Naruto hadn't had what you would call an easy life. He was an orphan child who had no memory of his family. All he could remember was getting dropped off at the orphanage and that was it. It was from this point on that Naruto had to make a living for himself. He knew that the orphanage wasn't going to be able to take care of him when he hit the age of Thirteen. He was going to have to make it on his own and that was what exactly he intended on doing.
He might not have been a star studded genius like Neji Hyuga who took out the title of rookie of the year with what seemed like little to no effort whatsoever. What Naruto had instead was this insurmountable work ethic. He didn't believe that there was anyone close to having the same work ethic that he had at least out of his peers. He wanted to become rich and famous. When you came from a broken family where you had no parents, no money and most importantly, no nothing, you wanted to make something of yourself rather than just sit and wallow in pity.
Naruto learned from a very early age that there was nothing in life that was free. Everything that you got in life was because you worked for it. Nothing was given to you for free and everything had a price.
Now to become mega rich which was Naruto's main goal in life, he had to have training. Because he was an orphan, Naruto wasn't able to afford the education that a civilian school could offer. He instead had to rely on the shinobi education which just so happened to be free of charge for anyone who was willing to sign their life away. The fact that it was free of charge was the deciding factor in whether or not Naruto would become a shinobi or civilian.
When it became apparent to Naruto that he was going to become a shinobi, he knew that he was going to have to be very good. Very few shinobi made the sort of money that he wanted to make. You only made that type of money as a shinobi if you were constantly taking the highest ranked missions on a consistent basis.
To get to that level, you had to be damned strong and that was what Naruto wanted. It also helped that his second goal of becoming famous and making something of himself could be achieved by the same way.
It made the six year old kid who was starting at the academy take his studies seriously. He wanted to give himself the best possible chance at becoming the best he could be.
He didn't have any family that could help him out unfortunately so Naruto had to resort to studying as much as he could from the small library in the academy. He wasn't even allowed to go and study in the main shinobi library because he wasn't a genin.
This meant there was only so much that naruto could actually learn about being a shinobi. Naruto could only learn what was on offer at the academy but had made the most out of his situation.
Since he was an orphan, there was only so much food on offer at the orphanage so he was rather limited in the amount of muscle he was able to put on. It didn't matter how much you worked out, if you didn't fuel your body properly then you were going to never grow. That was really the only area where Naruto couldn't make legitimate gains in his abilities as a shinobi. Every other facet of his abilities were fully in his control.
Naruto's chakra control was through the roof as he had had the bright idea one day to attempt to do the leaf balancing exercise with something slightly heavier. It was right then and there that naruto noticed that it was a fair bit harder. At this point Naruto sued a whole host of various things to increase both his chakra capacity and his chakra control.
Whilst he couldn't increase his muscle mass thereby increasing his speed and power in his strikes, Naruto's taijutsu technique was absolutely flawless. When you didn't have much money to spend at all, you kind of had to make do with what you had.
Naruto knew all three of the academy jutsus, had studied for all the written tests and had shown above competency when it came to the throwing portion of the test. All of this pointed to naruto easily passing the test to become a genin.
So why was it that Naruto was so bitter about the shinobi system?
All that could be answered in one name. Kakashi Hatake. Sure Naruto might have been the second best in his class losing to the title of rookie of the year only to Neji Hyuga but that meant nothing to the elite Jonin. Just because Naruto was good didn't mean Team Five deserved to pass the test by virtue of merit. Naruto himself did all the right things apart from managing to get one of the bells. He was willing to work with his team mates even if they weren't at the same level as him.
It was too bad for him that his other two team mates weren't. It was these actions that unfortunately for the genin hopeful to fail his test through no fault of his own. This action forced naruto into having to join the reserves list and wait for any potential place to become available.
Because he had graduated the academy though, Naruto was kicked out of the orphanage as he was deemed capable enough of providing for himself. It was a major kick in the teeth for the genin. If Naruto didn't realise what it was like to be forced to fend for yourself, well he definitely learnt quickly with no place to call home and most importantly, no roof over his head at night.
The survival skills taught at the academy became vitally important to naruto as he had to set up a home as best as he could in such a short space of time. Naruto immediately went to the mission hall to get a d-rank mission. With their being a lot less people, it mean there was tons more work for Naruto. He didn't mind this though as it meant he got all of the profits.
Naruto only got enough time to do three missions a day but when each D-ranked mission paid $100 because he was the only person doing it, it quickly added up. Naruto only had to wait two weeks before he had saved up enough to get the shittiest of shitty apartments. He didn't care one bit though as it meant that he got to have a warm shower. Having a river bath in the start of spring was definitely an intense way to wake up each morning.
It was hard adjusting to life living by yourself but at least for Naruto he now had a roof over his head. Those two weeks at the end of winter having showers with only fresh water coming from a mountain were brutally cold.
For at least a month, Naruto didn't have any time to train his skills as a shinobi. All he was doing was completing D-ranked missions. With the fact that he was a genin without a team, he knew that he was not going to be going on any c-ranked missions any time soon. So without the pressing need to train right away, Naruto focused his attention on building up a safety net of money that he could use in desperate times.
Once he had built up to the point where he had two months' rent saved up in his bank account, Naruto finally relaxed instead of doing three missions a day and moved to a two a day schedule. This time frame allowed Naruto to go to the proper shinobi library and this was really where he managed to shine in terms of growing in skill. Naruto finally had a much larger array of material that he could learn from.
He wasn't just limited to the bare bone basics. Naruto immediately went to the place where he was interested the most. There was really no surprise whatsoever when he arrived at the elemental ninjutsu section considering the fact that he was a boy verging on his teenage years.
After reading as much as he could on the subject, Naruto went to a shinobi supplies shop and made a small investment that would be the best investment he ever made. Naruto bought a piece of chakra paper and watched how it lit up in flames right in front of his very eyes.
The knowledge that he had an affinity for the fire element made Naruto giddy. Despite the fact that he was very much focused on his studies as a shinobi, he was still a kid and being able to breathe fire was damn cool. Sure he knew that he could make wind work but it just wasn't as cool as fire. What Naruto didn't realise at the time was the fact that he had a very strong fire element.
The boy spent time attempting to learn the most basic of basic fire ninjutsus from scrolls that he had found in the library. Being able to make a fire would have been very helpful when he was doing glorified camping.
It took a month of training but thankfully Naruto managed to get it to the point where he had learnt a C-rank fire ninjutsu. It was by no means as powerful as it could be but at least it was an offensive jutsu in his arsenal. There was only so much you could strategize with only having access to the basic three academy jutsu.
Naruto wasn't satisfied with only having learnt one fire ninjutsu. There was a thirst for knowledge and power in the boy and Naruto wanted to be as strong as possible. What started as being able to create three fireballs and being at his limits through hard work changed to allow Naruto to throw out seven of the jutsu.
Throughout the training, Naruto had managed to yet again fine tune his chakra control so he didn't waste chakra when using the Katon: Endan (Fire Release:Flame Bullet.)
With the increase in money that Naruto had, it meant that he could finally eat more than what was on offer the boy who used to live at the orphanage. It was crucial for a growing boy let alone a shinobi at that to eat at a surplus so that he could build up the body required to be a ninja.
"Naruto, you are required in the Hokage's office." The ANBU officer stated to which naruto nodded. He had absolutely no idea what the Hokage wanted that had to do with him but he wasn't going to question it.
When he made his way to the Hokage's office. Naruto slowly stepped into the room and even he, someone who was only a genin could tell that there was something wrong. Still the genin who had just hit the one year mark wanted to know what someone like the Hokage wanted with him. He was a peasant in comparison to the village leader so it only begged the question.
"Now Naruto, unfortunately, I would like to deliver this news on better terms but that is not the case." Hiruzen Sarutobi stated as he watched the boy in front of him enter the room.
The boy had no idea as to how the Sandaime Hokage knew his name but he didn't question it. In the back of his mind, Naruto assumed the man had looked at his file.
Hiruzen saw the boy didn't make a motion to speak so he continued on. "There has sadly been a fatality on a mission involving a promising genin. That is not something that you have to concern yourself with but the part that you will be interested in Naruto-kun is the fact that there is a spot available to be on a team." The Hokage stated to which Naruto's eyes widened.
He honestly didn't think that he would get a chance like this. He felt bad for whoever it was that passed away but he was not going to bite the hand that feeds. This was the best chance for him to be able to progress his career as a shinobi.
Ever since his third C-rank mission three months ago, Naruto had felt as if he was starting to stagnate in progression. It was very rare for Naruto to go on missions that were above D-rank. Generally they only trusted those to teams of genin that had months and months of teamwork practice under their respective belts.
"Thank you Hokage-sama! I promise that you won't regret placing me on that team." Naruto said with giddiness and anticipation. He couldn't wait to see what it was like to be on a team.
Hiruzen chuckled. "I haven't actually offered you the chance to be on Team Ten." the war veteran chuckled even harder to himself when he saw the look of fear on the face of the genin in front of him. He normally didn't get the chance to toy with genin and it was one of his favourite things to do.
"Oh, I am sorry Hokage-sama!" Naruto said as he attempted to back pedal and retract his previous statement.
"Haha, don't worry boy. Please don't blame this old man for getting a chuckle. I am going to offer the position in Team Ten. Your sensei will be the man sitting behind you." It was at this point that naruto quickly turned around. It was much to his embarrassment that he didn't even realise that there was someone behind him. He really needed to work on that...
It was at this point that the man walked over to Naruto and placed his hand on his shoulder. "Kid, we're going to have a chat." The jonin said before he and Naruto disappeared by via the shunshin jutsu.
As Hiruzen watched on, he knew it was petty but he couldn't help but not be annoyed at the sight of that boy. Sure, he knew that Konohamaru would have a much better chance at being an adjusted jinchuuriki than Naruto since he had a stronger support network but he didn't like the fact that his grandson was a jinchuuriki.
The two shinobi found themselves in a clearing of land that would one day become familiar to Naruto. "My name is Asuma Sarutobi. The first thing I want you to do is to come at me with the intent to kill. I want to see how good you really are." Asuma stated to the son of the fourth Hokage. He had of course read the file of the boy and knew that he was good but he wanted to see it for himself.
This was not the first time that Naruto had heard something this before. The last time he had heard it was when he was in his final genin exam up against Kakashi. He definitely wasn't going to make that mistake again. He was going to show this jonin just how good he really was.
"Alright then, you asked for it!" Naruto said with a grin on his face. Immediately the boy rocketed off the ground as fast as he could. It was slightly faster than the average genin.. Asuma mused that it was about the same speed as the Kiba kid that Kurenai had.
For the purpose of the test, Asuma decided to block the first punch rather than dodge it. What has this kid been eating? For someone so skinny, he sure packs a punch. Asuma definitely made sure to dodge rather than block from this point on.
Naruto was shocked that he managed to get a glancing blow on his first hit but then realised that this was just the jonin playing with him. I should have realised. The difference between myself and Asuma is probably the same as Kakashi. Once Asuma stepped up a gear, Naruto realised just how much a gulf in class it was.
Naruto attempted to punch the Sarutobi in the face with a jab and when that was dodged, he followed it up with a sweeping kick at the ankles of his opponent. During his taijutsu training at the academy, Naruto distinctly remembered the rule of never going in the air unless you had to because it left you much more vulnerable when you landed.
This was his plan as Naruto realised that he couldn't beat his new sensei in a taijutsu fight. It wasn't even close. Ninjutsu was by far Naruto's better option as this was the area that he was best at.
As this was happening, Asuma could have dodged the attack in a multitude of other ways but he wanted to see if Naruto could spot the opening and take advantage of it. A small grin appeared on the face of the bearded jonin as he watched naruto go through some hand seals and breathe out an impressive ball of fire. The impressive part of this was that Naruto used a jutsu which was normally deemed a C-rank ninjutsu. The power and control that it was used with brought that one in particular up to a B-rank. Judging by the fact that naruto wasn't even breathing any faster than normal meant that his chakra reserves were significantly large for his age.
Because of the simple fact that he didn't want to die, Asuma used some wind manipulation and a hand seal to push his body out of the way of the fireball. "Katon: Hōsenka no Jutsu (Fire Release: Phoenix Sage Fire Technique)" Naruto called out and quickly followed up with another fire ninjutsu. Whilst this one did less damage, there was a greater chance for some damage to be inflicted.
Using speed that generally only jonin had, Asuma dodged the incoming attack. He decided that he had enough of being on the defensive and wanted to see what Naruto was made of. Asuma pulled a kunai out of its holster and threw it at the blonde haired boy. As the metal sailed the through the air, Asuma charged at naruto with another kunai.
Naruto quickly pulled out one of his own and did his best to prolong the fight. Shit! He dodged my attacks like they were nothing! Naruto thought to himself as he struggled to think of something that would catch this jonin off guard. In a split second, Naruto through the kunai in his hand at Asuma whilst he was at point blank range. He didn't even bother to look if the kunai did any damage as naruto was already pulling out another kunai in case his previous attack missed.
It did miss unfortunately. In a burst of speed, Asuma appeared behind Naruto and held a kunai to the back of his throat.
"You're good kid but this spar is over. Now let's talk." The man gruffly stated to which Naruto nodded. He tried his best to calm his racing heart. Once the two of them were sitting down Asuma spoke up. "So as the Hokage stated, one of my students passed away recently on a mission. None of your team mates are over it and to be honest, I'm not really either. I'm just making the best out of a bad situation.
Because of the situation I think it is only fair that I tell you what happened." Naruto could tell that this was obviously something that was hard for him to talk about since it was still so fresh in his mind. That so, Naruto knew that he would always be asking this question if he didn't get answers and definitely the other two genin would not want to talk about it that's for sure.
"I originally wanted to take my team on a C-rank mission just to show them the ropes of what it means to be a shinobi. Of course, there was no real danger because I myself can do C-rank missions in my sleep. What happened was that the client had lied about the status of the mission. Instead of it being bandits after him, it happened to be the second strongest seven swordsmen of the mist." Asuma noticed Naruto's eyes widening at the mentioning the name of that group. Good.
"I could have fought Zabuza to a standstill but my genin froze at their first sign of combat against two chunin who came after them. The only person who didn't was Shikamaru. It was his first mission and he did his best to co-ordinate his two team mates but they had a fucking accomplice who masqueraded as a hunter nin. I saw the hunter nin and originally thought that he was here to help kill Zabuza." Asuma shook his head for a moment before continuing on.
"I was wrong. The hunter nin quickly turned onto my genin and threw a senbon which killed Shikamaru on impact. I immediately called a halt to the fight and Zabuza and his accomplice left after I said we will take Tazuna back to Konoha's prison. I tried my best to revive the kid but couldn't do it."
"You don't have to say any more sensei, thank you for telling me at this much." Naruto said quietly as he looked to his sensei.
"I shouldn't have taken the mission. It's all my fault." Asuma said to himself as he looked down at his hands.
Naruto was shocked. From the story that he had just heard, his sensei was definitely not the one at fault. "None of this is your fault sensei! It's that dickhead of a client that did this. You said yourself that you could do C-rank missions yourself in your sleep and you would have completed that mission if it stayed as a C-rank mission cause your heaps strong!"
"Haha thanks Naruto. I needed that. Now, changing subjects, I am going to be annihilating you and your two team mates from tomorrow in training." For the first time since the death of Shikamaru, Asuma chuckled when he saw a look of fear and trepidation on the face of his newest student.
"Some quick advice though, with the amount of power you can pack in your taijutsu with such a small frame, you should drink a lot more milk and eat a lot more meat. With the amount of chakra that you have in your body, genjutsu isn't really going to be your strong point so you need to increase your taijutsu to even you out." Asuma wasn't going to tell the boy just yet that he had chakra reserves on the same level as a special jonin what with being the son of Minato and Kushina as well as all of the training that he had done.
Naruto immediately nodded and watched as his sensei flickered away with a shunshin jutsu. He honestly didn't think that today could get any better with how he just found himself a lifeline on his shinobi career. At around the six month mark in his career as a genin shinobi, Naruto felt himself stagnating and couldn't think of a way to break the mould.
With renewed motivation thanks to getting a sensei, Naruto headed home and fully intended to take up Asuma-sensei on his suggestion whilst studying that scroll on elemental manipulation he had borrowed from the library. A nice cool glass of chocolate milk sounded good to Naruto right about now.
Where Asuma was walking, it wasn't a place that he normally frequented. It was deep in the underground of Konoha. It had been a long time since he had seen his former sensei. All of the ROOT ANBU members that he could see didn't even bother to try and stop Asuma. They knew that he was more than welcome down these parts and they didn't want to annoy Danzo-sama.
A lot of people thought that ROOT was dead. They were fools. Everyone who was in the know knew that the Sandaime actually kept it going although the less he knew about it the better. Whilst he didn't like the means, the ends that Danzo achieved were more often than not certainly justified.
"It, it has been a while Danzo-sensei." Asuma stated as he took in the appearance of his jonin team leader back in the day. He wasn't going to say anything but the old man had definitely seen better days.
"It has indeed Asuma-kun. So what is it that I can do for you? You wouldn't be down here unless there was something that you needed." Asuma winced. To most people when Danzo spoke he was completely monotone. Not to his student he wasn't. Asuma could hear annoyance in the voice of his sensei. He knew that the man was justified after all, his father wasn't the only person who he left when he joined the twelve guardian ninja.
"Danzo-sensei, I'm looking for some guidance. I have never lost a student before..." Asuma quietly stated as he sat down in the chair opposite the war veteran.
A flash of understanding went across the face of the man before he spoke up. Despite the picture he let people paint of him, Danzo wasn't emotionless as certain people liked to believe. He did care for people but he had lost so many of them that he liked to keep himself guarded. Asuma's two team mates were a good example. "This is about Shikamaru isn't." Asuma didn't respond. "Some of this is your fault." This shocked Asuma. It wasn't particularly something that he wanted to hear but he supposed that it was something that he needed to hear. He was thankful that his sensei wasn't someone who pulled punches.
"None of that matters now though Asuma-kun. Two of your genin need you more than ever right now and the third one needs you to set a good example as he doesn't have any role models." Asuma nodded at the words that came from Danzo. Once again, the man was right. He pretty much knew it already but just wanted to hear it from another source.
"Now, tell me what you really came here for Asuma-kun. That isn't something that you would come hear after all these years to talk to me about." Danzo stated as he wanted to get down to the crux of conversation.
"I want to complete my training under you sensei. I want to learn vacuum manipulation. I don't want anything ever coming close to what happened recently." Asuma stated to which Danzo nodded. Ever since he had heard of the unfortunate death of the clan heir, there was an inkling in the back of his mind that Asuma might come and meet up again.
He was right. "I am always willing to do what is best for the village Asuma-kun, especially for someone such as yourself. Before we get into that training though, tell me more about Minato's child."
Asuma smirked when he heard this. There was always something that Danzo wanted in when someone asked him something. Thankfully this time he only wanted to know about Naruto. As far as the people that actually mattered in the hierarchy of Konoha, Naruto was far too much of a policitial figure even if the boy didn't know it yet to convert him into a ROOT operative.
"Well I can't fully say that yet but I think he definitely has enough potential to be damn good. He's as good as what I was at his age but he has done all of this without the help of a private tutor like I had. I'm impressed to see what he will be like when he actually has a proper sensei to teach him everything. His chakra reserves are already the size of a special jonin thanks to his mother and father."
"What type of shinobi do you envision him as when he is older?" Danzo questioned, mulling over how to get the most of the potential that Asuma talked about if it was indeed true. With all three of the Sannin having gone walkabout, the veteran shinobi was very much keen to get some world beaters in their force.
"The closest person I can think of similar in terms of Naruto's potential would be Jiraiya-sama. He seems like the army destroying type rather than the assassination type." Asuma stated to which Danzo nodded. This made Minato's son even less of a prospect for the ANBU. Whilst Jiraiya happened to be very good at stealth, he was much better at a front line fighter. He could take out armies thanks to his higher than average chakra pool.
Yes, he wouldn't get attempt to convert the boy but it wouldn't hurt to put in a few good words or two.
Unaware of the talk going on between his sensei and his sensei's sensei, Naruto took up the advice of Asuma and started drinking milk and lots of it. Now that he was undertaking missions on a consistent basis that were higher than D-rank he hoped, Naruto knew he could now be a little less frugal with his money.
It was no real surprise to anyone that bothered to know the boy that his first splurge with his hard earned money was on food. There just so happened to be a place called Ichiraku Ramen that he had found for the first time. It was absolutely full of flavour because the best flavours always came from fat. The staff at the store happened to also be very nice so that was a bonus.
After having the ramen, Naruto made his way into a supermarket and got his favourite thing in the world. It wasn't often that Naruto got to have it as the orphanage only received it once in a blue moon but Naruto was going to celebrate! The blonde haired boy bought two cartons each containing two litres of chocolate milk.
It was a delicacy to all of the kids at the orphanage as the place heavily relied on donations from the generous public. It wasn't often that the milk got delivered but when it did it was a mad rush between the kids so that they could get at least one glass. When he came out of the orphanage, he could have spent money on milk but Naruto thought that there were more important things that he could be doing like saving up and drinking water instead.
This was not an issue for Naruto as he was now the proud owner of two jugs of chocolate milk. There was nothing that could ruin his day! Surprisingly enough, Naruto had the patience to make it all the way back to his tiny apartment without opening the two bottles. When he did get home however, oh boy it was game on!
Naruto didn't even bother pouring the milk into a glass before drinking it. He instead started going straight from the bottle and chugged the entire 2l bottle in one go. "Ahhhhh!" Naruto sighed in content as he licked the mini moustache that had been left behind. Now that his fix had been satiated Naruto could now relax with the second one and drink it slower and potentially enjoy it more.
Before he could do that though, something weird started happening for the blonde. His body felt weird. It felt like his internal structure was moving and it was actually kind of painful!
The genin could feel most of the pain coming from his fingers and was surprised and a little bit nervous when he looked down at his fingers and noticed that they had become a few shades whiter than normal. The worst part was that that didn't seem like it was stopping any time soon. If anything, it only server to get worse and worse. That was until Naruto hissed out in pain.
White stuff at this point, Naruto couldn't focus enough to discern what it actually was, started coming out of his fingers. Once he opened his eyes, Naruto screamed! "AHHH!" the boy shouted as he looked down and saw bones coming out of his skin. He was freaking the fuck out. He had no idea what to do. He had never read anything like this happening in one of the textbooks at the academy!
There was a stray thought in the back of Naruto's mind that told him that he should be using his chakra. After all, chakra was the substance that allowed Naruto to breathe fire. Who knew what other applications it had? That stray thought turned out to be a lifeline for Naruto who managed to get the bones to back into his skin.
"Whilst it hurt, that was pretty fucking cool!" Naruto said to himself and he attributed the bones coming out of his hands due to the milk. The genin shinobi took a sip from the second carton and then tried to channel chakra into his fingertips again. This time was significantly less painful and also the bones came out of his skin a fair bit faster this time.
Curiosity killed the cat they always say and Naruto could definitely agree with the sentiment as he touched the bone that was sticking out of his hand with one of his fingers. "Ouch…" Naruto muttered to himself as he realised that the damn things were sharp. It took a few seconds but eventually, the light bulb went off inside the head of Naruto.
He could use these as weapons! The possibilities were endless.
As it turned out Naruto had a bloodline limit called the dead bone pulse or at least that was what he figured it was called. There wasn't much time in the day after he had found out about the issue to go to the library and research it up but from the limited time he did have, he learnt the bloodline was based around an ability which let the user manipulate their skeletal structure and use it as a weapon.
He thought it was pretty weird but he wasn't going to complain about it one bit. It was another tool that he could use at his disposal. He had no idea how he was going to use it let alone make the most out of the new ability that he had but he was going to try his best.
One thing that Naruto was aware of though was the fact that it could come across as gross and disgusting. He didn't have many friends ever since his tenure at the academy ended so Naruto wanted to give a good first impression. He didn't particularly want to burn the chance of making friends the first time he met them by showing how much of a freak he was.
He had woken up bright and early just as the sun was rising and got himself as prepared as he could for his first day on Team Ten. He had no idea what he needed but he had two storage scrolls on him which were full just in case.
Today was the beginning of a new lease on his shinobi career and Naruto was definitely going to make the most out it.
This is an idea that I have been toying around in my head for a while. I have wanted to make a dead bone pulse story and have tried a few times to get it rolling but never really had an outline for the plot. Also, the pairing hasn't been decided yet but I am leaning towards Ino.
As for the chapter, I was half tempted to write the scene of Naruto meeting Choji and Ino but decided against it because it would ruin the flow for the next chapter.