A/N: This is a completely different take on Naruto than any other I have done before. And of course, it includes something that I have been wanting to do since I first touched Naruto fanfic.
FemKyuubi, for one, is not seen very often nowadays, and something that definitely needs to be revived in fanfiction. No more clichéd versions, I'm creating what I think would be the only logical way for a FemKyuubi to exist in the same place of existence as Naruto. It will happen, and it'll be good, that I have confidence.
Wilson proudly presents "Lost Paradise". Please sit back, and enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Chapter 1: It Begins
"Like a star, in my night. You'll always be a part of me." ~ from 僕は、鳥になるof Lelouch of the Rebellion R2
Six years within Konohagakure had left quite an impression on little Uzumaki Naruto. He was the pariah of the village, mistreated and despised, but not to the extreme. Most people disliked him or simply ignored him, choosing to stay out of his way rather than confronting him. A lot of the time, he had indifference shot at him, refusing any information as to why this weird unjust was placed on a mere child like him. The references to him being a 'demon' by some of the more direct insults confused him. He had read about demons, in story books about fairy tales, and he was sure he could be nothing like them.
He was rarely physically manhandled, but there would always be the occasional rough and brutal smack to the head or push to the ground when he was rejected service into some shop or restaurant. Never would the act be carried out while he was walking in the streets. It made him wonder just why that was the case, when clearly, the people passing by held that exact same glint as the mean shopkeepers. Of course, he would never forget the ones that treated him amiably and nicely, giving him far more respect than he thought he deserved. Granted, given the constant jeers and sneers he received back at the orphanage, he didn't think he deserved a lot at all.
Every single time, he would ask them, with a trembling voice in both cases, just what he had done. One would reply with a venomous tone, covered up in a disparaging comment about his nature or something. The other would simply smile and sometimes even ruffle his head as a gesture of kindness and direct the conversation elsewhere.
Uzumaki Naruto was not dumb. He could tell when an adult wouldn't answer a question and wanted to change the subject. After all, Sandaime Oji had done it far too many times for him to even count. But then again, he didn't think to blame the old man for his misfortune, because he was in his care ever since he could remember. The old man was supposedly the 'leader' of this village, even though little Naruto doubted him on quite a number of occasions when he found the old man giggling in a disturbing manner behind his desk while holding some sort of orange book.
Sandaime Oji had been the one to place him in the orphanage, and made regular visits to check up on him, making sure he was coping with the environment. The orphanage was a nice, cosy place, one where children were mostly hanging out with each other, playing and learning whenever they could, creating a comfortable atmosphere. However, certain things changed when he entered the picture. He was a common target to be bullied. His whisker-like features on his face made him stand out, and naturally, a few of the older kids didn't take too well to this.
He had been ridiculed, sabotaged, and sometimes beaten whenever they felt like it, and that was certainly one part of the orphanage which he hated. However, he would somehow always be saved by the matron, Yukari-san. She was a nice lady, always treating his bruises and wounds when she came upon the scene where he was bullied. Every time, she would scold the other kids, but seeing as how she was hesitant in beating them to emphasize her point, the bullies simply mocked her behind her back, saying she was just a soft woman to be ignored.
Naruto had even gotten into a few fights when the bullies jeered at how he was always running to the useless matron of theirs. Yukari-san was anything but useless. She was one of the most important people in his life so far, and he would not let her be insulted. For one, she was the one to teach him to read. It fascinated him, the stories and novels she brought with her, and by while most of the others were sleeping, he would sneak to her room, and snuggle in bed with her, smiling softly as he read together with her. She was very patient with him, helping him as he stumbled over phrases he had no idea what they meant, and teaching him vocabulary that he had yet to understand.
By age five, he could already read almost anything Yukari-san gave him, and one particular storybook, the one he received for his sixth birthday this year, was a treasure he held precious more than anything he owned. It was simple fairy tale, where a baby bird was born, growing and striving through the mishaps thrown at it, and finally taking flight into a night sky filled with stars where it gained its freedom, spreading its wings as it glided into the distance.
Yukari-san was extremely pleased at how much he seemed to like her present and when asked what the moral of the story was, the thirty year old woman thought for a moment, before answering, "Well, the normal one people would tell you, would be that no matter what hardships you face, you must endure and persevere. Because in the end, it'll all pay off. But from my point of view, it says something more. Do you see it?"
With wide eyes, he gazed at her in something akin to fascination, "What might that be?" he had asked. She had smiled softly and replied, "Everything in this world is a part of a bigger picture. You and I belong to this village, Konohagakure, and this village, in turn belongs to a country. The country is mere land to the earth. The earth itself is part of the universe. And who knows what might be beyond that?"
That very night, her words etched deep in his mind, as she ruffled his hair, "What I'm saying is, no matter how minor a thing might seem to be, it'll always contribute to the bigger picture. Let's take you for an example, Naruto."
"Me?" He had pointed at himself with his finger and tilted his head, disbelief all over his face at hearing that he could actually contribute stuff.
"Yes, you, dear Naruto. You are like the bird in the sky. You gave me what I never had, you set me free, you gave me a heart." Her eyes closed as she gave him a kiss on the forehead, "I never thought I could live a life like this when I retired from the ranks, I couldn't believe it when Sandaime-sama assigned me this job. But now I know, and I relish in the fact that I have found you, Naruto. You are very important to me."
"I am?" His round eyes blinked repeatedly, before he broke into a wide smile that was mirrored on the face of Yukari-san as well.
"Yes you are. You are an adorable little boy that can make me forget all my hardships in a heartbeat. That is what the story means, Naruto. Bonds like this need to be created before understandings can be established. Villages are built on these links and countries are formed from these trusts. You might be a small part of all of this Naruto, but you'll always be important to me." Her hand gently traced itself around his cheek, "I'll always be there for you, just like I know you'll always be there for me. Won't you, Naruto?" She teased.
"Of course! I'll beat up anyone that dares bully you!" He had declared with a huff, raising his fist in what he thought would be a menacing stance.
"Haha, why thank you my little knight. However, remember, violence is not always the option."
"Hai, hai. You always say that Yukari-san."
"Because that is something you should remember, Naruto. That way, you might hurt yourself less in the future."
"Haha, is that so? Then I guess I'll have to look after you for the rest of your life."
"Yay! You said that! You said that didn't you? No going back on those words!"
"My, my, you're a cunning little devil aren't you? Alright, alright, I won't go back on those words."
"Yes, I promise."
"Yes, it's a promise of a lifetime."
"Ah, I believe you."
"As do I, Naruto. Now, off to bed, it's getting late."
"Eh?! Awww, do I have to?"
"Come now, don't whine. Men don't whine, hehe."
"Of course they do! I do!"
"Ne, ne, can I please sleep here with you tonight? I feel safer."
"… Alright, but you have to be quiet once the lights are out. No more chattering from you, or I will kick you from my bad, understood?"
"Yes, I'll be a good boy."
"Very good. Now…" Reaching over, she turned off the lights, and in a flash, the room was shrouded in darkness, "Good night, Naruto."
"Good night Yukari-san!"
That very night, Minase Yukari found herself cradling Naruto like a treasured friend, gently tapping him to sleep before she kissed him on the forehead, "Arigato, Naruto…"
The stars outside shone bright as the moonlight cascaded through the windows. Raising her head, she looked out at the beautiful night sky, "Yes, like a star, in my nights… You'll always be a part of me. That, is how much you mean to me, Naruto."
But little Naruto didn't hear her and simply snuggled deeper into her bosom, sleeping peacefully as time passed by.
Many would not understand just why Yukari cared so much for Naruto. At the age of twenty eight, the woman could hardly bear the harsh realities being an ANBU always seemed to reveal. The horrors and bloodshed she had witnessed were enough to torment her for a life time. She had finally reached breaking point and petitioned for a release from being a shinobi entirely, and surprisingly, Sandaime-sama had agreed. However, it was under the condition that she took up a civilian job so as to conceal her identity.
She complied, and to her utmost surprise, she was made to be a matron of the orphanage. She had protested, wondering just how Sandaime-sama could trust her with such tender children of her age, and the old man had simply smiled and told her to give it a try.
It was here that she met Uzumaki Naruto, the enigma and legacy of Yondaime-sama. Such a brilliant child, scorned by the village for something he had no control of, and hated for being associated with the real demon, Kyuubi no kitsune, she couldn't believe that it was this beautiful being they were referring to. Such naïve and gentle eyes, such tenderness and grace within him and a heart bigger than any she had ever seen. Always willing to give new things a go, insatiable in his thirst for knowledge and love, yearning for contact with different people so as to understand his environment better.
He was a gem, waiting to be developed and thoroughly explored, and yet few would look past their prejudices and get to know the real him. He had given her a purpose in life, just when she thought that the world was made of nothing but killing and slaughter, where might makes right, she was reminded of the purity of souls in the form of Uzumaki Naruto. It was ironic that life could undergo such a change, from utterly chaotic to a tranquility she had never believed existed. She cared for him like no one she had before, because she too, was once an orphan. She had no loved one, for in their occupation, couples barely survived. She had seen enough of the tragedies in her own squad to know that getting too involved emotionally was a bad mistake.
But all that changed when she saw Naruto. She came to understand him, love him and adore him. He was truly her everything. Being a civilian sounded boring at the start, but as of now, she knew of nothing better she could be, as long as it meant that Naruto was with her. Sandaime-sama was extremely pleased with this development and asked if she could continue taking care of Naruto. An instant 'yes' was her reply.
Staring at the young boy by her side, she couldn't help but pray that the life does not take an unpleasant turn like it did for her. She wanted him to stay safe, stay bright and stay happy. But given his life, and his parents' blood within him, she knew it wouldn't be long before something would happen.
He was born to be a shinobi, born to shoulder the heavy burden that was placed on him, and, Yukari strongly believed, that he was born to create a paradise that was long lost in this world, one where no more tragedies had to happen, one where no more children cried for the loss of parents on the battlefield, one where people could actually feel safe in their beds without worrying for their lives tomorrow.
Lacing her fingers within his hair, she had smiled. A soft, gentle smile. She was reminded of the time when Naruto had 'proposed' to her, declaring right after they read a fairy tale that he would be her 'prince' and marry her. It was such an adorable expression that she couldn't help but kiss him on the cheek. His honesty touched her heart and she found herself replying in the affirmative when Naruto asked her to 'wait' for him. She had dismissed it as a joke, but there was always something in his eyes that made her think otherwise. Bright as the sky, they burn with resolve.
Yes, he would be the one to do it. She could feel it, only one with as kind a heart as him would be able to accomplish the impossible. And she would be with him, like she promised.
However, life shall soon change for her, where she became the first sacrifice within this lost paradise. Although, there was one thing that would be the key catalyst in ensuring her new life. Uzumaki Naruto never lost. And never will.
Dreams were special things indeed; that Naruto had been taught countless times. They could be anything and everything, and one should never be surprised nor afraid of what they were dreaming of. This was one of the reasons Naruto never questioned why he was visiting a blood red cage in an underground sewer when he was three.
He had ventured there, completely unaware of his surroundings, making cheerful noises at being able to have an adventure of his own while asleep. Yukari-san was always so careful with him, not wanting him to take any risks, and he had to miss out on so much fun! But she did it for his good, so he didn't mind it too much. However, this was so exciting!
The metal bars proved no resistance for him as he simply waddled his way through the gaps and peeked inside. All was dark except for a huge bundle of red in the middle of the cage. Twin irises of white flashed open and a snarl was heard before a wave of energy was directed at him.
The fairy tales Yukari-san read to him constantly told of special beings and supernatural forces, hence little Naruto barely paid it any attention as he continued to reach out, his tiny fingers stretching towards the 'thing'. The eyes widened as the wave simply parted while the hand proceeded on without fear, the boy's smile glowing in contrast to the dim setting of this place.
Before it could react accordingly, the boy had touched its fur, before staring up at it bemusedly, "Why are you in this form?"
Thoroughly taken aback, it had roared and tried to shake the boy out of the room, wanting to be rid of this nuisance of a jailer it had, however, the boy simply frowned and pouted, before tapping it on the paw, "Bad kitsune. Bad kitsune. It's polite to answer a question when someone asks you. Yukari-san told me so."
It had marveled at the perfect speech patterns of the young one, and how he had shown no signs of stuttering, unlike normal human kids. Yet it was more chided by its complete lack of control in this situation. Growling bitterly, it wondered whether this was what it meant to be sealed, robbed of its power, and dethroned from its pinnacle of strength into this dark abyss.
For some reason, the kid didn't even show the slightest amount of fear, and with good reason. The mighty Kyuubi could do nothing against its jailor, not without risking its existence erased from this plane. The boy had then tilted his head, "Why do you look like this?"
His little hands were rubbing on its fur, making it quite difficult to force back the purr that was on its lips. There was something, something extremely comforting and at the same time, alluring to the kitsune. It was uncanny to think that one of its status would even consider any action by a mere mortal 'attractive', but this boy…
"I asked you a question. Why do you look like this?" He wouldn't relent, no matter what it tried to do to remove him from its presence, it failed to work. Finally, it had no other choice besides shaking its head and plopping back down onto the ground.
Little Naruto frowned, before shaking it once again, "Ne, ne, tell me!"
Kyuubi ignored him, and proceeded to close its eyes, wanting all of this to be a dream.
A really bad dream.
There were so many conflicts within its conscious, seeing how a mortal, a boy was actually talking to it, was actually touching it like it was a common pet, and had the nerve to tell it what was right and wrong. He, a three year old!
That's not the worst bit though. The problem was…
It enjoyed it.
Call it a stupid fox for all it cared, but it had been years since it even had contact, well, peaceful contact with another being, regardless of it being mortal or immortal. The other clans of Yami (Darkness) within the summons universe had isolated it as an individual unit, unwilling to have anything do with it, seeing how it was possibly the strongest dark demon to ever appear in their realm. The irony was that there should be no such thing as a 'light' demon, and hence, there really wasn't anything scary with it being a dark one in the first place.
But no, the ones who ally themselves for the 'greater good' would be classified as the noble ones, while the outcasts, Yami, were left to fend for themselves. Kyuubi no Kitsune was an entirely new addition to the plane where the day it made its first appearance struck fear into every single one of them, establishing that sense of power that would soon to become associated with it.
The Kitsune clan itself wasn't exactly a 'summon', seeing how there was no summoner worthy or cunning enough for them to even notice. It had reached the epitome of the kitsune, nine-tails worth of power at its free disposal, and yet, because of that very power, it was banished. Jealous bastards, all of them.
While it was being caught up in this windmill of memories, little Naruto had pouted, displeased at how he was ignored, but suddenly, something caught his eyes. The sad look on the fox's face made him think of the words Yukari-san used to tell him.
Perhaps it was instinct that made him do it. Or rather, he thought that everyone deserved to be happy. And hence, it was with great surprise, when Kyuubi suddenly realized Naruto was sitting on its nose, right between its eyes. While it was musing over its past, it would seem that the brat had crawled and climbed on her fur, and steadily made his way to its face with agility and flexibility one would not expect from a three year old.
Before it could even retort, Naruto had leaned forward, chubby little hands holding onto its fur, before placing a soft kiss on the bridge of its nose. By then, Kyuubi was completely dumbfounded. There was simply no telling what else this little devil would do to surprise it more! Why, did he just kiss a demon?!
Why would he, its jailor, bother to first, come into its cage, be nice to it, and finally, kiss it?! What is wrong with this brat?!
And then, Naruto had smiled, his eyes closed with his brows curved happily, "There we go! You're not sulking anymore! Waaaai!" Waving his hands in joy, he giggled as he placed yet another kiss on the same spot, "Happy woman! Happy woman!"
Kyuubi had at first, wrinkled its nose in slight disgust at being treated like a play thing, but then, the full force of little Naruto's declaration hit her.
Did he just call it a 'woman'?
No, that cannot be. There was no way a brat like him would be able to see through the illusion!
"So, why do you look like a fox?" Blinking, he asked in a chirpy voice.
If Kyuubi could, it would have had its jaws dislocated and thrown into the depths of hell, never to be found again. But of course, it wasn't that stupid, so no, it chose to simply make incoherent noises that sounded like gasping denials and vehement protests, but eventually, all it took was a third kiss from little Naruto to get it to shut up.
"Mo, you really are a weird lady, kitsune-san. Why won't you answer my question? Hmph!" Crossing his arms, or trying to, Naruto assumed what he thought was a 'stern' expression, one much like how Sandaime-jiji used to look when he was in the office working on papers.
By that time, Kyuubi had finally resigned to its fate and sighed, before an aura surrounded its being. It wasn't long before it began shape-shifting to assume the posture of an elegant woman dressed in a loosely-clad kimono, vibrant crimson hair lined her porcelain face, and barefooted, she stood with little Naruto in her arms, a pensive expression on her face.
Meanwhile, the little blond was clapping his hands, "Yay!"
It was utterly unthinkable that a mere child could understand the finer arts of shapeshifting. Long ago, it was common knowledge that all intellectual demons with power were able to morph into a human form, simply because they usually needed to interact with humans, mostly as summons.
However, that particular power seemed to have died out as the summons only retained their abilities to speak and think like humans on top of their basic demonic personalities, and from then on, the ability to shape-shift was exclusively reserved for the kitsune clan of the summon realm. In fact, all the fairy tales and legends of kitsune being able to change shape was quite true. There was another fact that some rumours and folktales did include, but not widely believed.
All kitsune were females.
There was no exception. It was the one true trait that made them the most peculiar, and hence, far stronger species than any of the other summons.
Kitsune were well-known to excel in illusions and fire abilities, and their outstanding wits and cunning natures led them to be one of the most mystified legends to be born to the human world.
All of the above mentioned advantages lead to a common ability, and that would be 'seduction'. In the history of mankind, there had been multiple cases of how certain men would be led astray by extremely beautiful women who had flair and intelligence beyond any women they have ever met. Eventually, they would disappear from their towns and be lost forever.
That was work of kitsune mating with them. Kitsune had to mate with humans, and humans only, and usually there would be two outcomes. One, the male dies because of overdose demonic energy. Two, male becomes a hanyou (half demon). Most cases die right after the sex, but there were some specific examples where the kitsune truly loved its mate and did all that it could to ensure a life together with him. However, the fact remained that the hanyou had a shorter life span than a true kitsune, and hence they were never allowed to be the 'clan leader' of the kitsune.
It was an instinct for all kitsune to create an illusion of themselves when in foreign territory or another realm, to ensure their survival, and not letting others figure out their true identity. Kyuubi had been there for only a few years, before it was entrapped inside this child. It never even occurred to her that someone might have discovered her identity, much less by a three year old.
However, thinking back to the sealing process, perhaps the powers from the 'gods' realm had leaked into the child's body due to the insane complexity of the Hakke Shiki Fuin and Naruto had somehow 'connected' with her abilities as a kitsune. Seeing through them was probably a piece of cake for the brat now.
Sighing, Kyuubi was about to place Naruto onto the ground when the boy asked again, "Ne, ne, can you speak?"
Raising an eyebrow at the question, the red-haired lady opened her mouth and was about to utter a retort, only to find that indeed, she still couldn't speak. Her surprise was written all over her face and Naruto pouted. Why was she frowning again?!
Kyuubi, on the other hand, had a thousand thoughts running through her mind. She had always figured that because she was holding up an illusion within a jailor, she really didn't have any other energy to speak, and hence after lifting said illusion, it would come to reason that her voice should be back. Just what was going on?
Blinking, she looked down at the mop of blond hair.
Did the brat just kiss her?
On the lips?!
"Hm, so soft, I like! Oh, you're not frowning anymore! Yay!"
There was nothing she could do, she could express her disbelief at the ridiculous situation where her three year old jailor had just kissed her six times or so to, apparently, make her stop frowning.
"I'm Naruto! Uzumaki Naruto! What's your name?"
At that, the pretty lady's face fell. A grimace crossed her expression and little Naruto wondered why she looked so sad. She had no name. She was always an outcast, and now banned from the kitsune clan, doomed to dwell in the Yami regions of the summon realm.
Once again, she opened her mouth, and when no voice came out, she shook her head. Turning, she eyed her nine tails and smiled bitterly, before using one of the tails and writing on the walls, "Kyu-bi" in kanji.
"Oooh! Kyu-chan! Ne, ne, how come you have nine?"
The kitsune couldn't help but smile at the sheer vibrancy her jailor seemed to ooze at all times, and despite chiding herself for succumbing to curiosity, she began her first 'conversation' with little Naruto.
Years passed, and as Naruto slept, he would always visit Kyu-chan, keeping her company. Be it playing with her tails or asking her questions that he couldn't understand, he would do his best to ensure Kyuubi made some sort of response. The environment at which they met slowly began to change each time Naruto interacted with the kitsune.
For every smile and silent laughter the kitsune gave, the water within the sewer would retreat. For the first year, Naruto had succeeded in driving away all the stinky liquid from the place. By the second year, the gloomy setting was gone. When he was six, the cage was practically non-existent, for Naruto had deemed it a nuisance every time he had to slide through it to meet Kyu-chan.
It was now simply a room, with carpets on the floor, because Naruto liked them soft, and special futon for the kitsune, very large where Naruto would always curl himself in Kyu-chan's tails, and sleep while she gently caressed his cheek.
Naruto adored them both, Yukari-san, and Kyu-chan, and had long since sworn to himself, that he would always protect them, and be friends with them, and generally, make them the happiest women on earth! That was his dream!
He had exclaimed it to both females, and surprisingly enough, they had the same reactions. They simply pulled him into a warm embrace where they just stayed there for a few moments, before the female would place a kiss on his forehead and distract him by either reading a novel with him (Yukari-san) or getting him to sleep (Kyu-chan).
However, bad things do happen, and exactly on his seventh birthday, one where the entire orphanage had gathered together to celebrate, even the ones that bullied him before had participated, unexpected arrivals along with twisted beliefs destroyed the day.
It wasn't the villagers. It wasn't even random drunkards this time.
They wore masks over them, quite like the ANBU that used to watch over Naruto. But somehow, they felt different, like they were dead on the inside. Their cold tones and voices about how the demon had to be exterminated did the job. All hell broke loose from then onwards.
Naruto didn't know who they were, or why they called him a demon.
But Yukari-san did, and all she uttered since their arrival, was a hateful snarl, "Ne! (Root!)"
On the streets outside of the orphanage…
"Danzo! What is the meaning of this?!" Sarutobi eyed his old 'rival' with distaste and barely controlled rage at the current situation.
He had been notified that there were 'suspicious' men heading towards Naruto's orphanage, and seeing how there weren't any shinobi from other countries that would target that specific place, he decided to be cautious and ordered a squad of ANBU to go with him.
Imagine his surprise when Danzo of all people was standing there, blocking his entrance into the orphanage with his own battered body. Behind him were no doubt those traitorous ANBU he named 'Ne', supposedly the elite in terms of killing efficiency.
There was simply no understanding why the old bat would risk everything on this, his political status, his shinobi status and his citizenship within Konoha, because as Hokage, Sarutobi had every right to simply remove him from the premise.
That would normally happen had Danzo not have the backing of several power-thirsty council members along with a few of the minor clans who bore hatred and jealousy at being gradually forgotten over the years. The only relief Sarutobi had was that the civilian council sided with him unanimously, and would never sway over to Danzo's side, for the simple fact that they wanted to be safe, and after years of experience, they trust the Hokage to be in charge with their lives.
Danzo was well-known to be a reckless man, extremely so, spouting nonsense about going to war every five minutes in council meetings, and as much as the crafty old man tried to wrestle control over the civilian council with Sarutobi, it was a given fact that none of them wanted to go to war, and see their shinobi friends, relatives and family die once again, like that horrible Iwa war years ago. No, they wanted to stay safe, and Sarutobi didn't disappoint. Sure, they disagreed over certain things, like whether Naruto should be instated in an Orphanage at all, for fear that the Kyuubi might suddenly break loose, but then again, as much as the civilians hated to admit it, they knew the Sandaime was right.
The kid wasn't Kyuubi at all. Anyone with the least amount of sense could see that the poor soul was such a gentle boy, with such a love for nature and an intrigue in the overall surroundings itself that it couldn't possibly be the Kyuubi. A few stubborn ones told themselves it was an illusion, set up by the Kyuubi to deceive them all. But even they slowly began to relent after witnessing with their very eyes how the little boy had tended to small stray animals on the streets, how he would eagerly help out with those who accepted him wherever he could. And the orphanage itself! It was proof that he was simply a child more than anything! The cheers of laughter whenever Naruto was in the game always drew a crowd to the windows to simply watch on as the kids played.
The mere fact that the other orphans would stand up for Naruto when he was being bullied or insulted proved that he was just another kid suffering the aftereffects of that abyss. The attack by Kyuubi six years ago was simply too terrifying, and the loss of the citizens of Konoha was greater than any had ever suffered. It was pandemonium and chaos all at once, and the fear escalated to a level that the headstrong citizens of Konoha never thought was possible. And in the midst of all this confusion, they needed a release. They needed a scapegoat, someone to channel their frustration, angst and anxiety through.
They found Naruto to be adequate, and repeatedly convinced themselves that he was nothing but a demon. Well, it kind of worked for what, a few months at best? The baby itself was every bit the definition of 'charm' as it went. Crystal clear blue irises, sun-kissed blond hair framing that chubby little face, and those whisker marks! Most of them instantly deduced it as the marks of a demon, but after staring at it for a while, they simply couldn't help it.
It felt like a sin that such a baby would have to bear those marks for the rest of his life, and on the contrary, those marks were extremely enticing and irresistibly cute. The females had no chance against it, and on a more serious level, neither did the males. Kyuubi had red fur, red eyes. Naruto did not. It was all the proof needed for at least half the civilians to take on a neutral approach. A select few went on to help this Naruto kid, seeing how he was an orphan and all that.
The rest, well, kept up the façade that they hated Naruto, but even then, it was done half-heartedly. One dejected look after a harsh comment would leave the person feeling guilty that he would maintain that 'disgusted' expression for a while longer just so he could briskly walk away and try to forget what he had just done.
The citizens of Konoha weren't blockheads that were too blinded by hatred or anything. There was a reason why Konoha could become the strongest shinobi village out of the five lands. They had emotions such as love and friendship and the so-called 'forbidden' feelings of the Shinobi code to power them, and because other villages stuck to the protocol that emotions only served to hinder you, Konoha was beyond that.
From the Shodai Hokage right down to the Yondaime, all of them discredited that particular rule, reasoning that emotions would only hinder someone if they let it rule them. Emotions are to be controlled and expressed by the user, not the other way round. The Shinobi of Konoha had the backing of their friends, families and comrades and hence was able to persevere through the hardships. However, there would always be a group that detested this ideal, and chose to resist, insisting that they would be fine alone, and that sharing was below them.
Danzo was one of this people, and hence, his secret army of Ne was all trained to become like him, devoid of emotion, embracing their selfish desires even if it meant harm to their own comrades. Those were the ones standing before him right now, determined to see that they get their way in what they wanted.
Sarutobi bristled in anger as he spoke in a deathly tone, "Do you understand what you're doing Danzo?!"
The cripple military fanatic simply smirked cruelly, "Of course I understand. We are here to ensure that our beloved Hokage witness this glorious moment in history, where the demon that brought such disgrace onto us gets what it deserved six years ago."
"Danzo, I'm warning you – "
"It's been long enough, Sarutobi. You've let that thing of yours go on for far too long. It needs to be removed now." Waving a hand at the shinobi behind him, he continued, "You'll either give in now, or you face a civil war."
At this, the atmosphere grew ever tenser as the Sandaime Hokage stared Danzo down, "Do you forget who you're talking to, Danzo?"
In a flash, fifty or so ANBU appeared behind him. "I am the Hokage. My word is 'law' in this village." Taking a step forward, "I was, and still am, the Shinobi Professor, or do I need to remind you that I am the God of war?" His eyes narrowed as he glared at Danzo, "You are nothing but a cripple man, both physically and mentally."
Temper flaring, the Ne leader growled, "You'll regret those words Sarutobi. Enough bantering. I'm asking you right out. Do you agree to the public execution of the demon?"
Sarutobi stared at him coolly, "There is no demon in our village. I do not understand what you are talking about."
"Don't be smart with me!" Danzo snarled, "You know very well who I'm talking about!"
"Silence!" Chakra pouring out of him, Sarutobi's aura instantly magnified, causing the Ne leader to flinch slightly, "Know your place Danzo. I will not repeat myself." Pointing his hand to the streets, he replied, "Leave at once."
Instead of feeling threatened, Danzo smiled, "I see. You dug your own grave. I was hoping for the entire village to see the demon's head fall to the ground, but I suppose the pleasure would be only mine. Ne, attention!"
In blurs, they reappeared in a circle, surrounding Sarutobi and his ANBU, poised and ready to strike.
"Kill any that dare interfere with this. I am declaring a rebellion against a fool of a Hokage. Oh, and men, prepare the bombs."
Sarutobi's eyes widened, before realization dawned on him. Gritting his teeth, he roared, "Danzo!"
"Pity, Sarutobi, pity. I didn't think you would be so cruel as to let other children sacrifice their lives for the sake of a demon. Didn't think you had it in you to be honest." His smirk was back at full force, a crazed look appearing on his face, making his facial features all the more jarring, "But it all ends here. It will die, and that's final. You were a fool to not make it into the weapon that I suggested."
"Bring him out!"
By now, quite the crowd was gathered around the area, almost everyone from the village had caught wind to what was going on, and came to see. Shinobi and civilians alike could only gasp in horror as little six year old Naruto was dragged out onto the courtyard by his hair, manhandled by a Ne officer, before he was kicked to the ground.
The other children were herded aside, however, it was evident that they would not stay still as some even tried to go to Naruto.
"What are you doing to him!"
"Stop! Don't kick him!"
"Naruto! Hang in there!"
The Ne officers didn't hear them and simply pushed them aside, with five officers surrounding a downed Naruto. The boy was staring up at them in confusion and anger, wondering what he had done to deserve all this.
"Let him go this instant! Who the hell do you think you are?!" Yukari-san was bound by ropes and couldn't do anything to save him.
Danzo laughed, "Yes, this is the moment I've been waiting for. Demon, I'm giving you the chance to reveal yourself so that you do not lose your dignity as you die. Drop the illusion and embrace your death!"
Little Naruto was kicked to kneel in front of Danzo as the man held a blade over the boy.
"Danzo! I'm warning you!" Sarutobi snarled as he looked about to take a risk.
"Ah-ah, I suggest you rethink your options, oh mighty Sandaime. I trust you do not want this place to be demolished? This bomb, is a special invention of mine." He twirled it in his hand, "You see, the explosion would kill everyone here, including the civilians. I suggest you shut up and watch, like you should have done all these years." His eyes narrowed, "Do you understand me?"
No one dared move after hearing this declaration, and could only stare on in shock as the event played itself out. None of this was making any sense! Everyone was taken over by the absolute surprise of this, and couldn't make coherent responses to this.
"Now, where were we? Ah that's right. Demon, reveal yourself!" Without hesitation, Danzo stabbed the sword into Naruto's arm, earning a shriek of pain from the boy.
"Naruto!" Yukari-san shouted as she watched on helplessly. The Ne had already taken measures to seal her chakra pathways temporarily, and since they outnumber her, she couldn't put up much of a fight. Besides, the other children were in danger as well, and hence, she had opted to play the docile prisoner until she had her chance, but…
"I said reveal yourself!" A second slice followed, this time across Naruto's face, drawing blood as the boy squirmed on the floor, trying to shake off the pain. It was a ghastly sight to behold, and before long, most of the civilians and Shinobi were protesting, demanding that Danzo stop this.
"Pathetic demon. How long are you going to keep up the façade that you're one of us?! Do not mock us. Reveal yourself!" Two slashes to the torso elicited yet another yell of agony from the poor little boy. Never before had the kid felt such pain, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.
"Do you see now? All these slashes mean nothing. He's healing right before us as we speak. Is this the sign of a human being?! Is it?!" With each pause, he stabbed at the boy, and before long, pain filled cries permeated the area.
"Stop it! Please, just stop it!" One of the girls at the orphanage began crying, "Stop making Naruto-chan hurt!"
"Yeah, yeah! Why are you making him cry?"
"You're all bad people!"
"Stop hurting him!"
"Get away from him!"
"Silence!" Danzo roared at the children, causing them all to shrink back in fear, "Ignorant fools, what you see before you is the image of a demon, as it should be, begging for its life as it licks my feet." Yet another slice later, "Uzumaki Naruto does not exist, all that it is, is a demon! Now, one last time, reveal yourself!" This time, sword simply pierced through his stomach, causing Naruto to choke on the blood in his mouth, unable to even scream anymore.
Sarutobi had charged forward as all this took place, but one twitch of the bomb in Danzo's hand had him stay rooted to his spot. This bastard had definitely planned it well.
"I see that this village needs some punishing for actually helping the demon too. I fail to see why humans would actually stoop so low as to save a demon that should be dead! Ne!"
The children's eyes grew fearful as they were herded towards the disgusting old man. Sarutobi's eyes widened, "Danzo!"
With a flick of his wrist, the Ne leader released the bomb in his hands, causing it to explode, taking with it a huge chunk of the orphanage behind them and a few residences around it.
"I'm serious, Sarutobi. Do not test my patience."
The Sandaime could only wonder where he obtained such powerful weapons. There had been no signs of any suspicious activity prior to this at all!
"You, girl, come over here."
"I said, come over here!" Reaching out, he grabbed the little girl by the wrist and wrenched her over to Naruto, causing her to cry out in pain.
"Here, demon. Since you want to prove that you're nice, let's strike a deal. Reveal yourself and I won't do this." One swift motion later, the girl screamed out in agony as blood spurted from her hand, revealing a huge wound that Danzo had just inflicted on her.
"No! N-no! Na-nanako chan!" Little Naruto coughed as he tried to stand up, "L-let her go, I don't k-know w-what you m-mean, but p-please, let h-her go!" His throat was raw from all the yelling.
"Still playing games, are we? Well then, too bad." Raising his blade, he shook his head mockingly, "She dies."
"Wha - ?"
Before his very eyes, the blade impaled itself on Nanako's shoulder, eliciting yet another scream from the poor girl.
"NO!" Naruto sprung from the ground towards Danzo, "Let her go!"
With ease, the Ne leader smacked him back to the ground, with the blade pointed towards the girl, "Pathetic demon. Who do you think you're talking to?"
"For your insolence, this is the result!" A slice later, the girl lay dead on the ground.
The uproar from the crowd plus the outrage of Sarutobi didn't faze Danzo in the least, "You see what happens when a demon is among us? They pollute us, lie to us and make us befriend them, before leading us to our deaths. Simply disgusting."
Little Naruto had crawled over to Nanako, "Nanako-chan… nanako-chan, wake up…" Shaking her lightly, he shivered as the lack of warmth on her body hit him. "No, Nanako-chan, you haven't had breakfast yet! We were supposed to play all day, and then make a tiara from those pretty flowers we found that day! Nanako-chan!"
"Enough of this foolishness." Danzo rammed his knee into little Naruto, causing him to fall over as the blade struck him once again. But this time, Naruto held the gasp of pain in, staring up at the Ne leader with fury and misery in his eyes, "Why… why did you kill her?!"
"I didn't kill her. You did."
"No! I saw you! You killed her with your sword!"
"Because you confounded her, you made her think you were her friend. I saved her by killing her, lest she spread the disease further." Danzo spoke with absolute arrogance, his lone eye trained on Naruto as he pushed the blade deeper into Naruto's body, "Now scream!"
And scream he did, as the blade not only pierced his lungs, but went right through his back. The pain was unbearable, and nothing Naruto did could make it stop. It wasn't just him that was in pain, Nanako-chan…
"It's our your fault, demon. None of this would have happened had you not existed." Danzo continued, "Your existence itself is a crime!"
"My existence… is a crime…?"
"Precisely. Grab the boy over." And once again, the other boy that had spoken up for Naruto was brought over to Naruto, with the blade held at his neck, "I ask you again, will you reveal yourself?!"
"No! Don't do it, don't harm Jiro!" The poor boy was hysterical by now, fear gripping his heart at the very sight of his playmate being threatened in this way.
"Will you reveal yourself?!"
"I will! I will! I'm this demon you keep saying! Just let Jiro go!" Tears were falling down his cheeks as he tried to do his best to appease this insane old man to let his friend go.
"I'll count to three."
"I don't – "
Jiro fell to the ground, devoid of any life.
"Too slow, demon."
Clutching the dead body of his friend, he cried even harder, "Why did you do that?! I said I am the demon already didn't I?! Why did you kill him?!"
Danzo simply shook his head, "I grow tired of this. Fine, be obstinate about your false identity. Carry it to your death with you. Ne!"
"Burn him alive." Danzo began his walk back towards Sarutobi, an arrogant smirk on his lips, "Oh." Turning his head, he gestured towards the children, "Burn them too."
"NO!" The crowd gasped in horror, unable to do anything but watch as the officers poured cans of oil onto the children, ignoring their sputtering and struggles, their cries and shrieks, only carrying out their duties like the mindless robots they were.
"I'm going to show you, Sarutobi, what it's like to suffer my wrath." Danzo laughed as he gazed at the furious look on his face, "It's a pity really. Had there been no hostages, you might have been able to stop me. But it's all too late. Not even you could get pass fifty Ne officers to prevent me from throwing this match."
Lighting it up, Danzo simply shook his head, "This is the end." Flicking it with his finger, his eyes traced the match gleefully as he cackled at the final demise of the demon, "Die!"
"ENOUGH!" Yukari simply couldn't handle it any longer. Nanako and Jiro had died, killed by this perverse man, and now, Naruto and the rest of them were about to be burned alive. There was no way she could allow that to happen, even if it meant her life!
Breaking off the ropes around her, she charged forth. Because the Ne officers thought she was a mere civilian, only a few of her tenketsu were sealed.
In a brutally efficient move, her arm locked itself around the neck of one of the Ne officers, snapping it as she dashed past, using her momentum to easily execute the move. She was one of the finest ANBU under the Sandaime's rule and it was no surprise that she knew how to kill someone in the fastest way possible.
As a female, her flexibility, agility and speed were her aces, and it showed as she took all three Ne officers surrounding her by surprise, ending their lives before they could react accordingly. The last one had succeeded in a placing a cut on her arm, but that was it, his right arm was sticking out through his back after Yukari was done with him.
In one desperate move, she flung the debris of rope on her at the match stick, successfully pushing it out of its original route, causing it to land away from the oil-drenched children. However, the match stick had rolled back, flames refusing to die as it sparked the oil drops on the ground, burning up a trail to the children as it surged towards them, threatening to engulf them.
The crippled old man seemed startled as this woman advanced on him with alarming speed. Narrowing his eyes, he waved his hand, "Finish her off."
In no time, Yukari found herself engaging ten Ne officers, fully armed and ready to kill. She, on the other hand, had nothing but her fists and a slightly impaired chakra system, along with years of experience to pull her through.
But none of that mattered. All she could think of was to protect Naruto. Somehow forcing her way through them, she dashed with all her might and landed in front of Naruto, her arms spread out, holding Naruto in them, her knees firmly etched into the ground, the crash caused a small crater to form before Naruto and the others, cutting off the fire in the nick of time.
"Yukari-san!" Naruto gasped.
"Are you alright, Naruto?"
However, before the little boy could reply, he felt Yukari-san's body shudder consecutively, before he felt pain at his stomach.
When he looked up, the blood dripping from her lips was enough to get him frantic, "Yukari-san?!" Lowering his head, he saw that five blades had torn through her body, with the intention of taking her life along with Naruto's.
He couldn't speak, he didn't know what to do. Her trembling hands gently caressed his face as she held him closer, "D-don't b-be afr-raid…"
"You're bleeding! You're hurt! You – "
Her fragile smile broke his heart as she leaned on him, her body lacking the strength to stay upright as her life slowly faded away.
There it was, the opening Sarutobi had been waiting for all along. Danzo had been distracted by the outburst of Yukari, and without any more hesitation, he charged into the fray. Bypassing the defense, Sarutobi had reached Danzo in a fury, disabling him in a series of brutal grasps as he ensured that the man would never be able to activate any of the weapons he had planted.
The ANBU had all acted accordingly and it became an all out war against Ne, where jutsu and weapons flew everywhere, screams of worry and agony as the civilians rushed to take cover, and the other shinobi joining in the fray. There was no longer any time to hesitate as all Konoha Shinobi took on the Ne, determined to put an end to the growth of these corrupted roots.
Even as the surroundings became a lot more chaotic than before, Naruto didn't care. All he focused on was the fact that Yukari-san was dying…
"Do y-you re-me-mber, N-naruto? W-what I p-promised…?"
"Yes! Yes! I remember! Please, stop talking, you need to save your strength!" Tears were flowing down his cheeks as he held on to Yukari tightly, "Please don't leave me!"
A soft chuckling was heard, and though she coughed up more blood, her eyes remained gentle and seemed devoid of suffering, "You l-little b-baka…" Her hands lightly framed his face as she kissed him lightly on the forehead, "L-like a star… in m-my night… Y-you w-will always b-be a part… of… me…"
"No, no! Yukari-san!" Watching her close her eyes, fear overwhelmed him as he desperately held onto the woman he adored, "Yukari-san!"
"Remember… I love you, Naruto…"
And as her body slouched onto his, her breathing stopped, Naruto could only hold her there, his mind numb from the shock.
Yukari-san… was dead.
"No…" He shook his head, "No."
"NO!" A rush of power erupted within him as he desperately called out in his mind, "NO! I WON'T LET HER DIE!"
As though beckoning his call, a certain pair of eyes opened, and for the first time in six years, she spoke in a quiet voice, "It's time…"
And everything turned grey. Naruto stared at the female before him, the same lady that he had kept company for six years every night. "Kyu-chan! Please! Help her!"
The red-head simply gazed at him, and a voice sounded in his mind, "Will you do anything to save her? Will you give up your life for her?"
"Yes! I will! I will do anything! So please, oh, I beg you, please help me!" He was desperate, his mind in a frenzy, unable to think, unable to act. He was but a six year old, he was but a child. He couldn't do anything.
He was weak. He let this happen. He caused Yukari-san's death…
It was all his fault.
And all he could do was sob, with her dead body in his arms, and repeatedly beg Kyu-chan to somehow help him. He didn't know what to do, he didn't know anything…
"Will you swear on your soul, that you will never regret this decision?" Her eyes bore into his, her face expressionless as she watched him.
For some reason, all the fear Naruto felt seemed detached in that moment. It was as if he was separated into another dimension, one devoid of all feelings, only allowing reason of thought to be processed. His mind could only focus on the sentence Yukari-san had said to him…
Like a star, in my night, you'll always be a part of me.
Eyes widening, he saw a familiar man with blond hair and a white cape appear before him, a sad smile on his face.
Little Naruto shook his head, "I-I'm not crying!"
The figure chuckled a bit, before ruffling his hair, "Good boy."
"W-where are we?"
"We're in your mind."
"H-huh? B-but, but Yukari-san –"
"We have plenty of time." The yellow haired guy sat down beside him, "You've really grown from when I last saw you."
"H-huh? L-last saw me?"
"Yeah, you were only 'this' big." He gestured a size with his hands, and grinned, "I'm glad to see you again."
All of a sudden, Naruto realized why this guy had seemed so familiar. "Y-you're Yondaime! Yondaime Hokage!"
"Yes, I am." He seemed to smile at his son's recognition of him, but then turned grim as he looked at Naruto, "Are you sure you want to go through with this?"
Naruto looked at him in confusion, "What do you mean?"
"Will you trust your 'Kyu-chan' to save Yukari-san?"
"Of course! Why wouldn't I!"
"Even if it means changing your entire life? Even if it means you might be doomed forever?"
"There's nothing to think! I don't care as long as Yukari-san is alive again!" Tears were beginning to form again as he sobbed, "It's all my fault! If I had been smarter or stronger, Yukari-san would never have had to save me!" He then rubbed his eyes in a rough swipe and glared up at the blond man, "I don't care what you're saying, nor do I give a damn about what is going to happen to me, but I trust Kyu-chan!"
Yondaime laughed as he shook his head in exasperation, "Yeah, mine alright."
Naruto was surprised when the stranger chose to ruffle his head, before whispering, "I see now. I guess it's settled, I'm with you all the way." As though something had been settled, the stranger's figure began to slowly fade away.
"W-wait! Where are you going?!"
"Haha, don't fuss. We'll meet again soon enough. Just remember one thing, Naruto." His voice echoed as he disappeared into the darkness, "We'll always be a part of you."
Eyes widening, Naruto suddenly felt himself expelled from that plane of existence, back into the grey surrounding with Kyu-chan standing in front of him, arms crossed in expectation, "Well?"
Like a star, in my night, you'll always be a part of me…
She was right, Yukari-san would always be a part of him, and there was no way in hell that he would just let her go like this. He was the cause of her death he would be damned if he just let her go.
Remember… I love you, Naruto.
Yes, no matter the consequence…
"I swear! Be it my limbs, my organs or my life! I'll gladly give it up for her!" His being shone with a golden aura as he made the oath, a tingling feeling spreading down his spine as he gazed at Kyu-chan in full confidence.
For the first time, in so many years, he heard her voice. It was a melodious one, "So granted, my love…"
A torrent of chakra engulfed the entire area, forming a gigantic tornado of energy as it forced all those near it back, including one completely astonished Sarutobi.
There had only been once that he felt such an overwhelming power. It was Kyuubi six years ago, its malevolent chakra threatening to destroy anything that dared stand in its way.
But this… this was different.
It was soothing, calm and held such warmth that Sarutobi felt all his worries go away. In the midst of all this, the Konoha citizens and shinobi watched as a fox materialized in the middle of the whirlpool, yipping joyfully, before vanishing altogether with the chakra, leaving an empty spot with Naruto and Yukari nowhere to be seen.
The pact had been made.
A demon's bond with a human formed.
Three lives interconnected in ways one could never hope to intrude.
The search for the lost paradise had begun.
I did it. I got it down. Yes! I'm extremely satisfied right now because I've had this idea for quite awhile, and to see it finally in words makes me proud beyond belief.
I hope all of you enjoy this and would appreciate it if you could comment on it through reviews. Questions will be accepted through PM and reviews.
This is a NaruFemkyuubi fic, and completely AU, done in a way never seen before. I guarantee a refreshing experience, and hopefully, you guys will stay with me throughout this fic.
What has happened to Naruto?
What will happen to Yukari-san?
What did Kyuubi mean?
Find out next chapter in Lost Paradise.
A new note from me. I've placed one of the reviews I've received regarding this fic. It's more of a flame than anything, and if you want to see what he had to say and what I had to say back, please check my profile page for the full details. It's quite amusing since I've rarely shown what I do when I'm tired. Oh well, hope you had a nice time. Also, if you have something to complain about, you might as well check that out as well. I've pretty much covered all the possible stuff you could have complained about. Thanks guys.