Over the course of the month, Naruto learnt how to read. It was a slow and painful process but the old man at the library was very helpful. Naruto was grateful to the old man and his favorite manga was Dragon Ball Z.
He liked the fight scenes.
He liked how hard they trained. So he decided to copy them, not knowing that Dragon Ball Z was a fictionous work and not real at all.
See he thought it was actually real.
So he wanted to become better.
He wanted to become as good as Goku or Vegeta and that was just what he would do because he was determined like that. He was goign to be the best and nothing would stop him, he decided.
So every day he paid lots and lots of attention in the academy. Iruka was very surprised by Naruto's attitude change.
He asked the old man at the library to borrow some money, and he bought a suit and a good notebook and pen. He took down very neat notes and studied really hard.
Everyone was suprrised at the change. Naruto used to be a nice prankster sort of boy, quite annoying, and very loud. But it was as if he had changed overnight.
He bacame quiet and withdrawn and at lunch when hte other kids would play tag Naruto would stay inside the classroom and read some scrolls, or go outside in the training yard and practice.
Everyone was curious and wanted to know why this happened.
"Naruto, what happened to you man?" Izuka asked. He was the dog boy, Naruto remembered.
He looked at Izuka, and thought about what Goku would do.
Goku would be friendly.
THen he thought about what Vegeta would do.
Vegeta was his favorite character so far, he was a real tough guy, way better than Goku.
"Scram, dog-boy," Naruto said and went back to his reading.
Izuka got angry. He got so angry that he tried to punch Naruto in the face.
Naruto blocked his punch with a flick of his finger and without even moving his eyes from the book he got up and kicked Izuka in the chest. Then he sat back down.
Izuka flew right into the wall, grunted once in pain, and then slid down. He was unconscious before he hit the floar.
Iruka was watching the exchange from the door. Naruto never saw him.
Iruka wondered what to do, what had happened to Naruto? Why did he change so much?
He decided to follow Naruto that day and see what happened.
Now for dog boy.
He decided he would handle Izuka later. Certainly nobody would mind. He was the new Naruto as far as the class was concerned.
Still Naruto read.
And another person was watching through the window.
She also wondered the same thing, and she also decided to follow Naruto and see what he was up to. Where was the boy she had loved?
And through the opposite window, Sasuke watched.
He also decided to follow Naruto.
They all wanted to know what was up wiht this person.
Sasuke, because now when the class sparred, Sasuke and Naruto were always on the top. So far they hadn't fought each other, but Sasuke knew the day was coming soon.
Still, Naruto was oblivious. He read quietly about some basic jutsus and tried to memorize them as best he could.
After school he decided he would train.
After he made a pit stop at the library of course.
A few hours later, after class was dismissed, Iruka, Hinata and Sasuke followed Naruto, each not knowing the other was also following the same blonde haired blue eyed ninja.
They all wanted to know what was up with Naruto.
Naruto walked effortlessly and in a very orderly manner. He clutched his books under his arms, and headed to the library much to the surprise of the three who were following him.
He came back out with a smile on his face... and no books.
He had left his books in the library.
But he did have another book, a comic book, the three realized.
They caught sight of the title, "Dragon Ball Z"
Iruka wondered what that was.
He also wondered if he should go into the library and get this DBZ book, or if he should continue to follow Naruto.
He decided to continue to follow Naruto since he could get that book any time he wanted to.
So did the other three apparently.
The rest of the day they followed him. They watched him train furiously until night fall, and then go to the ramen stand to eat ramen, and then train again!
He trained until four o clock in the night and then he went home to have a little nap - and go back to the academy.
No wonder he had bags under his eyes! Hinata thought. She was the only one who didn't go home in boredom.
So Naruto was trying harder than ever, so I have to try just as hard, Hinata decided, and that was what she planned to do. Over the next few days, her father was pleasantly surprised at the confidence in her, at how she got right back up and practiced over and over. It was a heartening sight to him.
Naruto was oblivious to all this. He trained relentlessly.
He followed this routine throughout the year until he became one of the best in the class.
The entire student body was surprised at this change, and even the Saindaime Hokage came down to the Academy to visit the boy wonder, as he was known.
Now when teachers had problem kids, they told the student, "Be like Naruto. He was a trouble maker. But then he got better."
They would also add, "And its all thanks to me..." sometimes.
One day it was time for Sasuke and Naruto to spar against each other.
They were the two best students.
Nobody could outmatch the two.
Everyone watched the fight eagerly and by everyone, most jounin in the village who had chased Naruto around after his pranks, and the jounin who taught Sasuke. Also the entire student body and the hokage.
The hokage of course was famous. If he was going to watch a student battle, it must be a big one.
The word went around, Demon boy versus Uchiha boy.
The entire village gathered in an arena that was hastily put up by ANBU, who also provided emergency security.
It was time for the fight to start.
Everyone was rooting for someone, and bets were made.
Some people whose family members got arrested and killed when the Uchiha policed Konoha, were betting on the demon boy. Others, Uchiha boy.
This was the battle of a life time, everyone knew that.
And it was about to start. Iruka was the referee.
"THree... Two... One..." He said and raised his hands.
Somebody hit a big golden drum.
A loud thum sound was made.
The battle had begun.
Naruto stayed still, dressed imaculate as ever in a blue suit. He also had stylish silver rimmed glasses, and his hair was combed.
He looked like the perfect student.
Somewhere in the seats, a certain librarian grinned, proud of his unique and unorthodox student.
Sasuke circled around Naruto.
"Come attack me." Naruto said as he always did. He never made the first move.
He had changed. He had become more reserved, not like Vegeta, not like Goku, not like any character of Dragon Ball Z in fact.
He was Naruto.
He couldn't be like someone else.
He was what he was.
And he was also going to kick some Uchiha ass.
Sasuke charged, and started shadow boxing at Naruto. That was when you give fast punches to a person's face.
Naruto dodged effortlessly, and punched Sasuke in the chest with his palms facing outward like a Hyuuga.
Sasuke was thrown back thanks to a chakra enhanced punch. He got off the floor, dusted himself, and charged again, ever so calmly.
Unnoticed to all, Itachi was also in the stands. Disguised as an ANBU.
This time, Sasuke leapt in the air and started kicking Naruto's face multpiple times. Naruto blocked with his hands and kneed Sasuke in the groin. Sasuke flew up into the air and fell back to the dust.
It seemed that Naruto stood the victor as Sasuke groaned in pain.
But amazingly, he got up and fought the pain. Then something strange happened.
His eyes went red.
The audiance gasped and even the Hokage was a bit surprised. Itachi smirked, a bit proud despite himself.
Sasuke started laughing, "This is going to be amazing!" He screamed in the air and charged again.
He started kicking and punching with a fury that Naruto couldn't match. Every time Sasuke punched one side, he would immediately punch another side, an ungaurded side.
It was as if Sasuke could predict his every move.
Naruto grimaced in pain. He was bruised all over but he wouldn't give up.
He stayed with the fight until it was dusk and still Sasuke and Naruto fought, both dirty, both with their clothes torn and bruises all over their body.
Naruto's suit was ripped to shreds now.
It was time for the finishing move. They didn't have enough energy left to continue.
Now only the ninjas were left in the audiance, most of the villagers had long since gone home, too bored now.
But they left with respect for both the fighters. Even the demon boy.
He was good. He could hold his own against an Uchiha.
Everyone knew that Naruto would be an asset to the village... one day.
Sasuke wanted to win very very badly.
But so did Naruto.
They both stood very still, and breathed deeply, trying to calm themselves.
Then they both charged each other.