The Demon Prince of Konoha
Summary: There is a legend of a demon that lives in the forest surrounding Konoha. Some people say that the demon is an enemy of the village while others say it protects it. The Sand Siblings had never heard of this legend until they came for the Chuunin Exams.
Disclaimer: I do not own or am affiliated with NARUTO in any way, shape, or form. Any similarities Original Characters may have to real people or pre-existing characters is purely coincidental. This is a work of FanFiction and is being written for fun, not for profit.
Konohagakure, also known the Hidden Leaf Village, is the most powerful and well-respected village known to ninjas. A village that is prosperous and teeming with life, even as children are put to bed and men make their way to the local taverns to drink themselves silly.
The sun was inching its way down to the horizon, setting and dying the sky bright orange. It is forbidden for any of the civilians to go into the forest surrounding the village walls without permission or escort, for it is rumored that a terrible demon lives within those woods. Most children heed the warnings and frightening stories that their parents tell them about the demon and the forest, but, naturally, some are skeptical.
A small boy allowed himself to be fussed over as he was tucked into bed, his dark eyes, not on his mother, but on the darkening sky outside his window. The woman kissed his forehead and moved to turn off the lamp by his bedside.
She paused, easing back onto the bed. "Yes, sweetheart?"
He looked at her out of the corner of his eye, still facing the window. "Is the Demon Prince really real?"
Her eyes widened slightly in surprise before hardening. "What makes you ask that all of a sudden?"
He bit the inside of his cheek and looked back out the window. It wasn't sudden, not really, it had been on his mind for a good few days now, ever since he and his friends had thrown their ball too high and lost it over the village's protective walls. They had attempted to retrieve it, only to be stopped short by the military forces that kept Konohagakure safe: Shinobi. Ninja. They had been scolded quite roughly before being sent back to their school.
He shrugged as nonchalantly as a child could. "No reason, I guess."
His mother's stature visibly softened. "Well," she began, shifting her position so that her body was parallel to her son's, "Some people will tell you otherwise, but yes, the Demon Prince is real. There is some controversy about the Prince's intent, a few people think he protects the village, but in truth it is a vile, powerful demon that takes the form of a boy. That's why we civilians are not allowed to leave Konoha without a shinobi escort, were it not for the ninja to protect us, it would gobble us up as soon as we are outside of the gates." She gave her child a piercing stare. "That is why you must never ever try to sneak out."
He rolled his eyes to hide his nervousness. "Like I would ever try to do that!" Indeed, he wouldn't be attempting such a thing again. Ninja were scarier than his mother, and she was a terrifying woman when angered. "What kind of demon is it, Mom?"
She laughed sharply, and it was not a happy sound. "What kind of demon? Silly, a demon is a demon. Really now," she firmly pushed him down onto his pillows. The boy did not dare protest, "Stop thinking about such terrible things and go to sleep." She kissed his forehead again, turned off the light, and left him to his dreams.
But he did not attempt to fall asleep, the mysterious Demon Prince of Konohagakure still sharp and bitter on his mind. Bedtime story though it was, he wasn't satisfied with the fairy-tale and pondered upon what the story might have stemmed from. Did not all rumors start out as truths?
He bolted upright in his bed at the loud noise, stiff with shock.
He jerked his head toward the window, catching a brief flash of red before the color vanished. Throwing the covers off his legs, he crept over to the portal and slid the glass open.
The bright red ball he and his friends had lost over the wall the other day bounced up onto the windowsill and right into his surprised arms. He blinked dumbly for several seconds before peering down the side of his house. A blond boy stood on the street, grinning and waving happily at him. Stunned, he hesitantly lifted a hand in return.
"Your ball is really fun! Try not to lose it in my forest again, though, okay?" the strange boy didn't give him a chance to respond and was already dashing away don the street. The boy rubbed at his eyes in astonishment, trying to decide if he had just seen a tail coming out of the other kid's pants or if he was just stuck in a dream and had imagined the whole thing. However, the other boy as gone too quickly for him to gain a second glance, and he looked down instead at the shiny red ball in his hands. A single stem of Foxtail Grass was stuck to the side, almost like a crude calling card.
He smiled timidly, as if he has just discovered some big, amazing secret, dark eyes glittering. His mother was definitely wrong about the Demon Prince. It was with that rebellious thought in mind that he crawled back into bed, clutching the toy tightly against his chest, and fell into the clutches of slumber.