Author's Note: (added on 06092012) Added a picture to the story. Picture by Asuka Kureru (askerian (dot) deviantart (dot) com), with permission.
A blond six year old was walking through a village, hearing the whispers he always tried to ignore. People mutter bad things about him and saying that he was worthless. He really wished they would stop. It wasn't his fault that he was an orphan. He came to a tea house, one of the only stores that would sell to him called 'Nothing but Dango'. This restaurant and Icharuka Ramen were the only ones that would. And he didn't have the money for Icharuka right now. With a sigh, he went in. As usual, it was quiet and nearly empty. The owner's actually did this because they needed something to do in retirement.
"Oh, hello Naruto-kun," the old lady said.
"Hello Baa-san," he said with a bow to her. Not matter how much he pranked other people, Baa-san, Jii-san, her husband, Ayame, and Teuchi would never get anything but his thanks and respect. He grinned when he saw a cloaked visitor was here, his conical hat on his table next to a pot of tea and a few sticks of dango. "Oh, someone else has discovered the greatness of the food here! I was afraid that I was your only customer. ...But this means I no longer have you all to myself."
Baa-san laughed. "I still have time for you, Naruto-kun. I will go get you some tea and some sweet bean paste. Or would you prefer dango as well?"
Naruto grimaced, he had seen how a purple haired chunin acted when she had some. "I won't end up like Anko, will I?"
Jii-san laughed as he heard that. It isn't dango that makes her act like that, Naruto-kun," the old man said, ruffling his hair. "She is just happy to have some. Tell you what, if you finally give in and try some, I won't charge you for them."
Naruto grinned. "Sure! Give me ten sticks!" They laughed at his ever present undying appetite. Baa-san ushered him to a table next to the other person and said she will be right back with some tea. While waiting, Naruto looked at the person. He was in his early twenties and had his black hair tied in a pony tail. "Hello."
"Hello," he replied evenly. Which made Naruto ecstatic, he didn't say it full of hate like others. Naruto could see his green eyes were filled with compassion, not hate when he looked at him to speak. He instantly made it to Naruto's top ten list of people not to prank.
"I am Uzumaki Naruto, I am glad to meet you."
"I am known by Akechi Mitsuhide, Uzumaki-san." He was very formal and well spoken. Naruto grinned at being called san.
"You don't have to call me that, Akechi-sama! I would like my friends to call me Naruto."
"Friends," Mitsuhide asked.
Naruto's face slackened. "I'm sorry, I should have asked you first. I apologize."
Mitsuhide smiled at the boy. "Don't, I was just surprised is all. You seem like a nice boy, where are your parents?"
"...I don't have any," Naruto said, a little depressed.
Mitsuhide frowned and fully took in Naruto's appearance. His cloths were not the best and he was malnourished. But before he could make a comment on that, several men walked into the shop. "Welcome to Nothing but Dango," Baa-san said as she set the pot on Naruto's table. "Can I help you?"
"Yes," the leader of the three said. "You see, we have a proposition for you ma'am. You see, this is a bad neighborhood."
"It isn't so bad," Baa-san said. "Now, what does that have to do with things?"
"Well, we can help you protect your store. From anyone and anything. All we ask in return is a little money for our services."
Baa-san frowned. "I appreciate the gesture but no."
"That is too bad," the man said. The guy on his left went over to a table. Before breaking one of the legs. "Because, we really aren't giving you a choice. Either pay up or..."
"You will do no such thing," Mitsuhide said as he stood up and faced them. "I will not allow petty crooks to break the law in my sight."
"Back off," the third guy said to him. "We are former ninja."
"So meaning you did not have the skill or heart to still be ninja at so young an age," Mitsuhide said. "Leave now or I will stop you."
The leader smiled. "I will have to use you as an example then. To show everyone here what happens when they decide to oppose me." He looked to the second guy. "Kill him."
He grinned and pulled a ninja-to out and approached him. But before he could go three steps, Mitsuhide threw off his cloak and drew his own sword. In a single move, he pulled it out and slashed it across the man's throat, killing him. "Battoijutsu," Mitsuhide stated.
His cloak now off, Naruto got a full look at him. He stood near six feet tall. At his waist was the sheath for his katana and next to it was a wakizashi. He was a samurai. He wore oyoroi armor, armor that protected his chest and back along plates that bent and moved on his upper arms and legs. He had hakama pants and shirt on under it. All of it was colored light blue and and some purple.
He faced the other two and raised his blade to point at them. "Leave now or die with your comrade. I doubt scum like you would have the honor to finish what you have started."
But they only laughed. "If it isn't one of those worthless samurai," the leader said. "Still spouting that garbage about honor and fair play. You people will never realize, will you? You no longer have a place in this world. Not you nor your words."
"Honor, justice, doing what is right," Mitsuhide replied. "These are more than words, they are ideals. Of how men should live their life. As long as people still desire these, the samurai will never lose their place in the world. As long as there are those that still honor the old ways, the samurai will have the strength to continue on, no matter the adversary ahead of us. And as long as my body still holds breath, I shall never let men like you do as they please."
"Nice speech," the former ninja told him. "Too bad words will not save you." He nodded to his remaining man. He stepped to the side and started doing handsigns. But what he didn't expect was the sword to cut his hand off.
"A jutsu inside here will destroy the building. I can't allow that either." The man was going into shock as he looked at the stumps that were his arms. His mouth tried to work but didn't. He looked up and saw Mitsuhide finish him.
Mitsuhide turned back to the remaining man. "Leave now with your dishonor or I will take your life as well." The man stumbled back before he ran through the door. Mitsuhide looked at Baa-san and Naruto. "I apologize for causing such a ca..."
"Look out!" Naruto ran by him, grabbed the dropped ninja-to, and stabbed the third man in the stomach. The bandit dropped the knife he was going to use to stab Mitsuhide with as he looked at the sword in his gut and the child holding it.
"I was...killed by the demon brat?" He fell backwards, his eyes glazing over.
Naruto looked at what he just did and began to shake. He looked like he was going to be sick. "I just... I just killed hi." Naruto bent over and retched. "...I'm sorry, Baa-san, I'll clean it up." He went to get a mop.
"No, honey, you go sit down."
"Go sit," she told him again. "As for you young man," she said to Mitsuhide. "Thank you. It does an old woman good to see that men like you are still out there."
"It was my duty to do it ma'am. I could not let them as I stated."
"Your duty is to obey your master, you did that by choice." He tensed at the word master. "Sit down, I shall get you another pot of tea." She went in the back and told her husband what happened. He came storming out.
"Those them, Mitsuhide-sama?"
"They are," he replied.
"Then we owe you much," he said with a bow. "I shall return soon, I must get the police."
When he left, Mitsuhide stood up and sat across from Naruto. Pouring his tea in a cup, he set it in front of Naruto. "This will help settle your nerves." Naruto started drinking from the cup and slowly, life returned to his blue eyes. "Now, why did you do that? You could have died."
"Be-Because he was going to k-kill you, Akechi-sama," Naruto said. "You defended Baa-san and Jii-san so I had to do that."
Mitsuhide nodded. "Your honor demanded it of you."
Naruto looked up from the cup. "Huh?"
"I defended people close to you. So you defended me in return to honor what was done. You could do no less. It is Bushido, a code of honor that all samurai follow."
Naruto put his head to the table. "I...I don't understand. People say that the samurai are just normal men, that they can't possible fight a shinobi. But you fought three..."
"Two, Naruto-san. Don't lie, Bushido forbids it. You fought the other and won."
"T...Two right here and did it in only three moves."
"Well, they just assumed I was weak so that helped. But the deciding factor was that I was in the just, honorable, and right. Remember what I said?"
"That they are more than words, that they are ideals."
"They are. Under this armor isn't flesh, Naruto-san. It is the ideals that make samurai who they are. And ideals cannot die."
Naruto was silent until after Mitsuhide's tea came. "Do...Do you have a dream, Mitsuhide-sama?"
"Yes, to one day see peace in our lands."
Naruto swallowed, his dream seemed so much more important than his dream to become Hokage. "I wanted to become Hokage, to be respected. No one respects me or even treats me like a person."
"Wanted? You mean it isn't anymore?"
Naruto shook a little as he looked at the samurai hopefully. "I want to prove to the world that honor, justice, and right, are not just words, but perspectives. That there is still a use to those who have them." He swallowed some tea to settle his stomach against the smell that was starting. "...Will... Will you teach me to be samurai?"
Mitsuhide leaned back in his chair. This boy, on his way to become a ninja, was asking him to teach him Bushido. "...It is a very tight code of conduct. Can you live with that?"
"I will," Naruto assured him. "I will not stop for anything to get my dream."
Mitsuhide nodded. "Then your first lesson in Bushido is never say anything that you do not mean."
"Lord Akechi," Naruto said to him as he bowed to his adoptive father. "Are you sure you wish me to do this?" Naruto was now eight and was to attend the ninja academy back in Konoha. He no longer lived there anymore. He lived in a mansion outside of town that Mitsuhide had built. He would no longer travel but would live there, protecting the small town outside it and serving the lord there.
"I am, Naruto. Aren't you excited to go back?"
"I am not, Lord Akechi," Naruto told him. He now wore sky blue hakama cloths with an orange spiral on the back. And his blond hair was in a pony tail just like his father's. "I do not wish to be a ninja but a samurai like you, father."
Mitsuhide smiled as he stood up and went to the door. He slid it close and returned to his seat. "Now what is it really, Naruto?"
Naruto instantly relaxed. In public and view, samurai must be regal and noble in appearance. But the room was not in view anymore. "Father, you know how I was treated. And no doubt, it will continue if I return. And... The ninja has taken our place in the world, I would have nothing to do with them."
Mitsuhide sighed. "Naruto, you can learn to be a ninja but still be samurai. Stealth, jutsu, and silent killing is as necessary in combat as are your daisho." Naruto raised a hand to his pride and soul. It was a katana and wakizashi his father had given him. Both were finely crafted, folded several hundred times and could mold chakra through it. The words 'Honor, Courage, Commitment' was carved into the blade of the wakizashi while the words 'For the fallen, this blade shall protect thee' on his katana. They were Fox Claw and Fox Fang respectively.
Naruto frowned but nodded. "As you wish then, father. He reached down and picked up his friend, Kitsu. "Looks like we are going to school tomorrow. Excited?" The fox kit gave him a mew saying he was. "Just wait, Kitsu, we will show them who is tougher." He set the fox kit on the ground and bowed to his father. "By your leave, Lord Akechi." He turned and walked from the room.
Mitsuhide smiled proudly at his son. He didn't know at first if Naruto could do what he said. But to his surprise, Naruto did. He never stopped studying until he understood it. Asking for help only when he had too, he was a quick study and had earned those swords at his waist.
He was really surprised when he brought the injured fox kit home with him one day. It would let no one but him near him willingly. It was cute to see a fur ball that could fit in even Naruto's little hand growl at someone threateningly. And once he had healed, he wouldn't leave. More over, others showed up as well. They seemed to be attached to Naruto. Kitsu was the first kit born to the small clan that lived on their grounds now and wouldn't leave Naruto's side. He could even fight with him, though it was still limited by his small size.
He reached down and scratched the head of Kirara, the leader of the pack and that same kit he brought back nearly two years ago. "Looks like both our sons are ready to make us proud." Kirara growled a little. "Yeah, my son has already made me proud too."
Naruto woke up at dawn and put on his hakama. Then he opened the secretary that held his armor. It was an oyoroi armor just like his father's except for two details. While his father's was purple, Naruto's was dark blue. And his father only had the Akechi clan seal, five Sakura petals in a circle. While Naruto had that on his chest, his Uzumaki spiral was on his back. With pride, he put each piece in place and strapped them down. When he was done, he looked in a mirror and nodded approvingly that he looked like a smaller, different color, mirror image of his father. Lastly, he strapped a quiver of arrows and a bow to his back and placed the Fox Fang and Claw at his waist.
He walked out of his room to smell breakfast was ready. "Good morning father... Grandfather!" Naruto almost jumped onto the older man but recovered his lost bearing and bowed. "I am honored to greet you, Lord Akechi Hidemitsu."
The older man stood up and returned the bow. Before smiling and motioned that the door was closed. "Come here runt and give your grandfather a hug!" Naruto needed no more invitation as he ran and jumped into his arms. "I missed you."
"I missed you too Grandfather. Why wasn't I told that you would be coming?"
"It was a surprise," Mitsuhide told his son. "We both will be walking you to the academy this morning."
Naruto smiled grew to a mile wide and hugged his grandfather all the harder. "Ack. Careful, I'm old," Hidemitsu told him.
"Never," Naruto told him. "Great men never grow old, grandfather, they grow more knowledgeable." Naruto straightened and sat down at the table to eat his breakfast. He felt Kitsu rub his leg, wanting attention so he laid his chopsticks across his bowl of rice and gave it to him. After lightly scolding him because he knew better than to do that at the table. "I am ready, father, grandfather."
"Then let us go," Hidemitsu said as he stood. "And show them something the world will never believe."
They were stopped at the East gate of Konoha. "Names and reason for entering?"
"Lord Akechi Mitsuhide of the Clan Akechi from the outskirts of Konoha," Mitsuhide told them. "This is my father, Akechi Hidemitsu, and my son, Akechi Naruto. Today, I am enrolling my son into the academy."
They blinked at the name Naruto and looked at him. Naruto stood up all the straighter when they did. His hair and eyes were similar but he was much bigger than the Naruto that disappeared two years ago. And he looked nothing like him. "...Oh, I think we received word... Yes, here it is." The chunin on the right held up a piece of paper. "It says that you requested this a month ago and received the approval of the Hokage, Lord Akechi. You need only carry this passport on you from now on," he gave one to Naruto and Mitsuhide. "Lord Hidemitsu, you were not expected so I have to give you a temporary passport."
"It is alright, young man," Hidemitsu told him. "I am just walking with my grandson this one time. I doubt it will happen often enough to warrant a permanent one." With a bow, they walked forward through the gate and into the city.
"...What a formal family," Izumo stated.
"And that boy," Kotetsu said, "he did not have a single emotion on his face. ...And did you notice the fox kit on his shoulder?"
"I did. So they are the Fox Clan Akechi."
"This is going to be one interesting class," Kotetsu finished.
Naruto looked around at all five kids and frowned. They were acting like...well, kids. Jumping hooping, hollering, acting like animals. Even the fox kits behaved better. Kitsu rubbed his cheek in agreement to his analysis. He gave him a pat on the head before walking through the door. "Hello," he said once, to see if he could get their attention. The teacher at the head of the class, looked up and at the clock.
"You must be the new student. You didn't have to show up for another half hour," he told him. "I am Umino Iruka."
Naruto bowed to him. "I am honored, Iruka-sensei. I am Akechi Naruto."
Behind him, his father and grandfather entered. As they looked at the class, they all went quiet as they studied the three. "I too am honored to meet you," Mitsuhide said to Iruka after a minute. "I have actually heard much about you, Iruka-san. And all of it is good things. I expect you to make my son much stronger than he already is." He said that with a bow.
Iruka returned the bow a little shocked. It was then he noticed something. All three of them has a daisho at their waste. "...If I am not intruding, are you, by chance, a..."
Mitsuhide held up his hand to stave him off. "That will be up to Naruto to reveal to him classmates. Not us. But yes we are."
Iruka straightened and bow again to them. "I am honored to receive you." This shocked the three of them. "My parents drilled it into my head to respect you before they died."
Both Mitsuhide and Hidemitsu smiled at him. "I see that my son is in the best of hands then." He knelt down and looked Naruto in the eyes. "Go with honor, my son." He ruffled his hair before standing.
"Hey," Naruto said, moving the strands back into place. "I shall see you this evening, father, grandfather." He watched them leave and turned back to the class. "Is this all of them, Iruka-sensei?"
"No, only the early risers like yourself. There is now a total of twenty seven students. So please wait until they all get here."
Naruto nodded all looked at the five. One was a girl with hair he would have thought was dyed blond if it wasn't for the scent from here that lacked bleach. There was a boy that smelled of dog and had brown hair. It was spiky and a mess. Another, the most reserved one there after Naruto, was a boy with black eyes and hair. It was spiky in the back only, reminding Naruto of a chicken. The next was a sky girl with hair the color of his armor and pale eyes he thought was rather lovely looking. The last, and loudest, was a girl with Sakura pink hair. Naruto brushed the emblem on his chest and sat down at one of the desk.
The one that smelled of dog came over to him. And he was in fact carrying a puppy in his coat. "You smell an awful lot like a fox. And I don't mean the scents on you."
"The same can be said about you and dogs," Naruto replied.
"...What is with the armor and weapons, eh?"
"K-Kiba, please be n-nice," the pale eyed girl said. "H-He is an A-Akechi. The are one o-of the o-oldest warrior c-clans on the c-continent."
Naruto smiled at her. "And may I have the name of such a lovely flower that knows who I am?"
Naruto straightened when she said it. "Yes, of course you are."
"What are you talking about," Kiba asked.
"That I, like Kami, do no play with dice and do not believe in coincidence. On several occasions has the Akechi and Hyuuga fought together and against each other." He held his hand to Hinata. Shaking a little, she placed hers on his. Naruto bent down and kissed her hand. "It is my extreme pleasure to meet you, Hyuuga Hinata. And I look forward to serving with you."
Hinata blushed deep red as she nodded. "Hey, whoa, back off mister!" Kiba about yelled, taking her hand from his. "You can't just be doing that!"
Naruto frowned at him. "My name is Akechi Naruto, not mister. And you are?"
"The famous Dog Clan of Konoha. Then, as the heir of the Fox Clan Akechi, I guess that makes us rivals."
"I guess so."
Naruto grinned and stuck his hand out to shake his. "I am glad to meet someone that has confidence in their abilities. You look to be a strong opponent and I am eager to spar with you."
Kiba dropped his jaw and started to laugh. "You are making it hard to dislike you."
"I get that a lot when people actually talk to me. Hinata-chan, Kiba-san, this is my friend, Kitsu." The kit mewed.
"And this is Akamaru," Kiba said. The puppy gave a bark.
Hinata smiled a little. "You two brought your pets with you?"
"No," they said. "Kitsu helps me in fighting."
"Yeah, the same with Akamaru."
Hinata seemed a little down at that. "Oh...I-I brought my p-pet. F-Father doesn't k-know and would l-likely disapprove." She pulled down the zipper of her coat and took out a small ferret kit. "This is Bandit." The little guy was asleep when she pulled her out. But she opened her eyes to look at them. She gave a squeak and Akamaru ruffed while Kitsu mewed. This made Hinata smile that her best friend was making more friends.
Naruto also grinned. "Hey, we have three chibi bijuu here." They looked at him in confusion. "Houkou, the five tailed dog. Raijuu the six tailed weasel. And...Kyuubi the nine tailed fox."
Kiba blinked and struck a thinking pose. "We kind of do... Hey, that is it, we are the Bijuu Three from now on! No one will be stronger than us!"
"Like that will happen," the blond and pink head told them. "We are going to be the strongest kunoichi in this room!" In unison, they hit a fist to their chest and smiled at each other. Obvious best friends their.
Kiba frowned, "And there is an Uchiha here so it will be hard."
"Good," Naruto told him. "I hate it when things are easy."
Naruto stood in front of the whole class when they had all gotten there. "Hello, I am Akechi Naruto. I am honored to be here," he told them all with a bow.
"Naruto, why don't you tell them a little about yourself," Iruka said to him.
"Hai, Iruka-sensei. My father is named Akechi Mitsuhide and I don't have a mother. I am the heir of my clan which, though scattered for a moment, is the newest clan to Konoha. My clan is also one of the last remaining honorable samurai left on the continent." He held Kitsu in his hands to show him to them. "This is my best friend Kitsu. We look out for each other and fight together. And I do have a dream. To show that honor, justice, and right will always have a place here."
Author's Notes: I am suffering of writer's block on my other story, Sound of a Jinchuuriki so I decided to take a break for a bit. Now, as my readers will know, I am a Marine in California right now. But I have just received orders to go to Okinawa Japan. And as if that wasn't enough, I have been playing Samurai Warriors 2 this pass week which is where I got Akechi Mitsuhide. Who was based on a samurai from the 1500s. In actuality, Hidemitsu was his adopted son. But as that slot is filled here and I couldn't find the name of his father so I decided to use that name instead.
I was kind of tired of reading stories that always open the same. A five year old Naruto is being chased by a mob. Always five years old. Always a mob. When in the manga, there was never said to be any such situations. Naruto was left alone to the point where he desired any kind of attention.
By the way, the battoijutsu is not inspired by Kenshin. It is the actual attack where you draw your sword and slash at the same time. This was use from horse back often enough to allow movement at the same time. This skill was made when the curve of the swords changed from being just passed the hilt to at the end as we know katanas today. The ninja-to is, historically, a shorter, lower quality blade that is really just a block of metal pounded out and given an edge. It is only straight comparatively to Japanese swords.
The words honor, courage, commitment are the vows of the Marine Corps. Sorry, they fit so I had to put them in. While the words on the Fox Fang, 'For the fallen, this blade shell protect thee', it is a reference to Auron of Final Fantasy X. Finally, I made several references to V for Vendetta.