto
Without further ado here's the story
"..." Regular speech
When the student is ready, the teacher appears- Bhuddist Proverb
50 years ago…..
The young 20 year old samurai stood kneeling at his dying master's side.
"Myushi you have been chosen to be the successor of the Niten Ichi Ryu style of swordsmanship."The old man said in an eerily calm voice of those who are staring death in the face.
"Master I am not worthy of such an honor!" the young man said.
"Do not say such things you have done remarkably well for your young age and you will only get better. Listen very well for this is your final lesson from me"
"Words, titles, honorifics and the like, they mean nothing in this world. We long for fame, fortune and aggrandizement and yet it all comes to nothing in the face of death. We seek all these things because we are not complete within ourselves, we are not at peace. We have lost our connection to nature. In my death I finally understand what Yagyu Sekishusai sensei said that night when I was poised to take his life"
"What did he say?" asked the young man knowing full well that this man was one of his fiercest rivals
"My Sword is one with Heaven and Earth" that is what he told me.
"My Sword is one with Heaven and Earth?"
"Yes, the ultimate ideal of the swordsman develops in three stages. The first stage begins with the unity of man and sword; in this stage cannot distinguish between man and sword for they are the same. Even blade of grass is the deadliest weapon is such a man's hand. The second stage is when the sword exists in a man's heart and in this stage even without his sword the swordsman is a formidable opponent. The final stage is when the sword exists neither in the man's heart nor hand; he is at peace with himself and the worlds and seeks to bring peace to mankind."
The young man was speechless. Those words were burned into Myushi's soul.
"I have had a strange dream Myushi; the world will be thrown into a great turmoil once again and a war will begin the likes of which we could never dream of."
"A great war?"
"In the final years of your life will meet a child with a great burden, far greater than any of us could dream of. He will be your student.
"What!" my student?" was the young man's startled reply.
"Yes your student and he will be the greatest of us all"
He will have to fight many battles because of it. However, he will become a warrior like none this world has ever seen. He will be the focal point of this war and many lives will depend on him."
"How will I know that I have found this child?"
"You will not find him, he will find you"
"Such a great burden!" Am I able to train such a warrior?"
"Do not doubt yourself; doubt is a deadly feeling for a warrior"
"Now my time is almost here my son. As my successor I give to you the things I valued most in my life: My teachings of Dokkodo, Go Rin No Sho, and two swords: A Katana named Yawarakai-Te( Tender hands) and a Wakizashi named Hageshii Seishin (Unwavering Spirit) forged by one of the greatest sword smiths ever Masamune."
The young man could not utter a word; this is a veritable treasure in the samurai world.
His master's/father's parting words were…
"We are all a part of nature and we cannot escape it, do not struggle."
His master, his father, the great Mushashi Miyamoto died with a smile in his face.
After failing the exam for the second time, Naruto sat alone on the swing watching enviously as the other kids are congratulated by their parents for a job well done. Anger, loneliness, sadness and longing filled his heart for he too yearned to be met by a loved one in the moment of his triumph. He too wanted to hear "good job my boy" or "well done son."
"Why am I all alone, why am I ignored and shunned?" Were the questions that were running through the boy's head. Naruto was not a stupid boy and he was keenly aware of the barely concealed anger that was directed at him on a daily basis.
As all kids went home with their relatives, he taught about the treatment he received from the villagers. It was the natural curiosity of children to question the world they lived in. Having been ignored and shunned for most of his life, Naruto knew that there was some reason for the treatment that he received. He struggled in class with the academy jutsu, especially the Bunshin no Jutsu; for some reason he could not get his chakra to come out right. Thus he reacted as any kid his age, he stayed away from class; his reasoning was simple and logical. Why continue to go the place of your torment? And thus the cycle of his failure would continue.
The repressed anger that lurked just beneath the surface of his fake smile began to surface. There is a saying that the anger in others arouses your own anger and vice versa. A lifetime of being ignored, shunned and called monster coupled with two consecutive failures in the Genin exam, broke the façade of the boy.
There is a saying that in life there are worse things than death; having no existence was one of those things. To been seen as a non-entity, a non-human puts enormous strain on the human psyche. Thus, the human mind in a desperate attempt to have an existence seeks to standout, to shine, to be seen. This need to exist, to be acknowledged, manifests itself differently in people. Some people, become aggressive, scream, shout, deliberately fail at the things they do, create a sad story and enact a "poor me attitude" to garner the attention of sympathetic persons.
In Naruto, this need for attention manifested itself in a bright orange jumpsuit in a shinobi village, a loud and brash attitude with much bravado, and unfortunately for the villagers in the form of pranks. He did these things in a desperate attempt to gain attention and any person truly paying attention would see that. They would also see that he was a kid of enormous mental and emotional fortitude, because to withstand such pressure and still have the desire to succeed was no small feat. However, he was just a human being, a child no less and his fragile mind though strong was beginning to break. Despite everything, he was still a child, still extremely vulnerable to apathy of the village. Greater men have withered under such pressure.
Lost in his anger and depression, he made his way through sparsely populated area of the village. While walking he noticed a small scroll shop that caught his attention; he didn't know why, but for some reason he is captivated by the small shop. His anger and depression gave way to a strange curiosity. As he entered the simple establishment, he instinctively lowered his head to hide his face to prevent a rude greeting. However, this was not the case today for he was greeted by the gentle voice of a kind elderly man.
"Hello there young one what brings you to my humble establishment?"
Slowly, Naruto looked up at the man and their eyes met and in that moment a connection was made. In the old man's eyes Naruto could see a gentle strength full of wisdom and experience and in Naruto's eyes the man could see pain, loneliness, sadness, desire, strength, potential and passion.
After the brief moment of connection, Naruto stammered out "Sorry to interrupt but I wandered off my normal route to my apartment after dinner when I noticed your store and just wanted to check it out."
"Ah!" Said the old man "Well, be my guest then."
As Naruto walked through the store he marveled at the number of scrolls that were there and the different blades and armor.
He was brought out of his awe by the old man's voice "Hey young one I couldn't help but notice that in your eyes held great disappointment and a whole range of other emotions, did something happen today young one?"
For some reason Naruto felt that he could trust the old man. Yeah, Naruto replied feeling completely safe with the old man. "I failed the ninja graduation exam for a second time in a row."
"Must be hard for you young one."
"Har!d" the boy laughed sarcastically; "That it was just a typical episode in my life old man. I have nothing old man; I am shunned and ignored by the entire village and I don't know why. I don't have any parents; the closest thing I have to a family is the Hokage, Iruka-sensei, Teuchi and Ayame. My life has been nothing but one failure after another. The kids in the academy have everything: family, friends and a place to call home. It makes me angry" the boy said.
"Jealousy is a truly dangerous emotion it causes people to do all sorts of cruel things to get what they want, and it is the reason behind your village wide pranks. They are just your way of forcing the village to acknowledge you. It is only natural for a child to long for the warmth and love of their parents, to be cared for and nurtured. However, you have failed to realize that there are people who love and care about you. This Jiji you speak about, Iruka-sensei, old-man Teuchi and your Nee-Chan; though they many not give you want, they give you what you need, and that is acknowledgement. They cheer you up when you are down, and always have kind words to offer, yet you stand before me here in this place and you have turned your back on their support to you. If it is one thing you must learn young is that life is not fair and we do not get to choose our lot in life. Crying, whining, jealousy and anger will get you nowhere."
Naruto was shocked once again. In his mind images of old man Teuchi, Ayame, and Sandaime and Iruka came to his mind, they all had smiles on their faces. All the times they cheered him up when he was down and all the kind smiles and warm words of comfort. They were always there for him and here he was wallowing in self pity. He was brought out of his musings by the old man's voice.
"Never be jealous. For we don't know the true extent of any given situation; just as you are wishing to be like those kids, some of them may be wishing to be you. Free of clan obligations and routines, free to just be themselves and not the image of their clan. Jealousy, breeds hate because you want what another has and cannot get it, you begin to resent him for it. In resentment the desire to take it from him gives rise to all manners of devious plots and twisted plans to acquire that which is not yours. Jealousy, breeds hatred and resentment which in turn leads to war. Many of the world's greatest and devastating wars have been started over jealousy and lust for power."
The man's words were burned into his soul. There was nothing he could say or do at the moment all he could do was listen.
"We never know what another is truly going through. They may look happy and sure on the outside but on the inside they are dying. We envy those with power and prestige, but they are often not happy. They worry about holding on to their power and ensuring that they remain in power. They see themselves as above everyone else and don't respond to the plight of the weak. They are constantly in battle, because everyone else wants their power and thus fights them for it. They could never have enough power, prestige, and wealth, more and more until their greed consumes them and everything around them. They no longer see people as human beings, but as tools, servants and commodities that are expendable. Yet oftentimes people wish to be just like them, to be in their shoes, to enjoy the so called finer things in life. Never be jealous young one, for we do not know what Kami has in store for us and we lose sight of the things that are the most valuable in life."
"But it is hard not to be jealous and resentful old man" the boy said recovering from his little tirade.
The old man chuckled at the boy's lack of respect for him, 'ah the brashness of youth he thought. There is not mistake about it, he is the one, my student.'
"My master told me that I would meet you one day."
"What are you talking about old man? Meet me? "The boy said genuinely confused.
"You see I follow the way of the warrior young one or as the samurai like to call it Bushido. On his death bed, my father, my master told me that I would meet a child and that I will or should train him in the way of the warrior."
"I am not a child!" the boy shouted out, "I'm eleven"
"Ah! but you are young one"
"Grrrrrr, old man!"
"As I was saying. My master told me that I would meet a child who carries a great burden and would be become a great warrior."
"And you are saying that this you are speaking about is me?" asked Naruto
"Yes, that is correct young one."
"Quit playing around old man, I am a drop out, a failure, a nobody."
The old man smiled.
"What so funny old man?"
"One moment young one," the man said as he walked to the back of his shop.
A few minutes later he returned with a glass and a bottle of water.
He showed the boy the glass "What do you see?"
"An empty glass old man, what are you up to?"
The old man said nothing. He then filled the glass with water.
"What do you see now, young one"
"A full glass of water" Naruto replied trying to figure out what the man was doing
"Good. Now what would happen if the glass was already full and I poured water into it?"
"It would overflow" replied the curious boy
"You say you are a drop out, a failure, a no good. Thus you are empty like that glass once was. However, the only way for the glass to be filled was for it to be empty, no other way. You young one, are the perfect pupil, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Being empty you can now be filled. A failure you may be at the shinobi arts, but there is more to life there is a bigger picture to be seen."
"A bigger picture?" Asked the astounded boy. He was just told that he was the perfect pupil, the academy instructors wouldn't agree with that statement.
"Yes. If focus only on the leaf you miss the tree; if you focus on the tree you miss the forest; if focus only on the forest you miss the world. You must learn to see everything in its entirety. Everything can be found here, pointing towards the boy's heart. If your heart is preoccupied your sword will not be true and if your sword is not true, you will die in battle."
"Do not be preoccupied with a single thing; learn to see everything in its entirety, effortlessly. That is what it means to truly see. You are preoccupied with the village's actions toward you and the possessions of others. You are distracted and vulnerable; a fly could kill you right now if it wanted to."
Naruto was awed by the man's words. Right then he was greeted with a splash of water to his face.
"Hey old man, what was that for?"
"You let your guard down; you were preoccupied with my words"
Naruto was shocked as the man's words were put into action.
He was greeted with a bop to the head.
"Awww, what was that for now?"
"You were preoccupied, with the practical application of what I said. You were stunned because they were not mere words that I was speaking."
This time the boy remained alert. "Yes old man"
The old man smiled as the boy stayed alert. "Good, you are beginning to understand"
"As I was saying. The way of the warrior is one of courage, benevolence, politeness, sincerity, honor, loyalty and self-control."
"But I am a ninja and ninja and samurai are totally different."
The old man laughed, "That they are young one, that they are"
"So you are a samurai huh old man?"
"Yes I am. However, a true warrior is not concerned about titles and status, nor is he concerned about what others think of him. A true warrior does not act on customary beliefs but searches out the truth himself and walks his own path dictated by him and no other. A true warrior is one who is master of himself."
"A master of himself?"
"Yes, young one. You are too young to see it, but you are held in a chain by the people of the village; your strong desire for them to acknowledge your existence gives them tremendous control over you. Your village wide pranks, though well thought out and comical is a desperate attempt on your part for the village to acknowledge your existence. You depend on their reactions; you even count on it because that is how your existence is made real."
The boy felt a sting in his chest as he heard the truth of his actions was laid before him. He was rooted to the spot by the old man's words. Though the man's words hurt like hell, they held no malice or ill intent. It was really hard for him to accept, what would happen if he accepted the truth? He would truly not exist, for he had nothing else to prove his existence. His mind was a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions, when he heard a gentle voice cut through the haze of mind.
"Fear not young one, for what you are experiencing now can be overcome. You have placed the chain around your own neck, but you can take it off just as you put it on."
"There was one this warrior who was said to be undefeatable in battle and he was known throughout the lands as the Kensei or Sword Saint because of his mastery in wielding two blades simultaneously in battle. He had vast experience in the ways of the blade, tactics and war and upon sensing that his life was soon coming to an end he began writing about all that he had learned in his travels and battles. It is said that he achieved peace in a lifetime of war. Would you like to read what this great warrior had to say? I think that it would be of great benefit especially for you young one."
Momentarily forgetting his plight, Naruto was intrigued by what he heard and greatly wished to read what this warrior had to say.
"Yes, I would very much like to read what this man had to say about life, war, and tactics."
"Wait a moment young one." The man replied as he went to the back of his store to retrieve the item. He returned a moment later, with a small scroll in his hand; it was a small unremarkable scroll that was very plain in design.
"Before I give you this scroll, I must warn you that it will be unlike anything you have ever read before and requires a deep contemplation and examination. It will change your outlook on life and your life forever, it will help you achieve peace and to walk your own path in life. Are willing to take such a risk young one?"
Naruto gave the proposition considerable thought; he really had nothing to lose at the moment. If it would help him get some peace of mind then it was worth the shot, the least he could do was read it and see what the man had to say.
"Very well then young one" he said and he handed the scroll to the boy. It read: Dokkodo.' The Path of Solitude.'
"This scroll consists of twenty-one precepts written by the Kensei in preparation for his death. It expresses a stringent, honest, and ascetic view of life; you see, for it is only in death that you can find the true meaning of life. Read the words and contemplate them deeply and if you have any questions you know where to find me."
"Hai" replied Naruto and took the scroll.
The old man smiled as the young blond left knowing that the ninja world would never be the same again.
Naruto's mind was solely on the scroll now; he made way quickly to his to his apartment to read the special scroll given to him by the old man. When he reached his apartment he lay on his bed and opened the scroll. The name of the scroll resonated deeply within him and knew that somehow this would be something that would change his life. The scroll was small and simple and contained 21 short "sayings" they were:
1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honor.
21. Never stray from the Way.
The words in the scroll hit Naruto like a bolt of lightning for they embodied everything that he did in his life. He was full to the brim with desires; he had many preferences; loved good food, craved attention and acted out the beliefs of the villagers. He complained a lot to Jiji and he was both resentful and jealous of the kids in the academy who had a family and performed well in class. He was thrown into a sate of confusion these were very difficult things to give up and didn't know if he could achieve such a remarkable feat. He decided to not think about it much because he would be seeing the old man again tomorrow. He decided to go to bed early to help hi mind relax after a whirlwind of a day.
The Next Morning…
After having breakfast aka ramen, Naruto made his way to the old man's shop. Entering carefully he called out "hey Old man you there it's me, Naruto."
The old man came out of the back of his room once again with a gentle smile on his face. "You have much questions young one." It was a statement rather than a question.
"Yes. I don't understand any of this it they go against everything I have known all my life."
"The old man smiled a gentle smile. I told you that those words would be unlike anything you ever read before; it contradicts everything we were taught while growing up. I too, when my master gave me this scroll felt the very same way. Come let us talk, motioning for the young one to enter."
As they entered to the back of his humble abode, Naruto couldn't help but marvel at the simplicity of the man's home.
"Hey Old man is this all you have?"
"Yes. I only carry what I need, and nothing more." Come have a seat; as they became comfortable with each other he said "I have a proposition for you would you like to hear it"
Naruto got a confused look on his face "Ummm yeah why not?"
"How would you like to be my apprentice?"
This news had Naruto completely flabbergasted. No one had ever given him anything in his life except the old man Hokage. He was very cautions of people who offered him stuff because they would always try to hurt him. "Why is this some kind of trick?"
"No it is not," the man said in a completely calm voice unfazed by the boy's mini outburst. "I would like to train you in the way of the warrior. My master told me that one day a student will appear before me and that I am to teach him the way of the warrior. He also told me that I need not go searching for the student, because he will show up when the time is right. I believe that you are the student that I am to pass on the way of the warrior to."
The young boy's eyes became wide with the old man's revelation. However they quickly dropped. "Will I still be able to become a ninja" he asked.
"I am sorry, the path of the warrior and the path of the shinobi are as different as the night is to the day. As I said before, the way of the warrior is one of courage, benevolence, politeness, sincerity, honor, loyalty and self-control. Where as the path of the shinobi is one of sabotage, assassination, infiltration and espionage. You must choose one or the other. In choosing the path of the warrior you may very well have to give up your dream of being Hokage."
With the revelation Naruto was frozen. Give up his dream to be Hokage, 'do I want to give up my dream?' He thought. "I…I need to think about this old man"
"Very well young one, you are right for thinking this over for this is a big decision for you."
"Yeah, I will talk to you sometime" Naruto said as he slowly walked out of the old man's shop.
Later atop the Hokage monument…..
Naruto sat atop the Hokage monument, it was slowly getting dark and the night lights of the village were beginning to come on.
'All my life I have been shunned by the village. I have repeatedly failed the basic academy material. Maybe I am not cut out to be a ninja; maybe the way of the warrior is what I was meant to do? Maybe I might find some peace of mind away from the constant struggle for acknowledgement? Do I want to follow the path of the warrior? Do want to live a life of honor, loyalty and self-control? His mind then went back to the scroll, Dokkodo- the path of solitude; the path to be walked alone.
His mind also went back to the old man's words 'if you focus on a single spot, you will miss everything else. To see everything in its entirety, that is what it truly means to see.' "Is there more to life than being Hokage? Have I bee so preoccupied with being Hokage that I am looking past everything else?" 'I need to speak to Jiji about this' the young boy thought as he made his way back to the apartment.
The next day…..
Naruto went to visit the Sandaime and talk to him about his meeting with the old man.
"Hey Jiji what's up?" the boy said in a somber tone.
"Hello, Naruto-kun what seems to be the problem?"
"Jiji I don't think I want to be a ninja any more"
"Jiji, I failed the exam twice in a row and I can't even do the basic Bunshin."
"That's no reason to give up Naruto. I could get extra tutoring for you with Iruka"
"I am not giving up Jiji, I met this old man and he wants to teach me the way of the warrior and I want to learn it. I don't want to be a ninja."
"What about your dream to be Hokage Naruto?"
"I don't know anymore, there are too many things that I don't know about. I don't know why I am shunned by the villagers and I don't know who my parents are and the constant put downs and jeers by the students in the class."
"The way of the warrior? Who is this man?" asked a concerned Sandaime
"He runs an old scroll shop in the Minsha district"
"Very well Naruto if that is what you truly want, but I will have to inform the council of this development. Also, I will need to meet with this man."
"Before you go Naruto, I have one final question?
"What is it Jiji"
"How do you feel towards Konoha, now?"
"Konoha is my home and that will never change, I will still fight to protect that which is precious to me. Just not as a shinobi of Konoha"
"Very well then, you really are surprising you know that Naruto"
"Yeah Jiji, I know"
Later that night at Sensei's old store…..
Sensei was reading a book in his dimly lit room; his head was still in the book when he started to speak. "You can come on out now Sarutobi; all are welcomed in my humble abode. Although, I am not as dangerous as you make me out to be." Sarutobi faded out of a dark corner in the room and stood before the old man. "I sense that you care deeply for the boy, for the Hokage of Konoha to pay me a personal visit in the middle of the night."
"Naruto told you asked him to be your apprentice, why? " The Hokage asked without responding to the amicable banter of the old man before him. From the moment Sarutobi laid eyes on the man he saw power and skill. This was no mere shop owner.
"I had no choice" said the man, "he was ready to walk the path."
"How do you know this?"
"It was the same for me, and my master. My master, my father in his last moments in this world told me that I will meet a child with a great burden. He told me that a great war will occur, the likes of which we have never seen before.
"A great war?"Asked Sarutobi.
"A great war and that child will be the focal point of that war"
"Are you sure about this" Sarutobi said in a solemn voice
"As I said before, they are the words of a dying man. The boy was ready and thus he found his way to me. You must understand Sarutobi-san that what he is about to learn is much more than about sword techniques and strategy. What he is about to learn is more than about any particular profession. He is going to learn the most important thing that a warrior must know about before every technique, every strategy, and every battle."
"And what is that?"
"Himself "said the old man, "He needs to learn about himself before he can learn about the ways of war. He must learn his strengths and weaknesses; he must learn how to turn his weaknesses into strengths and to hide his strength so that his enemies will not be able to discover them. There is a saying that goes: 'know yourself and know your enemy and you need not fear the outcome of a thousand battles.' Before I teach him any techniques he must accept himself for who he is, and his life for what it is."
Sandaime's eyes turned ice cold. "You know of his burden?"
"Yes, I know that he holds the Kyuubi within him," the man calmly replied, "It is a great burden for one so young, but life was not known to be forgiving or fair and he must accept that."
The Hokage became serious once again and his killing intent began to leak out. He may have to kill this man, he knows too much.
"How do you know this?" Sarutobi said in a cold voice. "I must warn you to choose your words carefully for I may have to take your life for you know too much classified information. You may very well be a threat to my village."
"It is rather obvious if one pays attention and knows the general history of Konoha."
"General history?" The Sandaime said with the stony glare still on his face.
"I have travelled to many lands and learned many things, I know of the history of war between the Elemental nations and everything that came along with the wars. But we both know that the information in those books that we go in order to learn history are not really accurate. The Kyuubi was, no is, a beast of immense power and malevolence; such a beast cannot be simply defeated or killed. The only way to defeat such a beast is to seal it or contain it in some form or fashion. Now, sealing such a beast in an inanimate object is useless because the beast will just break free. Such a beast needs to be contained in a living entity, something to tie its life force to in order to chain and control it. That leaves three options: Option one, seal it into a fully grown human however his is not a good option because an adult is already fully grown and developed and rigid in both mind and body, thus the evil chakra of the beast would overwhelm the body killing the container and setting the beast free."
Sarutobi was listening to the man's very logical and informed conclusion.
"Option two the man continued; seal the monster into a teenager. With this option the result would be the same as option one. The process of being indoctrinate in the ways of the world has already began for such an individual and thus they would be unable to contain the beast."
"The third and final option, the only way to safely contain the beast was to seal it into a new born child whose body and mind has not yet developed and would be able to adapt to and deal with the entity that was placed in it."
"The beast's rampage through the land of fire caused the deaths of many brave ninjas who willingly gave their lives to protect their village from total annihilation. Pain is an emotion that people love to hold on to and use it as an excuse to inflict much damage to others, claiming a sense of superiority because of the pain they feel. I have seen how the young boy is treated by the villagers and though their pain is understandable, that is no excuse to treat a young child in such a manner. I am starting to wonder what made Konoha such a great village in the first place."
Sandaime was forced to agree with the old man's impeccable logic. If one were to really pay attention they would figure it out quite easily. In fact, it may even be considered the most open S-class secret of Konoha.
"What exactly are you going to teach him?" Was the other question aimed at the old man.
"As he told you, I am teaching him in the ways of war. Also, I am going to pass down my sword style to him."
"What is the name of this sword style? "The Third asked yet again, becoming a little intrigued with this little tale.
"The sword style I am going to teach him is called Nitojutsu; he is going to learn how to wield two blades at the same time. Its techniques are passed down from master to student from the school of Ni-ten Ichi Ryu, the school of the 'Two Heavens as One.' The style was developed by a man known as the Kensei. He will be my successor in the style"
For some reason, those words engraved in the Sandaime's mind "Sword Saint?"Somehow he felt like he had heard or read those words before. Reminding him-self to check his library for any information about what he just heard he said, "Very well then, I will allow you to teach Naruto however I will be keeping a close eye on you."
"Do as you wish Sandaime-san. But before you go I have a question for you."
"What is it?" The Sandaime said still facing the man before him.
"Why have you not told the boy that his father is the Yondaime Hokage and that he holds the Kyuubi within him? Any idiot with enough brain cells could see that the boy is the spitting image of the Yondaime Hokage," replied the old man. "Although, it is a little less obvious the Yondaime was an honorable man and would not allow other family to bear such a burden."
Sandaime, was contemplating whether to kill the man right here and now for the man knew way too much of Konoha's darkest secrets. However, he thought of how freely the man gave the information to him without fear. It could be a trap, what better way to get your enemies guard down by telling them the truth. But on the other hand, the information the man had could be easily attained through simple observation. His mind then went to Naruto who finally found someone who is willing to actually devote time to teach him something. The boy was starving for attention and the man was fully of knowledge and wisdom, Sarutobi sensed no ill will in the man's words neither in his demeanor. Naruto would learn a lot from this man.
"The information is being withheld from him as per the request from his father until the time is right"
"Ah that is understandable; the Yondaime had many enemies both within and without Konoha. If the kid is not mature enough, he would go opening his big mouth throughout Konoha that his father is the Yondaime to stick to the fools who have ignored him. It would be a twisted way of getting back at them for all that they have done, or not done to him. He needs to be mature and strong to accept that information, when his heritage is revealed the whole of Iwa will be at his throat. But why not his burden, he may be better off knowing why he is treated the way he is treated. It may make things easier for him, and better yet if it comes from you, a man who he trusts and looks up to for support. "
The Sandaime looked at the man. The man was very perceptive and intelligent, not to mention powerful. "You are correct; the Yondaime was not particularly well liked by the men of Iwa and to a lesser extent Kumo, the secrecy is for the boy's protection. As it concerns his burden, it may or may not make things easier but that is my decision to make."
"You do not give the boy much credit he is a lot more perceptive than he looks, He will be better off learning the truth earlier rather than later. He will be great someday and name will be known throughout the elemental nations. He will fight many battles as many will try to prove their superiority, to test their mettle against him. He will push those around him to go beyond their limits; he will be their benchmark, the measure by which they observe their progress. However, it will all come to naught because in they are not following their own path."
The two old men held each others gazed in the silence of the night for what seemed like hours. "You need not worry about that, it is not your concern."
Sarutobi looked at the man and glared, "I will have my eyes on you."
"Do what you wish," replied with the old-man without even a hint of fear.
Sarutobi left, melding back into the shadows.
The Next Day with the Sandaime…..
Sarutobi was in his personal library searching for anything he could find on the Ni-ten Ichi Ryu style and the Kensei that the man in the little shop told him about. He had cancelled all his morning appointments to free up enough time for his search. The Sandaime had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and there was a reason he was known as "The Professor" throughout the shinobi world. He had amassed a great library of information about shinobi and non-shinobi techniques, the samurai techniques were among those he gained some knowledge of. His search came to an end when he found a book titled "The History of the Samurai." He went to the desk in his library and began to search for information about the Kensei. When he found the information he began to read:
The Kensei or Sword Saint was a man of unparalleled skill with the sword and he was a legend in the samurai world. He was the founder of Ni-ten Ichi-Ryu also known as "the school of the strategy of two heavens as one"; it is a style of classical Japanese Swordsmanship. Ni-ten Ichi-Ryu is mainly known for the two-sword Katana-Wakizashi Kenjutsu techniques which he called Niten Ichi "two heavens as one" or Nito- Ichi "two swords as one."
He was the author of The Book of Five Rings or Go Rin No Sho which is a text on Kenjutsu and the Martial Arts in general. He was a very serious man and never condoned technical flourishes in his students; he believed that all technique is simply a method of cutting down one's opponent. He believed that his strategy can be used in one-on-one combat or a massive battle. He believed in thorough practice instead of simply reading information in books.
In his work he outlines that there are different elements of battle, just as there are different physical elements in life. He believed that upon their mastery of Strategy and Timing as listed in the five books, you will be able to defeat ten men as easy as you could defeat one, and questions "When you have reached this point, will it not mean that you are invincible?"
He believed that a "True Warrior," as well as a "True strategist" is someone who has made mastery of many art forms away from that of the sword. It is said that in death he was undefeated in battle.
After finishing reading the short bio of the man known as the Kensei in the samurai world, Sarutobi was in deep thought. If this is what Naruto is going to learn from this man; and the man mentioned that he and his master met in the same way. Then Naruto was going to learn the teachings of arguably the greatest samurai of all time. The man was correct in his assertions about the potential of Naruto. The ninja world will certainly not be the same again.
Later that day with Naruto and Sensei….
"Have you come to a decision young one?"
"Yes, I accept your offer."
"Very well then but I must warn you. A warrior is one who studies the art of war; he is a student of war and seeks to learn everything about it and he thirsts for its knowledge and application. You must know that this training, just like the scroll will be unlike anything you have done before. It will be rigorous and vary harsh. I will not spare you for even a moment, in choosing to be a student of war you have chosen to enter in to world of violence, pain and death. I will push you to the limits of your body mind and spirit, and I will not be kind. With this teaching you will be able to face any hardship and overcome it."
Naruto's face held a fierce determination. "I will not back down, this is my choice."
"Ok young one. In the scroll there are 21 precepts that you must contemplate before we move forward with your training. Each day I will explain to you each precept in order and you will spend the rest of the day contemplating the precept, there is much for you to learn, but we shall take our time. Don't expect to understand every precept for that is impossible for any person to do in just 21 days. "
"Yes sensei," the boy replied in a very solemn and determined tone.
"Good, take the rest of the day off and meet me tomorrow to begin your training."
Later that afternoon at the council meeting…
Sarutobi sat at the head of the council chamber with all the clan heads of all the major clans, as well as the civilian council. He knew that this would be a very tough situation to deal with as it concerns the village Jinchuriki. Any issue with the village Jinchuriki always ended up into a messy affair.
"I have an important announcement to make, and it concerns Uzumaki Naruto"
With the mention of Naruto, the entire council became quiet. This must be something big they all thought, usually the most you hear about the boy is his pranking exploits. Sandaime usually deals with those.
"Uzumaki Naruto does not wish to be a ninja of Konoha."
With that statement the council was thrown into chaos.
"What is the meaning of this Sarutobi?" Koharu asked. "He has no choice but to become a shinobi"
To which the Sandaime replied, "first of all it is Sandaime-sama to you Koharu and to everyone else for that matter. You all may be on the council but I am the Hokage, don't ever forget that. Secondly he does have a choice; what do you think will happen if we force him to do something against his will hmmm? He is a very stubborn boy and once his mind is set on something there is no turning it back"
"Well if that is the case Sandaime-sama, then he should be executed; he is of no use to the village," a member of the civilian half of the council said. This gathered murmurs of agreement from the rest of the civilian council.
"No such thing will be taking place in this village; he is a child despite the burden he bears. He has been ostracized by the village and no longer has the will to be a shinobi of Konoha. This is a sad day, for he had the potential to be one of the greatest shinobi to have ever come out of Konoha. The boy's spirit is broken and there is no one to blame but the village and thus myself; we have let our ignorance, anger and pain guide our actions for too long and thus we have lost a great shinobi."
Aburame Shibi head of the Aburame clan then asked, "So what will his course of action be then Sandaime-sama, no doubt he needs some form of training?"
"Yes you are right Shibi-san; he wishes to follow the way of the warrior. He believes that he may find some measure of peace with himself in such a path."
"He wishes to follow the way of the Samurai?" asked Nara Shikaku, head of the Nara clan.
"Yes" was the Sandaime's reply
"This is a ninja village not a samurai village, who is going to teach him the way of the Samurai?"Asked Inuzuka Tsume, head of the Inuzuka clan.
"He has been asked to be apprenticed to a samurai living in this very village, a very powerful one I might add"
"Who is this man?" asked Hiashi, head of the Hyuuga clan genuinely intrigued by this development.
"His name is Myushi Miyamoto, son and heir to the legendary samurai Mushashi Miyamoto founder of the Niten Ichi Ryu style of swordsmanship. Miyamoto was known as the known simply as the Sword Saint because of his mastery with the blade. In death he was said to be undefeated in battle. His eldest son has inherited his father's teachings."
"The school of the two heavens as one! Why the Kyubii Jinchuriki?" asked Danzo upon hearing that the founder of the style that Naruto was going to learn was undefeated in battle.
"This is the disturbing part. His father that a great war will occur and that Naruto would be the focal point of this war. Many lives will depend on him"
"War?" They all shouted.
"When will this war occur?" Asked Hiashi, head of the Hyuuga clan.
"I don't not know Hyuuga-san however, Konoha has bee living with the threat of war for a long time now. I will get in contact with my errant pupil Jiraya he may have some useful information for us."
"Yes, Jiraya is our foremost spymaster his information will be valuable about any possible threats" said Nara Shikaku.
"Yes that is true, but for now what about the young boy's status in the village?" asked Akimichi Choza, head of the Akimichi clan.
"Remarkably, he is still loyal to a village that has brought nothing but pain to him in his young life. There are grown men who lack that kind of fortitude, as I said before in its ignorance Konoha has lost a great shinobi"
Unfortunately for the civilian half of the council, one member decided to make a fatal error on the path of the council.
"He has no choice to love this village we gave him everything he has. We own him and he has do to do what we tell him."
You could hear a pin drop in the council chamber; the shinobi council knew that the idiot just made a great mistake. The Sandaime was already displeased that the village's greatest assets did not wish to be a shinobi. The Sandaime is not one to be messed with in the mood that he is in right now.
"Obviously, the civilian council needs a lesson in manners for you have far overstepped your boundaries. Need I remind you that this is a military affair and thus does not fall under your jurisdiction. Furthermore, this is a shinobi village not a merchant's fair, thus you have no business meddling in shinobi affairs. Therefore, as of this moment I am enacting a new law; all council sessions will be separated into two parts. The first part will be dedicated to the civilian affairs of the village and the second will be devoted to shinobi affairs. Upon the completion of the civilian reports and all issues are settled the civilian council will promptly leave the chamber, after which the shinobi council will begin its meeting.
"What you can't do that!" said another member of the civilian council.
"Says who?" asked the Sandaime in a very pissed voice barely leaking killing intent.
The council member had no reply.
"I thought so. All in favor for the enactment of this law?"
All the members of the shinobi council raised their hands, with the exception of Inuzuka Tsume who raised both hands because she never liked the civilian council. In addition to the shinobi part of the council, the Hokages advisors also gave their support to the bill giving a clear majority. The civilian council did not even get the chance to raise their hands, the deed was done.
"Good," said the Sandaime, as he signaled the Anbu to escort the civilian part of the council out of the chamber amid much protest.
When the civilian council was escorted out of the chamber, there were a variety of reactions from the remaining members of the council.
Choza, Inoichi and heads of departments all had grins on their faces.
His advisors had unreadable expressions and Hiashi, Shibi and Shikaku gave him slight nods of approval.
Inuzuka Tsume said "it is about damn time Sandaime-sama" everyone in their own way totally agreed with her.
The civilian council has interfered in shinobi affairs for far too long.
"Yes they have, now resuming" the Sandaime said and this got the undivided attention of all present. "As I said before he is still very much loyal to Konoha and thus he will be part of our military albeit in a rather unique way."
"What are you proposing Sandaime-sama?" asked Yamanaka Inoichi, head of the Yamanaka clan.
"I am proposing having him as a supplementary aide to the shinobi forces, as a replacement in teams that are a man short for certain missions. Should we be under attack he will serve as any other shinobi in defending the village."
"What about his chain of command?" asked Aburame Shibi.
"The chain of command will be the same. He will follow the instructions of his Chunin and Jonin superiors and me of course"
The shinobi council began to laugh. This was one of the most interesting council meetings for a long time.
The next day…..
Five o'clock in afternoon Naruto arrived at the old man's store.
"Hey Sensei I am here," he said.
The old man came from the back of his store with his trademark gentle smile. "Good, good young one let us begin."
"Lesson number one: Accept everything the way it is. People mistakenly believe that we are in control of our lives; however nothing could be further form the truth. If you think deeply: we don't control the rising and falling of the sun, the tides of the ocean, the birth of a baby, or life and death. Things happen in their own way, and in their own time; refusing to accept something as it is, we are thus unable to effectively handle the situation. It is the same with war; we do not choose our enemy, their numbers, when they will attack or their skill level. In battle, we may encounter a more skilled opponent, a less skilled opponent or an equally skilled opponent. There will be times when we have to attack, and others where we have to defend. There are times when things and plans go perfectly and there are times when things just go all wrong. Life is unpredictable and we are never sure when or where something will happen. In accepting 'everything the way it is' we are saying that we acknowledge that we are not in control and allow whatever happens to be without forcing ourselves or trying to control the situation. We are then able to create right action; to do what is necessary in that moment. We may suffer losses and we may be hurt but we will be at peace and we will have no regrets. In accepting things the way they are, we are able to accept ourselves the way we are and thus we are able to find peace. Peace brings calm and a calm warrior in the heat of battle is virtually unbeatable."
"What is right action Sensei?" the boy asked in a solemn tone.
To which the old man replied. "You will know it when you have created it. This has been your lesson for today."
After his first lesson…..
That evening after his first lesson, Naruto made his way to the Hokage monument to contemplate what his new sensei taught him. He was sitting atop the Yondaime's head and was looking at the village below. In his mind the cruel words, harsh glares and accusations of the villagers flooded back into his mind.
"This is my life," he said, "I will always be ignored and rudely treated for a reason that I do not know. I do not know my parents; they died in the Kyubii attack, they died protecting the village, protecting me. They fought with everything because they believed that my life and the lives of the villagers were worth protecting. My parents were heroes and there are still people who care for me Jiji, Iruka, Teuchi, and Ayame. I cannot turn my back on all that they have given me; I must train and become strong."
And thus began the life of a man who would be known throughout the world.
Alright! The first chapter of hopefully many more is now finished
As I said in my latest update I will be adding character bios so that the readers will have a fair understanding of the characters in the story. I've decided that I will start the character bios from the first chaper to help my newer readers (hopefully reviewers) to get them into the story. Please read and review
Yagyu Shinsuke Munetoshi
Age: 77 (Deceased)
Other names: Yagyu Sekishusai, Yagyu Shinzaemon, Yagyu Tajima no-Kami, Yagyu Muneyoshi
Style: Shinkage Ryu style of swordsmanship
Story: Yagyu Sekishusai was the successor of Shinkage Ryu swordsmanship from his master Kamiizumi Nobutsuna who founded the school. Sekishusai was the head of Yagyu clan and passed on the style through successive generations. Legend has it that in his dying days he met the ronin Mushashi Miyamoto who snuck into his estate in order to kill him and claim the title of the strongest. However, Sekishusai's spiritual power was so strong, yet gentle that Mushashi admitted that he would have lost in actual combat. Their meeting marked a great turning point in Mushashi's development as a samurai as he was heavily influenced by Sekishusai's teachings.