Disclaimer: Matt does not own Naruto or any other characters mentioned here
Naruto Uchiha: The Prophet with the Cursed Eyes
7 years after the Kyuubi attack
A tiny shadow was sprinting down the vacant streets turning at random intervals panting roughly from the constant strenuous activity. The only way of actually telling there was a presence moving along the streets was thanks to the lights that casted a shadow as the presence moved past them. The shadow finally came to a halt in an isolated alleyway trying to capture its fleeting breath. That shadow outline took a few moments to capture its breath as it basked in the silence that permeated the immediate vicinity. As the minutes crawled on by as did the position of the moon's light. Underneath of the heavenly body's glow the shadowed silhouette was instantly dissipated revealing just who it was. The shadow was now replaced by a boy no older than seven years old whose jet, black hair seemed to radiate in the moon light. Even though his eyes were half-lidded due to exhaustion and mental fatigue but his azure blue eyes still glowed brilliantly in the dead of the night. His face was covered in dirt and small cuts that were dried over by blood thanks to running all over the village all night. His most prominent facial features were three dark whisker birth marks on each one of his cheeks. His skin was fairly well tanned most likely from his constant movement. He wore a white shirt that had multiple stains and tatters. His cream colored slacks had holes on the knees and thighs showing their deplorable condition. His white shoes had holes on the insides as the soles hung down. The tired ravenette's breathing hitched when he heard the stomping of numerous pairs of feet and loud voices nearing his position.
"The demon went this way!"
"Today is the day we finally rid ourselves of that plague!"
"Yes now we can finish what our beloved Yondaime started!"
That last exclamation really got the frenzied mob's blood pumping as images of the Yondaime Hokage entered their alcohol influenced minds. The young boy could feel the stampede getting closer and closer as he watched the loose smaller objects rattle. Naruto inched back into the furthest, darkest corner of the alley and curled up into a ball. Naruto shut his eyes and prayed to anyone that was listening to spare him from the torture of the Fox Hunts that always occurred on his birthday. The things that occurred to him ranged from being stabbed in the eye to being bludgeoned by any number of blunt objects. Last year however was by far the worst out of all of the Fox Hunts. The mob discovered that when set on fire his skin would regenerate before the fire would actually kill him so he needed to stay there as a human bonfire for two hours. They continued the treatment until Naruto begged them for death but then as usual the ANBU stepped in and drove the mob away and took him to the hospital. Only for him to lie in the bed and heal on his own since the doctors refused to heal him. He still wondered why he never went unconscious.
Naruto was shaken from his thoughts when a shrill shriek alerted the blood thirsty mob to his location. Naruto looked up to see that the mob had already positioned itself at the only way in to or out of the alley. Naruto's facial expression curled into one of disgust as he smelled the alcohol reeking off of the Fox Hunters. There was a woman with pink hair at the head of the mob who was giving him the nastiest glare he had ever seen. He couldn't understand why she hated him so much he had never done anything wrong. It was like the matron at the orphanage all over again.
"We finally cornered you, you damn demon!" The pink haired woman screeched out which made Naruto slap his hands over his ears. The crowd was so intoxicated that they didn't even wince when the pink haired ring leader spoke in an abnormal decibel, which was saying something considering just how loud her screech was.
"I am not a demon!" Naruto yelled back defiantly disputing the woman's false claim. Naruto inched back until his back hit the cold stone wall. He had nowhere left to go this time. He knew he couldn't count on the ANBU who were supposed to be watching him to help out.
"Yes you are! You killed our loved ones you monster!" The woman shouted at the cornered boy as her anger kept growing. Her eyes only saw red as reminders of all she lost breached her mind making her anger grow exponentially. Now she finally had the chance to cleanse herself of the demon plague.
"I'm no demon lady! My name is Naruto Namikaze-Uzumaki and I have never killed any of your loved ones!" Naruto exclaimed honestly because he was only seven he couldn't kill anyone even if he wanted to. He had never even met these people outside of these Fox Hunts so he never met their families. The only people that would speak to him were a few of the ANBU, the Ichirakus, and the Old Man. Why, why did the villagers hate him so much? It just didn't make sense to him.
It was now that two men sporting Chunin flak jack vests walked out of the mob and stood in front of the pink haired lady. They both had shaggy black hair with matching grey, soulless eyes that only added to their evil façade or at least they appeared to the ravenette that way. They both wore smug grins that promised unbearable amounts of pain for the demon in front of the two Hidden Leaf shinobi. It was now that Naruto realized that these two were actually twins something he missed in his earlier panicked state. "It doesn't matter who you are anymore demon because soon you'll just be a pile of smoldering ash." They bellowed smugly and in perfect unison.
If the situation had not been so dire for Naruto he would have sweat dropped at the ridiculousness of the two goons in front of him. Naruto released one last exhausted sigh as he finally gave up on his attempt to explain himself. Naruto shut his eyes and bit down on his tongue since there was no way he would give them the satisfaction of hearing his screams of pain.
The sadistic twins broke into a fit of chuckles when they noticed the demon's pitiful actions. "Already giving up are we little demon?" The one on the left taunted his victim as he grinned evilly. Both men went through the hand signs for the Grand Fireball Jutsu to make good on their promise of death. Then they noticed that a man had moved in between them and was also looking at the ravenette demon. They both turned their grey eyes on the mysterious man with curiosity.
The man was tall and lean with a short beard, mustache, and side burns that ended by pointing upwards. He wore a golden cross pendant around his neck that hung down and rested on his chest. On his head was a wide-brimmed black hat decorated by a large white plume on top of it. He wore a long black coat that was left open and it blew with the wind and he wasn't wearing a shirt underneath. The collar and sleeves of the coat sported a flower pattern over the red fabric stitched into the coat. His light purple pants were held in place by a decorated belt and tucked into his large boots. There was a large ornately decorated blade strapped on to his back vertically. The blade was at least seven feet in length from tip of the grip to the point of the blade. The hilt of the blade was a golden cross guard with golden bars extending to the left and right. The handle of the blade was wrapped up with white tape and had a blue bead as the pommel of the hilt. The long blade was midnight black with a very prominent sheen running along the bottom. Overall the blade in its entirety looked like a large black cross. The most noticeable feature of the man was not the blade on his back but the golden yellow eyes that made them look like those of a hawk. The man released his extremely lengthy blade slowly and without shifting his gaze. Naruto had not seen any of this thanks to having his eyes shut.
The twin on the right looked at the magnificent black blade and whistled in appreciation as he gazed at it. "That is an impressive blade you got there friend. I can't wait to see it cut that demon-" That was when the man's angry, hate infused monologue was cut off literally by the unknown blade wielder. The unknown swordsman with a singular fluid motion separated the Leaf Chunin at the stomach. The torso and the legs each fell to the ground with separate thuds at the moment of contact. Basking in a bath of blood were the man's intestines which were emptied from where his stomach once was.
The brother of the now corpse cried out in equal parts shock and anger as the sudden actions finally settled in. "You bastard why would you do that instead of killing that demon!?" That was the last word the man would ever utter as the mystery man brought the midnight, black blade up and separated the second twin's head from his shoulders. The head fell to the ground and rolled over to the front of the mob looking at the people there with the same shocked and angry expression telling them he never saw the attack coming. The people at the front of the group each took a step back in fear except the pink haired ring leader.
The mob looked down in shock at the head that was staring back at them each with fear lingering in their eyes. A few of the more weak willed members turned a sickly shade of green and quickly made to exit the alley to empty the contents of their stomach thanks to the grisly scene and the affects of the alcohol. The pink haired leader moved her mouth to speak but paused when she felt cold steel pressed against her neck. "I believe there was a certain law passed in this village prohibiting anyone to speak about a certain event seven years ago. The punishment for breaking said law is death. A death Yoru will be glad to grant you." The man's voice echoed throughout the silent alley but despite his calm tone each person could feel the threat behind those words. As if agreeing with its master's words the black blade known as Yoru gleamed.
No one in the mob said a word or even moved a muscle as fear paralyzed them when they all gazed fearfully at the blade. All of the poor excuses for human beings were rooted to their spots as each person viewed their demise in the reflection of the blade. It may have only been a few but due to the thick tension it felt like hours of unbearable silence. Finally when the man with the eyes of a hawk lowered his blade they let out a breath they were consciously holding in. "Disappear" With that the one word command the mob dispersed in a hurry trying to funnel out of the suddenly too thin alleyway fearing for their meager livelihoods. The swordsman watched impassively as the rats scurried away. He moved to the two corpses and removed their bodies from Naruto's line of sight to avoid from traumatizing the young boy. He turned back to see the raven haired boy still against the wall trembling. Reaching out he placed a comforting hand on top of Naruto's head but Naruto flinched in response.
The man's stoic expression cracked for the first time since he had entered the village since this boy who he knew was so terrified. It was his first time in the Hidden Leaf Village since his Minato Namikaze was nominated as Hokage and here his son was being treated like this. He could only ask why when he met the boy's father. Also if he recalled correctly today was Naruto and his sisters, Naomi and Narumi's birthday. This also brought more questions to the legendary swordsman's mind. "It is quite alright young one. I will do you no harm. I promise." Mihawk's voice was smooth and calm.
Naruto felt this man, Mihawk's hand rustle through his black hair and let his eyes slowly open up so he could gaze up at the man with the eyes of a hawk. Naruto continued to look into the taller male's eyes seeking out the anger, disgust, or just emptiness he always saw when gazing into most of the people he had always seen. When he couldn't find it no matter how deep he looked the boy eased himself from under the man's hand so he could look at him unobstructed. "Excuse me Mister but what is your name?" Naruto asked in the most polite tone he could muster afraid if he spoke the wrong way he would be assaulted by the swordsman.
Mihawk smiled softly at the polite raven haired boy and cleared his throat so he would be heard clearly. "My name is Mihawk Dracule young Naruto and I am actually a friend of your family." At the mention his keen eyes could see the young Namikaze-Uzumaki tense at the mention of his family. "Is it not your birthday? If so why are you not at home celebrating with them?" Mihawk questioned Naruto in the same soft tone of voice not wanting to rattle the scared boy. Naruto shuffled in place as his eyes found the road to be the most interesting of places at this moment in time.
"Well since it is our birthday they took Naomi and Narumi out to eat and get ready for the party. Then Tou- … Minato told me to go to my room. Which I did but after a few hours I came out and then I was on my way to the Forest then the villagers found me." Naruto admitted in a soft yet still bitter tone. Naruto personally wondered why he couldn't bring himself to call Minato his father but shrugged it off for something that would pass without much more thought. He was only seven after all such things were beyond his scope of comprehension.
'That doesn't sound like the Minato and Kushina I know. Kushina was ecstatic when she learned she'd be having triplets. That didn't change when I helped Minato fight the Kyuubi. When I visit them I will ask them about Naruto without telling them I know where he is. Hopefully their neglect hasn't cost them a son.' Mihawk recalled Naruto's subconscious correction on how he addressed Minato. 'If they fail my test then I shall train the boy until the academy years are over and send him back to the village.' Mihawk had yet to train or even name an apprentice, someone who he could train and teach some of his skills to pass on to the next generation.
"Naruto follow me. I will take you somewhere that you will be safe from these people." Mihawk strained to say the word as in reality they were nothing more than monsters blinded by hate towards what they are using as a scapegoat. Naruto shuffled over a little closer to Mihawk when the elder man and the boy walked through the Shinobi District. This was where most of the Fox Hunters lived since they were Chunin and Genin mostly. Naruto hoped that Mihawk was strong enough to deal with the people who seemed to live just to hate him. That tension soon faded as the pair entered the Clan District where they were mostly neutral to his presence. Neutral to him except the two most arrogant of Konoha's clans, the Hyuga and Uchiha, two of the four Noble Clans.
That was why he got nervous again when they entered the Uchiha compound where the red eyed humans all glared in their direction. Mihawk just ignored them unless they started to glare at Naruto then he flared his Killer Intent at them. The discerning eye of Mihawk Dracule picked up on their tense behavior and high state of alert but decided to think on that later. Naruto smiled softly when he saw the familiar house in the center of the compound. Mihawk stepped up and knocked on the front door gently as he and Naruto remained in a comfortable silence.
There was the sound of a few hurried footsteps before the paper thin sliding door slid open to reveal a stoic teen. The teen had deep, black eyes that matched his hair which was worn in a ponytail, his bangs were short. He had on a black shirt with the Uchiha clan symbol on the back with bandages around his ankles and black sandals. The teen's black eyes widened when he saw who was standing before him. This was Itachi Uchiha the eldest son of Fugaku and Mikoto Uchiha. He was surprised because first off there was a swordsman even more renowned than the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist in front him. Secondly, the person he was getting ready to see was already here in front of him.
"Itachi-Nii!" Naruto exclaimed happily as he launched himself at the teen's shins and clung on to the teen. Itachi looked down at Naruto with a curious gaze before he to matched the infectious smile on Naruto's face. After getting Naruto to let go of him Itachi turned to look at Mihawk and silently motioned for them to enter. As the two walked by him he shot a glance at two Uchiha conversing while looking his way with their Sharingan spinning. Responding with his own blazing glare Itachi slid the door closed and walked to the living space where Naruto and Mihawk were sitting.
Mihawk waited until the young Uchiha had taken a seat next to an absolutely beaming Naruto before he addressed him. "It is good to see you again Itachi. I assume all is well in your training?" Mihawk inquired with an assertive voice that made Itachi stiffen slightly as he was gazed upon. Shifting with unease Itachi mustered the courage to look at his one-time sensei whose eyes had always unnerved him. This was the man who had taught Itachi all of the basics of what it meant to be a shinobi. He taught him to master basic techniques and also how to control his emotions. However that only applied to negative emotions which always reared up on the battlefield and would cause an early death.
"Hai sensei I have made sure to always keep my basics sharper than they were the day before. As well as reigning in my emotions when the case calls for it." Itachi responded in an even tone that was nearing monotone. Itachi released a breath he didn't know he was holding once he saw his old sensei nod his head in approval of his choices. Itachi then looked at the curious Naruto who was trying to piece together what they were talking about. "And what are you doing here Naruto-kun?" Itachi asked the young boy curiously even though he most likely knew the answer already.
At the mention of why he was here Naruto visibly deflated into the two person couch with a forlorn expression. "Th-They told me to wait in my room for something I didn't do while they took Naomi and Narumi to get ready for the party. I left and tried to get to the Forest before it got dark except the Fox Hunters were out early." Naruto started to tremble with frustration and anger at how his so called family treated him. Itachi frowned already aware of the neglect that Naruto had to deal with which he and his mother tried to fill. Wrapping the boy in a hug Naruto began to slowly calm in his surrogate brother's embrace.
Mihawk waited until Naruto was calmed down by the Uchiha next to him before he tried to talk with the boy. Now while he normally would never condone such emotional outbursts he could understand why Naruto was like this but he couldn't understand how it felt. He was living in the world's kindest village, he was the son of the Hokage, he had two sisters who were minutes younger than he, and he was the jailor of the soul of the Kyuubi no Yoko. This boy should be considered a saint no a plague. If his parents wanted to lose his love he wouldn't interfere but that didn't mean he wouldn't help the boy out.
"Naruto how would you like to train under my guidance much like Itachi did once upon a time?" Mihawk asked when Naruto caught his gaze and waited patiently for the boy's response to his offer of apprenticeship. Naruto looked up with shock; no one had ever offered him such a thing before in his short life. Even his so called parents rejected training him stating that Naomi and Narumi would need it more than he would. His azure eyes quickly changed from a look of bewilderment to one of pure determination. Naruto clenched his hands and nodded at the swordsman.
Mihawk allowed a small smile to spread across his face when he saw the fire in Naruto's eyes. "Very good Naruto, I want you to go and write a letter to Minato and Kushina and tell them you are leaving. When you are finished give me the letter and I will deliver it and place it in your room." Naruto nodded in response and Itachi told him that there was paper and a pen in his room that Naruto could use to write said letter. Naruto excused himself and left the room to go and write the letter of departure. Itachi turned to look at Mihawk once Naruto left the room.
"Mihawk-sempai I also recommend that you let Lord Third and my mother know about Naruto's departure. They are among the few that will be there that actually care for Naruto." Itachi admitted rather sadly that a boy who had such a burden to carry would be shunned. While Naomi had the Yin chakra and Narumi the Yang Naruto carried the soul and conscious of the chakra monster. They got the power while Naruto received the hatred of the beast. Itachi only wondered when Naruto's expertly crafted mask of happiness would crack into the impassive and detached boy he knew was underneath. (An: To those aside from those who care for him)
"I will remember that however I need to ask you what is going on in this village at the moment. First Naruto is being hunted like he is a game animal and all of the Uchiha are very tense almost anxious if I had to describe it. I am sure you know what is happening Weasel." Mihawk instantly noticed how Itachi's posture became much more tense than it was before. Mihawk raised his hand indicating for Itachi to calm himself before speaking. Itachi's rather volatile reaction though only served to intrigue him more. It seemed the village has gotten a little rotten in his time away.
"My Father has convinced the Uchiha to plan a rebellion. He has used the isolation we put ourselves in and the animosity from the civilians to fuel their hatred. They wish to change the fact that an Uchiha has never been Hokage. Father knows he can't possibly challenge Hokage-sama in combat so he is trying to get other clans to engage in a civil war against the Hokage." Itachi could only question how his clan could fall so far to the point of trying to destroy the Leaf, his home. He personally decided he would always be Itachi Uchiha of the Hidden Leaf before anything else.
"I am the Hokage's information pipeline to the working of the coup but still Hokage-sama and Lord Third are trying to negotiate with our leaders. Unfortunately the Uchiha elders are so blinding by their blessed eyes to see they would fail. We are still coming up with a plan in case the talks fail." Itachi informed his sensei knowing he wouldn't spill the S class secret of the Uchiha Rebellion. Even if he wanted to he could never lie to the man it just seemed that his eyes could even see through his Genjutsu. Mihawk took all of this information and nodded his head in acceptance.
"If the Uchiha will not compromise then I can see only one true solution to the problem. That would be extermination of the Clan. If I know this council like I think I do they will probably try to have a scapegoat probably another Uchiha. I know you have the skills to do so. This is only a prediction of course but if it does happen I want you to come to this place after the proceedings." Mihawk pulled out a slip of paper from his jacket and slowly handed it towards the teen still maintaining a blank facial expression.
Itachi took the piece of paper wondering what it could read. Moving his eyes downward and scanned over the paper and what it read, earning a raised brow. "This is in the Land of Iron is it not?" Itachi asked not entirely sure about the location and its reach having only read up on the land a few times. It was a completely neutral country that didn't allow any shinobi in its borders without extreme priority. It was also filled with warriors called Samurai who didn't use chakra in the same way that shinobi do. They used it to insulate their swords and it is said that is where shinobi learned it from wandering Ronin.
"Yes it is. I plan to take Naruto there to train without the annoyance of hunting parties when they eventually notice his absence. The Samurai will not allow any shinobi on the land. I know their leader Mifune and I am certain that he will allow me to train Naruto there. That is why I want you to assist in the boy's training." Mihawk explained his plan for Naruto and Itachi had to admit that Mihawk was indeed very sharp. Despite how they treat Naruto once his disappearance would be noticed they would no doubt try and recover him. They couldn't even brand him a missing-nin because he was basically a civilian. Itachi looked up and nodded silently stating he would be there.
Meanwhile while the two soon to be senseis were speaking to each other Naruto was sitting there staring at the empty paper in front of him. He had been in this position for a few minutes now just holding the pen. His thoughts were moving at a mile per second as he tried to write but just couldn't. 'Why is this so difficult!? Just tell them that you are moving on! It's not like they will find out for a few months. Just do it Naruto!' Naruto screamed at himself in his mind. That was until he recalled what happened today on his birthday of all days.
Naruto was sitting his room thinking about the day ahead and if he would be included in the festivities. He had learned that if he stayed in his room he would usually avoid the trouble that was always dumped on him when he left his sanctuary. Naruto smiled looking forward to seeing Hiruzen, Mikoto, and Itachi since they were the only ones who would bring him gifts and his own small cake. Naruto knew he might have given up and ran as far away as possible if it was not for those three people, the only ones he could consider precious to him.
Outside of his room stood one of his sisters Narumi who was standing there wanting to knock on her brother's door but just not able to do it. She had taken to noticing that whenever the family went out they would never take Naruto. When they were training in Taijutsu she could never find her elder brother. Even at dinner it would only be her, Naomi and their parents at the table talking and being happy. She couldn't even remember the last time they had spoken to each other. That made her heart hurt thinking that she could have pushed her brother away without even knowing it. 'I hope it isn't too late.' Narumi hoped with all her heart she was about to finally knock when she heard something.
Narumi turned around to see her sister running up to her with a large grin on her face as she was literally bouncing on the heels of her feet. Narumi smiled at Naomi's excitement she was always the most energetic between the three of them. Or was she, Narumi didn't know Naruto's personality and that only made her heart hurt more. "Hello Naomi-chan, what's up?" Narumi asked politely with a warm smile on her lips even though she already knew what she was going to say. It was obvious she was excited about their birthday and all of the new stuff she would get from everyone.
That also made Narumi wonder if Naruto ever received any gifts on their shared birthdays because she never remembered him being with her and Naomi. Her thoughts were broken when she heard the sound of something shattering. Narumi saw the pale face of her sister as they looked down at one of their Mother's favorite vases in pieces on the floor. That was when Naruto's door opened and out stepped the black haired boy and looked at the two of his sisters but before he could question the two on what happened they heard stomping on the stairs in front of Naruto's room.
Kushina had heard the sound of something break and quickly went up to where she heard the noise. Reaching the top step she immediately looked on the floor where she saw one her favorite vases sitting there completely broken. Her eyes then trained themselves on the first person in her view Naruto. "What did you do!?" Kushina screamed at her son her eyes alive with anger as she glared heatedly at Naruto.
Naruto simply stared at the woman who was supposed to be his mother with shock at what she just said. She was blaming him who was clearly just in his doorway when Naomi was right next to the table where the vase once sat. "What?" Was the only thing Naruto could think to say still completely surprised by the entire situation in front of him.
Naomi and Narumi each stood there silently surprised for their own reasons that were quite similar. Naomi was shocked because she thought for sure she would have been caught and held guilty for the accident but instead Naruto was getting in trouble. Narumi was shocked because how their mother could so readily blame Naruto without even asking what happened. Both girls had one thing in common neither of them had said anything in their brother's defense leaving him to take the blame.
"I don't want to hear your excuses Naruto! You know what just go to your room! I don't want to see your face!" Kushina screamed harshly at Naruto and without even giving him a chance to defend himself she turned to her daughters with a motherly smile. "Come on girls let's go get you two ready for your party." Kushina stated before taking off down the steps with excitement evident because of the thought of shopping. This also left the three siblings standing there in an awkward silence. Naomi gave Naruto a small smile while Narumi gave him an apologetic look for not standing up for him. Naruto got them both in his field of vision and gave them both a blood chilling glare that made the both of them flinch.
Naruto walked back into the darkness of his bedroom and slammed the door that rattled the pictures hanging from the wall. Narumi stood there staring at the closed door and was about to go and talk to her brother but then her hand was caught in a firm grasp. It was Naomi who started pulling her down the steps with a huge grin. "Come on Onee-chan it is time to get ready for the party!" Naomi exclaimed in joy as she dragged her sister along with her. Narumi's view of Naruto's door was fading and she frowned as she got a terrible premonition about her brother.
Naruto was laying face down in his bed screaming angrily into his pillow after his confrontation with his mother. It always was like this when it came down to his sisters and himself, he being punished and them rewarded. He questioned if this was what family was it couldn't be what a real family was. It took Naruto about thirty minutes before he stopped trembling with anger and frustration. Naruto wouldn't allow himself to shed a tear because of his so called family's treatment. Looking at the window Naruto walked over to it and opened it after sparing one last glance at his room Naruto left through the window and took off into the village.
With that memory fresh in his mind any inhibitions he had about writing the letter were quickly squashed as the tip of the pen scribbled furiously along the paper. As the words continued to grow Naruto felt a sense of relief sweeping over his body. He stabbed the pen down one final time before sealing it in an envelope Naruto let a satisfied smirk cross his impassive face now that it was done. He glared at the envelope and in that heated glare his azure eyes flashed red for a moment and in that moment Naruto's red eyes gained one black tomoe in each eye. Standing up Naruto walked back towards the living space where Itachi and Mihawk were engaged in a much calmer conversation walking straight up to Mihawk Naruto dropped the envelope in his hand.
Mihawk nodded and Naruto moved to sit back down near Itachi who started to talk with the young boy. Walking out Mihawk made his way towards where he knew the Namikaze family compound to be.
Mihawk walked down the path inside of the courtyard to the main home of the family of Namikazes. Many flowers were shining brightly in the moon light showing just how well they were taken care of, unlike the son. As he got closer he could hear the sounds of people laughing and celebrating the Two Princess Guardians of Konoha. Or that was what they were shouting at the top of their lungs. Stepping into the open front door he was greeted by numerous shinobi and civilians all scattered around the decorated foyer. Mihawk was sure that most of these people were here for the sole reason that their efforts would be noticed by the Hokage. Politics always had disgusted the man of honor. Looking around he ignored the gaggle of children that ran past him in favor for glancing at the people dressed in ceremonial kimonos drinking sake and joking with each other.
He was not able to locate Mikoto nor was he able to spot Hiruzen which made him frown slightly. Hearing his friend's laughter from the crowd Mihawk turned to his left where he saw a smaller more intimate group of people. Minato and Kushina were sitting behind Naomi and Narumi who each were wearing smiles, though the discerning eye of the swordsman could tell that Narumi's was a little more forced then genuine. It seemed that they were the light of this party that people were trying to revolve to but were currently being forced away, probably because they were currently opening gifts.
Naomi was almost a replica of her mother in terms of both appearance and behavior to the point where it was eerie. Naomi's hair was vibrant shade of red and was straight as a line; the red hair fell just past her shoulders. Her violet eyes were currently shimmering with happiness just like any seven year olds would be in her position. She was dressed in an elegant red kimono that made her look like the child from a family of nobles. There were smaller golden accents to emphasize the brilliant shade of red that she had on for the party.
Narumi was also looking every ounce as elegant as her sister did in what she was wearing for the party. The kimono that Narumi was sporting was a very light shade of blue that looked very much like the sky on a clear day. Narumi had similar accents to those of her sister the only difference being they were silver. Narumi had long, straight hair just like her mother and sister only hers was blonde and slightly longer than Naomi's. Her eyes were blue not the same blue as Naruto's, no they were like the sky as well. Her eyes were hiding something that made Mihawk wonder but brushed it off.
The first person that he had seen give them gifts was Kakashi, Minato's last living student, he was wearing the traditional shinobi garb even at the party. He walked up with an eye smile as he handed each girl two medium sized boxes that were wrapped. Eventually the two girls got them opened to reveal a couple sets of kunai and shiruken. He told them that they would eventually learn shiruken jutsu and how they would obviously need shiruken to do so. Both girls gave him a thank you and moved their gifts to the side to make more room for the others they were to get.
Two people stepped up to happy family next and they were none other than the two loyal Sannin Jiraiya and Tsunade. Each of them were carrying a scroll in their arms that they handed to each of the children. Mihawk watched as the two children signed both the Slug and Toad contracts. He listened as Jiraiya explained that the elders of each clan discussed it and agreed to let the children sign both contracts. Naomi had no qualms with signing both contracts without question while Narumi was slightly more reserved about the whole thing. Mihawk turned away and went to walk up the steps to what was Naruto's door. Opening the door Mihawk's face remained stoic however on the inside he was surprised at what he saw. Naruto's room was quite literally the definition of Spartan.
The room was not decorated anywhere not even painted it was simply the wooden panels that made up the walls of the room. Taking a step into the room the floorboards creaked under his weight the sound of which echoed showing just how scarcely furnished the room was. There was a bed, a small one but it was there. It was a simple mattress that had a pillow across the top of it but there were no sheets or blankets to accompany it. Moving over to a small desk near the window Mihawk placed the letter down next to a dwindling candle which he assumed Naruto used for a light source. With one fleeting glance Mihawk left the room and closed the door and was greeted by two people.
The first was the last Hokage of the Hidden Leaf and the God of Shinobi; Hiruzen Sarutobi dressed in formal clothing as was reasonable. The second person was Mikoto Uchiha the matriarch of the Uchiha family and one of the few people in the village who treated Naruto like a human being it seemed. This was very convenient for the hawk eyed man since he wouldn't need to search for them in the mobs of people. Hiruzen gave Mihawk a warm smile that was almost grandfatherly in nature. "Oh if it isn't Mihawk-kun, I haven't seen you in ages my boy how are you?"
Mihawk gave the old Sarutobi a slight inching of the head acknowledging that it had indeed been a while since he had seen the man. The last time the two had met Mihawk was asked to assist in a rather high priority mission during the war. A few people had been suspicious since he was a wandering shinobi but when Minato gave him a vote of confidence that suspicion was eliminated for the most part. "It has Hiruzen-sama. I have been quite well thank you for asking." Mihawk replied in a respectful tone and before Hiruzen could respond Mikoto stepped forth with a glare trained on Mihawk.
"May I ask what it was you were doing inside of Naruto-kun's room Mihawk?" Mikoto asked her voice dripping with venom for as far as she knew he would treat Naruto the same as the villager's did. It was bad enough that his family would either ignore or scold him he didn't need someone seeking him out in his own room. Mihawk knew he needed to calm Mikoto down before her killer intent alerted everyone at the party to their location, if that was to happen then his and Naruto's exit from the village that much more difficult. It is much easier to leave with someone no one is looking for.
"Please calm yourself Mikoto-san Naruto is perfectly okay at this moment." Mihawk replied in hopes of calming the increasingly agitated woman. Mihawk with held the sigh of relief when he saw Mikoto was calming herself down but was still tensed and waiting for an explanation. "Naruto is with Itachi right now at your home Mikoto-san. If you two would follow me back I will gladly explain why."
Hiruzen and Mikoto glanced at each other for a moment before they turned and gave Mihawk two curt nods of their heads. Mihawk nodded as well and the three shinobi walked down the stairs and made their way out into the night. Just before Mihawk made it out of the doorway he felt a small tug on the hem of his coat. Slowly turning around the swordsman saw that it was Narumi who had tugged on his coat. Narumi shrunk under the intense gaze of the man's hawk like eyes but gulped down the lump in her throat. Taking a deep breath she looked up at the much taller man.
"C-Can you give this to Naruto please?" Narumi's voice was shaky and so were her hands as she opened them to show a small black box resting in her palms. She couldn't even bring herself to call Naruto her brother because never once had she or anyone else treated him like their family. She didn't even know if he would accept her gift after all he had no reason to care about this family. Mihawk stared at the girl before he looked at the box it was clear that she wanted to make amends with Naruto but he wouldn't pressure Naruto into accepting or denying this olive branch. It would be Naruto's choice to make and his alone.
Mihawk nodded and took the box and put it in his coat before walking out of the lively house leaving Narumi standing there looking out into the darkness.
Mikoto sat on Naruto's left with Itachi flanking Naruto on his right while Mihawk finished recalling how he met Naruto earlier as well as explaining his plan to Naruto, Mikoto and Hiruzen. Mikoto and Hiruzen kept their killer intent in check so that they didn't frighten Naruto with it but were furious with what they heard. Mikoto suddenly felt like using her extensive skills to trap a number of foolish civilians in a Genjutsu. Hiruzen was equally as furious but that was also directed at his successor and his two students. Naruto was just glad that someone would finally begin to train him to defend himself.
"That sounds like quite the plan Mihawk but what will you do on the off chance they find you before you make it to Tetsu no Kuni?" Mikoto asked worried about the boy that was her son in all but blood. Mihawk spared a glance for Naruto who did not seem to be worried in the slightest before looking back at the worried Uchiha and equally worried Itachi and Hiruzen. He was glad that Naruto had some sort of love inside this rapidly rotting village that was once the golden standard for shinobi. Mihawk leaned forward and focused back in on Mikoto who asked the question originally.
"Both Naruto and I believe that no one will find the note for at least a month or two since we left it inside of his room which no one beside he enters. This will give us more than enough time to enter the Land of Iron" Everyone nodded since that was more than likely true. "However on the off chance the note is discovered before then we will only have to avoid Leaf tracking teams which won't be too difficult since I know how they operate. Minato won't risk letting the information that his own son is missing because not only will it hurt his reputation outside of Konoha but Iwa and Kumo will surely try and hunt Naruto down as well and that is something he can't risk. We will be leaving soon so I believe you two have gifts for Naruto here?"
Hiruzen came forward first and pulled out a scroll from his loose hanging robes and handed it to the young boy. Seeing the confusion on Naruto's face he decided he would clarify what its contents were. "That Naruto-kun is a scroll that has not only the Kage Bunshin jutsu as well as a number of jutsu for each element. Mihawk-kun will teach you your element and the benefits of the Kage Bunshin. I know you'll do me proud." Hiruzen smiled when he saw the happiness flood across Naruto's features. Naruto reached forward and hugged the elder shinobi with all he could muttering thank you into his robes over and over.
After the warm moment between the boy and his surrogate grandfather Mikoto pulled out a scroll of her own and handed it to Naruto with a motherly smile on her face. "Naru-kun this scroll has a number of charka control techniques and my personal notes for the Substitution jutsu. While it is not as flashy as the other Ninjutsu out there basics can be just as effective." Mikoto lectured Naruto softly as she knew what she was talking about since she was often called the Goddess of Substitution. She smiled when Naruto nodded his head enthusiastically then she pulled out another scroll which confused Naruto.
"This scroll is from Shisui-kun, it has all of his notes on the Shunshin jutsu. He told me to tell you he is sorry that he had to miss your birthday and expects his otouto to be just as good as he is with the Shunshin." Naruto smiled a megawatt smile and mentally thanked Shisui before locking Mikoto in a warm embrace one she was all too happy to return. They held the embrace like that for a few moments Naruto enjoying the warmth Mikoto had around her person while Mikoto played with his black hair with a motherly affection.
The small group of people also celebrated Naruto's birthday with a small cake which made Naruto tear up just a bit. Everyone had a good time as they talked and laughed even the stoic Itachi and Mihawk cracked a few smiles during the proceedings. All in all it was the happiest Naruto had been in years and he knew that he wanted to preserve this. As long as he had his precious people then all the hate and ignorance around him no longer mattered. It was close to midnight as Mihawk and Naruto walked towards the village gate wearing white cloaks with a black stripe down the arms disguising them. Mihawk suddenly pulled out a small black box and handed it to Naruto. Naruto was confused since he knew it wasn't from the man himself so he did all he could and opened it.
Inside of the box was a small chain with a little ornament hanging from the metallic chain that glimmered in the moon light. The ornament was made of two kunais that crossed over each other at their tips. The one kunai on the left was a pure white while the kunai on the right was a jet black. Under the kunai was a red Uzumaki swirl that was connected to the loops on the kunai handles. The initials U.N. were engraved into the Uzumaki swirl in black and white to match the kunais above. Naruto lifted the chain up and watched the ornament swirl in the air as he unfolded the note underneath it and read it silently.
I know we haven't talked much or ever but I really want you to have this. We haven't treated you like family and I want to make that right. I know you have no reason to accept this but please keep it, it would mean a lot.
Naruto looked at the note then to the ornament twirling in the air from the chain as he held it between his fingers. It was that moment that the two passed a garbage bin just outside the gate. Naruto paused as he looked between the gift and the garbage bin. Mihawk paused as well knowing this was something Naruto needed to do. Naruto's eyes morphed into the Sharingan unknown to both he and Mihawk as he looked at the gift and the garbage one last time…
He had made his choice.
AN: Hello everyone Matt here and contrary to popular belief I have not died but rather am very much alive. I just didn't have the desire to write for the past few weeks. I know what you are thinking 'another new story?' And the answer is yes! This will be my last new story in a while since I was asked to do a story where Naruto is in his own generation. Naruto shall be cold to those who he (and I) think deserve it. I know you think I am bashing Kushina and Minato but for the story to work I need to do it for this chapter at least. There will be no more intentional bashing from this point out except for the council and Sasuke.
Any who leave a review maybe a follow and a favorite and if you haven't read my other stories you totally should. Ja Ne- Matt