I do not own Naruto. If I did than he wouldn't be chasing Sasuke or Sakura.

Chapter 1: Truth revealed

Simple. That's what it was supposed to be. It wasn't. Passing the genin exam was not as easy Naruto thought it would be. First there was the written test. Oh how he hated these kind of tests. Not that he was stupid or something, but written tests where a problem because he always got a much harder test than his classmates. Why? Because his teachers hated him that's why. And they weren't the only ones. A lot of people hated him, disliked him or even ignored him. For a long time he wondered why they treated him that way but after hours of thinking he couldn't understand or find a reason for their hatred.

Written tests had always been a problem ever since he started in the academy. In his first year Naruto really tried hard to study and be an excellent student but his teachers didn't give him a chance to get good grades which he really wanted. He knew good grades were important even if nobody had told him. Whenever he asked a question they ignored him, when he tried to answer a question again they ignored him. Once during a test he dared to look at the questions on the test from the boy next to him. When he did he saw that they had different questions. The boy next to him had questions Naruto could answer while his own test was really complicated and practically impossible to answer even for a student of a higher year. After several months of trying to get good grades and not succeeding he simply stopped trying.

Second there was the practical exam where they had to show how good they were in kunai and shuriken throwing, taijutsu and ninjustu. Now kunai and shuriken throwing was something he could do. He would be much better though if his kunai and shuriken were in prime condition but unfortunately a new set of those were expensive and for an orphan like Naruto those were unaffordable. His Taijutsu was a mess and he knew it but it wasn't his fault really since nobody wanted to teach him the basic movements. Sure he could hit someone but a punch is much more than just a hit. A punch is a hit to a certain part of the body with the intention to really hurt the opponent. His chakra control was a mess also and for the life of him he just couldn't do that stupid Bunshin No Jutsu. No matter how many time he tried it wouldn't work. It drove him almost up the walls from frustration.

All this resulted in his third failure to pass the genin exam. Iruka sensei didn't pass him because he couldn't do the necessary clone with the Bunshin No Jutsu. He was really mad. Not at Iruka sensei though no Iruka sensei was one the few people that treated him with some form of care. Other than Sandaime jichan and the people at Ichiraku ramen he had no one he could call friend or family. So Naruto sat at the swing on the academy ground watching how his classmates got praised or congratulated by their parents. His heart ached a little seeing this scenery.

"Naruto?" he heard a voice behind him say. When he turned around he saw his other teacher Mizuki say.

" Are you okay Naruto?" Mizuki asked with concern showing in his eyes. Naruto just kept silent not really wanting to answer how he felt.

"You know, Naruto? Iruka sensei really feels bad about failing you again. He doesn't do it to pick on you. You know that don't you? He really wants you to pass but he doesn't want you to pass when you clearly not ready. Being a shinobi is a life threatening job." Mizuki sensei tried to explain to Naruto.

"I know that being a shinobi is a dangerous job and that people who aren't ready get themselves and their teammate killed. I know and understand that, but…" Naruto answered to his sensei.

"But you wanted to pass didn't you Naruto?" Mizuki completed Naruto's argument.

"Yes I really wanted to pass this time." Naruto said feeling more sad by the minute. He really did want to pass with his classmates. It was already the third time he tried after all.

"What would you do if I told you there is still a chance to pass the exam?"Mizuki said with a mysterious look on his face.

Naruto looked at his teacher with tears in his eyes. "Really Mizuki sensei? You mean it? There's still a way to pass? How? What must I do?" Naruto fired question after question towards Mizuki.

"Yes really, but this test is really special Naruto. It's a test that's much harder than the normal exam but there's no written exam though" Mizuki said to Naruto.

Now this was music to Naruto's ears. A exam to become genin but no written exam? A dream come true for him. Why didn't nobody tell him that. He would have taken that exam right away.

"I take it, what's the exam?" Naruto said.

"Well, you must succeed in taking a scroll from the hokage's tower. That's the first part. Get In the tower and take the forbidden scroll, then get away with it without being seen. The second part is to learn one jutsu from the scroll. If you can do that you pass and you can become a genin." Mizuki explained.

'Forbidden scroll? Seems strange to have to steal that one. Bah whatever Mizuki sensei is a sensei thus he would know wouldn't he?' Naruto quietly asked himself. But hey with his pranking skills he should be able to do that.

"Ok, got it. Take the scroll and learn a jutsu. That's it right? That's all?" Naruto asked just to be sure.

"Yes, that's it. Now after you take the scroll, go to the forest just north from the tower and I will meet you there later on to test you on the jutsu. Ok?" Mizuki let Naruto know.

"Sure thing Mizuki sensei. I will definitely pass this time." Naruto exclaimed. That being said Naruto left to make his preparations for the evening. He had a lot of planning to do after all. If he had stayed a little longer he would have seen the look of pure hatred and disgust on Mizuki's face.

'Got you now, you little demon. When you take that scroll, I will find you and dispose of you and get the scroll all for myself. Then I will be the strongest.' Mizuki thought and left with a evil grin on his face.

Naruto quietly made his way out of the tower with the scroll on his shoulders. Taking it was surprisingly easy. So now he made his way to the forest where he would learn one jutsu so he could pass the exam and be a genin after all this time. After running for about 20 minutes he found a large clearing in the forest which would be perfect to practice his chosen jutsu.

"All right, now what jutsu should I chose?" Naruto wondered out loud. He opened the scroll and looked at the first jutsu listed.

'Kage Bunshin No Jutsu'

"Ah man a Bunshin No Jutsu? I suck at those." Naruto said disappointed. But what was written beneath the name of the jutsu caught his eye.

'Kage Bunshin no jutsu. A highly advanced Bunshin Jutsu that makes actual clones that can be used to assist in fights and learning. A Kage Bunshin clone is able to take orders and execute them without the help of the caster. A little know fact of this jutsu is that everything a Kage Bunshin learns the caster learns as well. This is highly useful because it cuts back time on learning a new jutsu.'

Naruto could see the use in that. If he learned that jutsu he would be able to learn faster and better. He would even have sparring partners at his own desire. Not to mention the pranks he could pull using that jutsu.

"Well, better start practicing before Mizuki sensei arrives. Maybe I could learn another jutsu if I master this one fast enough." Naruto said excited to learn a new jutsu.

Several hours later Naruto was close to mastering the jutsu. He found it surprisingly easy compared to the usual Bunshin No Jutsu. He briefly wondered why but in the end he didn't really care. The Kage Bunshin No Jutsu was 10 time better than the normal Bunshin No Jutsu after all.

Just when he was about to give it another shot he felt somebody arrive in the clearing. To his surprise it wasn't Mizuki but Iruka sensei who stood before him. Iruka sensei looked out of breath and a little pissed off.

"Hey Iruka sensei, so it's you who came to take the test instead of Mizuki sensei?" Naruto asked.

Iruka who had prepared a whole speech for Naruto about idiotic things to do and responsibility promptly lost all the words he wanted to say (or yell) at Naruto's question.

"What do you mean Naruto? What test? What are you talking about? Do you know that half the shinobi population is searching for you? What were you thinking, stealing the forbidden scroll?" Iruka asked his favorite (not that he would tell anyone though) student.

"Huh? Searching for me? Why? I'm just taking the extra exam to become a genin like Mizuki sensei told me to." Naruto fired back at Iruka.

"Extra exam? There is no such thing as an extra exam Naruto. Did Mizuki tell you to take the scroll?" Iruka said while he started to piece the things together. 'Mizuki, is this your doing?' he thought.

Now Naruto was confused. Iruka sensei didn't know about the exam and said that he stole the forbidden scroll. Naruto started to feel a little nervous about all this. Had Mizuki sensei fooled him?

"But, Mizuki sensei told me this afternoon that if I succeed at taking the scroll and learning one jutsu from it that I would pass the exam. He even told me about this place and that he would meet me here.'" Naruto tried to explain to his favorite teacher.

'Just as I thought. He used Naruto to get to the scroll. That bastard had this all planned out. He would probably kill Naruto and then disappear with the scroll.' Iruka thought now understanding the situation.

Just as he was about to warn Naruto of the danger they were in, a large number of kunai and shuriken came flying in their direction. He pushed Naruto out of the way but got hit with several kunai. Naruto looked at his teacher with fear in his eyes showing that he didn't really understood what was going on.

"Ah Iruka, now why am I not surprised that you found Naruto before I did. You always had a soft spot for him." Mizuki sneered at Iruka.

Iruka looked at Mizuki while pulling out the kunai that wounded him. He looked calm but inside he was panicking. There was no way he could beat Mizuki when he would have to protect Naruto. Mizuki would take advantage of the situation.

"Naruto, run and get out of here! Under no circumstance give Mizuki the scroll. Protect it with your life. This is a mission from me to you. Now go hurry!" Iruka yelled at Naruto.

Naruto who didn't want to leave his teacher alone while he was wounded tried to protest but one look from Iruka told him that there was no room for discussion. So he did what he was told. He ran out of the clearing as fast as his legs could go and found a place to hide.

Mizuki however was no a chuunin for nothing. He quickly tracked Naruto down and prepared to attack him but Iruka arrived and placed himself between Naruto and Mizuki. Mizuki who started losing his patience started yelling at Iruka.

"Why do you protect him, he's just a demon. Don't you remember what that demon did to our village. To our friends and family. To your family. Don't you remember? I don't get it, why put your life on the line for him?" Mizuki spit out at Iruka.

"Stop it Mizuki, you know that we can't talk about that. It's forbidden for a reason." Iruka pleaded with Mizuki trying to prevent Mizuki from telling about the Kyuubi. If Naruto heard about that there's would be no telling what would happen.

Mizuki however had no intention of holding back. For years he had tolerated the demon child. His tolerance had reached an end. It was time to end it all. He was leaving the village anyway so he didn't care about the consequences.

"Naruto, do you know why everybody hates you, why everybody treats you bad, why nobody wants to be your friend? Off course you don't know it's a S class secret after all. Listen good you little demon, twelve years ago the Yondaime didn't kill the Kyuubi instead he sealed it into a baby. Can you guess who that baby was? Can you?" Mizuki yelled at Naruto with a strange look of satisfaction on his face.

Naruto who had been silent just until now in the hope he could sneak away suddenly started shaking and pieced the thing Mizuki said together.

"Me?" he managed to say after several seconds. He was to shocked to believe it. It couldn't be true. No way that was possible. Was it?

"Yes it was you. Yondaime sealed the Kyuubi inside you. That's why you're a demon. You're the Kyuubi reborn. For years I had to tolerate you existence but tonight I finally will dispose of you like we should have done years ago. Prepare yourself demon!" Mizuki exclaimed.

Mizuki took a large shuriken that was strapped on his back and threw it at Naruto with great speed. Naruto however was still shocked about what he had learned and didn't even notice the shuriken coming. Iruka however did move and tried to make it in time to save his student.

Next thing Naruto noticed was a human shaped shadow in front of him. Looking up he saw Iruka protecting him from Mizuki's shuriken. Looking closer he saw that the shuriken had already planted itself into Iruka's back . Never been shown such kind action toward him Naruto couldn't understand Iruka's action.

"Why? Why did you protect me? You didn't have to save me? Why?" Naruto asked his teacher while tears fell from his eye's onto his whiskered cheeks.

"I did it because you're my precious student. You and I are a lot alike. We're both orphans, we both grew up alone. I remember those difficult times so good it actually hurts thinking about it. Naruto, I failed you didn't I? I should have helped you more. I should have known how you felt all these years. I'm so sorry Naruto. I promise you that I will help you the best I can from now on. I promise I'll be there when you need me." Iruka said while wincing from the pain caused by the shuriken in his back.

Naruto heard Iruka's words and realized that Iruka really cared about him. Looking beside Iruka he saw Mizuki staring at the two of them with a look of pure disgust on his face. He looked at the man who had tried to kill him. The man who had injured his teacher. One of his precious people.

'He tried to kill me and Iruka sensei. He hated me for years and calls me a demon. No way that I'm allowing that to continue. He's going down and I'm going to be the one who does it.' Naruto furiously thought.

"Man, Iruka you're even more pathetic than I thought. You actually care about him? He's a freaking demon for god's sake." Mizuki sneered.

"I'm not a demon. I'm not Kyuubi. My name is Uzumaki Naruto, future Hokage of Konohagakure. And I'm the one who's going to kick you're sorry ass. You'll be sorry for hurting my precious persons" Naruto said full of confidence.

Mizuki could hardly believe his ears, here was a boy not even a genin just an academy student, and not a very good one at that, saying that he will be the one who defeats him. Him, a chuunin. Ridiculous if you asked him.

"Sure, bring it on demon. I'm going to finish you off anyway you can make it more enjoyable for me if you struggle to survive." Mizuki stated laughing at Naruto's actions and words.

Naruto moved in front of his wounded sensei and started doing the handseals he had practiced the whole evening. Iruka made some movements to try and stop him but no avail. Forming the last seal Naruto yelled out.

"Kage Bunshin No Jutsu"

One thing that could be said about Naruto is that once he decides to do something, he does it with full conviction and gives it everything he has. One moment there were only three people standing there, one blink of the eye's later a whole army of Naruto's filled the area.

Mizuki's eye's popped out of his head seeing the large number of Naruto's standing there cracking their knuckles and sneering at him. If the situation wasn't so serious Naruto would have laughed at Mizuki's shocked face. However now was not the time for laughing, no it was time to kick Mizuki's butt. And that's what Naruto was going to do.

"You tricked me into stealing that scroll for you, then you insult me by calling me a demon. I don't care about either of those things but you dared to hurt my precious person and that is something I cannot and will not forget nor forgive. Everything single bit of pain Iruka sensei felt I'm going to give it back to you a thousand times over. I going to show you a whole new meaning to the saying ' in a world of pain'. Ready or not here I come." Naruto said while keeping his eyes on Mizuki.

"Bring it on demon." Mizuki tried to say with more confidence than he had. Nobody would feel very confident when facing an army of orange clothed adversary's academy student or not.

"Get him! Show no mercy to the traitor!" Naruto ordered his clones while protecting Iruka.

Now taijutsu is all about having style, grace and precision. But those things don't really matter when you're a mob of kicking and punching clones bent on kicking the guy into the next dimension. While Mizuki was without a doubt more talented and stronger in a one on one fight, facing these numbers there's not a lot that can be done. Sure you defend and retaliate but in the end you lose big time.

Naruto and Iruka stood aside watching the fight both amazed at what the clones were doing. They punched, they kicked, kneed and elbowed Mizuki all over his body. Didn't matter where, the only thing that mattered was the fact that the hit landed.

"Naruto, don't you think that he has had enough? I mean, there's no way that he's going to get back up after such a beating. You don't want to kill after all. Right?" Iruka asked with concern. Not concern for Mizuki, the guy had tried to kill both of them after all but rather concern for his student and what would happen to him if he would end up killing Mizuki.

"I guess so, but I'm not going to forgive him for hurting you Iruka sensei." Naruto said.

Iruka smiled at his student and nodded as if saying that was quite alright.

Naruto started moving toward Mizuki while all of the sudden he came to a halt. He turned around and looked toward Iruka with eyes filled with tears as he recalled what Mizuki had told him. During the fight he didn't really have time to think about all of that but now the fight was over and he had calmed down a little bit he couldn't help but worry.

"Iruka sensei? Am I really the Kyuubi? Am I really a demon?" Naruto asked Iruka hoping that Iruka would deny the whole thing.

Iruka couldn't help but feel sad for Naruto. Sad and worried how Naruto would react to what he was about to tell him. But he wouldn't let Naruto down. He promised him that he would be there for him and he would be no matter what.

"No Naruto you're not the Kyuubi and you're certainly not a demon. While it is true that the Kyuubi is sealed inside you you're every bit as human as I am. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise ok? And if they do just ignore them, they're idiots who don't see the real Naruto." Iruka tried to comfort Naruto.

"The real me? I don't even know what the real me is anymore. I'm tired of hiding behind pranks and stupidity. I'm tired of being lonely. Sometime it hurts so much that I don't know what to do anymore." Naruto said on the verge of crying.

'Konoha really has been terrible to you, hasn't it Naruto' Iruka thought. 'Well, no more. I'm going to be there right next to you from now on.'

"Naruto, I can't even begin to say how sorry I am. I truly am. But you're not alone Naruto. You have me, Sandaime Hokage and the people at Ichiraku. Naruto, I'm made you a promise didn't I? A promise that when you need me I'll be there for you. And like you I never break my promises. If you need me, no matter what or when come find and I will help to best of my abilities." Iruka said in a voice which showed Naruto that he meant every word.

Naruto looked at Iruka and couldn't help but he let a few tears fall and ran over to Iruka to give him the biggest hug he had given in his life. Though Iruka winced in pain, he returned the hug just as fierce.

"Now, I think we should go see the Hokage and explain everything that's happened here. But before that I want you to close your eyes for a moment." Iruka said.

Naruto didn't know why Iruka wanted him to close his eyes but did it anyway. He felt Iruka placing something on his forehead and heard Iruka telling him to open his eyes.

"Congratulations on making genin, Naruto. You are now a proud shinobi of the Leaf. Well done, I'm very proud of you." Iruka said smiling at Naruto's face that showed how much those words meant for the new genin.

Naruto couldn't believe it, even though this test was all a big lie Iruka had passed him. He told him that he was now a genin of the Leaf and that he was proud of him. Those words meant the world to Naruto and he secretly vowed to make sure that he would do everything in his power to hear those words again and again.

Sarutobi, the Sandaime hokage of the village of the Leaf smiled when he heard the words Iruka said to Naruto. He was very worried about his adoptive grandson, Naruto was one of his precious people after all so when he saw and heard what had happened in the forest he thought that Naruto would be crushed and just give up on everything. Once again Naruto surprised him by overcoming a obstacle no twelve year old boy should need to overcome. He was also very proud of Iruka, he knew he made the right decision when he made him a academy teacher. The man had a way with kids. Sarutobi also supported Iruka's decision to make Naruto a genin. The boy had learned the Kage Bunshin No Jutsu in only a few hours. Not even Jounin could accomplish such a feat and he would be sure to tell Naruto just that. His heart ached when he thought about the secrets he had to held about the young boy's life and past but it was a necessary evil. The time will come when he's ready to hear all those secret but he made a promise not to tell until a certain time and he would honor that promise.

Just when he was about to remember the danger of those times and the consequences the opened and his adoptive grandson and his teacher crashed into his office. Chuckling about the way of entering a room he looked down at the ground where his visitors tried to pick themselves up.

Naruto who had carried a wounded Iruka and the scroll all the way from the forest to the tower stood there sweating and panting waiting to catch his breath so he could explain what had happened.

"Ji-chan, I…." Naruto tried to say.

"It's okay Naruto, I know what happened. I saw and heard everything through my crystal ball here. No need to worry about explaining. And don't worry about getting punished as well. I know that Mizuki tricked you into taking the scroll." Sandaime said trying to assure Naruto that everything was all right.

Naruto slumped into the seat releasing a breath he didn't know he held. He knew that his Ji-chan would never lie to him. If he said everything would be all right then everything would be all right. Nevertheless he had several questions for his Ji-chan.

"Ji-chan, can I ask you a question? About what happened?" Naruto shyly tried to ask.

Sandaime looked at him and knew that Naruto deserved some answers and decided to allow him some questions.

"Off course Naruto, but you will have to understand that there are several questions that I can't answer. Not because I don't want to but because I made a promise not to tell until you're ready. Is that ok with you?" the Sandaime Hokage said.

'Well, it's better than nothing I guess' Naruto thought. Although he was a bit disappointed.

"Ok, I can live with that. My first question is why did the Yondaime chose me to become the prison of the Kyuubi? Why didn't anybody tell me? I was so sad every time somebody hurt me. If I had known maybe I would have understood it a little better? And do you know who my parents were?" Naruto fired one question after another.

The Sandaime hokage simply puffed his piped looking for a way to answer Naruto without revealing too much to him. After a little moment of silence he sat up straight in his chair, put his hand under his chin and looked Naruto right in the eyes.

"Naruto, Yondaime chose you because he knew that you were the only one who could hold the Kyuubi back. The sealing Jutsu he used needed a vessel with a pure soul who the Kyuubi could not defeat. And what is more pure than a newborn baby? That's why he chose you. The reason why nobody told you is because I made a law. That law forbids anyone to talk about the fact that the Kyuubi is sealed inside you. I did this so that you could make friends among the children of your age. Only the adults know about the Kyuubi. I didn't tell you about all this because I hoped that it would remain a secret a bit longer. About your parents, yes I knew them but, and I'm very sorry about this, I cannot tell you about them at this point. Again I'm very sorry, I understand that's the question you wanted answered more than anything." The Sandaime hokage said in a sincere voice.

Naruto looked torn between protesting and accepting the answers he got. But in a way he could understand his Ji-chan. Just like Naruto he didn't want to break a promise no matter how much he wanted to. But still he wanted to know about his parents very much. But in the end he understood. He also knew that his Ji-chan would tell him everything he wanted to know when the time was right.

"Fine, I don't like it but I guess I understand where you're coming from. But can you tell me one thing? Did they love me? Would they be proud of me?" Naruto asked in a voice that clearly told all those in the room how afraid he was of the answer.

"Naruto, I can honestly say that I have never seen parents who loved their child as much as they loved you. Your mom was constantly talking about how she would teach you how to walk, how to write and read and all those kind of things. You're dad was always talking about how he would make you the best shinobi in all the elemental countries. They were proud of you then and I'm more than sure that they would be very proud of you now. I know I'm very proud of you." Sandaime said with a smile on his face which made him look several years younger.

Naruto couldn't be more happier than right now. Not only did his parents love him very much, they were also very proud of him then and now. And to top of that his Ji-chan, the man whose called the professor of shinobi, said he was very proud of him. After all what had happened today he couldn't be more happy and it showed. He was literally beaming with happiness.

Iruka and Sarutobi looked at their young charge and were truly happy that Naruto had found some source of happiness in his difficult life. They knew he needed these moments because his life would not be an easy one. Both of them promised once again to do everything they could to help the young genin.

"all right, I decided." Naruto yelled out shocking both of them out of their thoughts.

"What have you decided Naruto?" Iruka asked.

"I decided that I will make my parents proud by becoming the best shinobi in all the lands and then I'm going to take your job Ji-chan! I will be hokage one day. Not just any Hokage but the best of them all!" Naruto proudly announced.

"Well, if there is anyone who can do it Naruto it is you, I don't doubt it for one moment." Sandaime said. "But you're going to have to work very hard to accomplish such a thing. No more slacking off. You'll have to take training serious and work very hard every step of the way. Are you prepared to go all the way? To never give up no matter what? " Sandaime said hoping he would inspire Naruto to work hard.

Naruto looked at the two men in the room with pure determination showing in his eyes. They could almost see a small fire burning in his eyes waiting to become a major fire storm showing he meant every word and that was willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals.

"Very well, Naruto. I can see that you're willing to go all the way. When you need help don't hesitate to ask. You know you're always welcome here. Now for your actions tonight I'm going to reward you with the pay of a B-rank mission. You did stop a traitor and protected one of the most important scrolls of the village. But I will ask you to not to teach the Kage Bunshin No Jutsu to anyone. It's a forbidden jutsu for a reason." Sandaime said to a stunned Naruto.

Naruto couldn't believe what he just heard. A B-rank paycheck. Oh the things he could buy with that amount of money. He could buy ramen for a long time or a new shuriken and or kunai set. He would definitely have to think about this. He quickly promised not to teach the Kage Bunshin No Jutsu to anyone. Maybe he should ask Iruka or Ji-chan to come with him so they wouldn't overcharge him like the always did. He decided to ask about it right away.

"Iruka sensei or Ji-chan, could one of you come with me when I go shopping tomorrow. I would like to buy some new clothes and stuff. But most of the shops always give me crappy stuff or overcharge me." Naruto tried to explain.

Sandaime and Iruka looked at Naruto and made a quick decision.

"Naruto, I'm free in the morning so I will go with you. I will also have a talk with some of the shop owners about this. I will not accept such behavior towards one of our own. You should have told me about this sooner Naruto. Why didn't you?" Sandaime asked.

"Well, I didn't want to cause any more trouble than I already did so I kept quiet." Naruto answered sheepishly.

"Naruto, next time come straight to me okay? These are the sort of problem I want to know about. That's why I'm here for remember?" Sandaime said.

Naruto nodded saying he understood and yawned. It had been a long day and an even longer night for him so he was understandably tired. Seeing this Sandaime dismissed both of them for the night but not before telling Naruto that they would meet at 9am to go shopping. Iruka and Naruto bid each other goodnight and Naruto promised to come by at Iruka's house to show his new clothes in the afternoon.