It was a fairly sunny day in the village of Konoha. A few clouds drifted through the sky, but nothing to stop the villagers from going about their chosen tasks and duties. Today, however, their preferred activity seemed a little out of place…

Thud…thud…thud…CRACK! 'Damn, there goes my nose…again.'

The thoughts of one Uzumaki Naruto may seem strange, but considering how many times he's been through pretty much the exact same beating countless times before, his detached view on the damage his body is taking is a little more understood.

Needless to say, Naruto is not you average ten year old. He's hardly an average person. See, he's dealt with the hate of his village for his entire life due to the circumstances of his birth. He was the human sacrifice for the safety of the village. The Fourth Hokage sealed a demon into him to save the village, but not just any demon. At the cost of his very life, he sealed away the Great Demon, the Kyuubi no Kitsune. You'd expect that Naruto would be a hero to the village, seeing as how he is the reason that the can still walk the earth, but he is treated as the demon itself. The reason is elementary; fear. Fear leads people to do cowardly and terrible things, and the villagers fear of Kyuubi is leading them to do something very cowardly. They are trying to kill an innocent child.

"Get back here demon!!!" Naruto leaps yet another fence in his flight from the villagers.

Naruto himself is interesting without knowing of the demon in his navel. Most would expect a child in his position to cry, to scream, to hate. Naruto is different. See, he is a very intelligent child, maybe not in the way of books and text but he has an understanding of everything around him. This is why he doesn't hate his village, he knows why they hate him. Granted he's no Sherlock, but it's not hard to figure out with his birthday and him being called 'demon brat', 'bastard fox', and things of the like. He also understands that screaming for help will help nothing and neither will hiding his feelings or searching for attention. He has vowed to earn respect from everyone around him and make them see who he is. Seeing as how this current chase was started when he helped a woman with her groceries and was accused of trying to steal them, he may have a long way to go.

Naruto POV

"Only one more fence until I'm home free." I leapt over the barbed fence into the Forest of Death. "Funny how the safest I've ever been is in the most dangerous area around Konoha…" I glance over my shoulder to see the villagers still raving and throwing bottles and various other things. As I snap my nose back into place, I muse. 'Must have been the shirt' I look down to see the grinning fox on the front of my shirt. "I thought it was cute. Besides, you'd think that red and black would be less infuriating than that orange stuff that I used to have to wear." I mimic its grin as I wonder towards my home.

My 'house' was really nothing more than a furnished cave, but I realized that living here was cheaper and safer than my old apartment. I saved even more since I lived off of the forest itself. This left my allowance to be saved or spent on toiletries, clothes, and weapons. Training here was better as well. I've changed considerably after the move. Having to hunt has made me faster, stronger, and heightened my senses. The gardening I do has made me much more patient and helped me learn to calm down when frustrated. I give a laugh, "I guess those samurai had something right." I chuckle as I remember how I convinced Old Man Hokage to let me move out of that apartment.


"No, Naruto. I forbid it. The Forest of Death is too dangerous." He frowned down at me. "You simply could not survive there"

I was touched by his concern, pissed that he doubted me, but still… "Forty-seven."

"What?" He looks at me in confusion.

"Forty-seven assassination attempts. That is," I look up at him "forty-seven that I've dealt with alone. There have probably been countless more. Right, old man?"

He sighed, "You have a point there, Naruto. The villagers will not venture into the Forest of Death, even some of our ninja are afraid to go into it." He narrowed his eyes, "But that brings me to the reason that you cannot live in there. I can punish the villagers and the ninja are bound by stricter laws, but I have no control over the beasts that live in that forest." He is taken aback as I laugh.

"Old man," I point to my stomach "I know about good ol' fuzzy here" He stares in shock. "And do you really think that any animal will attack when they sense his presence?"

He sighs again, showing his age more than ever. "You have a point Naruto, but I still don't like it,"

I grin. "How about a bet, old man?" I stand up.

He looks interested. "What kind of bet, Naruto?"

My grin threatens to split my head in half. "If I can beat you in battle with one move, you let me move."

He smiles in amusement. "You're on, Naruto." He stands.

I move my hands into position to perform henge and a poof is heard. The next sound is the thud of a body hitting the floor.

End Flashback

I chuckle again. I don't like using that move, but you know what they say about desperate times…