Maybe the gods hated him. There was no other explanation.

It was already the third time, Uzumaki Naruto thought darkly, as he looked towards the proud parents who had come and celebrated their children's graduation from the Ninja Academy. It would be a joyous occasion, especially from the civilian hopefuls who would have their children help the family earn money by taking on missions.

Plus… the demon didn't graduate.

Naruto snorted. He could feel those cold eyes on him again. The adults would whisper, away from the blonde and away from their children,

'Look at him…'

'Yeah… it's a good thing he didn't graduate. Imagine him, the demon…'

'Hush. It's illegal.'

'No one can hear us anyway…'

However, Naruto did. For some reason, the wind would come, and carry their inaudible whispers to him. Maybe the gods really didn't like him. Bad enough to have their eyes stare at him coldly, did he have to hear every insult they whispered to him?

He breathed a sigh. The old man Hokage will probably make him attend the Academy for another year. He would be looking at him with a small smile, telling him that everything would be okay, even though Naruto knew, the old man would be sorely disappointed.

Sakura would go on… leaving him behind. Goodbye, his first love. He'll never forget her… her hair like cherry blossoms flapping with the wind, her very big and sexy forehead, the fire of her anger as her hand, closed, would touch his face with enough force to crumble a wall... she would always linger in his heart.

On the plus side… he won't have to see that dark haired brooding bastard's face for a while.

The wind blew a gentle breeze on his left cheek, prompting him to look. A man… the assistant homeroom teacher, Mizuki, if Naruto remembered correctly. He had a slight smile on his face. His eyes looked towards Naruto's with a slight glint.

The wind shuddered. Naruto could feel the air turn cold. What was the man doing here?

"Naruto," the teacher called.

"Yeah?" Naruto asked, stiff.

"Do you want to graduate?" Mizuki asked.

The wind turned again, but Naruto chose to ignore it for now. Mizuki's had gotten his attention.

"What do you mean?" Naruto asked.

"Well… there's a make-up quiz, which I think is perfect for you…"

Naruto took it back. Maybe the gods did like him after all.


"…"

The third Hokage looked at the spectacle in front of him. The image registered to his brain, and his brain responded by storing that said image as fast as possible to his brain cells, which meant pumping more blood to it in quick succession. What followed afterwards was the natural response when after the image was quickly recorded… the blood had to rush out of the brain, and the fastest way was through the nose.

Naruto grinned as the old man, like a rocket, launched backwards as the blood spurted out of his nose like a fireman's hose. That was pretty easy… but then again, this was a test. He'd be sure to thank the old man when the whole thing was done. After all, the Hokage is a busy occupation, yet even with the ramen lunches, weekly visits, he still had time to help Naruto out during his make-up quiz.

Now… where did Mizuki-sensei say where the scroll was?

Looking around, Naruto was impressed by the amount of scrolls of various of sizes present. Other than the public library, which was certainly much bigger, the quality of the scrolls was much better here. The place was cleaned well. The scrolls looked well preserved too. For a few minutes, the blonde Uzumaki couldn't help but admire the look of the place. So much knowledge…

The wind blew his cheek. Shaking his head, Naruto realized he was wasting time. Now, Mizuki described the scroll as big… maybe as big as he was, supposedly. The blonde stopped the urge to snort in disbelief, and yet, there it was, two scrolls that were as big as he was.

Which one, though? Naruto thought. Mizuki didn't say any specifics, just said it was his size, and quite thick. For a moment, he wondered which to take when the wind came and whispered to him again, pointing towards the scroll nearer the window, where the Third Hokage had landed, still unconscious. Grabbing that one, he quickly made his exit, laughing, and the wind laughing with him. Jumping outside the tower, he immediately went from tree to tree, slightly celebrating on the coup.

He was finally going to graduate!

Gaining good distance, deep in the forest, Naruto finally arrived at the meeting area, near an abandoned shack where Mizuki told him they would meet. From here on, he would now try to master one jutsu from the scroll, show it to his teacher, and earn his forehead protector!

Humming a happy tune, Uzumaki Naruto sat down smiling, happy as he wondered what kind of special jutsus would await him as he opened the scroll, unrolling it as he read the first words that appeared.

A Beginner's Guide to Alchemy

Ah… alchemy, Naruto grinned. So cool. So…

Wait. What is alchemy?

Unrolling more portions of the scroll, his eyes scanned the text. It was odd… Naruto wasn't exactly the scroll type of guy. He never really listened to history, or theoretical applications of ninjutsus (which consisted of hand seal formations and its effects on chakra). He would either skip those classes altogether, or just sleep like good ol' Shikamaru, but even then, he could not for the life of him remember anything about alchemy.

From what he could understand, Alchemy was something akin to cooking. There were some recipes for certain stuff, plus there were even numbers (oh, gods, numbers. Naruto thought he escaped them after graduating from Math last year) and statistics. The more he scanned, the more and more he realized something.

There were no jutsus.

"Bah! Boring!" Naruto shouted, utterly disappointed. What the hell… did he get the wrong scroll or something? Sheesh… after all that work… and then he panicked when he realized that what he had at hand was not what he needed to pass.

"Kuso!" he cursed, realizing he must have gotten the wrong scroll. He was about to roll it back again when he felt something inside of him tremble. Looking up, Naruto watched his surroundings. The wind was still with him apparently, but something else what at work.

Keep reading.

The blonde jumped up as he heard the voice. Unlike the wind, this one was clear and understandable.

"Who's that!?" Naruto asked, grabbing his kunai out. The wind blew slightly, surrounding him as if to protect him, but he could also feel its confusion. There was no one here.

Keep reading the scroll, brat.

"Why?" Naruto could only ask. There was nothing in this scroll but some food recipes. He had no use for such things.

Don't you crave for attention? Don't you wish for acknowledgement? This is your chance… the art of Alchemy. Used by the age of the Ancients, passed down, obscured to nonexistence except for a chosen few… like you Uzumakis.

That got his attention. Uzumakis practiced this stuff? Even better… they actually existed? All his life, Naruto thought the name was just given to him. He was an orphan, and no one, not even the old man Hokage seemed to know much about his parents. Moreover, at Konoha, blondes were pretty rare. The only blonde family he had seen was Ino's, and even then, they had specialty techniques.

He was pretty much glad to find out that his family had some as well… though he had no idea what it was. It must have been pretty boring if all the Uzumakis could do was cook.

Fool!

Nartuo jumped up, surprise as he heard the voice scream at him.

Alchemy is nothing like the simplistic act of cooking! It is a marriage of science and magic in an effort to create the ultimate material. It is coveted for being able to turn seemingly simple products into effective medicines, weapons, armor, and items that make life for you puny humans easier. For an Uzumaki, you're the dumbest one in history.

"Hey!" Naruto shouted, looking around again. What the heck was the voice's problem? Sure, he wasn't book smart like his dear Sakura-chan, but that didn't mean he needed to take that from some… some…

Who was the voice anyways?

I am the Mana of Chaos. The ultimate being. Be thankful that I am speaking to someone as lowly as you, puny brat for I would never waste my time with you otherwise. Be thankful that a grand being like me is speaking to such an unworthy little boy.

"Then shut it!" Naruto shouted, his anger now overflowing in his system. The voice was now laughing, mockingly at him. What was its problem anyways? Mana of Chaos? What was Mana anyways?

You just read about Mana in the scroll. Idiot.

The voice chuckled darkly as Naruto shook with anger again. Okay, so maybe he did (he didn't recall as he just skipped most of the texts that weren't seal sequences to do certain jutsus), but did the voice have to try to antagonize him in every step?

Yes. Moron.

"I'm going to shut your DAMN YA-"

"NARUTO!"

The blonde could only jump in surprise when Iruka appeared in front of him, looking at him with a very annoyed expression.

Oops.

"Ehehe… you found me," Naruto scratched the back part of his head.

"Naruto…" Iruka growled softly. Damn the boy… what was with that stupid look on his face? Didn't he realize he had just assaulted the Hokage and stole a scroll from the Tower? "What do you think you were doing!?"

"Well… Mizuki-sensei said I'd pass if I could learn just one technique from this scroll," Naruto laughed nervously again. "But… I think I kinda got the wrong one. There was nothing here except some weird ass recipes and…"

As Naruto continued to speak, Iruka's mind began to race at what the blonde had told him earlier. Was that true? Did Mizuki, the one who had called his attention to this in the first place, knocking the door of his apartment in the middle of the night, saying Naruto had gone and stole the Forbidden Scroll. If what Naruto said was true… then…

Killing Intent. Automatically, Iruka shoved the surprised Naruto out of the way as multiple shuriken and kunai flew towards their direction, groaning as the sharp metal hit his shoulder. Iruka had been able to parry the others away with his own kunai, which he drew the moment the killing intent had washed over him.

Naruto was on the ground, shocked for a moment. He had almost complained the moment Iruka had tried and pushed him down, but that died down when his teacher's blood got to his face. His eyes traveled towards Iruka's shoulder, where an offending kunai had lodged itself, piercing his skin, and profusely bleeding.

What the hell was going on?

"Hehehe…"

"W-who's there!?" Naruto stuttered, looking around. There was an eerie laugh hanging on the air. Evil. Hateful. Seeing no one, he had to ask again, "who's there!?"

"My, my, Iruka… how very noble of you."

The trees! Naruto's eyes quickly abandoned the ground, and looked up. His eyes widened as he realized who it was.

"Mizuki-sensei!?" the blonde looked at the fully armed chuunin with shock. "Wha… what the hell is going on!? Why are you attacking Iruka-sensei!?"

Mizuki could only grin. He had so much to tell him.


"You… are the Nine Tailed Demon Fox!"

The line had repeated over and over his head, many times. It made so much sense… the reason why his birth date coincided with the celebration of Kyuubi's demise, the reason why the villagers seemed to look at him funnily, their whispers, their icy and hateful eyes…

Iruka… Naruto looked at the man. Iruka's parents were killed by him. The man must have hated him so much. No wonder he was so… angry with him when he caught him doing pranks, or when he was sleeping in class, or screwed up a jutsu.

Iruka was like everyone else, he hated… him.

I was right. You are a moron.

Naruto's head snapped back as the voice once again entered his senses. He looked around again, seeing if anyone else was there… but the only one he saw was Iruka's face as he appeared in front of him.

And a very wet thudding sound followed.

Knocked off his feet, the blonde looked could only feel the wetness in his cheeks as Iruka looked at him from above, crying. He spoke warm words, though Naruto couldn't hear them. All his attention was focused on the older man's eyes.

They were caring, even in tears.

Yes. The harsh voice was right. Naruto was being a moron. He couldn't respond to that.

"Che… using your own body to protect that demon? Iruka, you gotten soft," Mizuki declared, smirking. "You know, this could have gone easier. All you had to do was stand back… let me take his life, and everything would have been over. After all… it's not him you want to protect. Its just that scroll he has on his back."

Iruka could only mumble, now on his knees while his left arm was trying to move Naruto away. The boy did so, frozen somewhat, shocked. The older man could only give him a re-assuring smile.

"What was that?" Mizuki asked. "I didn't catch you there."

"I said… SHUT UP!" Iruka shouted as he grabbed the offending oversized shuriken on his back with his right hand as he stood up. Twirling it perfectly, he flicked his wrist along with his waist and threw the shuriken back at the other man, who dodged it easily.

"Pathetic! Your body movement lacked and made that throw weak!" Mizuki laughed as Iruka went down after the throw, the injury finally getting to him. "Why even go to such lengths to protect him? You know who he is!"

"Yeah… I know who he is," Iruka growled darkly, his eyes meeting Mizuki's.

"Then why are you defending the Kyuubi?"

"Kyuubi?" Iruka chuckled, his eyes never wavering. "I don't see him anywhere. Behind me… is Uzumaki Naruto. A hard working student." He paused. "One of my best."

Naruto looked at his teacher with some awe and respect. The man cried for him. He bled for him. And now… Naruto closed his eyes as his own tears formed… the man was the first one, other than the Hokage, to accept him as he was. The feeling…

The feeling of joy was indescribable.

And now you get sappy.

Naruto ignored the voice. He knew what he had to do. There was nothing else in his mind right now other than that thought.

He had to protect Iruka-sensei.

How are you going to, brat? Do you think you can even beat him? A chuunin? And what are you? A boy who couldn't even do a clone technique. You will never win against him.

The voice was right. He needed power…

"Then… die first, and wait for him as you travel towards the afterlife!" Mizuki declared, a second large shuriken spinning on his fingers.

Naruto could only grit his teeth. He needed power!

What kind of power?

Any kind of power will do, he thought. As long as it was enough to protect his precious person, any power that will allow him to protect Iruka would do!

Then come to me!

And everything faded to black.


The floor was wet, Naruto noticed. The forest had faded, giving way to what looked like a subterranean walkway. It was dark, humid and yet creepy at the same time.

He took a step.

The sound of the water dropping from the base of his sandals back to the floor was rhythmic, impossible to happen as Naruto had experienced from walking in wet surfaces, giving the place a more unnatural feel. The air was heavy… heavy with an odd energy that radiated in front of him.

He took another step. And another. And another, which finally led him into a big room with a big giant cage. In between the cage was a small paper with a seal written on it, and beyond… Naruto could only see two red eyes looking back at him.

"Hehehe… so… we finally meet, the last of the Uzumaki."

"You… the voice…"

Behind the eyes, nine lines moving at incredible speed smashed towards the walls at the side. The blonde realized who the source of the voice was.

"You're the nine tailed demon fox! Kyuubi!" Naruto declared.

"Che… I thought I have already told you? Demon!? Pathetic humans… labeling ignorantly. No… I am what I have told you. I am Kyuubi, the great Mana of Chaos!"

"What do you want!?" the blonde demanded, shivering slightly as the strange energy washed over him, more potently than before.

"A pact."

"A deal?" Naruto shook his head. "I refuse! You won't trick me that easily!"

"Stupid moron. So that is your conviction, brat? You ask for power, but when it finally comes to you… you refuse? Will I have to remind you again where you stand? Your teacher… your…"

It grinned evilly.

"… precious person is in danger. Haven't you made a vow to protect him? Or were those words empty?"

It laughed.

"So the last of the Uzumaki falls so far from the tree… your mother would weep at your cowardice."

Naruto growled. His fists closed, his eyes looking back at Kyuubi's, hard. The monster was right. He needed power. He had specifically said it could come from anywhere as long as it was power enough to protect Iruka.

"What do you want?" the blonde asked, knowing he was finally cornered. "You want me to free you? Want me to do blood sacrifices? What!?"

"Humans… definitely moronic. Even after saying I'm not some lowly demon but a great Mana you think I ask such demeaning demands. You want to know what I want from you brat? Fine. In exchange for giving you enough power to protect your precious teacher, I want you to continue what your lineage demands you to do. A pact made between a human and mana is only valid as long as the human is in pursuit of Alchemy."

"You want me to be a cook!?" Naruto shouted, looking angry. "NO! I'm gonna be a ninja!"

"Fool! An alchemist is the protector of life, who swears an oath to uphold the balance of the elements. Ninja, samurai, lords, merchants… they are certainly more than cooks!"

"Can I become a ninja and an alchemist?" Naruto asked.

"Your mother did the same. Why would it be different from you, brat?"

Maybe it was the talk about his mom being one that made Naruto veer a bit towards the promise… or maybe the fact that the alchemist's life about being some sort of protector of life and something and something about balance of some elements that enticed the blonde to really think about it.

For a moment, he forgot that he had been adamant about trusting the fox just a few moments ago.

"Plus I'll teach you to make some very powerful explosives."

And that sealed the deal.

"YOU'RE ON!"

Kyuubi grinned.

"And my part of the deal… I shall bestow you your first alchemic weapon."

"Oooh, what is it? A cool sword? A kunai that never misses its target?"

The only response Naruto got was a rather hard hit towards his forehead, strong enough to make him fall down and scramble on the wet floor.

"Ow! Ow! Ow! What the hell?" the blonde demanded, looking towards the offending projectile that had launched from the caged seal. It was a small box. Taking a few moments to look at it, Naruto took it, and pried the box open revealing… cards?

"Fate Cards… complex, hard to learn, and oh so perfect for the dim-witted like you."

"… w-what the hell am I supposed to do with this!?" Naruto shouted, looking back towards the red eyes looking at him with amusement.

"It's an alchemic weapon. Virtually unbreakable, and do have special properties. Take the cards out…"

Naruto obeyed, looking somewhat confused. How the heck were these supposed to be weapons? The cards didn't even look that special… almost all of them are blank, except for two cards. One had a picture of himself, and the other was a picture of a fox with nine tails. The two cards were beside each other.

"Fate Cards bestow the gift of foresight. It represents the flow of fate of a certain time, as you can see, for example, my card and yours are beside each other, representing our relative closeness to each other. Take a few steps back, brat."

Naruto did so, and noticed that the cards on his hands rearranged. His picture faded to blank, and reappeared a few places farther from Kyuubi's.

"Cool…!" Naruto stated, looking at his cards with awe.

"If you find it cumbersome holding those cards in your hand, spread them in the air right in front of you."

"How?"

Kyuubi growled. A giant paw suddenly emerged along with the eyes, surprising the blonde enough to take a few steps back, wondering if the paw was going to do anything. All it did was hover, cutting the air from left to right.

Naruto blinked, wondering what the fox was doing. Kyuubi just sighed, and cut the air again from left to right.

"Any time now moron."

"What do you… oh…!" and the blonde finally got it, taking the cards on his hand, and cut through the air from left to right, spreading them. To his surprise, they floated in front of him. "Awesome…!"

"Use it like this to free your hand or to make using the cards easier. I will teach you how very soon. Remember though… this only works when you keep still. Move even a step away, the cards will fall limp, useless, and you'll have to collect them again. Once you need to move, grab the cards, from right to left."

Naruto followed, and was surprised when he realized he didn't even need to take much action in taking back the cards as they easily jumped back to his moving hand. Completing the motion, the cards grouped back together to his hand.

"Lastly, the cards respond to your actions like it is another part of you, as long as you hold at least one of them on your hand. You'll be practicing that as soon as you save your teacher."

Naruto looked up towards the red eyes looking at him, the paw now absent in the shadows. He looked at the cards on his right hand, and breathed for a few moments, then back again towards the red eyes staring at him.

"Um… thank you," the blonde whispered slightly.

"Do not misinterpret, brat. I did not give you your weapon for your thanks, nor for anything else outside our little deal. I am not your friend."

Kyuubi's eyes narrowed and grew in size until Naruto could see its while face, bearing down on him with an evil grin. Its teeth glinted with danger and sharpness that the blonde could only step back, trying to swallow some saliva back as he found his throat drying immediately at the site.

"I am a Mana who has been trapped inside a puny human for years, tying my fate with yours. You die… I die. I will always look out for a way to get out, or at least make my stay a bit more… exciting.

"Now… leave. Save that precious friend of yours… and remember our pact."


Iruka growled as he tried to calculate how fast the projectile would travel, how powerful it'd be, and how he and Naruto could get away from it… but no matter how many scenarios the chuunin could think, all of them would lead to his death.

His body stopped responding. He couldn't even move anymore, even after trying to buy time by talking towards the traitor… he was losing too much blood, and he could feel the cold death slowly creeping on his body.

He would give out soon.

Iruka shook his head. So be it. It is the fate of every shinobi they would face some day. But… if he had to go, he would at least ensure the survival of the scroll and Naruto.

Then… a cold voice spoke behind him.

"Leave Iruka-sensei alone…"

There was a tentative step. Iruka could hear his student suddenly walk in front of him, covering him. His eyes widened in surprise. He wanted to tell the boy to run, get away as he was not yet ready to face Mizuki yet, but was stopped cold when he saw Naruto's right hand.

There was a red eye looking at him.

There was a slight stillness in the air, followed by complete shock as Iruka drew back to see the big picture. Naruto was now wearing a red tattered cape that seemed to act like it was on fire, coating the top half of his back completely before seemingly dissolve to nothingness on the bottom half. His right hand completely coated with the red cloth, with a big red eye on his backhand.

It was even moving. He could only stare.


Naruto looked hard at Mizuki, who seemed to watch him oddly. The blonde felt strange, as if he was filled with an odd energy, the same kind that the Kyuubi produced just a few moments ago.

He felt good.

He felt he could kick the traitor's ass.

So that's your friend eh?

Naruto blinked, hearing the voice, almost jumping. He looked at his hands. On his right arm, a red clothe covering his arm completely, and formed a glove for his hand, still holding the cards that had been given to him. However, he also noticed the big red eye looking back at him from his backhand.

His left hand was also covered, though his backhand in that hand showed that there was no red eye on it.

You look even uglier this close.

Kyuubi? Was the eye Kyuubi's?

No, it is the Easter Bunny's. Of course its mine, what do you think? Right now, we're in a state of unity as a part deal of our pact. Alchemists are fighters too as they always should always try to get the materials they use to synthesize themselves, that that means putting their life on the line against monsters, other alchemists, and even demons.

A Mana, like me, will enter a pact of an alchemist for beneficial purposes. Each mana has special properties, and each alchemist is different in their own way. Combining our powers will increase our strength proportionally, allowing us to both benefit in battle.

Combined strength? Did that mean that he, Naruto Uzumaki, has gotten the power of the almighty Kyuubi!?

Unfortunately… almost all my powers have been sealed. Therefore, you won't have the really cool powers like making tsunamis with one wave of your hand, or destroy mountains with another. All I can do right now is just give you an extra boost of energy.

Naruto groaned. Well… that was useless.

Shut it brat.

Naruto's mental reply died the moment he heard Mizuki suddenly laughing. His blue eyes darted towards the traitorous chuunin, the large shuriken stopped spinning on his hand as the man laughed.

"Look at that! Look at that! The demon shows its true colors! Can't you see Iruka!? Can't you see! It's him! The demon!" Mizuki laughed. "I will become a hero to all humanity… I will show them… how it is…" and once more, the shuriken began to on the man's hand. "… how it is to kill a demon. Once. And. For. ALL!"

This man annoys me more than you do. Brat, spread your cards!

Naruto complied, his right hand spreading the Fate Cards in front of him, and they floated in thin air. In the far left was Mizuki's picture, and on the far left, was Iruka's picture. On Iruka's right card, it was Naruto's picture.

"Before you even threaten anyone again… DIE!!!" Mizuki shouted the last part as he twisted his waist, putting his whole body on the throw. The shuriken flew fast and true towards the blonde, and the man could only laugh.

Naruto's eyes narrowed. The cards changed once more as a blank card suddenly changed and a picture of a large shuriken appeared.

Grab the shuriken card before it blanks out and reappear into the card beside it. Don't let that shuriken card reach yours.

Naruto complied again, though it took him a while because the speed of the shuriken was rather high. The shuriken-card that had appeared would quickly fade, turn blank, while the next card on its right would transform from blank to shuriken. In motion, it looked like the card was flipping towards the right, moving, instead of transforming.

In a rare instance of brilliance, Uzumaki Naruto just waited for a blank card in between his card and Mizuki's, and just grabbed that as it transformed.

The effect was immediate. When the blonde had gotten the card, the shuriken suddenly stopped moving from its position, still spinning in the air. Iruka's eyes widened in surprise, and Mizuki could only shout foul.

Now, you have a choice here brat. You can keep the card for future use, erase it to cancel the attack, or my suggestion…

Naruto could feel the grin forming on the fox's face.

throw the attack back at him.

Naruto took the third, and Kyuubi explained quickly to him how. Placing the shuriken card back on the floating line of cards, he quickly motioned his hand holding the card and moved from right to left. The shuriken card immediately joined the line, and faded, setting a chain reaction of transforming cards, though instead of traveling towards the Naruto-card, it came towards the Mizuki-card.

The Shuriken that had stopped on its travel suddenly snapped back and went straight towards Mizuki. The man's eyes widened in utter shock and made a face that had Naruto smile. The chuunin panicked, and fell off the branch he had been standing on, luckily dodging the returned projectile.

He was still skilled enough to land on his feet, though now, he was completely shaken.

"You… YOU DEMON! TAKE THIS!" Mizuki shouted, throwing kunais towards the blonde boy, and dashed forward at the same time.

Take the kunai card that appear, and instead of throwing it back, put forth a bit of my energy to erase them, and ready your cards for close combat.

Naruto could only nod, very impressed as Kyuubi accurately began to read the tide of battle, and followed without complaint. He was itching a bit to get in close and personal with Mizuki. Grabbing the kunai card (oddly, all the kunais Mizuki threw grouped to one card), he put forth some energy as Kyuubi had said, and watched as the card magically turned blank. The kunais that were thrown just stopped in mid-air and dropped to the ground.

Naruto quickly moved his hand from right to left, gathering all the floating cards back to his palm, and threw his arm towards the charging Mizuki. The cards flew straight and through, and connected like it was a whip, almost hitting the chuunin on the head if he hadn't dodged at the last second.

"Damn demon!" Mizuki shouted, getting more and more delirious. "Your tricks won't save you… I'll… I'll…!"

The older man couldn't even finish what he was saying, shaking like a leaf.

Nice showing brat. As a reward… let me teach you a skill you'll find more useful than that useless clone technique you couldn't do. Spread your cards, quickly, before he recovers and quickly grab the blank cards and your own card as well…

Naruto did so.

Concentrate more of my energy in them…

Naruto complied, and was faintly surprised when all the blank cards suddenly started transforming, showing his picture on them, albeit somewhat differently.

This is called Jade Shift. Spread the cards once more on line, and recall them to your palm. Then… kick his ass.

The blonde did so, and when he had recalled the deck back to his hand, he was suddenly surprised the forest suddenly shimmered as clones of Naruto popped out of nowhere.

Iruka's eyes widened. Judging by the shadows that were present in each clone, he realized that each Naruto had an actual physical body. It was eerily similar to the more advanced clone technique that Naruto had failed to perform earlier…

The blonde just smiled as he realized he now had at least more than a handful of helping hands, each of them with the same thought on their heads. Cracking their fingers as they closed their fists, they stared straight into Mizuki, who only looked at all the Naruto's in shock.

"Payback time, Mizuki-teme!" all the Naruto's shouted as they all charged in and followed Kyuubi's last advice to kick his ass.

And kick his ass they did.


Leaving the bloodied traitor on the forest grounds, who kept moaning for mercy, Naruto looked towards Iruka, who was now lying on the forest grounds. The boy's blue eyes widened and rushed towards the teacher, sliding down beside him.

"Iruka-sensei! Iruka-sensei!" Naruto shouted, shaking the man slightly.

There was no response.

Man lost too much blood. You took your time fighting him, moron.

Naruto shuddered. He needed to do something!

Calm down, brat. Maybe its time for you to start out your first synthesis. Use your clones to find a Spinacherb, a blue petal, and some water.

Naruto looked towards his clones, and they all looked confused. What was a Spinacherb?

Just look around, and I'll inform you if you found it. Damn it. Sheesh. Ancients… is this our alchemist?

Naruto ignored the insult as he and his clones scoured around for the said materials. One of them immediately found a bunch of blue flowers, and grabbed a petal from one of them, and the other found a small pond nearby and was able to extract some water with a water container that he had been carrying. It took a while but one of the Narutos finally found a Spinacherb, which looked like a cross between a spinach plant in a clover stem.

By the time all the clones gathered towards Iruka did Naruto realize something… he could recall everything the clones had done. He had thrown the question towards Kyuubi when the fox just bit back with a short reply…

It is because they are you. Now… listen carefully!

Naruto put away the question for another time as there was something more at stake now. As per instructions, the blonde followed Kyuubi's direction. He had crushed the Spinacherb along with the blue petal, and mixed it with the water inside the container. Putting some energy on it like the fox had said, he counted a few seconds before Kyuubi said that it was done synthesizing.

Quickly pour it in his mouth brat. Then pour some on his wounds.

Naruto followed, and was surprised to see the liquid came out crystal clear with a pale shade of blue. He poured it in Iruka's mouth, slowly, and to his relief, he saw his teacher's skin turn to a much more lively color. He quickly poured more of the blue-ish liquid on his hand and put it on the man's shoulder and back, his happiness soaring higher when the wounds were starting to close.

He was very impressed.

How do you like your basic healing medicine? Still think alchemy is still about cooking?

Naruto didn't reply, nor did he need to. His smile said it all.

Iruka woke up, pleasantly surprised to realize he was alive as Naruto dove to him with a warm hug, while there were clones around them, smiling, giving each other high fives. In the corner, still beaten and now unconscious was Mizuki, who would later be arrested by the ANBU, and taken to interrogation.

The teacher then asked the blonde boy to close his eyes, as he had a surprise for him.

The story always starts out the same. Uzumaki Naruto, dead-last of the Ninja Academy in the Hidden Village of the Leaf in Fire country, would fail after his third attempt to graduate to genin, wherein he would be fooled by Mizuki, the assistant teacher of Iruka, the homeroom teacher, to steal the Forbidden Scroll.

Maybe it was fate, or maybe the gods had other plans, but for some reason, Naruto had not in fact, stolen, the Forbidden Scroll, but instead a family heirloom that had been left for him when he was to reach a certain age. He was not aware of this knowledge. In fact, knowing said knowledge was the starting point of one important factor in the future of the elemental countries… the rebirth of the lost art of Alchemy.

The rebirth of the alchemic arts of the Uzumakis.

And lastly, the birth of the genin Uzumaki Naruto as he begins to make his mark on the world.

Atelier Uzumaki


Author's Notes:

Well, this is a side project, combining my love for the games Atelier Iris 1 and 3 (I missed 2, I'm afraid) and Mana Khemia. I'll try to explain the universe and the system of the alchemy in the next chapter, as I have a feeling most of you are more familiar with the alchemy done in Full Metal Alchemist… also… :P Be surprised next chapter as I take a more drastic turn for this story to proudly call itself as an Alternate Universe type of story.

Later!