Author's Note:

This fic is written in English, and I will assume most of you readers know English better than you know Japanese. Therefore, I will use English terms as much as possible, with the exception of proper nouns: some jutsu (technique) names, village names, and Kage ordinal prefixes (Shodaime, Nodaime, Sandaime. Yondaime, etc.) English translations of most Japanese words will appear in parentheses after the first use of each word, e.g., Katon: Gokakyu no Jutsu (Fire Release: Great Fireball). And given names come before surnames like they do in the English dubs: "Naruto Uzumaki", not "Uzumaki Naruto".

Warnings: Naruto is kind of OP for a twelve-year old. He IS a Kage-level ninja. Don't worry, there are plenty of other S-ranked ninja in the Narutoverse to give him a proper fight. This is Gen, Naruto will not have a romantic partner in this story. I'll keep it PG-13, occasional swear words, violence, killing, but no descriptions of gore and no lemons.

Please review. If you don't like my story, write me a scathing flame of a review. If you can, make your insults witty and creative. If you can't, write some shit anyway. Anything to increase the number of reviews on my fic, and thus the number of people who will find it using "Sort by Reviews". On the other hand, positive feedback and constructive criticism is greatly appreciated, but you know that already.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of the characters in this story.

Chapter 1: Dear Descendant

It was Wednesday of the third week of Naruto's first year at Shinobi Academy. An 8-year-old Naruto Uzumaki peeked around the doorway of the Academy library, wondering if the nasty librarian would let him in today. He didn't actually want to set foot in the library, but Iruka-sensei had assigned homework: use the library to look up the names of all the past Kages of the Five Great Hidden Villages. He was late in turning it in, but it wasn't his fault: the librarian had always kicked him out with a nasty sneer on his face, sometimes literally.

Looks like today was Naruto's lucky day.

Slowly peering through the crack between the door and its frame on the hinge side, Naruto found that the librarian was missing. Maybe he was out to lunch and forgot to lock the door? Naruto didn't eat lunch, so it was like a free period to him.

"Yes!" whispered Naruto. He tiptoed into the library.

Twenty minutes later, Naruto had enough notes to finish his homework. Putting the history book back into the shelf, he was about to leave when he noticed the author's name on a thin little paperback on the shelf below. It said:

How to be a Ninja

by Minato Namikaze

Huh. Wasn't that the name of his hero, the Yondaime (Fourth) Hokage? Naruto checked his homework notes again. Yup, Minato Namikaze, Fourth Hokage of the Hidden Leaf, with a 4-year tenure ending with his defeat of the Kyuubi and death at the age of 28.

Naruto did not enjoy reading. But the Yondaime was his hero… he wavered before grabbing the book and stuffing it under his jacket. The librarian would be here in ten minutes. He could read it after school.

– CS –

Late that night, Naruto pulled out the book and opened it to the first page. It said:

Chapter 1: Introduction.

Dear Descendant,

My name is Minato Namikaze, Yondaime Hokage of Konohagakure no Sato, the Village Hidden in the Leaves. If you're reading this, you must be a descendant of me and my lovely wife, Kushina Uzumaki, because I placed a seal inside the cover of this book preventing anyone who is not our descendant from reading this book. Anyone else will see a Genjutsu (Illusion) of a boring, outdated history textbook, and will feel a strong inclination to completely ignore the book, much less open it. If they manage to get past the Genjutsu and actually open the book, it will self-destruct in an awesome ball of fire. I have hidden copies of this book in various libraries around Konoha and some of the other villages in the hope that my descendants will be curious and intelligent enough to find them.

I've discovered that the vast majority of people in the Elemental Countries completely lack any kind of common sense when it comes to the fields of Ninjutsu (Ninja Techniques) and Fuinjutsu (Sealing Arts). They use ridiculously flashy, difficult, and expensive Ninjutsu to do simple things. They believe that certain things can only be done with clan bloodlines. They use powerful and dangerous Ninjutsu without knowing how they work or why. And many people completely ignore the field of Fuinjutsu, which is, in my opinion, the most powerful Ninja Art in existence. A large number of so-called ninja have never used any form of Fuinjutsu beyond exploding tags and storage scrolls.

This book will guide you on the path to becoming a true Ninja, a warrior in the shadows, a hidden protector of the innocent. This book will give you basic information on Chakra, Ninjutsu, and Fuinjutsu, and tell you how to use that knowledge in simple and almost obvious ways that, strangely, no one else in the world seems to have figured out. You'll have to look elsewhere for Taijutsu (Unarmed Martial Arts) and other techniques, as I haven't found those fields to be underused or misunderstood like Ninjutsu and Fuinjutsu are.

I ask that when you're done reading this, you replace it in the library where you found it. This particular copy is placed in the Konoha Shinobi Academy Library, near the history textbooks needed for the traditional first homework assignment given to all students. I also ask that, if you find yourself in a village that Konoha was not allied with during my tenure as Hokage, you hide copies of this book in their library, secured with the seal you can find in the appendix (very last page).

This is your birthright. I hope you enjoy the read!

Minato Namikaze

– CS –

Huh. Naruto closed the book, looked at the title, and opened it again. Nope, definitely not a boring history textbook. Maybe he really was related to the Yondaime? That would explain the spiky yellow hair and bright blue eyes. It would also explain why he was an orphan, since Minato Namikaze was too young to be Naruto's grandfather.

Now who was this Kushina Uzumaki character? If he didn't grow up with her she was either dead or she had really abandoned him like the villagers said. Was it bad to hope that she was dead?

Well, maybe he could search for more information on her tomorrow. Worrying about it now wouldn't help, and the next chapter was beckoning.

"Chapter 2: Secrets and Lies: How to Hide Your Skills and Avoid Paperwork"

If paperwork was anything like homework, this could be the most important chapter in the book!