I don't own Naruto. Pity.
The memories of the past churned inside the young man's head. The blonde looked at his katana with deep, sad eyes, remembering those who he killed in service to the Hokage. The scabbard of the katana lay next to him on his right. Into those thoughts, images of his past also came.
One particular memory came to the forefront of his mind:
A man with silver hair, a mask and his forehead protector covering his left eye sat on the railing. His eyes examined the three potential genin with a lazy expression. The blonde kid, Naruto Uzumaki, fidgeted in his seat. To his right, Sakura, the beautiful cherry blossom of the Hidden Leaf, looked nervously at the darker haired Uchiha. Her eyes drifted from Sasuke to her Sensei. Furthest from Naruto, Sasuke Uchiha rested his elbows on his knees. His mind filled with dark thoughts.
Kakashi spoke up, trying to break the ice, "Alright everyone, why don't you introduce yourselves?"
Sakura spoke up next, "Introduce ourselves? What should we say?"
"What you like, hate, your dreams, hobbies?"
Sakura was the first to speak up, "Alright. Um, why don't you introduce yourself to us first?"
"Hm…I'm Kakashi Hatake. I have no intention of telling you my likes or dislikes."
Everyone perked up in surprise.
"As for my dream…hmmm…I have few hobbies."
Sakura turned to Naruto and said, "So all we found out was his name."
"Alright, now it's your turn. Let's start with you."
Sakura turned back and said, "I'm Sakura Haruno. I like…well, the person I like is…" Her head constantly turned to Sasuke. She then continued, "And my hobbie is…Well my dream is…"
"And? What do you hate?"
Naruto felt like a million pound weight had crushed him. Kakashi sighed and said, "Alright. Next, Mr. Silent."
Sasuke's eyes narrowed at the reference, "My name…Sasuke Uchiha. I hate a lot of things and I don't particularly like anything. Using the word dream for what I desire is too weak a word. I have an ambition, and that is to find and kill the one who murdered my clan."
Naruto looked nervously at Sasuke. Kakashi looked sadly at Sasuke, then looked at Naruto, "Alright. Lastly, the one in orange."
"Alright. My name is Naruto Uzumaki. I like cup Ramen. But I really like the Ramen served at Ichiraku's that Iruka Sensei treats me to from time to time. The thing I don't like is…hmmm…ah, the three minutes it takes to cook the cup Ramen. My hobby is to eat and compare different cups of Ramen! My dream…" Naruto thought for a second. His usual happy-go-lucky smile drooped into a frown, "My dream is to become a Hokage people can respect. Unlike a certain white-skinned teme we have now."
For many years, he craved the position of Hokage and fought endlessly to secure the position through valor and honor. However, the Hokage was an undying creature, formed from countless sacrifices. Already, two had suffered fates worse than death to suite the madman's whims. But to understand, one must examine the history of Konohagakure.
To start out with, it was time for Sarutobi, the third Hokage to choose a successor. There were two choices, Minato Namikaze and Orochimaru. Both were fantastic choices for the position of Hokage. Minato was fantastic leader and was undoubtedly the best person for the position of Hokage. However, Orochimaru was also an admirable choice for the position. He was one of the three Sannin, and a genius of the highest caliber. The Hokage had made his decision for the position of successor and would announce it shortly. However, a mission turned up at the last moment.
Kusahina, Minato's wife, urged Minato to reject the mission, but he couldn't. She was already 5 months pregnant with Naruto at this time.
Both Orochimaru and Minato were sent on the mission. However, only Orochimaru returned alive. Minato was slain in battle by an unknown ninja. So, Orochimaru became Hokage. Four months later, the Sandaime died sealing the Kyuubi no Kitsune into Naruto. Kusahina died in the Kyuubi's rampage. Thus, dark times settled over Konoha. Naruto suffered terribly at the hands of the villagers, but found comfort in his few friends he made, namely Iruka and his Anbu protectors.
Naruto watched as the villagers were suffering under the leadership of Orochimaru. So, he decided to gain the position of Hokage. He would change things, make things better for them. His mind was so simple at the time. He would become a ninja to be proud of and become Orochimaru's successor.
This was not meant to be, as Orochimaru was immortal. Naruto didn't know it. No one knew it. Citizens disappeared throughout the years. People suspected, but no proof could be brought against Orochimaru. Others started turning up dead. Naruto advanced through the ranks until he became an ANBU Captain. Sasuke never did catch the one who killed his clan. Sakura died on a mission with Kakashi about one year ago when the two of them were ambushed by Suna Ninja, specifically the Kazikage's children: Gaara, Temari and Kankuro. Kakashi didn't recover completely since then. However, the thing that sent Naruto over the edge was the fact that Sasuke disappeared, like so many of the other citizens. Naruto nearly tore Konoha apart trying to figure out where Sasuke went.
A warrant was put out for Naruto's arrest, because in the process he had assaulted several Ninja trying to get the information.
Naruto was located just outside Konoha in the Toad Mountain Inn. Kakashi Hatake had brought him there for some training as a genin.
Thus, we come to the present. Inside the cabin, his ANBU equipment was scattered all over the place. Before him, there were several written reports in Orochimaru's handwriting, describing the immortality ritual. Orochimaru was the one who killed the Uchiha clan…other documents that he had read but not taken with him from the lab was checking up on the status of Itachi's body after Orochimaru had taken it over. Orochimaru had killed Shisui to keep his cover when he was Itachi, because he had come too close to the truth. The rest of the clan was planning a coup to overthrow the snake, but "Itachi" killed the clan and took the fall for it.
Naruto kicked the pile of papers over, causing them to scatter. He picked up the various parts of his body armor and began preparing for his final mission. No doubt Orochimaru would find and kill Naruto when he discovered the files he had were missing. Besides, Naruto no longer cared. He would try to kill Orochimaru for the crimes he committed against the Leaf Village first. As he strapped his right gauntlet on, he considered Kakashi's words, "Those who break the rules are called scum. But, those who don't take care of their friends are worse than scum."
Naruto tightened his left gauntlet and began thinking of Haku, the boy who fought against him in wave. He thought on his words, "A person is able to become strong when they wish to protect someone they cherish. You will become strong." Naruto thought, It's my turn to protect something I love, my village. This village has seen its last day under Orochimaru's tyranny.
Lastly, he strapped on his grey body armor and mask. He pulled over an orange trench coat and pulled on the hood. The orange clad ninja walked through the door and turned to face the direction of the leaf village. Then, Naruto was gone.
Kakashi looked at the monument and sighed. The black monument was there for those ninja who were killed in action. Quite a few names stood out on that monument: Sakura Haruno, Obito Uchiha, Minato Namikaze, Rin and Sarutobi.
He sighed and said, "Geez, Sakura, I return from my courier mission to Kumo, and Naruto has gone missing Nin. After you left, Naruto and Sasuke just weren't the same. Sasuke closed up completely. Naruto's eyes became haunted and sorrowful. I kept telling him it wasn't their fault…No, it was mine. Had I been one second faster, I could have stopped that ninja from piercing your heart with his Katana. I was always late."
Gai and Rock Lee appeared behind Kakashi. It was the anniversary of Sakura's death. In a cosmic irony, Sakura ended up married to Lee after he changed some of his habits, namely his hair and habit of wearing the green latex workout suit.
Gai put his hand on the silver haired ninja and said, "Kakashi. It has been a year since Sakura died. You need to come out of it. It is unyouthful…but I imagine you don't really want to hear that. Then come back because Sakura wouldn't want you to beat yourself up over this. Please, come out of retirement."
Kakashi said disheartedly, "No Gai. It is my fault. I could have done more, but I didn't. I should have sensed a trap…I should have, but…I didn't…I have no business leading other ninja into battle. It's about time for my retirement." Kakashi sighed.
Suddenly, two ANBU appeared in front of the three Jounin. The apparent leader said, "Sirs, I have orders from the Hokage. Uzumaki Taichou has been detected on the northern wall. Several ninja are already moving to intercept him. We suspect he's aiming for the Hokage."
Kakashi's eyes widened, then narrowed. Gai nodded and they all moved from the spot, except Kakashi. He looked over his shoulder at the monument and said, "Sakura, please forgive me for what I may have to do." He disappeared after that short statement. Whatever his errant student did, he would probably have to stop it.
An Orange blur shot through the forest areas. Naruto was on the move and heading in the direction of the Hokage's tower at breakneck speed. He felt his sword to make sure it was in position, because he would probably need it any second.
Sure enough, two fellow ANBU and a chuunin landed in his path. Naruto sped by them as if they were nothing. All three fell to the ground, victim to a blunt sword impact. He formed the familiar cross fingered handsign and whispered, "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu." Four Narutos separated from the original and moved in various directions. The clones were there as distraction for any jounin who happened in his path. They would come to lead various portions of Konoha's ninja force on wild goose chases.
One, however, was there for a special mission, to erase Orochimaru's face from the Hokage mountain. That one in particular would whip up the population into frenzy, especially those who remembered his pranking days. The real Naruto moved quietly, slowly and surely towards the Hokage's tower. His mission would be the most important of all.
It took about two hours to make his way through the city and avoid the Hyuugas' dangerous Byakugan. He somehow succeeded. Most of his clones were still leading the ninjas through the entire city. A couple were engaging in some serious combat with a few special jounin, namely Genma Shiranui, Aoba Yamashiro and Raido Namiashi. The real Naruto, however, was unlucky to run into the Taijutsu masters Rock Lee and Might Guy.
Lee spoke up first, saying, "Naruto-Kun, please turn yourself in. I'd rather not have to kill you my friend. You're fires of youth burned so brightly at one time."
Naruto cocked his head behind his fox mask. "Lee, you were…and still are one of my best friends. Please, step aside. I must kill that damn snake who resides in the Hokage's tower."
"What has happened to you my once youthful friend?" Lee looked downtrodden as he said this, almost wishing that things had stayed the way they used to be.
"What if I told you that the 'Hokage' had been lying to you? What if he was the one behind all the disappearances that have been plaguing the village for so many years?"
Lee looked confused and looked to Gai. Naruto took that moment to act, trying to take Lee out of the fight before Naruto had to remove Lee by force. In the flash of a moment, however, Gai blocked Naruto's blunted edge attack.
"Lee, don't let down your guard. He was a friend once, a youthful student of Kakashi's…but now he's turned rogue, and we must bring him down."
Lee, surprised from the attack, jumped backwards. He looked to the ground and said, "I understand, Gai-Sensei." His face came up with a determined look on his face, "Naruto-kun, I hope you can forgive me one day. Come!" Lee's explosive speed made it appear that he teleported behind Naruto in the blink of an eye. Naruto brought his sword around, deflecting a double kick aimed at the upper part of his body.
Gai joined in the onslaught. Naruto parried back and forth, deflecting blow after blow. Suddenly, Naruto felt a strong impact to his hip. He exploded into smoke, revealing a Kawarimi. In his mind, he realized, These two…if I keep fighting this way, they will overwhelm me in about five minutes. I have to stop this combined attack fast. The barrage became more dangerous, as Gai began opening gates. The intense chakra pressure built up fast. However, Lee paused for a fraction of a second to watch Gai. Naruto took the chance, and slammed the blunt side of the blade into Lee's neck, striking the pressure point perfectly. Lee dropped like a sack of potatoes.
Gai redoubled the attack, using the incredible speed afforded by activating six celestial gates to batter Naruto into a corner. The attacks were missing, somehow, but Naruto couldn't handle the onslaught, not without hurting Gai at least. It was about the moment that Gai moved to perform the Morning Peacock special attack that Naruto thought, Enough of this! Forgive me, Gai-Sempai.
Naruto drew on his massive chakra well. He channeled his wind chakra into his newest attack. Naruto used a quick instant movement technique he developed after watching Gai's training session. He turned after landing right behind Gai, slashing the tendons in the older ninja's arms and legs. Gai yelled in pain and fell to the ground.
Gai said, "That move…what…what was it?"
Naruto put his blade on his shoulder and said, "Fuuton, Kaze Shunpo. Gai-Sempai, I was honored to be tutored by you for as short a time as I was. I developed that move in honor of your amazing speed. However, it does tend to wear on my muscles a bit, as I don't have the muscle strength both you and your student have there. Orochimaru may end up killing me in the end, but…I'll do what I have to do for the sake of our village."
Suddenly, there was the sound of birds chirping in the distance. Naruto could only assume that it was Kakashi. His midsection suddenly exploded, as his sensei's hand tore through Naruto's chest. Naruto coughed blood up and said, "Kakashi…you…" Kakashi looked at his student with sad eyes. Suddenly, Naruto exploded into smoke, revealing a replaced wooden stump in Naruto's place.
Kakashi sighed and said, "Wind flash step indeed. Ever since you asked me to not hold back in training, you've used that move to escape time and again. If it is combined with the replacement jutsu. Properly used, it can move a target much further than a regular replacement. Using your wind chakra, you create a small region in space that has nothing in it, no air, no atoms, nothing. Then, using the speed honed by Gai, you seemingly disappear and reappear behind the opponent in the flash of a second. But you already knew this, eh Naruto." Naruto dropped from a nearby scaffold. Kakashi could almost sense the smile on Naruto's face, "That's right Sensei. Kind of dangerous to use Chidori so early in the fight…almost unfair!"
Kakashi's eyes expressed some happiness, "That's right…Now what is my errant student doing out here in the middle of Konoha, especially after he was marked as a missing ninja."
"Kakashi sensei, I once had the goal to become the Hokage."
"Oh, does that mean your wishes have changed?"
"Not at all, but the man currently in power has misused the position of Hokage. I've seen his lab, the reports he's written with his own hands, the experiments on the citizens of Konoha, everything! He's created a jutsu which gives him immortality at the cost of a single human life. His soul overtakes his target and becomes one with him or her. It happened with Itachi, and I suspect a similar fate overcame Sasuke."
Kakashi looked at Naruto oddly, "Naruto, I'm sorry, but I have to take you in. Sakura's death has apparently weighed on your soul far worse than it has on mine. Perhaps you can be rehabilitated and can rejoin as a ninja after a couple years."
Naruto's eyes turned vicious, "Kakashi sensei, there can be no words now. All I see before me is a beaten old man who used to be the finest ninja in the world. I'd rather not have to do this, but I must for the sake of Konoha. Defend yourself!"
An hour later, Orochimaru looked out over the village. With Naruto-kun gone, this village will no longer challenge me! He said, "Must you really come from the shadows, Kabuto."
"Ah, forgive me, Orochimaru-sama. I was finishing some research on the Nara. I figured it would be fitting if I came in such a manner." Kabuto's hand was on a rolled up section of papers.
Orochimaru chuckled, "Look at it Kabuto. The village fools will no longer have any reason to stand in my way after Naruto's eliminated. They are all such fools, don't you think?"
Kabuto chuckled and slowly approached Orochimaru, "It would certainly seem that way."
Orochimaru continued on his rant, "Well, since that younger Uchiha brat was taken over, things have been progressing so nicely." Kabuto's hand accidently twitched, crushing the papers under his fingers.
Orochimaru turned and launched a hidden snake hand from his wrist at Kabuto. Kabuto ducked, pulled a sword out of nowhere and cut off the snake's head as it approached.
Orochimaru chuckled, "It's a pity you had to turn traitor on your Hokage 'Kabuto'…Or should I say, Naruto-kun." The henge exploded into smoke, revealing an orange cloaked Anbu with a fox mask. Orochimaru looked over the railing and said, "If you're not fighting there, then who is that down there with Kakashi?"
"It's a clone…you know, my speciality, you damn snake." Naruto wasted no time as he moved swiftly towards the Hokage. In his left hand, a wind blade formed. Orochimaru was shocked at the speed and failed to move out of the way. The attack enveloped the Snake Sannin, and slammed him into the railing. As the damage cleared, the only thing remaining was some mud…which meant…Naruto thought, Oh, crap! Shurukin peppered the rooftop. Naruto turned to where the assault came from and deflected away all the kunai with his blade in his right hand.
Suddenly, the roof/floor turned to quicksand as Orochimaru shouted out, "Doton, Sabure wana no jutsu (sand trap jutsu)." As soon as Naruto was trapped up to his waste, Orochimaru returned the floor to a solid stone by releasing the jutsu and Naruto couldn't move his legs. Naruto fought to escape from the technique, but could not move. The snake suddenly rose from the floor, chuckling, "Ku ku ku ku ku…Naruto, you honestly think you could defeat me. Even if you are an ANBU captain, not even Itachi, an Uchiha genius, could kill me. Orochimaru moved in close to gloat. However, as soon as he was within range, Naruto formed a ram seal with his hands. He shouted, "Suiton, bunshin daibakuha." The clone detonated into water, spraying it in all directions. Orochimaru was covered in the watery substance. He tried to move, but discovered he couldn't, "What the, what is this?!"
Naruto suddenly appeared in front of Orochimaru with his black Anbu sword extended. So much chakra was channeled into the blade that it became visable. Sharp wind chakra circled the blade, turning the black blade a bright light blue color. Naruto said, "Mizuame Nabara bunshin (syrup capture clone), extremely useful in the right situation. Now Orochimaru, you are caught in my trap. You will pay for killing Itachi, Sasuke, the Uchiha clan, and countless ninja in your pursuit of immortality."
Orochimaru smirked and reached for his face. He pulled off his Orochimaru face, revealing Sasuke with his Sharingan activated, "Then kill me, but if you do, Sasuke dies as well." To Naruto, this was the worst thing Orochimaru could have done. Bright red Chakra began circling Naruto and his blade. The two chakras on the blade merged, creating a deep purple color. Naruto's pupils became slanted and he said, "Sasuke is already dead. I've read your research, and there is no hope of bringing back those souls you've overtaken…enough words! Die Orochimaru!!" Naruto sprung at Orochimaru.
Orochimaru's eyes shifted to a Triple bladed Shurukin. At the same time, Naruto was stopped in his tracks by being attached to a tree. He looked behind him and realized immediately it was Genjutsu. He attempted to get free, but it was already too late. Orochimaru's dojutsu was sucking him into a miniature black hole that could not be seen. Naruto bit his lip in a last ditch effort to escape the Genjutsu and flee. The Genjutsu faded, but Naruto sensed by the time his body could move, it would be too late. The Nine tailed chakra was absorbed fastest into the swirling black hole of chakra.
Suddenly, a voice appeared that sent chills up his spine, "Naruto!!!" It was Kakashi, and there was the sound of a thousand birds chirping. However…that was the last thing he heard before the world went black.
Kakashi sprung at Orochimaru. He knew…he knew the whole time he was fighting a clone of Naruto. He gave Naruto his chance to kill Orochimaru, but then he failed. Kakashi fled from the fight with the clone to where Naruto really was the moment he sensed his Mangekyo Sharingan's technique. Kakashi saw Naruto just moments before he was sucked into the dojutsu technique. And Kakashi didn't even think about it. He slammed his Lightning Blade technique into Orochimaru's chest. Finally to make sure Orochimaru stayed dead, he unleased his newest assassination technique, "Raiton, hekireki bakuha no jutsu (thunder explosion technique)." Lightning coursed through Orochimaru, boiling every cell in his body. In an instant, Orochimaru exploded with the sound of thunder ringing in the ears of everyone within a couple miles.
He turned to where Naruto was just a second ago. However, all that remained was a small crater with trace amounts of the nine-tailed chakra. Kakashi fell to his knees and said quietly, "no…not again. Naruto…I…I failed you…just like I failed everyone else."
Over the next couple of weeks, Kakashi watched as the mood in the village…though dark because one of their finest died protecting the village grew lighter as the disappearances stopped. Apparently, Orochimaru really was behind the whole thing. However, the casualties due to the Snake's crimes were tremendous. The other two Sannin were among those killed by Orochimaru. It also came to light that Minato Namikaze was murdered by the faux Hokage during their mission.
So, the next one to take the mantle of Hokage was Kakashi Hatake, who ruled Konoha with kindness and mercy for many years. The older ninja decided to finally come out of retirement in a form of repentence by completing Naruto's dream. However, he still visited the monument to the fallen heroes every day. Three more names were added to the stone:
Naruto Uzumaki Namikaze
Thus, they were all heroes of Konoha for standing against one of the greatest threats to the peace. Orochimaru's face was also removed from the mountainside.
Kakashi said, "If only I had been a second faster, Naruto."
So, what do you think? Worth continuing?
So, what do you think? Worth continuing?
Next chapter: A New World
Naruto Namikaze wakes up in another Konoha.
Edit: Corrections made