Disclaimer: blah, blah, blah naruto. blah, blah, blah kishimoto. blah, blah, blah lawsuit.
Law of assassination number one…conceal yourself in darkness…still your breath…seek a path to your target.
Law of assassination number two…know your target. Be able to predict his thoughts, and movements.
Law of assassination number three…before your target becomes aware of your existence…eliminate him.
Those are the guidelines assassins must follow. Three simple laws that sum up the job that a ninja must do, what a Konoha ninja must do, made so that even novices can understand how things work.
"HHIIYYA" a young blond Anbu shouted emerging from a tree with a kunai in hand ready to slice at the neck of his victim below him.
Unfortunately the laws didn't include stay silent, for the more hardheaded novices. The blond was caught by the collar in midair before he could do any damage.
His target an older Anbu wearing a type of dolphin mask with light blue stripes across the nose, and under the eyes. His brown hair tied back in a wild pony tail.
The boy struggled at first trying to free himself, but eventually just let himself go limp when he realized he couldn't escape the grip on him.
"Seventeen, what was the point of this exercise" the adult Anbu holding him asked in an annoyed tone.
"to show our ability to perform assassination laws one, two, and three successfully" he answered in a bored voice. He crossed his arms over his chest while still being suspended in mid-air.
"Seventeen, what is law number three" the older nin asked.
"to eliminate your target before he knows you're there" he answered while yawning , bored as can be.
"so you do know that huh…then do tell, WHY EXACTLY DID YOU YELL" the older Anbu shouted in the young ninja's ear.
"jeez Bottlenose-sensei why are you shouting. Besides it was a cool entrance, where the hero jumps in, and kicks the bad guys ass before he knows what hit him" the blond made punching motion as he said it.
"Seventeen you are a ninja, not a hero. You are supposed to KILL the…'bad guy' before he knows what hit him" the older ninja said using an air quote with his free hand.
"but he won't know who beat him that way" the blond argued.
"that…is…the point" the older nin slapped his own masked forehead, in his inability to get through to the boy.
"but I want to be famous. A ninja legend…one day I'll be Hokage of this village" the boy declared loudly. The older ninja leaned his head back towards the sky, and sighed.
"how do I reach these kids" he let the blond down, and waved him off.
Tired of the usual antics of Shinobi number Seventeen, he ended the pointless conversation. The blond ninja was always like that, the class clown of sorts. Clumsy, and a show-off, he is the lowest scoring beginner Anbu among the rest of his peers.
That's how things were in Konoha now, it had long ago absolved the Genin to Jounin ranking system, and made it all Ansatsu Senjutsu Tokushu Butai or Anbu for short. All ninja were required, to many it was like a rank up. To some it was like coming out of retirement.
With the number of tragedies happening in the village, it was decided that the training would have to be stepped up to something a little more demanding, not as cruel as the hidden mist-no way in hell will that ever be repeated, but guaranteed to make some progress…hopefully.
Of course, if it failed the first time. The village leaders promised to immediately terminate the plan, but after a few years even those that should be Genin ranked have more the usual experience in combat.
Like all Anbu there are no names said, or given. When you're a beginner, you're simply a number. That number is displayed on the forehead of the blank masks the beginners wear.
Masks, and uniform are the same as adults, and are worn at all times, it's a strict rule given to young ones. Never to come off around anyone even when the lessons at the academy are over. Only at home, in private is it an exception. The Ninjato is also apart of the uniform it stays with them as well.
Only after proving your skills will you move up to where you can actually be considered a ninja. Given an animal mask of your choosing with various patterns to differentiate you from others, and a signature spiral tattoo.
If you fail to meet the standards, at least your old classmates won't have any idea who you really are, when you are dismissed, and have to take it another year, the one saving grace for Seventeen who has already failed three times.
"alright students, back to class. Because of Seventeen, we're going to have a little review on the human body" the older ninja addressed the large group of kids, standing not too far away him. They each groaned, or shrugged or did some type of motion to show their annoyance.
The older nin smacked his forehead again. Despite being dressed like highly trained assassins, they were still just a bunch of whiny twelve year old kids.
"alright then Seventeen name the three types of pressure points" the dolphin masked Anbu pointed to lounging Ninja.
"huh…three types right…pain…tendon, and reflex" the blond gave himself a thumbs up for remembering correctly.
"very good…name some of the subtypes" he asked.
"uhh…" a pink haired girl raised her hand, when it become obvious Seventeen couldn't answer.
"yes Twenty" the teacher nin pointed to her.
"the answer is pain, blood pressure, choke, break, hyper-extension, and concussion" she stated in a matter a fact sort of way.
"very good Twenty, you could learn a lot from her example Sevent-"
Seventeen tuned out the rest, it would just be praise from the teacher going to people like twenty, and of course Eighteen. The black haired boy sitting next to him, Mr. perfect as the girls in the class called him, he's never seen the guy's face nor know his name, but he's learned to hate him on his number alone.
The number one rookie of the year, that's what they say his number should be, number one. But Seventeen had talked to Eighteen or at least heard him speak to be more accurate, and the guy behind the mask was a complete bastard.
Yet all the girls love him, and considered him cool for it, despite that he's a jerk to them as well, what was so special about him, they couldn't see his face, yet they assumed he was some sort of handsome knight underneath.
"alright class enough review, lets begin the graduation exam. This year it's the clone jutsu" the cyan haired Anbu in the tiger mask said walking in. the graduation exam was one of the few things that remained unchanged no matter what.
Aw damn, that's my worst jutsu Seventeen mentally cursed his luck.
"when you are called, go into the next room" the tiger masked said.
Each applicant performed the jutsu, to the best of their abilities, and managed to make three clones easily. The only one sweating bullets was Seventeen, who almost Knew it would end in failure.
"heeheehee did you see how well I did Eighteen" Twenty asked him giddily, as she came out wearing a bird Mask, and a red spiral tattoo on her right shoulder.
Dolphin smacked his forehead at the act. Another reason for the masks was to stop trivial things like a 'crush' from happening. The boys were perfectly spayed, but the girls seemed to like the mysterious part the mask gives number Eighteen.
Actually some of the girls had seen his face at one point, years ago when they all first started, and the rumor of him being handsome must of spread among them, and kept them going.
"alright Seventeen, your turn" Dolphin said with a check board in hand.
Alright I can do this…just gotta concentrate The blond put his hands in a seal, and focused his chakra as much as he could.
build the chakra up…find the right amount…too much, and it's a waste of energy…too little, and the jutsu fails…mold it to your will.
Adjust it to what ever jutsu you're using…and…perfect. I can pass this time for sure…with this I'm one step closer to being Hokage…
Seventeen slouched down on the swing he was sitting on in a state of depression while the other newly graduated Anbu rushed home to tell their parents, and for some, parents were already there to congratulate their children.
Seventeen having nowhere to go, could only watch as children celebrated with loved one, and family, even some friends who already knew who one another were.
"I failed…again" he muttered to himself.
"Naruto" he jumped having heard his actual name being called.
It was his cyan haired teacher in the tiger mask, leaning underneath a tree nearby him. He had his hand raised, waving at the blond.
"sensei wha-I…" the blond stuttered.
"relax, all the teachers know the names of their students despite the numbers, and it's just you and, me here" he calmed the blond down. "I want to talk with you" Naruto walked over to him.
"this is your third year…you know that right" the older nin said.
"I know…but I can't…I try, but it always ends up the same way" the blonds voice started cracking. "I really wanted to graduate" that statement caught the older nin's eye.
"so you really want to graduate…how about I tell you a secret" he said getting closer to the boy, Naruto could almost feel him smiling behind his mask.
"sort of like extra credit…and call me Mizuki"
Naruto sat on the forest ground looking into the giant scroll he stol-borrowed. Getting it was simple enough, sneak into the Hokage's house, find the big scroll, use that special technique of his own design to knock out the old man when he found him sneaking around, and make it here…Simple.
Alright lets see here…the shadow clone jut-aw crap right on the first page He sighed, and looked back on the page.
"alright Seventeen, if you can make a smoke bomb from egg shells, wax, dirt, and ash. You can do this" he said, after years of going by a number it was natural to call himself that.
"so you all know who you're after correct?" the Hokage asked the large group of nin standing in front of him.
Without a word they all jumped away, intending to find the blond prankster Seventeen, and hit him over the head repeatedly.
The Hokage looked on calmly, smoking his pipe. He wondered for what purpose this whole thing was about, someone else was obviously behind it all, because there was no way a beginner could even know of the existence of the scroll, let alone be able to do anything with it by himself.
He walked into his office, went over to his desk, sat down, and looked into his crystal ball. The Hokage's alternative to keeping watch over the public when to busy to leave, which happened to be all the time.
Being the Hokage is busy work…I can't believe people want this job so badly he chuckled thinking of one person in particular.
this was horrible, just horrible. Taking the scroll of sealing was serious crime, one sev-Naruto probably doesn't understand. And with him being…some people know of his identity, some powerful ninja whom would kill for an excuse to…end what the Yondaime started, as they sometimes say.
I have to get to him first. If he were to be killed…killed like this, I wouldn't forgive myself… Dolphin thought to himself while running.
He caught a spot of yellow in the corner of his eye, and turned. Sitting under a tree nearby a small wooden house, was exactly who he was looking for, still wearing his regulation Anbu uniform.
"…finally found yo-" Dolphin was interrupt by the blond.
"I found Bottlenose-sensei" he said pointing to the older ninja.
"I FOUND YOU IDIOT, AND STOP CALLING ME THAT" Dolphin shouted.
"okay you found me. I could only learn one skill" Seventeen said rubbing the back of his head.
"one skill, what?…what are you all beaten up like that for" he asked noticing the boys bruised appearance.
"never mind that. Just watch I'm going to do this amazing jutsu then your going to let me graduate" Seventeen said with excitement in his voice.
"what ignorant, misguided fool told you that?" Dolphin asked crossing his arms over his chest.
"…uhh…uh…Mizuki…" he answered unsure because of what the older nin said.
"and that scroll…" Dolphin asked becoming aware of what was going on.
"Mizuki told me about it, and this place…why?" Seventeen tilted his head to the side.
Dolphin didn't answer. He grabbed the young boy, and jumped out of the way just before a hail of kunai pierced the house, and stuck into the wood.
He put the boy down, and kneeled. Picking up Naruto cost him precious speed, and resulted in a few kunai slicing him. One particularly deep cut, right along his shin.
"so this is what's going on…Mizuki" dolphin looked up to see the cyan haired nin glaring down at him from high up a tree, without his tiger mask.
"nice job really. Making it here before me" Mizuki smirked at him. "Naruto, give me the scroll" he addressed the blond.
"uh what, wait…what the hell?" Naruto looked between the two ninja confused.
"Naruto, don't give him that scroll even if it costs you, your life" Dolphin said, while pulling the kunai that managed to hit him in the ribs. "you were being used Naruto, run away"
Seeing the blond tense up, and starting to look hostile towards him. Mizuki decided to say something to keep the kid rooted to the ground. In case he tried to run away.
"wait where you are Naruto…and I'll…tell you another secret. It has to do with your birth" Mizuki smirked.
"my…birth" he looked the ninja bewildered.
Dolphins eyes widened in fear after hearing that, and tossed as many kunai as he could. Furiously trying to shut blabby ninja up.
Mizuki jumped from the tree branch he was on to another, dodging the flying knives with ease, and continued talking.
"you see Naruto about twelve years ago on the day of your birth…" he dodged another kunai aimed at his head. "a law was created…created never to be told to you"
"RUN AWAY NARUTO" Dolphin yelled trying to interrupt.
"what law? What is it" the blond was too entranced to hear him.
"the law is simple…" Mizuki chuckled as he said it, taking his sweet time.
Dolphin got up, and tried to run. Intent on stopping Mizuki from revealing too much before it was too late. But the injury on his leg just wouldn't let him move fast enough.
"no one is allowed to tell you that you are the-"
"SHUT YOUR MOUTH" Dolphin shouted.
"the nine tailed fox" Mizuki finished relishing more in the way the older ninja was reacting than the young boy below him. "sealed into you by the Hokage"
"you've been lied to your whole life" he kept going grinning madly as he did. "the reality is…"
"STOP IT" Dolphin screamed getting more desperate, and cursing his own weakness.
"this entire village hates you, didn't you wonder why. You were treated like a curse, it's the reason your hiding behind that mask right now"
The world around the blond was crumbling, and he didn't know what emotion to feel. didn't know if it were the truth or really lies. But deep down knew that it was, if not something was seriously wrong.
His entire life, that's why he was hated, that's what all the glares were about, that's why he never felt like a person at all. A monster, they all thought he was some type of horrible monster, the very same one that took the lives of hundreds in this village.
Seeing his chance Mizuki took one of the giant shuriken on his back, and twirled it around. Before he ended the boy's life, he couldn't help, but just kick more dirt on the wound, one more time.
"you have no life here. Never have…never will" he tossed the spinning weapon, and it flew right on course to impaling Seventeen into the ground.
Dolphin however moved harder than he's ever moved before, and shielded him before the shuriken could hit, taking the giant piece of metal into his back.
Mizuki gritted his teeth at having missed, and in surprise at how Dolphin moved that quickly to cover the kid.
"I know…it must be painful…the crushing loneliness" Dolphin spoke breathing heavily. "when I lost my parents…I had no one, just like you…without acknowledgement…my existence felt so meaningless"
Seventeen looked up at him from his position underneath him, staring at him with his eyes wide open. He completely froze up, unable to understand why he would be saved, something he thought no one would ever care enough to do.
"I would purposely screw up…there was no other way for me to get attention…it was just better than nothing" the older ninja removed his masked, and tossed it away. He looked straight into Seventeen's still masked face, making sure he could see him clearly.
Seventeen could feel the tears hitting his mask when Dolphin's face was exposed. He was crying, but what he was crying for he couldn't understand.
"but no matter what, all that attention left me vacant…no matter what the pain just doesn't go away" he took off the mask Seventeen was wearing as well, seeing his face in person for first time.
"my name is…Iruka. Iruka Umino" he introduced himself, meeting the boy without his mask for the first time.
"how very touching, but are you forgetting about me" Mizuki jumped down, and walked over to the two.
Iruka pulled the shuriken out of his back, and turned to face the traitor. He propped himself up on one knee, holding the shuriken in his right hand away from his body.
"why'd you do it. You would protect the thing that killed your parents" Mizuki asked. "you would give your life for a monster"
"no, I wouldn't protect a monster" Iruka responded. "but for one of my students…I would give my life"
"and he is no exception…he's not the nine tailed fox at all…he's a proud member of Konoha" I only have one shot
"he's Naruto Uzumaki" the blond felt tears running down his face after hearing that. "AND I'D GIVE MY LIFE TO PROTECT HIM" Iruka crossed the distance between him, and Mizuki.
He swung hard at the cyan haired nin with his sword ready to slash Mizuki's chest, but Mizuki deflected the attack, and got behind him.
Taking advantage of Iruka's exposed back, he pierced straight through, intentionally hitting the same place he did with the shuriken before, however Iruka disappeared in smoke, and instead Mizuki found himself stabbing a log.
"shadow shuriken jutsu" Iruka called out the name of his attack from above.
One giant shuriken came down, and pinned Mizuki's right foot to the ground. Three more flew down trapping all of his limbs down into the dirt.
Iruka began spinning in midair, going faster than what should be possible using chakra to assist him. Iruka came falling down hard feet first on Mizuki, spinning incredibly fast like a drill into his stomach.
He jumped off Mizuki carefully, making sure not to put any more pressure his leg than he already has. That move was his last resort, his leg won't be able to take anymore pressure than that without breaking.
Finally, it's over…
"impressive, but you aren't the only one can use the substitution jutsu" Mizuki said coming out of hiding. Iruka could only look on in horror.
"well looks like your all out. Guess this is the end" Mizuki charged spinning his giant shuriken, and went in for the kill.
Iruka could only smile sadly, at having failed himself, and his student. Before Mizuki was able to get any closer, Naruto jumped in the way just in time to deliver a vicious knee to Mizuki's chin.
Mizuki skidded across the grass on his back, his last shuriken knocked out of his hand, and Iruka looked on surprised.
"don't touch him…I'll kill you" Naruto said glaring at the traitor, setting the scroll down.
"oh shut up…punk. I can kill you in one shot" Mizuki grinned.
"I'll kill you" Naruto repeated, putting his arms up, and crossed the two fingers on each of his hands over each other.
"THEN DO IT, DEMON FOX" Mizuki shouted finally losing his cool over so much time.
"shadow clone jutsu"
Iruka couldn't believe his eyes, one second Naruto's standing by himself, the next hundreds of him pop into existence.
From the ground to the trees, there were Naruto's everywhere. And they were all real, they were actually affecting the area around them, kicking up dirt, brushing past leaves. This was incredible.
"what in the world" Mizuki looked around. He was completely surrounded on all sides by exact copies of the blond kid.
"what's that matter you scared" one of the Naruto's taunted. "then we'll start off"
Ignoring the traitors screams, each of the thousand Naruto's closed in on him, and beat the hell out of him until he lost all feeling in his face, and slipped into unconsciousness. Though despite him losing consciousness they continued pummeling him simply for the fun of it.
"guess I went a little overboard huh" Naruto said rubbing the back of his head.
"hey Naruto come here" Iruka called him over.
"here" he handed Naruto the mask he was wearing. "congratulation you passed"
"let's celebrate. I'll buy you a hot bowel of ramen, anyway you like" he smiled to the boy expecting a good reaction.
"OH THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU" the blond jumped onto Iruka hugging him.
"okay, okay calm down already, that hurts" Naruto stopped, and took to looking at the mask he was given. "something wrong"
"well…it's just that…" Naruto started saying.
"…I don't like your mask" the blond finished.
"what" Iruka asked again, not sure if he heard right.
"I don't want to wear a mask with some lame dolphin" Naruto said.
"lame…fine, we'll get you another mask" Iruka took his mask back, annoyed at it being called lame.
"alright" Naruto pumped his hand in the air, while Iruka just sighed.
"Naruto Uzumaki" the blond said to the older ninja.
"hm? I know your name Naruto" he asked, not getting what he was doing it for.
"I know, but we never actually introduced ourselves" Naruto spoke with a serious face, apparently this meant a lot to him, Iruka could get that.
"Iruka Umino" he extended his hand to young ninja.
Naruto looked at his hand strangely, clearly confused about the action. Iruka raised an eyebrow, Naruto saw it, and turned away blushing at his own ignorance.
Hahaha…guess this is going to take some time he then felt Naruto hand grasp on to his.
He looked the boy. Clearly, he was embarrassed, but seeing as how he was just holding onto Iruka's hand it's probably because of the gesture being so foreign to him.
He gripped Naruto's hand, and started shaking. Slowly Naruto began doing the same on his own, then started smiling as he got use to it.
"nice to meet you Naruto"
"nice to meet you Iruka"
They both laughed heartily after the awkwardness vanished, Naruto really liked the feeling communicating with someone equally, and friendly.
Wait…friendly…did I…make a friend
Naruto gave a small smile, and tears started falling from his eyes. Iruka seeing this got worried.
"Naruto what's wrong"
"n-nothing…it's nothing" Naruto wiped his eyes with his hands.
"dammit there's no sign of him anywhere" the group of ninja returned, angry having not being able to find Shinobi number Seventeen.
"it's fine…" the third Hokage approached them.
"everythings alright. He'll be back in a little while" the third said taking a puff from his pipe.
"hey Iruka" Naruto asked.
"will getting a tattoo hurt"
"no…it'll be completely painless. We apply these tattoos with chakra" Iruka explained.
"oh that's a relieve, cause I hate needles"
"Naruto you're now officially Anbu, you can't be afraid of a little needle"
"but needles hurt" he whined.
"and kunai don't" he looked at Naruto as if he was crazy.
"but-" Naruto tried to argue.
"just forget it Seventeen…I mean Naruto" Iruka shook his head, like he was ridding himself a headache. "by the way, what mask you thinking about getting"
"I don't know…got any orange ones"
"orange?…tsk one. A fox mask"
"cool I'll take it"
"what! don't you remember what happened a little while ago" Iruka assumed Naruto would want very little to do with anything fox related after hearing about the secret of his birth.
"re-forget it" Iruka wasn't going to push the subject.
"besides it's better than a dolphin" naruto grinned.
"no it isn't"
"I'm not listening" Iruka plugged his ears.
"hey that's cheating…hey, I know you can hear me…dammit…forget it"
I planned to lectured him about the hard work about being a Shinobi, especially an anbu…but I guess it can wait.