Chapter 1 – Mystic Eyes
Hey people! Tibo here, looking to try my hand at writing fanfiction.
The premise of this fic is fairly simple: How would the story progress if Naruto was like a ninja from Basilisk? A Naruto who fights intelligently, with the tactics of an actual ninja instead of being the very embodiment of a shounen style fighter.
Instead of brawling, yelling a lot and relying on the Kyuubi to save him almost every fight, Naruto will use deception, stealth, intelligence and will actually be a competent combatant like the ninjas from Basilisk.
If you haven't read Basilisk or seen the anime don't worry, it's not necessary reading. This fic is firmly set in Naruto's world and story. The Basilisk elements will be limited to techniques and a few characters, all of which will be thoroughly explained. I mainly wanted Naruto to embody their approach to combat more than anything else.
Naruto's personality will be significantly different from Canon. Why? Because he will have a different childhood. In canon he never progressed mentally beyond that of an eight year old, that won't happen here. He'll be trained from a young age, so expect him to be extremely competent and intelligent. If you're looking for knucklehead/doormat Naruto you'll have to look elsewhere.
Naruto will be very strong though not godlike. He'll have a bloodline which will allow him to combat the ridiculously strong dojutsus of Naruto universe (cough..sharingan..cough). He also be 'grey', not dark or evil. I'm trying to take some of positives from the Naruto in Canon (i.e. will power/charisma) and combine it with a more practical and ruthless approach found in Basilisk (i.e. he won't help people by screaming meaningless dribble all the time).
Anyway, let's get on with it. I hope you enjoy.
[Standard disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Basilisk.]
His eyes opened to a peculiar scene. It was late in the evening and he was standing still on the shoreline of an unfamiliar river. The last rays of red light faded into blue as the sun started to disappear behind the horizon. An evening picked up, he could hear the breeze rustling through the reeds along the shore. In the background the subtle echo of waves could be heard as they caressed the white sand along the shoreline.
I've never been here before, but it feels so real.
He noticed he was standing completely still, his eyes firmly focused on a figure standing opposite him. The occasional chirping of a cricket was all that disturbed the silence between the two of them. It was almost deafening.
"Oboro!" He heard a woman roar. He winced as the voice shattered the silence like glass. He would have turned to give the woman a piece of his mind, but found he could not. His body wouldn't move.
So instead of turning to confront the rude voice his eyes stayed fixed on the figure in front of him. The figure was an oddly dressed man who looked like an eccentric noble from old times. He wore a white haori over a dark blue kosode with dark blue hakama pants. His long black haired was tied loosely in a ponytail and he had thick eyelashes which gave him a feminine appearance. He looked young, not much older than twenty, but there was an air of authority about him that was incongruous with his youthful appearance. What was most disconcerting was the katana the man grasped in his right hand. That and the fact that his eyes were firmly clamped shut.
What's going on here?
As soon as the thought crossed his mind he felt his head turn and his eyes move down to examine his own hand. That was when he started to panic. He wasn't in control of his own body. He was powerless, a mere silent witness trapped in the body of another. He briefly recognized the fact that he was holding a tanto, but that concern was overridden by the knowledge that this body was certainly not his own.
As he looked down at the hand through the eyes of another he saw not the hand of a six-year-old boy, but the delicate hand of a young woman. Instead of a light tan — the color of his own skin — the skin was white like porcelain. The fingers that wrapped around the tanto appeared fragile, like they would break if the slightest bit of pressure was put on them.
Who is this?
His felt his vision shift back to the man as his body started stumbling forward across the white sand like a marionette on strings. He could feel his feet sink into the soft sand as he closed the distance between himself and the man with the katana. One step, two step, three steps, four. He tried to stop, but his, no the body remained unresponsive. He could feel tears falling down his face as he came to an abrupt stop in front of the man who had remained completely still and unresponsive.
He found his mouth moving on its own accord as he heard the words, "I love you Gennosuke-sama." His voice…NO, the voice was definitely female.
He felt his hands tighten around the tanto and his pulse quicken as his heart reacted to threat of imminent violence. At this point he felt his body move and raise the tanto to the man's chest.
I'm going to kill him! Stop!
Just as he believed he was about to become a murderer something unexpected occurred. Instead of piecing the man's chest his tanto reversed its course and plunged straight into his own heart. (1)
Naruto woke up screaming, clutching his chest where he felt the blade enter and end his life. The remnants of the dream were still present and he could feel a sharp stab of pain in his heart which was hammering against his rib cage. The dream had left his body covered in a thick coating of sweat. His sheets felt damp…
One of those dreams again. They always feel so real.
The name was foreign to him, yet felt unknowingly familiar at the same time. He felt as if he should know who that was, but he was certain that he knew nobody by that name.
I'm going crazy.
Naruto had been having these dreams for the last few months. This one had been the worst yet. They didn't occur often, or least they didn't used to. He had been having the dreams more frequently over the last month or so. This was the third one this week and in every single one of them he was in someone else's body. All he could do is watch as the dreams progressed and end, usually with him dying or killing someone.
Maybe I should talk to the old man about them, thought Naruto. The woman and the other people in his dreams must be ninjas. They were amazing fighters and he had seen some of them use crazy jutsu like turning into water or blowing gusts of wind from their mouths.
He quickly discarded the idea though. If he told the old man he was having dreams about killing people or ending his own life the old man would probably send him to a psychiatrist to have his head examined. It's not like it would be unexpected after everything that had happened to him.
With a sigh he pulled himself out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom. He let out a huge yawn as he walked. He definitely wasn't getting anywhere near enough sleep.
As he made his way into his bathroom he frowned at the state of it. Mold everywhere, bin overflowing, backed up toilet…
Maybe I should clean this place up a little…At least its not as bad as the kitchen, Naruto thought as his mind brought up images of discarded ramen cups and dirty dishes.
Putting the horrible thought of impending chores aside he went to the sink to brush his teeth only to jump back in shock as he looked in the mirror. There, staring straight at him was the face of a beautiful woman. Instead of a short boy with spiky blonde hair and bright blue eyes he found himself looking at a young woman in her mid to late teens with long black hair and a pair of beautiful amethyst eyes. He stared into those eyes in shock as they gleamed right back at him like two stars in the night sky.
He quickly blinked and shook his head. He thought he felt a slight burning sensation in his eyes, but dismissed it. When he opened his eyes again he found himself looking at his usual sky blue eyes, whisker marks and sunlight blonde hair.
Great. Now I'm even dreaming while I'm awake.
Naruto tried to put the weirdness of his morning behind him as he grabbed Gama-chan and ran to his favorite place in the world — Ichiraku Ramen. He ignored the glares and comments from the villagers as he rushed by. His skin had gotten thicker over the years and they wouldn't distract him from his ramen.
"Hey Naruto," greeted Teuchi as Naruto arrived at the small restaurant.
"Morning Teuchi-san," said Naruto. He took his usual seat at the bar. He always had some trouble getting up there, but he got it eventually.
"The usual Naruto?" Teuchi asked.
"You bet." Naruto's usual was enough to feed a large family.
"Ayame! Naruto's here," yelled Teuchi as he went out back to make Naruto order.
"Good morning Naruto-kun," greeted Ayame as she came out to the front of the store.
The older girl was probably the closest thing he had to a friend.
"Hey Ayame-chan," greeted Naruto.
Ayame frowned when she saw Naruto, "Naruto-kun, what's wrong?"
"What? Nothing," replied Naruto a little too quickly.
"Naruto…" said Ayami in a stern tone.
Naruto knew better than to ignore her. "It's nothing Ayame-chan, I just had a bad dream."
Naruto gave Ayame a nod, but didn't explain it. The vividness of the suicide was still affecting him.
It felt so real…
After breakfast Naruto wandered aimlessly through village, though he kept a keen awareness of his position. Some places in the village just weren't safe for him, a lesson he had learned the hard way. (2) At least he was safe in broad daylight —sort of— he didn't go out at night anymore…
As he moved through the streets he could feel the heated glares on his back. It was nothing new, almost everyone in Konoha hated him and they weren't shy about showing it.
Sometimes he wondered why the villagers singled him out. It never made any sense to him. None of other kids were treated the same as he was. None of them were kicked out of shops, spat at on the street, or treated like they didn't even exist. That last one always hurt the worst, but he had gotten used it. He had been alone his entire life and always would be.
The isolation still hurt sometimes. The old man, Teuchi and Ayame were the only ones who ever talked to him, even kids his own age stayed clear of him. That, or they through rocks at him and called him a "freak".
Naruto wasn't an idiot, quite the opposite in fact. Even though he couldn't read or write, he was extremely observant. He had figured out some time ago that the Kyūbi attack was linked to his treatment by the village. It didn't take a genius to figure it out. The fact that many of the adults kept calling him 'demon brat' and that October 10th was his birthday made it clear that he had some connection to the Kyūbi attack six years ago, though the exact nature of that connection still eluded him. Nevertheless, he was proud that he made the connection, he hadn't even been to school yet. The old man always said he was clever.
While these thoughts were running through his head he found that he had wandered close to the large forest outside Konoha. Naruto stopped in his tracks. The forest was a no go zone for him or anyone for that matter. The old man had told him that the place was very dangerous and he didn't want to end up in hospital…again.
How did he even get here? This area was off limits anyone except experienced ninja.
Confounded, he was about to turn when he felt something tug at him. It felt like someone was physically pulling on his sleeve, trying to direct him towards the forest.
What is that?
Naruto ignored the feeling and turned to go back, but as it did his vision blurred. It felt like he had been hit with an extreme case of nausea, that or poison, he still remembered what that felt like. He sunk to the ground as his knees buckled and then all he saw was darkness as he lost consciousness.
As his eyes opened he found himself on a narrow mountain path surrounded by mist. Moisture was heavy in the air and the ground under foot was damp enough that he could feel it through his footwear.
Is this another dream? I remember collapsing then…
If it was another dream it was different. Unlike his previous dream he had full control over his body. His feet moved where he wanted them to and his eyes looked where he directed them.
That's a positive, Naruto thought as he peered into the mist. But where am I?
Of course the other option was that someone had dumped his body somewhere while he was unconscious. He frowned at that thought. He wouldn't be surprised if someone took advantage of the situation to get rid of him, it wouldn't be the first time.
I hope this isn't somewhere deep in the forest, thought Naruto with a slight bit of panic.
He drew a deep breath and calmed down so he could take a closer look at his surroundings. It didn't look like the forest. Sure he could see trees, but they were nowhere near as big as the ones the made up Konoha's forest. It also looked like the area was much more hilly than Konoha and when was the last time there was mist in Konoha?
Against his better judgement Naruto decided to start moving. He didn't have a lot of options; either follow the path or stay where he is. Naruto didn't think wandering into the mist aimlessly was a good idea either. So the only feasible option was to follow the path.
Although he didn't show it, Naruto was worried. That last dream ended with me dying and this one feels even more real. What if...
He didn't know how long he walked through the mist. It could have been a few minutes or several hours, he couldn't tell. Time seemed to work differently here. Eventually he stopped walking when he walked face first into a brick wall and fell flat on his ass.
Naruto looked up at what he ran into and was surprised to see a large wall. How did I not see that? The mist isn't that thick.
He noticed that there was a wooden sign mounted on the wall. He squinted a bit as he looked through the mist trying to make out the words on the sign. It was pointless since he couldn't read, but for some reason he seemed to know exactly what it said.
As soon as he read the words he felt the ground start to collapse beneath him. In a panic he tried to move, but it was to no avail as the ground fell away beneath him. A silent scream escaped his lips as he fell though the hole and into the abyss.
His descent was abruptly cut off when he came into contact with the ground, hard. He was dazed by the fall, but managed to open his eyes. He must have hit his head hard because the last thing he saw before losing consciousness was a giant stone room and a woman in red?
Naruto let out a groan as he slowly opened his eyes.
My head…I think I broke something.
As he woke he tried to remember what happened and where he was. Looking around it seemed that he was lying in a stone room. Rays of sunlight were filtering in through the hole he made in the ceiling. Wait…hole…ceiling…mist!
The last thing he remembered was running through that weird mist, hitting a wall and the sign, yes, he remembered the sign: 'Iga Tsubagakure'... He'd never heard of it.
Naruto sighed. What did I get myself into this time.
"So you're finally awake little one." A female voice intruded on his thoughts.
Naruto as he jumped up off the ground with a start. He hadn't sensed anyone near him and his senses were extremely sharp having lived on the streets for a few years in the past. Had one of the ninjas found him?
Naruto's eyes darted around the room trying to locate whoever had startled him. He quickly located the source of the voice and only one thought came to mind as he laid eyes on her.
Standing to his right in a relaxed pose was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He briefly wondered how it took so long for him to notice her, before he went back to staring. She had midnight black hair that shimmered like silk in the sunlight. It was tied back loosely allowing her fringe to fall across her face like water cascading down a waterfall. She had light honey brown eyes which he noticed were sharp, a little cold, and glowing with intelligence. Though right now he could tell that she was looking at him with more than a little bit of humor. Naruto's eyes focused in on her cherry red lips that contrasted sharply with the woman's flawless porcelain white skin. The black hair and red lips coupled with the woman's pale complexion gave her the appearance of a cold feminine beauty.
I hope she won't do anything mean to me, thought a jaded Naruto. Several... experiences in the past had left him extremely distrusting of strangers.
He took a deep breath and tried to take a few steps backwards, but felt his back come into contact with the wall. Uh oh…nowhere to run, thought Naruto as he tried desperately to stave off panic. He hated being cornered. Bad things happened to him when he got cornered.
With nowhere to run he took a better look at the woman in the hope that she was one of the few who didn't hate him. She was dressed in a blood red kimono, which was tied together loosely by a yellow sash. Her kimono was quite fitting, accentuating an very curved figure. To say she was voluptuous would be an understatement. Such things held no meaning to Naruto, but he knew the old man and other males in the village would go crazy at the sight of her. She also had what looked like a short katana strapped to her sash.
The woman suddenly spoke up, once again startling Naruto.
"If you're finished staring perhaps we can move on with introductions," she said with a grin. One finely arched eyebrow suggested she found his staring amusing rather than offensive.
"W-w-who are you?" asked a flustered Naruto. Focus Naruto. Don't let the pretty lady distract you. Wait until she's not watching and run. His inner flight response had just kicked in.
"Hmm…what's this? You know it's customary to give your own name before asking someone for theirs," replied the women with her melodic voice. She seemed to be in the mood to tease Naruto.
Is it? wondered Naruto. He vaguely recalled the old man telling something similar before. Wait! Doesn't she know who I am? Everyone knows who I am. The whisker marks are a dead giveaway, thought Naruto. He was confused, in Konoha everyone seemed to know who he was.
"I'm Uzumaki Naruto," he answered in a cautious tone. It was a good sign that she wasn't openly hostile, but he also knew better than to let his guard down. He had been deceived before and was ready to bolt at the first sign of anger or recognition from the woman.
"Is that so?" The woman was looking at him curiously. "Well Naruto-kun, my name is Akeginu. It's a pleasure to meet you. You're the first to visit this tomb in a long, long time."
The woman had replied without hesitation. It seemed she truly did not recognize him.
At least something is going right for me...Wait! Did she say 'tomb?'
"What do you mean 'tomb'?" Naruto asked, voicing his thoughts.
"You don't know? How odd…You're currently standing in the ruins of Iga Tsubagakure, the last remnants of what was once the most powerful ninja clan Japan," answered the woman. Naruto detected a little bit of pride in her voice. Strange.
'Iga Clan? Japan? I've never heard of the Iga clan and or this place called Japan. He had no idea what she was on about. He took another look at the woman, It looks like she was serious. He didn't know what to make her, in fact he was starting to think the woman might be a little crazy.
Just my luck, I finally meet someone who doesn't hate me, and they turn out to be crazy. Now that I think about it that's probably the only reason why she didn't recognize me in the first place, she's been in a mental institution for the last decade.
"I've never heard of the Iga clan or this place called Japan," sated Naruto.
"Well of course not. The Iga clan has been extinct for well over a thousand years," replied the woman. She had an amused smile on her face as she watch him frown.
Yep crazy, you sure can pick'em Naruto.
He started to think of a way to blow the pretty lady off without hurting her feelings; after all, even though she was crazy she still was nice to him. It was a novel experience for him.
"What's with that look?" The woman asked, interrupting Naruto's escape plans.
"What look?" Naruto didn't make eye contact. He was hoping to maintain the appearance of innocence. I wasn't trying to escape at all…
The woman wasn't buying it, "Don't give me 'what look'. You're looking at me like I'm crazy."
It seemed like that irked her a little...Or a lot, thought Naruto as looked at the pronounced twitch developing above her right eye. Definitely a lot.
Naruto decided to try a subtle approach. "Well…no offense lady, but... are you crazy? I mean, you pretty much told me that you've been hanging out in a thousand year old graveyard from a place that doesn't exist," said Naruto.
I'm good, thought a slightly delusional Naruto. The woman's twitch became even more pronounced.
"I'm not crazy kid! I suggest you have a look at your surroundings before you go questioning peoples sanity, these ruins are obviously very old," replied the annoyed woman.
Since the crazy woman was being so vocal about it Naruto decided to humour her and take a closer examination of his surroundings. He was in what appeared to be the ruins of an old house. It looked different from anything he had seen before. He could see outside the building he was in and to his surprise there were a number of other buildings in similar condition. He supposed they might indicate that this was indeed the ruins of some village. He could also see what looked like a large courtyard and the remnants of what had once been a wall.
Was that what I ran into?
Looking upwards Naruto was surprised to see that the whole 'village' was encased in a natural cavern like structure. The roof of the cavern rose up high around the village but was open in the center allowing sunlight to filter down into the ruins. It appeared to be a natural formation that had formed around the village.
All right, there...may... be some truth to what she says. It looks like this place is really the ruins of some old village. But one thousand years old? That would mean this tomb was around long before Konoha was ever founded, so how come no one knows about it? Also, if that's the case then who the hell is this woman and how does she know so much about this place?
Naruto decided to voice some of these questions. "Hey lady, if these ruins are so old why hasn't anyone ever found them? Shouldn't half this stuff be in a museum or something?" Naruto looked at the pretty lady again and asked, "Are you some sort of treasure hunter?"
A melodious laugh escaped the woman's lips. "No, no, I'm certainly no treasure hunter. As to why no one has found this place, well that's simple: it's very well hidden." The woman paused before narrowing her eyes at Naruto. "Now that I think about it, how did you get in here?"
Naruto shrugged, "I don't know…I was near the big forest when I collapsed for some reason. When I woke up I was lost in the mist—"
"—Wait…you were in the mist, that can't be right," said the woman. He could hear the confusion in her tone, which only served to confuse him even more than he already was.
Why couldn't he be in the mist?
"Why not?" Naruto asked.
"Well…ah...the mist is special Naruto-kun. It's meant to keep people away from this place. You can't just walk straight through it, that's why after all these years no one's ever found this place. It unconsciously directs people's attention elsewhere. People just don't notice it. Not to mention there are other protections in place to ensure no one ever trespasses here. No one has disturbed these ruins for over one thousand years."
Naruto didn't know how to respond to that. If what the woman said was true then he could only wonder how far he was from the village, and worry about how he was going to get home.
"Um…do you know I far I am from the village?" Naruto asked. Hopefully the crazy lady knew the way back.
"You mean that town outside the forest?" The woman asked.
"You know about the forest?" Naruto asked in hope.
"Of course, you're standing in the middle of it. It hasn't been here that long, but it now surrounds the ruins entirely. "
Naruto just gaped at that. How did I get into the middle of the forest alive? I could have been killed. Jiji always said that dangerous creatures lived in the forest. Wait…what did she mean when she said the forest hasn't been here that long?. It's always been here.
Naruto said as much to the crazy lady who just smiled back at him.
"No, the forest hasn't always been here. It sprung up over night a little over a century ago…it was very weird, trees just sprung out of the ground everywhere. It changed the landscape dramatically, " replied the crazy lady.
Weird, she is talking as if she was there, thought Naruto.
"I still don't understand how you got here though, the rulers from my time took a lot of precautions. They didn't want anyone disturbing the dead or entering this place ever again. It's impossible to just stumble in here," said Akeginu more to herself than to him.
Naruto froze when she said that. "W-w-what do you mean your time?"
"Oh…Sorry, I didn't explain properly —my fault. I've actually been here for the last thousand years or so," said the crazy lady with a smile.
Naruto stumbled backwards, but once again a brick wall stopped his retreat. There is no way a human would still be alive after so long. Kami, I hope she's not a ghost.
"What are you then? Some kind of ghost or zombie?" Naruto asked in a frightened voice. He was crouching on the ground now.
"Zombie! Do I look like some rotting corpse to you?" The zombie asked with a high degree of indignation. "Look at my skin, there's not a blemish on it."
Naruto sweat dropped at the zombie's apparent shallowness. "So you're a ghost then," Naruto asked. It was logical, if she wasn't a zombie then she was a ghost. But now he was really scared, ghosts scared him more than anything.
The ghost just looked annoyed, "Will you calm down already, I'm not a ghost either. I'm what you would call a spirit. I'm bound to the ruins of Iga Tsubagakure for some reason I have yet to discover, I can't move on. I like to think of myself as the guardian of Iga's dark secrets."
"I'm sure you do," said a skeptical Naruto.
"What's that supposed to mean?" The gh—spirit asked. She sounded annoyed... again.
Naruto didn't have much of an attention span and seeing a chance to have some fun with the woman he quickly forgot about the fact that she might be a ghost, and decided to tease her.
"Let's face it, this place is buried under ground, is located in the forest of death and it looks like you haven't had any visitors here in about forever, so really there's no need for any sort of 'guardian'. You're probably some homeless moocher or grave robber."
A tick mark appeared above the spirit''s right eyebrow before she yelled, "M-moocher. Grave robber! I'll have you know I was one of the most dangerous ninjas of Iga."
With that being said she smacked Naruto across the back of his head, hard.
"Ouch! That hurt… Wait, how did you hit me if you're a spirit?" asked Naruto thinking he'd finally caught the woman out in a lie.
"Hmph, after several hundred years I figured out how to make myself tangible. It only works while I'm in the ruins though. As soon as I leave the ruins I go back to being an intangible spirit and invisible to most people."
"You can leave the ruins?" Naruto asked.
"Yep. I've been to that odd village outside several times before. No one can see me though, you're the first," replied the spirit.
"Wait, so you can show me the way back then?"
"To the village…sure," said spirit with a shrug.
"Thank you Akeginu-san," said a suddenly more respectful Naruto causing Akeginu to twitch again.
"All right, I'll take you back out through the mist…I still have no idea how you got here though," said Akeginu as she took Naruto's hand and led him out of the ruins.
When they finally reached the edge of the forest Akeginu watched the boy give her a wave and run off towards the village. She smiled at that, when was the last time she had experienced such child like exuberance?
As Naruto disappeared from her sight her smile faded into a look of contemplation. How had the boy made it through the mist? She didn't believe his story about waking up there. Not that she thought he was lying, she would have seen straight through that. Rather she believed he hadn't understood what had really happened. No one had made it through that mist since her time and that old fox Tokugawa had made sure his monks sealed this place off nice and tight. It had worked for a thousand years, was the protection failing? No, it was as strong as ever, she knew that.
The boy, Naruto, was the key. She doubted she had seen the last of him and through him she would find her answer.
"Interesting boy, I wonder if he knows that there's a demon inside him."
2 weeks later
To say that Naruto liked the ruins would be an understatement. He loved it. It was peaceful, almost tranquil. There were no people cursing or staring at him, and Akeginu let him do whatever he wanted. To top it all off he was safe here. He found it funny that he was safer in a place called the Forest of Death than he was in the village.
Akeginu-chan also treated him with respect, something he rarely received from anyone, and she was generally just a great person to hang out with. She was very knowledgeable — from his perspective— and she had started helping Naruto with his reading using some scrolls she had laying about. Naruto was pretty sure she was teaching him a different language , but Akeginu seemed to think it was just an outdated version of the current one so he took her word for it.
She also gave him a lot of attention, positive attention, which was something he never got in Konoha. She would always ask him question about himself and he liked answering her. Though there was always that voice in the back of his head telling him not to tell her too much in case she started to hate him like everyone else.
Much to Akeginu's dismay Naruto had been coming to visit her on a regular basis, almost everyday for the last two weeks. Apparently the mist was no longer an obstacle for him now that he had made it through the first time. It was a puzzle she had yet to crack.
She also didn't know how he was traversing the forest without being hurt either. She had seen some of the predators in the forest, they were ridiculously large. How Naruto, a mere child, avoided them she would never know. The boy seemed to have a natural stealth about him though and he had perfectly recalled the path she showed him the first time she took him out of the forest. He was obviously very intelligent though it was quite clear he had received no education. Intelligence though did not explain how he was able to transverse dangerous territory with little to no training.
An enigma, the boy was an enigma.
On the positive side, Akeginu found herself enjoying Naruto's visits immensely. She had been bereft of human company for so long she had forgotten how it felt to have companionship. Although a highly competent and ruthless kunoichi, Akeginu was a compassionate woman when not on the battlefield and Naruto was bringing out some of her more personable characteristics.
It also helped that Naruto for some reason reminded her of Oboro. She had been Oboro's caretaker while the girl was growing up and had cared greatly for her. Deep down inside she felt that she had failed Oboro by not better preparing her for what was to come. In hindsight it was no surprise that the seal with Kouga didn't last. (3) She should have prepared Oboro for the possibility of war with Kouga. Instead the girl was both mentally and physically unprepared when the seal was broken and had become the worst thing to be in ninja clan during war time — a liability. Akeginu and the rest of the Iga ninjas were forced to avoid or deceive Oboro in regards to actions taken against Kouga. It had also cost her clan the war since they had not been able to rely on the Iga clan's most powerful weapon — the mystic eyes.
Those were dark days, she had watched loved ones die and turned her back on Oboro, her best friend, after the girl had refused to take part in the war. Looking back now she was ashamed of her actions. She had been Oboro's caretaker and had essentially abandoned the girl to her fate. She couldn't help but think she was honoring Oboro's memory by helping Naruto.
Her bout of nostalgia had been brought on by the stories of the past she had been telling Naruto. She had told him about Iga Tsubagakure, and about their blood feud with Kouga Manjidani. She had also told Naruto about the war and her own death. He liked ninja stories, and she liked telling them to him since it curbed his usual hyper-activeness.
While she was explaining to Naruto what a shogun was and the politics of 16th century Japan she noticed some bruising around Naruto's face near his eye. Worried, she asked, "How did you get that bruise Naruto-kun?"
Naruto's hands went to his face unconsciously, "Oh this, I just got into a fight with some kids... Nothing serious."
Akeginu sighed, she could tell Naruto was lying and called him on it, "You're lying Naruto. You've been hit with something hard like a stick or a cane." She looked closer at the marks on Naruto's face, " And judging by the size of the marks they were made by an adult." She looked Naruto in the eyes. Naruto no doubt noticed that she looked very, very angry.
"I'll ask again, who did this to you?"
Naruto almost winced at the coldness of her tone before replying, "I don't know the name of the person who hit me, but it's nothing new. Pretty much everyone in the village hates me. When I went to buy some fruit this morning the shop keep hit me across the face with his cane. They...they usually only charge me extra for food or just shove outside and...um... call me a demon. They don't usually hit me because jiji might notice and then they'll get in trouble."
Akeginu could feel her blood boil as Naruto explained his treatment. Someone is going to pay for this...
"Where are your parents Naruto?" Akeginu asked though she already knew what the answer would be.
Naruto looked sad for a moment, "I don't have any, I'm an orphan."
"Its all right, come here," said Akeginu before picking Naruto up in a hug. "Naruto, where are the people running the orphanage? A child your age shouldn't be buying food by yourself."
"Oh…they kicked me out when I was four. They didn't want me there. I spent a while living on the street before jiji eventually found me and gave me an apartment for myself."
To say Akeginu was furious would be an understatement. Trash. They abandon a child and have the nerve to call him a demon. Who do they think they are? She was no saint herself but she was a trained killer. An orphanage abandoning a child in need and in an obviously hostile environment was simple child abuse.
I can't have my only connection with the world being treated like this. The way things sound... he'll be dead before he reaches the age of ten.
Akeginu tried to find a solution to the problem, but could come up with only one course of action. I'll have to train him. It's the only help I can give him. No secret techniques of course, but I can teach him some taijutsu, maybe some shinobi-iri movements. It's not a lot, but it should be enough to keep him alive. I'll also have to tell him about the demon, if one of those idiots in the village inform him there's no telling how he'll react. He'd probably end up thinking he's the demon.
Akeginu took a deep breath, determined to tell Naruto about his tenant, "Naruto, I think I know why the villagers call you a demon."
"Really! Tell me Akeginu-chan Tell me, please," pleaded Naruto.
"Relax, Naruto-kun, I'll tell you, but before I do you have to promise that you won't overreact and will listen to everything I have to say," said Akeginu in a serious voice.
"I promise," replied Naruto.
"Alright then. Naruto, there's a demon sealed inside you, a particularly powerful demon."
Naruto was shocked when Akeginu said that. A demon...but...a demon? I guess this explains why I heal so quickly. It made sense, sort of. He always knew he was different, but a demon, he could never have guessed that, and what did Akeginu mean by 'sealed'?
"Now, this doesn't mean you're a demon Naruto. I said 'sealed inside you'. You're a container, a jailer for a demon."
Naruto gave Akeginu an annoyed look. Of course he wasn't a demon, he wasn't that dumb. If he were a demon there was no way people would treat him like they did, they would be too scared. He was also pretty sure that he would feel a lot more powerful if he were a demon — not that he knew anything about demons.
"How did you know about the demon?" Naruto asked Akeginu.
"I'm pretty sensitive to spiritual energy in this form, and you have more than I've ever sensed in another human being, plus I recognise the energy."
"Really, what is it?" asked Naruto. He was curious as to the identity of the creature that was the source of his torment.
"The Kyūbi no Yōko."
"…." Naruto was speechless. The Kyūbi was the most powerful demon in existence. But wasn't the Kyūbi killed by the Yondaime Hokage?
"But Akeginu-chan the Yondaime killed the Kyūbi no Yōko," said Naruto, wondering if she was mistaken or whether the stories were false.
"Wrong. Killing something that powerful is well beyond the capabilities of any human. I suspect that since they couldn't kill the demon they did the next best thing; sealed into something. You, to be precise."
Naruto was stunned, he sat still trying to digest and understand this new information. He couldn't believe it. The Yondaime, a man who he looked up to as a hero had essentially ruined his life. Not only that, but jiji must have known about this too and judging by other people reactions the whole village must have known that the fox was sealed inside him. Jiji had been lying to him his whole life.
Akeginu seeing that Naruto was very distressed by this news decided to give him a distraction.
"I can relate you know. In my time ninja were feared, and none more so than the Iga nin. We were forced to stay hidden in the darkness because people feared us, called us monsters because of our inhuman abilities," explained Akeginu.
"It is amusing to see ninja like this Yondaime Hokage being treated like heroes. When I lived such a thing would have been unthinkable. Then again what you call ninja and I call ninja are two different things. We didn't go around yelling the names of our technique to our opponents. We were assassins and spies who prided ourselves in our ability to complete missions without being detected."
Naruto flinched at the mention of the Yondaime Hokage, but said to Akeginu "You're not a monster you're beautiful."
Akeginu smiled at that. "Naruto, I've never showed you why I ranked amongst Iga's strongest ninjas did I?"
"Nope, I just assumed you were making it up," stated Naruto, feeling a little bit better now that Akeginu was going to show him some ninja techniques.
Akeginu got a tick mark at this. "No Naruto I never showed you because it is a secret technique and we're not meant to show it to outsiders."
"Then why are you showing me now?" Naruto asked, hopeful that she was indeed going to show him a secret jutsu. Ninja fascinated him since as long as he could remember. Maybe it was the jiji's stories about the Yondaime Hokage, but whatever the reason, he had wanted to be a ninja the entirety of his short life.
"There's no harm in it. I'm the last Iga and you can't copy the technique by just looking at it," replied Akeginu.
With that remark Akeginu took a deep breath, "Alright here I go. Don't be scared. It'll look like I'm bleeding but its all part of the technique."
Naruto looked expectantly at Akeginu as her eyes changed from their natural brown to a light gold and then…nothing. Naruto almost face planted "I knew it you're a fraud."
"I'm not a fraud!" Akeginu yelled.
What the hell just happened? I activated the technique and then it just collapsed, thought Akeginu as she tried to figure out why her technique didn't work.
"Alright let's try this again," said Akeginu as she activated the technique. This time she could feel her blood start secreting through the pores of her skin.
"Success! You see Naruto-kun, this is my blood projection technique."
Akeginu looked over at Naruto to see that he wasn't even looking at her. "Hey baka! Will you look over here, I've got the technique working."
Naruto looked over at Akeginu, as he did Akeginu felt a sharp pain start her head and pulse down through her body. It felt like she had just been thrown hard into the ground. Her technique completely collapsed on itself as extreme nausea raked through her body.
Impossible! I'd recognize that sensation anywhere… and the neutralization of my blood projection, there's no doubt - Naruto has the mystic eyes. But how? The Iga bloodline couldn't have survived all these years…could it? Over a millennia, it shouldn't be possible yet the truth was starring her right in the face. Naruto has the mystic eye bloodline therefore he was a descendant of the Iga clan. She'd just made the discovery of a lifetime…or several.
Akeginu collected herself and got up off the ground.
"Are you okay Akeginu-chan?" Naruto asked.
She gave him a reassuring smile, "I'm fine Naruto-kun, just a bit of nausea."
All right, this changes everything. If Naruto has the fabled mystic eyes then he must have Iga blood. I don't know how that's possible, but I HAVE to teach him the Iga-ryu. I have no choice. I can't have the sole living descendant of the Iga clan being weak, nor I can I just leave the sole descendant ignorant of his heritage. It would be a crime against my clan. I won't have the same thing happen to him that happened to Oboro.
"Naruto, do you know what you just did?" Akeginu asked, attempting to broach the subject of his eyes.
Naruto shook his head. "I didn't do anything."
"Yes you did. You completely neutralized my secret technique."
"Really?" Naruto replied. To say Naruto looked skeptical would be and understatement, as far as he was concerned he hadn't done anything except look at her.
"Yes, you have a dōjutsu," said Akeginu.
"A what?" Naruto asked, he wasn't familiar with the term.
"A dōjutsu, they're an ocular technique. Most of them are bloodlines, and they're often very powerful. You have the Iga dōjutsu called the mystic eyes. Essentially, it can neutralize any ninja technique through eye contact."
Naruto looked stunned at how powerful that seemed, that and the fact that he had such a weapon. "Wow really!? But Akeginu-chan, why hasn't it worked before, I've been attacked by ninjas in the village and my eyes haven't stopped any of those attacks."
Akeginu bristled at the mention of ninja attacking him. They are going to regret ever laying a finger on Naruto-kun.
Akeginu calmed herself before replying to Naruto's question, "Your dōjutsu had to awaken first. I'm not sure how exactly you awakened it but... it would have been noticeable. Have you had sore eyes recently?"
"Um…Back on the day we met my eyes hurt then…some strange things happened. I kept seeing a young woman with black hair and purple eyes in my dreams and even in the mirror...when we made eye contact my eyes felt like they had just looked into the sun."
But…that almost sounds like Oboro...they must be related, thought Akeginu. Oboro's lineage was always a matter of debate in the Iga clan, she wasn't the heads child and no one knew who her parent's were. So, her parents or a relative must have survived Tokugawa's purge.
This certainly explains why Naruto was able to get through the mist. It would have no effect on his mystic eyes, thought Akeginu.
"Anyway the point is if you have the mystic eyes, therefore you must be a descendant of the Iga clan, which means technically as the last living descendant of the Iga clan all these ruins and all the Iga techniques belong to you," said Akeginu.
She was excited. This must be why I was bound to the ruins. I'm to teach Iga's successor.
Naruto was also ecstatic. He had always wanted to be a ninja and now he had access to the techniques of a whole clan. Jiji said he could enroll in the ninja academy when he was older, but now it looked like he could start learning much earlier.
"What happens now?" Naruto asked. He wanted to begin training immediately.
"Now, I'm going to train you in the Iga-ryu" said Akeginu.
'Yes!' Yelled inner Naruto. "So you're going to be my sensei?"
"Yes, there's no other option I'm the only one who can teach you the Iga-ryu," replied Akeginu.
Akeginu started pacing back and forth adopting what Naruto had come to call her sensei tone. "We'll start with physical conditioning. You're malnourished; we'll have to fix that first. I'll show you how to hunt the local wildlife so that you have a reliable source of food. The hunting will also allow you to put your training into practice. I'll need to teach you how to move like a shinobi. If your pranks are anything to go by you're a natural at stealth, but I'll teach you how to run without making a noise, how to move without being seen and how to be invisible in plain sight. You'll be a ghost by the time I'm done with you."
Naruto was practically jumping up and down now.
Akeginu took a moment to think before continuing "It'll take a few months, but once we start getting you into shape I'll start teaching you how to defend yourself. I'll show you my style of taijutsu and Iga's kenjutsu...Shurikenjutsu as well."
"We're also going to be learning strategy and tactics. A ninja's mind is also a weapon and needs to be trained as well. So that means lots and lots of reading," said Akeginu with a smirk.
"But I'm not very good at reading, " said Naruto. It was a lie, he couldn't read at all.
Of course he isn't, I bet I was the first to show him how, thought Akeginu.
"Don't worry Naruto-kun, I'll teach you and we'll practice your reading a few hours every day. You'll be a good reader in no time."
Akeginu took a minute to think about the logistics of her plans. She would have to have the boy move here, he obviously wasn't safe wherever he staying now. The issue was that his presence would likely be missed, surely the ruler of the village would check up on Naruto, even if it was only because Naruto had such power contained inside him.
"You're also going to have to move here. I don't now where you've been staying before, but wherever it is it's obviously not very safe."
Naruto looked like he was going to interrupt her but Akeginu put a hand up and stopped him.
" Leave most of your stuff where it is, we don't want to arouse suspicion. Just take what's necessary. You'll still have to spend some time in the village otherwise people will come looking for you…plus I know how you like that ramen stuff," said Akeginu with a smile.
"By the time I'm done with you Naruto-kun you'll be the strongest ninja the world has ever seen."
Naruto smiled at that. For the first time in his life things were looking up for him.
While the two were talking neither of them noticed the lilac coloured spectre watching on. Oboro smiled as she saw her old friend taking the boy in. Naruto was special, very special. Not just because he had her eyes. She had done her part, she could only hope Naruto would find the strength to do what she couldn't. Maybe he would be the one to end the cycle of hatred. With one last smile Oboro started to fade from existence. As she faded into twilight she wondered how long it would take for Akeginu to realize how special this boy truly was.
Meanwhile from behind iron bars a figure watched these new developments with interest.
"Well this is an interesting development. The mystic eyes kekkei genkai and shinobi techniques that predate the Sage of Six Paths. Interesting indeed. I wonder how this will change things. "
(1) For those who haven't read Basilisk or seen the anime, this is the final scene where Oboro (the previous holder of the mystic eyes) commits suicide rather than fight.
(2) I know some people will say 'But Naruto wasn't abused as a child'. Well that's because Naruto is a shounen manga targeted at younger audiences, it''s not going to depict child abuse (blatant use of child soldiers aside). Naruto is a young child alone in an environment where people either despise him or are completely indifferent to him. You can count on one hand how many people he could rely on. I've worked in family law and I can tell you child abuse is fairly systemic in any community. Factor in the high emotions and things like alcohol, or drugs and the chances of Naruto not being exposed to violence are remote (regardless of whatever precautions the Hokage takes). As this is a darker fic, Naruto will have suffered some abuse.
(3) A truce designed by Hattori Hanzo. Kouga and Iga was forbidden from engaging each other and were locked into service to the Tokugawas. The truce was broken at the start of Basilisk when the Tokugawa used a duel between the two clans to decide the Imperial successor.
There you have it folks, my very first chapter.
I chose the mystic eyes over Gennosuke's dōjutsu because his is too powerful. Its basically a one shot kill technique, anyone who attacks him has their killing intent reversed on themselves and they commit suicide. The mystic eyes provide absolute defence but the user still has to rely on other methods to defeat their opponent so it's more of a tactical weapon.
Obviously Naruto will be out of character in this fic. He's diverging from his Canon personality at an early age so he won't be the naïve, poorly trained idiot we see in canon. He's being taught by Akeginu and will learn from Iga scrolls so expect his personality to be influenced by the Iga clan members (though not too much, most of them were psychos). Most of them are unpleasant people so don't expect Naruto to be a nice guy. He won't be dark/evil but he will be ruthless and cold to most outside his inner circle.
Pairings? Akeginu obviously. I also plan on Mei and likely Kagerou. I also want to do something with either Anko or Kurenai – I haven't decided which yet. NO Sakura, Hinata or Ino. The first is just hell no, the second has been done way too much (plus she's better suited to canon Naruto not my one) , and I never really cared for the third. Any further suggestions are welcome.
Next chapter will feature Naruto's training and some scenes showing off Naruto's development and new skills.