Everything was so different. The bird had changed everything. He still didn't quite understand how the little birdy could have done so much. But there was a lot he didn't understand.
Like, why did the people in masks find him so quickly when his building went away? A bunch of other people had their buildings go away and the masked people didn't help them. He was fine. His head hurt a lot but that was normal. There was a bit of blood on him but that was nothing.
He really missed his quilt. The blankets he had now weren't nearly as soft. Or warm. Or fuzzy. He had found out what the word meant!
The voice badgered at the back of his head. Badgered was a word he had learned too! One of the masked men had said it after he had asked them a bunch of questions. Just like he had, the voice badgered away. Half the words, he couldn't understand. The other half made him feel too ill for him to try and understand.
One more to go
He had one more thing to do today. Ever since he saw the bird, he had been given a list of stuff to do everyday.
First, wake up! Then he would go and brush his teeth. Eating came next. The breakfast that the masked people gave him was a lot tastier than what he made himself.
Then he would run. He liked running. It felt nice. No matter how far he ran, he never got tired.
After running, he would eat some more. Sometimes the masked people tried to make him bathe. He would run as fast as he could! But they always ended up catching him.
After that, he would read. He was learning more and more from the books they gave him. They tried to teach him weird things about fighting and stuff. He liked books about animals the most.
Then came the last thing. He hated the last thing. It made him feel sick. He tried his hardest to get out of the last thing but they always made him. That's why he didn't like the masked men. They pretended to be nice. But he knew they just wanted him to follow the list.
So he sat and tried. He tried to talk with the voice. The voice always talked back. It was mean. It made him feel sad. Angry. It made him hurt. Every single time, he ended up hurting and going to sleep.
Then he would wake up and start again.
"There's been no progress, Master Hokage. The boy has shown no ability to harness the power of the Kyuubi."
"Iwa has called for their jinchuriki's return to the village. They are gearing up for war."
"Communications with Kumo have gone quiet, sir."
"Hiruzen-sensei. You cannot keep pushing the child. He is not meant for this. Minato did not make the seal for this."
"The official body count from Iwa's Mad Bomber attack is 349 civilians and 23 shinobi."
A gentle stream of smoke wafted out of the old man's pipe. His eyes faced the solitary window of his office which provided an amazing view of the village. The usually immaculate compound had a glaring defect to it. That defect being a nearly 100 meter diameter hole that contained nothing but dust and rubble.
The words of his subordinates drifted through his mind. Particular, the statement made by his wayward student stood out.
Naruto Uzumaki. The legacy of his successor and the last Uzumaki. The boy's bright future had taken a horrible turn on the day of his birth. His parents' deaths made sure of that.
The boy's future took on an even more grim turn at the bombing Konoha faced. Hiruzen had been content on letting the boy develop at a normal pace. The boy may have been ostracized by the village but he could still function as a somewhat normal child.
That option is gone now. Konoha was in wartime and wartime came with a different set of rules. A different set of standards.
A different code of morals.
Whether Hiruzen liked it or not, a village's jinchuriki was their ultimate weapon. And with the odds that his village was going to be facing, they would need every weapon they could get.
"Minato. Kushina. Kami. Please forgive me."
AN: Bet y'all forgot about this one? I sure did. Anyways, I got a new discord server. KmWcBkDmWY is the code. Join up and say hi.