The Fourth Hokage of Konoha, Minato Namikaze was a man of principle. He was a beloved husband and father, and a much appreciated leader of his people. But most of all, he was the strongest user of Pokémon in Fire Country. The speed of which he battled earned him the title of "Konoha's Yellow Flash," and in the Third Pokémon War of the Elemental Countries, Minato had been granted a description which had never been given before.
All of his enemies were told, that if they happened to run into him in battle or even at their local Pokémart, they were to 'flee on sight.' This in itself showed Minato's strength, his reputation and his capability. Minato was a tall and handsome blond-haired man, known for his iconic white trench-coat which had flames trailing the bottom. He had been a heart-throb with the locals and the villagers throughout his professional career. A career he knew would end that night.
Minato Namikaze, the man who had been named the strongest Hokage in Konoha's history, was not prepared for the task before him.
A terrible red-coloured Ninetales stood before him, and the rest of the village of Konoha, and the sight literally had some falling in a dead faint. The Pokémon's blood-stained colouring was unnatural in itself, showing perhaps status or rarity. The size of the Pokémon demonstrated it's power, as it easily towered over the village and any Pokémon Minato had ever seen- possibly barring his own.
It had easily held off the trainers of Konoha, with a simple yawn throwing back most of the competition. Of course, the yawn was normally accompanied by enormous golden embers which were probably due to the beast's immense power.
The Ninetales had not attacked the village in earnest yet, but apparently had been waiting for Minato's appearance as when it's ebony eyes recognised his formidable presence in the village's deep autumn twilight it gave an earth-trembling growl. The Hokage's hand dipped towards his belt, and his Pokéballs.
Pokéballs were the red and white spherical capsules that each of the villages used to capture and raise Pokémon. Minato's hand reached for his Pokéballs, his hand palm resting on the sphere that was the easiest to access. The Hokage's finger clenched on the release button, which glowed a pale red to signal the imminent liberation of his Pokémon.
"Easy Ninetales, easy." He said soothingly, his eyes fully focused on the threat to the village. At the sound of his voice, the Ninetales screeched, and leapt forward. Minato's azure eyes fixed on the raging, discoloured fox, and he thrust his Pokéball in it's direction.
Angry crimson flames burst from Ninetales' mouth, and to block it Minato Namikaze's Pokémon was drawn out, bringing forth a blinding flash of cerulean and cerise.
And history in Konoha was made.
Naruto Uzumaki and his Pokémon companion Vulpix were the 'dead lasts' of their ffclass in terms of knowledge and in terms of power. They went to school at Konoha's Pokémon Academy, a school which had a prestigious reputation for great teaching and for their pupils, most of whom came from rich families or Clans.
Naruto was an orphaned child, both of his parents had died in the Ninetales attack when The Fourth Hokage had fought the rabid Pokémon off. The Fourth was Naruto's idol, he was powerful, well liked, and he was a blond haired, blue eyed Pokémon trainer just like him- what wasn't to like?
Naruto sat at the back of the classroom with Vulpix, a pretty fox Pokémon who slept on the table in front of him. Vulpix's deep red fur had a shiny sheen on it, and her six tails curled up around her as she buzzed gently with delight while resting on the table. Naruto stroked Vulpix's brow half-heartedly, while the rest of the class sat at attention.
"Naruto Uzumaki!" The teacher called, anger clear in his voice, "I asked you a question!"
The blond looked up suddenly, while Vulpix slowly woke up from her slumber. "You did?" He asked uncertainly.
"Yes I did. Now answer the question: What type of Pokémon are trainers from Suna normally users of?" The teacher asked impatiently, as he rubbed the scar that ran horizontally above his nose.
"Errr, Suna types?" Naruto attempted, and the rest of the class groaned.
"Wrong! Ground types are normally used by trainers of Suna. You could have just read the sheet of paper that Vulpix is sleeping on if you wanted the answer, you know." He chided in frustration, "or you could have paid attention to the lecture I was giving!"
"Sorry Iruka, but you know me, I never pay attention to your lectures." Naruto reasoned, nonchalantly. He shrugged and stroked Vulpix again, who slowly rose to her feet, shaking her head to make herself more alert.
"You do realise that's hardly a reason for you not to pay attention to your teacher. In fact that makes it worse!" Iruka snapped, pointing at Naruto in anger, "you shouldn't waste this class's time! This training is important to the people of Konoha, and while I have to scold you, students who could improve are learning nothing!"
Naruto said nothing, he folded his arms and looked away in a sulk.
"That's it! Everybody to the front! We're practising your stat-reducing techniques!"
"Ehh?!" The class moaned in an uproar.
Vulpix looked up at Naruto sourly. The blond looked down at her, squinting with indignation, "hey, it's as much your fault as it is mine!" She didn't bother to waste her breath, and turned away from him again. Naruto rolled his eyes at his Pokémon's behaviour, "typical woman…" he muttered.
The row of students in front of him- 'girls students!' he realised- turned to face him. He quickly realised his imminent demise, the blond and hurriedly amended his sentence, "typical woman, always being right when the man's wrong."
The three girls were students he knew fairly well, Sakura, Ino and Hinata. The three did not normally sit together, but the class had been split so the each of them could go to a specialised tutor for their type of Pokémon, and as such the three had been in the same class. They each looked at each other, as if they were silently judging whether or not the boy should live or die.
Naruto crossed his fingers under the table, internally chanting 'buy it, buy it, buy it!' He measured the expressions of the girls' faces, and he saw them nod at each other grimly.
His chants became more like pleads now, 'please buy it, please buy it, please buy it!' he closed his eyes in concentration, willing them to accept his verbal 'improvement'. He felt no punches or double slaps, and slowly opened his eyes with hesitation.
He was relieved when they each smiled warmly at him. The blonde haired girl, Ino, rolled her eyes at him.
"Nice save," she complimented, before she turned around again with Sakura and Hinata.
"Come on class, to the front!" Iruka called out as the students bumbled and slowly rose from their seats, "don't make me start a lecture on Pokémon evolution!"
The movement immediately sped up, and in moments each pupil was lined up with their starter Pokémon, each prepared to achieve a passing grade. Naruto rose from his chair slowly. Everyone was capable of this little 'test'. He sighed as he stepped into the alphabetical order, behind Sasuke Uchiha and in front of Ino Yamanaka, the blonde from earlier.
She huffed when he stepped in front of her, "this is all your fault you know!" Another boy grunted in agreement as he moved past them to his place in the cue.
"Naruto, you're always so troublesome." He drawled, "your laziness makes us have to do extra work."
Naruto was scandalised, "you're one to talk Shikamaru! I can't believe the boy who marks papers with saliva stains rather than pen marks is scolding me for being lazy!"
"Shikamaru might be lazy Naruto, but Iruka wasn't asking him the question!" Ino whined once more, "I can't believe such a pretty Pokémon has a worthless owner like yourself!"
"I'm not her owner, I'm her friend!" Naruto corrected her, he stuck out his tongue.
"Some friend you are! You own her, she lives in the Pokéball, not in the outside world." Ino corrected making a face at him.
The dark haired boy in front of Naruto, Sasuke, turned to face the pair with an impatient air. "Keep the noise down," he snapped and turned back to face the front of the queue. He turned around again, to add an afterthought, "Oh yeah, and Pokémon are for battling, it's Konoha's way."
"Yeah, but me and Vulpix are different." Naruto said stubbornly, as Sasuke stepped forward to demonstrate his Pokémon's skill.
Sasuke completed the exercise perfectly, and he withdrew his Pokémon amid praise from Iruka. "Fantastic, Sasuke… Naruto? To the front. Let's see that stat-reduction technique then!"
Naruto slouched forward, Vulpix sauntered at his heels.
Iruka nodded to his Pokémon; his trusty Bibarel, and the beaver Pokémon stepped forward as well.
Naruto pointed at the Bibarel, "Vulpix, use your Tail Whip!" The crimson Pokémon shot forward, bounding towards the Bibarel her six tails flowed elegantly behind her. She gave a sharp turn, and swiped her tails that danced behind her like a blazing inferno. The tails slid into Bibarel's lower-body and legs, making it lose it's balance and weakening it's defence.
The Bibarel stumbled into Iruka, causing the pair to fall over while the class laughed at their misfortune. "Na-ru-to!"
"Don't blame me Iruka, it's your fault that Bibarel couldn't stay standing from one tail whip!" Naruto pointed out, holding back his laughter.
Iruka glared at the trouble-maker.
Naruto was given the punishment of polishing the statue of the Fourth Hokage which was kept in the Academy plaza while parents came and went to pick their children up from school.
Vulpix was given a training exercise by Bibarel and was being instructed by Iruka in the grassy area while Naruto gave a heaving sigh and continued to apply the polish.
"Good afternoon Naruto," a silver-haired man said as he sat down next to the blond who continued to rub the bronze statue.
"Good afternoon Mizuki!" Naruto replied eagerly with a smile. Mizuki was one of the Academy teachers who seemed to genuinely like teaching him, and his Sneasal had been the Pokémon to teach Vulpix about how to build it's speed and agility.
"You know, Naruto, you shouldn't have spoken to Iruka that way," Mizuki said gently, sitting next to the blond.
"But Iruka always treats me unfairly, it wasn't my fault that stupid Bibarel had to fall over," Naruto complained, "it was bad luck."
"That's true," Mizuki agreed, "but Iruka was angry because you were not listening in class, and because when Vulpix knocked Bibarel over and into him, you did not apologise."
Naruto looked away from Mizuki guiltily, "I'll apologise."
"Good boy," Mizuki said with a grin, he ruffled Naruto's hair and hopped off the statue's platform. "See you tomorrow, Naruto."
Naruto continued to polish the statue with a grin, with teachers like Mizuki he'd be able to climb to the very top! But before that…
'I'll apologise to Iruka! And he'll treat me to ramen!'
Iruka and Naruto sat at the Ichiraku Ramen Shop, a tiny establishment which catered to a small audience, but years ago the shop had been a bustling business which was always busy and full of customers.
'It started to lose business when Naruto started coming here,' Iruka thought sympathetically, 'because of that people didn't want to spend their money here.' He looked at Teuchi Ichiraku, the store's owner sympathetically. 'A man who does the right thing is a man who suffers… What a bold decision.'
"Excuse me, Iruka?"
The brunet teacher turned to the other worker, "Oh hello Ayame!" Ayame was Teuchi's daughter, she had been working the stand since she was ten when her mother had died, and had always treated Naruto kindly. She was a pretty dark haired girl at the age of seventeen, with a nice smile and a petite figure.
Her eyes sparkled, a light blush on her face, "would you like to order anything else?"
"No thank you Ayame, I'm very full," Iruka said with a grin, "it was great."
Ayame blushed harder, beaming back at him before turning to Naruto, "would you like any more Naruto?" she said kindly.
"Yes please Ayame! Iruka's paying!" He waved his bowl.
Iruka wept for his wallet.
Iruka entered the classroom grimly, his legs like shaky and his temper fragile. This would be the last time he would teach this class.
"Welcome class, to your final day at the Academy."
Amid the woops and cheers, one figure sat just as still as Iruka Umino. That was the figure of Naruto Uzumaki.
Iruka noticed, and sighed. 'Naruto's failed this exam three times already. He can't fail again…'
Iruka swallowed down his anxiety for the blond and hushed the class. "In our first year we established the bond with trainer and Pokémon, and mastered our physical attacks. In the second year we mastered the use of stat-reducing attacks and we worked on afflictions like poisoning and paralysis. In this year our main exam is on the use of special attack, and your Pokémon's mastery in total."
Iruka surveyed the class, and each member of the group looked confident. Apart from Naruto.
"Once you have shown your aptitude for the special attack, you will be participating in Pokémon battles with trainers of the same type."
The trainers-to-be chattered excitedly at this, most of them knew each other from their elemental lessons and had become fast friends.
"Hey Deadlast!" Sasuke Uchiha called across the classroom, "you had better pass this time, because I won't have anyone to battle if you don't!"
Naruto felt a flush of embarrassment spread across his cheeks, and he fixed Sasuke with a dirty look, "Pipe down you poser!"
The others laughed at the arguments good-heartedly. Naruto and Sasuke always argued after all.
"Right then! We'll begin with Shino Aburame, Shino if you could follow me into this backroom?"
"Yes sir." The stoic boy said confidently, rising quickly and making his way to the front.
And with that, the exams began.
Naruto sat outside the classroom, in the Academy Plaza and he sulked. His eyes stung with unshed tears, and his heart ached with disappointment.
Vulpix still could not manage to use Ember.
Naruto stroked Vulpix's head gently, picking up the fox and placing her in his lap. Vulpix refused to look at him.
She had never been more upset with herself. She had shamed her trainer. She apologised with a loud whine. And Naruto accepted her apology… 'because that's what friends do!' He thought resolutely.
The pair watched as parents picked their children up from school for the final time, the Pokémon were placed back in their capsules, the children were hugged and congratulated, and were able to live happily ever after.
Naruto continued to sit in the Plaza and he glared up at the Fourth's statue. "Why can't I pass?" He asked the bronze figure.
There was no reply. Vulpix climbed onto his shoulder.
'Of course there wouldn't be a reply, he's long dead.' Naruto thought bitterly. He turned away from the statue and looked back to the people leaving the Academy. They were all gone. 'No second thoughts to the failure-orphan.'
"Are you alright Naruto?"
The boy jumped, while Vulpix fell to the floor in surprise. "Mizuki!"
The gray-haired teacher laughed at the boy's surprise, "I heard you talking to the statue you know," Mizuki admitted, he sat beside him in a gesture of friendship. He saw Naruto flush in embarrassment, "Don't worry Naruto, I know why you did it."
Naruto looked at him uncertainly, "Oh?" Vulpix mirrored his inquisitive expression.
"You don't understand why Iruka wouldn't let you pass right?" Mizuki said sympathetically, his hand stroking Vulpix's tidy mane. He noticed he had caught Naruto's full attention now. The statue beside them caught the glare of the fading scarlet sun that was descending behind the trees of Konoha. "It's because he wants you and Vulpix to be strong, to be able to look after yourselves and be independent."
The blond trainer bit his lip, "But we'll never be able to graduate."
"Luckily for you, Naruto, I know another method of graduation!" Mizuki proclaimed with a wide grin. A figure in the doorway of Iruka's class watched the interaction between teacher and student, and studied them. The only one who noticed their presence, however, was Vulpix.
Vulpix hopped delicately off of Naruto's shoulder, and she progressed to the person happily, brushing at their legs.
"The other way to pass the Genin exam is to steal the Scroll of Seals from the Hokage's office, and learn one of the techniques from within."
Naruto leapt to his feet and saluted, while Mizuki continued to grin.
The figure shooed Vulpix away, a finger at their lips telling Vulpix to stay quiet about their presence. The fox Pokémon ran back to her owner, and Naruto picked her up and ran straight towards the Hokage Building. The figure receded into the darkness, while Mizuki's grin gradually faded away into a devious smirk. "Step one accomplished," The teacher remarked offhandedly, "Now for the second step."
Naruto sat in a clearing, a scroll of parchment strapped to his back. Vulpix lay next to him, huffing and puffing in exhaustion and fatigue. "We did good eh Vulpix?"
The fox gave him a tired grin and licked her arm, which she had apparently grazed through strenuous activity.
The blond looked up to see his teacher, although not as he'd hoped he would seem. "Hey Iruka! Look look! Vulpix managed to learn a technique from the Scroll, so I can make Genin now right?" He said with an expectant grin.
"What are you talking about Naruto? You broke into the Hokage's office and stole a very important Scroll. That's a crime that borders on treason!" Iruka explained, in a mixture between exasperation and anger.
"But Mizuki said that I would become a Genin if Vulpix learnt a TM from the Scroll! He told me about that, and he told me about this place! He even explained that only I had this option this year because I'm special!" Naruto enlightened Iruka cheerfully. "Mizuki and Sneasal have been such a help this year."
Iruka's expression changed dramatically, his hand reached to his belt and he picked his Pokémon. He dropped the ball to the floor and it opened with a small flash, revealing a small beaver type.
"Ice shard!" A foreign voice called from behind the group, and multiple shards of razor sharp ice shot forth from the shadows of the trees.
"Naruto, Vulpix watch out!" Iruka said, dropping to the floor, "Bibarel use your dig attack." Bibarel squealed in agreement to the tactic, before tunnelling swiftly underground and blocking the burrow's opening with some dirt by sweeping it's tail around behind it.
Mizuki and Sneasal walked into the clearing nonchalantly, "Oh? Where did the pathetic beaver go to? Did we knock it out already?" Sneasal gave a greasy chuckle at Bibarel's expense and stood before Iruka it's sharp claws directed at him threateningly.
Iruka glared at Mizuki, "You've betrayed the village for power Mizuki, how could you."
"I didn't do anything! It was all Naruto. And somehow he killed you and your team when you went to apprehend him, and then I happened to stumble across the scene of the crime, the Scroll gone and the boy and his Pokémon dead too," he said with a scheming and disarming smile.
"Mizuki, I don't understand!" Naruto called to him near tears, "Why did you do this?!"
"You don't understand? It's because you are the human reincarnation of the Ninetales that attacked Konoha twelve years ago!" Mizuki roared furiously, "Don't you remember how you killed so many people? Huh, Fox?!" Sneasal's claws glowed with power, "Sneasal kill the lot of them- use your Slash attack!"
Sneasal shot forward intent on slashing at Iruka's throat, when the ground opened up beneath it, Bibarel launching upwards and slamming into it's chin.
"Bibarel, hit it with a Super Fang!" The beaver's teeth shone much like Sneasal's claws had before, and it darted forwards to clamp it's buck-teeth on Sneasal who dodged it with it's agility.
"Sneasal, use your Swift!" Mizuki asked desperately and the ice-rat shot towards Bibarel and hit it with the unavoidable attack that had it seeing stars. It slumped to the floor in defeat.
"Oh no, Bibarel!" Iruka exclaimed, "Please get back up!"
Mizuki pointed at the group, "Sneasal use another Ice Shard!" The dark type Pokémon launched another set of dangerous ice flake towards Iruka and Bibarel.
Iruka withdrew Bibarel into it's Pokéball hastily to avoid further damage to it's vulnerable state and reached towards his belt to pick a new Pokémon. His hand grasped at nothing- 'Damn it! I left the rest of my party in the Pokémon Center for the night.'
The ice shards drew closer.
'There's no way for me to defend myself, what can I do?' He thought in desperation, eyes closed in silent prayer.
"Don't give up hope just yet Iruka."
The tanned teacher opened his eyes, only to see Naruto in front of him and Vulpix at the ready, fire bursting from her mouth.
"I don't care if I am the reincarnated Ninetales or whatever but you aren't going to hurt Iruka! Even if I am the monster that attacked Konoha and killed all those people, I'll summon that power up and beat you down with it!" He pointed at Mizuki, "Come on Vulpix, let's show him what we learnt from the Scroll!"
Vulpix yipped loudly before dashing towards Sneasal hoping to repay the Pokémon back for attacking Bibarel so ruthlessly.
Mizuki laughed at the pair, "Sneasal one-hit-KO it! Use your slash again," Sneasal charged the power to it's claws again, and slid forwards in front of Vulpix's assault. Vulpix anticipated the counter-attack, and hopped lightly over Sneasal's body, landing on Mizuki's face and springing off of it again when he tried to swipe her off.
"Vulpix use your Flamethrower!" Naruto commanded, and Vulpix obeyed with an almighty explosion of searing fire that erupted from her mouth. Sneasal was enveloped in the flames and could only squeak when it fell to the floor, black, sooty and unable to battle.
"The-the power! How could you use such a strong attack, when you couldn't even manage a basic one?" Mizuki asked Vulpix when she turned to him.
Vulpix tilted her head to the side cutely in response and Naruto translated, "She's been capable of this all along. In fact, she's so powerful that she can't manage the simplest attacks without using unimaginable concentration."
Iruka could only look on in awe as he watched his student and his Pokémon defeat the trainer who had actually beaten him in battle. 'Naruto, Vulpix, you're both amazing…' He thought as he noticed Konoha's Elite trainers lurking in the shadows, 'ANBU are here, and probably know what was happening all along,' he considered with a laugh, as Mizuki was wrapped in a powerful flamethrower much like his Pokémon.
"Naruto, Iruka wanted me to explain what happened tonight to you…" The Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi began. Naruto was sat in his office with Vulpix sitting obediently at his side.
Hiruzen Sarutobi was a wise elderly man, who had been taught and raised by the original Hokage. He was widely known as "The Professor," a professional who dealt with Pokémon in expertise that was renowned world-wide.
"You mean that I'm the reincarnated Ninetales that killed people and the Fourth Hokage?" Naruto said his nose wrinkled in distaste. "It'd explain why the village has always ignored me, but it doesn't make any sense at all!"
"That's because it's not true," Sarutobi revealed wearily, "The Fourth used his entire team of Pokémon to defeat Ninetales, yet it managed to incapacitate him in return. Minato's Pokémon Dialga, Palkia and Celebi managed to use their Time-Space powers to seal Ninetails' powers away, and the Pokémon itself was reborn from a Pokémon egg."
"A Pokémon egg?" Naruto asked inquisitively, "Pokémon are hatched?"
Sarutobi nodded in confirmation, his expression was a grave one, "And your Pokémon Vulpix is the Ninetails' younger form."
"So people don't like me because of Vulpix?" The boy replied plainly, the fox Pokémon at his feet hopped onto his lap, "I don't blame you."
"The citizens of Konoha are prejudiced against you because when Vulpix hatched, she chose you to be her trainer," Sarutobi continued, "some are afraid, and believe that she will rise up into the terrible beast that once killed and caused fear and mayhem. Very few believed that Ninetales was reborn as a person, and that it used a Vulpix around it to create fear. However it seemed Mizuki was one of the few who really did think it."
Naruto nodded with understanding, "So the people of Konoha hate the idea of the Ninetales, and even though Vulpix was born because of it, they tried to ignore us both out of fear." Vulpix rubbed her head against his arm in a placating gesture, "It's alright Vulpix, I'm not angry. Just disappointed."
The Third Hokage nodded, "I feel the same way," Naruto stood up to leave, holding Vulpix in his arms, "Oh by the way Naruto, Iruka told me to give you one of these," the wizened Hokage held out a Konoha Forehead protector, "This signifies that you are in fact a Genin of Konoha, congratulations." He grinned at Naruto and Vulpix, "Thank you for apprehending Mizuki and Sneasal, Vulpix."
Naruto took the metal plated band from the Hokage, tracing a finger around the leaf insignia, tears in his eyes. Vulpix yipped at Sarutobi in her thanks, "Thank you, old-man Hokage."
"You start your journey as a Genin today, Naruto Uzumaki! Vulpix!" Hiruzen said with a wide smile, patting Vulpix on the head.
"Yes sir!" Naruto saluted, while Vulpix made the same motion with her front paw.
A/N: So what do you think of the fic? Who would have thought that the Scroll of Seals contained TMs?