The Eternal Chimera
House-keeping issues first.
First off a disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Secondly, just a few ground rules for reviewing. Don't feel compelled to review. I know many authors do make requests that readers do review, but I'm personally too bothered. If you're not happy with the story and you want to leave very harsh criticism feel free to do so; all I ask is that you include what you dislike or something to improve on
"You suck and I wish you would just jump off of a bridge and end all of our misery." Something like this will be simply ignored.
"You suck and I wish you would just jump off of a bridge and end all of our misery. Your plot line is pathetic, your grammar and spelling sucks and finally there are so many plot holes in the story it's like Swiss cheese. Just stop writing." While harsh I don't remind receiving this as it tells me why I suck.
The third note is that this fic will borrow from Fire Emblem (Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn), though no character from either will emerge, just ideas with some minor changes. That being said, I do not own Fire Emblem either.
Finally, as unlikely as it is; if you like something from my fic and want to use it for our own don't bother asking, just take it. I'm not particularly fussed if you get permission or give credit, just don't go claiming that you had the idea first and then insisting that I should take my fic off. I won't be too impressed if this happens.
Flash back or letter
********* change of scene
It was night time in Konoha, though one could be forgiven if you had said it was a warm summer's day. Konohagakure no Sato, the Village Hidden in the Leaves, was under attack. The attacker was not the army of an enemy village, the attacker was not even human, it was a blood red fox of monstrous proportions. The fox was by all definitions a demon and as such had a fitting title; Kyuubi no Youko. The attack left the village in flames burning so bright creating that illusion that night was day, the heat from these flames so intense that it could be felt all throughout the village.
The fox had appeared 15 weeks ago for some unknown reason, it had been roaming the country side, apparently in search of something, then one fell night it started on a rampage, killing all who stood in its way.
The ninja of Konoha were not simply going to let this demon destroy their home, everything that they had worked so hard to rebuild after the war with Iwagakure would be for nought if the Fox penetrated their line of defence. They fought with all the power they could muster, trying everything they knew to subdue the beast, but it was not enough. The monster was powerful, outrageously so, nothing seemed to work, they soon realised that if anyone could bring the monster down it would be the strongest in their village, the Fourth Hokage. The Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze, even had his own doubts about whether he could defeat the Fox, he had discussed with his wife Kushina about his plan of attack when intelligence reports came through that the Fox was on a rampaging path towards Konoha.
'Minato-kun, what will you do?" A worried Kushina asked her beloved
There was no immediate reply, a long silence followed as he thought his answer through carefully, Kushina waited patiently, a trait most uncharacteristic of her
"I'm thinking that I may have to seal it. There doesn't seem to be any other way," the response while definite was not without pain, the sealing process was such that it required his life.
"Seal?" she inquired through narrowed eyes "Into what? This is the Kyuubi no Youko that we are talking about here, not the Nibi which is sealed into an iron ball or the Ichibi; sealed into a kettle. It will simply break free if the prison does not have a will of its own to hold it at bay. The Fox is simply to powerful."
While mostly curious, she was slightly suspicious, what did her husband know of sealing methods that would allow him to be able to seal the most powerful of Bijuu?
Minato drew a long breath before answering,
"Kushina-chan, I must seal it into a new born baby 3 days old at the most. It is the only way."
Kushina looked at the man she loved, though this look held no love, it was the one that she reserved for her most hated enemies. It was one that spoke of knowing unforgivable atrocities were committed by the soon to be dead.
"You cannot be serious you would be damning that child to a life of misery." She asked with a rather sharp edge to her voice, currently thinking about her unborn baby and what would happen if that fate was thrust upon it.
"I have no choice, one sacrifice his or her life to save the rest." There was no anger in his voice, only regret and disappointment for the current course of action.
She softened her gaze and then asked quietly "What if you and I…"
Minato interrupted "No, we are only mortal, there is nothing we can do, the sealing is the only method."
"Very well, what if aren't any babies born in the 3 day prior to the attack, then what?" seeing the apologetic look on Minato's face a sudden wave of realisation swept over her.
"No, you will not use our child. I will not subject our own flesh and blood to that. I'm nowhere near giving birth yet any way." Kushina stood firm
"We can induce the pregnancy, as it stands, we will be leaving behind an orphan, and I would trust no one else with such a burden."
She was in shock "Orphan? What do you mean orphan?"
"The sealing…" he hesitated lightly "The sealing will require my life. I must summon the Shinigami to consummate the sealing."
She realised what he was saying, the bond that they shared was beyond the legal status of husband and wife, it was such that when one pair of the couple died, the other would die as well so they would be united in the afterlife and the remaining person would not be left lonely.
It took many days of arguing between Kushina and Minato before her resolve was finally broken and she agreed to have the sealing performed on their unborn baby.
That brings us back to the present; the Konoha ninja were no longer trying to kill the beast, merely slow it down waiting for the Fourth Hokage to arrive.
Minato was in the hospital, holding his unconscious wife's hand as their child, a healthy young boy was removed though caesarean section. After the procedure, the genjutsu used to place her in an unconscious state was removed, allowing her to hold her child for the first and only time. She was enthralled by his little hand grasping around her finger as she nursed him. She was brought out of her reverie by a deep voice
"Kushina-hime, its time, I must go and perform the sealing before any more lives are lost." came Minato's voice, breaking into her thoughts
Then he leant over and said in a voice so low that only she could hear,
"I'll see you on the other side, Minato-koi." was Kushina's simple reply.
In a streak yellow that had earned him the title of 'Konoha's Yellow Flash' the Yondaime Hokage had disappeared to the battle field, knowing that his death would be the price for the victory he was about to achieve.
When he got to the battle grounds then was a unanimous cry from the ninja that their leader had arrived, that their shining hope had come to save the day, cheering him to victory.
Minato heard none of this, when he arrived he was in shock, never had he imagined the scale of destruction he was viewing. He was a man that had killed an enemy army on his own and yet to him this was even worse. Every sense was informing him of the tragedy that had occurred. The feeling of a blood soaked ground squelching as he walked, the sound of dying comrades that were not granted the mercy of a swift and painless death, the smell of burning flesh, the taste of the smoke thick in the air from all of the fires, and the sight, the sight of hundreds upon hundreds of lifeless bodies, ripped in to shreds, burnt, flattened by the Foxes great paws all dyed red with blood.
A man that appeared much too old to be on the battlefield approached him,
"Minato-kun, are you sure that this is for the best? You could teach me the hand signs for the justu and allow me to take your place." Sarutobi, the previous Hokage had asked.
"No old man, this is my responsibility, I will not shirk from my duties as Hokage." the tone of his voice indicated a will of steel that would likely never be changed.
"Jiraiya-sensei, Kakashi-kun please watch over him and if possible teach him a trick or two" he said as he addressed two men that appeared with the previous Hokage, Jiraiya a man in his mid 40's with a flowing mane of white hair and Kakashi, a boy in his mid-late teens with a cloth mask over the bottom half of his face and a mop of silver hair.
After they both gave their solemn promise to do all that they could for the boy Minato summoned Gambunta, the Toad boss.
"Minato, if I'm not much mistaken that's the Kyuubi. Don't tell me you seriously intend on taking on the most powerful of the Bijuu?" Gambunta's deep rumbling voice was heard all throughout the battle field.
"Afraid so Boss. I need you to keep him busy and me out of his reach while I make the final preparations for the sealing." was the reply and request by Minato.
"I will do what I can." was the only reply that Minato received for Gambunta had already jumped into the fray to occupy the Fox, ninjato drawn. The fox turned to be more than a tough adversary for the Toad boss. Every time the fox was open and Gambunta had a clear shot at it, it would simply swing its tails in defence, tails said to be able to cause tsunami's and crush mountains. While there was no large body of water to test this out on and the nearest mountain was Hokage monument – miles away in Konoha, the wide spread destruction seen in the forest trees was more than enough reason to make Gambunta try to dodge the blows instead of block.
Then Minato's voice rang through the sound of battle,
"It's ready! Kyuubi no Youko, I can't kill you but I can still seal you soul! Good bye you pitiful creature! Shiki Fuin!" he screamed.
Visible to only Minato and the Kyuubi a spectral entity appeared behind Minato, the Shinigami; it plunged its hand into the Kyuubi and tore out its soul placing it into the stomach of the newly born Naruto, where an intricate pattern appeared on his stomach.
As his last words, he spoke to Naruto,
"Naruto, please forgive your father for the burden I have place on you. I'm sorry for preventing you from meeting either of your parents, but this had to be done. Goodbye, my son."
The surrounding ninja couldn't see what was happening; all they knew was that the Kyuubi had disappeared. They started to rejoice, the crisis finally over. The rejoicing was brought to an abrupt end when their Hokage voice screamed out in pain. Sarutobi, Jiraiya and Kakashi all knew what was happening and tried as best they could to hold back their tears, but it was in vain, they could not and they finally allowed their tears to freely fall down their face. Just as suddenly as the screaming had started the screaming ended, Minato falling off of Gambunta's head was caught in Jiraiya's arms as the little bundle of cloth that was Naruto was caught in Kakashi's arms. Sarutobi had the responsibility of holding the crowd at bay telling them that this was neither the time nor the place to answer all of their questions. Gambunta was able to shed a single tear before he dispelled to the summoning realm as there was no human to anchor him to this realm.
It had already been decided that Sarutobi would once again take up the reins and become the Hokage after Minato had died from the sealing. He had clearly stated that questions could be asked later and any that were not of a classified nature would be answered, he was glad he had made that decision as he realised that over come with grief he could hardly answer the questions that would have been asked even if he wanted to.
In the hospital the nurse that had been assigned to look after Kushina was suddenly alerted as the hospital machines alerted her to the fact that there were no signs of life from the one they were attached to. Slightly panicked, she rushed to the room to find Kushina lying in bed deathly still. She hit the emergency button calling for other nurses. Other nurses and 2 doctors rushed into the room, intent on doing all they could to revive the Hokage's wife. After 20 mins of failed attempts, she was declared dead by one of the doctors at 12:14 am on October the 11, just hours after giving birth to Naruto. With the death following the caesarean section so closely it was assumed that she died giving birth to Naruto as the strain of the operation was too much, resulting in her death.
Sarutobi had arrived at his office in the Hokage tower and found on his desk 2 envelopes. One addressed to him and another addressed to Naruto. Curious, he opened the one to him, and almost dropped it when he realised from whom it came. It was a letter from Minato it read
Or perhaps Hokage-sama is a more appropriate title now. In any case, there are some issues that I need to inform you of after my death.
The first concerns the letter that is addressed to Naruto. It contains an explanation to Naruto as to why I did this to him; this includes explanation of his heritage. It also contains my last words to him and some advice on how to live his life.
It also contains a letter from Kushina, his mother, as by the time you read this she will also be dead, I will explain this in greater detail later. It has some information about the both of us so that he may have some understanding about who his parents were.
Also, sealed within the letter are scrolls from both my clan and Kushina's clan. Both of being the last of our kind. This is protected by a blood seal so that only Naruto's blood can open it; I can only pray that more devious minds will not cut Naruto in order to see the information contained within those scrolls.
Naruto's letter MUST be given to him when he becomes a genin. He has trials to prepare for that only he can face. How do I know that he even wants to be one? It's not a choice really, if he wants to be considered clan head in either my clan or Kushina's clan he needs to be able to fight and fight very well.
Finally, I said that I would explain why Kushina is dead. Here goes: Kushina and I were bound by more than the simple laws of Konoha when we married. The laws of both our clan were invoked and created a bond between us. Simply put when one feels pain, so does the other and when one feels joy the same occurs. This holds true in death as well and when one half dies so does the other, so that they may be united where ever they go and that they will not feel loneliness in the other's absence after death.
My last words to you are first of all a request; please try to have Naruto seen as a hero by the village, I have every confidence that this can happen, though Kushina does not share my sentiment.
Look after my village Old Man and good luck with all the paper work.
Sarutobi was floored by then information shocked that Naruto was now an orphan.
Sarutobi let out a long sigh, it was only his first hour back and already he had to deal with crap that he really would have rather not have to. It was necessary to tell the council that the Hokage was dead and that the Kyuubi had been sealed and not killed. He thought sadly
'This is going to cause uproar amongst the villagers; I just know it. Sadly I think that I have to agree with Kushina, they are not going to be as generous as he thinks they will be.'
In the council chambers, all of the Clan heads were present as well as the Council elders Danzo, Homura and Koharu. There was unrest amongst the ranks, all owing to the simple rumour that the 4th Hokage was dead.
Koharu was first to call Sarutobi on this "Sarutobi, what's this nonsense that everyone is spouting? The 4th Hokage being dead?"
The aged Hokage had to compose himself before answering "First of all, you must address me as Sarutobi-sama or Hokage-sama now, because it is not nonsense, the fourth Hokage is dead."
Koharu gaped like a stunned mullet before finally getting her voice back and softly asking "How?"
"He was fighting the Kyuubi no Youko, and immortal being of immense power. Surely you didn't expect a mere mortal, no matter how strong to prevail with his life intact no less?"
She was summarily silenced, only for another voice to join the conversation
"Hokage-sama," it was Shibi Aburame, ever careful to be respectful of one above his post, "You said that it was not possible for him to defeat an immortal being regardless of whether he lived or died, yet he achieved the feat, would you mind divulging how?"
It was time to bite the bullet and Sarutobi knew it.
"He didn't defeat it, not in the true sense of the word anyway. The beast was sealed into a new born baby."
There was an upsurge of outrage from many of the present council members asking for the name and whereabouts of this child, many calling for its execution. This was all silenced by the Hokage
"QUIET! THERE WILL BE NO SUCH TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE WHILE I AM HOKAGE." He roared above the racket.
"The demon is simply a wolf in lambs clothing, it could break out and destroy us, or even use that body of the child as a conduit for its actions," the voice belonged to Fugaku Uchiha, there was also a murmur of a agreement from the rest of the crowd. There was a was a sudden outburst from one of the other clan heads,
"That is a very flawed line of thinking Uchiha-san," it was Shikaku Nara, with the most uncharacteristic outburst.
"Explain," was the very sharp retort from Fugaku
"Better yet, I'll demonstrate," and proceeded to seal a kunai into a scroll. He gave the seal kunai to Fugaku and then stated
"Now kill me using that sealed, kunai." There was a gasp from the audience as Fugaku was had unsealed the kunai and was charging towards the Nara clan head, only for him to stop in his tracks a few meters from Shikaku due to being caught by his kagemane jutsu.
"What's the matter, had second thought about dying here?" Fugaku taunted
"I said 'kill me with the sealed kunai' not 'unseal the kunai and kill me'" he replied evenly, sounding almost bored
"There is no difference," Fugaku snarled
"Of course there is, if we liken the situation to Naruto, he is the scroll and the Kyuubi is the kunai. The container cannot kill me but the imprisoned certainly could." explained Shikaku
"Ha, you have just proven my point, the sealed can kill us and just as this kunai was unsealed so to can the Kyuubi be unsealed," Fugaku shouted in triumph
"Think about what you just said, who unsealed the kunai? You did." Shikaku's voice cut through Fugaku's apparently premature celebration.
"Get to your point," Fugaku stated icily, levelling a glare at the Nara clan head
"Quite simply, the only reason the sealed became a threat was because someone with knowledge unsealed it. Meaning that if no one tampers with the seal containing the Kyuubi then we are safe. All we have to do is ensure that no one tries to do anything so foolish."
Fugaku fumed, he knew he was beaten, but more importantly the Nara head had just made him lose face in front of the council, more importantly the Hyuuga, the Uchiha's only rival clan within the village.
The Hokage on the other hand, well he was elated. Simply overjoyed that other people could see past the demon sealed into the boy and realised that he was only a human, perhaps there was hope after all.
Danzo had observed the conversation for long enough, now it was time for him to put forth his own ideas and potentially further his own agenda.
"Hokage-sama, if the boy has such a powerful resource at his disposal, then would it not be wise to train him to make the most of it?" he inquired
"Before you even try to recruit Naruto to that ROOT program of yours, there will be no such thing happening today. As it stands, I have half a mind to disband the group now; however, we were called here for different purpose, so we will stick to the task at hand." Sarutobi stated; destroying any hopes Danzo may have had of acquiring a new and powerful weapon to brainwash into being a loyal servant.
"If I may be so bold, Hokage-sama, can I inquire who the parents of the boy are?" the question was voiced by Hiashi Hyuuga, head of the Hyuuga clan.
"The boy is an orphan, both parents killed through the course of the Kyuubi's attack." Sarutobi answered; while it wasn't what the council wanted to hear, it was not a lie, he could only hope that they assumed that it was a civilian child are at best the child of 2 jounin, not the son of the most powerful ninja to have lived and his wife, a former Whirlpool legend.
Finally it was Homura's turn to speak up,
"Hokage-sama, we must still alert the village as to what is living amongst them,"
"And what is living amongst them Homura-san?" asked Sarutobi rather testily
"A demon," was the shout from one of the council members
Sarutobi levelled a glare that promised death, the council member audibly gulped and returned to his station.
"We have already determined that he is a no more a demon than that scroll is the a sealed kunai." His words were icy as his stare still seemed to linger on the council member.
"None the less, Hokage-sama, you have called us here to inform us that the Kyuubi was sealed and not killed, if you weren't here to tell us who it was sealed into, then why even bother to convene us?" Homura replied
The Hokage could not deny the truth in his words, he had essentially told the council nothing and realised that he'd indeed have to proffer the name,
"Naruto…" he hesitated slightly, not wanting to open another can of worms that could occur if he used the name 'Namikaze' "Naruto Uzumaki" he said, opting to give Naruto his mother's maiden name.
"Not that it should matter, it was the Yondaime's dying wish that he be view as a hero. However, Seeing the reaction that Fugaku just had is more than to give me grounds to believe that this won't happen." Sarutobi continued, while still silently hoping that more people would share Shikaku's point of view.
"Now that everything is out in the open and that you have all been made aware of the situation with the Kyuubi, the death of the Yondaime and my reinstatement as the Hokage there is nothing further that needs to be said at this meeting, let us all go back to what is left of our families and try to get a night of rest before we mourn for our lost ones." It was at times like this that Sarutobi truly felt his age and he gave his advice to the members of the council in a solemn and somewhat subdued tone.
Sarutobi was in the middle of going home when a sudden thought had occurred to him. Minato and Kushina had gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal her pregnancy, yet they had to let some one in on the secret, namely the people who tended to them through their stay in the hospital. He quickly changed route ad arrived at Konoha General Hospital a short while later. He went to the head of the hospital and requested and all staff that we involved in the care of Kushina and her unborn baby, from the doctor and surgeon that preformed the operation to the cleaners responsible for cleaning the private room.
A short while later everyone who was originally grumbling about being called in at the current hour quickly silenced themselves as they realised that they were in the presence of a previous Hokage. When everyone was settled Sarutobi began talking.
"Thank you all for gathering here at this ungodly hour, the effort is appreciated. It has come to my attention that all of you have in some way had contact with Kushina and Minato, through the period of Kushina's pregnancy. I must ask you to never, ever reveal this information to anyone. Minato is viewed as a hero in our village for his efforts through the Iwa-Konoha war. As a result he is also regarded as a demon and a dealer of death to Iwa and their allies Kumo. If either of these two countries were to discover Minato's heir, they would send a squad to perform an assassination immediately," many were sobered by this information.
"It is for this reason that I must classify this information as an S rank secret of our village. The penalty for divulging such information is death not only to the party responsible for telling the secret, but also to the recipient of the information, so think very carefully before betraying my trust."
There was a nod of assent from the group of people he was addressing and he took it that everyone understood the gravity of the situation. With nothing left to say he dismissed them and warily he thought that he would also have to speak to Kakashi and Jiraiya about this as well.
He was sorely tempted to leave the task till morning, though he knew that his laziness would come back to bite him so he grudgingly made the trip to Kakashi's house first, he knew where Jiraiya could be found.
When he got to Kakashi's front door and it was answered by the youth all he said was
"Come with me, I have something to discuss with you and Jiraiya,"
Well who was Kakashi to refuse such an 'invitation', when the Kage spoke you damn well listened. A short while later found them outside the Namikaze clan grounds, while not quite as big as either the Hyuuga or Uchiha clan compounds it was still quite a large area. Jiraiya was found inside the main house, looking weary after a long night and now tending to Naruto. Once he had the attention of both men he began.
"I know you two know that this is Minato's son. In fact, it's for that very reason that I have called you here. I want you to keep this a secret, you can easily understand the trouble it would cause if either Kumo or Iwa found out he is Minato's heir. The hospital staff are already aware of this and I have classed it as an S rank secret. I'm sure I don't have to explain the implications," both men shook their heads affirming that they knew that if they told the secret they would pay with their lives.
Now that he had taken care of all business that needed immediate attention, he was left to simply shunshin to his clan home and sleep, preparing for tomorrow.
Three days later saw a service held for those who have bravely fought and lost their lives in the battle against the Kyuubi. It was also was the place that Sarutobi announced his reinstatement as the Hokage. He gave a speech, trying to lift them morale of the people he was to lead once more,
"People of Konoha, three days ago we were dealt a very severe blow. We lost friends, comrades and family members. We also lost a great leader; the Yondaime was a great man and will be forever missed. Giving his life for the prospect of saving this village and defeating the Kyuubi is a feat that only Minato Namikaze would be capable of. Through his sacrifice, we realise just how strong the Will of Fire was within him. We must look to his sacrifice and display of his will as inspiration to rebuild and create a better tomorrow."
The people clapped politely in appreciation for Sarutobi's effort is raising their morale. Sarutobi noticed the tension amongst the members of the crowd and wondered what had them so tense, until one of them spoke up and asked,
"Hokage-sama, are the rumours true? Are the rumours that the Kyuubi was seal and not killed true?" one person asked amongst the thousand or so that were gathered.
Sarutobi cursed under his breath. What idiotic council member had decided to let that information leak out?
"Hokage-sama, people are saying that the Kyuubi was sealed into a boy, what if it breaks free, what if it uses Naruto to kill all of us."
Now the Hokage was livid, who the hell had the foresight of telling a group of distraught villagers that the one for their pain was sealed inside something as fragile as a human baby? He had decided that they had better hear the truth straight from the source, rather than getting some garbled version that was most likely tailored to suit the purposes of the one spreading the rumour,
"Yes, it's true; the Demon is sealed within baby. The Kyuubi was too powerful, even for Minato. So he did the only thing he knew that had the best possibility of working, he sealed it."
"And what has been done about it?" asked another face in the crowd.
Slightly confused, but hoping that this wasn't leading where he thought it was he asked "And what should be done?"
"It needs to be killed," was the swift reply from yet another crowd member, almost instantly followed by further shouts demanding similar actions or nods of approval.
"The Kyuubi is seal in the child, not reincarnated as it," The Hokage shouted out above the noise, frustrated by the close-mindedness of the people he had chosen to lead once again.
"The thing could escape, or use him directly to hurt us," we the counter-argument
"Do you have such little faith in the Yondaime as to suggest that his method would fail us when he gave his very life to ensure our safety? Not to mention that he called upon the power of the Shinigami in order to seal the Kyuubi away?"
It's not that we have a lack of faith in either the Shinigami or the Yondaime or that we underestimate them, it's just that this is the Kyuubi no Youko. The Yondaime was only human, subject to mistakes and we don't know which is stronger and seal bound by the Shinigami, or a demon's will to live and escape, so to prevent any harm, he should be killed."
Sarutobi looked into the crowd and saw many faces reflecting support for the words spoken before he laid down the law, quite literally.
"I can this child will not get a chance with the lot of you and I cannot simply make a law stating that you must like him. So this is a new law that I am laying down now and putting into effect immediately in order to give Naruto some chance of a normal life in his later years. no person is to mention the fact that Naruto has the Kyuubi to anyone. This means that it cannot be mentioned in public, nor can it be discussed in the privacy of one's own home. Yes that includes warning your children of it as they need not know. This I to be considered an S rank secret. For the civilians in the gathering, this means that any utterance of this issue in any fashion will result in you execution, there were gasps of shock from the crowd at how harsh the penalty was
"Secondly, any attempts to take justice into your own hands and kill Naruto, will be met with the same punishment; death. This is final."
Realising that there was nothing further to be said and that Sarutobi's mind could not be swayed on the matter, the congregation broke up, returning to trying to rebuild their lives.
As they left to go about their business Sarutobi looked to the back of the gathering seeing Naruto in the arms of Jiraiya thinking
'The next few years are gonna be long as hell. Minato-kun I'm sorry they disregarded your last wish.'
Remember, don't feel compelled to do review, I'm not really doing this for that reason. If you do, and you feel the need to criticise, tell me on what areas to improve on.