Naruto: Kung Fu Guardian
Chapter 1: Theft
Introducing WuXia influence into Naruto fanfiction. WuXia is a martial arts genre in Chinese literature. As far as I know, no one has ever attempted this before on ffnet. But if I'm wrong, then just know that there should be more Naruto fanfics with WuXia influence. More on WuXia in Chapter 2: A/N.
Disclaimer: Naruto and Narutoverse were created by Kishimoto. All original plot and characters are mine.
High in the mountains far away from Konoha sat a small Buddhist monastery above the clouds. A group of ninjas stood in front of the closed doors with a sign above it that read, "Monastery of Ancient Manuscripts."
"Well, looks like we've found the place," one of them said, turning his head to the apparent leader of the group, awaiting for his signal.
"Um, it appears so," another subordinate commented, his hand twirling a kunai, "I don't see how monks are going to give us Uchiha elites any problems." He grasped firmly on the kunai he was toying with and said, "I think a team should do it. Two tops. But, sending three teams is a little overkill, no?"
"I agree," a third added. "We're just stealing some manuscripts after all. There's probably just one or two posted as guards. It's not like our mission was to level the place."
"True," the leader finally responded, "If we sneak in, we'll probably have to deal with only a few of them. But we don't know their skill level, and if Fugaku was told to send three teams, it would be foolish of us to underestimate them, even if it's just one or two that we'd have to face."
"Okay, enough talking," a new voice said, "give us your signal."
"Mikoto," a voice called out behind the closed doors of the family dojo.
"Yes, Fugaku," a woman in her mid thirties answered her husband as she opened the door showing her cheery serene face.
The feint light from the candles flickered slightly from her movement, highlighting the hardened facial features of a man few years older than his wife.
"I have to leave for a few days," began Fukagu as he rose from his sitting position, "Please you watch over Sasuke for me."
Mikoto smiled and said, "I will watch over Sasuke and Itachi in your absence."
At the mentioning of the older son's name, Fugaku thinned his lips and said, "If you want. He's no longer interested in what's best for the clan. He's a Hokage loyalist now."
Mikoto formed a puzzled face and asked, "Isn't what's best for Konoha what's best for the clan?"
Fugaku didn't answer as he walked past her, exiting the dojo toward his destination.
In an undisclosed place outside of the walls of Konoha gathered four men in the shadows.
"Shichu, what happened to Uhoma and Kotanu's team?" asked Fugaku.
Pointing to his comrades on the left and right, a heavily bandaged leader replied, "We're all that's left."
"What?!" Fugaku exclaimed. "Your three teams were the Uchiha's best. Were they forewarned of your activities?"
Shaking his head, Shichu sighed, "No, we sneaked in at night without being detected, but the monk guarding them was very powerful."
"A monk?" Fugaku mouthed his disbelief to himself. "Stronger than a shinobi?" He directed his attention to the bandaged man and asked, "So, did you get them?"
Shichu reached into his carry bag and pulled out two booklets covered in ancient writings.
In the distant shadows, a young ANBU captain saw the whole exchange.
'Should I report this to the Hokage?' thought the young ANBU to himself. 'There isn't enough time.'
He saw Fugaku concealed the manuscripts in a cloth wrapping and headed back toward Konoha.
The ANBU captain followed Fugaku to the Uchiha clan library where the two manuscripts were kept and guarded.
'Whatever they are, they must be important for Fugaku to station two elites from the Police Force there.' The ANBU hiding in the nearby bushes thought to himself. 'I wonder if they have anything to do with the coup to overthrow the Sandaime.'
He formed a kage bunshin to lead the guards away and slipped into the building.
The Uchiha clan library, perhaps the most comprehensive library anywhere in the Elemental Nations, contained countless priced jutsus, many too powerful and too dangerous to perform by ordinary ninjas, and most copied from enemies they'd fought against.
The ANBU was surprisingly familiar with the library, so finding the two new additions wasn't difficult. He found them hidden behind two complex genjutsus, which would have fooled most ninjas except those with the Sharingan. The ANBU happened to have his activated.
"Itachi, please hand them over to me," a voice called out behind the ANBU captain.
He smiled sadly behid his weasel mask and said, "Shisui, I'm sorry."
Before Shisui registered what was happening, the "Itachi" before him poofed up in smokes and he felt the cold numbness of steel entering his skull, ending his life.
Uchiha Shisui was rumored the most skilled of the Uchiha clan, and as his friend and training partner, Itachi could vow for that. Unfortunately for Shisui, Itachi chose to remain loyal to the Hokage.
Itachi closed his eyes and took off his mask, revealing tear drops of blood running down his normally emotionless face. When he opened his eyes again, his irises reflected the pattern of the legendary Mangekyou.
A lone dejected figure jumped onto the roof of a building overlooking the streets of Konoha. In this windy night, he could make out the familiar smells of the unique blend of pine and cedar wood permeating from the nearby forest into the hidden village he helped to found. The strong wind blew his black cloak patterned with red clouds into hugging his unnaturally young body.
This village held so many memories he wanted to forget. He whispered to no one, "We are all pawns in the game of life. Some sacrifices are necessary to achieve the greater good."
Through his one-holed orange mask, he observed the events played out below.
"Heh heh. You can't run from us! Just give up and let us give you the beating you deserve, demon brat," snickered the running mob.
'Faster! Gotta run faster!' chanted Naruto mentally, panic clearly reflected on his face. 'Why me? Am I a demon?' wondered the eight year old boy.
"D-on't hurt me! I prom-ise to be good!" pleaded the beaten boy in between breaths, running as fast as his little legs would carry him.
'Perhaps I pulled one prank too many, or pulled it on the wrong person,' mused Naruto. 'I swear to never pull a prank again for as long as I live if someone make their chase stop right now.'
They ignored his pleadings and continued their chase and beatings.
"Hurry, he's turning out of the alley! We don't want the ANBU to catch us. Especially knowing how the Third is protective of him."
With each step Naruto took, the pain from the beating he had already received from them coursed through his small body. Suddenly one of his pursuers landed a stone on Naruto's already bruised right leg calf. The resulting burst of pain caused the running boy to tumble to his knees.
With a slightly raised head, Kyuubi looked through the windows that were Naruto's eyes. Anger and righteous fury erupted from her already untamed constitution. Her brows burrowed and her lips parted maliciously tightened as a snarl escaped her gargantuan mouth.
"Heh. This same song and dance is getting annoying. I wonder if anything new will happen tonight."
The official announcement to the world was that the Yondaime Hokage had killed the Nine Tails demon fox, but that was only a publicity ploy to boost Konoha's strength to the hidden villages in the Elemental Nations. As a demon, Kyuubi could not be killed. Instead, it was sealed or imprisoned in a newborn, one Uzumaki Naruto.
Upon the Fourth's death, his retired predecessor the Sandaime Hokage resumed the helm of village leadership and made it an offense punishable by death if any were to reveal the truth to the children. This law was legislated through the village Council, whose members consisted of the leaders of the twelve prominent clans and the Sandaime's old teammates.
"Hn! Puny humans and their primitive brains. How can Sarutobi actually be naïve enough to believe his law was enough to suppress people's stupidity and bigotry?"
Sandaime had his heart in the right place, but his precautionary measure did not result in a normal childhood for Naruto.
Instead of a normal childhood, the village pariah was shunned by his peers and villagers alike. Those old enough to know the truth and especially those who had lost loved ones the night Kyuubi attacked treated Naruto the worst. They had formed a secret club that met annually a week before the anniversary of that night to plan for their annual demon hunt fest.
Alcohol-induced incidents like tonight showered in between those anniversary hunts.
Kyuubi had enough when she seen one crippled ninja pulled out a kunai and heard him declared to his cohorts that his revenge was complete. She decided to make things interesting. She decided to interfere.
Naruto was scared, but he put on a brave face and closed his eyes expecting to meet the Shinigami. As the memories of his short life flashed before the bijuu's windows, Kyuubi felt no hatred from him.
Only sadness and loneliness.
The Nine Tails could not help but be impressed by her charge's inner strength of character. He reminded her so much of strength of character of the man who sealed her off, the Yondaime.
Even if she was not moved to save him, she would have to for her own survival's sake.
Through all these years imprisoned by Yondaime's seal, Kyuubi had many trials-and-errors to perfect a way to exert her influence over Naruto. She had learned that when her jailor lost control of his emotions or was extremely weak physically, the seal would allow her a proportional degree of influence over his body. This seemed to be a way to allow Kyuubi to protect the boy's life under extreme circumstances.
"Pathetic! How can you be my vessel?"
At this critical junction, however, she did not need to talk to the brat. She just wanted to save him ... and herself. She needed to pour out her vast chakra to heal the boy and take over his body temporarily so she could revenge his assailant.
So far, in their eight years of coexistence, she had not succeeded in all her attempts to assert her influence, but tonight would have to be different. Failure would not be acceptable.
Before Kyuubi had a chance to intervene, an ANBU with a weasel mask shunshinned in front of Naruto, grabbed the incoming kunai, and forced it back into the heart of the attacker. Upon seeing their ring leader killed, the rest of thugs ran away as fast as they could, overlooking their shoulders as they fled.
Normally Naruto's personal guard would never let anyone who threatened the unsung hero escape. Tonight there was another priority since his safety was no longer a concern.
The boy nervously opened his eyes and immediately calmed down upon seeing the familiar weasel mask.
"Weasel-san! Am I glad to see you!" shouted Naruto. As the boy moved in to hug his savior like he had always done, the thirteen-year-old masked ANBU stared at the cerulean blue eyes with his red tomoe pairs.
In Naruto's mindscape, the ANBU found himself without his mask trotting through the sewer-like hallway heading toward a dim red glow.
Suddenly a wave of killer intent floored him to his knees. Water slowly rising, threatened Weasel's suffocation. He poured more chakra into his eyes.
"Mangekyou Sharingan!" he shouted.
The scenery began to change. Before him stood a tall cage with a containment seal tag. Behind those bars stood the most feared of all bijuu, Kyuubi no Kitsune.
"What do you want Uchiha? What did you do to my vessel? You better choose your words wisely. If I detect any tinge of falsehood, I'll maim you," threatened the Nine Tails.
Trying his best to hide his fears, he deliberately put on a face of indifference and retorted, "Don't be alarmed. Name is Itachi. I mean you and your charge no harm."
"So an Uchiha prodigy, huh? This young and able to use your Sharingan to this level. I wonder how powerful you'll become," mocked the Kitsune. "What made you think that I won't just kill you now and rid me of another Uchiha?"
"Because I am the ANBU that was personally assigned by the Sandaime to watch over your charge. I know you can see through Naruto-kun's eyes and have seen me saving him many times. Inadvertently, I'm also responsible for your continued existence in this world," answered Itachi with the same expressionless face.
Suddenly Itachi felt a spike in killer intent from Kyuubi. Prior to this, it was already unbearable to stand, and now he found it difficult to breath. Thinking quickly, he blinked his eyes and added, "My words meant no disrespect. I just want you to know I am on the same team as you and Naruto-kun. Please allow me to continue."
Kyuubi, flashing her ferial teeth, repeated her warning, "Again human, remember to choose your words wisely. Better make sure the words you choose are ones that won't be taken as meaning something else, or there will be hell to pay."
"I know you don't trust me because of what Uchiha Madara did to you," said Itachi with a little more word restraint. Tact was never his forte, or any Uchiha's for that matter. With them, as long as the statement was true, little else mattered concerning its delivery. "As the Third's most trusted ANBU, he charged me to be Naruto-kun's personal guard. He also told me about Naruto-kun's parents."
"You're lying," referred the Kyuubi to his latter statement, her scrunched eyebrows showing her displeasure.
Itachi knew that Kyuubi had an inkling as to who Naruto's father was, but she needed confirmaion.
To establish this trust, Itachi began to relate the secret that few knew about, "The Sandaime took a precautionary measure to hide the identity of Naruto-kun's parents from everyone who didn't already know, including the Council and the boy himself. This request was from the boy's father, the Yondaime, the one who sealed you in him.
"What you may not know is that Namikaze Minato had many enemies. One of the more motivated revenge-seekers was the nation of Iwa. In the last great ninja war, the Yondaime single-handedly wiped out an entire Iwa ninja invasion force and turned the war around to Konoha's favor. As a result of his victory over Iwa, he helped to free prisoners from a decimated whirlpool village and allowed them amnesty in Konoha. Uzumaki Kushina, one of the freed captives, ended up marrying her rescuer and became Naruto-kun's mother. Because of the war and possible threats to her life, their marriage was known only to their closest associates. For the same reason, Naruto-kun took his mother's maiden name instead of using his father's," explained Itachi.
Kyuubi's nose took in a whiff of the unmasked ANBU before her as if sniffing to confirm the truthfulness of his story. She said, "I see. But you've left out the selfish reasons of evading another war and causing the boy to suffer unspeakable hell at the hands of the villagers that the Yondaime sacrificed to protect." She quirked an eyebrow. "And you seemed to have kept something else from me."
"Believe what you will," Itachi said, not willing to divulge the Sandaime's suspicion of some in the village who would kill Naruto if they found out his parentage. "But know this: Until he's strong enough, Sarutobi will keep this secret from the boy to protect him from his father's enemies."
There was a pause as Itachi allowed that to sink in. Sensing no deceit from him, Kyuubi eased off on the killer intent. She could still see him hiding his nervousness, however, though it was not due to being in her presence.
"Don't try my patience. Speak!" boomed forth Kyuubi's voice.
The events that unfold next would rock the very foundations of the Shinobi world.
Itachi explained, "I am here to bid you and Naruto-kun goodbye. I just received a mission to erase the Uchiha clan from the face of Konoha tomorrow. In doing so, I'll become a missing nin. No longer will I be able to look after Naruto-kun."
"I have a better idea. Leave his mind and let me avenge against Madara and the Sharingan. I'll take control of the boy's body and wipe out the Uchihas for you. And you don't have to be a missing nin." As Kyuubi said this, she flared her chakra. After all, she did not need and was not waiting for Itachi's response.
Itachi sent more chakra to his eyes and suppressed the bijuu. He reasoned with her, "Please. You know as well as I that if Naruto-kun was found any where near the clan compound, he would have been blamed for it even if you hadn't taken over his body. Imaging what they would do to him if you actually possessed his body and massacred the Uchiha clan. Whatever you do, make sure he's no where near the Uchiha compound tomorrow night."
"…" A low grumble was heard from the deflated bijuu.
Seizing the opportunity to continue, the ANBU said, "As I was saying, I'm leaving and I have a parting gift for Naruto-kun. Even though I won't be here to protect him any more, my gift will make him stronger and teach him how to protect himself."
Reaching into his ANBU cloak, he pulled out two ancient-looking manuscripts and continued, "I took these manuscripts from Uchiha's clan library. I'm not quite sure what techniques they contain, but they were hidden behind heavily layered genjutsus. A note on top of them said that they were stolen recently from a Buddhist monastery high in the mountains far from here. Apparently no one had a chance to look through them since they were all too busy planning a coup."
"A coup …?"
Ignoring the Kyuubi, Itachi continued, "I think one is a manuscript for sword art, and another is for cultivating one's inner powers." As he ended his explanation, he stretched forward the arm holding the two manuscripts. He walked forward and reached into the cage bars.
Using one of her tails, she wrapped it around the manuscripts.
Once he delivered his gift, Itachi stopped chakra flow to his eyes and returned to his person.
In the real world, the conversation in Naruto's mindscape was over quicker than a blink in the eye and without Naruto's knowledge, or the knowledge of the masked stranger watching from the roof top a distance away.
"I'm leaving on a trip tomorrow so you won't see me for a while," responded Itachi to Naruto's greeting to him.
Unaware of the flashing Sharingan and the brief pause before Itachi answered his greeting, Naruto asked, "But who's going to look after me if you're gone?"
"Don't worry Naruto-kun. Hokage will assign another person to watch over you. I'm going to take you home and rest up myself." Knowing Kyuubi could hear him, he parted with these words, "Be strong and show the world what a true shinobi is."
The trip to Naruto's apartment was quick and uneventful. Once the beaten boy entered his flat unit, he fell onto his bed with his face buried into the pillow. Exhaustion quietly claimed him as Kyuubi healed his wounds.
(Monastery of Ancient Manuscripts)
Three junior abbots gathered outside the Meditation Sanctuary of their Grand Master Abbot.
"Brother Feng, what do we do about the two stolen manuscripts?" asked a pacing middle-aged man with a worried face. "Do you think the Grand Master Abbot will be mad at us?"
"Brother Liu, do not worry," reassured a slightly older man named Feng. "The Grand Master Abbot has achieved the nirvana of Buddhism. He is not a man who would blame you for losing those two scrolls while you were outnumbered by an enemy ambush."
"But those two manuscripts contain the world's most powerful techniques ever created," said a third Junior Abbot. "If they end up in the wrong hands, as I fear that those who stole them were of the power-craving types, then the world will undergo two hundred years of suffering."
"Brother Zhu, that was the curse the Grand Master Abbot has agreed to when he vowed to protect the manuscripts until the appointed time. I'm sure he will have a solution for this," offered Liu, worried but determined to keep things on the positive.
"Enough of this," commanded Feng. "We'll continue to copy the Teachings of Buddha until the Grand Master Abbot finishes his secluded meditation. He will tell us what we need to do. He did after all foresee this happening; otherwise, he wouldn't have told us to take turns guarding them."
Though he tried to put on a brave front, Feng had an uneasy feeling inside.
'Something bad is going to happen.'
With a firm grip on his katana, the Uchiha prodigy stood on the roof top facing his orange-masked stalker.
"Who are you and what do you want?" asked the calm and collected ANBU captain.
Slowly removing his orange mask, the man answered him in a perfect reflection of the patterned Uchiha monotone, "I mean you no harm. In fact, I have a proposition. My name is…."
Thank you for reading. I love feedbacks, so please review :D
Next… Chapter 2: The Awakening!