Disclaimer:

I am only going to say this once, and that will be here. I do not own Naruto and any other affiliated materials involving the Naruto universe. If I did, do you really think my stories would just be 'fanfiction'?


Notice:

This is a preface chapter to stir the cauldron of ideas that I have floating around in my grey matter. There will be a small bit of header information here so as to give you a taste of my idea, but this is mostly going to get the annoying stuff out of the way. (cough disclaimer coughcough waiver cough).


Author's Pre-emptive rambling:

Some of you may find that some of the materials characters and places and abilities may seem familiar. That will most likely be because of the fact that I've attained permission from Chaos666 to spin-off my own AU storyline from his story Raised in Darkness. So before I see any mobs with torches and pitch forks, I already got Chaos' approval. This also means if you've got a problem with there being English/Western stylizations in here, don't blame me, blame Chaos666.


Small summary:

This story is aligned somewhat to that of 'Raised in Darkness' but with a twist that greatly changes from the direction Chaos666 is going in.

And here's the Preface!

[]x[]x[]x[]x[]

Jack Socrie was sitting at his desk within the city hall of the Village Hidden in the Darkness, retracing the battle that occurred ten years before. He could recall every small detail of that fateful night, and how it had changed the already strained relationship between his homeland and the Village Hidden in the Leaves.

"Lord Hokage, we found the infant!" cried a woman, bearing the jonin outfit and hitai-ite of Konoha.

Sarutobi rushed over to her, followed by a man only a bit taller than himself. Attired in all black, from his boots to his leather trench coat. His long black hair was tied back into a ponytail that touched the base of his neck, just above the line of the shoulder blades. Sarutobi made no mention of the fact that the other man had yet to let go of the hilt of his rapier, which bore the inscription of 'hatred' on its scabbard.

"Hurry, hand him to me Sarutobi. If the elders find out about this, then they will most likely want to kill him," came the firm voice of the man in black, his eyes shifting around to monitor their surroundings.

"No Jack, this infant is the last we have of Minato. His dying words were that his son be treated as a hero in this village, so we-"

"But you know as well as I do that the council will not tolerate the chance that he could end up as the reincarnation of Kyuubi. For his safety, he needs to leave Konoha." Jack stepped up beside the elder man, looking at the infant. "The only way is for me to bring him back to Ankokugakure and raise him as my own."

Just as Jack reached out his hands to take the infant, a man with white hair appeared and slapped them away.

"No, Minato's last words are going to be carried out. The child will be raised here under our protection. A village from the West has no right to try and make decisions for someone not of their blood," Jiraiya said, putting himself between Jack and Sarutobi, thus blocking Jack's view of the infant.

"How dare you-"

"Lord Yamikage, that's enough."

The three men turned around to the new voice that they heard; it was from a mere boy dressed in the same attire as Jack, but his outfit was completely white as the word 'agony' slightly glowed on his face. His eyes were covered with a pair of sunglasses, despite it being the dead of night.

"We have witnessed that our 'friends' have no wish to do any further dealings with us 'Westerners', so we may as well take our leave of them and return to our village. We have much to deal with, considering we lost several scores of valuable Insane Devils," said the boy in white, turning his attention solely to the man who bore the same hitai-ite as he did.

Turning to look one last time at Jiraiya and Sarutobi, Jack narrowed his eyes one last time before he closed his eyes. He knew nothing was going to change the minds of those of Konoha, so it meant nothing to him now whether the child lived or died. On the exterior anyway.

"Fine."

Sarutobi signaled a Leaf nin to him and ordered he take the child to the Hokage Tower discretely before too long. The nin took the bundle from the Hokage, noting the striking resemblance the infant had to his deceased sensei. Adjusting his hitai-ite to cover his left eye, the leaf jonin disappeared in a swirl of leaves.

Before leaving with his subordinate, Jack turned slightly back to face Sarutobi.

"Just remember what Minato said, and watch as your people forsake the dying words of their greatest hero. Do not expect for us to help you if anything were to occur, as anything that now befalls Konoha after what has transpired this night will be mere karmic retribution for the faults you and your council have committed." He left the two men speechless as he and the white Ankoku nin departed in what seemed to be nothingness, the blackness of night having just absorbed them into itself without any warning.

Jiraiya turned to Sarutobi. "We did the right thing, Sarutobi-sensei. Nothing good would have come of an alliance with any village from the West, especially those of Ankoku. Despite what my student Minato wanted to see happen, it's truly for the best."

"I hope you're right, Jiraiya."

Jack hated that his friend, the only man he could call an equal outside of Ankoku, had his dying words thrown upon the ground and spat on as if he had been a traitor rather than the Yondaime Hokage. He knew that the boy used as the container for the Kyuubi no Kitsune had been left into the care of an orphanage in Konoha, but was kicked out to 'protect the other children from the demon brat'. He knew of how the villagers were always hunting him down to try and kill him or degrade him for something that had been out of his control.

Yes, the leader of the Village Hidden in the Darkness knew of what had befallen the boy that had been refused a chance at something of a normal childhood. Jack had installed several spies within not only Konohagakure but also all the other Hidden Villages of the East to keep tabs on everything that was publicly and privately going on in the shinobi world beyond the Ygotsui Mountains.

Along with the information he had been receiving on a monthly basis concerning the Kyuubi container, which he found was named 'Naruto' by his parents after a character from Jiraiya's only none-erotic work, Jack also knew of the other two children that had been used to seal away demons.

There was the Ichibi no Shukaku, which had been sealed away into the son of the Yondaime Kazekage. He knew that the manner in which the sealing was done was done both incorrectly and on purpose, to turn the poor child into a demented psychopath that felt nothing but twisted love for himself that it expressed through senseless killing.

Then there was the Nibi no Nekomata, having been sealed into the body of a female infant. Unfortunately, the girl had not been infused with the demon early enough for it to not affect her chakra coils. The ritual had failed, thus causing the girl who'd been meant to contain Nekomata instant death. Meanwhile, the sovereign feline demon had escaped its captors and hadn't been seen in nearly eight years.

Jack squeezed the bridge of his nose, trying to relieve the pressure he knew was building up from the impending headache. He looked at the completed paperwork before him, thanking the powers that be that Ankoku had found the thought of having a council as well as a Kage unnecessary.

Just as he was about to tilt his chair back for a much needed nap, there was a knock at his chamber door.

"Come in, it's unlocked Daisuke."

Through the door came a boy who had been presented to him shortly after Jack had returned from the moot fight at Konoha. He had raised the boy as his own, but everyone knew the truth.

Daisuke stood just a bit under the nose of Jack when they stood close enough to tell. He had the basic Darkness-nin attire, everything black. Unlike most shinobi who wore the classic attire of tight or slightly loose clothing, Daisuke went and separated himself there from the rest.

His trench coat was at one point a normal one but he had carefully removed the sleeves from it, saying that he needed the ability to move his arms freely. He wore black, steel-toed boots that came up to just above his ankles, but were for the most part hidden underneath the excess amount of pants material. His pants were baggy to say the least. Being of the larger sized men in the village, Daisuke had to buy the pants with larger waists but could never get the inseam tailored correctly which caused him to tape up the ends of the pants from his ankles to knees. This resulted in a canopy effect with the rest of the pant leg material flowing over the tapings and resting on his boots.

Daisuke's shirt was long sleeved despite his trench coat having no sleeves. Down the sleeves of his shirt went trails of embossed red tribal flames. On his chest there was the symbol for his clan emblazoned in blue: a dragon that formed a circle with its tail caught in its mouth with the interior space divided by two intersecting curved lines. Fingerless gloves covered his hands, each one having a metal plate riveted to the glove. His left hand had the word 'Discord' engraved on it, while the plate on the right hand bore the engraving 'Discontent' on it proudly.

Daisuke came to a stop just a foot away from the desk that stood between him and his adopted father. Jack looked on as Daisuke took note of the room, turning his head this way and that. His braided hair, coming down to just below his shoulder blades, flipped slightly as Daisuke looked around, eyes covered by a pair of wrap around mirrored sunglasses.

"You requested to see me, Yamikage-sama?"

Jack smirked. "You've always been to the point Daisuke. One of the reasons why I selected you for this mission."

Perking an ear to the word 'mission'. "What mission? I can't go on a mission; I've only gotten halfway through the Academy."

"As of one week from tomorrow, you will be transferred over to another village for the next two years. You were selected not only because you are of the same age as the shinobi-to-be we shall receive in your place, but because things are getting… interesting in this village, to say the least," Jack said, keeping an even tone as he pulled out a folder of papers.

"And which village is this? Is it Ice? I've always wanted to go there after hearing all the stories from Amanda."

Tossing the papers to the boy, he answered. "No, this is going to be something completely different my boy. You are going to Konohagakure."

Daisuke blanched.

"Yes, I know. Heading over to the East has been taboo for ten years now. But this was not brought up by any of our own villages, this was an idea brought forth by the Sandaime Hokage of Konoha. I think he is starting to realize the truth in my last words to him after the incident with the Kyuubi no Kitsune, and is now wanting to establish relations with us again."

Though this allowed the blood to reassert itself into his facial blood vessels, Daisuke was still hesitant in believing what he had just been told. He was not only going to be transferring over to another village's Academy to finish up his remaining time, but it was an Eastern village. Not just any village either: the Eastern village that had caused everyone west of the Ygotsui Mountains to shun any and all Easterners upon sight.

"Does Kommando know about this? I don't think he'll be approving of me being-"

"Don't worry, cousin. I'm well aware of the situation with the East."

Daisuke turned to see his cousin enter the room through the open door, his white attire a stark contrast to the constant sea of black in Ankoku. "Good to know at least one of us knows what the hell is going on around here."

"Heh, good to know you've gotten my sister's sense of humor."

"At least I got that and only half the family traits."

"True, true."

Jack smirked again. "Alright you two, let's get this over with. The sooner Daisuke gets all this information, the sooner we get him ready and out the door to Konoha."

Daisuke picked up the papers and held them in his right hand, his left glowing slightly with chakra as he ran it over the papers. After scanning the few papers, he poised his left hand into a seal and touched his forehead with his index and pinky fingers.

"I see. So I'm supposed to be keeping an eye on Naruto Uzumaki over the next two years, under joint orders from you and Sarutobi, the Sandaime Hokage of Konohagakure. During this time, I also am to adjust to the life there and present myself as a proper ambassador, avoid all confrontation unless it's a supervised function of the Leaf Academy. I'll be moving into an apartment adjacent to Naruto's, and become something of an understanding friend, which according to these reports, shouldn't be too troublesome all around. I'm also to keep an eye out for known and unknown global issues, and discretely relay my information to the scattered contacts throughout the village." Daisuke put the papers back on the desk before Jack.

Jack stood up and rounded the desk, looking between Kommando and Daisuke. "Furthermore, under no circumstances, lest it be in defense of you, Naruto, or those that either of you hold as friend, in a situation that could result in mortal danger, are you to activate your Shinkirou no Kinkou kekkei genkai. If word were to spread that someone of the Hyota clan still exists anywhere, all hell truly will break loose."

"Of course. The last thing I need is that fanny bandit chasing after me."

Kommando nearly lost his façade at that one. Anyone who had known of the one labeled as 'fanny bandit' when it came to the world of the shinobi knew it could only be one person.

"Yes, the last thing we need Orochimaru to gain is your kekkei genkai. We certainly don't need him getting any of your other 'inheritances' either," commented Jack. He knew all too well what would happen if the legendary Snake Sannin obtained any one of the powers Daisuke held secret.

"Just means I'll be brushing up on my taijutsu then. Though it sucks I have to go without using my Shinkirou no Kinkou for the entire time though." Daisuke pouted at not being able to show off his bloodline limit, especially if it came to taijutsu training in Konoha.

"Regardless, you need to try and keep it low profile with your abilities," added Kommando, scratching his ear just under the arm of his sunglasses.

"Yeah, about as low profile as I'm gonna be able to and be comfortably dressed anyway."

Jack snapped his fingers, and went back around to rummage through his drawer. "That reminds me, Daisuke. We also have something for you to take with you when you go."

When Daisuke saw Jack pull out a box from the desk, he could only guess at what was inside. Jack lifted the lid to show Daisuke the contents, while Kommando was already well aware of the objects.

Inside were a dozen objects that looked like a regular kunai but with what seemed to be upturned and sharpened guards on either side of the blade, barely discernable seal arrays grafted onto the handles.

"These are to be delivered to Sandaime Hokage upon your arrival, with a letter that will be ready for you when you leave. These were-"

"The very kunai that the Yondaime Hokage had created to make his Flying Thunder God jutsu possible…" Daisuke finished, grazing his fingers lightly over the objects.

"Yes, these are the key points to the very jutsu that had made the Yondaime so feared in battle. Sandaime doesn't know we have kept them secretly, but they are only to be handed over in private. If the council of Konohagakure finds that these were not lost as was explained years ago, then they will be furious with Sarutobi and remove him, severing any hopes that still live somewhat to make an alliance between Ankoku and Konoha."

Taking the objects tenderly and putting them into the interior pocket of his trench vest, Daisuke nodded solemnly. He understood that the repercussions would be great if that idiot council thought anything of the story were false upon his arrival. "No worries, I'll make sure that Sarutobi gets these quietly."

Kommando nodded in agreement.

"Alright, any other questions then? Last chance before you go get packed for your journey tomorrow." Jack put the box away and sat back down, tilting back and glancing to his right to see the glorious clouds making their final colors of the night as the sun set beyond the village walls.

"Who all is going with me?"

"I will, and as far as I know, Amanda was supposed to be getting some part in this as well," spoke Kommando, walking up behind Daisuke and putting a calm hand on his cousin's shoulder.

"Hn." While Amanda was known for her 'unorthodox' choice in companions, it was widely known in Ankoku that she had been a major pillar in the life of Daisuke. It was a surprise to everyone when she had first been seen playing with the young boy when she first arrived in the Village Hidden in the Darkness. Never before had it been known for Amanda Sickle to openly tolerate let alone interact with men willingly outside of training and combat.

"Yes, your escorts and companions during this two year mission are going to be Kommando, Amanda, and another nin from the Academy. Her name is Raven, and she will be joining you in the mission. Sarutobi doesn't know it yet, but he will actually be sending us two students," Jack said. "The parents of the second child were already informed due to our spies amongst the village, and they were not hesitant whatsoever to assist us."

"Which clans are we going to be interacting with then?" Daisuke asked, knowing some possibilities but none for certain. It was a small list but nonetheless a rather impressive lineup of candidates.

"First is the Nara clan. They were originally from Ankoku despite what the council of Konoha believes. It's quite obvious by the shadow possession jutsus they are known for."

Nodding, Daisuke remembered the lessons he'd received on clans from around the world that were renowned for their innate talents. Nara being an obvious clan from Ankoku, as their signature jutsu style relied heavily on the manipulation of shadows to attack. The darker the location, the stronger the jutsu became, though the jutsu had a chance to backfire if done without enough control. This would cause the shadow-user to get lost within the shadows they rely so heavily on and end up going mad from the absence of their conscious mind or entirely disappear into their own shadows forever.

"Who else? I hope it isn't the Uchiha clan; I'd rather have a Hyuuga come here instead. At least they're respectful."

Jack snickered, knowing this would throw Daisuke for a loop. "The other clan assisting us is the Akimichi clan. They are known for their veracious appetites and body mass to which fuels their strength and body-enhancement style jutsus."

"So it seems that the Akimichis are something of a distant cousin to my father eh?" Daisuke asked, practicably raising an eyebrow at that thought.

"Yes, it would seem so just by the similarities. Let's just hope their son Choji doesn't eat near as much as you do."

"You can only hope Jack," added Kommando, knowing full well the appetite of his younger cousin.

Jack turned away from them as he looked at the clock behind him. "Alright, I think it's time we call it for the night. You all leave as soon as you're gathered at the eastern gate. When it comes to recognizing Raven, you'll be able to tell as she carries a very peculiar weapon."

Daisuke was about to say something when Jack stood up, waved them off and disappeared into a dark cloud.

"This is gonna be some kind of fun, isn't it dear cousin?"

Feeling Kommando's hand on his shoulder again, "Yes it is Daisuke. Let's just hope it goes well and make sure Amanda doesn't go overboard, alright?"

Laughing, he turned and followed his cousin out the door of the Yamikage's office. They headed off to their compound, to get ready for the next two years of their lives.