Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto (shocking isn't it?), just the original concepts and plot in this story. Cover image owned by Mazzat.
General Tags: Reincarnated Fic. This is an AU, so Canon plot is out. The only major OC is the main character. No Slash.
Chapter 1: Infancy
"Will you damn brats keep it down?" The living legend grumbled, his eyes never leaving the tiny hole in the fence that granted him an unobstructed view to the women's hot springs. "What are you going to do if I get caught?"
I stared at the Sannin, my mouth unable to form words as my mind shut down, incapable of comprehending what my eyes was seeing.
Naruto however had no such problem.
"Wait, are you peeping at the girl's hot spring? You-you-you..." Naruto's voice grew steadily louder, filled with a growing indignation and righteous fury. Pointing at the white haired ninja, Naruto all but screeched. "-YOU PERVERT!"
"Pervert?" The Sannin turned his head to look at us, an offended look on his face. "Did you just call me a Pervert? I'll have you know you little brat, that I'm far more than a mere Pervert." He rose up from his crouch, crossing his arms and puffing his chest out as he did so.
"For I am Jiraiya!" Raising his left palm at us, he widened his feet and took a sideways stance. "One of the three Legendary Sannin, S-Ranked Ninja, veteran of two wars, a lover of beautiful women everywhere, author of the famed Icha Icha series and above all else," He slammed his hand onto the floor, releasing a large puff of white smoke that quickly dissipated, revealing him standing on a large orange and blue toad. "I am a Super Pervert!" He announced out with shameless pride.
Beside me, Naruto gaped at the self-proclaimed super pervert as he took up a pose on the toad after his grandiose introduction, a hand pointed straight up in the sky while the other rested on his hip. He wore a satisfied smirked as he looked down at us from the toad's back.
"Sa-Sannin? You mean the Sannin?" Naruto took a step backwards in pure shock, eyes widening with disbelief. The Nine-tailed Jinchuriki head shook in denial. "Ne-ne, Hikaru. The old geezer is lying right? There is no way that this pervert could be a Sannin, right? Right?
"…Hikaru?" The confusion in Naruto's voice was clear to anyone listening. I felt a tugging on my sleeve as the blond tried to get my attention. "Hey Hikaru what's wrong? Your face is turning all white? Hey! Answer me damn it, you're scaring me here. Hikaru? Hikaru!"
I could hear how the confusion quickly turned to worry and then panic when I didn't reply, but I could not bring myself to care. Not when my worst fears were beginning to come true. No, no, please no. Dear God not him too! Not another one.
But no matter how hard I tried to reject it, the reality before me would not change. And soon my denials began to fade, steadily replaced with a growing sense of horror as the truth of what I was seeing became irrefutable.
For there before my very eyes stood Jiraiya, but not as I knew him. His hair was a just as I remembered it, a spiky mess of white that stretched past his waist, and his clothing too was the same, a short green kimono with matching colored pants covered by a red coat.
All in all, he was exactly like he should have been. Exact for one tiny detail.
The distinctive bulging in his chest was certainly not supposed to be there.
"Ho~," A smirk making its way to Jiraiya's face as she followed my line of sight to her breasts, "Sorry Kid, I ain't into men or little brats for that matter." Misinterpreting my horror with fascination. "Can't blame you for having good taste though."
Yes, Jiraiya, one of the Sannin, rival to Orochimaru, teacher to the fourth Hokage, and one of this world's living legends, was a Girl.
My knees gave way beneath me, depositing onto the hard wet floor that surrounded the hot spring. Vaguely, I heard Naruto calling out to me in concern, but over my despair it sounded like it came from a thousand miles away. I just stared at him-her, misery building up inside of me until I could not hold it in any longer. So I tossed my head back and howled out to the world.
"Oh Dear god Why? Why him too? Kishimoto you bastard!"
At first I could not understand what was going on.
In those first few weeks and months, or however long it was, the world was nothing but a confusing blend of colors and noise, of shivering cold followed by comforting warmth. My mind refused to function properly. It was as if I was in a fevered dream, the few thoughts I could form were nothing but a jumbled up mess that followed no rhyme or reason.
Not that it would have done me any good even had I been able think, as I couldn't even stay awake long enough for it to matter. Back then my consciousness was a fleeting thing, coming and going like the tide. Sometimes I would feel myself rousing, my mind on the brink of truly waking up, only to fade back into the embrace of slumber before I could begin to comprehend anything, dragged back by the perpetual tiredness I felt.
Then one day I simply woke up.
And nothing made sense.
Above me, staring at me with those pale eyes of theirs, something straight out of my childhood stories, was a man and a woman. They loomed over me, appearing like giants to my new infant eyes. At the sight of them, a name instantly popped into my mind.
They gibbered in a language I could not understand or even recognize. Though it sounded vaguely Asian it wasn't Japanese. I spoke the language it definitely wasn't it.
For a while I just laid there, staring up at them as they smiled and cooed down at me, trying to collect my thoughts. Well, it's not like I could have moved even if I wanted to. I don't think I had the strength to lift my over-sized baby head, let alone stand or crawl.
So for what felt like several hours I just watched them from where I was cradled in my mother's arms, as the happy couple talked with one another, occasionally glancing down and sparing me a few words whenever I caught their eyes.
Even when the time came for them to rest, and they placed me into my cradle, exiting the room and shutting the lights behind them, I did nothing but continue to stare up at the dark ceiling, putting my thoughts together.
I didn't even bother trying to delude myself with pretenses of this being nothing but a dream; it was all too real for it to be that. I had always prided myself in being a logical person, even under pressure, so I did not try to make up excuses to deny reality.
I was reincarnated, into a new world at that. One that was supposed to be just fiction and fantasy. I wonder if this made Kishimoto this world's God? I hope not, that prick was an absolute troll and I'd hate to see what he'd do to me if he was.
Anyway, I merely accepted it as fact and moved on.
Maybe the reason why I found it so easy to accept what was happening was because I remembered all too clearly how I died. It's rather hard to forget being murdered by your own son after all. The shock and pain of that betrayal was still fresh in my mind. After going through something like that what was reincarnation? Nothing.
So as I lay there, I asked myself what should I do now?
I mean I had already done all the typical things you'd expect in life. Grew up, got a job, started a family, had a couple of kids and then died. Sure it ended badly, but does that mean I have to repeat the entire experience again? Was that what my life was supposed to be? A never ending circle of reincarnation where I did the same thing over and over again?
No. I refused to accept that. I wanted to do something else with this second chance life, something more.
Were I still I child, mentally at least, I would have wanted to have an adventure. I would have wanted to become a hero.
But I knew better than to walk that path. Heroes were not real, nothing but myths, stories we tell ourselves to make the world appear a better place that it did. And the few heroes that might have existed never lived out happy lives; all that awaited them was pain and betrayal. I learned that the hard way.
So, the question remains what should I do?
And it was then, lost in my thoughts in the darkness of that room that I remembered.
In this world there existed something I wanted. A power unmatched by any another. Those Divine eyes of God. Eyes that held power over life and death, that presided over time and dimensions, it ruled over it all. Everything that laid beneath the Heavens were for it command.
Ultimate power given physical form.
The fabled Rinnegan.
Those eyes, I wanted those eyes.
I will have those eyes.
No matter what it takes.
Even if I have to break this war torn world in two, the Rinnegan will be mine. And I will slaughter anyone who tries to stop me. Be they man, Shinobi or the Tailed beasts, I will kill them all.
I felt my lips twist in a manic smile as laughter bubbled up from my chest and poured out of my throat, "Ha…Haha…Hahahaha-*cough**cough*" Ouch, my lungs! My underdeveloped baby lungs, by God do they hurt! I broke down into a coughing fit for several seconds and then the next thing I knew, in defiance to any will of my own, I started crying like a damn baby, "Wa-Wahhhhh~."
Called by the sound of my wailing, the door slammed open and my new apparent mother walked in, rushing to my side and cradling me, making comforting sounds all the while.
Ok, change of plans. Before I aim for the Rinnegan, I better start work on growing up first…and maybe get toilet trained or something because holy shit I think I just soiled myself.
This is going to be a whole lot harder than I thought.
After an embarrassingly long period of crying I was finally able to settle down with some help from my new mother. Being gently rocked in her arms was unexpectedly comforting, and it help settle my raging emotions down rather quickly.
It seems even though my mind, or at the very least my memories, were of that an adult male my body certainly wasn't. This was an infant's body, and along with it came all the instincts of one. Simple things like moving my finger one at a time was beyond me now. Whenever I tried moving my index finger alone, the rest of my fingers will follow after it, causing my hand to clench into a tiny fist.
Great, just great. It seems that along with learning the basics of this world, I was going to have to learn how to control my body from scratch. Learning to walk was going to be a hassle, not to mention going through puberty all over again. At least I knew what to expect this time.
Seeing that I had finally stopped crying, my new mother leisurely slowed her rocking to a halt as she rose me up closer to her face. She said something while wearing a smile, whatever it was I couldn't begin to guess. When I tried speaking back, all the came out of my mouth was gibbering nonsense, just baby talk.
It seems I'm going to have to add learning to talk to the list.
Her smile widened and she cooed down at me, softly trailing a finger down my cheek. Wait a minute, I think I know this woman. I squinted my eyes and tried to get a better look at her, causing her to laugh at my expression.
Yes, I'm sure of it. I've seen this face somewhere before but I couldn't remember where. I don't recall any named female Hyuugas other than Hinata and Hanabi, and she certainly wasn't either one of them. Though she did resemble them more than a little, other than the eyes of course. But then again almost everyone in the Hyuuga clan were related to one another.
A voice called out from somewhere, making her look over her shoulder and smile. A man appeared from behind her, giving a quick kiss on her cheek before he rested his chin on her shoulder and peered down at me.
So this man was my father. Hmm, all in all not a bad looking bloke. Not going to win any male beauty contest or anything, and that long hair of his definitely has to go, but overall not too shabby. Looks like I'm going to end up ok in the looks department-wait, wait, WAIT! I knew this guy! It was Hiashi. Hiashi was my father!
I just gawked up at the head of the Hyuuga clan in utter bewilderment. And it appeared that my face must have been quite a sight because both of my parents broke down laughing at me. I didn't care, I just couldn't stop staring at them.
This confirmed it then. Not only was I born in the Naruto Universe, I was born in the original time line of the story. At first I suspected that I may have been reincarnated into a world similar to one from the story though not the same one but no, it looked like I was in the genuine article.
After gawking at him for a few more second, I relaxed and let lose a chuckle. Well, I tried to chuckle but it came out as an adorable sounding giggle instead but I was honestly too happy to care for the moment.
Oh this was good. No, this was more than just good, this was positively fantastic! I'm in the original timeline, probably the same age as the main cast. Do you know what this means? It means that I would finally get the chance to bash in the faces of some of my most hated characters. Ha, during my childhood I wanted to kick the asses of so many characters from this story so badly it wasn't even funny. If I knew all I had to do was die to get the chance at them, I would have happily offed myself years ago.
First there was the Datebayo-ing, Deus ex machina, talk ninjutsu asshole himself, Naruto. You think your childhood was tough you orange wearing moron? Then I dare you, just dare you to say Datebayo one more god damn time in front of me you little ramen-addict and I'll show you what it really means to have a miserable childhood you little brat.
Then there as Sasuke. The emo prince of the avengers himself. I swear on my soul that the very first thing I'm going to when I meet the emo is sock him right on the nose. I don't give a damn if the entire Uchiha clan are watching I'd do it. The little bastard deserves it and more. He should be lucky I don't neuter him for acting like a little bitch all the damn time.
And there are many more!
God, if you're out there, I just want to say thank you for giving this wonderful opportunity to beat these brats up. Even if I fail to get the Rinnegan, at least I know I'll die happy once I'm through with them.
I was jolted from my thoughts when I felt myself being set down on something solid. Quickly glancing around, I found myself on some kind of dressing table. Oh that's right, I still haven't had my diapers changed from earlier yet, have I?
My mother leaned over me for a few seconds and wiggled her fingers on my tummy, forcing me to squeal in laughter, before she knelt down to retrieve something from one of the lower drawers.
As she rummaged for something below, I took a moment to examine my new mother. Long hair, so dark it turned blue when bathed in light, framing a gentle face. This wasn't a face of someone who lived out in the sun, her skin was too pale and smooth for that. So not a ninja then.
For the life of me I could not remember her name. No matter how hard I tried I simply couldn't remember. Now that I think about, I barely recall anything at all when it comes to this woman, my new mother. All I know about her was she died before the start of the series, she married Hiashi, gave birth to two daughters, Hinata and Hanabi-
-Wait a second. Daughters?
That's right, this woman never gave birth to any sons only girls. I turned my head around trying to look around the room for any signs of other children but I couldn't see any. And since one of the few things I do remember clearly was that she died giving birth to Hanabi so that means I'm her first child.
But that's weird, I'm pretty sure her first born child was Hinata…
Wait. Was I reincarnated as Hinata?
Does that mean…I'm a girl now?
My mother practically jumped three feet up into the air, startled by my scream as I began to wail so loudly I was sure that the entire village heard me. She hunched over me, making shushing noises and tried to calm down but I didn't care. I didn't want to be a girl, I'm a man damn it.
I tried reaching down to my groin to check if I still had my tool, but I couldn't reach. My stubbly little hands were too short. I tried sitting up, rocking myself back and forth, but it was no use. My oversized baby head was too heavy for my little neck to lift. And since there was nothing I could do I just dropped back down and wailed my very lungs outs, this time by my own free will instead of any baby instincts.
It was only because I caught sight of the diaper in my mother's hand that I stopped crying. It seemed like she thought that I was crying because I had soiled myself earlier and was going to change my diaper. Well, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and change it then. Quick! Open the package, open the God damn package right now woman! I need to know if it's still there.
Somehow, she sensed my urgency and rushed to undressed me. Using all of the strength I had in my body, I rocked myself slightly upwards when she undressed me and was able to glance down into my groin just for an instant, only to find-
…Oh thank you God. Thank you.
It's there. We're safe, we're safe. False alarm people, it was just a false alarm. The peanuts are real, I repeat, the peanuts are real.
Really, don't scare me like that. That was a close one. If I found out I was reincarnated without my balls I would have killed myself. And I mean literally kill myself. As in, I'd turn my blanket into a noose, tie one end around my cradle the other around my neck, and then leap off.
We just barely avoided the first newborn baby suicide in history.
Hey, I may want the Rinnegan pretty badly but even I'm not willing to give up my manhood for it.
After that, I felt so relieved I just collapsed into an exhausted heap and let sleep finally take its hold on me.
*several months later*
Underneath the dresser sitting behind me, an ant scurried across the floor. No more than a centimeter in length, it marched to the edge of the wall and snuck into a tiny crack there, one that would lead it outside.
Drawing my attention away, I turned my focus downwards. Looking down through the floor boards, past the hard packed ground and into the sewage network that existed beneath the house, I witness a small family of rats nesting in an old abandoned pipe.
Next I shifted my attention to my left. My head didn't even need to turn in that direction, all I had to do was focus and I could look past the room walls as if they weren't even there and see the courtyard that lay beyond them, where a dozen and more of my relatives trained together or practiced their morning kata. Whenever the hands of those sparring would clash, chakra would erupted like electric sparks, filling the air around them in a dazzling display of flickering lights.
The Byakugan is amazing.
These eyes may not be on par with the Rinnegan but they are something truly extraordinary, in my mind they are just as miraculous as my reincarnation. I could not believe how much I could see now. Every direction, through every obstacle, only limited by the amount my mind could take in at any moment.
Yes, it's official. The Byakugan rocked.
A sharp burning sensation in my eyes, one that had been steadily growing for a while, told me I was quickly approaching my limit. I did not know what would happened if I pushed my eyes any further, but it did not take a genius to realize that burning pain was not a good sign. Reluctantly I turned off the Byakugan, cutting off the flow of my chakra to my eyes and return them to their dormant state.
It was like being plunged into the dark after standing under the noon sun. Where once I could see everything now all I could see what lay before me and even that was limit to the light spectrum of the human eye. After the vision of the Byakugan I may as well have been blind.
And now all I could see through my eyes was the view of the now all too familiar ceiling of the children's play room instead of the 360 vision that I'm already beginning to miss. The sounds of toddlers playing began to register in my ears now that I was no longer so focused on my sight.
Resisting the urge to rub my eyes even as they continued to burn, knowing from experience that it will only make things worse, I sat myself up. Around me a dozen or so children babbled nonsense as they played with their toys, none over the age of four.
"Like this Neji." A voice drifted from my left, catching my attention. Beyond the bars of the crib that currently imprisoned me, was a middle aged lady, one of the caretakers, holding a young toddler in her lap.
She kept trailing her fingers over the palm of the toddler's hand, repeating words of encouragement into his ears.
Little baby Neji looked down at his hands, his face marred with a frown of concentration, as he tried to understand what he was feeling. And oh my god was the little brat adorable. Nothing like the brooding teenager he'd grow up to one day be, right now he looked like a like a cross between a Panda and a water balloon. Even when he scowled in frustration he could not help but look adorable, the way his chubby cheeks puffed out made sure of that.
The caretaker said something else as she trailed her fingers again. Whatever it was I couldn't understand, my grasp of the language being what it was, but I didn't need to know what she was doing, I already knew. She was teaching him how to use his chakra, just like she did with me.
To say I was confused when I was in Neji's place all those months ago was putting it mildly. At the time I had no idea what she was trying to do, only that every time she ran her fingers through my palms it felt like my hand was being dipped in running water. It took me a week to finally realize that what I was feeling was chakra as it poured out of her fingers, and another three days after that to understand that she wanted me to mimic her.
When I finally did succeed in figuring out how to make my own chakra flow out from my hand, which was roughly a month later, she was so surprised that she nearly dropped me. I had thought I may have done something a bit too unusual for a baby but my father put those fears to rest.
His stoic face remained unmoved even after the caretaker took me to him and made me demonstrate what I could do, though there was a look of quiet pride and knowing satisfaction in his eyes that I was learning to recognize. So I guess that meant I didn't do anything too abnormal.
Now when I awakened my Byakugan a week later was a completely different story. I swear I thought his eyeballs would roll out from their sockets from how large they opened before he quickly hide his reaction behind his usual indifference mask. Which is something I didn't understand as awakening the Byakugan was far easier than learning how to use chakra.
Around the room the same scene was repeated. Children who were not playing or resting, were carried by caretakers who then ran chakra across their hands in hopes they'd learn to do it themselves. Some of the older kids, no more than a couple, had activated their Byakugan and were apparently staring blankly ahead, but I knew better. Though none of the kids were anywhere near my current age, the youngest having just turned three just last month, making me ahead of the group my a large margin.
For a while I considered toning down my actions a bit and trying to act like a normal baby until I grew a bit older, but I quickly discarded that option. While it may have been better in the long run there was no way I could have pulled it off. Being a baby was boring.
You couldn't walk, you couldn't talk, all you could do it lie on your back as giant head made baby talk to you. Hell this world didn't even have any television so it wasn't like I had access to any easy entertainment. Though considering that baby shows consisted from such horrors as the 'teletubbies' it may have been a blessing in disguise.
But now that I had the Byakugan that all changed. Sure I still couldn't do much other than watch, but at least I get to watch something useful, something that I could learn from. Something that will make me strong.
While it wasn't anywhere near as good as actually practicing, I made sure to watch the clan's ninjas in their training whenever I had the chance. Even though I could not hear their words, or understand them even if I was able to, I still watched them. I observed how they would place their feet just so, how the instructors would correct the forms, how they always seemed to parry blows and rarely block.
I knew little about actually combat, other than that year I took up karate in 8th grade, but what I did know was the basics were essential and even the smallest of flaws could make all the difference. So I watched, watched and watched, until I got so good I could visualize the entire basic katas in my head. It actually reached the point where I even dreamt about watching them training.
And most importantly, I watched how they molded their chakra. I couldn't do the same thing as they did of course. My body's coils were still far too underdeveloped for anything of that level, and would probably break under the strain if I tried. As far as I can tell the Byakugan more or less emerged fully matured at birth and that was the only reason why I and the other children could use it at such a young age. But just because I couldn't mold chakra myself didn't mean I couldn't learn and understand how they did it. So I watched and learned.
And whenever I could not find anyone training in my range of sight, or if I grew tired to concentrate and my mind began to wander, I turned my eyes to the rest of the world that I found myself inhabiting.
I could not see very far at first, only a few dozen meters at most, but even with such a small range there was still so much to see. And with every passing week my eyes grew a little better. I would see a little bit more clearly, a little bit farther, even if only an inch, so I kept pushing them. Besides it wasn't as if I had anything else to do. It was either this or stare up at the ceiling in a constant state of perpetual boredom.
So after allowing my eyes to rest for a while, I leaned back on my bedding, tuned out all the noises from around me and opened my Byakugan, and a new world unfolded before my eyes for me to explore.
Hmm, what's this? Is that my Dad? What he still doing in the bedroom at this time in the morning? Normally he's off working somewhere. And is that my Mom- OH HELL NO!
I looked away as fast I could from the fornicating couple, trying to erase the image of my parents having sex from my mind but it was no use. The image was seared into my mind as it was done with a branding iron and it will just not go away.
God damn it Hiashi! It's nine o'clock in the freaking morning and there are kids around. I mean I'm happy for you and all but dear lord I did not want to see that. Even though they weren't my real parents, I did not want to see my new mom getting it on- Ahhh! Don't think about it, just don't freaking think about it.
Just look somewhere else to distract you, like…like where I'm looking at right now? Hmm. Where am I? I reflexively threw my sight as far away from my parents and I don't think I've looked in this room before. That's weird, I was pretty sure I looked through every room my eyes could reach. Well, everything except the toil-
Wait, is this the toilet- Ahh! My eyes!
I take it back, the Byakugan sucks.
"Now open wide."
I glared down at the offending spoon that was filled will a foul sludge that may have been, in the looses sense of the word, food. I shifted my eyes up to my primary caretaker, Nanako, and gave her a look of such hatred that any sane man would have run away in fear.
Unfortunately as I had long ago discovered Nanako lacks any sense of self-preservation because instead of fleeing for her life, she instead continued to try to force the spoon into my tightly clenched mouth.
"Come on Hikaru-sama," she told me, "it's good for you."
If it's so good for me then why don't you eat it then? Damn it woman I want some meat. Beef, chicken, I'd even make due with fish or even some scrambled eggs, just not this mush of rabbit food you keep trying to feed me.
Stop that, swatting the spoon as she tried to force it into my mouth. I glared back at her with all my strength as I resisted her attempt. I swear woman, if you feed me that crap one more time I will slap you.
When it became apparent that I would not budge, she changed tactics and tried praising me instead, "Good children are the ones who eat their food Hikaru-sama. Now who's a good boy?"
Not me you hag. You want a good boy, then go get yourself a god damn dog and leave me alone. But I wasn't stupid enough to say a thing. I knew despite her grandmotherly appearance, Nanako had the heart of the devil and she was not above using dirty tricks to get what she wants. So instead of answering I just crossed my arms before me and leveled my best killer glare at her.
Unfortunately my killer glares are nowhere as effective as they used to be now that I'm in a two year old body.
"Ohh, don't you look so cute when you brood Hikaru-sama." The woman actually had the audacity too coo at me.
OK now that's crossing the line! "I don't brood-" a spoon was shoved into my mouth as I tried to tell the old woman off, and quickly depositing it's contented before I had the time to so much as blink.
…Oh that conniving little bitch!
"There, now that wasn't so bad wasn't it?" Nanako set the spoon and bowl down before picking be off from the high chair she trapped me in earlier. "Really Hikaru-sama, for someone who acts so smart all the time, you only show your true age at moments like this."
She gently set me on the ground before shooing me away. "Run along now Hikaru-sama, I've got work to do and I'm sure you want to get back to your books."
You may have one this round woman, but this is far from over!
I was however smart enough to keep my thoughts to myself as I turned and ran away. The last time I talked back to her, Nanako force fed me another bowl full of that mush. See? A Devil I tell you.
Still, now that I was finally free from her clutches I could get back to work. Turning the corner I sprinted down the corridor, ignoring the servants and the occasional off-duty ninja who always made sure to give me a polite bow as I passed. It was a little bit weird at first having grown adults bowing to a toddler but I got used it fast, and now it was more of an annoyance than anything.
After turning two more corners and sprinting down as many halls, I skidded to a stop as I reached my destination. Before me a pair of large wooden door loomed. They were completely different from the sliding panels, shoji, that acted as entryways for the rest of the compound.
The closest of the two guards that stood on either side of the door, one of the few that were stationed inside of the compound instead of outside or patrolling the perimeter, held the door open at my approach, granting me entrance to the room within.
Giving him a quick nod of thanks, there is no way I could have opened the doors with my tiny body, I slipped in and the guard swiftly shut the door behind me. Quickly walking up to the railing before me, I paused and took a moment to take everything in and properly appreciate the room. It was, to put it simply, heaven.
I was standing next to the railing of the second floor landing. Below me were rows after rows of wooden shelves, each filled to brim with scrolls and books. The lighting that hung of the ceiling clearly illuminated the place despite its lack of windows, revealing the few figures that silently perused through the books. Some were sitting on the handful of desks set to one side of the room, carefully scanning through the delicate scrolls.
This here is the Hyuuga Clan Library, and is perhaps the most wonderful place in this entire planet. It has scrolls that were so old that they were written from the time before the founding of the Hidden Villages. They span every range of topics imaginable, from chakra theory, to 'modern' medicine to history and everything else I could possibly think of. There were even some scrolls that were rumored to have been written from the time of the children of the Sage of Six Paths, making them over four hundred years old, though I couldn't get my hands on a copy so I couldn't be sure.
And perhaps the primary reason for the library, were the scrolls that held information on every fighting style and ninjutsu techniques that the clan has ever encountered in its history. While many of these techniques are useless to the Hyuuga as a whole, either we lacked the prerequisites to use them or they clash with our style of fighting, they could still teach us how to counter and fight anyone who used those techniques.
With our eyes we could see how out enemy's jutsu's functioned, and while we couldn't mimic it like the Sharingan could, we could understand how they worked and through that figure out how to deal with them, should the need ever arise. And on the few occasions that we ever find anything useful, we reverse engineer the technique before integrating it into out fighting style. It was through this method that the Gentle Fist was perfected over the centuries.
I hadn't known the place even existed until a few months ago. I was only given permission to enter after I had learned to read and had exhausted the entire supply of books available to me.
Speaking of which, learning to read was far easier than learning to speak. For some reason that I could not understand, Kanji seemed to exist in this universe. The Japanese language didn't, neither did Chinese, but somehow their writing system did. After spending several days pondering the enigma I gave up and chalked it up to one of the world's unexplained mysteries.
Still, for all of my progress I doubted they would have allowed me in here had I been an ordinary child, no matter how much of a prodigy I was turning out to be. It seemed that being the son of the man in charge and clan heir to boot has its perks.
That's right, nepotism for the win.
For the last few months I've been spending every waking moment I could in here. Researching the world and, most importantly, the secrets of chakra. It was the one thing that the memories of my former life could not help me with, so I was understandably desperate for any information I could get my hands on.
I would stay here from after dawn to dusk every single day without leaving. Ok, so I tried to stay without leaving but that damn she-devil Nanako wouldn't let me. She'd pop in here several times a day to drag me by the ear out of here, forcing me to eat any missed meals and even play with the other kids. Which I do not need to tell you was an incredibly boring experience. Ever have an intellectual conversation with a three year old? No? Than consider yourself lucky because it usually involves them picking their noses and rubbing their boogers all over you.
The only time I'm not here by my own will is during my morning run. Let me start by saying how much I hated running. I always did and always will. But I knew it was crucial to get in a health shape to achieve my long term goals and I had always been told it was important to get into the habit early on, so I ran.
Every morning I would run with the some of the older kids, six year olds who had just begun their training. The instructors wouldn't allow me to train with them no matter how much I pleaded with them, deeming me to be too young to start, but they did allow me to join them in their run, finding no harm in it.
And I must admit that it was much harder than I thought. Even though this body was much stronger than any two year old had the right to be, probably due to all the chakra it held, it was still a child's. Just trying to match the six years old for their morning run tuckered me out for the entire day, and that's without the actual combat training the kids had to go through afterwards. Something I'm no doubt going to hate when the time came for me to go through them myself.
And that is why I spent most of my time here. My experience with running taught me that my body was still far too underdeveloped to properly train other than practicing with my Byakugan. So if I could not train my body, I decided to train my mind. Knowledge was a power equal to any other in this world, sometimes more so.
So I spent my days reading and running, slowly growing stronger as I did.
The voice commanded harshly, piercing through the ringing that filled my head.
"Get up, Hikaru-sama. The fight is not over." It repeated, not even a hint of infliction in its voice. Just cold detachment.
Jeez, I get it already.
Obediently I placed my hands beneath me and shoved myself up, ignoring how pain flared through my body when I did. Blood dripped down my lips and spilled onto ground, staining the tightly packed floor crimson.
With another solid push, I was able to force myself onto my feet though I had to keep my hands on my knees to stay up. After one more push I managed to straight up, though I did end up wobbling for a second before I found my balance. I reached a hand out to gently probe my throbbing jaw, but quickly snatched it away when it flared with pain.
Raising my face so that I look ahead of me, I saw the cause of my bruised jaw trying and failing to hide a superior smirk behind an impassive mask. At the age of nine, the kid still hasn't mastered the art of wearing the Hyuuga poker face that we were infamous for.
Seeing me back on my feet, the boy, I had no idea what his name was, took up a stance. Ignoring the bone deep weariness the filled my body, I lifted my arms and took a mirroring stance, feeling as if my limbs were cased in blocks of concrete.
Before I could so much as blink he charged me, his hand streaking towards my chest. Yet for all of it speed I could see it. I could tell exactly where the blow will land, on the right side of my chest, precisely three inches below my shoulder. I could even the picture the proper response, a strike to his left wrist with my right, knocking the blow off course. Then a counter to his side while he was still knocked off balance.
Yet no matter how well I could picture it my head, reality was completely different.
I raised my hand to deflect, but even as I moved I could tell I wouldn't make it. For all of the greater distance he had to travel, his strike will hit my chest before I could stop it. No matter how fast I tried to move I, along with everyone else watching, knew that he would be faster.
Having no choice, I aborted my attempt at a parry, and tried to dodge the blow instead. Pulling my shoulder back, pivoting on my back leg to avoid the blow, and I succeeded if barely. I managed to pull back far enough that the strike missed me by an inch. But at the moment I was so off balance that I could not avoid the following blows.
I bent over double as I felt a hand bury itself into my belly, before I was sent tumbling backwards by an open handed uppercut hit in my chin.
The world went spinning around me as I was sent tumbling along the dirt packed floor, almost reaching to the edge of the sparing circle before I bled off enough momentum to stop.
"Get up, Hikaru-sama" The instructor commanded scarcely a second after I had skidded to halt, not even bothering to check up on me.
As I once again forced myself to my feet, ignoring how the world continued to spin around me, I thought back to how I had gotten myself into this mess.
It was customary for children of ninja clans, or at the very least the Hyuuga clan, to begin their training at the age of four. Though calling it training was a bit of a stretch, as they were more of a practice run than the real thing. Other than stretches, all other exercises were hidden in the form of games.
Ever play cat's cradles? That's hand sign training. Hide and seek? With a bit of helpful instruction and a couple of minor tweaks to the rules, it became a stealth and tracking exercise. Overall there was nothing that would have brought to mind ninja training just by looking at it. It was deemed too detrimental in the long run for children to start any strenuous training before the age of six.
Though they seemed to be willing to make an exception when it came to me.
Just a few weeks away from my fourth birthday they had separated me from the other children my age and tossed me in with the rest of the six years old. At first there were some concerns that I may have been too young to start sparring but they were all put to rest after the first session.
I had beaten them all.
Not that it was anything to brag about. Ninjas in training or not they were just kids. Most of them didn't even know how to make a proper fist yet, and the few that did telegraphed their punches so badly that I could see them coming a mile away. One time, all I had to win was side-step a punch and stick my foot out. The poor kid actually broke down crying after he tripped.
So they decided to up the ante.
And that's how I ended up getting my ass kicked by a nine year old.
"You're thinking too much Hikaru-sama." Our instructor and the current referee for the match informed me. He stood outside of the ring drawn into the ground of the courtyard, and stared impassively at me, uncaring for my bleeding, injured state. "While your form is excellent and your responses to your opponents strikes are the proper ones, your reactions are too slow. You spend too much time thinking and not enough moving, you must learn to move without thought."
I know. Jeez, do I ever know.
I had already figured out my problem since my very first spar with these kids.
I had no reflexes, no muscle memory. Even though I haven't been slacking off these four years everything I trained for was mental not physical. I had watched fully grown ninjas train every day for the majority of my new life until I reached the point that I could see and understand their movements. Compared to them these kids might have been moving in slow motion.
But it doesn't matter how slow these kids moved in my eyes if I moved even slower than they did.
To think, that when I was first brought here I had been so sure of myself that I had all but swaggered into the ring of my first spar, confident in my victory. Well that all changed when not even a second later a palm strike to my face broke my nose along with my arrogance.
I had realized my mistake almost immediately. My mind may have known the correct response but my body didn't. Whenever I wanted to block the blow I had to consciously move my arms into position, whenever I want to dodge a strike I needed to consciously command my feet to move. And there lies the problem; the lack of any proper reflexes slowed me. It was only a minor delay, barely even a split second in reaction time, but that split second made all the difference.
It had been a week since that first loss and I hadn't won a single spar yet. Hell, I don't think I was even able to get in a solid blow against any of these kids. Even against the least talented of the bunch, the size advantage was simply too large for me to gap. Their arms gave them far better reach, and their longer legs made them faster.
All in all, I was getting my ass kicked.
By - and I cannot possibly stress this enough - nine year olds.
This was 8th grade karate class all over again.
I felt warmth pool in mouth and spat out the blood that had gathered there as I stood up again, though my legs wouldn't quite hold me up and I kept swaying. Through we weren't allowed to use the proper Gentle Fist for now, only the chakra-less version of it, it still hurt like you wouldn't believe.
That's why the clan always had at least one medical-nin available at the training fields at all times. Good thing about medical ninjutsu is that you can get the crap beat out of you and they'll fix you back up in time for your next fight.
"Are you stopping Hikaru-sama?" The trainer finally asked when I have failed to take up a stance. At first the words didn't properly register in my mind, so foreign were they to my train thought that I could not even comprehend them.
"Stopping?" I repeated dumbly and turned to give the trainer a question look, then everything clicked and I understood.
"No, Sensei." Though I tried to sound respectful, the words came out as a snicker. I felt the cut on my lip split open and dribble blood down my chin as I responded. "I'm not done yet."
Maybe I took a bigger blow to the head than I thought, or the maybe the entire week of pain and exhaustion finally caught up to me, but at the moment I found his words so damn absurd. I knew that I could have walked away from this. That with single word of complained I would have been sent back with a younger group of kids. My father and many of the clansmen may have had high expectations of me but they were not sadistic, even they would not force me to continue this training if I had told them to stop. Some of those who occasionally watch me 'train' actually seemed to hope that I would after seeing the results.
But I never said a single word of complaint…
Because I this was exactly what I wanted.
Sure this training hurt. And by God did it hurt. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts. But even though it hurts so damn much….
I knew that there was no better way to get stronger.
Even I knew I was behaving recklessly and maybe even a little bit mad, but I also knew I had no other choice but to walk this path. Not if I had wanted to survive for long.
In this world there lived monsters. They walked on two legs, saw the world through two eyes and listen through two ears just like anybody else. Yet for all that they looked and sounded like men, they were monsters.
Orochimaru, Nagato, Madara, the list goes on and on. They could massacre armies and conquer nations alone in the span of a day. These were beings that have long ago shed their human limitation and became something more.
And one day I had to fight them all. Of this I had no doubt.
So I needed to get strong. I didn't have time to wait around and relax. If I wanted to live, no if I wanted to win, I needed to grow as strong as possible, as fast as possible.
If I had taken the proper course and trained like I was supposed to have been, I had no doubt I would have grown strong, unusually so. With the advantages my reincarnation gave me it wouldn't have been difficult for me to have been hailed as a prodigy, an up and coming genius. Just like Neji was.
But it wouldn't have been enough.
Not to defeat them. Not to kill those monsters, it wouldn't have been anywhere near enough. To kill a monster, you had to have the strength of one.
I had to push myself. Harder than anyone, farther than anyone, I had to push myself and become strong. And that is why it will be here in this training ground, through my blood and suffering, that the Hyuuga monster will be born.
So instead of listening to common sense and stopping like any sane person in my place would have done, I turned back to my opponent and took a stance, ignoring the warmth that dripped down my chin. For some reason I could not understand the boy began to back away, a frightened look on his face.
Huh, now what was that about?
Well, it didn't matter as one of the surrounding students jeered at him, he stopped backing away and flushed red. When he next looked to me, all his pretense of calm serenity was abandoned as his face twisted up with embarrassed fueled rage, before he began stalking back towards me.
I widened my feet and prepared to meet the boy's charge. All for desire become strong.
The very strongest.
…Though I still got my ass handed to me again that day.
By a freaking nine year old!
Shadows danced on the wall, born from the moonlight that drifted through the room's window, the only source of illumination in an otherwise pitch black room.
The Hyuuga estate has always been a silent place. Even in the middle of the day there were hardly any loud noises, and never any yelling or shouting not even during training, as everyone carried themselves with a quiet dignity.
At night it was worse. As a clan that generally woke with the coming dawn, most of the household fell asleep soon after sunset. This left the place almost deafeningly silent during the night. Only the occasional sound of creaking of wood as the guards patrolled the corridors breaking the otherwise silent monotony.
In the quite of the night, the faint almost inaudible ticking of the clock sound unnaturally loud to my ears. It was the only thing I could hear in the darkness other than the steady beating of my heart.
Wrapped up in the blankets of my futon, I stared at the dancing shadows of my bedroom wall, making sure to keep my head faced away from the window. I was alone in my room, like I usually was when I slept, but I knew I would not be for long.
Every few minutes I flicker open my Byakugan, looking to see if the he had arrived yet. And in between I would count the beats of my heart to pass the time as I strained my ears all the while, listening to any signs of the night's unwelcome, but not unexpected visitor.
Tomorrow, I would officially become four years old. My birthday, an event that I was beginning to learn to loath. As the clan heir, I didn't have the privilege of having a quiet birthday party. No, every year I was forced to dressed up in the most uncomfortable clothing imaginable and then paraded around like a doll in front of our esteemed guests.
In any other circumstance I would not have given the slightest damn about my upcoming birthday other than annoyance. This year would not have been any different if I had not overheard one of the clan's Ninjas discussing the Kumo delegate that had arrived in Konoha just this morning to sign the peace treaty agreement.
To think that I had almost forgotten about it.
The Hyuuga Affair.
On Hinata's, or mine as the case may be, fourth birthday one of the members of the Kumo delegate would break into Hyuuga compound and attempt to kidnap the clan heir.
It is due to tonight's event that Hizashi, Neji's father and my uncle, would die. And the final result would be a rift between the main house and the branch house of the clan, along with the souring the relationship between Kumo and Konoha for years.
And of course there was the tiny little matter of me being kidnapped.
In other words a complete clusterfuck for all involved.
So naturally I'm going to try to change it.
The rustling of leaves came from my window, and I instantly flooded chakra into my eyes in response. Immediately the darkness disappeared as my Byakugan awakened and I could now see the world around me as clearly as it were mid-day.
I quickly scanned the window and the area immediately around it for the perpetrator, making sure to keep perfectly still and show no sign that I was awake in case he was watching. I couldn't find anyone at first, but I knew I heard something so I kept looking and looking until I found-
A stray cat.
I slumped back into my bed, my heart beating so fast in my chest that it almost sounded like jackhammer. Jeez, I got to calm down, my nerves won't last the night if I kept jumping over every little thing.
My plan to stop this was simple. I knew I couldn't warn anybody about the kidnapping, not without raising more questions than I was willing to answer. So that only left one option, capture the kidnapper alive.
The entire Hyuuga Affair stemmed from the death of one of the delegates. Delegates whose safety was promised by the Hokage himself. Kumo probably claimed that entire kidnapping was staged by us after we assassinated the delegate. And the sad part is, that explanation was more than plausible. Going by the books I've read, Konoha ninjas had assassinated people for gain only to plead self-defense in more than one occasion in the past.
So all I had to do to fix it was make sure that the delegate did not die. Easier said than done but fortunately I had a plan. It wasn't much of a plan but it was simple and workable, which was the most important thing.
I was going to wait for my kidnapper to break into my room and stop him. Now I had no delusions on my ability to fight a fully grown and trained ninja when I could not even beat nine years old ninjas in training. Though my spars against them were starting to look like proper spars recently rather than the one-sided beat downs they were a week ago.
No, all I wanted to do was stall him. A chakra infused blow to the diaphragm or throat will be enough to stun him. So all I had to do is pretend I was asleep, waiting for him to get near me and sneak in a surprised blow, before screaming my lungs out and waking up the entire household.
Now normally I would have never even considered a plan this risky, especially when it was my life on the line, but that's the beauty of the entire thing, I wasn't in any danger even if I screwed up.
Kumo wanted to kidnap me because they wanted the power of the Byakugan. And they would not have been willing to take such a risky gamble if all they would gain at the end of it was a single pair of eyes. No what Kumo wanted was a bloodline of their own, an entire clan.
In other words they wanted to breed me.
A four year old would not be too hard to indoctrinate and be made loyal. And when I become of age they planned to toss some girls at me to impregnate until there was a dozen little me's running around. That's right, they would force me to have sex…lots and lots of sex with a ton of women for…years….huh, why was I so against this again anyway?
I'm pretty sure there was a good reason but I could not think of it at the moment…
Anyway, that meant that no matter how tonight's events panned out, I would be getting out of this unharmed. The proof of that is that the kidnapper never tried to harm Hinata even when Hiashi was attacking him.
I was the goose that laid the golden egg and neither side wanted to harm a single hair on my head.
So, now everything was set, all that remained was to wait for kidnapper to appear. And since I had no clear idea what time the kidnapping will occur, other than it was during the night, I had to make sure to stay on guard the entire night. I could not risk being half asleep when the time came.
….So all I have to do now is wait.
You know, at first this was actually nerve breaking but it was turning out to be rather boring and fast. Waiting in bed while pretending to be asleep is much harder that I thought it was going to be.
Shifting around a little bit, I looked up at the clock hanging from the wall in front of me.
…It's going to be a long night.
My cheeks flared in pain as I pinched them, forcing my eyelids that threatened to shut wide open.
This was the third time already that I had to resort to physical pain to prevent myself. It was as times like these that I truly hated being four again. You have no idea how hard it was to force yourself to stay up late when you were a kid.
Dear god you damn kidnapper, hurry the hell up and get here. It's bad enough that you want to abduct me, but now you want to ruin my bed time too? What a prick.
Pinching myself again when I felt sleep start to overcome me, I glance back up at the clock to see how much longer I had to wait.
This was going to suck.
All right, this was no longer funny. I almost fell asleep this time and I can't afford something like this happening again. Not when I may end up getting kidnapped at any minute. I need to keep my mind distracted if I wanted to stay awake. This called for drastic measures.
99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer.
Take one down, and pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall…
782 bottles of beer on the wall, 782 bottles of beer.
Take one down, and pass it around, 781 bottles of beer…
2,207 bottles of beer on the wall, 2,207 bottles of beer.
Take one down, and pass it around, and then there are no more bottles of beers on the wall.
There! I finished the damn game three entire times already, increasing the numbers of bottles each round and I still haven't been kidnapped. What's taking the guy so long? I mean it's got to be approaching dawn by now.
I glanced up at the clock.
Oh you have to be shitting me.
Alright, enough of the beer bottle game. If I had to say that line one more time I'd snap. I got to think of something else to do to keep me awake but what?
…How about a song?
Oh, if you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.
Go-Go Power Rangers! Nah-na-na-na! Go-go Power Rangers, you mighty morphing Power Rangers!
And I~~~~, will always~, Love you~~
Gotta catch 'em all, Gotta catch 'em all, Yeah!
Zubat, Primeape, Meowth, Onix-
Ok, I have exhausted every song I could remember except for the backstreet boys and I'll be damned if I sing any of them.
And where the hell is this guy? Shouldn't he have been here by now? I knew the security around the compound was tight but come on, I want to sleep already. What time was it anyway?
You know what, screw the plan and forget about capturing this guy alive. I'm going to murder the asshole with a spoon when I get my hands on him.
Bleary eyed, I stumbled out of my room, dark rings no doubt circling my eyes. I was so exhausted that I almost tripped over my own feet twice, and barely managed to stop myself from running face-first into one of the many house servants that were frantically running around the corridor.
Morning light rained across the hardwood floors through the many windows lining the hallway, and I could hear birds chirping outside as they cheerfully greeted the new day. I had never hated anything more than the sound of their cheer. All around me people rushed around, something that was more than a little bit unusual in this household.
Looking around I spotted a pair of gossiping servants and walked up to them. When they didn't notice me right away, I tugged on one of their sleeve.
"Oh, Hikaru-sama. Please forgive me I didn't see you there- Hikaru-sama! Are you alright? You look dreadful." The servants eyes widened in surprise when she took in my state. I must have been quite a sight, after having spent the entire night awake and alert.
Being in no mood for pointless chit-chat, I cut straight to the heart to the matter. "What's going on?"
It seemed like the servant in question was also quite keen in spreading some gossip as well, because she dropped the matter of my appearance and leaned towards me before stage whispering. "Well Hikaru-sama, it seemed that there was an intruder last night. The guards caught him before he was able to get too far in and had no trouble subduing him. Normally this would not have caused such a commotion, but when the guards presented him to Hiashi-sama this morning, he realized that the intruder was actually one of the Kumo visitors that arrived yesterday for the peace treaty."
I toned the rest of her words out, I heard enough. I felt the edge of my lips twitch as I fought back the urge to scream in frustration.
I wonder why I didn't realize something so obvious before.
This is the Hyuuga clan. A group of people who had eyes that could see through walls and spot an ant from a mile away. There is no way someone, no matter how skilled in stealth, could successfully sneak into the compound undetected, not when there was over a dozen Hyuuga guards patrolling the place and a hundred more resting.
It was impossible. Which meant there was no way that anyone could ever get close enough to kidnap the clan heir, be it me or Hinata.
In other words, the entire Hyuuga affairs could not have possible happened. The entire thing was pulled out of a certain author's ass just for the sake of entertainment…
And because of said author, I had to say up all night in a bundle of nerves for no reason.
KISHIMOTO YOU'RE A FUCKING TROLL!
Now, something that always bothered me with the typical reincarnation story is that every character wants to save the world or help people. That made no sense to me. You are born in the world where people can possess power that makes them Gods in all but name but almost none of the reincarnated people want it? Well, this in my take one it.
The MC in this fic is going to be utterly ruthless. While he will still have a heart, he isn't here to help people. Don't expect him to be the type who willingly hold the hands and helps the other characters in the story grow up. While he'll make exception for those very few he cares for, don't he won't go out of the way to help a stranger. In that sense, he's like you and me. How many of us can say that we go out of our way to help total strangers ever day? every week? Not many I'd guess.
While it won't be apparent at first, within a few chapters it will become clear how frighteningly ruthless he can be.
Oh, and I'm sure some of you noticed for a someone who prides himself on his logic and clam mind he broke down rather easily when it came to Jiraiya's gender. That was done on purpose and is a clue for future events. That's all I'm saying for now.
Also in case it isn't obvious this is an AU. So please don't be upset if things different from Canon happen.
Oh, and before I forget, it seemed that a lot of people had pictured Jiraya in this story incorrectly so I will post a link to the pic that inspired it on my profile.
Anyway, I hope you liked it and please tell me what you think.