Thanks to all my reviewers! Well, here's another chapter for you readers out there.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. Thought I specified that already.

A Different Path

Chapter 4 - What a Day

Naruto was once again, doing his routine exercises, as his sensei was doing some of his own training as well. Naruto had just finished his taijutsu training and was now running around the cabin. A blond blur ran past Kiru, bringing a gust of wind along with it.

"Boy, that kid sure has gotten fast." The silver haired man said seeing his student run.

Returning to his own training, he upgraded his weights another ten pounds and continued swinging his sword. Spotting a large boulder, he sliced his sword straight through it, cleanly cutting half of it off, and watched it crash into the ground beside it.

Naruto slowed down as he finished his last lap. Although he was tired, he wasn't as exhausted as he used to be after running his laps. He looked towards the tall man, watching him slice through a large boulder with his huge sword. His gaze stayed on the sword and wondered if Kiru was going to give him a sword someday. Oh well, its not like he needed one.

"Naruto!" Kiru called.

"What, Kiru-sensei?" He called back.

"I want to give you something."

After that, Naruto hastily ran over to him, just like any hyperactive eight year old would at the prospect of receiving something. Running up to his sensei, he looked excitedly at him, waiting for whatever he was going to get.

Kiru reached into his jacket pocket, and pulled out a black blindfold. Confused, Naruto just looked at it and then back to Kiru.

"A new lesson my dear student."

At hearing this, Naruto grew happy that he was going to learn something new, but then grew fearsome because every new thing he learned from his sensei always included lots and lots of pain. But hey, no pain no gain, right?

"Put on this blindfold." Kiru instructed. After tying it tightly around his eyes, all he saw was plain black, though he could smell, taste, and hear more precisely than before. His sensei's voice broke him from his musings as he turned his head in the direction of the sound.

"Ninjas have to be able to use all of their senses effectively during battle. Many ninjas use techniques to disable some part of your senses, like your vision or hearing." Kiru lectured.

"Like that Okrio guy we fought in Tea Country?" Naruto added.

"Yes. Okrio Mizuhachi of the Seven Swordsman of the Mist used their village's special Kirigakure no Jutsu to render our sense of sight useless. What did we do when we fought him?"

"Well, sensei, I remember you saying to close our eyes and focus on using my ears to track his movements, but I got slashed on the back since I couldn't keep up."

"Correct. So, I will be training you on using your senses effectively so that you can use it to your advantage in battle and in other tasks."

"Oh, ok sensei."

"Good. Training starts...NOW!"

Naruto immediately got into a defensive position, using his hearing to listen for Kiru's movements. He found him on the side, but was too slow to react and was sent flying a good distance away. Clutching his cheek, he could feel blood dripping where the fist contacted.

"Although you may be able to track me down, you have to train your body to be able to react fast enough!" Kiru called out.

"Okay!" Naruto, determined as always, declared before focusing on his sensei's movements.

The sky had just turned dark and a silver haired man kicked open the front door to his house. Slung around his shoulder laid his blond haired student, cuts, bruises, and broken bones everywhere. Kiru wasn't worried though, as the demon inside Naruto would heal the big damages.

It was a shock to Kiru when he learned that the Kyuubi was sealed inside Naruto. It was when a couple of missing-nins decided to ambush them, giving them a hard time since one of them was S-class and the rest were either A or B class nins in the Bingo Books.

Kiru had been stabbed through his stomach and fainted, but not before seeing his student being enveloped in a red chakra and what seemed to be a chakra tail forming. He stared at his student as long as he could and could finally realize what shape was forming...a fox.

Instantly a ton of not so good memories entered his mind, before finally falling in the unconscious world. He woke up to see Naruto passed out beside him and could tell he just got done fighting, seeing as how the blood next to him was still warm.

Groggily, he looked around to see all but one of the people that ambushed them on the ground, all drowning in their own blood. He looked towards his student to see his shirt had been wiped clean off. Noticing the strange mark on his stomach, he motioned to look over it, wincing as the pain in his abdomen alerted him of the huge stab wound.

Not questioning how he was alive, his eyes widened in realization when he recognized the glowing mark on his stomach. Using all the chakra he could muster, he used a teleportation technique to transport them to a nearby town, where he hoped would be some type of hospital to treat their wounds.

Breaking from his thoughts, he laid down the unconscious kid on the couch, Kiru proceeded to clean up and cook dinner. The training had lasted longer than he expected, but wasn't surprised as Naruto always went above his expectations. Naruto was one strong willed kid, and he was thankful he was fortunate enough to train him, just like his last student.

With a sigh, he returned to cooking dinner barely hearing Naruto stir within his sleep. As he waited for the food to cook, he turned towards his student and just looked at him. The whisker faced kid mumbled something incoherently, before becoming still again.

The eight year old woke up about a half an hour later, feeling sore all over. He remembered breaking his arms yesterday, but they only felt like cinder blocks now. Groggily, he got up slowly, wincing in pain as though needles were all over him.

Focusing his vision, he looked around to see a plate of probably cold food on the table beside him. Closing his eyes, he tried searching for his sensei using today's lesson, but heard nothing. Sighing, Naruto painfully grabbed his plate and started eating the food on it.

The full moon shown over a bustling village. It's most prominent feature, the stone carved mountains showing the faces of its past and present leaders, stood proudly, showing its glory to the whole village.

An old man sat behind a lone desk, the scribbling of the pen against paper being the only sounds in the office. His bored expression spoke volumes of how fun he was having, which was at a current rate of negative one million. Being the Hokage, however, he knew he wasn't alone in the office.

"Come out right now or I'll have to use force."

A metallic figure slowly rose from the ground as a wide eyed Hokage looked on with surprise at the scene unfolding before him. Standing right in front of him was a man he thought would never see again.

"I guess the Hokage title is deserving of you." The figure spoke.

"K-Ki-" The Hokage stuttered.

"Shhh. I've gotten here without detection, and I plan on keeping it that way. You must promise not to tell anyone of my presence here." Kiru demanded, a stern expression on his face.

"You have my word as the Hokage that you're here or even...alive." The old ninja agreed.

"Thank you."

"What makes you come to Konoha?" Old Sarutobi asked, curious as to why he was here.

"I've come here to tell you something regarding someone I'm sure you and I both know."

"Who?" The aged man asked, his pipe placed in his mouth.

"Uzumaki Naruto." Kiru replied, watching the shocked expression cross the man's face.

"N-Naruto?" That was the second time he stuttered. Boy, tonight was full of surprises.

"Yeah. I've been training him for the past two years after he ran away from this place. To think a place as happy as it seems to be holds such hatred for a young boy like him. What has this village become?"

By now, the Hokage had calmed down and took in everything Kiru was saying.

"I agree and I have tried my best to change it, but they are human. Ignorance and negativity will always cloud judgment," Taking a moment to blow his pipe, he continued, "So...since you have been training him, will you be willing to tell me how strong he has gotten?"

"Actually, I came here to talk to you about that. There is no doubt in my mind that he is strong, but he has set a goal to become Hokage of this village." Sarutobi was certainly surprised to hear this. He thought the boy would have gone to revenge's path and extract it on the village.

"Anyways, in order for him to do that, he will need to become a ninja for this village, and for that he will need to become a Genin. See where I am getting to?"

"Indeed. However, in order for Naruto to take part in the Genin exam, he will have to become a citizen of Konoha and attend the Academy for at least one whole school year." The Hokage answered, studying the face of Kiru.

"I'll have to talk to him about it, but I'm sure he'll agree. Well, I guess that's all for now so I'll be seeing you in a few years, that is, if you manage to stay alive old man." And with that, the silver haired man poofed out of the office.

"Naruto..." The Hokage muttered after a long silence and resumed back to work.

Navy eyes scanned the dark room before making his way towards his bedroom. Shutting the door, he stripped off his clothing, leaving only his boxers on and dropping into his bed. In the next room, Naruto laid on his bed, staring at the ceiling.

He had awoken about an hour earlier and just laid on the bed, looking at the ceiling. He heard his sensei come home, but made no move to go to him. Wondering for a second why he was arriving home so late, his thoughts drifted back to what he was previously thinking of.

When he woke up, he began thinking of his life. From what he could remember, the first things he remembered were the most awful he could think of. All the torment, threats, violence, and all the negativity he received by the people he once called home, it came to him like a rush, making him want to hate the village more than anything, but then remembered what he said to Kiru.

"I couldn't protect that precious person, but I promise that I will get strong enough to protect you one day. You're one of my precious people and I want to be able to protect you as well. And when I become strong enough, I can go back to Konoha and use my strength to change it. To make it so that they're all my precious people so that I can protect them."

After remembering his own words, Naruto thought of Kiru and his time with him. He was still a mystery to him, but knew that Kiru would never let anything bad happen to him, except for his training sessions, but they had reasons to it.

Kiru was a sweet, gentle person that anyone would love, but could be intimidating and has a strong aura of power around him in public. His time with him has showed him how much of a wise and powerful man he was, a warrior with a heart made of gold.

Naruto would forever be thankful for Kiru for had it not been for him, he would have gone on a path of revenge, which he knew would only lead to much more pain. Not only that, but he was much stronger thanks to him and he would be forever in his debt.

As his mind wandered some more, he thought of the pink haired girl he met at that town. She was a pretty girl, and he felt really...good, for a lack of better word, when he talked with her. Her emerald eyes, glorious and magnificent in his opinion, mesmerized him in a weird way. Her smile was gentle, like any child his age should be, especially a girl as beautiful as her.

His eyes drooped lower as images of Kiru, Sakura, The Hokage, that man who gave him his blanket, and all his other friends appeared in his vision before blacking out into the realm of the unconscious.

The next morning in Konoha, the Hokage was having a meeting with the council and clan heads. One notable head missing was Uchiha Fugaku, whose whole clan had been slaughtered, save for one Uchiha Sasuke, the little brother of the murderer.

Looking over the people, he finally felt the room situate itself and coughed to signal he was going to begin.

"Thank you all for being here today." He started, giving a glance at the other people in the meeting.

"I will get straight to the point so we shall not waste time. Coming from a reliable source, Uzumaki Naruto will be returning to the village."

Just like he predicted, a huge uproar of hateful comments about the boy erupted, and he couldn't help but frown at the things they said.

"THAT'S ENOUGH!!" The enraged Hokage spoke, clearly irritated. The other people part of the meeting stopped their yelling, and returned to their seats, scowls present on their face.

Koharu was the first to speak, "Who did you receive this information from? Obviously, it must be someone with skill to be able to talk to you without alerting the rest of Konoha and can you really trust whoever this person is?"

"I will not tell you and I trust what my informer said is true. For now, all you have to know is that Uzumaki Naruto will be returning, and that he will be strong." The Hokage stated, confidence laced in his voice.

"You can't allow that demon back in here! This village is doing well without him and all hell would break loose if he does indeed come back, you know that." One Hiashi Hyuuga spoke. A number of agreements followed as the aged Sarutobi looked at the people of the council, disappointment in his eyes.

"Maybe we should allow him back." A voice spoke through the mayhem, a voice that seemed to take everyone in surprise. The aged Hokage eyed the man suspiciously, after all he was a man of war, which clearly meant he wanted to use Naruto as a weapon.

"What do you mean, Danzou?" Koharu asked as the rest of the council listened in.

"The Kyuubi boy will be a great addition to this village. With him, we can unleash the Kyuubi's power and bring fear towards the other countries. Konoha will stand on top, feared by all." The old war hawk answered, an evil glint in his aged eye.

"Danzou." The Hokage's voice spoke through the quiet room.

"Naruto will use his own power to bring this village to the top. Not the Kyuubi's power or anyone else's. I truly believe that Naruto's own potential power is greater than any demon's power."

"Hmph. Your mind is still tainted by the First and Second Hokage's teachings. You will see soon enough. Konoha will rise to the top and it will be because of me."

"Enough! The meeting is finished. You may all go home." A series of murmurs and demons and danger to Konohas followed as the room started to become emptier and emptier by the second. He knew that the people would not be happy, after all the "demon boy" would be coming back, but he knew that the blond haired boy would change it all.

Wow, sorry for the super long wait. Been watching so much Rurouni Kenshin and working on some AMVs that I kinda almost forgot about this story. Hopefully this chapter should cover for it, though I doubt it.

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Thanks to: Tori Kay, kyuubu no kituson, tennisdesi91, Advent Griever, Raptor2001, The Celtic Kid, Cloud Ex-SOLDIER, arkard, Paradox Jast, Dukect45, MiseryluvsDeath, Naruto's Avenger

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