After the 5th shinobi war...

"Happy birthday, Naruto."

Minato would have given his son a hug, but both his arms were destroyed from the battle with Obito and Madara…"You've really become amazing."

"… Heh Thanks." Naruto said with a blush.

"We exist on a different plane," Minato reluctantly pointed out, glancing at the other Kage, "We can't remain here forever…Farewell."

At Naruto's set gaze, Minato looked down, feeling parts of his skin peel off and fade as the Edo Tensei undid itself. Minato grimaced, resisting the urge to cry. "I'll make sure to tell Kushina everything…"

Naruto forced a grin. "Tell her I'm eating well and that everything's okay! I'm not picky either; if it's on the plate, I eat it! Tonkotsu, Miso and Shoyu… Oh! It's not like I only eat ramen though!

"I'm also taking a bath… basically every day! I even go to the hot springs sometimes! Even though everyone tells me I barely even spend enough time in there to get my feet wet!

"And uh, er… I've made a bunch of friends! They're all awesome!"

Sasuke gave Naruto an unsure look.

"And even though my grades totally suck, I don't get depressed over it or anything… I guess that's because I'm always just oozing so much confidence!

"But, of course, I've been listening to what the 3rd and Kakashi-sensei tell me! 'Coz I respect them! He's here so I guess you can ask him yourself!"

Sarutobi smiled with pride as his body started fading along with Minato's.

"Also, about the three ninja taboos! I learned a lot when I was with the Pervy Sage! He sucked at avoiding those three things but I still think he's super cool and I respect him more than any other ninja! You know, I…

"Today I just turned 17 so I don't really know anything about women or booze! But Mom told me to find a woman just like her, and… uh, er, well…

"Anyway! I haven't done everything she told me to do, but….! But I've really been trying hard to do it all!

"I have dreams and stuff too! I'm gonna become a Hokage just like you, Dad! I promise you I will!"

Only a portion of Minato's body was visible.

"Make sure to tell Mom, when you get there… Tell her that she doesn't need to worry about me!

"I'm doing my best!" Naruto finished, tears streaming down his face.

Minato's existence vanished completely.

The war was over, and the Sage of Six Paths, Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki, was supposed to be taking him to Heaven.

But this Sage sure is old and the passage to Heaven doesn't sound like something easy to get through, and what was that about Hagoromo claiming that Naruto is the reincarnation of his own son, Ashura? ...

Oi, Hag! Naruto's my son!

The last thing he heard was the Sage choking on his own spit as all his non-existent senses went messy.

Shit. Did I screw something up?


Minato woke up to utter darkness. No, this isn't right.

He squinted his eyes, blinking groggily awake. He was in a hallway-sized room, with twenty or so beds lining the walls. Minato was sitting on one of them.

Within the beds, were children, 5 year olds, 7 year olds, 10 year olds. Looking at his tiny hands, Minato figured he was one of them:

An orphan in an orphanage.

Oh HELL no.

With that, Minato went back to sleep.


When Minato woke up again, it was by the yelling of a high-pitched woman.

"WAKE UP MINATO! YOU'RE THE LAST ONE TO GET BREAKFAST!" A caretaker in an apron screamed.

"Aah!" Jumping off the bed, Minato landed on the ground and ran out the room. It was all ingrained memory and reaction, he didn't have the time to be surprised. "'Kay!"

As he sat at the long dining table with a bunch of kids, Minato grabbed his spoon and ate his bowl of dough. Then he picked up his bowl and gave it to the nurse by tiptoeing.

"Umm, how old am I?" He asked, trying to get ahold of the situation.

The nurse gave him an exasperated look. "Five, I presume. Now run along and smile to the adults outside."

Minato nodded, pivoted, and ran out the door to the other kids. It was time for recess.


Minato sat on his swing by himself, watching the other kids play.

Yeah. He had no idea what he was doing with his life right now.

He could still remember the events of yesterday—his daily life at this orphanage. He felt like a real five year old, nothing was out of place…except…

His dream from last night. It was a dream, he was sure of it—he dreamed that he grew up to be the Hokage, had three students, one of them "died" and turned out to be the criminal that killed him and his wife…Then he was revived to fight a war and…it was his son's birthday…The Sage was supposed to send him to Heaven—everything was over!

So why am I still here?!

Minato frowned, gripping the chain of the swing with too much force that the metal crumbled and the swing broke.

"Oops." Minato hopped off before he hit the floor, and wiped his only slightly bleeding hand on his simple blue shirt. Just in case, he glanced around hoping no one noticed.

Then he saw— a woman who stood out against the crowd. Purple eyeliner, translucent skin, golden eyes, long hair, a slender jawline. She looked strong, with her jounin vest concealing petite breasts- Almost like, Kushina. At that moment, the crowd and swing and trees were gone and she was the only one there, towering over him, their roles reversed.

Minato didn't like it— in his dream, he would be at that age. Not as a little kid!

With the thoughts about his dream, he suddenly remembered this person—it's not woman, it's a guy!


This was the man who pulled me out of the Death God's stomach and revived me!

What's he doing here?! Does he know who I am?! Minato almost had a panic attack.

Orochimaru was currently leaning against the bark of a tree, watching the orphanage with a bored expression on his face.

The Snake Sannin's golden gaze swept across everyone, as a passerby normally would, before landing on Minato.

Freezing, Minato recognized this distant feeling. This was Jiraiya's teammate, and he'd never met this guy in all his five years of this lifetime—from what he could remember of it. Yet, he'd experienced the feeling of Orochimaru's ominous stare before.

Which means, his dream of the future was totally real, and it was totally bad.

Minato ran the hell outta there.


For a while, that was the last he saw of Orochimaru.

A few weeks flew by, and Minato grew depressed. He felt like an old man—like he'd lived an entire lifetime already, and this was just a tedious repeat of his past.

But this body physically hasn't had the experience, so at the same time, he felt young and hyperactive.

So not a good combination.

Minato sat at the nursery library, flipping through a kanji book in an attempt to 'learn' how to read and write, even though he already knew how. What he was actually doing was trying to visualize the application of these twisted characters into sealing formulas.

Yes. That teleportation jutsu, the Hiraishin. He needed to reinvent it—there was a war coming.

So, he began, and grabbed some scrap paper and red crayons from the crayon table. Now he just needed some…orange.

There was only one orange crayon and someone had it.

Minato spotted another boy doodling with his orange.

"Can I borrow that?" He asked, slightly embarrassed to be reduced to such a state, but he'd always been humble. "Please?"

The boy gave him an exasperated look, and threw the crayon at Minato's face. It hit his nose.

"Ow!" the future Yondaime exclaimed, hands instantly clasping around his face. But at least he got what he wanted. Then he took a seat and began scribbling his seals.

The nameless orphan watched him. "That's an ugly drawing."

"Yeah, thanks, I guess." Minato answered, aloof and concentrated. It's not a drawing.