Hello once again after so long. I am here to confirm that I am indeed not dead. It has been a long and hard year for me but I am have resolved to continue writing once again. I changed a small piece at the end of the first chapter again, as it has been a year and it didn't quite fit with the way I wanted it to flow, but I only changed the last few paragraphs, nothing major. I don't have much else to say so I may as well just get straight into the story.

"Talking"

'Thinking'

"Inhuman Speech/Technique name"

'Inhuman Thinking'

=Chapter Start=

The world was black, covered in a darkness that young Naruto had never before experienced. Darker than the night, darker than sleep, everything was coated in a layer of blackness that seemed to consume everything that once was and everything that ever would be. For an eternity the boy looked into the abyss and was greeted with hungry eyes without substance and a gaping maw without form, a shroud that consumed the very concept of light covering all of existence. Just when the boy was about to give in to this darkness and lose himself, he saw something. Movement. Not of a corporeal kind but more akin to the waves of heat given off on a hot day. There was only dark and yet somehow it seemed to move in a way so natural and yet otherworldly, as if it should not exist but was always meant to be.

The boy watched these flickers for another eternity, entranced by their otherworldly presence, taking in every detail of their flowing shapes, shimmering blackness and flickering colors. 'Colors' The young boy thought, and as such they came into being. Such magnificent shades flowed forth from the shimmering void in magnificent bursts and streams, as if coming in existence over the course millennia in, yet in an instant. Such natural oranges and reds swirled in their ever-present glory while the existence of greens and blues gave the show of light and heat a strange and yet wonderful feeling of unknowing.

Naruto watched in awe as his black world was consumed by colors unimaginable and yet corporeal. The cold hunger of an empty life was suddenly filled with the warm embrace of beauty and desire. A new hunger much more pure was present, born of the desire for beauty and passion for existence. It was a raging swirl of chaos and yet also more peaceful than anything the tortured young boy had experienced in his short lifetime. As the beautiful world consumed him, Naruto for the first time in his life gave a small, true smile.

A great blackness opened in the swirl of warmth. A massive slit in his new paradise that seemed as though it was the pupil of the void that he had escaped. At first the boy was afraid, thinking that the abyss that once was would return again. But upon looking closer the boy realized that this was not the utter darkness that once was, this darkness had substance and presence. It was dark but not void, unseen but undeniably existing. He took in the blackness with a new appreciation and accepted it into his world, for it was a part of this beautiful existence that was all his own.

As he accepted the dark and yet beautiful presence Naruto felt a new warmth growing within him. As his previously unseen body was remade from what seemed to be silken threads of the color which consumed his world, he felt complete in ways that none would ever again experience. As his body was embraced by the swirl of colors he became whole, feeling as though this perfect world had accepted him and that he had become one with it. He laid there, content to merely bask in the glow of the amazing realm in which he found himself. But he could feel that this was not his purpose, that this world needed him elsewhere.

He felt a strange pull on his being as if this flawless world was pulling him to act, to commit to its survival, its end and its creation. As he accepted the pull and felt himself being dragged outside the beautiful painting in which he awoke, he felt it join him and meld itself with his very being. As he took his last glances he put the sight to which he had been treated eternally within his memory. A perfect and peaceful world of color and warmth. A world of beauty.

A World On Fire

-A man with foolish hope-

Sarutobi Hiruzen was getting old. He was far past his days of glory, stories, passion and even love. For some time the man had even thought himself past his time of regret, of sadness, of hate. But to think that was foolish. His tale may be near its end but the tragedy that is life in this world of war and pain is only just beginning. His age should have helped him know that, the experience prepared him for all of that which could occur in the twisted realm called reality.

It did not

The old man wore a simple red robe that went down past his feet, tied with a white sash around his waist. Just below his neck was a wide white scarf that covered his shoulders and the top of his chest. Over these was a simple white overcoat, left open in the center and going down to his knees in length. His clothing was completed by a large pyramid like red hat with white around its rim. On the corner which fell directly above his face displayed a white triangular section with the kanji for fire displayed proudly in the same red as the rest of the hat. On the right diagonal edge of the pyramid shaped hat were two small metallic tubes.

Coming down from within the hat was white cloth which covered all sides of the man's head other than his face. It was the face of a man who was showing his age, with imperfections and wrinkles obvious upon his visage. The only hair visible was a grey goatee upon his chin. And yet despite his worn appearance, he still held an aura of authority and power. An aura that was now dampened with regret.

"How did it ever come to this" Hiruzen muttered to himself. He received no answer to his question, for there were none present who could answer him. There were others in the room, figures in porcelain animal masks wearing black bodysuits with light purple armor covering their chests, forearms and shins, but none of them spoke, for they knew there was no single answer that could be given to the tired old man's question. The room in which they stood was white, with a single door leading into a hallway and a single window opposite the door. Beside the window sat a bed . Large amounts of medical equipment lined the walls and the place smelled strongly of disinfectant. A hospital, a place of hope, healing and safety and yet the last place that anyone in the world would wish to find themselves

There were four of the masked figures, ANBU as they are called, and together with the old man they made up all but one of the figures present in the room. Though the last could only barely be considered a figure. Upon the bed lay a child, or what used to be one. Only those with knowledge of the situation could tell you who it was. The child's body burned beyond recognition, all hair turned to ash and the flesh charred to a sickening crisp. There were only two things that separated this figure from just another life claimed in a fire. The first being the two strange gems upon the backs of what remained of the figures hands, one on the right and another on the left. The color was primarily orange, but with yellows and reds that seemed to flicker as though made of flame. The other thing that made it different?

It was still alive

-Earlier that day, site of the fire-

Hiruzen immediately began furiously digging at the charcoal surrounding the hand. The ANBU, seeing what the man was doing, immediately began helping him to remove the figure from the burned wood. After a minute of digging, they succeeded in removed the body and saw that the rest of the boy's figure was no better off than his hands. Hiruzen dropped his head slightly and nearly began to mourn the loss when he felt the extremely light beating of the child's heart.

"ANBU, to the hospital immediately! The boy is still alive!" Shouted Hiruzen as he took off into the trees surrounding the clearing in which they had found the fire, the ANBU following closely behind him. Thinking could wait for later, the only thing important to Hiruzen in that moment was insuring the boy's survival.

-Current time-

It had been several hours since then. The sun was now high in the sky, yet despite the light flowing through the window the room held an air of darkness that seemed to spite the beauty of the world outside. The village's best medic ninja and doctors had already come and gone, having done everything that they could possibly do, but the boy's condition was just too critical for them to do much. Anyone else would have been long dead in his position, so they had no experience dealing with such extensive damage. Now all that was left was to wait and hope that the boy pulled through.

'I'm sorry Minato, I have failed you once more.' thought Hiruzen. He grew warm at the thought of his late successor. 'I do not deserve the warmth your memory gives me.' He thought and tried to rid himself of the feeling, yet he found he couldn't. In fact it only continued to grow, becoming hotter and hotter, to the point where he began lightly sweating. He realized suddenly that this was no internal feeling and swiftly looked around to determine the source. His eyes widened upon looking upon the figure of the boy that lay in the bed.

Flowing from the gems on his hands were flames of every color. They surrounded the boy without touching his skin, cloaking him in a wreath of color and heat. The bed the boy lay upon caught aflame and with unnatural swiftness burned into nothing but ash, the flames produced adding to the growing swirl around the now floating form, the gems still releasing more and more flames.

"Be careful!" Hiruzen shouted "Those flames are chakra based, I don't know what is going on but be ready to defend yourselves!" As the ANBU prepared for the worst, some even forming handsigns in preparation, they all witnessed something they had never before heard of. The chakra in that created the flames seemed to thin, still keeping its flaming form. The chakra kept thinning until it formed what seemed to be strings composed of chakra that still somehow made up the flames surrounding the boy.

They all watched in horror and amazement as the boy's body itself began to dissolve into similar strings, further adding to the inferno. The process was slow at first but it sped rapidly until there was nothing but the boys bones. Even those began to unravel themselves into strings that all merged into the now raging flame. All that remained within the fires were the two gems which had been on the back of the boy's hands.

The fire remained for several minutes. The ANBU still tense and Hiruzen was confused, saddened and enraged by the apparent death of the boy that he saw as a grandson. He raised his hand, about to order the ANBU to unleash their attacks, a form of revenge against whatever had taken the boy, when the string-composed flames began to rush in on themselves toward the gems that remained floating in the center. They began to form around them, shifting in color from the previous flurry to a cloud of whites, reds and a strange color like that of human skin. These 'flame strings' began to become more solidified around the gems, forming something to contain their bottom halves.

A pair of hands

The flame strings continued from there, forming swiftly into the basic form of arms, a chest, a head. As the rest of the body began to take form, the area of the hands that originally formed began to lose its string like composition and become skin, forming fully into a hand. This process followed the path of the first strings. Once the basic form of a young child's body had formed from the strings and the entirety of the arms had become flesh, a third wave began where the rest of the strings began forming substance as well, but seeming more targeted then either of the previous waves. These flames began to form the beginnings of what seemed to be clothing. They merged together until the entirety of the inferno that had once surrounded the boy was used in the process.

As the last of the strings solidified, Hiruzen and the ANBU gazed in shock at what they saw. In front of them was the same young boy, who had been burned away not a day earlier, in perfect health. The gems remained on the backs of his hands, and the clothing had fully formed. The boy was now wearing a bright, flame red tee shirt with orange spread throughout that gave the shirt the image of being aflame. Around the shoulders of the shirt were two triangular pieces of cloth, held upright by some unknown force in a way such as that one point was six inches above the boy's shoulder, pointing away from his body, while the other two points were level about three inches below the boys shoulders. The triangular pieces had orange rims with deep red within it. In the center of each piece was a large black slit, like the pupil of a cat. These two pieces of cloth looked oddly like eyes, seeming to move from time to time. The boy also now had cargo pants that were a burnt orange color with white flame like designs around the bottom. He was not wearing any shoes, and still appeared to be unconscious.

Hiruzen and the ANBU stood in shock for a moment, unable to believe the events which they had witnessed. Snapping out of his stupor, Hiruzen immediately called out to the hospital staff for another bed. "ANBU, get me a Hyuuga immediately, I need to know what happened!" Hiruzen shouted. The ANBU nodded immediately, one of the disappearing to complete the order.

Hiruzen himself continued to stare at the boy, unable to think of an explanation for what he had witnessed.

-The following day-

Naruto slowly sat up in bed. He blearily began to look around, wondering where he was. He was aware of what had happened to him, and his first guess as to his location was correct. He was in the hospital. The boy turned towards his window and further confirmed his suspicions, seeing the roofs that lie next to the hospital once again. He had been here many times in his life, and the fluttering of drying clothing and sheets had always been beautiful to him. Strangely, now the boy could not see the beauty that he once looked forward to. 'Why don't they look as pretty as they used to?' thought the boy as he continued to stare at the cloth fluttering in the wind.

'Did something change?' Naruto thought. As he pondered this he continued focusing his attention on the fluttering that he once found so beautiful. As he wondered, he slowly began to once again see the beauty that he saw before. The warm, homely glow of the cloth. The silent flickering in the wind that entranced him. The flow of air around them. The shine of heat. Naruto stared in peace that the cloth brought him once more, and smiled lightly as the last pieces of the beauty that had escaped him returned once again, making him remember fully why he sometimes liked to sit on the roofs and just watch the cloth flutter. As time continued, the enjoyment that the scene brought him slowly faded until it no longer existed. He frowned slightly and switched his view to another line of close on the roof next to the previous one. It took significantly less time to begin seeing the beauty of the scene this time, and Naruto began to smile once more as he took in the beauty of the new cloth.

When Hiruzen walked into the hospital room, he was greeted with the sight of a smiling Naruto.

And several lines of clothing on the nearby roofs covered in flames.

=End of Chapter=

Well, as I said before, I am back to writing now. I will write another chapter for my other story soon as well, so for those of you who care you can look forward to that. I will not be having any particular schedule as I am commonly busy with work and other engagements, but I will try to upload a chapter for each story every one to three weeks. Thank you for reading, be sure to tell me what you think, I read everything you guys send me.

Until the next moonlit night,

Musamura