"Run away, it's the beast!" kids scattered as they made faces behind them to the blond boy who frowned back at them.
The blond child continued his steps through the park but any direction he turned he only saw glares of hatred and disgust, whisperings and snickers that mocked his presence, and rolling of eyes and turning of heads that attempted to avoid eye contact with him.
He tried hard to ignore them but it was more difficult than he had anticipated. His steps grew faster as he tucked his head into his neck and made his way out of the park's exit.
It was late in the afternoon already. He didn't feel like going home. Hearing the peaceful trickling of water, he took a seat on the grassy slant of the ditch. Even if he received glares of woe he still preferred being able to see shadows of people to his empty house. It wasn't that he enjoyed such taunts and mockeries that make him wish the presence of others, it was just that time of the day that he loved…and hated. Late afternoon, the time when kids returns to their homes after being scolded by their mothers about the layer of fresh dirt that crusts their faces and clothing. As he listened to mothers' calls and the children's disappointed replies, he could only imagine with envy as he gazed into the waters of the ditch.
His eyes caught a figure, sitting a few meters down from him on the opposite shore. Another boy, roughly the same age as he was, was also sitting in the same pose as he was. A feeling of strange curiosity rose inside him then. Something about that boy spoke to him. The boy looked up, realizing he was being observed and for a second, the two's eyes met. 'those eyes…they look…familiar,'
Then, something unexpected occurred. The boy smiled with a nod of greetings. He had never received a smile before, it felt different. Not knowing what to do, he smiled back. With that, the boy stood up and with a bow of goodbye and walked away.
"Quit Shinobi?" Naruto said softly and motionless, "Why!" he blunted.
"There's no more point for me to continue as a Shinobi," Sasuke replied coldly, his hand still rested inside the side pocket of his shorts.
"What do you mean there's no more point, I don't get what the hell your saying," the blond boy croaked as his hand tightened on his letter.
"My mission was to defeat Uchiha Itachi, and I have accomplished that. I remained as a shinobi only because it was the way for me to build my fighting skills for that goal. Everything I did was to achieve that goal. I WAS an avenger. Now that I have done that, there is nothing left for me as a ninja, a fighter…as Uchiha Sasuke,"
"That doesn't mean you have to quit!" Naruto spat with anger, "Why the hell would you quit!"
"Calm down Naruto," Sasuke commanded, "my decision is final!"
"How do you expect me to remain calm, damn it! You're quitting!"
"Yes, I'm quitting. It's my decision and my decision alone. What are you getting fired up about, it has nothing to do with you,"
"Are you serious Sasuke?"
"I don't believe you, I refuse to believe you!"
"You can believe what you want then. I became a shinobi because it was the quickest way for me to get stronger. It was the fastest way to achieve my ambition. Nothing more."
Naruto's eyes fined with an up roar of rage. "You lived your life with only your ambition?" he asked, just barely holding himself together.
"That's right," Sasuke answered without a moment of thought, "How many times do I have to tell you before I can crack it through that thick skull of yours?"
"What about Konoha, what about your home, your friends, your…" Naruto pushed on but was cut off by the young Uchiha before he could finish.
"Don't give me that," he spoke with irritation, "Friends? I only had enemies, people who saw me as a rival, a weapon, and nothing more. People like you, who's goal in life was to surpass me. Those are the so called 'friends' that I had. I stayed around because they kept improving and it worked as a motivation for me to keep them in their place. Home? What home do I have? My home, my family, everything I've ever cared for were all slaying that night. Konoha isn't my home. It may have once been but now."
A hard blow timbered his balance, stumbling him to the ground. "What the hell was that," he snapped with rage as he turned back to the blond boy, nursing the sore spot from the attack.
"Bull shit," Naruto spat, "That's a lie and you know it!" Sasuke spat to the ground and stood back up but said nothing. "Power wasn't the only reason that kept you going," Naruto continued, "Either that or you're not Sasuke! If your life was focused on one objective, if your life only had one motive, then why did you risk your life so many times to save something you didn't care for. You risked your life to save me back in the wave country, you risked your life to save the village during the war against the sound ninjas. Did you not fight because you wanted to protect? Did you not fight because you wanted to save something you didn't want destroyed? (silence) Answer me!"
"I said it before," a chilling voice replied, "My answer to you is the same. What you want to believe is not my problem. I quit" With those final words, Sasuke began to walk away.
"The Akatsuki will go to war against Konoha soon," Naruto said after him. Sasuke continued walking without a word. "Fine, go," Naruto said, "But I'll tell you this. It's true that I did see you as my rival, as my goal. But even before that, on that afternoon when we first met, I saw you as a friend."
Sasuke shifted his eyes back but still spoke nothing and made his way around the corner of an intersection.
"I see, very well," Tsunade nodded in acknowledgement.
"Very well? What do you mean very well!" Naruto spat, "Are you just going to let him walk, just like that?"
"What do you want me to do Naruto. He chose this himself and I don't have the authority to trample on his freedom just cause his a good fighter," Tsunade replied.
Naruto wanted to say more but he couldn't find any more legitimate arguments.
"What about you? Are you going to accept the offer?" Tsunade asked with the simple motive to change the topic.
"Of course I will," Naruto said with slight uncertainty.
"Alright, under the word of Hokage, you are hear by recognized as a Jounin from hence forward. Upon this certificate, declares that you have shown great accomplishments in the arts of the Shinobi, (Tsunade pulls out a certificate), this certificate proves your capabilities and allows you the title of a Jounin. Kenten 15, November 8th, receive this honor with pride Naruto," Tsunade smiled.
Naruto corrected his posture and took the certificate from her hand with a formal bow.
The usual hustle and bustle of the streets of Konoha were now quiet. No one knew when the attack was going to occur so all that wasn't a Jounin were sent to the shelters. The shelters were enlarged since the days of the third, and each were connected to the other. Supplies were hefty and able to last for quite some time without much to worry about. It was almost a miniature version of the outside village and that took away some discomforts of those who hid within. Kids ran about freely, ignoring playfully of the adult's calls. The wives gossiping, the husbands drinking, to most that stayed in the shelter, things felt like a vacation and was taken lightly due to the lack of action outside.
The citizen has been sheltered for three full days now without much of anything happening. Some began to suggest a false alarm and small arguments began to arouse within the shelters. That was when the main gate of the shelter opened with a bang. Tsunade walked in with anger in her eyes as the ones about that area turned and fell silent. The conflict resided and eyes shifted to her. "Are you all that desperate to die?" she shouted with furry, "This is a safety shelter, not a free holiday for all your hard works," she hissed into the mic which announced her voice to all the sections of the shelter, "There are individuals out there that's most likely about to sacrifice their lives for you and all you can say in return is I'm bored and I want fresh air?" a round of guilty shame fled across those who argued, "I wouldn't have put you all in here if it wasn't for your own good. When things are settled and safe, you shall all be brought out. With the bad things said at the front, I'll say this before I leave. You're all precious lives to me. I know you feel cramped but just hold out a bit longer, I speak for all who is out there that we will die before we let anything happen to Konoha," she hinted a smile and walked out.
In a corner of one shelter, Sasuke bit his lip with a "Tchi" and spat to the floor.
Naruto stood upon the eastern wall, looking to the distance as he took a bite into his rice ball. He was depressed but not because of what has happened three days ago. He wasn't a boy who would dwell on something he couldn't have changed. It was something else that bothered him that brought him to the way he felt there and then. "How troublesome, we can never have a little piece and quiet," Shikamaru made his way from the side and waved.
"Yeah," Naruto sighed.
"The Akatsuki, those are the guys that killed the Kaze-kage a few years ago weren't they?" Shikamaru asked, taking a seat beside the boy.
"Yeah," the blond boy sighed again.
"I heard someone say to me that we're fighting for peace," Shikamaru closed his eyes as he turned to the sky, "We fight cause we have to fight."
"Is that because of me?" Naruto turned his gaze down to his feet.
Shikamaru opened one eye and looked to him questioningly, "What are you talking about?"
"It's the Kyubi they're after, not the village, that means that I'm the person that's jeopardizing everyone's safety right now right?"
"Is that why you were so depressed when I came," Shikamaru laughed, "Not true."
"If I just turn myself in, wouldn't that save us from our next battle?"
"Do you really think that Naruto? Do you really think that by you submitting yourself to them that it will really save the people you care about? Why do you think they want it Naruto?"
"Yes for power. That's what anyone with a lust would want. And what use is power unless you use it? Trust me Naruto, if you submit to them, they'll still come back and we'll just be a man short and them, another Jinchyuriki stronger."
"It's always about the Jinchyurikis, why did I have to be the one cursed with this bullshit."
"Cursed? I actually see it as a blessing. I hate to admit it Naruto but when you use the power of that thing inside you, I doubt anyone in the village can beat you right now including Tsunade-sama…don't tell her I said that."
"It's not me who has control over it. It's it that has control over me. If I die, it dies, that's why it gives me the strength. I've been called a monster, a demon, you name it. Now that I think about it, I am one. When the fox gets me, I don't have control of my body. I'm sure I won't recognize friend from foe. Even now, I can't remember a thing about what happened when I changed. I just know I changed because that part of my memory isn't there."
"But so far you've fought to protect and not harm. Believe it or not Naruto, if my predictions are correct, you will probably be more depended upon than most of us."
"There's no point in me telling you about it now cause false information will just lead to false assumptions. When the time comes, we'll find out for our selves."
"Well, looks like my breaks over, I gotta head back to my post, I'll see ya."
Naruto watched him walk away with confused eyes, but his thoughts still remained. 'The Kyubi's power…' "Weak," a low voice echoed in his mind as he snapped up and looked about. No one was there. Giving his head a shake, he checked his watch. 'Wow, I probably should take my break soon,' he thought to himself.
A cold wind, sank low to the ground, brushed against the feet of 7 shadows that stood in a compact ring. "You're finally going to join us this time eh boss?"
"Indeed," he chuckled.
"How do you feel about seeing your home again," a figure laughed.
"Any homesickness?" another smirked.
"No," the man answered clearly, "not at all."
Aaa: Thank you
Iiiris: I'd be honored. I'll say, I wrote this before it really came out and gloat over my predictions haha!
Conlan0414863: Of course I will continue. I won't leave this thing posted if I won't bother updating haha!