The Pantheon of Nine

By: Finn Mertenz

A/N: The Naruto timeline is a mess, so I'll have to use headcanon and make a timeline. I'll be using the Warring States Period/Shinobi States Period to better explain this timeline.

Warring States Period 1WSP-191WSP (Ends with the foundation of Shinobi villages.)

1st Shinobi World War 4SSP-14SSP

2nd Shinobi World War 28SSP-36SSP

3rd Shinobi World War 42SSP-44SSP

If you're here ONLY for Tayuya x Naruto - her first appearance is chapter 20 and her introduction is chapter 30.

Summary: Saving Naruto from a lingering band of Taki kunoichi and adopting him meant much. But all that joy would fade away as circumstances unfolded that Iruka could never control.

Season 1: Chapters 1-46

Season 2: Chapters 47-102

Season 3: Chapters 103-122

Season 4: (Finale) Chapters 123-Ongoing.

Introduction: 1-3

Land of Waves: 4-9

Tales of Konoha: 10-14

Forest of Death: 15-20

Preliminary Exam: 21-28

Red Thread of Fate: 29-34

Chunin Exam: 35-38

Konoha Crush: 39-46

Naruto Retrieval: 47-60

Land of Sound: 61-65

Curse of Hatred: 66-70

Land of Steam: 71-80

Search for Tsunade: 81-85

Will of Fire: 86-87

Land of Snow: 88-94

Land of Waterfalls: 95-96

Land of Tea: 97-102

Land of Rivers: 103-106

Land of Sea: 107-108

Return to Waves: 109-110

Stone of Gelel: 111-113

Future of Fire: 114

Tale of Kakashi: 115-117

Land of Birds: 118

Land of Stone: 119-120

Land of Rain: 121-122

Land of Grass: 123

Land of Water: 124-126

Land of Earth: 127

Race Against Time: 128

Land of Forests: 129

Road to Friendship: 130

Kage Summit: 131-132

The 4th Shinobi War: 133-152

Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN NARUTO. I DO NOT CLAIM TO OWN NARUTO.

Credit to the artist: I have nothing but respect, love and admiration for the artist who drew this cover photo. They deserve my praise.

Scene Change:


Tailed Beast: "What should i expect from a weak mortal?"

Conversation: "Have you seen Kakashi-sensei today?"

Internal Dialogue: He's pouring even more chakra into his technique?!

Thank you to Jetslinger and their "Melody of the Fox" Fanfiction because it inspired me to write this - my very first fanfiction.


Chapter 1: Enter: Naruto Uzumaki! The Beginning Of A Legend.

Wednesday 4:34pm, November 7th 52SSP.

"Give me a break!" Naruto complained.

Standing in front of the Konoha academy, he was 7 years old with spiky blond hair, a homeless orphan. Adorned with a short-sleeved orange jacket, this deeply contrasted his knee-length green shorts.

With sky blue eyes and fair-skin, each cheek was lined by an array of three separate whiskers. Sniffling in protest, he was just saved from a group of marauding shinobi from Taki.

"You idiot!" Iruka screeched, striking his student.

A 17 year old Chunin, Iruka was a veteran of the 3rd Shinobi War, and an orphan, just like Naruto. With tan-skin, a horizontal slash across his nose and a frizzled brown topknot, his black eyes narrowed.

Groaning in response, Naruto promptly fell onto both knees, grabbing his skull with agony. Looming over this whiskered child, Iruka pinched the bridge of his nose before sighing.

"Ya'know. You remind me a lot of myself... But even I never ran off." Muttering under his breath, Iruka narrowed both eyes.

"It's not like anyone cares." Naruto spat.

Striking the hollow core of Iruka's heart, these words carried great affect. An orphan for almost 20 years, his parents were murdered by the nine tailed fox, the same demon inside of Naruto.

"Well then I guess that settles it... Let's go home." Iruka stroked Naruto's scalp.

Inspired by the sudden mention of ramen, Naruto's personality took a cheerful turn. Running down the street with gusto, this young blond chuckled and laughed, daydreaming about his next meal.


One day later.

"I need to talk to you..." Iruka stood inside the Hokage's office.

Illuminated by rays of sunlight from the nearby window, Hiruzen Sarutobi came into view. Dressed in the standard array of Kage robes, the 3rd Hokage's face was framed by his linen hat.

Met by an approving nod, Iruka nervously gripped his knee, trembling without pause. Piercing the eerie silence in the air, Hiruzen exhaled a cloud of lingering smoke, exposed the liver spots on his face.

"For a long time... I hated him..." Iruka admitted.

Once upon a time, Iruka hated Naruto, he hated the demon inside of him, and he blame him for everything. But now, he finally saw the young child inside, a lonely orphan, just like himself.

"Very well... This might do Naruto some good." Hiruzen continued to smoke.


One week later.

"Stop fooling around!" Iruka shrieked.

"But It stays on my head for twenty seconds...!" Naruto argued.

Seated on a wooden floor, Naruto and Iruka were positioned in the living room, watching TV after a long day. Surrounded by a pile of lush leaves, his whiskered student was deep in training.

Practicing the Leaf Concentration technique, this was common inside the academy of Konoha. Utilized to increase chakra control, Iruka eventually noticed how much chakra Naruto actually had.

"Let's go get some ramen." Encouragement was strengthened as he combed blond hair.

Jumping with jeers as arms waved beside flailing feet, the boy he consoled was invigorated with determination. Nothing like the outspoken or troublesome teen he was mere weeks ago.

Because these simple acts of kindness, the process of adoption and the feeling of parental love was all he needed. Influencing the passage of days to feel like months as he dreamed echoed.

In the past; this estranged orphan also sought to prove himself by becoming Hokage and gaining attention. But now with the unsung aid of Iruka, such desires were left like a bad toy.

A trend that willfully continued as each of these Konoha loyalist ran out the front door in a hurry. The barren street they lived on was studied before eagerly heading off to find their next meal.


Two weeks later.

Standing outside of the iconic Konoha Academy, Iruka was teaching his class about chakra control. Shrouded by the overcast shadow from the Hokage Monument, Iruka's clipboard wavered against the wind.

Grabbing one of these dislodged leaves, a six year old Sasuke pinned this foliage against his forehead. Fueled by the crimson-eyed silhouette of his older brother, he clenched his teeth.

"Thirty seconds, nice job... Next, Naruto Uzumaki." These words were met with a chorus of laughter.

Ignoring this protest, Naruto gleefully dashed next to his wooden swing, pulling a leaf from the tree. Running in front of Iruka, he sprawled this leaf across his forehead, smiling at his sensei.

Over the past several weeks, Naruto's life had taken a dramatic shift, he finally had a family. Filling the void in Naruto's heart, Iruka became more and more attached to his whiskered student.

"Amazing! Fifty seconds!" The class became dampened by Iruka's booming voice.

Humming with interest, Sasuke was propped against a tree, holding both arms in front of his chest. Slowly opening one eye, he glared at Naruto's back, observing his strange classmate.


Six months later.

Faint rays of moonlight sparkled down as Naruto and Sasuke walked beside each other. Walking through the Uchiha compound, this pair of friends just finished their daily routine of training.

Distracted by an elderly librarian, Sasuke and Naruto quickly surrounded the elderly woman, running circles around her. Giggling in response, this aged lady grabbed both boys by their head.

"Sarada! Have you seen any of my big brothers?" Sasuke asked.

"I havent seen Itachi in some time, but Shisui is next to the waterfall." Sarada explained, revealing Sasuke's secret hiding spot.

Nodding with appreciation, Sasuke instinctively dashed down the road, leaving Naruto in the dust. Caught off guard by a nearby book, he strolled in front of Sarada's exterior shelf.

Usually barred and forbidden from entering the library, the average citizen hated Naruto. The cursed the demon inside him, the nagged the boy he pretended to be, and they kept him at an arms length.

"You want this book? Take it, it's been sitting in my stand for twelve years." Sarada rolled her eyes.

Fueled by this voice, Naruto joyfully wrapped both arms around his new book. Adorned with the kanji for 'Clans of Konoha', this green-tinted novel was partially worn with age, the same age as Naruto.


Twenty minutes later.

"That's the Uzumaki clan." Shisui explained.

Shisui, Naruto and Sasuke were gathered around a rocky cliffside, positioned next to a rushing waterfall. The favorite hiding spot for Sasuke and Naruto, these friends frequently trained here.

Inspired by this realization, Naruto leapt to his feet, cheering and cackling with joy. At the same time, Sasuke reluctantly scoffed in the background, practicing how to preform hand seals.


One Year later.

Sprawled across an array of wooden boards, Naruto was seated on the back of Iruka's porch. Glancing up at the star-filled horizon, he wrinkled his tiny nose, startled by rustling leaves..

"Did you wanna come inside? Iruka just made dinner." Naruto caught a glimpse of Itachi's bloodstained silhouette.

Without warning, Itachi erupted into a squawking flock of crows, swirling and soaring overhead. Polluting the air with black feathers, these crows swarm around Naruto like a vortex.

This is kind of cool... Naruto's attention was garnished by a three tomoe Sharingan.

Attached to massive black raven, this feathered bird loomed over nearby crows. Flapping both wings in perfect unison, this raven abruptly surged towards Naruto, squawking without delay.

Shoving its beak inside of Naruto's mouth, this feathered bird forcibly wormed into his stomach. Gagging and spewing a bundle of feathers with each breath, Naruto fell to both knees.

Was that a prank? Confused by Itachi's strange disappearance, he had no idea what just happened.


Two years later.

Standing atop the iconic Hokage Monument, Naruto and Iruka were basked by rays of sunlight. Glancing out across the sun-baked village of Konoha, Naruto celebrated his 10th birthday.

"I've been thinking... About all the hatred in the world... How do you fight it?" Naruto scratched his whiskers.

Affected by hatred glares, lingering glances and distrusted eyes, Naruto knew that everyone hated him. Hiding his own eyes behind a wall of blond bangs, he grew his spiky hair out, hanging to his whiskers.

"You protect people... Like how I protect you." Iruka chuckled.

"Because when you love someone, you want to protect them." Speaking with experience, he wrinkled his nose.

Unleashing a booming laugh, Iruka wrapped both arms around Naruto before picking him up. Placing this blond-haired Jinchūriki on his shoulders, he carried him down the road.


One week later.

"I can't handle it anymore! Turn it off!" Naruto panicked.

Beholden to a vibrant screen in the center of a lightless room, shadows flicked as audible screams rang. "It's not even scary, stop freaking out." Iruka slurped on a cup of to-go-ramen.

Watching the latest horror movie on the market; Shinobi Zombie 6 was released to widespread praise. Exciting adults while terrifying every child that managed to catching fleeting glimpses.

Plotted and based around ninja raising from the dead due to an uncontrollable Jutsu, gore was intense. Dripping flesh and push-covered ooze as mounds of muck gnawed at the air.

Suddenly petrified by the horrifying screech of a victim to this beasts; Naruto leapt free from his sheets. Momentarily suspended above the couch before diving behind its edged mass.

No longer an orphan, no longer left alone to sulk in the dark without any parents or elders to call his own. The mirage of visualized horror beyond truly meant nothing to his heart.

Because he was finally happy; receiving the same admiration and affection of those in his shinobi class. But such joyful memories were put on relapse as zombies roared from the TV.


Two years later.

Distracted by his own thoughts, a 12 year old Sasuke used one finger to twirl his spiky black hair. Playing with loose strands, he was seated in the fabled classroom of the Konoha Academy.

A perfect match for the black wrist-guards he wore, he wore darkened shinobi shoes. Drawing attention to his sleeveless blue tunic, this fabric was held in place by a white sash around his waist.

True to his status as a shinobi, Sasuke's most noticeable feature was the black grasscutter sword. Strapped against the side of his back, this weapon was a personal gift from Shisui.

"Yo, are those new clothes?" Shikamaru was roused by Naruto's appearance.

Anxiously scratching the back of his head, Naruto finally switched out from his orange jacket. Adorned with an ankle-length purple tunic, this static-filled garment clung to his black pants.

Partially obscured by the raised collar of his outfit, Naruto's whiskers stabbed the fabric on his attire. Also, he wore a pair of black shinobi shoes, wrapped with white linen bandages.

"Yea... I went out shopping, for graduation." Naruto mumbled his excuse.

"That reminds me, I have that book you loaned me..." Sasuke cut in, reaching into his backpack.

Revealing the green-tinted book from Sarada's stand, this tattered source of knowledge was filled with info. Hand-written over 30 years ago, the author's name was scribbled out.

"Listen up, everyone..." Iruka spoke, entering the classroom.

In preparation for the upcoming graduation exam, his class was assigned the Transformation Technique. Cycling through a list of students, Choji, Sakura and Kiba all preformed an adequate transformation.

However, Iruka eventually came upon Naruto, calling him to the front of the room. Nervously giggling, he scratched the whiskers on his face before clasping his glove-covered hands together.

Erupting into a failed puff of smoke, a distorted version of Iruka wiggle into view. Faceplanting the ground, this transformation forced the entire class to laugh, while Iruka, Shikamaru and Sasuke all scowled.


One week later.

Naruto, Iruka and Mizuki were all gathered in the iconic classroom of team 7. They were holding tryouts for the graduation exam and only one student was allowed inside the classroom at a time.

"I-... I can't believe this, Naruto! I can't pass you like this!" Iruka stuttered.

Met by the mischievous laugh of Mizuki, he was a 27 year old Chunin with fair skin. A veteran of the 3rd Shinobi War, he had dark blue eyes with shoulder-length white hair, draped over his green flak jacket.

"I want you to go home and continue to practice." As he spoke, his tone was clearly depressed.

At this moment, Naruto turned around before a wide smile infected his concealed face. Skipping for joy as he left the classroom, he played dumb on purpose, to stay at Iruka's side.


Four hours later.

Bright rays of moonlight sparkled down on the dirt-filled road as Iruka slowly walked home. During this walk, he pinched the bridge of his nose Naruto's face drifted through his mind.

"IRUKA!" A winded Chunin shouted, landing on an overhanging roof.

Known as Iwana, this Chunin was 32 years old with fair skin and an eyepatch over his left eye. Adorned with a blue bandana, the metallic headband of Konoha was sewn into the fabric.

"Naruto's stolen the Scroll of Seals!" Bekkō interjected.

A 41 year old Chunin, Bekkō was a veteran of the 2nd and 3rd Shinobi Wars, a life of conflict. Wearing a full-bodied blue jumpsuit with a green flak jacket, his jagged brown hair was restrained by Konoha's headband.


Five minutes later.

"Lord Hokage! This is a serious crime, one that needs punishment!" Iwana snarled.

Standing outside the Hokage's office, dozens of Chunin, Jonin and Anbu were gathered. Discussing the volatile and scared nature of the Scroll of Seals, it was originally written by the 1st Hokage himself. scroll.

"If it falls into the wrong hands, they could destroy our village!" Daikoku cut in.

A 35 year old veteran of the 3rd Shinobi War, Daikoku was rotund, fat and overweight. But his size didn't deter his skill as a shinobi, a master of Kenjutsu, second only to Hayate or Yūgao.

"Very well... Bring Naruto here, at once!" Hiruzen spoke with a mouthful of smoke.

Causing the Hokage's outfit to rustle and waver, dozens of shinobi dissolved into a whirlwind of leaves. Searching through the entire village of Konoha, none of them were able to locate their target.


Meanwhile.

Naruto had been practicing and reading from the Scroll of Seals for over four hours. This allowed him to repetitively tinker with an extremely difficult technique, the Multiple Shadow Clone jutsu.

Because of this, Naruto decided to continue studying the scroll, eager to appease Iruka. This conclusion forced him to unroll the Scroll of Seals, revealing an odd yet familiar pattern of swirls.

Known as the Eight Trigrams Seal, it was special technique, used by the 4th Hokage himself. Used during the final night of his life, he used this seal to restrained the nine-tailed fox inside of Konoha's youngest child.

Taking place over 12 years ago, Naruto was that child, an orphan since the death of his parents. But now, he found a new family and a new home, emboldened by Iruka's love and admiration.

Unrolling the scroll again, he stumbled upon the Flying Thunder God, an S-rank technique. Enamored by the cool sound of its name, Naruto decided to study this technique, devoting all his time and effort.


Seven hours later.

"DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW WORRIED I'VE BEEN?!" Iruka shrieked, jumping from the tree-line.

Positioned inside the forested outskirts of Konoha, the foliage was pierced by rays of moonlight. Muffled by the sound of hooting howls and chirping crickets, Naruto nervously scratched his scalp.

"Do I pass the secret exam?!" Naruto's face was awash with joy.

"Mizuki told me all about the secret exam." Explaining his motivation, he spread horror across Iruka's face.

"I see Iruka has found you hard at work?" Mizuki slurred with innocence.

Jumping in front of and shielding his whiskered student, Iruka shouted a list of demands. Ordered Naruto to return to Konoha, this blond boy was too tired to move, a side effect of Chakra Exhaustion.

"Don't let Mizuki get the scroll! It contains forbidden jutsu that could put our village in danger!" Iruka screamed.

"He's just trying to scare you, because he's afraid you'll break his record." Mizuki replied.

Seated with his back against a staggering oak tree, Naruto clenched the Scroll of Seals. Wrinkling the sacred page under his grip, he resembled a defenseless child, unable to stand.

"But that's nothing new, because everyone is afraid of you." Cackling, his words caused Iruka to tense.

"Everyone knows except you, They're always trying to hide things from you..." As he spoke, Iruka unsheathed a pair of kunai.

Polluted the tranquil night sky, a shouting match veiled the sound of croaking frogs. During this, Naruto's gasps for air began frequent and staggered, shocked by the unfolding revelation.

"DON'T TELL HIM! IT'S FORBIDDEN!" Iruka screeched.

"The nine tailed fox is sealed inside you!" Mizuki laughed without any care.

"The demon who destroyed our village and murdered Iruka's parents! You're the nine tailed fox!" This declaration forced Naruto's concealed eyes to bulge.

"STOP IT!" Iruka leapt into the air.

Consumed by the shadowy aura of the tree-line, this shinobi moved with Chunin-level speed. Occasionally illuminated by flashing sparks, the sound of metal striking metal could be heard.

Too exhausted to move, Naruto curled up on the floor, gripping the Scroll of Seals with one hand. Wildly panting for air, he tried to stand up, but his muscles were too sore, ignoring his command.

"Naruto! Run! Run!" Iruka screamed before Mizuki jumped to the forest floor.

As Iruka fought with kunai, Mizuki maneuvered the curved edge of a green-hilted tantō. Overwhelming his childhood friend, Iruka's right hand was slashed open, gushing blood over his flak jacket.

A parents duty is to protect their children! A single phrase echoed through Iruka's mind.

Swollen with confidence, Iruka dropped both kunai before leaping back across blades of grass. Weaving through several hand seals, he spewed a torrent of flames from his mouth.

The result of Fire style: Fireball Jutsu, flickering embers collided against a wall of mud. Summoned forth by Mizuki, this Chunin cackled with anticipation, planning to sell the Scroll of Seals.

Yanking the staggering shuriken from his back, Mizuki raised these sharpened blades. Basked by moonlight, he tossed this projectile without a second time, dampened by Iruka's panic.

"NARUTO, WATCH OUT!" Iruka screamed with a mixture of pain, rage and fear.

Burying his face into both hands, Naruto wished his cares away, pretending to sleep. But the night continued to stretch on, and the air became filled with silence, ruptured only by crickets.

Startled by cold liquid atop his scalp, Naruto's ears were filled with Iruka's gentle voice. Laughing as if nothing wrong had happened, his back was impaled by Mizuki's shuriken, puncturing his lungs.

"I'm so-... Sorry, Naruto..." Iruka gagged.

"This is it." Cradling his students face, Iruka faceplanted the ground.

Stammered in blood, core and crimson ooze, his attire was tattered and torn with cuts. However, a prominent smile was etched across his face, empowered by the purpose that Naruto gave him.

"How does that make you feel, demon? I bet it you love it!" Mizuki mocked the death of his 'friend'.

Forcibly gasping for air, Naruto's mouth fell open after catching a glimpse of Iruka's body. Trembling and shaking, he dragged his nails across wet blades of grass, drenched in fresh blood.

"Let's get this over with, I need to get this scroll to Orochimaru..." He lazily strolled towards Naruto.

Suddenly, Mizuki gasped with shocked as nearby trees and portions of earth abruptly cracked. Raising his face, a faint glimmer of violet erupted from Naruto's eyes, blinding his opponent.

"Aa-... AAa-... AAAHHH!" Naruto's painful wails polluted the air.

As tears poured from his strange eyes, an unseen force radiated out from them, as strong as gravity. Colliding against Mizuki, this Chunin was engulfed by disheveled trees and dislodged rock.

Several shockwaves of dust and debris then resonated out in all directions as Mizuki was crushed to death. As this occurred, the surrounding earth quaked under the weight of Naruto's chakra.

As lingering smoke clouded the tree-line, the only noticeably sound was a weeping child. Bridging the surface of this dusty veil, Naruto clung to his dead sensei, crying and whimpering.

Brought to his final limits by Chakra Exhaustion, Naruto quickly fell unconscious. Falling atop the limp corpse of his sensei, he drifted into a different world, the world of his dreams, a world where Iruka survived.