Disclaimer: I in no way own anything that has to do with Naruto or its characters. This is my first fic, so be kind.
Hokage To Be
Chapter 1: Growing Up
Uzumaki Naruto, demon container of the Kyuubi no Kitsune, jumped into the clearing with a large scroll tied to his back. Naruto walked towards the cabin that Mizuki-sensei had told him about and set the scroll on the ground beside it. He took this moment to catch his breath and reflect on the events of the day so far.
Today had been the final examination and graduation at the Ninja Academy. And despite Naruto's class standing as the dead-last, he took this test deadly seriously. He studied long and hard on all of the subjects in the class and practiced all the ninja techniques dubiously. In fact, the only part of the exam he was nervous about was the Bunshin no Jutsu. No matter how long he practiced or how hard he focused, he couldn't even produce a single healthy bunshin. But he wasn't too worried about that. After all, as long as he did well on the written, taijutsu, weapons, and endurance tests he could afford to miss the bunshin.
Contrary to the belief of everyone in his class, teachers included, Naruto wasn't quite as dimwitted as he let on. Of course he was no genius, far from it. But he was rather intelligent. He had learned long ago that he was safer playing the village idiot than showing what he was truly capable of. Naruto remembers the day he learned this hard lesson very well.
It had been two weeks since an eight year old Naruto had started his tenure at the Ninja Academy. Today was the first day the class had been introduced to shuriken and kunai practice. Most students could barely reach the target with their weapons, much less reach the target. But Naruto surprised everyone when he hit over half of his targets, beaten only by Uchiha Sasuke. Naruto was ecstatic, so when the academy let out he rushed to Ichiraku Ramen to brag to the owner and his daughter.
Three bowls of miso ramen later, Naruto was retelling his, quite loudly, his accomplishments at the academy to Ichiraku and Ayame. Unfortunately his tale was overheard by some passerby's whom did not take well to learning that their resident 'demon' was getting stronger.
After Naruto had polished off his final bowl of ramen, he bade farewell to the proprietor and his daughter, and made his way home to his tiny apartment. On his way home he was stopped by several men stepping out of an alley.
"So brat, we here you're pretty good with a shuriken," said one man who seemed to be inebriated.
"Ha, what has this village come to that the Hokage would let him become a ninja. The old man must be gettin' senile," said another.
"No kidding. If he becomes a ninja what's to stop him from sneaking into our homes and cutting our throats."
"What, I'd never do that," said a slightly panicked Naruto.
"Don't lie to us demon, you might have fooled that decrepit old man, but you can't fool us."
Naruto didn't like where this was going so he turned to bolt in the other direction, only to run into another man.
"S-sorry sir," said a now very worried Naruto.
"Did you see that, the 'demon-brat' just attacked me."
One of the men grabbed Naruto by the arm and threw him into the side of a building. He then proceeded to bury a fist into the boy's stomach. Naruto collapsed as he gasped for air. "Did you think we would really let you get stronger demon," spat one of the villagers.
The villagers began to kick the boy while he was down and some began to throw rocks. Fortunately this spectacle drew the attention of several ANBU that arrived to break up the crowd. Naruto clambered to his feet and stumbled home.
It wasn't the first beating he'd gotten, but like his other beatings Naruto learned something from it. Like when he was five he learned that he was not welcome at the Kyuubi festival, and actually sought out by some of the bolder villagers on his birthday. He'd also learn that almost no one would take his word over anyone else's. But from this beating he learned one important thing. Not only did the village hate him, but they feared him.
So from that day he fashioned himself a new mask to go along with cheerful one to hide his pain. He created a mask of stupidity. After all, what do people fear more; a stupid monster, or a clever one?
But Naruto would drop that part of his mask for one day if it meant passing the exam and the academy. And he might have been able to pass too… if it weren't for the interference of a certain disreputable teacher.
Mizuki had been plotting to use the 'Kyuubi-brat' in his plans for a while now, but he needed to make sure the boy failed the test. He was certain he would fail anyways, but it never hurts to be thorough. So when the written tests were handed out to the students, Mizuki placed a clever genjutsu on Naruto's paper, changing the questions and their order. The corrupt teacher couldn't do anything during the weapons or endurance portions without drawing attention to himself, but he was Naruto's sparring partner during the taijutsu portion.
Mizuki attempted to beat Naruto by just enough to make the boy look bad, but not draw any suspicious gazes. But the 'demon-brat' was better than he expected. He still won, but not by enough to affect Naruto's scores too drastically. It all came down to the ninjutsu portion, which Mizuki didn't even have to rig.
Afterwards Mizuki approached a dejected Naruto sitting on a swing in front of the academy, too depressed to even notice him approach. He expertly convinced Naruto that there was another, secret way of becoming a genin. All he had to do was steal a certain scroll and learn one technique from within it.
Naruto immediately agreed to the special test, and later that night he broke into the Hokage Tower, utilizing all of the stealth skills he had gained from the countless pranks he pulled on the village. He ran into a little snag in the form of the Sandaime Hokage himself. But with a quick Oroike no Jutsu Sarutobi was unconscious from a fierce nosebleed.
So now we find Uzumaki Naruto in the middle of a clearing, breaking the seal of the Forbidden Scroll, unaware of just how much his life would change from this moment forward.
'Alright let's see what we have here,' thought Naruto to himself. 'Okay first on the list Kage Bunshin no Jutsu,' Naruto audibly groaned at this. "Bunshin, that's my worst jutsu, ah man," he said with his head in his hands. "Oh well, if I master this Iruka-sensei will have to pass me, dattebayo!" 'But first, let's see what else is in here.' Naruto proceeded to unroll the scroll. 'Hmm… Shuriken Kage Bunshin and Kunai Kage Bunshin no Jutsu, looks like their variations of Kage Bunshin, I should write these down for later.' Naruto then reached into his backpack and pulled out a black scroll and marker and copied the instructions for the jutsus.
'Okay, I think that should do it. Now what else is in here.' Unraveling the scroll further Naruto looked at the next jutsu.
The prize jutsu of the Yondaime Hokage, the Rasengan is the ultimate example of form manipulation, focusing pure chakra into a spiraling ball in the user's palm. The jutsu is extremely powerful and extremely dangerous, and when used in conjuction with the Hirashin no Jutsu the Yondaime was almost unstoppable. This technique is extremely difficult to master, requiring extreme chakra control (at least tree-walking and water-walking exercises must be mastered) and large chakra reserves.
The Rasengan can be learned in three stages…
Naruto was quite literally shaking with anticipation. 'A jutsu created by the Yondaime,' Naruto sprang to his feet shouting, "YATTA!!" Coming back to earth he eagerly sat down before the scroll again. 'I definitely have to learn the Rasengan… but it looks like its really hard to learn, there's no way I can master it tonight,' Naruto thought, slightly disappointed. 'Oh well,' a grin making its way back to his face, 'I'll just learn it later,' he thought, quickly writing down the directions for the jutsu in his spare scroll.
After finishing his impromptu homework he placed the scroll back in his backpack, satisfied with the jutsus copied. Naruto rolled the scroll back up so that only the directions for Kage Bunshin no Jutsu were showing. His expression turned to that of extreme determination. 'Okay let's get started.'
Umino Iruka was racing through the forest, desperately trying to find his wayward student before any other hunting parties got to him. He had been beating himself up all day for failing Naruto, and had become worried when he couldn't find his favorite student after the academy let out. He still couldn't understand why Naruto would resolve to steal the Forbidden Scroll, or how he knew about it to begin with. Iruka racked his brain, trying to think of all the places Naruto could have gone. He then remembered a small clearing where he would sometimes find his honorary little brother training. With all of the speed he could muster, Iruka took off towards the clearing, unaware he was being followed by a silver haired chunin.
Naruto was doubled over, panting heavily. "Damn… that took a lot… out of me… ha, but think I've finally got it." He leaned back and sat on the forest floor, regaining his breath. As his breathing became lighter, he caught the sound of someone approaching and looked up to see Iruka-sensei jump into the clearing.
"I've found you," yelled a thoroughly pissed Iruka, staring hard at Naruto.
"Hehe, you found me sensei," said a sheepish Naruto while rubbing the back of his head, "but I only had enough time to learn one jutsu from the scroll. But that still means I pass right Iruka-sensei?"
Iruka was now confused. "What are you talking about Naruto?" Iruka now took in his student's appearance. Naruto was banged up, his clothes worn and ripped, and he was still panting slightly. 'Wow, he's really been training hard.' "Naruto, who told you that?"
"Huh, Mizuki-sensei of course," said Naruto, confused as to why Iruka-sensei didn't seem to know about the test.
Iruka's eyes widened as his ears picked up the sound of objects flying through the air. Reacting immediately, Iruka shoved Naruto out of the way as he was hit with several shuriken and kunai, pinning him to the side of the cabin. Naruto whirled around to see where the weapons had come from. He saw Mizuki standing on a branch nearby.
"Why thank you Iruka for leading me right to him," said Mizuki with a sneer. He turned his attention to Naruto. "Now Naruto, give me the scroll."
"M-Mizuki-sensei? What's going on?" asked a thoroughly confused and worried Naruto.
"No Naruto, don't do it. Mizuki only used you to steal the scroll, he lied to you. You must protect that scroll with your life," Iruka shouted.
"Ha… this entire village has been lying to him his entire life, and you accuse me of lying. Tell me Naruto, do you know why this village hates you?" asked Mizuki with a sadistic grin.
"No Mizuki, you can't. It's forbidden," Iruka shouted, panic evident in his voice.
"Of course you don't. There was a law that forbade anyone from telling you the truth."
"W-what law, what wasn't I told," asked Naruto, with much trepidation in his voice.
"The secret that the Yondaime never killed the Kyuubi, that he actually sealed it away into the body of a baby. That you, Naruto, are the Kyuubi no Kitsune. The same demon that killed Iruka's parents."
Naruto body froze as he stared at his chunin sensei. Inside he was desperately trying to come up with a denial, some proof that proved otherwise. But deep down he knew it to be true. The villager's cold stares, the hatred, the beatings, the coinciding dates of his birth and the Kyuubi's defeat. The insults like 'demon child' or 'Kyuubi-brat'. It all finally made sense.
'That's why they hated me, that's why I never had anyone growing up, why I'll never have anyone.' A tear started to make its way down his cheek. 'I never even had a chance to be happy, did I? I was cursed the day I was born.'
Naruto was still dazed when he vaguely heard Mizuki shout something about finally slaying the demon. He looked up to see his former sensei unleash a giant shuriken right towards him, but he still didn't move. It wasn't out of fear, at least not mostly. But for the first time, Uzumaki Naruto lacked the will to go on. It seems that your life really does flash before your eyes when you're about to die, which only furthered Naruto's depression. Closing his eyes, Naruto awaited the bite of the steel.
But the bite never came; instead Naruto felt something warm and wet hit his face. Opening his eyes, he was shocked once more. In front of him, Iruka was hunched over and blood dripping from his mouth, having taken the giant shuriken directly to his back. He gave Naruto a sad smile. "I 'cough' never hated you Naruto. I understand how painful it is, to grow up without anyone that cares about you, being all alone." Tears began to fall down his face. "When my parents died, I had no one to acknowledge me. I wanted attention, any attention at all, so I became the class clown just so people would notice me. You see Naruto, we're a lot alike." Iruka lowered his gaze as his tears fell to the ground. "I'm sorry Naruto, if I had been a better teacher and friend you wouldn't have had to feel that pain."
Naruto was stunned. There were so many thoughts running through his head. He as lied to his entire life, the true reason he was hated was just revealed to him. Was he a demon, was he even human? It was just too much to take all at once. So he did the only thing he could think of. He ran.
Iruka could only watch as Naruto disappeared into the forest. "Naruto…"
"You see Iruka, did you see the look in his eyes? He's going to use the scroll to get revenge on the village for what it has done to him. He's just like me."
"You're wrong," Iruka said coldly, wrenching the shuriken out of his back and launching it back at Mizuki.
Mizuki simply dodged the weapon. "Now, now Iruka don't be impatient, I'll come back to deal with you once I've finished off the Kyuubi-brat." And with that he sped off in search of Naruto.
"Damn you," Iruka cursed, moving as fast as his body would allow to intercept the traitor.
It was some time later that the two former friends were once again face-to-face in the forest. Both had made use of a henge in an attempt to fool the other. Iruka had gained a slight advantage and managed to hit Mizuki with a shoulder to his chest. Unfortunately, due to his injuries he was unable to maintain this advantage for long. This is why we find him slouched, injured and exhausted against a tree staring down a still relatively fresh Mizuki.
"Tell me Iruka, why do you care for that thing? He's just going to use the scroll to gain power and destroy the village. That's what demons do."
Unknown to both parties, Naruto was currently hiding behind a nearby tree, so was privy to their conversation.
"You're right Mizuki, that is what a demon would do."
Naruto could feel his heart break. 'So Iruka-sensei is just like the rest of the village.' He stood to leave once more, but stopped in his tracks when Iruka continued.
"But Naruto is no demon. He is my student. He may not be the hardest worker, and he may be a bit of a screw up. But he is a proud Konoha shinobi. He is Uzumaki Naruto."
Naruto now had tears streaming down his face after hearing his teachers words.
Mizuki just sneered at the injured teacher. "Whatever Iruka. I was going to leave you alive for later, but you've annoyed me enough to move up your execution." He took the remaining shuriken from the strap on his back and began to spin it rapidly. "So just die," he shouted as he rushed towards Iruka, murder in his eyes.
Iruka could only sit and watch as his impending doom ran towards him. He knew he was no match for Mizuki in his current condition. His body refused to move. A sad smile spread across his face as he thought, 'At least Naruto got away.'
Mizuki was only a few meters away from his victim when something neither man expected happened. An orange blur raced intercepted Mizuki, crashing a knee to the chunin's face. Mizuki was thrown back and hit the ground hard, but he quickly righted himself to see his attacker. There, standing with his face downcast was Uzumaki Naruto, the Forbidden Scroll laid on the ground beside him. The chunin attention was drawn from the scroll by Naruto's voice. "If you touch Iruka-sensei," he started, bringing his eyes up to meet Mizuki's gaze, "I'll kill you."
Mizuki was slightly unnerved by the look in the dead-last's eyes. They held no playfulness or mischief, nor any sadness or depression. They instead held a determination and anger that Mizuki had never seen within the blue eyes before. He quickly shook that feeling off as he retorted. "Ha ha, I'm a chunin you runt, I can kill you with a single blow."
Much to Mizuki's surprise and consternation, Naruto didn't even flinch. He merely brought his hands together in a single seal. "Go for it. Anything you throw at me, I'll return a thousand fold." Gathering a massive amount of chakra that shocked and amazed the present ninja Naruto shouted a single jutsu. "Tajuu Kage Bunshin no Jutsu." There was a massive release of smoke as the jutsu took affect. When it cleared, the two chunin in the clearing were further stunned, though one had a look of pride while the other held one of fear.
The clearing was now filled with hundreds of Naruto clones, filling the trees and forest floor with a sickening orange. Mizuki couldn't move out of sheer shock. "What's wrong Mizuki-teme, I thought you would kill me with one shot," said the clones. "Fine if you're not coming, then I'll make the first move."
The forest was soon filled with the pitiful sounds of the massive beating that took place. After a few minutes the sounds of fists hitting flesh, bones cracking and womanly screams ended. Mizuki was left unconscious and broken in the middle of the clearing. A slightly winded Naruto walked away from the traitor to Iruka. "I guess I kind of overdid it, eh Iruka-sensei," said a sheepish Naruto, rubbing the back of his head.
"Naruto close your eyes for a second," said Iruka. Naruto, although confused by the strange request, obliged. He felt his sensei remove the goggles on his forehead and replace them with something else. "Okay Naruto you can open your eyes now." Opening his eyes Naruto saw his sensei smiling at him, but something was missing. His forehead was bear. Raising his hand to his own forehead Naruto felt the cool metal with an indentation in the center.
With widened eyes Naruto looked back up to his sensei, as if asking for confirmation. "Congratulations Naruto, you pass."
Iruka had to bite back a wince as Naruto tackled him around his midsection, putting him into a painfully tight hug. "Thank you, thank you, thank you," Naruto shouted into his chest.
"You earned it Naruto," said Iruka, who finally managed to pry off his now former student. "Now I think that we should be returning that scroll to the hokage, and we might want to get Mizuki to a hospital."
Naruto put on a fake pout. "Aaw, I understand about the scroll, but do we have to drag that teme to a hospital," he said shooting a nasty look at Mizuki.
Iruka just laughed as he and his honorary little brother slowly made their way back to the village.
At that same moment in the Hokage Tower, the Sandaime felt a smile pull at his old face. "Kotetsu." Immediately a chunin appeared in his office.
"Hokage-sama?" the young man asked.
"Alert the others that the search for Uzumaki Naruto is called off. He and the Forbidden Scroll are secure and on their way here. And send for a medic team and have them wait outside the tower."
"Hai Hokage-sama," was all Kotetsu said as he left to fulfill his orders.
Sarutobi sighed as he looked up to the portraits that lined the wall across from his desk. In particular he focused on the portrait of a blonde man with blue eyes. "Minato, it should be you in awaiting your son's arrival, not me." He now shifted his gaze to the village outside his window. "I wonder, would you have still done it if you could see what Naruto has had to go through because of it. I just wish I could have done so much more for him. But I've already failed him so many times." Tears began to form in his eyes, but he quickly dried them when he heard a ruckus outside his office. 'Minato, despite it all, I'm sure you would be very proud of your son.' With that last thought, he waited for a certain genin to enter his office.
"I don't care if I don't have an appointment, I'm goin' in there anyways," Naruto shouted at the overly rude secretary outside the Hokage's office. And with that he burst through the double doors leading to the man Naruto saw as a grandfather. As always the old Hokage was sitting behind his desk with the warm smile he gave Naruto. Naruto grinned sheepishly as he said, "Hey old man, I guess I have some explaining to do."
Sarutobi merely chuckled, "Not at all Naruto, I've already been informed of Mizuki's role in tonight's events." His old face grew solemn as he changed the subject. "Naruto, I wish to speak to you about what Mizuki revealed to you tonight."
Naruto's grin also vanished with the change of subject matter. "Why… why didn't you tell me?" Sarutobi could see the hurt and betrayal in his eyes.
"I'm sorry Naruto, but at the time I thought it was for the best. I created a law that made even the mention of the Kyuubi being sealed inside of you illegal. My hopes were that you would at least have a somewhat normal life." The old Hokage pulled out his pipe and lit it with a low level katon jutsu. "Unfortunately, the law didn't stop them from hating you and passing on that hatred to their children.
"But I'm not the Kyuubi, am I?" asked a worried Naruto.
"No!" Sarutobi said firmly. "The Yondaime wanted you to be seen as the hero of this village. Without you the Yondaime would have never been able to defeat the Kyuubi. Unfortunately the people of this village still have a lot of built up hatred for the Kyuubi, and they see hurting you and hurting the demon as the same thing."
"But why me? Why did he choose me to seal away the Kyuubi? There were other children that night. So why choose an orphan with no one to care for him or keep him safe?" asked Naruto with downcast eyes.
"I don't think we will ever know why he chose you Naruto." Sarutobi winced at the blatant lie that left his lips, but it was not yet safe for Naruto to know the truth. "But I believed he saw something special in you that made him believe you could bare a burden no one else could."
Naruto mulled this information around for a minute. It didn't make a whole lot of sense to him. What could the Yondaime see in a baby that would make Naruto a proper vessel for the Kyuubi? But if the Sandaime didn't know then there was no point in pressing the matter. With a nod, Naruto told Sarutobi to continue.
Sarutobi was relieved Naruto decided not to pursue the matter. A smile made its way back to his face. "Now, about the scroll you took. I understand you were able to learn a jutsu from it."
Naruto's gloomy mood evaporated immediately. "Sure did old man, check this out," he said placing his hands in a cross seal. "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu." In a puff a second Naruto appeared in the office, wearing the same fox like grin as the original.
"That's quite impressive Naruto, you learned a jonin level technique in the span of a few hours. Most chunin don't have the chakra reserves for that jutsu. Now before I let you go I have to ask you if you learned any other jutsu from the scroll," the Sandaime asked sternly, eyes boring into Naruto's.
Naruto didn't even blink. He had anticipated this question and had already decided on his answer. "Nah, I only had enough time to learn Kage Bunshin and I was too exhausted to even think of practicing any other jutsus." It wasn't exactly a lie. After all he had only learned the Kage Bunshin in the hours he had the scroll. He had just failed to mention that he had copied down a few other jutsus along with it.
The Hokage studied the young genin for a moment until he finally seemed to accept the answer. "Good, there are many jutsus in here that are a danger to not only yourself but others as well and it's best if they remain hidden." And with that, the Sandaime picked up the scroll and personally put back in its safe along with a few additional security seals, just in case. "Now I think I've held you up enough, you should go home and get some rest, you'll need to stop by tomorrow or the day after to fill out your identification papers for being a ninja." And with that he sent Naruto on his way.
As he left the tower, Naruto ran into a slightly worried and heavily bandaged Iruka waiting outside. "Naruto, how did it go? Are you in any trouble?"
Naruto just laughed at his sensei's antics. "Nah, the old man just wanted to ask some questions then he let me off the hook."
Iruka breathed out a sigh of relief. "That's good to here Naruto. Now how bout I treat you to some ramen for becoming a genin. We should be able to get a few bowls before Icharaku's closes down for the night." Never one to pass up free ramen, Naruto agreed instantly.
On their way to their favorite ramen stand, Naruto remembered something he had been meaning to ask his sensei. "Hey Iruka-sensei, do you know any good chakra control exercises."
Iruka actually stopped walking out of surprise at the question. "Well, yes, but why the sudden interest."
Naruto sweated slightly trying to think of a suitable excuse. He couldn't tell him that he needed more control to master one of the Yondaime's most powerful jutsus. "Uh, well, when I was practicing the Kage Bunshin I noticed that a lot of my chakra seems to get wasted, so I figured with better control I could make more without tiring myself out." Naruto mentally patted himself on the back for actually coming up with a plausible excuse.
Iruka seemed to think it was a decent excuse as well. "Okay Naruto. Well there's the tree walking exercise." At Naruto's confused expression he decided to elaborate. "You focus chakra into the soles of your feet to stick to surfaces. Since gather chakra to the bottoms of your feet is supposedly the hardest place to gather it, it is an excellent exercise to increase not only control but reserves as well." Naruto still had a slightly incredulous look on his face. "Tell you what, you come by the academy tomorrow and I'll give you a quick demonstration."
Naruto grinned at this. "Thanks Iruka-sensei."
While eating ramen the two talked about a little bit of everything. They eventually started to talk about the possible teams. Due to his standing as the dead-last Naruto was most likely going to end up the rookie of the year's team. Naruto definitely did not like the idea of ending up on the same team as the Uchiha. But there was little he could do about it now but just hope that one of them made chunin soon.
As soon as Icharaku's closed Iruka bade Naruto goodnight and went home. Naruto on the other hand had some thinking to do. So he began to make his way to a place where he often goes to get away from it all. He walked up the path that would take him to the top of the Hokage Monument. After reaching the top he walked towards the head of the man who currently had Naruto puzzled. Soon he was standing on the visage of the Yondaime Hokage.
Naruto sat himself down cross-legged, leaned back on his arms and looked up at the night sky. As he sat there he began to think of the Yondaime's actions on that night all those years ago. The night Kyuubi attacked. He had done something that few could ever dream of doing. He defeated a demon. It may have been at the cost of his own life and Naruto's chance at a happy one, but he had defeated the most powerful bijuu on the planet.
Naruto realized that that was the life of a Hokage. They had to be willing to give anything, even their own lives to protect the village. To protect what was most precious to them they were willing to give it all. Naruto then began to reflect on his own reasons for being Hokage. He didn't want the job to protect the village. He wanted it because of the respect and recognition that came with the position.
Naruto frowned at this thought. Was he really that selfish, to put his own wants in front of the safety of the village? He recalled the events of that night. Iruka-sensei had put his life on the line to protect him. Naruto realized that that act alone made Iruka more deserving of the title of Hokage than he did.
Thinking long and hard Naruto had to ask himself some important questions. What would he give his life for? What was so precious to him that he would sooner die than see it hurt or destroyed. He began to think of the people in his life that had showed him kindness. Iruka-sensei had acknowledged him as a ninja and human being. Old man Hokage had always lent him an ear whenever he had a problem. The old ramen cook and his daughter had always showed him kindness when no one else would. And finally the mystery person who left him those notes.
It had been almost three months since Naruto had started attending the academy. He was currently practicing in the training field behind the academy after hours. For the past two hours he had been trying to summon his chakra. The reason he was having so much trouble was due to the fact that when the instructors had begun the lecture on how to summon one's chakra, one of them saw fit to remove Naruto from the class. He claimed he was causing a disruption to the other children's learning when in reality he was merely asking a question. So now Naruto was left to figure it out by himself based on the tidbits of information he could get off the other students. So far he was having no luck.
He was just about to give up and go home for the day when he heard a soft thud from behind him. Turning around he saw a kunai with a piece of paper attached to it. Naruto looked around him for any sign of the person who had thrown it but found no one. Shrugging to himself he reached down and picked up the kunai and note. Inside the note were instructions explaining what chakra was and how to summon it. The script was written in very elegant handwriting that led him to believe it was written by a girl. But just what girl he never found out.
Over the years Naruto had received several of those notes. Sometimes they helped with training, like basic taijutsu stances or weapon throwing techniques. Other times they just offered words of encouragement. He had even received the goggles he wore so frequently as a birthday present from the mystery person. Whoever they were, Naruto considered them precious to him.
He would give anything to protect these people and what they stood for. They saved him from loneliness. And he would go to the ends of the earth to make sure they stayed safe, including protecting the entire village. With his mind made up Naruto stood and walked to the edge of the monument. Looking down at the face of the man who had been Konoha's greatest Hokage, Naruto spoke.
"I don't know why you chose me, or even if you had a reason for choosing me, but I swear to make you proud." Naruto pulled out a kunai and brought it to his palm, slashing it open so blood would flow. "From this day forward I vow to become Hokage, not for acknowledgement or recognition, but to protect those who are precious to me and to protect the village that was so precious to you."
And with this vow he made his way back into the village, to his apartment. Deep down he could feel that this night would be a changing point in his life. And he couldn't help but smile at the prospect of what tomorrow could bring.
AN: I hope you enjoyed the first chapter. Please review. Constructive criticism is more than welcome.