The sound of a window opening gave the indication that he was here.

He was a tall fellow, but that was you could determine, as his features were hidden in a dark robe.

Surprisingly, the kage rose from her chair, and clasped him on the back.

"How'd it go?"

The hooded individual handed hwe a scroll, and she poured over it, then closed it, stowing it in a drawer.

"I retrieved the scroll, just as you requested."

"Good work as always. I owe you-

The individual swatted it away, his voice distorted as he spoke.

"You owe me nothing. I will not accept your debt."

The kage chortled softly, patting him once more on the shoulder.

"Always the serious type, huh?"

A deadpanned look could be seen behind those robes.

"I was told you have another mission for me."

She sighed, shoulders slumping slightly.

This brat was gonna be the reason she had grey hair.

Nonetheless...

Tsunade was worried.

There had been five assassination attempts already.

That was the reason for this mission, to get the kid out of public eye for awhile

"Yeah...About that...

"I have no allegiance to my former home." Stated the robed nin stiffly.

Zabuza shook his head.

"No, its the fact that this mission...

He rolled his shoulders.

"This mission will be extensive."

She handed the shadowy figure a file.

"There have been some strange things happening lately in a border town called Inaba. People winding up dead on telephone poles, people talking about the end of the world...

"What has this to do with the Otou, or me for that matter?"

She poked the cowled figure with one finger, an indication to let her finish.

"They've asked for assistance from all the other nations, but their own teams have...

She took on a more serious one now.

"Disappeared, and now we have two dead civilians. I know this thing isn't exactly your forte, but if there's some whack job that's knocking off people like this...

"..."

No answer.

"Which is why they've asked Konoha to send their very best investigator. You."

"What do I have to do?"

"Your mission entails spending a years worth of time there, finding the culprit. It is vital that you keep your identity a secret. Also, you'll be enrolled at Yasogami high school as a student, so try to get as much info as you can...

She now casts him a glare. "Without breaking anybody's arm or showing off."

The shadowy figure gave a low bow, but now his tone was deadly.

Clearly he was displeased with this assignment.

And he was.

"And when I find the killer?"

"Bring him back if you can, but if not, then you have permission to kill him."

"I will accept it. But upon my return, I expect a better mission."

"You'll get it, trust me."

(A week later)

A whispery breeze blew through the night, the light of the full moon shining down upon one solitary figure.

He stood on a hill overlooking the sleepy town.

"So, this is Inaba...

The dark sky was clear, but the light was oddly pale, as if in mourning...

He stood atop a hilltop, his cerulean blue eyes, and blond hair, the only visible features, whilst his eyes focused upon sleepy town before him.

His blond hair ruffled in the wind, and ever so briefly, he closed his eyes, reveling in the brief solitary moment, yet shirking from the grief and loneliness that did come with it.

Almost as an afterthought, he reached up to his head, as if to find something, but there is nothing there, just his forehead.

A bitter chuckle escaped his lips, along with some profane words, before our silent figure calmed himself.

He raises his head, exposing the whisker marks there, as his deep blue eyes stared straight into the light of the moon. "Old habits die hard I guess."

Without the headband, he feels naked.

Even from this height, he can see the lights, hear the sounds of everyday people going about their lives.

But there is an air of tension overhanging this place, so thick that one could cut it with a knife.

A sad sigh doth escape him, as he shakes his head, tone ripe with sarcasm.

"Well, at least this place seems friendly."

Perhaps a description is in order:

Our mystery man stands around the six foot mark. Slung across his back, is a black leather jacket. Over his ears, blasting rock music at full volume, are a pair of headphones, the Mp3 for which they are attached, stuffed securely in the pockets of his dark blue jeans, the wire of the cord traveling up the blue shirt he wore, embroidered with orange flames, running all over the fabric.

He wears dark steel toed boots, and the look upon his face, is one of pure misery, and anguish, whilst in his right hand he holds a letter, which upon closer inspection, is revealed to in actuality, be a set of directions, which were scrawled rather hastily.

'Dojima's....

This is all that can be made out in the dark.

He sighs again, as he sets off down the hill.

He begins setting out once more, as the smell of city, cigars, cars, and other scents, assault his senses, as he heads towards what people call a 'bus'.

When it starts, he nearly jumps out of his skin. This earns him several odd looks.

In response, he growls.

"What're you dipshits lookin' at?!"

Everyone immediately looks away from the newcomer, and he smirks to himself.

Apparently courage is something these people fear.

Regardless, everyone now seems to be afraid of him, something he did not intend.

Annoyed eyes roll back in his head, and he clutches the pole for balance, as the vehicle hits a bump.

"This is gonna be a LONG year...

His name you ask?

Uzumaki Naruto, investigator extraordinaire!