Disclaimer: Naruto and its characters are the property of Masashi Kishimoto. However, the original characters and plot of this fic belong to me.
Author Notes: I am back with my second Naruto fic which is completely original. Disregard everything that may have happened in the manga in terms of story while reading this, though the route which the story took will be explained in later chapters. I think this can be better than my previous effort once i've set it all up. Without further ado, enjoy.
Chapter 1: The Aspiring Novelist
The blades of grass were thin and a beautiful green as the colour was accentuated due to the shining ball of fire high above. Not a cloud was in sight as the sky could be seen in all of its glorious shade of blue.
Along the sharp grass which covered the cliff, laid a half dressed man who was audibly snoring. His eyes were tightly shut as the sun shone on his blonde hair and caused a visible disturbance to him as he began to stir. Giving an extended yawn he sat up before hearing a thump which alerted his attention to his side as he saw a woman with a shirt covering her naked state. The young man of 18 years scratched his head as he realised what he had been doing the previous night.
Reaching into his pocket, he rummaged around uncomfortably before withdrawing a pen and notebook. Looking at the two items, he placed them on the ground before checking his only other pocket and retrieving a pack of cigarettes along with a matchbox.
He took out a cigarette before the sound of a fire being lit could be heard and smoke being blown from the orifice on his face. The whiskered young man picked up the pen and began to write on his notebook whilst observing the beautiful woman lying besides him. He finished scribbling with a thoughtful expression on his visage before rising to his feet.
Sighing, he smirked as he spoke, "That was a memorable night." He turned towards his right as he began to walk towards the edge of the cliff where there was a huge drop to the water below. In the horizon, he could see the birds flying in front of the scorching sun, "I still come here…"
Shaking his head, he put the cigarette in his mouth and began to smoke before stopping and coughing as he heard his name being called from the distance. He turned around as he saw another woman a few years older than him with long black hair come into sight.
The lady stopped running after she got a better view of the man she came to speak to and his immediate surroundings. She observed the naked woman lying on the grass before looking towards the blonde who had an indifferent expression, "At least you're keeping yourself busy, Naruto."
Naruto threw his cigarette over the cliff as it descended into the sea below before blowing out the last of the smoke, "If you're here then that must mean…"
The black haired woman nodded before finishing, "Hideaki-sama wants to meet with you before you leave."
Naruto acknowledged her response as he walked over so he was only a few feet away from her, "Yuka-chan…" his voice turned smoother, "…can I ask you to do something?"
Yuka raised an eyebrow as she responded, "What is it?"
Naruto moved slightly closer, resulting in Yuka taking a step backwards. Holding up his notebook, his voice became more lively, "Read this over, I need an outside opinion."
Yuka looked like she was about to fall over, "That's catered more towards men."
Naruto looked at his writing, "That's partially true but I know you'll enjoy this." Yuka folded her arms over the belt holding her dress together as her red eyes showed signs of caution while Naruto smiled at her actions, "I'm not going to try anything."
Yuka loosened up, "Then what did you mean?"
Naruto laughed, "You have a dirty mind even if you try and hide it."
Yuka gave a cough at the implication, "I've been around you too much."
"My face isn't there." Naruto's retort made her head snap upwards to meet his sapphire eyes which had a ring of crimson around them.
Yuka sighed, "Stop these games and make sure to meet Hideaki-sama." The blonde walked past her as she spoke again, "Wait, where are you going?"
Naruto continued walking, "Stopping these games and going home."
Yuka looked towards the naked woman sleeping on the grass, "What about her?"
Naruto stopped and turned around, "You take care of it and you can keep the shirt."
Yuka shook her head whilst speaking in an increased tone, "I'm not going to clean up one of your hormone driven escapades."
Naruto tried to smoothen out his hair but it went back to being spiky again, "You've got nothing else to do." He turned his back and began walking again.
Yuka had an enraged expression, "Hey, come back here! Don't do this Naruto!" The figure of Naruto continued in the opposite direction as the naked woman began to stir, alerting Yuka. The red eyed and well endowed woman shouted after Naruto one last time, "YOU OWE ME!"
Naruto's hand could be seen making a small wave as he became hazy in the distance.
An elderly man looked through the small home taking note of all the items and how it seemed to be rarely used. There were only a total of three rooms; a bathroom that connected to the bedroom which led into the kitchen loitered with a few cups and dishes. Walking towards the cabinet next to the bed, the old man observed the objects placed on top. His eyes caught the sight of a picture resulting in a peaceful yet sombre look on his face, "A lot has changed since then." The old man remained quiet before speaking once again, "Yuudai…"
The sound of the door opening could be heard as the calm man looked away from the picture, "Ah, it's good to see you." Naruto closed the door to his home as he stared into the eyes of the old man who had addressed him. The elderly man smiled as he noticed Naruto's half naked state, "If you needed money to buy a shirt, you could've told me." He chuckled at his little joke.
Naruto scratched his head before walking to his bathroom to freshen up, leaving the door open, "I was going to come meet you after I got ready." His voice could be heard over the sound of water running.
Hideaki clasped his hands, "I thought I'd save you the trouble."
The tap of water could be heard closing as Naruto exited the bathroom, "In other words, you didn't think I'd come."
Hideaki stroked his snow white beard, "You could say that."
Naruto looked at where he was standing, noticing the picture behind him and what he must have been doing. "How long are you staying before you head back?"
Hideaki sighed as he walked over to the bed and looked at Naruto for permission to sit, receiving a nod to go ahead. The white bearded man sat down making himself comfortable, "As you know, I only came to see how Yuka's training has been going. I doubt it will be long before I head back. I am going to teach her the final step and leave her to perfect it."
Naruto stretched his arms, "She's doing well then." He walked over to his bed and started searching underneath it.
"Indeed. My advisors though, believe I am placing heavy burdens on her a bit too prematurely." He awaited the response from the only other occupant in the house.
"She's the one who's been taking care of everyone here. She's proven she's ready for it." A thud could be heard under the bed followed by a groan of pain.
"I believe the same thing but I didn't come here to talk about her." Hideaki looked at Naruto who had now put a rucksack on the bed and was beginning to place a few items of clothes inside, "How long do you think this trip of yours will take?"
Naruto walked over to his drawer and opened the lowest compartment, taking out a number of scrolls which caught the attention of Hideaki, "Not too long, I'm going to visit a few places and do enough research so I can complete my book."
The defined young man placed the scrolls inside the rucksack and tightened it before walking into the bathroom with a fresh set of clothes. Hideaki stroked his beard as he spoke, "Maybe you should take someone with you."
"I'd rather go by myself." Naruto walked out of the bathroom into a mixed atmosphere as Hideaki stopped in the middle of stroking his beard, "What?"
Hideaki cleared his throat as he looked at the vivid orange clothes with streaks of black, "They're colourful."
Naruto raised an eyebrow, "You don't like orange?"
Hideaki shook his head and took his eyes off the garments, "About what we were talking; won't you need someone to guide you?"
Naruto picked up his rucksack, "I've got that covered."
Hideaki rose from his seat, "You're leaving already."
Naruto smirked at the older man, "I want to get to Iwa by the afternoon and I need to buy a map before I leave."
Hideaki closed his eyes, "Give my regards to the Tsuchikage."
Naruto massaged his forearm, "If I see him, I will." He proceeded to walk outside of his house leaving only Hideaki.
Hideaki sighed as he continued looking at the spot Naruto had been standing prior to exiting, "…You smile so much but behind it all, I can see your pain. Even time couldn't heal your wound."
Naruto took out the cigarette from his mouth and blew out the smoke as he looked at the small encampment from where he was standing. He had acquired a map and left as quickly as he could, "Time to go, I guess."
Biting his thumb and drawing a trickle of blood, he slammed his hand into the ground resulting in a small plume of smoke. As it cleared, a figure of around 3 feet could be seen, holding his claws and arms up high, "It is I who you have called upon to deliver you…OH! DAMN!" The dragon had a shocked expression as he looked at his summoner, "Now I know you have no sense of direction but what is this crap you're wearing?"
Naruto pointed his hand towards the smaller creature, "Seriously, what is so bad about these clothes?"
The dragon moistened his fingers with his tongue before cleaning the horns on his head, "You look like Gamakichi."
Naruto was intrigued by the dragon's words, "Who's he?"
The dragon shook his head, "Never mind, just some fat toad."
Naruto gave a resigned look as he placed his cigarette back in his mouth and took out his newly acquired map and placed it on the ground, "Genkei, look here." Naruto got down on one knee before staring at his dragon summon for a prolonged period of time with amusement.
Genkei looked over his red and black scaled body for any signs as to what may be causing the awkward stare, "What's your problem?"
Naruto laughed, "Your height amuses me."
Genkei mocked his laugh, "And you can't go from one place to another without my help so shut up before I leave."
Naruto ran a hand through his hair, "It was you who insisted I call upon you all the time when I needed to go places."
Genkei nodded, "I know. So where're we going?" Before Naruto could speak, the dragon continued, "Where's the encampment?"
Naruto resumed smoking, "We're not supposed to be marked on the maps. Remember who we are."
Genkei pointed his claw at the blonde, "Just making sure you're on the top of your game."
Naruto blew out some smoke, "I want to be here in a couple of hours." He pointed at the location of Iwa as he finished. Genkei looked at the map before back at Naruto and burst out laughing, "What? What's so funny?"
Genkei turned around before pointing at the mountain in the distance, "This whole region is covered in mountains and the encampment is also at a high place. Iwa is near the base of that mountain and you can't find your way there on your own?" He faced Naruto again and grinned exposing his sharp teeth, "It's that bad huh?"
Naruto folded his map and put it back into his rucksack before standing up and throwing his cigarette to the ground, "Can we just go?"
Genkei turned around and began to walk as Naruto put on his rucksack and followed, "You still writing that book?"
Naruto looked at the trees around them as he answered, "It should be finished soon."
Genkei began to tap his head, "I'd be a lot more interested in it if it had dragons. Your book really lacks that."
Naruto had a puzzled expression on his whiskered visage, "People don't want to read about dragons…at least not the ones who would pick up this kind of book."
Genkei shrugged, "Your loss." He began to run as he went down onto all fours, "Pick up the pace!"
Naruto listened and began to run also as they passed through the trees and vegetation.
Yuka wiped the sweat off her head as she sat down and took a break. She had discarded her dress for a more suitable outfit to train in, "That takes a lot out of you."
Hideaki chuckled as he walked over to the far younger woman and sat down next to her, "That means you're doing it right." Yuka looked at Hideaki as he continued, "Experience is both valuable and at the same time devastating. We can learn from it but it can also hurt us to an extent from which we may not recover."
Yuka realised what he meant, "Confronting and accepting ultimately makes you stronger."
Hideaki smiled, "Much easier said than done."
Yuka hugged her legs, "You're not going anytime soon are you?"
Hideaki slowly rose to his feet as he brushed off the dirt from his clothes, "I will await his return."
Yuka knew he was talking of Naruto, "This is the first time he's left the encampment since…"
Hideaki interrupted her from finishing, "Yes it is. However, I find it hard to believe he is going on a journey to solely do research for his book."
Yuka sighed, "I should've gone with him…I would've stopped him from getting out of hand."
Hideaki chuckled as he walked forwards a little and then stopped, "Seems like you don't enjoy the way he conducts his research but you forget your own priorities. Your role is as the leader of this encampment not as his guard."
Yuka became embarrassed by her forgetfulness, "Sorry…"
Hideaki adjusted the hat which covered his hairless head, "Even though it has been a long time, I'm sure he is still quite capable of defending himself."
Yuka's scarlet eyes focused on the withering flowers on the ground, "Did he tell you the places he's going to?"
Hideaki clasped his hands, "No, but I have some supposition."
"They were both going at it like they were possessed. It made for some good entertainment. I was supporting Manda due to the closer relation since he is a reptile after all. He just needs to do something about his bad breath and that ugly face." Genkei continued jumping through the trees as Naruto closely followed.
The blonde curiously asked his summon a question, "I thought you said the summon tribes were bound to their own areas and were forbidden from trespassing."
Genkei jumped onto the ground and continued sprinting, "They are but we're allowed to hold battles as long as both the participants agree. It's usually held in neutral land which belongs to no one."
Naruto acknowledged his statement, "That name, Gamabunta. It sounds familiar."
Genkei jumped onto a vine before climbing it rapidly and landing on another tree, "He's the father of Gamakichi; they all bare similar names."
Naruto had a clueless expression, "Gamakichi?"
Genkei sighed, "The fat toad I told you of before."
Realisation spread across Naruto's face before he ran face first into the bark of a tree. Genkei broke into a laughing fit as the blonde looked at him in anger, "I told you to stop doing that, it's been 5 times already now!"
Genkei put out his claws, "I understand…it was pretty funny though."
The two continued on their running sprint towards Iwa with relative ease as Genkei tried to get Naruto to slam his face into a tree one more time. Unfortunately for him, the blonde was ready for it and began to chase his summon for the inconvenience caused. The detour didn't last too long as they both once again set off towards their destination and finally reached it an hour later.
Naruto slowed down his pace as he neared his destination. Walking towards the edge of a small drop, he looked at the Hidden Village in Earth Country. Taking out a cigarette, he lit it with a match and began smoking.
Iwa was located at the base of a mountain and surrounded with rocks and small canyons which made it hard to reach unless you knew the route. The sun shone on the hard baked ground which would be terribly hot at this time of the day.
Genkei walked next to his summoner and looked at the village, "This brings back memories."
Naruto's eyes were calm as he nodded, "Yeah, it does."
Genkei looked at the whiskered man, "You're still running…"
Naruto took out his cigarette and gave an awkward look to Genkei, "Running?"
Genkei stared over the village, "From your past…from who you are."
Naruto continued smoking as he became more withdrawn, "I'm not a shinobi…not anymore."
Genkei looked at the sun which seemed a lot bigger in size from where they were standing, "There's a lot of things you're not anymore, and one of them is being at peace with yourself."
Naruto closed his eyes, "Don't…"
Genkei resumed speaking, "I'm always causing you inconvenience or messing you around…but it's only to see you liven up and live a little. You're fighting right now, make sure you succeed…I don't want to lose another friend."
Naruto could hear a sound as a cloud of smoke was left where Genkei was previously standing. He kept the tip of his cigarette in his mouth as the smoke being let off at the end of it ascended higher into the atmosphere before becoming invisible. Opening his eyes, he looked at the sky which had a few clouds drifting around, "You once said hope is eternal…but then why is it slipping from my grasp?"
Author Notes: A lot of questions with the first chapter. Things will become clearer as the story progresses. Also about the OC's, there isn't going to be many and they're going to play a minor role mainly because they're there for background understanding and other things. Peace out until next time.