This story was inspired by the works of VFSNAKE, one of my favorite authors here. Elements from various stories of his are used here, with his permission, but overall I will try to be unique. Also, I want to give credit to artist Taladromarplatense on DeviantArt for the cover.
Also, I want everyone to know that this was originally planned out and written months before Tobi's real identity was revealed, so that part won't be canon here. Then again not everything will be canon either. That's the beauty of fanfic, I don't have to stick to canon.
Deep down everyone wants attention, appreciation, to know that we are not unwanted. It is a basic need and part of our human nature. Isolation is something we all fear, as much as we fear death or boredom. Loners, the socially awkward, and hermits can handle it better than most, but even they need some form of company once in a while.
However, isolation can be a good thing in small doses. There sometimes is an advantage to being ignored. Uzumaki Naruto knew this all too well, especially on the night he uncovered something that would only bring about destruction. His own or others, only time would tell.
It was the night after he had been tricked by Mizuki into stealing the Forbidden Scroll, the night after he earned his right to be a ninja after years of struggle and neglect, and the night after he learned of his involuntary burden.
He was naturally brought to the Sandaime Hokage and forced to explain himself. The old man gave him a stern lecture, but expressed gratitude that Naruto stopped Mizuki from making off with the scroll to whoever he planned to give it to. Naruto took it in stride, but he had one question he really pushed.
"Why did the Yondaime choose me? I mean I understand I was born on that day, but wouldn't someone from a clan have Kyuubi instead of me? Someone who could be watched and protected?"
Over and over he asked that, and Sarutobi tried to get him to change the subject. Until finally, he ended up replying. "Minato had to protect the village, and sealing the fox away was the only available way to do it. Your parents believed you would be best to handle the responsibility, and he wished for you to be seen as a hero for your part in keeping the fox at bay. Unfortunately Konoha ended up refusing to obey his last wish."
Naruto was wide-eyed to hear this. "My parents? But you always said you never knew who they were." The old man tried to hide it, but Naruto could tell he realized he had slipped on something.
"I didn't, but the Yondaime told me that before he died." Sarutobi covered, knowing if Naruto had some proof, everything that was planned would all go downhill.
"So the Yondaime knew them? Did he leave anything for me so I'd know about them when I was old enough?"
"No, he did not." Sarutobi answered, a bit too quickly to seem like a normal response. "The Kyuubi attack was sudden and unexpected. He had no time to leave you anything for future use."
"But he did have time to talk to my parents and plan out the sealing?" Naruto asked, not seeing how that made sense.
"Naruto, I'm afraid there are no answers for what you're asking, and asking the same question over and over again will not change the answer. Now please, go home and get some rest. Just remember, the Yondaime only wanted the best for you. I'm sorry the village however has different ideas. Someday you will get their approval as long as you work for it and stay loyal to Konoha."
Naruto went home without objection, but he knew that the old man was hiding something from him. There had to be something left behind to give him some clue about who his parents were. It was unlikely the Yondaime would have chosen just anyone's child to save Konoha. If he did, why not a child who was already orphaned? Sarutobi's answer was phrased to imply that his parents had indeed been alive when the Kyuubi attacked, so he wasn't an orphan just yet. And since there were thousands of people living in Konoha at the time that were still alive, it would be statistically impossible for no oneto know who he was related to. He just needed some kind of clue on who could give him some answers.
So the next night, he sneaked back into the hokage's office to find something. Apparently Sarutobi had not been expecting someone to try this twice so there was no raised security.
After being out of office for thirteen years, the Yondaime didn't have much left in his old office except for his portrait. Naruto searched as quickly as he could, checking everything that wasn't nailed down, until at last he found the thing that would change his life forever.
It was a file, kept under a false bottom in the bottom right drawer of the desk that Naruto accidentally opened, and it was labeled 'Yondaime's Plan/Sandaime's Log'
Naruto couldn't resist, though sometimes he would later wish he had.
It took a day to read it all and let it sink in, and for a long time Naruto was in massive denial about it, but without someone to talk to, he couldn't really convince himself the contents of the file were wrong.
The file had been divided into two parts, the first part written by the Yondaime Namikaze Minato, and the second part written by the Sandaime Sarutobi Hiruzen. Minato's part came first, and Naruto felt this was the segment most likely to mention his parents, so he started there.
According to Sarutobi, the official story was that on the night the Kyuubi appeared, the demon fox had appeared so suddenly that the best they could do was hold it off until Minato could appear and seal it away, with only a newborn baby being able to survive the effect this would have on it's chakra coils. Naruto had coincidentally been the only newborn available that day and coincidentally his parents had suffered grave injuries that killed them the same day. But they lived long enough to offer him to Minato to save Konoha. Minato lost his life in the sealing process but asked that Naruto be seen as a hero for his part in keeping Konoha safe, and when Konoha's masses were told they called for his death without a second thought. Thirteen years later, that second thought had still not appeared though some had at least decided Naruto was no longer worth killing on sight.
Naruto may not have been as smart as Shikamaru, but even he knew that story had holes in it. How could the fox have appeared so suddenly? Surely something that size would have given some kind of signal that it was coming, like how the sky darkens before a storm arrives. Why would the Yondaime already know of a seal to contain the Kyuubi in a human being? Why would he learn that in advance unless he intended to use it? If such a seal existed, then did that mean someone else had the Kyuubi inside them before he did? How else would they know that a baby could survive but an adult couldn't? And if there had been a previous jinchuuriki, what happened to them? And most importantly, why on earth would no one in Konoha trust their most revered leader to do his job properly at keeping them safe from the fox? They praised him nonstop for destroying half an army all by himself with a jutsu he invented, and yet none of them trusted him to make a proper seal and thus Naruto's mere existence was a threat to their own?
It didn't make sense, and Naruto at first believed that the Sandaime knew but couldn't explain it to him yet. Why? He had no idea, but he had to believe the old man wasn't keeping him in the dark for the wrong reason.
As it turns out, the reason the official story had so many holes was because it wasn't the true story.
According to the files he took, there indeed had been a jinchuuriki before him. Two in fact, an Uzumaki Mito and an Uzumaki Kushina. Naruto was stunned to see their names. Were they his relatives? Did him being a jinchuuriki have more to do with his family then him being born at a specific ideal moment? Neither women looked like him based on their descriptions, but he couldn't help feeling like he finally had a clue to his family.
Sadly, this would be the most pleasant shock of the night. From there, it all went downhill. Written down right before his eyes was something completely different than what he had been told.
When he finished reading everything, Naruto's world had completely shattered beyond repair. What was written down was the most horrible thing he had ever heard in his life. Not sure how to handle this, Naruto zoned out. He wanted so desperately to refute this, to believe this was a hoax. But why would someone trick him like this? What was there to gain? It's obvious Sarutobi never intended for Naruto to see something like this as it would risk turning Naruto against him, and with some of it being written in his own handwriting Sarutobi clearly knew what this file contained so someone couldn't have planted this in his desk hoping Naruto would sneak in and find it. Even if it was a forgery, why create this as a trick? Logically, the only real option was this file contained true information.
Still unable to fully accept that, Naruto became catatonic to his surroundings, so he didn't notice when his apartment turned into a sewer.
"LISTEN DAMMIT!" A booming voice called out, snapping Naruto back to reality.
"Huh? What? Where am I?"
"About time you noticed. I've already called you four times." The voice commented. "Come here. I suspect you need someone to talk to."
'He's right.' Naruto said, walking down the hall until he found a gigantic room with a set of barred doors in front of him. Behind those doors was someplace very dark, but he knew there was something there best unseen. He was proven right when he saw two red eyes with black slits for pupils and a mouth full of fangs. "Are you the Kyuubi?"
"I'm sure as hell not the Ichibi." The fox muttered, but Naruto didn't respond. He just looked at the fox. It annoyed Kyuubi, but not as much as the fact that the blonde looked so defeated. He expected his young host to be afraid, confused, or even angry when seeing the captive demon for the first time. Instead, Naruto looked dead on the inside. "Hey kit, say something." Naruto remained silent, looking down at the water-covered floor. "Okay, I will then. I know you're confused and hurt, and you may not like this, but what you read... is true. I was there when it happened."
"How can I know that? How can I know anything anymore?" Naruto asked, quietly and quite unlike himself.
"You cannot ask any of the adults. If they learn you know of their plan they'll execute you immediately. And no one your age will listen to you or take you seriously, except that young white-eyed vixen those papers mentioned. She would. So ultimately, she and I are actually the only ones you can trust anymore."
Naruto now looked up at the giant fox. "How do I know I can trust you?"
"It's simple really. Right now you're hoping this is all made up. Even though you have no idea why anyone would fabricate such a story, you want to believe it's wrong. But the only safe way for you to confirm or deny the story is to ask someone who was there when I attacked. And the only one you can ask is me."
Naruto sighed. "You're right. But how can I know you're not lying too?"
"I'm going to do something I've never done before, let you see a memory of mine. The memory of that night." Kyuubi offered.
"That could be a trick. A genjutsu. Foxes are skilled tricksters after all." Naruto claimed, suspicious.
Kyuubi grinned. "True, but even a trickster knows how to be honest and sometimes even liars do tell the truth. But I can prove to you this is not a genjutsu."
"A genjutsu for the most part is like a dream, only instead of it being voluntary, it's involuntary. And even though dreams always feel highly realistic, that's only while you're dreaming. Once you stop dreaming they barely felt real at all for more than a few moments at best. Genjutsus work the same way. They feel real while you experience them, but once they end you just know they never were. It's why victims of genjutsus usually don't acquire phobias of what they experienced."
Naruto nodded slowly and Kyuubi continued. "Memories however work differently. Memories are in fact based on real experiences, and thus when they are at the front of your mind they feel more real than a dream ever could. Try to recall a dream, then try to recall a memory. Don't you notice a subtle difference in how both make you feel?"
Naruto tried it, mostly to see what the fox was talking about. He recalled a dream he had once when he dreamed of doing something that would make people cheer for him. It felt nice but Naruto himself felt no different than before. Next he remembered a time when a group of villagers on his birthday beat him to near-death and an Anbu stopped them before they could finish the job. A strange sense of phantom pain and mental recoil came over Naruto. "I... felt something with the memory."
"Exactly. The effects of memory last even after the memory ends, but a genjutsu's effects last only as long as the genjutsu itself does. Therefore if I show you something, you'll easily be able to tell for yourself if it was real or just an illusion." Kyuubi told him, and saw the blonde was still hesitant. "What do you have to lose by trying?"
Naruto could not come up with an answer. "How can you show me your memories?"
A small trickle of red chakra came from behind the bars, forming a sort of tendril of energy that hovered in front of the whiskered blonde. "Here, touch that and you will be able to see what I saw the night I escaped my last prison and placed in this one. You can stop at any time. I must warn you though, you won't like what you see. I sure didn't."
Cautious yet desperate for an answer, Naruto slowly reached out and placed his hand on the red chakra.
"You're almost done Kushina. Just one more push." Sarutobi Biwako told the ailing mother-to-be.
Kushina grit her teeth and bared down one more time, wanting this to end before the already-weakened seal was at it's limits. 'Damn that bastard for doing this to me! I'd kill him if it wouldn't land me in prison. That sucks big time. He rapes me until I conceive and yet if I seek justice I'm the one who'd get arrested? Why the hell did HE become hokage? That should have been me! Sarutobi must be getting senile to think that ass Minato knows anything except hurting others.'
"The Kyuubi's trying to escape!" Uzumaki Taji, one of Kushina's female relatives and a member of Konoha's small Medic Anbu division, kept here to secure her seal worked, called out. "I need to strengthen it!"
"Don't!" Biwako shouted. "If you do you could hurt the baby!"
"If I don't the demon will get out!" Taji countered. Adding credability to her claim, red chakra started to form an animal face on Kushina's stomach.
"I said don't do anything!" Biwako demanded, rather harshly.
"Do you want the Kyuubi to get loose?" Taji asked.
"Yes, I do." Biwako said with a sadistic smile. At the same time Naruto was out and made his first cry of life.
"What?" Kushina and her relative asked, unable to believe they heard the old woman right. All the while Kyuubi was clawing it's way out. Kushina started to scream from something other than labor pains and her relative tried to reinforce the seal.
"Oh no you don't." A voice called out, followed by a tri-pronged kunai thrown at the Uzumaki who deflected it. "That power's mine!"
"Minato?" Kushina asked, fearful of what he was doing here. "How did you get here?"
"I killed half an army and bested the raikage. You really thought your pitiful defenses could stop me? Also, thanks Biwako for leading me here."
"No problem Yondaime-sama." The old woman told him. "It's a boy by the way."
"Don't care. That's not important." Minato said, appearing by his kunai thanks to the hiraishin.
"You bastard!" The Medic Anbu shouted, knowing she had to stop him before she could work on the seal while he was this close. She turned to defend herself, but he had a regular kunai out and stabbed it in the back of her neck.
"Why are you doing this?" Taji managed to ask as blood filled her mouth.
"Because I can and am entitled to. Might makes right in this world." He answered smugly as she went limp and died.
Kushina wanted to fight, but Kyuubi's chakra surging kept her from doing little more than screaming and slightly thrashing, unable to move much after being weakened from birth. In her anguish she could now clearly see Minato, and he certainly looked different than before. His hair, face, and clothes looked the same, and he had that 'I'm the most powerful man in the universe' smile on his smug face again, but his eyes, once sapphire blue, were active sharingans.
Kushina was shocked, and in her struggle she also saw Biwako holding her newborn son, looking at her triumphantly. "Thank you Kushina for refusing to abort the pregnancy, even if it was rape-caused. Thanks to you, Yondaime-sama will make Konoha into what Kami-sama intended it to be: the only power in the world."
"Damn you! Damn you Minato!" Kushina managed to declare as Kyuubi began to truly break free. She knew there was no stopping it now. "You're crazy if you think you can do this!"
"I can do anything, and I'm entitled to have everything." Minato claimed, watching the Kyuubi's growing chakra with interest.
"You lowlife! You actually believe the world revolves around you?" Kushina yelled.
"Maybe not yet, but it will once I'm done with it." He stated.
Kushina convulsed, and Kyuubi was finally getting out. Minato watched with interest, waiting for the perfect moment to make his move. He was quite surprised when Kyuubi seemed to stop and hover above Kushina almost protectively, still connected to her and looking like a chakra projection rather than a real creature.
"What is thi-?" Biwako asked, but was silenced when Kyuubi extended a claw that ripped her head off and harmlessly scooped up Naruto before the body fell. Kyuubi then brought it's hand back and handed the infant to Kushina.
"Kyuubi?" Kushina asked, frightened for her child who looked unharmed and surprised her trapped demon chose to help her right now.
Minato frowned, getting over his own shock at this. "So you choose to defy me beast?"
"You are a fool Namikaze if you believe you can control me or expect me to let you. I may not like being trapped in Kushina, but I'll take that over being a part of your sick plot any day." Pausing for a moment he let out a sadistic smile showing his teeth. "Besides, if Kushina hates you then we can see eye to eye or tail to tail."
Minato frowned hearing this coming from the kitsune. "You don't have a choice Kyuubi. I have the power to do whatever I want, and thus the right to do whatever I want. And I want you to be MY weapon, not that sluts."
Kyuubi snarled, getting more solid and disconnected from Kushina. "You force yourself on a woman and dare call her such a name? I'd call you a bastard, but that would be an insult to Kushina's kit."
"Kyuubi, why are you helping me?" Kushina asked, holding a crying Naruto close to her.
The fox's image seemed to waver for a moment, as if it was having a hard time stabilizing back into the outside world, and it's eyes briefly left Minato to look at her before back to the blonde. "I'd rather be your prisoner than his. Leave it at that."
"I will have y-!" Minato shouted, ready to subdue the fox the second it was completely separate from Kushina, but there was a bright light that blinded his active sharingans, preventing him from doing anything. When it faded, there was a large hole in the cave wall and Kushina, Naruto, and Kyuubi were gone.
Kushina passed out for a moment, but when she came to she saw she was in a forest outside Konoha. Naruto was still in her arms, and Kyuubi was sitting down looking that them both. Now the fox was solid and completely free of her seal, but roughly the size of a tiger.
"Kyuubi?" She asked, her voice strained and still filled with fear.
"Fear not Kushina, I mean you no harm." The fox demon replied.
"Because... I have no reason to hurt you." Kyuubi answered, sounding like he was hiding something.
"Even so, why did you help me?" Kushina added. "I thought you hated me and wanted nothing more than to be free."
"Of course I want to be free. What creature likes being denied freedom?" Kyuubi replied. "If I don't help you, that smug jerk will try to trap me all over again. At least you never regarded me like I only existed to be used."
Kushina looked at her baby. "He looks so much like his father."
"No!" Kyuubi forcefully interjected. "That man is no father. He is a soulless monster that deserves to be castrated, viewed as a rapist, not a parent. He is not your kit's father."
Kushina didn't respond right away, remembering the day Minato used several suppressing seals to keep her bound while he repeatedly violated her until she conceived, and all because childbirth was the best way to weaken the seal for him to take Kyuubi out of her. She nodded after a moment. "You're right, you're completely right. This is my son, not his, and I'll be damned before I allow that son of a bitch to have any claim to my child."
"What will you name him?" Kyuubi asked.
Kushina looked at the fox. "Kyuubi, would you be offended if I named him in your honor?"
Needless to say, the demonic fox was quite surprised. "You... really would do that? Why?"
"You have always been my protector in your own way, and you have even protected my son too, even if it was mostly in your own interest. And I know you will not abandon us or else you would have done so. Besides, my family and others have dishonored you by treating you as a slave. Allow me to do this as a small way to apologize."
The nine-tailed youkai was speechless. Initially he thought she was bluffing, but he detected no negative emotions or intentions behind her words. Kushina really wanted to make amends to the fox. Feeling a bit flattered, he smiled. "This would be a great way to hurt Namikaze's pride. Go ahead."
"Do you have a name?"
"Yes, though I've never told it to anyone before. Not even Mito. I am Kurama."
Kushina arched an eyebrow. "Like the Kurama clan?"
"It's a coincidence. I have no affiliation with them." Kyuubi/Kurama told her.
Kushina smiled and looked at her son, seeing his blue eyes for the first time. "My son, I shall call you Kuramamaru Uzumaki."
"Kushina, that man wants to seal me into your kit. You are not strong enough to fight back and he's likely prepared to fight against me. We must do something to protect the kit."
Kushina nodded. "I will. And I know just what to do."
Kyuubi grinned and wagged his tails, but quickly tensed and stood up, fur bristling. "Someone's coming. Run Kushina. Now!" He then grew to full size and roared.
Kushina briefly froze, but her maternal instincts kicked in and she got up and ran. Despite having given birth not more than half an hour ago, her Uzumaki bloodline allowed her to at least move from the area as fast as a tired genin. Her frightened child, aching lower body, and severely depleted chakra system from the lack of Kyuubi, all made it impossible for even her to go any faster. But she knew he had to get away and fast, at least long enough for one thing.
Kyuubi stayed back to face the approachers, not surprised to see Minato riding Gamabunta. Accompanying him was Jiraiya, and at the base were many Anbu and all the clan heads. Even Tsunade and Sarutobi Hiruzen were there, and while that surprised Kyuubi, he paid it little mind. 'I must keep them away from Kushina and Kuramamaru.'
"Stop the Kyuubi before it destroys Konoha." Minato told his troops, rallying them all, those in on his plan and those left out. No one seemed to notice or care that his eyes were not what they were supposed to be, probably because now his sharingans were inactive thus less obvious.
In his fury and rage Kyuubi created a bijuu-dama, aiming right at Minato. With a quick set of hand signs and a pre-made seal, Minato activated a space-time jutsu to send the attack to a deserted area. Most of the ninja were in awe, but Kyuubi growled. 'Damn, that's right. This lowlife and his Peeping Tom sensei stole jutsu from the Uzumaki. This won't be easy.'
Sarutobi commanded the ground forces to get into position, and they started a direct assault to divert his attention. He swung his many tails, sending the insignificant fighters flying into trees and boulders, breaking many bones. Judging from their battle cries they thought they were driving him away from the village little by little, unaware that Kyuubi was only interested in keeping them from pursuing Kushina.
Many Konoha nin attacked him armed with whatever they had as weapons. It was much like a swarm of bees attacking a person, and Kyuubi was getting irritated. Then suddenly Gamabunta jumped and tackled Kyuubi, providing a little damage and knocking the fox off its feet briefly.
"Hold the fox for a moment!" Minato shouted.
"I'm not a miracle worker. I don't have enough chakra to do much to it." The giant toad countered, struggling to keep Kyuubi from getting back up. Kyuubi meanwhile tried to make another bijuu-dama, aimed low and directly at Konoha's armies. But before he could fire it, Minato used another teleportation jutsu to send himself, Kyuubu, Jiraiya, and Gamabunta away from Konoha.
The bijuu-dama went off destroying a mountain and the whiplash of the attack knocked Gamabunta off the fox. Kyuubi got back up and saw Kushina was being pinned down at sword-point by two women, both looking like they had won everything. One of which was Uchiha Mikoto, the only one Kyuubi recognized right away. The other one was too young to be full grown and had short black hair wearing a long-sleeved chuunin outfit, and she was holding Kuramamaru with her free arm.
Before Kyuubi could attack them, Gamabunta spat out a huge amount of oil, covering him and keeping him down. In that moment, Jiraiya and Minato created a seal of ropes and seals over Kyuubi, as if trying to net him down. The seals were effective so Kyuubi could not immediately get back up, and Gamabunta planted himself right on top of the fox to weigh him down further.
Minato walked up to the woman holding Kushina's son. "Nice work Shizune, Mikoto."
"You lay one hand on him and I'll-" Kushina started to threaten, only to be silenced by Mikoto slapping her hard enough to make her cough blood.
"Shut the hell up bitch! Don't talk to your betters like that!"
Kushina glared at the Uchiha matriarch. "When did you stop being my friend Mikoto?"
Mikoto smirked. "How could I stop if I never started? You were just a source of knowledge, nothing more than a book or scroll. No one befriends a book."
"You killed my family, you and that monster over there. You deserve to die like the beast you are." Shizune angrily stated, looking like whatever was keeping her from jabbing her katana into the redhead's neck wasn't going to hold much longer.
Kushina glared at Minato. "You will never succeed. Kyuubi and jinchuuriki cannot be controlled like mere machines."
"Oh but I will succeed in that. After all, I'm the strongest man in the world and, according to Sensei, the Destined Child, meaning the fate of the world is mine to do with as I please. I just need the power of the bijuu to make my vision a reality."
"You are not a Kami!"
Minato simply shrugged. "Not yet, but I will be." He then pulled out a kunai, holding it in a threatening manner. "You still have a chance to be useful Kushina. This child does need someone to ensure it lives to adulthood, and I'm not interested in filling that role. If you agree to never disobey me again I've let you raise the boy under house-arrest in Konoha. The worst I'll do to you is mute you so you can't fill his head with stuff that'll influence him the wrong way."
The redhead glared like she was about to create a chakra cloak without Kyuubi in her. Mikoto and Shizune were now struggling to keep her down. "I'm never going to let you have anything to do with MY son!"
"Oh, so unwise." With his kunai, he jabbed it into Kushina's neck, pulling it out quickly so she would bleed to death. "Do with her as you please." He told Shizune and Mikoto while he placed Naruto on a tarp bearing a seal and held down by a few candles.
Shizune and Mikoto started attacking her without mercy as Minato started the seals for the Dead Demon Sealing. Kyuubi thrashed even further at seeing this, while Gamabunta started using his blade to stab him in the back several times and Jiraiya reinforced the restraining seals. Soon the Shinigami appeared behind Minato, wishing he wasn't summoned for the reason that would take place.
Sarutobi and a few others showed up as this started. Those others being the clan heads, Tsunade, and the three elders. They saw that the sealing was being started so they stood back and watched with smug confidence, like victory was all but official.
Shinigami extended a marked arm towards Kyuubi. "Curse you Namikaze!" Kyuubi shouted.
"Seal!" Minato said without fear.
The hand took a hold of Kyuubi, and he felt a painful cold, as if his blood turned to ice and his soul was being ripped out of his body. Sadly that last part was true. His consciousness and chakra was being ripped out of his body which started to decay rapidly at the death god's touch. Gamabunta got away to avoid becoming an unintentional casualty, and Kyuubi tried to get up.
Minato quickly drew an eight trigram seal on Naruto with Jiraiya overseeing it. Kushina watched in horror as the last thing she saw before her vision went black was Shinigami taking Kyuubi's soul away and the seal on Naruto sucking it in as Kyuubi's body rotted to ash. 'My... son...'
Then she passed on.
For a moment, Kyuubi saw nothing, heard nothing, and felt nothing. Then one sound came thru the darkness.
"Did it work?"
From there a small glow was seen to him, like a lone star or candle, but nothing came into focus. More voices were heard though.
"I believe so. Kyuubi is contained again, and this time it will be used despite what Shodai-sama intended." That voice was clearly Minato.
"Absolutely. He was a fool to give the others away to other countries. Dividing power like that to avoid conflict? Ridiculous. The smart thing would have been to use the bijuu to kill off all the rivals. Who would stop us then?" Tsunade was heard saying.
"Are you certain the boy will not fall to the fox's influence?" Sarutobi asked.
"The seal we used was stronger than the one used on Kushina. Had it not been, Minato would be dead right now. Also, he used a separate seal to take half of the fox's chakra into himself but none of the soul so the fox wouldn't be at full strength and Minato would be able to resist the Shinigami anyway." Jiraiya answered.
"What about if the fox tricks the boy? Or worse tries to tell him about you?" Fugaku asked.
"We'll handle that part right now." Minato replied.
Kyuubi then felt a surge of pain but the place he was in got brighter. But not enough to actually see something.
"There. We added a failsafe to the seal. If this child ever releases too much of the foxes chakra, or gives up trying to contain it, genjutsus of myself and Kushina will appear in his mind, giving him some silly sap stories and promises to lift up his spirits and make him want to hold in the fox even more."
"Will he ever learn the truth?" Mikoto asked.
"Unlikely. Why would he believe the fox over his own parents? If he hears us claim to love him and want him to be happy, and the fox that the whole village hates says it's all a lie, who's he going to believe?" Minato asked back.
"So what do we do with it now?" Koharu asked. "You going to raise it?"
"Hell no! Me take care of a needy brat when I could be out doing what I enjoy? I couldn't care less what happens to him just as long as he doesn't die or grow up weak. Kushina was supposed to raise him, but since that's no longer possible thanks to her own foolishness I guess Plan B is all that's left."
"What's that?" Hyuuga Hiashi asked.
"Since I'm certain no one else wants to raise this kid..." Minato paused mainly because there was a chorus of various denials, all best summarized as 'Hell no'. "There's only one real option, let him raise himself. Have him be given just enough support to ensure he doesn't die and gets strong enough to be a usable ninja, but not so strong or independent that he can someday turn against us."
"What do you mean?" Nara Shikaku asked.
"This child will be left alone, supported enough to survive and allowed to be a ninja so we can use him against our enemies. To ensure he will not be a threat, at first he will be given the minimalist amount of training. Enough that he can survive but not enough that he can successfully rebel. Also, he should be mistaught on right and wrong so the idea of turning against Konoha will have no appeal to him whatsoever."
"Why allow him to become a ninja at all?" Homura asked.
"Because if he never becomes one he will be of no use in future battles. He will be of better use as a ninja than a civilian." Minato answered.
"Can I take him in my ROOT program?" Danzou asked.
"No. While your program would guarantee he would become useful and obedient, destroying his emotions will limit his ability to utilize Kyuubi's chakra when needed. A jinchuuriki's strength comes from their emotions, not the lack of them. This boy must be raised to be emotional, able to be enraged, but not so much he will snap at any moment."
"I understand Yondaime-sama." Danzou replied.
"So the boy will become a social outcast, unaccepted by everyone and presumably ignorant of any connection to you or Kushina. How exactly do you plan to ensure he will listen to anyone? Let alone you?" Aburame Shibi asked.
"Here's what I propose. This boy will be mistreated and ignored by almost everyone in the village. They can do whatever they want to him as long as he never dies or becomes incapable of being a shinobi. Some people will have to act as confidants so he will have a sense of safety here, but overall he will feel unwanted and unaware why. Naturally this will create a desire to change that and make people like him. If taught appropriately, he will do whatever it takes to gain some measure of acceptance from anyone. Especially me once I get involved."
"What do you mean?" Tsunade asked.
"To make it more effective, and do a few more things I have plans for, I must leave Konoha on an extended leave of absence. Tell everyone I'm dead, killed by the Kyuubi so no one like Iwa will be tempted to strike us anytime soon. While hidden I will weaken Konoha's enemies and capture the other eight bijuu to use as well as the Kyuubi. If things go well, once I reappear in this boy's life and he learns I fathered him, he will be so desperate for my acceptance and approval of him he will do anything I tell him, even kill a whole village of civilians on command."
"And if he doesn't?" Sarutobi asked.
"I will have him killed and Kyuubi resealed, and try a different approach that time."
"So no matter what Kyuubi will remain ours to control. And in time the other bijuu will be too. I approve." Tsunade stated, and soon all the others agreed. "One question, what will the boy be named?"
"He cannot be named Namikaze. He is undeserving of such a noble name and it would only alert enemies and confuse the villagers. Call him Uzumaki for now, so their name will be dragged through the mud by his infamy. As for personal name, I chose Naruto."
"Why?" Many asked.
"It's a name from an unpopular book I wrote. No one but me or those connected to me would think anything of it, so it's unlikely anyone else would share the same name." Jiraiya told everyone. "At the same time it's a bit demeaning so it's like an additional torment."
"I've got a question, if you're pronounced dead, doesn't that mean we need a Godaime right away?" Fugaku asked, barely hiding the mirth in his voice.
"We would, but unfortunately we can't so soon." Minato answered, much to Fugaku's shock and ire. "According to what will be reported, I died suddenly. Konoha law states my predecessor must take office first if capable. If Sarutobi doesn't, it would alert enemies that a ruse is being done. When it looks like no one is suspicious anymore, I will tell Sarutobi to step down and appoint you Fugaku as promised."
"And how long will that take? I gave you our clan's property Minato, you cannot weasel out of our deal." The Uchiha patriarch insisted.
"I have no intention, but to complete the illusion this must be done. Give it a year or two, and you will get your reward Fugaku."
"Okay, Namikaze Minato died in battle resealing the Kyuubi away. I will get Konoha to be hostile and/or apathetic to young Naruto here with some people selected to act the role of supporter to keep him from giving up anytime soon. He will be molded into serving Konoha no matter what and will never be strong enough to become a threat to it. I also will need to give him legal godparents so he legally will not fall under the laws that protect and privilege orphans." Sarutobi reiterated.
"Jiraiya-sensei, Tsunade-bachan, will you do it?" Minato asked.
"No way. I'm not raising that reminder of why Dan-kun died. Just looking at him makes me think of Kushina and what she did to him." Tsunade angrily proclaimed.
"You don't have to raise him. It's just a formality so he can't be in the orphanage and people who attack him can't be prosecuted if his guardians don't press charges." Sarutobi told his student.
"Well that I can approve of. Okay, but it's just on paper. As far as I'm concerned, he's no safer to be around than Kushina was." Tsunade bittered reply.
"Thanks. And Jiraiya-sensei, I'm going to need you to teach him a thing or two in time mainly to get him ready to be used by me when he's old enough."
"I can handle that, as long as it doesn't keep me from my research." The toad sannin told his student.
"Good. I think everything's settled then."
"Where will you go? How will we contact you?" Sarutobi asked.
"You won't. I'll contact you when I need to hear or say anything. And I'm going to check out where the other jinchuuriki are and learn about them before I make my move to take them." Minato answered.
By now Kyuubi could briefly see into the real world. He saw from Naruto's location all the clan heads of Konoha looking at each other with pride or himself with hate. Minato then pulled out a mask, an orange one with a spiral pattern around a single eye hole for the right eye.
"Remember, for now Namikaze Minato is dead. Until I return, I am simply... nobody." He dawned the mask and disappeared in a space-time jutsu.
"Damn you Namikaze! You'll burn in hell for this! You and everyone who supports you!" Kyuubi shouted on deaf ears before everything went black again and he was forced asleep.
"And you know the rest." Kyuubi told the whiskered blonde when the memory finished. "The old man you know told you that this rotten place and the people in it refused to obey that man's wish for you. But the truth is this entire time they've been doing exactly what he asked them to do."
Naruto felt sick to his stomach, which was an odd thing to experience in a mindscape, but that didn't stop him from dry-heaving. "It's... it's not a lie. They all... they really did that to me? To my mom? Why? Why for the love of Kami-sama would they do that?" He then felt a burning sensation in his eyes, making him cover them with his hands.
"Because the people who run this cesspool of a village only care about one thing: Power. Power they can control. Power they can use to show off and act like Kami's in their own arrogant way. They stole your mother's life, they stole my freedom, they even stole your name, all so they can make their already gigantic ego's even bigger. Greed is a dangerous thing. It's what makes the rich ruin the poor to put another ryo in their already-fat wallets. It's what makes a daimyo conquer his neighbor to expand the borders of his already-large nation. Konoha is consumed with greed, and those here that aren't either cannot change it or choose to just live with it."
Naruto uncovered his eyes and looked down, but his fist was balled up and Kyuubi could practically smell the boy's anger. "Don't be afraid to be angry kit. Anger is normal to feel when you discover you were betrayed or lied to. It doesn't make you a bad person to be angry, to want justice. It doesn't make you a demon, it makes you human."
That was exactly what Naruto needed to hear. He stood up and looked at the fox, looking like he was trying not to direct his anger at Kyuubi himself. "I... I think I hate them. I've never hated anyone before, I never wanted to, but I... I don't think I can stop myself from hating them anymore."
The fox was surprised by what he saw, but ignored it for now. "You shouldn't have to. They wanted you to never give in to your anger or even try to accept it as a natural feeling because if you did you could be dangerous to them and upset their plans. They wanted you to think being angry would only prove them right that you were a demon. They wanted you to be afraid to retaliate no matter what."
"So what do I do about it?" Naruto desperately asked. "How am I going to change this? I can't do this all alone."
Kyuubi first took a deep breath. "You can do two things. You can either give this greedy village what it wants, or you don't. Before you ask, I do know how you can get away with not giving Konoha the satisfaction of victory over you."
"How?" Naruto curiously asked.
"If you become a ninja or die, either way Konoha gets something it wants from you. The only way for you to defy them and get away with it is to do something I've been planning for you for the past few years, ever since I regained consciousness here. I tried to contact you sooner but apparently the seal will not allow us to communicate unless you come here to me. But now that we can talk, I think it would be wise for us to discuss this."
Naruto looked up at the fox with hesitation, as if he still didn't know if accepting the fox's offer was the lesser of two evils. After a moment he sighed. "I might as well hear it out. What do you have in mind?"