Vanex: Hello all! This is the remake of The Rise to Greatness, but with the challenge dropped. There will be elements from the previous version in here, as well as elements from the story, Going My Way by Zodiac-Aries. Thank you, Zodiac-Aries, for allowing me to use those elements. You'll all see what they are as the story plays out.
Also, some new elements that will be in this story came to me while reading Going My Way, but were not part of that story, so, again, I say thank you, Zodiac-Aries, for your indirect role in some of the twists and turns that will be in this story. Now then, let's get to the chapter!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor do I make any profit on this whatsoever.
There is a secret that the couple of Minato and Kushina Namikaze managed to keep at the tail end of the Third Shinobi World War. That secret was that Minato got Kushina pregnant, during their honeymoon. This was done to protect the child, considering that Iwa wanted Minato's head. They named their child Naruto, in honor of the first book written by Minato's mentor, Jiraiya. As such, no one outside the couple and a few others knew that a Naruto Namikaze was born on September 25th.
When the war ended and Minato became the Fourth Hokage, they planned to finally reveal the existence of their son. However, Kushina became pregnant again. So, they decided to wait until the twins were born. However, on that night, the night of October 10th, things went horribly wrong. A masked man attacked and ripped the Nine-Tailed Fox out of Kushina's body. He then used the Nine-Tails to attack Konoha. Not much is known on what happened. All that is known for sure is that Minato drove away the masked man and then split the Nine-Tails in two, sealing the two halves into his twin daughters, Mito and Motoko Namikaze, while somehow surviving the ritual. The two were hailed as heroes for being the containers of the Fox and for being the daughters of the Fourth Hokage. Yet, there was never any mention of their five-year-old son. No mention at all.
*Seven Years Later*
Naruto Uzumaki stretches as he gets out of bed. "Today is the day I meet my team. I wonder who I'll be grouped with?" He takes a shower and gets dressed before going downstairs. "Morning, Aunt Tsunade!"
Tsunade Katō smiles. "Good morning, Naruto. Today's the day you get your team, right?"
"Yep! Where are Uncle Dan, Uncle Nawaki, Shizune, and Hashirama?"
"Nawaki is still asleep, Dan is in the basement, replacing a light bulb, Shizune is at the hospital, and Hashirama is on a mission."
Nawaki Senju is Tsunade's brother. He nearly lost his life on a mission with Orochimaru, but managed to survive with some scars. He is now the current head of the Senju clan, which makes him desirable by any of the women who crave power. Of course, they must be willing to face Tsunade, who is very protective of her brother. So far, no one has been found to be worthy of being Lady Senju.
Dan Katō is Tsunade's husband and a retired shinobi. He was renowned for his skills in the Second Shinobi World War, but it came crashing down when he suffered an injury to his chakra coils, preventing him from ever being a shinobi again. He took it in stride, though, deciding to marry Tsunade and settle down with her. They have one son, Hashirama, named after Tsunade's grandfather.
"I see. Well, I better get going. Gotta meet my teammates!" Naruto rushes out the door.
Tsunade chuckles to herself as she watches him go. "So full of energy. He definitely got that from his mother." She frowns at that. "How could you two do that to him? What happened to you two, Minato and Kushina?"
Naruto smiles at the person coming towards him. "Hey, Uncle Jiraiya! What are you doing here?"
"What? Did you think I wouldn't find time to come congratulate my godson on becoming a Genin?"
"With how busy your job is, that was exactly what I thought."
Jiraiya clutches his chest, dramatically. "You think so little of me, Naruto. It makes me want to cry."
"Oh, please. The only things that make you cry are when women come after you full of righteous fury and whenever someone trashes one of your books."
"Joking aside, how are you doing, Naruto? Are Dan and Tsunade treating you right?"
"Of course they are. If you had so little faith in them, then why did you leave me with them?"
"I knew they'd be able to raise you. I'm just making sure that Tsunade didn't try to get you addicted to gambling." Jiraiya thinks back to the day when he asked Tsunade to take care of Naruto.
*Seven Years Ago*
Tsunade opened the front door only to see Jiraiya standing there, with Naruto on his back and a solemn look on his face. "Jiraiya, what's wrong? Why is Naruto with you? And why does Naruto look like he's been crying?"
"Things have gotten horrible, Tsunade. Minato has disowned Naruto."
"What? That's ridiculous! Minato wouldn't do that!"
"I reacted the same way when Naruto came to me. But I've confirmed it from Minato. Naruto is no longer a Namikaze. He is now Naruto Uzumaki, as clan laws prevent Minato from disowning Naruto from the Uzumaki clan. I can't take care of him, Tsunade. My life as Konoha's spymaster prevents me from doing so. That's why I'm here to ask you and Dan to take care of him."
Tsunade nodded. "Bring him in. We should talk about this inside and with Dan."
Dan and Tsunade were more than willing to take Naruto in, and they've raised him very well. Jiraiya was grateful to them for doing so.
"Hey, Uncle Jiraiya! Stop spacing out on me!"
Jiraiya jumps in surprise. "Sorry, Naruto, I was lost in thought."
Naruto sighs. "Well, I gotta go, Uncle. I don't want to be late." He quickly runs off.
Jiraiya watches him go, before clenching his fists. Even now, he still blames himself for Naruto's disowned status. "If only I hadn't told Minato and Kushina about that prophecy."
*At the Shinobi Academy*
Naruto arrives in the classroom where his fellow graduates are and takes a seat between his two closest friends. "Hey, Itachi! Hey, Hana!"
Hana smiles. "Hey, Naruto."
Itachi nods at him. "Naruto."
The teacher arrives. "Congratulations to everyone in here! You have all done well in this class and now you will go out into the world as ninja. Be warned, it's dangerous out there. You won't have the safety of the academy to help you from this point on. I wish you all the best of luck. Now, I'll announce the teams. Team 1 is..." Naruto zones out a bit, waiting to either hear his name or the name of either of his friends. "Team 6 is Hana Inuzuka, Itachi Uchiha, and Naruto Uzumaki. Your sensei is Mikoto Uchiha. Team 7 is..."
Naruto bolts up in surprise, before turning to look at a wide-eyed Itachi. "From the look on your face, you didn't know about this?"
Itachi shakes his head. "Not a clue. Mom didn't even tell me she was taking on a team."
"Those are the teams. You will all wait here for your sensei to arrive. Good luck out there. "
The teacher leaves. A few minutes later the Jōnin start arriving. A certain black-haired woman steps forward. "Team 6 with me." The trio follow her to the roof of the Academy. Mikoto smiles at the trio. "Surprised?"
Naruto nods. "How the heck did you manage this?"
"I made up an excuse about how Itachi only seems to really interact with you two and that I felt that you three would make a great team. It was also easier to pull off because you three kept yourselves in the middle of your classmates, not pushing to be the top students. Now, this would be the time that the sensei and the students would introduce themselves to each other, but that's not necessary for us. So, you three get to go home early today. Tomorrow, we will go forward with the final Genin test."
"Final test?" asks Hana. "What final test?"
"Basically, the test in the academy was to weed out the students who had no chance of being a Genin. This test is to see if you three truly deserve to become Genin, and is given by the Jōnin sensei, namely me. This test will determine if this team will become an official team or not. Meet me at Training Ground 21 tomorrow. You three are dismissed."
"So Naruto, do you think we will pass this test?"
Naruto shrugs. "I can't say, Hana. From what I've heard, the final test has a high failure rate. If we don't prove ourselves tomorrow, it is likely that out ninja careers will end right there."
Hana grimaces. "Mom would be pissed if I failed."
Naruto nods. "For me, it would be Aunt Tsunade. And Itachi has both his parents. I don't know which of us has it the worst. Aunt Tsunade, Lady Inuzuka, and Lord Uchiha are each scary people in their own ways."
Both of them shiver at the image of all three pissed at them. "Well," says Hana, "I need to get home soon. Mom will want to know who my teammates are."
"Okay. Well, I'll see you tomorrow." As Naruto turns to head in the direction of his house, someone bumps into him, sending him to the ground. "Ow!" He stands up. "Are you okay?"
"That hurt!" says the girl, standing up. Naruto freezes as he recognizes her. "Sorry, mister. I wasn't watching where I was going."
Naruto shakes his head. "No, it's okay Mito. I wasn't watching where I was going either."
This confuses Mito. "You know my name, mister?"
"Well, you and your sister are famous."
"Do you know why we are famous?"
Naruto shakes his head. "Your parents will tell you about it someday."
A voice suddenly calls out. "Mito!" Naruto and Mito turn to see an older woman with red hair run up, with a little girl with her. "Sorry about that. Mito ran off before I could stop her. She's excited to go to her favorite place to eat."
"It's okay, Lady Namikaze. There was no harm done." Naruto is doing everything to keep a smile on his face, at the sight of his former mother, Kushina Namikaze. He also recognizes the girl with Kushina as Mito's twin sister, Motoko.
A look of realization comes over Kushina's face. "Wait a minute, you're Naruto Uzumaki, right? I'd heard there was another Uzumaki living here, and I wanted to meet him."
"Yes, that's me."
"Good! I see you've graduated from the academy. Have you met your team?"
"Yes. We take our test tomorrow."
Kushina nods. "Well, I'm sure you'll do just fine! We Uzumakis are not defeated easily! Hey, why don't you come with us? You're welcome to join us for ramen."
Naruto shakes his head. "No, I have to get home. My family is waiting for me."
"Really? That's too bad. Well then, I hope we do meet again, Naruto! As far as I'm concerned, we're family. Uzumaki clan united!"
Kushina leaves, with her two daughters. Naruto turns away and the smile immediately drops from his face as he closes his eyes. Hana, who had been watching the whole time, walks up to him. "How did you keep a straight face throughout that?"
"With great difficulty. I can't understand it. It's like she doesn't even remember that she ever gave birth to me. My 'father' does remember me, but treats me with such disdain. For some reason, he hates the idea of me being a ninja."
"Is that why you chose to go to the Academy? To spite him?"
"Partially. But I also do honestly want to be a ninja. My dream is to become the strongest ninja ever, so that I can protect my friends and family. I owe Uncle Dan and Aunt Tsunade everything, for raising me like I was their son. I want to be able to return the favor."
Hana nods. "That's quite the dream, Naruto. I'll do what I can to help you achieve that dream. I know Itachi will, too."
Naruto smiles. "Thank you, Hana."
Hana smiles back, but then frowns. "There's one thing I don't get. Why do you use the name Uzumaki?"
"It's because I am still a member of the Uzumaki clan. A clan law prevented my 'father' from being able to take that away."
"What law was it?"
"Only the clan head of the Uzumaki clan can disown anyone from the clan. That head would be my 'father', if he had taken the name Uzumaki upon marrying my 'mother'. By having her take his name instead, the two relinquished all rights to the clan head position. They're still part of the clan, but as a branch family. As of right now, Mito, Motoko, and I are the only ones, that I know of, that are eligible to take the position. I would have first rights, as I'm the oldest, and I have been disowned from the Namikaze family. If something were to happen to me, then either twin could take the position, if one of them were to relinquish the Namikaze name before turning eighteen, or getting married. And if the marriage occurs, both she and her husband must take the name Uzumaki."
"Why didn't he just simply change his name to Uzumaki upon discovering that?"
"He can't. He needs the permission of the current Uzumaki clan head to do that, and there isn't one."
"What about divorcing Lady Namikaze?"
"It would restore my 'mother' to the Uzumaki clan, and would make her eligible to become the head. But he can't remarry her and be able to take the position. The law states that he has to take the name Uzumaki upon his first marriage to my 'mother'. The moment he had her take his name, he made it impossible for him to become head of the Uzumaki clan. Only the clan head can override this law. It was put in place to prevent people like him from just seizing control of the clan."
"Why doesn't he just simply divorce Lady Namikaze and have her overwrite the law?"
"I can still challenge her for the head position, and it would force the truth of my former status to come to light, something my 'father' doesn't want to happen. He went to a lot of trouble to cover up my former status as his son."
"Why didn't he know of this law before?"
"Who would've told him? The majority of the Uzumaki clan was wiped out long before he ever considered marrying my 'mother'. She was young when this happened and wasn't an expert on the clan laws by any measure. She does have a set of scrolls with all the laws, as does Aunt Tsunade, having gotten it from her grandmother. Uncle Jiraiya knows the law because he took the time to study Aunt Tsunade's copy, something my 'father' never did with the copy my 'mother' had. He failed to disown me from the Uzumaki clan because of nothing more than simple human error, and his failure has practically handed the Uzumaki clan head position to me, which I will take once I turn eighteen, or get married."
Hana nods. "I see. Well, I really do have to go now, Naruto. I'll see you tomorrow."
"See you." Naruto watches Hana leave, before heading home.
Vanex: Well, that is the end of Chapter 1. Naruto being disowned was one of the elements of Going My Way that I'm using here, something I hadn't considered or seen before. This is a much better way for the twins to not know him, compared to the stupidity I used in Rise to Greatness. A figment of their imagination? What was I thinking? Also, what do you think about me having Dan and Nawaki in this story, instead of being dead? See you all next time!