Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. Ninjas have tough firewalls to hack...
-Takes a deep breath- Enjoy...
Sono Saishuu Konwaza (The Last Spirit Technique)
This is not a story for those of weak will...
Nor for those of sordid tongue...
For tho this tale happened long ago...
The story has just begun...
A young boy sat there as the man read the inscription of the old tome he pulled off the bookshelf. His white hair belonged more on an elder that one with such youthful and intense eyes, face and body. At least he was of prestigious background, showed by his silk serf's garb and the fine leather choker he wore around his neck, adorned with a metal insignia. He felt it to be a degrading accessory, but all boys of his family were asked to wear them, to signify their status. The adults said it was for their own protection, for anyone who saw the choker wouldn't' dare try to harm them.
"What's in that book father?" asked the young man to the now identified adult.
"Hm," he looked up to his guest. The man was quite weathered, though he bore very regal clothing as well, adorned in purples and blues. He bore no choker, however, as an adult, he was given a very valuable pendant to wear on his neck. The design was in white gold, and the symbol was etched on the design, which appeared to be a rather violent fire burning.
"Oh, sorry Haraise, I didn't see you there. This my boy, is a very special book in our family, as it tells of our history. Care to hear it?"
The young boy nodded and eagerly awaited his father to sit down and open the pages to begin.
"Well my boy, we are of a family who have had a very prestigious and unique history. For you will learn one day, we had a very distinct power."
"That's right, as you know, our lands are filled with crime and turmoil, and not too long ago, this entire world was plunged into war between all 5 of the major nations. This was the time where great heroes from all 5 nations were born, as well as many from small, uncommon shinobi villages. However, one village is never mentioned in this history of our world."
"What village was this?"
"It was known as Sato purotekuto no seiryouku (Village Protected by Might). It was a village consisting of 6 clans, all who shared this unique power that placed them above all other shinobi."
"What was this power father?"
The man sat back a bit, taking in his thoughts before responding. "Its called Konwaza. Tell me Haraise, do you know how Ninjitsu works?"
The young boy nodded. "Yes, I've been studying the basics, and Ninjitsu is preformed by a combination of physical training, and spiritual training. This combination forms an energy known as Chakra."
The father nodded at each point. "Correct Haraise, and chakra is how shinobi use their various techniques. However, Konwaza allows the shinobi to use these arts without the use of chakra."
The boy's eyes widened at the prospect. "That's impossible Father, and its cruel to teach me otherwise."
The father laughed at this, "but I am quite serious Haraise."
"So what does this have to do with our clan?"
"You're a smart boy Haraise, think about it. Why would this story be in the book of the history of us, the Tatsujin?"
Haraise pondered for a moment, but like his father said, it didn't' take him long to figure out a connection. He still took the time to stare at his father like he was insane.
"You're saying...our clan was one of these rare Konwaza users?"
"Yes, and with our fellow 5 clans, the village of Might stood proudly as a feared shinobi power. But, it was not to be..."
"How did it happen father? How did our clan fall from such a lofty status?"
The man took a heavy breath and then turned the page.
"The story goes, that one of the clans became consumed with envy and greed. Using misinformation and deceit, they managed to turn all the clans against each other, while they stood at the sidelines, watching with amusement. In the end though, almost all 6 clans were completely wiped out. The Tatsujin however, managed to survive that terrible slaughter. Survival wasn't enough though, and we soon became just as ordinary as the other shinobi clans."
"Father, who was it. What was the name of the clan who betrayed all of us? Who almost led us to extinction?"
"The name was..."
3 Years Later...
"Haraise, pick up the pace, we're almost there," said the man as he slowly stopped his pace to wait for his son.
Young Haraise was panting rather heavily, and as one would quickly figure out, it would be because of the rather large stack of luggage on the boy's back.
"Easy...for you...to say Father," shot back the boy in between breaths.
"Now come on, think of this as practice. After all, we're here to start your new life and your first day at shinobi academy."
A new life indeed, for Haraise and his father had been shopping in the last city they passed through, and got the young boy a new wardrobe. His father had told him to pick whatever he felt was right, and he would make adjustments to the boy's decision. What they came up with was rather unique.
Haraise still bore his family's choker, but other than that, these clothes were nothing like his regal outfits. Thick, black cargo pants adorned his lower half, strapped with kunai and scroll pouches rather than the usual big pockets. He bought leather sollerets for his feet, and they were fitted with plates on to act as shin guards.
One could say the boys upper half was less complex, and yet, more gaudy at the same time. While he wore a nice black muscle T for his chest, the arms were a different story. Haraise only bought a glove for his left hand, with a wrist lock for support and to help with weapons; meanwhile, his right hand was protected with a intricate piece of armor. It was plate, and reached up to his shoulder, using leather belt straps all along the underside to hold it into place.
"Father, its great to go to school, but, won't you teach me those techniques?"
The sting he felt on his cheek instantly was his answer, and it was enough of a force for the young boy to stumble a bit, almost losing his balance completely.
"I will never teach you those!" he shouted at the boy, quite angrily.
Haraise was taken back at this. "B-but," he stuttered, "why not? I want to continue our family's legacy, especially since it was stolen from us by a traitorous clan."
The father simply turned his back to the confused boy. "Some legacies my boy, are meant to be forgotten."
"I'm sorry Father, I forgot my place."
"You are forgiven, now lets be on our way..."
It took the two another half hour, but they had finally reached their destination: Konoha Shinobi Academy.
The two stood at the entrance for a few moments, before the father looked to his son and placed his hand on his shoulder.
"Haraise, from here on in, you go alone. I must return to our home. Do not worry, I have bought you housing and you will receive a allowance every month for food and such. I know its a big responsibility I place on you, but I know you will succeed."
He embraced Haraise one last time. "Learn much, have fun, and never quit," he whispered to the boy before getting on his way, making the long journey back home.
"Oh hello young man," said a kind receptionist, with a smile directed towards who she assumed to be a new student.
"I'm starting here at school today," he said to her, "my name's Haraise Tatsujin."
The young receptionist fiddled with some files on her desk, and soon seemed to find what she was looking for.
"Here we are Tatsujin. Ooh! It says here you placed very well in our entrance exam. You must have had previous education before. Well lets see, you're with our 4th year students in 101, with Iruka, come with me," she said, and lead Haraise to the classroom...
As he walked into his new class, Haraise felt much like the buzzkill, as the loud and bustling room suddenly went deathly quiet. He peered into the rows, seeing eyes burning into him. 'Not much different from anyone else's experience, no doubt' he thought. He then turned his attention to his new sensei: Iruka.
Said Iruka clapped his hands a few times. "Alright everyone settle down!" he shouted. After it got quiet enough, he continued.
"We have a new student joining us. He comes from outside the nation, and has placed well enough to be in this senior class."
He turned to Haraise with a encouraging smile.
Haraise bowed to the class. "My name is Haraise Tatsujin, nice to meet you."
"Okay Haraise, why don't you take the open seat on top next to Inuzuka Kiba," stated Iruka, and Haraise complied.
As he walked up the steps, he got a few scanning glares his direction. For a graduating class, this bunch seemed to be unusually competitive to him. Of the people scanning him for weaknesses, he caught a few glimpses of potential challenges.
The first was the aloof stare he got from a kid all the way by the window in the third row. He wore a simple blue-white ensemble, a blue headband holding back his unruly jet-black hair.
Now Haraise had gotten quite used to people staring at him like that, himself being from a prestigious ninja family. So much so, that he began to gather a talent for totalizing people by their behavior, or lack of, when they look at him.
So what of this brooding boy in blue? He could certainly see the guy having tremendous focus and determination, something that has most likely helped him become quite skilled in a bit of everything. He feel his heart beating faster, as the boy's anger started bouncing off of him in waves. That would make the boy, he assumed, both a man who uses his fury to decimate people, or let his anger get the better of him, and make him get careless. Which one however, he couldn't make out at this point.
A couple more steps and he caught the eyes of a blond female. She was wearing purple, much like the serf's garbs he used to wear when he was young. He saw the smirk on the side of her lip. Proud, yeah, that was a great way to sum up this person in one word. She was confidant in everything she did, which lead her to look uppity to some and a role model to others. He felt a cold chill in his spine when he caught her dead in her blue eyes. There was something about this girl, she might have some special techniques.
The last one he could see was probably the most 'scanning' one of all. If Haraise didn't' know better, he could have sworn the kid with the mohawk had the same talent he did. He didn't look like anything special, hell, he didn't look like he wanted to be here in the first place, as he stared at Haraise with a glazed look on his face. He wore a gruff smirk on his face, telling Haraise that this boy wasn't' exactly the the kid in the class with the most tact. No, his simple plain clothing and constant mumbling to himself let Haraise know this kid was a no nonsense guy, and a thinker at that. Aside from his obvious analytical ability, Haraise couldn't pin anything else on the guy.
It was quite quiet from then on, and Haraise actually enjoyed the lecture Iruka was giving. He didn't try to bore you down with words, he tried to keep it interesting. Soon enough, the bell rang, and Iruka let the students go for their lunch break.
Lunch, great, Haraise knew he forgot something today...
As he sat there grumbling about his aching stomach, the gods above decided to throw the young boy a pass. In the midst of his complaining, Haraise didn't notice that three boys had approached him. Looking up, he tried to remember their names.
"Lesse, Kiba, who I sit next to, that one kid who was giving me the glare, and a boy with shade I have no idea about."
The Inuzuka snorted at his new 'desk mate' for lack of a better word.
"You forgot lunch newbie?" he asked, and the grumbling that emitted from Haraise gave him his answer.
"Troublesome," sighed the one boy, "by the way, glare boy, the name's Nara Shikamaru," and with that he offered half a sandwich to Haraise.
"Uh, thanks," he said taking the sandwich. The other unknown boy tossed a soda bottle to him.
"Aburame Shino," he simply said.
"So, Shikamaru," began Haraise, "I'm guessing you're one of those guys who rather do nothing rather than something, get my meaning?"
"I had a feeling you were like me," he replied, "but apparently even more than I first thought."
"Hey, what are you talking about?" butted in Kiba.
"Shikamaru and I were giving each other the once-over, seeing how we would stack up against each other. You know, this class has a lot of competitive spirits."
"How so?" asked Kiba.
"Well, I also got 'the glare' from this kid in blue and white, and a girl wearing purple all over."
After a gulp of his soda, Shino interjected, "Uchiha Sasuke, and Yamanaka Ino."
"Oh yeah, those two are real full of themselves, can't stand those types of people," said Shikamaru, who leered at Kiba for a moment.
"Hey, I saw that smart ass," he barked back, causing Haraise to laugh. Taking a quick scan of the lunch area outside of the school, he saw one person near one of the corner fences.
On the fence were several targets painted on with white and red. The person could be seen throwing kunai at them. Haraise didn't notice him much, but knew he was one of Iruka's students as well. For a ninja, he sure had a rather awkward sense of fashion.
'Not like everyone else in this class is the same' he thought sarcastically.
The boy was adorned with rather wild and frizzy blond hair. He wore a 2-piece jumpsuit, all bright orange with blue trim. Probably the unique think about the boy was his face markings. They appeared to be like birthmarks, and they took the shape what could be best described as whiskers.
The boy was throwing all his kunai, and then picking them up from the targets, wash rinse, repeat. However, he seemed to still need some accuracy practice, as half of them would hit the outer rim of the targets, rather than the center.
"Who's that?" he spoke up to the group, and his three companions looked over to see his target of interest.
"Ah, that's just Naruto, don't worry about him, he's out here every lunch doing that. He never has anything for lunch, so he just takes the time to practice."
"Seems like he could use it," said Haraise, "how come he's struggling like that?"
"He's been like that for a while now, I've known him since first year," said Kiba. "He's acted like a smart ass his entire school life, so his lack of training had caught up to him."
The boys took a look over and saw the boy now identified as Uchiha Sasuke approached Naruto. They couldn't hear the conversation, but they saw Sakuke seem to demonstrate the throwing techniques to the orange-clad lad.
"Those two seem pretty close," he said.
"They both lost their family's when they were both very young. Hell, I don't' think Naruto has even had a family. Anyways, they found that common bond, and its grown pretty strong over the years. Naruto is the only one Sasuke acts friendly to," said Kiba.
"Sasuke seemed pretty strong when I got a look at him," stated Haraise.
"Strong, yeah, he's the valedictorian of the class," said Shikamaru. "The village is going crazy over the last of the Uchiha finally becoming a shinobi."
"With friends like that, its hard to believe he's doing so badly."
"Life deals us all a unique hand," said Shino, "and that is the hand dealt to Uzumaki Naruto.
The smashing of a soda bottle could be heard over the entire lunch area. Haraise stared at Shino, no longer with friendly eyes, but violent ones. He yanked Shino by the collar of his jacket and bore his eyes into him.
"Repeat that!" he ordered the Aburame. "What did you say his full name was?"
Shino was a bit stunned, but he figured the guy would let him go if he just answered him.
"Uzumaki Naruto," he calmly stated. With that, sure enough, Haraise had let Shino go, and made a beeline to a now solitary Naruto.
As he threw his kunai into the wall, Naruto always took the time to think about his day.
'Today was better than usual, with people more worried about graduation day then giving a hassle. That new student of ours, hes from far away right? He didn't seem too bad. Who knows? I might get another friend besides Sasuke'
He was interrupted from his thoughts, by an incoming right fist heading for his head. Luckily, his instincts caught on in time, and back flipped into a defense stance to see his attacker.
Man, God must have a sick sense of humor, was the only thought in his mind now.
"Hey, what the hell's your problem Tatsujin!" he shouted at the new kid. Haraise didn't give Naruto the courtesy of an answer, and continued to try and beat the Uzumaki.
He was stopped by a hand, and looked to see the Uchiha looking him dead in the eye.
"What was that for, Tatsujin?" he asked, trying to get to the bottom of this.
"Uchiha right? I'll ask you to move, as this doesn't' concern you," replied Haraise.
"As valedictorian, actions of this class reflect directly on me, so yes, it is my concern," he said.
Haraise, seeing as he was caught, relaxed himself, and just stood there starting at the ground like it was his new companion. A few minutes later, he looked at Naruto. The young blond just twitched.
'Those eyes, they're all to familiar. Jeez, and I just met the guy, and he already hates me!' he shouted in his head, shouting his concern to the darkness of his mind.
"Let's get this out of the way then, but in a reasonable way. Uzumaki, I don't like you, in fact, if it weren't for Uchiha, I would try to kill you here and now," he said matter-of-factly, causing a few gasps and mummers to echo throughout the area.
"But seeing as we can't do that at school, I'll have to do it outside, so you have two choices Uzumaki. One, you come to the park of your own will, and fight me to the death; Two, I hunt you down and kill you," with his ultimatum sent, Haraise excused himself back into the school...
The end of the school day was a sort of last call for Naruto. He slowly walked the streets of the village, thinking this new problem out. Sure, he could just chickened out, but he was disrespected enough as it is, and to take it from someone who just moved here was the final straw for him. Teachers or adults would be able to handle this, but Naruto was one to solve problems on his own accord, it wasn't in his character to be in someone's debt. It was decided then, he was going to fight Tatsujin...
The boy's ears perked up at this, and turned to see a familiar face.
"Oh, hey Sakura-chan," he said with a smile. A smile that was quickly wiped off by an incoming smack.
"Naruto, how many times do I have to tell you?" she barked at him.
"Tell me what?" he asked, still stunned from the blow.
"Argh, Naruto, I swear you have a 5 second memory. I've been telling you for the past year, now that we're both seniors and have been friends since childhood, you can just address me by name," she said, rubbing her temples to recover her patience with the boy.
"Ohhhh, right," said Naruto, patting his fist on his palm in recollection.
"Anyways, are you heading to the park?" she asked.
"Yep, gotta teach this blowhard some manners," he said, pumping his arm up in confidence.
"But...he said to the death, aren't you worried?" she asked again.
Naruto just snickered to himself at that. Sakura hated that snicker, he always did it when he was in an annoying mood.
"Apparently I'm not the only one with a bad memory Sakura," he said to her, mischief splattered all over his face.
"What's that supposed to mean buster?" she asked. The girl had gotten used to his usual baiting long ago.
"Come on Sakura, every time you show some concern for me, what do I always say to you?"
"Oh, is that what you were trying to get at? I remember?"
"Really?" he sneered, "I don't believe you."
"You got some nerve calling me out on honesty Naruto!" she shouted.
"Well, maybe if you would repeat what I always say verbatim, maybe I'd keep my mouth shut," he suggested with a devilish grin.
Sakura took a breath, and looked him dead in the eye.
"Come on Sakura, this is nothing. So I'm in a little trouble, I'll make it through without a scratch. After all, one day I'm going to show you and the whole village what I'm made of. As long as I'm a ninja and I live in this village, I will one day become the Hokage," she iterated.
Naruto simply smiled warmly at her and gave her a thumbs up.
"And that's it Sakura. So trust me, this isn't going to be a battle to the death. I know things are going to be fine," and with that he began to sprint to the park, as dusk started to come over the village.
As he made his arrival, he saw that a lot of the class had shown up. 'Everyone loves a good fashioned blood match,' he though morbidly. They had placed themselves in a little section of the park, leaving Naruto and his opponent with plenty of open space.
Haraise stood there, never taking his eye off Naruto, as the boy started to stretch out and loosen up.
When it looked like Naruto was ready, Haraise spoke.
"As I made the challenge, I'll make the rules. Taijitsu only Uzumaki," he said, with particular venom on the last part.
"Well that's odd," he said, "aren't you going to show off with some ninja techniques."
"This isn't about showing off," Haraise retorted, "its about revenge. And I'll enjoy it even more if I beat you to death," with that he took a battle stance: Left arm far out, while his right was tucked to his side.
And with that, Naruto took the initiative. The first few of his blows were punches, to which Haraise easily blocked with his left arm. Naruto changed it up with a sweep attempt, but left himself open to Haraise, who jumped the sweep, and came down with an elbow to the head. He finished the simple combo with a moonsault kick, knocking Naruto on his back.
Haraise let Naruto stand up and ready himself, before he took the offensive, using his unique style. Naruto was able to block all of the attacks, seeing as they were very linear and easy to see coming, but each blow had a lot of focus and power behind it, and he gritted his teeth at the pain surging through his arms.
"Easy bait," muttered Haraise, and quickly circled Naruto to his side, using his heel and a clothesline to knock down Naruto, following up by twisting his lower body, so that his leg came dropping down in a heel hit, connecting with Naruto's stomach.
He backed off again, enjoying the show he was getting. Naruto was coughing rather violently with that brutal attack to his chest, a few spurts of blood in his spit and cough vapors. Still, Naruto stood up and readied himself.
"Is...that...all you got?" said Naruto.
"A cocky sort aren't' you?" spat Haraise, and charged again. He began his same tactic again, but Naruto caught on, so when Haraise tried to flank him again, he simply grabbed his arm, used a armbreaker, and flipped his legs towards Haraise's face, connecting with his jaw. Having him pinned, he dropped his leg on Haraise's neck, and put enough pressure on his arm to break it at the elbow.
While Haraise took the time to scream in pain, and Naruto the time to collect himself. The others were quite impressed. Sure they all learned those grappling techniques in Taijitsu class, but never thought them to be practical. Naruto had just given them an effective example.
Haraise quickly collected himself. He was panting a bit, trying to fight back the pain in his arm. It was quite a problem for him, as his style relied heavily on the hard strikes of his arms, especially his elbows.
"Forgive me father," said Haraise to himself, "I know you said not to, but I learned them anyway."
Naruto thought that the boy would give up: only an idiot would fight with one good arm. However, he was witness to the boy raising his right arm, as long claws of what appeared to be chakra form around his fingers.
'What the hell?' thought Naruto, but his instincts quickly took over as the boy now was blazing at him, clawing at him with those claws. Haraise was able to get a grazing hit on Naruto's arm, and Naruto felt a chill down to his very bones.
Naruto fell to his knees at the contact. 'Those...claws are physical? And what is this feeling? I feel like I'm going to pass out from that slight scratch!'
Haraise stood in front of him, a huge grin on his face. He raised his right arm to deliver the killing blow. However, he never got the chance, as a shinobi appeared in a flash, and stood himself between the two.
"Stop this fight now, you students have better things to do than try and kill each other," said the shinobi. By the look of his uniform, and the obvious mask, he was ANBU.
"I'm not trying to kill him! He wanted to kill me!" shouted Naruto. "I don't even know why! He just got on my case this morning!"
"You wanna know why!" shouted Haraise. "My clan used to be one of the most powerful clans in the world, until one of our trusted allies turned traitor and almost killed all of us!"
"What the hell does that have to do with me!"
"Oh, it has everything to do with you! After all," he said, pointing at Naruto, "I will never forget the name of a traitor!"
"Traitor? What the he-" said Naruto, but he was cut off. The ANBU had knocked him out, and in a flash disappeared with the boy from the park...
Okay, this took me a good 2 nights of writting. Hope you like the first part. Just a few footnotes...
Some of you might be thinking "Why does Sakura like Naruto? Sasuke and Naruto are best friends?" I took a few artistic liberties with the backstory, but I also tired to make it feasable. Naruto, no matter how lonely he is, had to have had at least one good friend in his life. I should know, he's just like me. When I write things for Naruto, I see myself, and I want to make things good for him. As for Sasuke, I rather dislike his attitude, but I do understand its characters like him that keep things interesting. Also, the common bond thing is quite possible to me, so I allowed it this story.
Some rather hardcore otaku might look at the fight scene and say "Haraise has a familar style." Others might know thier martial arts. You'd be right. Haraise uses two styles that are usually learned with each other because they're complementary. The styles are Taiyiquan (Form-Will Boxing) and Buaguazhang (8 Apex Palm). These styles are popping up all over the place as of late, but the place I found them, was Negima! After I saw Ku Fei kick ass with these Chinese Martial Arts, I looked up as much as I could on the subject. Why don't I live near a school for these!
Anyways, please, if you like this first part LET ME KNOW!