Hi. This is my first attempt at writing a full-fledged fic. I usually write whenever I'm free or when I'm in the right frame of mind. Fellow writers can attest to that. So expect an update after a while. It depends if the story picks up. I mentioned my first attempt because some things will probably not be perfect. My grammar might be a bit sketchy cause English is not my first language. I had a lot of help from a good friend Valkipher here on FF. This chapter is also beta-read by him. The first chapter is inspired a little bit at the start by A Testament of Things That Will Never Happen by Unbiased Abyss. Hopefully, he doesn't mind. I appreciate constructive criticism. So please leave a review. Fingers crossed. Thanks for reading.
EDIT: Hey. I come from the future. That's a poor joke. Anyways, I wanted to mention that the first chapter... looking back at it... it's honestly not that great. It's really poor if compared with the rest of the chapters. Comparing it with the way and how I'm writing now, it's not good. But that's the sort of thing you learn as you grow. I'm progressing as a writer and I'm getting better with each update. At least I think I am. I might do a rewrite one day. Make it better. Hope you stick around.
Iruka was coughing up blood now... He had been pierced with a couple of kunai and had a Fuma shuriken stuck in his back. 'I need to get Naruto someplace fast. At this extent, I won't be able to stay awake much longer.'
Naruto was shocked. He had just found out about his burden. He knew now why people always hurt him and why they whispered bad things about him and at him. But he had other things to worry about at the moment.
Just as Iruka was about to collapse, Naruto caught him and leaned him against the tree. Iruka had pulled the Fuma-shuriken out of the tree and was losing consciousness.
"Naruto, there's no way you can beat Mizuki. Go and take the scroll to Sandaime-sama. I'll hold him off. Please. Go." He pleaded.
"Iruka-sensei, there's no way you can fight Mizuki-teme this way. I won't back down. I'll kick his silver-haired ass. Believe it!"
Iruka smiled but instantly lost consciousness.
"He's not going to be able to save you, you demon!" Mizuki appeared on the tree next to them.
"Lord Orochimaru will reward me. Oh, yes he will. For taking down the demon and getting the scroll both."
Just as he was about to attack them...
Mizuki screamed and was instantly flown away taken by the spiralling blue ball of chakra. He went through two trees and slammed into the third one with the tree smashed. His whole stomach was vaporized by the chakra ball. 'Wind natured, was it?' Mizuki could only gawk at his executioner before he fell face-first on the ground dead.
The executioner stood at about 6'1. Blood red hair shoulder length tempestuous. He was wearing Anbu styled black pants which were ripped at several spots with small cuts visible. With black blood-stained boots. He was wearing a black jacket with orange stripes running shoulder to forearm, with a white undershirt in which bloody gashes were visible. The Uzumaki symbol stood proudly on his back. He was wearing a red cape with black blazing flames at the bottom. But the cape was in tatters. His arms were a bloody mess. He was wearing a black and red fox Anbu mask which was shredded but enough to hide his distinct whisker marks. Only his azure eyes shone in the darkness. He came close to Naruto and his eyes softened at the frightened child.
"A-Are you okay?" He asked in a soft yet subdued tone.
"H-hai..." the boy replied warily.
"Good..." The man replied.
'I guess it worked...'
Then fell to his knees and collapsed.
The Hokage was watching the scene and decided to intervene. He arrived as soon as the masked man arrived but froze when he saw the Rasengan being formed.
'Only Jiraya and Kakashi know how to use it...'
He decided to wait and let the events play out. Something told the Sandaime that this person did not have any bad intentions. He just had a feeling but it did not mean that he trusted him, mind you. He was still on high alert with his Anbu in tow.
"Naruto-kun, are you alright?" He asked the blonde and signalled his Anbu to get the foreigner medical attention.
"Hai, jiji! The Oji-san saved me! H-he used this really flashy kind of ball which sent Mizuki-teme flying like whoosh!"
The blonde was exaggerating making gestures that would make him look like a clown in front of everyone but the Hokage was used to the blonde and just chuckled. One of the Anbu, specifically a cat-masked one, giggled quietly.
'Still the same cute gaki...' She mused.
The Anbu left to get the foreigner medical attention. The Hokage turned to the blonde, "Naruto-kun, now that I've found out that you're fine. Why did you take the Scroll Of Sealings?" The Hokage asked concernedly. The merry expression the blonde held was instantly changed into a grim one.
"Mizuki-sensei tricked me and said to get the scroll from your office. He told me that if I got the scroll, that means I'll pass. I-I'm so stupid! I didn't understand the bastard was tricking me."
Tears were falling from the boy's eyes. The Hokage was worried when he saw through his crystal ball what Mizuki said to him. That was when he left to take care of the threat himself. The boy was tough, the Hokage always acknowledged that. But when he saw the expression the boy held right now, the pain was quite visible and he felt years of guilt creeping up on his spine. He started contemplating every decision he made regarding the boy.
'Minato and Kushina would be ashamed of me. The boy is in so much pain right now and it's all my fault. I should have tried harder. I should've fought harder...'
He knew why the boy was in visible pain. It wasn't a thing such as trivial as being tricked by someone. That was a daily occurrence for the boy. He just found out the source of his pain, his suffering. The boy had many emotions bottled up inside of him. Most along the line of hatred and scorn for the bastard villagers. Why did they have to hate him for something which he could not control? There were elements of insecurity too. Was he really a demon then? Left for the villagers to direct their hatred on?
The Hokage knelt down and put his hand on the boy's head. "Naruto-kun, I'm very sorry I kept a secret from you... You know what I'm talking about, don't you? But it was for your own protection. Don't ever think for a second that you are the demon. You are the jailer and he is the prisoner. Your parents wanted you to be treated as a hero but... things did not turn out the way as your parents wanted... There are many things that I cannot say until you're old enough but I'm very sorry, Naruto-kun. Can you find it in your heart to forgive an old fool like me?"
The Hokage was desperate but even he knew that some things are not easy to forget especially with the amount of abuse the boy has suffered. He may not be conscious about his feelings right now but even a blind man can tell that the boy is bound to change someway after learning such a burden about himself.
"I don't know, jiji. I need some time to get over it and think about it and become awesome again, ya know?" The boy smiled but it was clearly forced. The Hokage saw through it and his heart shattered.
"Of course, Naruto-kun. Take as much time as you need."
They remained silent for a while until Naruto broke it, "Say, Jiji? What will happen to the Oji-san who saved me? He'll be okay, right?"
"I cannot say anything about that, Naruto-kun."
Naruto frowned but did not say anything. Both made their way to the hospital. Naruto went to Iruka who was awake now and was awarded with a forehead-protector. But did not celebrate. Iruka was concerned for him but Naruto waved him off saying it was nothing.
The Hokage made his way over to the medical facility. A couple of kunoichis and Iryo-nins were giggling outside the room. Upon seeing the Hokage, they immediately straightened.
The Hokage sighed and went inside. Inside, the man was lying on the bed with half his body covered by the bedspread and the other half visible with some noticeable scars and bandages. But there was a person who was tracing her hand on the man's muscles... That person was none other than Neko, the cat-masked Anbu.
The Hokage cleared his throat. Upon seeing the Hokage, she jumped and straightened,
She was blushing madly and sweating profusely, under her mask of course. The Hokage sweatdropped, 'Why it always the young ones who get lucky?'
"Get the medic, Neko-san."
The Anbu bowed and left embarrassed at being caught at a slightly obscene act and soon after, the medic arrived.
"Hokage-sama." He bowed.
"What's the condition of our friend here?"
The medic sighed, "Not great, Hokage-sama. To be honest, it's kind of amazing he's alive. He has a punctured lung, nerve damage in one arm. Multiple concussions, a cracked shoulder, two cracked ribs. A ruptured spine disk. His whole body has multiple gashes... But his healing prowess is amazing. His chakra reserves are out of this world. He's drained right now, his condition speaks for itself. But he's probably higher than you in terms of chakra, Hokage-sama. His wounds are almost covered along with the scars he already has. By the rate he's going at, he should be okay by the morning."
The Hokage was very curious now. 'He looks like he fought a whole battalion by himself. Plus that red hair. Only one person in the whole village had that hair. And she was an Uzumaki. Those chakra reserves and that healing prowess although at a much substantial rate. The vitality. He's an Uzumaki, that much is confirmed. But his face... it reminds me so much of Minato. But also of K-Kushina?'
The Hokage turned to his medic, "perform a DNA test, a blood test and compare it with the village database. It's for my eyes only. No one else. Not even you are allowed to see the results. Go do it. Now."
The medic bowed and left. He pulsed his chakra and an Anbu arrived, "Your orders, Hokage-sama?"
"Get Yamanaka Inoichi right now. I won't take no for answer. Tell him it's an emergency."
The Anbu shunshined out of the room to carry his orders. As soon as the Anbu left, the foreigner started stirring up and opened his azure eyes to lock eyes with the Hokage. He smiled and said,
"It's been a while, old man..."
The Hokage was both shocked and amused. Shocked because the colour of those eyes was profoundly familiar. And amused at being called with such a brusque appellation. Only two people in the whole village called him that.
"Do you know who I am?" He asked neutrally.
"Hai. The Sandaime Hokage. Sarutobi Hiruzen also known as the Kami no Shinobi due to mastery over all five elements. Led Konoha through the Second and Third Shinobi Wars." He stated calmly.
"I'm flattered that you know of me. But who are you? And what business do you have with Konoha?" The Hokage asked with a hint of peril.
"No need to get so hostile against me, old man." He waved his hands above his head feigning innocence.
"I'll tell you everything about myself and why I'm here. But before I do that, I want you to place a silencing seal over the room and take a seat cause you're gonna need it."
'There goes that feeling of trust again...'
The Hokage complied and sat on the chair next to the bed. He applied the seal to the wall which glowed briefly.
"Okay, you have my attention."
The foreigner took a deep breath and said, "When you see my face. Who does it remind you of?"
The Hokage remained silent. The foreigner allowed a small smile to show on his face. "I'm sure you're familiar with Jikūkan Ninjutsu. Your sensei, the Second Hokage Senju Tobirama invented a technique called the Hiraishin which the Fourth perfected and made it as his signature jutsu. Let's just say there's a variant of said Jikūkan Ninjutsu which I made in collaboration with a certain someone..."
The Hokage was now processing everything that the foreigner told him. His sensei was always talking about the capabilities of his Hiraishin and how it could be taken to the next level. Such that time-travel could be made possible if made with a certain Fuin signature of the user in which the arrays could be made cross-dimensional. So the user could travel to the tag irrespective of the past or future. The tags made in a way that they could be rendered into the surface so they don't decay over time. That much Tobirama knew. But he could never go beyond that. His student Koharu always called him gaga.
'He never lived long enough to finish it. Minato never worked on it on this aspect of the jutsu. He certainly had the potential for it.'
The Hokage had a passive look on his face. He sighed and took a drag of his pipe, "This is quite difficult to comprehend... Say I were to believe you, which by the way I don't, what business do you have in Konoha? And I mean our Konoha..."
The foreigner chuckled, "Figured it out, huh? Let's just say... a lifetime worth of wrongs needed to be rectified..."
He paused and then said, "I have a lot to tell you, old man. But before I do, let's wait for the tests you had done on me. I need at least one ratification so I don't sound like a complete lunatic, don't ya think?"
The Hokage merely rolled his eyes at that. "Of course you'd know. Fair enough."
'That vocal tic. The Rasengan. Uzumaki vitality. Azure eyes. The only differences are the whisker marks and the hair. Either he's a proficient masquerader or I'm bound to be in for a long fucking night...'
Kurenai was standing on the rooftop taking some fresh air. She had been stuck in that godforsaken room for so long that she had started suffocating.
'At least they let me change into something comfortable. I was feeling like someone was watching my ass all the time with that stupid hospital gown.'
Which was all speculation of course. Who would want to invoke the wrath of the infamous 'Ice Queen Of Konoha'. She was wearing a loose fitting black shirt which did little to no effort to hide her impressive assets, dark-blue shorts showing her slender and slim legs which hugged her tightly at her rear. She really wasn't trying to show off. Well, not intentionally.
She was staring demurely from the ceiling of Konoha Hospital. Looking at nothing in particular. She heard a voice called out to her,
"Bad day, huh?"
Kurenai sighed, 'Great, just what I needed… another cheap flirt. As if today wasn't fucked enough already...'
"Yes, it was. Now, I'm really not in the mood to handle any type of flirting today. Kindly fuck off."
The man chuckled, "Ouch. That bad, huh? Well, I guess I'll leave you to it. I just wanted some fresh air. Sorry for bothering you."
The man sounded generally sincere. Now Kurenai felt really bad that she snapped at him like that but she couldn't help it. She had been used to so many people hitting on her that she wasn't accustomed to someone actually wanting to talk to her and get to know her without actually throwing themselves at her.
"Wait!" She exclaimed at the person who was trying to be cordial towards her.
"Look, I'm really sorry for snapping at you like that... I just had a really bad day... and..."
She trailed off once the man turned around and she finally turned around to look at the man she was addressing. She hadn't seen him since she had her back turned away from him. She blushed immediately which was a rare sight for those who knew her. Naruto was wearing a white undershirt which did little to hide his well-built physique along with bandages wrapped on various parts of his arms. His healing prowess had been a little slow since Kurama hadn't woken up yet. He was wearing black trousers with ninja sandals at the bottom. He held a crutch in his right hand for support. His red hair was tied in a ponytail with a few strands escaping from the front. His azure eyes shone bright and warm from the angle he was standing in with a hint of mischievousness in them. His whisker marks although not as distinctive as Chibi-Naruto's; they were more rugged making him all the more appealing for poor old Kurenai. His lips were tilted upwards slightly upon seeing the effect he had on her.
"Like what you see?"
Kurenai blinked and then jumped slightly blushing full red which would have made a certain Hyuuga proud.
"N-no no! W-well I mean... I-I was just l-looking at your bandages... t-they're... q-quite f-fascinating..." She cursed herself for acting like a schoolgirl all of a sudden.
"My bandages, huh? I didn't know they were considered such an oddity here in Konoha..." He mused. And to her continual embarrassment, the man laughed.
He wiped stray tears from his eyes and immediately stopped upon seeing her glare but still let out an occasional snicker. "I'm so sorry! It's just that I haven't felt this unperturbed in so long that I forgot how to laugh. I needed some type of consolation, mind you. And I apologise begrudgingly that an alluring woman such as yourself were the test subject."
She blushed again, although on a lighter note.
"Flattering me won't get you anywhere, Shinobi-san."
He smiled not at all surprised that she knew he was a shinobi and said, "You're right. Well, let's start over."
His smile was making her feel warmth she hadn't felt before. His chakra was also calm and soothing. She was a sensor after all.
"My name is Uzumaki Ashina. Pleased to meet you."
'An Uzumaki? That would explain the red hair... Probably the first to step into Konoha next to Uzumaki-kun after Kushina-san...' She inferred discerningly.
"My name is Yuuhi Kurenai. Pleased to meet you too, Ashina-san." He nodded with a kind smile.
"So it seemed like something was bothering you... Bad mission?"
"I guess you could call it that... And again, I'm really sorry for snapping at you like that." She apologised but Ashina just waved her off to let her continue.
"I... can't tell you the details because they're classified. But it was a complete mess... We were starting to get along too. It's just been a little more than six months since I've been promoted to Jōnin rank... 'My first A-rank which turned into an S-ranked…' The mission was supposed to be a piece of cake... It's never that easy, is it?" She said with a cruel smile.
"How are you supposed to deal with people who you've spent days with...laughing…joking… How are you supposed to forget them just like that? Like they didn't even matter. I've been on missions before... I've lost comrades before... But I don't know... it just feels wrong... every fucking time. But I guess that's what we're taught, isn't it? That such is the life of a Ninja. But I can't help but feel that that's complete and utter horseshit. They weren't even buried properly, for Fuck's sake!? Their heads severed... bodies going cold… blood everywhere you look… one second she's talking to me, the next she's..."
She trailed off once she remembered she was talking to a complete stranger. "I-I'm sorry, I'm just rambling on here..." She said sheepishly.
Most people would have just been pissed off most likely going away seeing that they weren't going to get her attention but she noticed that he was listening to her every word and was nodding every now and then. She smiled inwardly, 'A nice change. And it doesn't hurt that he's cute as hell...'
Ashina smiled, "It's okay, Kurenai-san. It always happens the first few times. I can't say that you'll begin to feel any different as time goes on, I'm sorry. But..."
He paused and then said, "Let me give you a piece of advice, Kurenai-san. You'll learn to live with it. You'll learn to bear with it. As time goes on... If you can't, you're just not enough to be granted the honour of serving your village and Hokage. It does get easy but you don't forget. You never do." He spoke in sad memory of a certain someone.
"As Shinobi, we always and must endure." He concluded with a citation of his lethargic sensei.
Kurenai nodded to each and every word. He spoke with charisma that showed that the man was experienced as a leader. He had a sombre expression on his face that made Kurenai wonder. It made her wonder just who the man was.
Ashina just grinned sheepishly with his hand behind his head, "I'm sorry for being so blunt. But it's just reality, Kurenai-san. But honestly, from the discipline you have on your sentiments... It shows that you can make it. That you have what it takes to... survive. I hope we work together in the future. Hopefully, as comrades."
She nodded pertaining she hadn't minded. "Are you applying for citizenship, Ashina-san?" She asked neutrally but hopeful inwardly.
Wait, why was she hopeful?
He smiled. "I am. Hokage-sama just offered me this morning. And it doesn't hurt that I have family here as well."
She smiled upon hearing of the word family. She knew who that meant of course. After all, Uzuki Yuugao, her friend and practically sister made sure of that.
"Uzumaki-kun is a very cute boy. A friend of mine is quite fond of him... That boy really has a heart made of gold. Oh, and his adorable whisker marks..." She stated with a fond tone before frowning a little,
"You know of his circumstances, Ashina-san?"
Anger flashed through his Ashina's azure eyes for a second. Kurenai could have sworn she saw crimson but quickly shook it off as a concoction of her own imagination.
"Yes... I know. Hokage-sama was very reluctant about it... but I know of Naruto-kun's circumstances. He will be under my protection of the Uzumaki clan from now on. Well, not officially a clan yet but it will be in a few hours from now." He said with a sober and earnest tone.
"Good, I'm glad." She said with a smile before shifting nervously a bit.
"I would like to meet your friend though... To thank her for caring... After hearing about Naruto-kun's circumstances, I'm sure you can understand..." He said with a sad smile.
"Of course. I-I'll talk to her." She replied sounding a little nervous.
"Is everything alright, Kurenai-san?" He asked a little worried but the corner of his lips tilted upwards slightly upon seeing her blush a little.
"D-do you wanna have a cup of tea later? After you leave the hospital, obviously..." she asked nervously not making any eye contact at all.
"You mean like a date?" He grinned.
Now Kurenai was getting pissed off... She smirked inwardly.
'That's how you wanna play, huh?'
She leaned forward pressing her breasts together a little bit, "And what if it was, Ashina-kun?" She purred.
Now it was Ashina's turn to be caught off guard. "Oh. U-um, I-I... uh..."
"Mate with her."
He cleared his throat, "I-I would be honoured to take you, Kurenai..chan..." He said with a twinge of red on his cheeks.
Kurenai smirked but not without a healthy blush of her own.
"Good." Ashina 0. Kurenai 1.
"You can pick me up from my apartment two days from now. Sayōnara, Ashina-kun..." She then left leaving him slack-jawed.
Ashina was still standing at the same place he was since with a dumbfounded look on his face but shook it off soon after with a small chuckle.
'Damn. She's just as beautiful as I remember her. Asuma-sensei was one lucky asshole...'
"You've finally decided to grace me with your presence, huh? Damn furball."
"Fuck you, Kit. You try to go through chakra exhaustion when your container is about to pull something as stupid as using the Level 3 Hiraishin without warning or consulting me first..."
But before Ashina could retort with a piece of his mind... Kurama held up his paw, "Yeah yeah... I know you did not have a choice. We will discuss this later. For now..." Kurama smirked.
Ashina groaned. 'Oh, God...'
"Seems like you have been having fun..."
'Yeah, well. Too bad.' Ashina frowned a little and his cheery mood suddenly took a dark turn.
The fox sighed. It knew this was going to be difficult.
"Kit... Listen to me. You know as much as I do that the shy Hyuuga would have wanted you to move on. It has been far too long since..."
The fox trailed off knowing how many painful memories it was digging up by mentioning her.
"It is unpleasant seeing you like this."
Ashina just gave a sad smile in response happy that the fox cared about him even if it was too shy to admit it.
'I know, Kurama. But I just feel guilt. She was everything. My light, my hope. Do you think I could ever feel the same way about someone else again?'
The fox remained silent for a while and then responded, "I cannot say anything about that, Kit... But take comfort in the fact that your Chibi ningen will do everything right for her what you could not. You now know what Kushina had in mind. And you know our plan with Hiashi. You have to move on..."
Ashina sighed. 'Maybe...'
"Just give it a chance."
He then smirked, 'Ya know, you give really good relationship advice. I noticed a lot with Hinata too. Whether if it was war everywhere...'
He laughed when the fox just flipped him off and went back to ignoring him. Just as he was about to exit the mindscape,
"For the record, it is good to see you are okay, Kit."
Ashina gave it an appreciative smile and exited the mindscape,
Adult Naruto's name is also credited to Valkipher. Thanks again for reading.