Konoha, The Village Hidden in the Leaves and arguably the strongest of the hidden villages, lay in shambles. Not at the ambitions of a rival nation, or the chaos of any internal conflict, but at the hand of nature itself or rather an entity capable of such power and raw destruction that the wrath of nature would be the only suitable comparison.
The Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, Kyuubi bared down upon the village every twitch of its tails cut the air, every step it took cracked the earth at its feet, fangs the size of small houses shone in the moonlight as the beast tore through the village.
Warriors, Shinobi raced to meet the beast with the hope of slowing it down perhaps even repelling it, foolish as it was to challenge the strongest of the tailed beasts, this was their home and they would defend it.
Searing fire rained down upon the body of the beast illuminating the village with their flames, the beast growled and swung its paw swatting the offending shinobi like flys.
Pillars of jagged earth rose from the rubble impaling the demon's legs, it merely roared in annoyance, the force tossing all around it to the winds or into nearby debris.
Arcs of lightning slammed into the beast's maw with the fury of gods, it merely belched a rain of crimson fire in return, consuming all in its path.
This was not a fight, this was unquestionable slaughter and the simple truth was Konoha would not survive, not if this beast had anything to say about it.
"Minato hurry we can't take much more of this." Whispered Sarutobi Hiruzen garbed in his wartime combat armor and adamantine staff in hand. The God of Shinobi could only watch as his village lay ruin at the hands of the raging demon.
Leaping into the air he summoned a giant shuriken and launched it at the Nine-Tails before flashing through hand signs "Shuriken Shadow Clone Jutsu!"
One suddenly became one hundred as the deadly storm of steel hit its mark and sliced into the Kyuubi who roared in fury at the sudden assault.
Turning to meet and quickly end whatever dared attack it, the Kyuubi was caught by surprise as its head was forced down. The cause, the staff resting in Sarutobi's arms, even a being like the Kyuubi had to feel the pain of a weapon as hard as diamond getting acquainted with its skull.
If the situation were not so dire the aged Kage might have felt some pride in forcing the strongest of the Tailed Beasts to bow, granted not of its own will but he would take what he could get.
That line of thought, however, was interrupted by a tail speedily making its way towards him, only decades of combat experience allowed the God of Shinobi to propel himself away in time to avoid becoming yet another casualty.
"I'm much too old for this, fighting demons is a young man's game" The Professor growled to himself watching as the demon shook off his attack and refocused on the village. To his horror, however, it looked like the Nine-Tails had enough playing around.
Jaws to the sky all nearby shinobi and civilians were forced to stop as watch as slowly a black mass of dense chakra began to form in front of the beast, those who could sense chakra fell to despair at the raw power radiating off the mass, and those who could only feel the ambient chakra felt their hairs stand on end at the sight, the air itself tasted of death as the mass stabilized forming a sphere.
The Kyuubi moved to swallow the mass, the prelude to the signature and most destructive techniques available to the Tailed Beasts, the move that would signal the end of Konohagakure.
Or at least it would have. "Summoning: Food Cart Destroyer Technique" rang out through the air accompanied by a billow of smoke before to the shock and joy and of the people a Toad slammed down upon the body of the Kyuubi interrupting it.
"Eh? Where am I?" The booming voice of the Toad rang out
"Oi! Minato where are you and don't you dare tell me you summoned me on top of the fucking Kyuubi no Kitsune!" The Toad hollered.
"Hehe sorry Bunta but it was out of my hands" Minato Namikaze, the Fourth Hokage and Yellow Flash of the Leaf hastily apologized.
"Bunta I need you to keep it busy just for a bit while I have a plan but I need some time to prepare." Says Minato as he eyed the demon as it finally freed itself from underneath the toad boss.
"Why do we get the troublesome summoners?" The toad boss grumbles but nodded drawing the blade attached to his hip and hopping up to by time for his summoner.
"I have to make this quick." Glancing down at the bundle nestled in the crook of his arm the young Hokage couldn't help but smile at the small baby resting in his arms, his son.
"There is only one way to stop this beast, and only one way to ensure you'll have a trump card against what's to come."
The thought gave the man some small measure of comfort, it was not everyday one had to damn a child, their own child no less to the fate of carrying a tailed beast.
Flashing through hand seals the Minato Namikaze cast the last technique of his career as Hokage and of his life.
Sarutobi sighed as he looked over the reports in his office, retaking the mantle of Hokage after the untimely death of his successor.
"You had so much waiting for you Minato your students, your friends…" The aged man Glanced sadly towards the crib next to his desk
"Your family..." He whispered.
Getting up the aged kage made his way towards the crib situated inside his office, taking in its babbling occupant with weary eyes.
A baby with a small tuft of golden hair and sky blue eyes and whiskered cheeks squirmed within, his innocent eyes greedily taking in all this new world had to offer.
"So active for one so young I'm almost sure you'll be a troublemaker, it's in your blood after all." The old man allowed himself a chuckle thinking back on a young redhead terrorizing the village with her pranks.
"Naruto Uzumaki" Hiruzen muttered he seemed to age the more he looked at the boy, a day old orphan with a demon of raw hate and malice tucked away inside him.
Life could be so unfair.
He gently poked the boy's stomach, tracing the outline of the seal and earning him a cute burble from the child lifting his spirits somewhat. With all the death it was refreshing to see the brighter side of the world.
A knock at the door broke the man's focus.
"The Council is assembled sir they are ready for you." The soft voice of his secretary informed him.
Giving a quick affirmative the aged kage gently scooped the baby boy into his arms.
"Well young one lets not keep them waiting." He whispered.
As he made his way towards the council chambers the weary kage could only hope the trust his successor had placed in the village proved worth his sacrifice.
If you asked Naruto Uzumaki what he thought of Konoha his first response would be it's a living nightmare.
The general populous despised Naruto Uzumaki, and those few that did not outright hate the boy were either too wary of him to offer any real aid or ambivalent to his plight. Why the young blond did not know, no other children were looked at the same way he was, no parents whisked their kids away when other children appeared, it was always him and him alone.
He had tried hard to fit in, throwing on his biggest smile, dressing his best or at least the best he could afford to, and being as polite as a five-year-old could be, but in the end, it meant little to people of Konoha.
He sighed staring at the four blank walls of his room, other children had decorations or pictures they had draw lining their walls. For a time he had them as well, pictures of him surrounded by friends, a few with what he thought his parents may have looked like. He took them down though, they only made the isolation feel worse.
With a grunt, the young boy turned to face the window and stare into the night sky. Despite his bright traits, the boy had always felt at peace under the glow of the moon and stars, away from the glares and whispers and happy families.
He got up and walked over to the window taking in the village despite it all he still thought the village itself was beautiful, the people much less so but it was his home and on some level, he cared for it.
He caught sight of a few jumping shadows, ninja, back from missions or setting out on tasks. He watched in awe as they jumped from rooftop to rooftop. Like most children, Naruto wanted nothing more than to be a ninja and it was hard not to, the power, in the eyes of a child, was just amazing.
"One day I'm going to be the greatest ninja in the world" He whispered to himself
Watching the last of the shadows fade from sight the boy gave a nod to himself, he would become the greatest and the world would respect his name.
Settling back into bed he slowly drifted off to sleep, his promise quietly echoing in his head.
The first day into his promise the boy had hit a small snag in his plans.
"I don't know the first thing about being a ninja!" He cried out to himself.
Oh sure he knew they were sneaky and could jump high but that couldn't be all there was to it and even if that were true he had no base to work with, where did he even start?
He racked his brain for a solution, he needed the basics at least! He couldn't reach his goals if he didn't understand what he needed to focus on.
Naruto took a few breaths and calmed himself something he'd learned helped him relax when under the glares of adults or the teasing of his fellow orphans, the punishments for acting out were much worse than dealing with a few cold looks or some jeering.
Information. He needed a baseline to get him started and the only place he could think of was Konoha's Central Library.
He had never actually been there before, he'd passed by it plenty of times but never felt the need to enter it. The library was located near the center of the village not too far from the market district.
With his goal in mind, the young boy raced to the library ignoring the usual looks the villagers sent his way they weren't important at the moment.
Finally arriving at his destination he took a moment to stop and compose himself. He didn't know what kind of reception he would get here and it wouldn't help to go in without thinking.
Once he was sure he had cooled down enough he slowly entered the building and was rather disappointed by how plain it was, rows and rows of books stretched across the walls but there was nothing spectacular about it.
Walking further in he found himself in front of a desk with a young woman facing away from him stacking books onto a cart.
Taking a moment to ready himself for whatever response he might receive Naruto steadied himself with a small breath and coughed into his fist to get her attention.
The woman gave a slight gasp dropping the book in her hand onto the floor. Quietly cursing to herself she quickly picked it and whirled around to the source of the noise.
She was a rather plain woman he noted to himself, she reminded him of the matrons at the orphanage. Plain black hair was done up in the popular hime style framed a similar pair of jet black eyes hidden behind a thin pair of black rimmed glasses. Her thin lips stuck out in a pout, probably due to her surprise at his interruption.
"-ello there?" Her soft voice cut his appraisal short and he quickly brought his gaze back up to meet hers.
"S-Sorry!" He cursed his inattention.
He could see her quietly giggling to herself at his embarrassment making it his turn to pout.
Seeing this the young woman managed to calm her laughter and addressed him once more
"Apologies, I did not mean to embarrass you" She bowed slightly towards him.
Straightening herself out she addressed him once more "My name is Amagi Nara, current head of the Konoha Library." She finished a hint of pride in her tone before looking to him for introductions.
Naruto hesitated, those who did not know him by appearance did know him by name and very rarely did encounters remain friendly once his identity came up. He debated lying but shook that thought away he would be here often if this went well and he couldn't take the chance of his lie blowing up in his face later.
Steeling himself and putting on his soon to be signature grin he replied.
"I'm Naruto Uzumaki, future badass ninja!" He proclaimed.
Amagi regarded the boy critically as he introduced himself with a grin so wide it forced his eyes closed. She knew exactly who he was she was a Nara after all librarian or not, she was also old enough to remember the attack and the 3rd's decree regarding just what this boy truly was.
The real question was why was he here? She may have only recently inherited the head position but she had frequented the library for years and had never seen the boy step foot inside the building.
Focusing back on the child in front of her she raised an eyebrow with a small smirk "Oh really, well then what is a future badass ninja doing inside my library?"
A rather direct question she would admit but in her defense, he was a young child she doubted he would find her interest particularly suspicious.
Naruto's grin seemed to grow even wider at her positive tone, he had been fully prepared for a scowl or even a threat but this lady had proved him wrong.
Snapping back to attention Naruto looked back up to her with hopeful eyes, if she wasn't going to throw him out maybe she would help him.
"I want to learn how to become a ninja and thought maybe I could find some stuff here that'll help." He rubbed the back of his head in slight embarrassment.
Let it be known Naruto did not like asking for anything, either because of his own pride or the constant rejection he faced at the village's hand forcing a higher level of independence upon him.
"Hmm, books on being a ninja eh..." Amagi rubbed her chin in thought at his answer.
They, of course, had books on the fundamentals of almost every shinobi art barring the more dangerous arts such as sealing, which required granted access by the Hokage or Jounin to be given to civilians or younger ninja.
The real question was, should she help him or turn him away? She was not blinded by hate or anger Kami no she had a basic understanding of sealing arts and knew the boy and the fox are separate entities and to blame the boy would be both cruel and foolish.
No, her reservation came in what he would do with knowledge, and with knowledge eventually power. A boy shunned for reasons he is not aware of being given access to skills designed to kill, at face value was a recipe for disaster no one should even indulge.
Her mind raced with possible outcomes, while he might not be the demon himself could the fox perhaps influence him to aim his newfound skills against the populace? Should the seal fail could the fox take over the boys body and in turn gain access to the skills he had acquired? Sure there were other ways he could acquire the information, the academy sprung to mind but he would not qualify to enter for at least two years. Two years he would spend ignorant and untrained.
However, she also acknowledged that delaying his quest now could result in a similar problem. The boy denied the chance to chase his dreams on top of being arguably the most disliked person in the village would make him more susceptible to outside influence be it a demon fox promising revenge or a foreign ninja offering the chance of a better life. Either option almost guaranteed a new threat to the village.
She looked back down at the young boy, eyes filled with hope, determination, and excitement but looking deeper revealed to her fear, sadness, and insecurity.
Amagi has a choice to make.
Leave the boy alone, open to anyone willing to give the boy a modicum of attention or help leaving his and possibly the entire village's fate to the winds.
Or, guide the boy handing him the tools to become a trained killer but aiming them away from the village.
Walking out from behind the desk Amagi rubbed the boys head, inwardly noting the blush creeping along his face and the shocked look he tried to hide from her at the contact.
Definitely the right choice.
"Come along Naruto-kun I believe we do have some texts on beginner level shinobi exercises and techniques. Let's see if we can find what you are looking for yeah?" She smiled down upon him offering a small measure of support.
Naruto would fondly remember that moment in the future, the first time someone had truly acknowledge him and the first time the problems in his life, just for a moment, seemed a bit smaller.
AN. So this is a thing sorry if it is paced or written strangely this is my first go at writing in this style and I'm certain it shows so please go somewhat easy on me.
Hello and thank you for taking the time out to read this story, I am going back and updating a lot of the authors notes to clarify some stuff so that you all as readers have a better understanding of where this story is going and choices that are being made since I have deleted a lot of old authors notes that fill out some gaps in my writing.
Like this chapter says this was my first time writing in the style of a fic and looking back it really shows and unfortunately I do not have the time to go back and rewrite the early chapters but I do promise things get better! (You can read the reviews obviously as proof of that I think) The early chapters were written very close together so some mistakes remain consistent but I have gotten better at reading through and correcting so if you do plan to read on I think it will level out.
As a note, the bottom ANs are very important if you need extra context and for explaining future story choices so please do read them before you review because you may find an answer to your criticism or question that satisfies you. If not then please review away or PM me always happy to talk about the story.
I do hope you will come to enjoy the story and if not that's okay and I thank you for taking the time out read it!